Cold War Embassy Games

As we consider events surrounding Gen. Donald D. Flickinger and await more FOIA responses, let’s explore some circumstances that aspects of the story bring to mind. We know, for instance, the FBI documented that the general consulted with international business contacts who, on at least one occasion in 1969, included a group Flickinger apparently gave a ride in his rented car to visit the Soviet Embassy. 

Embassy Tunnel

Embassy of Russia, Washington, D.C.

History shows us a new embassy in Washington was built in the 1970’s and 1980’s for the Soviets, later referred to as the Russians. The FBI and NSA jointly executed a several hundred million dollar plan to construct a secret tunnel beneath the building for spying purposes. Basically, the tunnel was for eavesdropping.

The news broke in 2001 when Robert Hannsen, a 27-year FBI veteran, was charged with spying on behalf of Russia. His betrayal of revealing the existence of the tunnel was found to be among the losses. Hannsen was believed to have spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services from 1979-2001. The Department of Defense at the time described the case as possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history. 

The Moscow Signal

We might also consider that long before American diplomats in Cuba were feared to have been targeted by directed energy weapons, there was the “Moscow Signal” in 1965. As Sharon Weinberger reported, the term arose when the Soviets bombarded the American Embassy in Moscow with low-level microwaves. 

American intelligence officials became aware of the directed pulses, but rather than alert embassy workers, medical personnel were sent to draw blood under the guise of The Moscow Viral Study. It was the cover story of testing embassy staff for a virus while actually a top secret investigation into the effects of microwaves on humans was undertaken. Uncle Sam didn’t want his embassy workers to move out of the line of microwave fire so he could document what happened to them. 

Project Pandora

Dr. Gottlieb: As I remember it, there was a current interest, running interest, all the time in what affects people’s standing in the field of radio energy have, and it could have easily been that somewhere in many projects, someone was trying to see if you could hypnotize somebody easier if he was standing in a radio beam. That would seem like a reasonable piece of research to do…

Senator Schweiker: We did have some testimony yesterday that radar waves were used to wipe out memory in animal experiments.

Dr. Gottlieb: I can believe that, Senator. 

CIA Senate Hearings on Human Drug Testing, 1977


The White House called on the State Department, CIA, and the Pentagon to secretly investigate the microwave assault. This directly resulted in DARPA Program Plan 562, now more widely known as Project Pandora, an exploration of the behavioral effects of microwaves.

Pandora included experiments on monkeys. Project personnel considered conducting human experimentation in addition to the shenanigans taking place in Moscow, but concerns were expressed by some of the scientists cleared to assess the project about repeating MKULTRA-like transgressions. Even with some advising caution, research methodologies and claimed results would be called into question for years. This seemed due to a project director, DARPA official Richard Cesaro, who was more interested in proceeding with microwave weapons development than understanding the underlying biology.  

Ironically, by the end of the 1960’s, Weinberger explained, the IC concluded the Moscow Signal was not an attempt at behavior modification. The purpose of the pulsed radiation was to activate listening devices in embassy walls. As you might imagine, lawsuits against the U.S. government resulted when in the 1970’s embassy staff were notified what had taken place. 

Project Pandora leads to the subject of non-lethal weapons research and offers us a clear overlap into UFO World. Writers such as Anne Keeler and Martin Cannon, among others, explored aspects of such secret research, including the reported symptoms of overexposure to electronic frequencies which should ring bells with those familiar with UFO lore: disorientation, retinal bleeding, sleep disturbances, memory loss, and burnt face (even at night), to name a few. 

Whatever we may think about the likelihood some covert intelligence operations have been misinterpreted as reported UFO and related phenomena, the work of Keeler and Cannon unquestionably represents an influential part of UFO and conspiracy history. We might also consider the powers that be have themselves to blame for fanning the flames of conspiracies when they duped unsuspecting embassy workers into non-consensual research in the first place and were, well, executing a conspiracy.

Page 456 of DOD Pandora file

Then, Nick Redfern blogged about browsing a 469-page Department of Defense file pertaining to Project Pandora. Imagine his surprise when he discovered, there on pages 449-456 of an official Pandora file, some of the infamous MJ-12 documents! 

MJ-12 docs are widely considered to be a hoax about supposed government crashed saucer retrieval. The pages in the file were clearly labeled, “This cannot be authenticated as an official document,” and there are of course potential reasons MJ-12 docs may have found their way into a DOD Pandora file, such as possibly being submitted to or investigated by the Department. We still agree with Redfern it’s interesting.

Oh, what wicked webs we weave…    

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