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ESP, remote viewing actually ‘complementary cognition?’

Integration of Light by Hartwig HKD

Integration of Light by Hartwig HKD

By Steve Hammons

The term “anomalous cognition” has come to mean something similar to what has often been called the “sixth sense.”

These concepts are also linked with names for this phenomena such as extrasensory perception (ESP) and remote viewing.

However, is it true that certain kinds of perception are actually “anomalous,” that is, unusual or out of the ordinary?

It may be that the sixth sense is actually a very natural, normal and common kind of perception that we all experience on a regular basis. We may not recognize it as such because we filter those perceptions through our conscious and logical thinking brain.

Or, maybe we just consider these perceptions as hunches, gut feelings, instincts or intuition that we may or may not pay much attention to.

It might be more accurate and constructive to call this kind of perception “alternative cognition” or “complementary cognition.” This is similar to ideas of alternative medicine and complementary medicine.


We might think of alternative cognition or complementary cognition as just another perceptual resource to go along with our other five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell as well as our emotions, feelings, dreams and thinking brain.

In fact, maybe we will discover that there are more than these modes of perception. Maybe we have the ability to perceive in ways that can be further identified and specified.

There are also joint perceptions that involve using more than one sense or perceptual resource simultaneously. Integrating our sixth sense with the other five and other inner experiences may also be helpful, as well as very natural and normal.

Complementary cognition is probably something all humans, and probably many animals, possess as a natural part of our awareness.

However, this does not mean that all of us utilize this kind of perception in equal measure.

For example, remote viewing refers to some specific methods developed by the U.S. military and intelligence communities in Project STARGATE during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. People were selected to be remote viewers in these efforts because they were believed to have better than average or quite good abilities in this area.

These abilities were then scientifically tested, verified, measured and explored by Project STARGATE personnel.

Are these skills based on elements like personal experiences, training and practice, genetics or psychological traits? All of these factors, and maybe more, probably play a part in the abilities of a particular person.

In addition, the purpose or importance of the alternative or complementary cognition experience might be an important factor. Is it being used as part of an important secret mission, for personal safety and survival, to find a missing child, to catch a dangerous criminal?

Would these situations somehow contribute to the availability or accuracy of complementary cognition experiences compared to a purpose that is less important?


As we continue to learn more about our sixth sense, ESP, remote viewing, anomalous cognition, alternative/complementary cognition or whatever we might choose to call it, we will probably find answers to these questions.

Scientific research during the Project STARGATE years resulted in large amounts of useful data that continues to be very helpful in our understanding of this aspect of human consciousness.

In addition to the scientific exploration and measurement of this human ability, it was applied to operational activities involved with U.S. national security, often with significantly successful results.

In fact, a Navy SEAL officer suggested in a research paper for his studies at the Marine Corps War College that remote viewing can be an example of what he called “transcendent warfare.” He suggested that using state-of-the-art and leading-edge emerging knowledge about human consciousness can be an important part of U.S. national security activities.

Subsequent concepts that built on the SEAL officer’s idea of transcendent warfare included the term “transcendent power” which is complementary to diplomatic and military soft power, hard power and what has been called smart power.

Taking the transcendent power idea further, we might discover that it and complementary cognition can be applied to a wide range of efforts and goals including economic prosperity, scientific progress, medical discoveries, human development, international peace operations, resolution of social problems, natural resources conservation and many other important current challenges.

When we begin to understand that alternative and complementary cognition is a natural part being human, we may find that we can make accelerated progress on many levels.

Steve Hammons writes on many topics. For more information, visit these websites: Joint Recon Study Group, Transcendent TV & Media and American Chronicle.

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Deploy soft power communication on human consciousness

English: human mind for performance psychology...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

By Steve Hammons

Originally published February 24, 2009

As we increasingly look at our human capital to assess where we have been, where we are now and where we are going, it is probably helpful to consider the current overall understanding of human consciousness.

