The second member of Sir Reginald Hargreaves’ Umbrella Academy is Diego, otherwise known as Number Two or The Kraken, like the legendary cephalopod monster rumoured to have terrorised sailors throughout the centuries.
The cephalopod analogy is also a feature of the sixth member of the academy Ben, or The Horror, who, although deceased, is able to unleash "Eldritch" monsters from other dimensions from under his skin, with the creatures manifesting themselves as tentacles emerging from his torso.
However, Diego’s special powers are that he is able to hold his breath indefinitely, hence The Kraken connection, and control objects through his telekinetic or psychokinetic powers that allow him to dodge bullets and make him very handy when it comes to throwing knives which he can manipulate mid-air.
The first of these skills, to stop breathing for long periods of time, is widely believed to be one of mankind’s least understood abilities, something that is almost universally possessed by our species.
Dutch motivational speaker Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman, is a major proponent of this. Hof, an extreme athlete, is renowned for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures and has set Guinness world records for swimming under ice and prolonged full-body contact with it.
Hof attributes his ability to the Wim Hof Method (WHM), a combination of frequent cold exposure, breathing techniques, yoga and meditation.
But the Dutchman does not hold the Guinness record for the longest breath held voluntarily by a man, that stands at 24 min 37.36 sec and was achieved by Croatian Budimir Sobat, in Sisak, on 27 March last year.
Buda, as he is known, accomplished the feat in order to promote the city of Sisak, after it was hit by a strong earthquake in December 2020. Although he only beat the previous record by 34 seconds.
The ability is believed to be one of 10 spiritual powers we are all born with but seldom utilise, such as our inner voice which provides intuition or a gut instinct that can warn us when something isn’t right; or our inner place of peace that is accessible through meditation which allows us to recharge our brains.
Our ability to control our breath offers the shortest way to relieve nervous stress, with deep long breaths relaxing our minds and calming our souls. When we’re calm our state of being improves which allows us to face the challenges that stand in our way.
It’s not something that comes easily to most of us but, as Hof would testify, it does appear to be an ability possessed by each and everyone of us.
Telekinetic or psychokinetic powers are also abilities we are generally familiar with… although very few claim the ability to access them to manipulate objects. People of my generation will remember Uri Geller, the now 75-year-old Israeli-British psychic who came to fame as a result of television displays of spoon bending and other psychokinetic abilities.
And, declassified US government documents provide testimony to the fact these abilities have been of great interest to the US government for a large part of the last century, being extensively examined as part of Project Stargate and its precursors and sister projects.
Stargate was a secret US Army unit established in 1978 at Fort Meade, Maryland, by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and SRI International (a California contractor) to investigate the potential for psychic phenomena in military and domestic intelligence.
The project was originally referred to under various codenames such as Gondola Wish, Grill Flame, Center Lane, Project CF, Sun Streak and Scanate until they were consolidated and rechristened as "Stargate Project" in 1991.
The objective of Stargate was to develop psychic and supernatural phenomenon for spying and military use, with volunteers recruited to test the possibility of all kinds of paranormal powers including psychokinesis, pyrokinesis, cryokinesis and electrokinesis.
The organisation’s plan was to experiment with the supernatural in ways that had never been seen before, with a focus on psychoenergetic aspects such as the physical energies, starting from the sub-atomic level and extending to the astronomical and galactic level; biological energies, which organise living matter; psychic energies of all qualities and at all levels; and spiritual, transpersonal and transcendent energies.
Due to the secretive nature of these projects little is known about their discoveries but given the vast sums of money that were invested in them over the decades it’s hard to imagine it was all for nothing.
Although little of real interest is declassified under freedom of information, the documents do confirm that these projects went ahead and for how long... but perhaps of more interest are the independent contractors called in by the government to run the experiments. Unlike government departments, freedom of information does not apply to independent organisations who are protected by trade-secret exemptions… making it a lot easier to keep information secret.
For example, SRI International is a non-profit scientific research institute headquartered in Menlo Park, California, that was established by Stanford University in 1946 as a centre for innovation. It was founded as the Stanford Research Institute but formally separated from the university in 1970 and became known as SRI International in 1977.
SRI performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses and private foundations, with an annual revenue in 2014 of about US$540 million. Headquartered near the Stanford University campus, its areas of expertise include biomedical sciences, chemistry and materials, computing, Earth and space systems, economic development, education and learning, energy and environmental technology, security and national defence, as well as sensing and devices. It has also received more than 4,000 patents and patent applications worldwide.
In August last year SRI announced it had been chosen to participate in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) quantum apertures project, which is developing portable and directional antennas and receivers with significantly greater sensitivity, bandwidth and dynamic range than any classical receiver currently available.
The company website adds: “SRI and other research teams will seek to address today’s antenna limitations by advancing the current state-of-the-art in quantum RF sensors – the Rydberg sensor. The QA program will address the significant technical challenges in realizing the Rydberg sensor’s potential.”
Its involvement in such projects begs the question: what are these portable and directional antennas and receivers to be used for and what is a Rydberg sensor?
Well, in 2018 the US Army developed a quantum receiver that could use highly excited, super-sensitive atoms, known as Rydberg atoms, to allegedly detect communications signals.
“These new sensors can be very small and virtually undetectable, giving soldiers a disruptive advantage,” said David Meyer, a scientist at the Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory. “Rydberg atom-based sensors have only recently been considered for general electric-field sensing applications, including as a communications receiver. While Rydberg atoms are known to be broadly sensitive, a quantitative description of the sensitivity over the entire operational range has never been done.”
To assess potential applications, researchers conducted an analysis of the Rydberg sensor's sensitivity to oscillating electric fields over an enormous range of frequencies from 0 to 1,012 Hertz, with results indicating the Rydberg sensor can reliably detect signals over the entire spectrum.
All very well, but when you think of the application of other DARPA projects, such as the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) based in Gakona, Alaska, one wonders why the military is so focused on ionospheric research and beaming signals towards the heavens?
The HAARP facility is widely believed to have the potential to "weaponise" weather through high-energy electromagnetic transmissions into the ionosphere... could the quantum apertures project be a mobile version of HAARP? And, if so, what other co-operative ventures does SRI collaborate with the government on? What have they learned about electromagnetic transmissions through covert research such as Project Stargate? And how does it tie in with Diego’s superpowers?
Many people who allegedly exhibit “special” powers do so after life-threatening events such as being hit by lightening, being caught up in a tornado or from some other near-death experience. So, given the paucity of our understanding of electromagnetic forces could it be that such events heighten our ability to perceive and interact with these forces that exist all around us?
Is telekinesis a result of our brain learning to manipulate a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we all have the ability to sense if we become attuned to the frequencies?
With very little certainty I’m going to speculate it’s a yes, but how we tap into it has me stumped, I wonder if SRI can offer any insight?
See Part Four of this series for more on the power of the mind and what the intelligence community has learned about it during the last century.
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