That is no easy task. The vague and varied nature of the human mind can be challenging to comprehend. It is not always readily visible, measurable or observable, although outward behavior and appearance stemming from consciousness is.

In our everyday lives, we can look at elements of society such as economic development, educational systems, health care, defense and intelligence activities, cultural creativity and social cohesion that reflect the current state of our comprehension of human consciousness.

At the heart of these endeavors is human consciousness, so trying to understand and optimize it seems worthwhile.

When we consider deploying communication, information and education about consciousness, domestically or in the context of international soft power or smart power, what are some of the elements involved?


Although there are indications that consciousness itself can be utilized in interesting ways, more likely we are generally referring to practical and deployable communication, information and education about it.

It is the development and understanding of a perspective on the human race and the current state of our societies and our world.

By using the viewpoint on and of human consciousness, we might be able to transcend many obstacles to problem-solving, rapport-building and creative, innovative approaches and solutions.

So what is particularly interesting about consciousness that might arouse the interest of average people, friends and adversaries?

First, we all have it. We can call consciousness the human mind, human psychology, awareness, perception or even a spirit or soul, depending on our perspectives and what elements we are discussing.

There are a few interesting aspects to consider.

One is that, generally, it is accepted in mainstream psychology that we have a conscious mind, a subconscious and a border area between the two.

In addition, various kinds of philosophies, spiritual beliefs and some significant modern research make reference to the connection between an individual person’s mind and a larger power, force, intelligence or field of some kind. Many different names are given to this in different cultural, philosophical and scientific contexts.

Another fascinating topic is the indication that human consciousness has a “sixth sense” that can pick up information and understanding that is not available to our other five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.

The sixth sense can bubble up from the unconscious and enter into the conscious. We might call it intuition, instincts, hunches, gut feelings or something else.

This might manifest itself in our nighttime dreams or even daydreams as the unconscious becomes more active in relation to our conscious logical-thinking brains.

In his 1972 book The Natural Mind, Andrew Weil, M.D., hypothesized that the human mind may have a natural inclination to seek understanding of a wider and deeper consciousness because the mind knows there is more to itself – and more to a possibly larger cosmic mind.

Weil thought that perhaps people have throughout human history then used prayer, meditation, fasting, exciting or dangerous activities, vision quests or even psychoactive plants (including fermented plants), cacti, mushrooms and other fungi to explore human consciousness. (We now even hear of people using excretions from the skins of certain frogs or toads for this purpose.)

Optimizing our understanding of these and other elements of human consciousness and behavior through communication, information and education might be helpful in wide and deep ways.


Although human consciousness is not always easily understood or measured, we know that as a general concept, it includes thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams, beliefs, perceptions, awareness and similar kinds of characteristics.

And now that we suspect, based on credible research, that human consciousness also probably has abilities to tap a sixth sense, this adds to our more conventional understanding of ourselves and others.

A natural question may arise as to if it is wise to inform troubled people or international adversaries that their minds and consciousness might be worth exploring further along these lines.

One answer to this may be that research into human consciousness and even “anomalous” abilities such as the sixth sense (which actually are probably very natural and normal) are almost common knowledge nowadays. We find information on this in books, movies, articles and all over the Web. The information is in the public domain or what is sometimes called open source intelligence.

When the U.S. Government’s defense and intelligence communities started researching this in the 1970s, it was in response to the old Soviet Union’s activities in these areas. China has also reportedly conducted research on human consciousness and human abilities along these lines.

This kind of research was later referred to as a component of “transcendent warfare.”

We might take a leap of faith and assume that as people understand themselves, their social and psychological programming, their own personal histories and the deeper and transcendent nature within and around them, they will grow as constructive human beings.

In fact, some of the research in human consciousness seems to include a faith-based component. That is, when we try to understand deeper possible realities – whether using psychology, spirituality, biology, quantum physics or other methods – things sometimes get mysterious and not necessarily logical.

Unusual phenomena, synchronicity (odd and meaningful coincidences) or other things that seem to be authentic and can be perceived by us might sometimes occur.

If we try our best to understand, communicate and educate ourselves and others about some of the emerging and leading-edge developments regarding human consciousness, we might be able to optimize these real resources and assets.

About the Author:

Steve Hammons writes on a variety of topics. His work appears on transformational websites and at his blogs Joint Recon Study Group and Trancendent TV and Media. He’s also authored two novels, Light’s Hand and Mission Into Light.

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Breakthroughs in human consciousness possible

Human being asking Universe... by CLUC

Human being asking Universe… by CLUC

By Steve Hammons

Right now, all of us are experiencing human consciousness. It is our thinking, feeling and perceptions.

It involves us as individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and nations.

Some people seem to feel that we may be on the verge of breakthroughs of some kind when it comes to human consciousness – a paradigm shift or an emerging new insight.

As we take a look at the world around us, one view about human consciousness is that American society and human culture worldwide seem to be developing in ways that are promising, despite serious problems of various kinds.

At the heart of the situation is human behavior and consciousness, which involves the many aspects of human nature and human societies.


How might a breakthrough or interesting new aspects of human consciousness emerge? What can we do to help the process along?

Blending and merging the many factors of our current understanding about consciousness might create a synergy that could be helpful.

Research and speculation about consciousness and awareness include many concepts and approaches involving diverse fields.

Consciousness plays a key part in areas from education to psychology, from scientific research to communication media, from public safety to health care, from economic development to international relations and just about everything in between.

When we take a look at consciousness, it seems that some views and approaches are on the more conventional side and other perspectives may be innovative and outside the box.

For example, we can look at the brain and body to see how they function. Exploring social interactions is another way to look at human psychology and behavior. Our relationship with our physical environment is also a factor to consider.

Some people take a spiritual or metaphysical angle when examining human awareness. Unusual and mysterious phenomena are also areas of interest. Concepts about other dimensions and a “multiverse,” zero point energy and UFOs spark curiosity.

For many conventional and unconventional viewpoints, a good amount of knowledge has been acquired. Still, there is much that most of us do not fully understand.


We can also ask useful questions: What factors affect consciousness? Is there more to it than we generally believe? Does it operate in ways that we fully understand? Can we all learn more about it and help it work for us as individuals and groups?

Using the more conventional as well as leading-edge paths to explore these questions might both yield helpful results.

The biology of the brain, body and neurological system is certainly an important part of human consciousness. Medical researchers are also looking at the influences of our genetics and DNA which seem to promise interesting findings.

Mainstream theories in education, psychology, sociology, anthropology and other social sciences also have much to offer.

Pioneering research into unusual and unexplained phenomena, anomalous cognition, enhanced human perception and other unconventional areas of study probably can shed light on the situation as well.

Can the human race make the most of our current understanding and take this knowledge to the next level, whatever that might look like?

It might be that this is inevitable and is part of the natural development of humanity.

We might be flowing toward this outcome as if on a river or stream where the waters may be calm or turbulent, but do eventually reach their destination.

Steve Hammons writes on many topics. For more information, visit these websites: Joint Recon Study Group, Transcendent TV & Media and American Chronicle.

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Beyond soft power and smart power: Transcendent power

Consciousness Awakening on Vimeo by Ralph Buckley

Consciousness Awakening on Vimeo by Ralph Buckley (Photo credit: Ralph Buckley)

By Steve Hammons

In discussions about the ideas of hard power, soft power and smart power, several observers have pointed out that the term soft power may not be a good name for this worthwhile, sound and valuable concept.

The word soft sometimes implies weak, flabby or inadequate characteristics in several kinds of contexts.

A term that truly embodies soft power and also includes hard and smart power elements is “transcendent power.”

This refers to the concept of “transcendent warfare” that is based on the idea of embracing and utilizing emerging and leading-edge assets and resources.

The term transcendent warfare was used by a U.S. Navy SEAL officer in a graduate-level paper written for the Marine Corps War College. Although the paper focused, in part, on research and development by the U.S. defense and intelligence communities into human perceptual capabilities, the author seemed to indicate that transcendent warfare goes beyond any narrow definitions.

We might think of transcendent power as the blending and optimization of a range of resources and methods typically associated with both soft power and hard power.


Since transcendent warfare is often associated with unconventional intelligence acquisition and human consciousness research, the concept could be viewed as an “outside-the-box” idea. It is. It is the kind of innovative and forward-leaning thinking that can be very helpful.

At the same time, it is not easily defined or explained.

The idea of transcendent power would include the use of public diplomacy, American cultural resources, humanitarian operations, peace operations, human-based intelligence (HUMINT), constructive and non-manipulative psychological operations (PSYOP), open source intelligence (OSINT), special operations forces, unconventional operations, conventional defense resources, advanced technologies and various other assets.

In addition, transcendent power would dovetail with the emerging and developing nature of American society, the international community, the human race, Planet Earth and other elements that may not yet be fully understood.

Transcendent power weaves together these elements in ways that are creative, innovative and geared toward legitimate, moral and ethical objectives.

In its purest form, transcendent power by its very nature probably cannot be considered part of optional wars based on illegitimate intelligence, military actions to obtain natural resources, unwise sacrificing of the lives and limbs of our military personnel and the resulting devastation for their families, unnecessary killing and injuring of innocents, torture, war profiteering and vainglorious military adventures launched by “chicken hawks.”

coordinate systems by Wen Zhang

coordinate systems by Wen Zhang


Some elements of soft power can be viewed as passive approaches. Attempts are made to attract potential friends, neutral parties and potential adversaries to your own point of view based on the attractiveness of your culture and other components of your society.

Transcendent power might be considered to be more assertive and proactive. It actively embraces leading-edge knowledge, advancements and understanding.

Transcendent power reaches out and touches friends, neutral parties and adversaries.

Transcendent power allies itself with, and is part of a fundamental and dominant force. It dominates human terrain by its association with, and basis in core knowledge of human consciousness and the forces that human consciousness is connected to.

It has characteristics that require a certain understanding. The SEAL officer who wrote the paper referencing transcendent warfare noted that there are Zen-like qualities to it that require an insightful perspective to appreciate some of the possibilities involved with it.

Learning about the interesting research in quantum physics, human consciousness and unconventional intelligence acquisition research and operations is a good beginning toward comprehending the potential of transcendent power.

Soft power is a valuable concept. The idea of smart power, which blends soft power and hard power is another worthy term.

Transcendent power moves us to the next level in our quest for progress on many fronts in the 21st century.


Scientific research, Cherokee tales of ‘little people’ give clues about our world

Cherokee Bamboo Forest Two by Joshua Adelman via Flickr

By Steve Hammons (July 31, 2006)

Some modern physics research includes examination of interesting ideas such as unseen dimensions within our universe separated by subtle and discreet boundaries sometimes referred to as “branes.”The term “multiverse,” a universe with many dimensions, has even been used to describe these kinds of ideas.

In some ways, this way of viewing the universe is similar to the longstanding beliefs in many human cultures that there are unique veils that separate our normal world and other realities, dimensions and beings in nature.

Accounts of seeing things and beings suddenly appear out of thin air are not new. There have been many reports of such phenomena. These incidents sometimes may be described as the appearance of angels or supernatural beings.

Other beings who appear from nowhere are sometimes said to be loved ones who have passed on. In the 1989 movie FIELD OF DREAMS starring Kevin Costner, an entire baseball team emerges through the brane of a field of Iowa corn that separates our world from the afterlife or some other dimension.

There are also old tales of elves, fairies, pixies, leprechauns, trolls and other kinds of “little people” who may be friendly, kind, somewhat hostile, mischievous, secretive or some combination of these.

Some witnesses report seeing saucer-shaped or other types of objects in the sky that seem to appear and disappear – UFOs. And, possibly related to this, some people report encountering beings who are often described as short in stature, who also seem to appear and disappear and are able to affect the minds of humans.

Could these accounts be examples of the movement of people and things between the dimensions in nature and a multiverse?


The Cherokee, like other Native American tribes and indigenous people around the world, have many legends going back centuries about how the world was formed and how the world works.

These ancient Cherokee stories tell of the nature of the animals, plants, trees, mountains, streams and rivers of the land in the Smokey Mountains and the Appalachian Mountain region.

Old Cherokee tales include accounts of “the little people,” the “Yunwi Tsunsdi.” These beings are sometimes described as being spirits, and other times as small human-like people, about two feet to four feet tall.

These little people may have different appearances and, according to legend, they may be of three or four different types. Little people can be kind and helpful, especially to children, and can also play tricks on people. They can also be dangerous if a human intrudes on them, and they have the power to confuse the mind of a human.

The little people have the ability to remain unseen and invisible if they choose and generally avoid being detected by humans. But, at times, they will reveal themselves.

They live close to nature, in the forests and mountains. They have a spiritual aspect to them and they try to teach humans about kindness, joy and respect. The little people like to dance to rhythmic drumming and music.

The 1998 story book CHEROKEE LITTLE PEOPLE: THE SECRETS AND MYSTERIES OF THE YUNWI TSUNSDI, authors Lynn King Lossiah and Ernie Lossiah share old Cherokee tales in which the little people play a part.

As we try to understand our world, nature and the universe, we collectively use a wide range of investigative methods: Science, observation of and interaction with nature, direct experiences of many kinds, spiritual teachings, history, human legends, art, music and other paths.

How does the Cherokee legend of the little people fit in to our research, and what can it teach us?


There is a story that I included in my first novel MISSION INTO LIGHT. In the sequel, LIGHT’S HAND, I provide deeper details about the incident. I will share the basics of it here.

Long ago, deep in the forests of the Smokey Mountains of eastern North America, seven young women and men were hunting for game. They were young hunter-warriors, still in their teens.

They ranged out miles away from their village and had been walking for several hours in search of deer, or any food for their families. They sometimes stop to gather edible and medicinal plants.

As they search for sign of game, they come to a small mountain meadow. In the center of the meadow is a large, silver-colored disc. The object is perhaps the size of ten Cherokee homes.

The seven young hunters hide in the forest near the meadow and stare with awe at the strange object. They all look at each other, speak in low whispers, and agree they should report their find to tribal leaders and senior warriors immediately.

They carefully retreat from the area near the strange disc and run back to their villages where they tell leaders about the object. They also spread the word among various families, being careful not to frighten the children.

The next morning, they guide nearly 50 tribal leaders and warriors toward the site. They act as the scouts and hike for miles with the others. The group walks quietly and with stealth. Suddenly, a hand signal is flashed to the main party from a forward scout. They had reached the edge of the meadow.The group moves slowly, carefully, silently toward the edge of the clearing. Then they see it. About 75 yards away is a large silver-colored disc, just as the young warriors had described it.

Many of the Cherokee lay on their stomachs behind trees and foliage. Some warriors have weapons ready in the event of danger. The leaders whisper among themselves. What should they do? Is this thing a danger to the people or is it some kind of good medicine?

Suddenly, just to the side of the disc, they see four small figures emerge from the tree line bordering the meadow. The beings look like people, but they are small, with slender bodies and large heads, similar to a child’s.

The Cherokee leaders continue to whisper. They decide that four of them will go forward and try to make contact with these strangers. A peace chief, a medicine woman and two of their bravest warriors are chosen.

Carefully, they stand and slowly emerge from the forest into the meadow. The four little people spot them and are obviously startled. One of the little people quickly seems to go inside the disc. The other three cautiously step toward the Cherokee.

The seven meet halfway between the disc and the forest’s tree line where the rest of the Cherokee remain hidden. Face to face, the Cherokee peace chief raises his right hand in a peaceful sign of greeting. One of the little people does the same. Then they sit in the wild grass of the meadow and begin to make hand sign.

The peace chief tries to convey a welcome to them and asks why they have come to Cherokee land. The little person who seems to be a leader makes hand sign that they have come from a great distance, and he points to the sky.

They continue to talk, and eventually the peace chief, medicine woman and warriors are convinced that the little people are friendly. They motion for the rest of the Cherokee in the woods to come forward. The little leader also motions for the forth little one to leave the silver disc and join them.

Slowly, the Cherokee in hiding join the others in the meadow. They stand and sit around the strange visitors. These little ones have an unusual appearance, not like the other tribes they have had contact with. Theses visitors eyes are large and different, and they wear a type of clothing that is similar in color to the deerskin the Cherokee wore, but the material is clearly not the same.

The visit goes on for several hours and as the afternoon turns to evening, the Cherokee make a camp for the night in the meadow, near the forest’s edge. The little ones go into the silver disc.

The next morning, most of the Cherokee start the journey back to their villages. After all, their families will be worried. Several choose to stay and visit with the little ones and learn more about them.

The little ones explain that they would like to stay in the Cherokee land for a time, to learn about the mountains, rivers, animals and plants. And this they do.

Throughout that summer many Cherokees hike out to visit the little people. They share much knowledge about life in the Cherokee mountains. The little ones also tell them about their land, far away in the night sky.

One day, the little visitors tell the Cherokee that they will be leaving to return to their home. They say the friendship shown to them by the Cherokee will be remembered and that they will try to help them when and how they can.

As that summer passed, then many other summers and seasons, then tens of years and hundreds of years, the story of the little visitors was told around campfires at night. The little children opened their eyes wide. They were told that the little people would try to watch over them, protecting them from harm. And the children looked up into the stars of night sky.


It’s a nice story. A happy ending and everything. Is it true or does it have some truth in it? Maybe. Did the native people of North America and ancient people elsewhere have contact similar to this? Some stories, legends and other indications say yes.

There are also concerns that some visitors from other planets or from other dimensions may not be so friendly. Like the Cherokees’ concern in the story above, visitors could be good medicine, or a danger.

And, of course, we humans are often a danger to ourselves, to other living things and to planet Earth. We kill each other, we kill children. We kill other animals for fun and sport. We create bigger and more dangerous weapons. We slowly destroy our land, rivers, oceans, forests and now the climate of the entire planet.

The progress we make through science and other means to understand our world the universe around us is important. Other dimensions, other planets, the existence of other civilizations, the membranes and veils separating our reality from other fields in a multiverse are all worthy endeavors.

One day we might uncover Einstein’s “unified field” and the so-called “zero point.” We might harness this knowledge to help the human race survive and move us forward.

The progress we make going within and understanding ourselves can also be very useful – even crucial. The physics and nature within all of us is important: Our brains, our neurological systems, our bodies, our DNA and genetic history, our hearts, our spirits, our souls. This inner knowledge may also be key.

Maybe one day we will learn enough about ourselves and our world that we will understand the nature of possible multiple dimensions. We might meet other beings who discreetly appear and disappear, and who have much to teach us.

We might live in peace and awe amidst a multiverse where many more beautiful secrets and discoveries await. The Great Spirit may smile upon us and bless us.

We might sit around a campfire and tell our children wonderful stories that make their eyes open wide, as they look up into the stars of the night sky.

Steve Hammons is the author of two novels about a U.S. Government and military joint-service research team investigating unusual phenomena. MISSION INTO LIGHT and the sequel LIGHT’S HAND introduce readers to the ten women and men of the “Joint Reconnaissance Study Group” and their exciting adventures exploring the unknown.

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Journalist teaches college class on covering fringe topics, cover-ups, UFOs

The Cover Up Cafe

The Cover Up Cafe: Max Wolfe / Lee Adlaf


By Steve Hammons

How should journalists, the news media and informed citizens handle certain unusual and unconventional topics?

To try to find the answers, internationally-known and award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp will be teaching a journalism course at the College of Southern Nevada beginning in January.

The course, “Reporting from the Twilight Zone,” will explore many elements involved in subjects that may be sensitive or secret, complex, strange, and at times, frightening.

Journalism students and professionals as well as the general public are welcome to take the course.

Knapp plans to include examinations of the roles of reporters, editors, news organizations, other media professionals as well as media consumers when it comes to topics such as alleged conspiracies, cover-ups and other unusual areas such as UFOs.

Is there peer pressure in the newsroom? Do elements of government shape coverage of certain topics, conspiracies and cover-ups? Do media owners and advertisers affect reporting on sensitive, unconventional or special topics? Are these kinds of subjects also exploited at times by and in the media? What are the current trends on this kind of journalism?

The class will tackle these and other important questions.


According to the course description, Knapp, students and guests “will examine the techniques and standards of modern investigative journalism as applied to ‘fringe’ topics and will identify key approaches taken by various media to the exploration and/or exploitation of controversial subjects.”

The course description also notes, “Another objective will be to question whether journalism standards for covering ‘fringe’ subjects are (or should be) different from other types of reporting. The course will explore these issues from many different perspectives, and will receive input from professional journalists, academic researchers, scientists, and skeptics.”

“The course will encourage critical thinking skills for both journalists and news consumers in evaluating the quality and accuracy of the news and information we see, and don’t see.”

We might also ask: How do journalists cover topics on which there may be a lack of solid facts, yet persuasive sources, indicators or circumstantial evidence? How do citizens draw reasonable conclusions and understanding from a wide range of journalistic reports and other sources and media platforms?

In a Dec. 3 column he wrote for “Las Vegas City Life,” Knapp also noted that the course is being sponsored by Bigelow Aerospace, based in Las Vegas. Knapp pointed out that the company’s founder, Robert “Bob” Bigelow, has “a lifelong interest” in subjects related to unconventional topics such as UFOs. In addition, Bigelow will provide funding for guest speakers and lecturers to contribute to the course, Knapp wrote.

Are these kinds of topics worthy of news coverage or even a college class? Knapp raises this issue in his “Las Vegas City Life” column. Some people may not think so. Knapp says students, media professionals and the public should make up their own minds and maintain a critical and careful perspective.


But are courses and media coverage of certain topics really so unconventional?

Most so-called “fringe” topics actually deal with sociology, psychology, American and world history, anthropology, government, national defense and intelligence matters, various scientific disciplines and even spiritual beliefs.

And what kinds of subjects are we really talking about? Some have been part of the record of human experience throughout history. These might include social or economic manipulations, political assassinations, deceptive “false flag” attacks and secret activities of various kinds.

Other topics delve into the metaphysical such as life after death and afterlife concepts, extrasensory perception (ESP), higher human consciousness, ideas about multiple dimensions, intelligent life elsewhere, UFOs, synchronicity (meaningful “coincidences”) and the nature of a higher intelligence. Are these kinds of subjects “paranormal” or simply normal?

Are some of these topics really “fringe?” Or, are they fundamental and tremendously important for human education, development and even survival? Are they actually very important for American society and the human race as a whole?

For example, are ESP and “remote viewing” really “anomalous cognition” (unusual perception)? Maybe they are really just additional and natural kinds of human perception.

Are all conspiracy theories simply irrational rumors?

Can increased understanding about human history, human behavior, human nature, human potential and the how the Universe (or “multiverse”) works move us forward toward a brighter future?

If these questions are legitimate, then Knapp’s course certainly seems like a very worthwhile endeavor. Knapp, students and participants in the class might even come up with some interesting answers.

Steve Hammons writes on many topics. For more information, visit these websites: Joint Recon Study Group, Transcendent TV & Media and American Chronicle.

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‘Goats’ movie helps us stare at human mind

Photo: Ryan Coleman |

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By Steve Hammons

The new fact-based fiction movie The Men Who Stare at Goats deals with more than meets the eye. Or at least, we see some subjects touched on in quick and sometimes subtle ways that might trigger more thought.

In other scenes, certain topics are dealt with at length or even hit viewers between the eyes with a cinematic sledgehammer.

Incredibly funny parts of the movie are juxtaposed with the troubling, tragic and frightening.

Besides looking at the concepts of the First Earth Battalion and its real-life outside-the-box leader Army Lt. Col. Jim Channon (played by Jeff Bridges), we also get a glimpse at the Vietnam War years and post-Vietnam U.S. Army. These were dark and difficult times in the military and in America.

Yet, the 1960s and ´70s also brought forth the “human potential movement” which included a variety of touchy-feely human encounter activities, experimentation with mind-altering substances, a renewed interest in planet Earth and the natural environment, as well as the value of peace and human love.

From the troubled years after the Vietnam War to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, moviegoers are asked to consider some basic questions about human beings, the U.S. government and military, and even the forces of good versus “the dark side.”


The movie, and the book upon which it is based, bring together various subjects in ways that give us the opportunity to reflect further about the larger, deeper and more complex aspects of the real-life material.

For example, the research and operational activities of Project STARGATE, probably the most widely-known U.S. remote viewing program, was not part of Channon’s First Earth Battalion.

However, as indicated by the scene when George Clooney identifies the contents of a small closed box as “a man sitting in a chair,” remote viewing did turn out to be a real and valid human skill.

Generally speaking, it is a sub-type of ESP, but conducted according to specific and scientific research and operational protocols.

Remote viewing-type skills are related to what we call intuition, gut feelings, instincts and the sixth sense. We probably all have these abilities and can practice and develop them further.

Some of the Project STARGATE personnel reportedly had quite excellent results at times.

On a separate topic, in the movie an entire Army outpost in Iraq is slipped a mind-altering substance, LSD, via the food and water. In fact, during Army and CIA research of LSD a couple of decades ago, unwitting troops, intelligence officers and civilians were reportedly given this substance to test its effects.

The dangers of this and other mind-altering substances is clearly demonstrated in one troubling and shocking scene. This danger is real and was an unfortunate result for many people in the ’60s, ’70s and beyond. In fact, certain mind-altering drugs continue to cause severe health, social and legal problems today.

The often valuable research into human consciousness, from the ’60s to the present, has been marred in many cases by excess, ignorance, misuse and dangerous behavior.

Defining, understanding and separating worthwhile and constructive approaches from stupid and destructive behavior continue to be a challenge now.


In the movie, we also get glimpses of the positive potential of human beings, our military and our society.

When the Jeff Bridges character has a near-death experience in Vietnam after being shot, we might wonder about the many reports of similar encounters that have been thoroughly researched and documented. And we might wonder what conclusions can be drawn from them.

The reverence for the Earth through various rituals by some of the characters can also be interpreted as a valid perspective that connects humans with Nature – and helps keep our feet on the ground as well as offering benefits to mental and spiritual health.

Mention in the movie of U.S. military humanitarian operations, peace operations, conflict resolution and similar activities might seem whimsical. However, these activities are now considered important parts of American foreign policy and important missions of the U.S. armed forces.

How fitting that the movie portrays some recent activities in Iraq and Afghanistan as being part of “the dark side.”

The Men Who Stare at Goats is a funny, thought-provoking and very entertaining movie. It moves along quickly, but not like the rapid-fire pacing of a thriller. It is more like a gentle roller-coaster of humor and tragedy, action and more contemplative moments, with representations of good and evil, light and darkness.

Perhaps most importantly, the movie gives us insight into human nature at its best and worst.

The lessons that can be learned from the film, and the stories upon which it is apparently loosely based, are probably more valuable than we might think.

Human consciousness is now changing and evolving in ways that might result in developments so positive that the goals of people like Col. Channon may finally be within reach.

Steve Hammons writes on many topics. For more information, visit these websites: Joint Recon Study Group, Transcendent TV & Media and American Chronicle.


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