By Jenni Ryall, News.com.au
THE race to put man on the Moon wasn't enough of a battle for the global super powers during the Cold War.
At the time, the Soviet Union and the United States were in an arms race of a bizarre, unconventional kind - that has been exposed in a new report.
The Soviets poured at least $1 billion into developing mind-controlling weaponry to compete with similar programs undertaken in the US.
While much still remains classified, we can now confirm the Soviets used methods to manipulate test subjects' brains.
The paper, by Serge Kernbach, at the Research Centre of Advanced Robotics and Environmental Science in Stuttgart, Germany, details the Soviet Union's extensive experiments, called "psychotronics". The paper is based on Russian technical journals and recently declassified documents outlining practices from 1917 to 2003.
The paper outlines how the Soviets developed "cerpan", a device to generate and store high-frequency electromagnetic radiation and the use of this energy to affect other objects.
"If the generator is designed properly, it is able to accumulate bioenergy from all living things - animals, plants, humans - and then release it outside," the paper said.
The psychotronics program, known in the US as "parapsychology", involves unconventional research into mind control and remote influence - and was funded by the government.
With only limited knowledge of each other's mind-bending programs, the Soviets and Americans were both participating in similar secret operations, with areas of interest often mirroring the other country's study.
The psychotronics project draws similarities to part of the controversial program MKUltra in the US. The CIA program ran for 20 years, has been highly documented since being investigated in the 1970s and was recently dramatised in the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats.
Scientists involved in the MKUltra program researched the possibility of manipulating people's minds by altering their brain functions using electromagnetic waves. This program led to the development of pyschotronic weapons, which were intended to be used to perform these mind-shifting functions.
The illegal research subjected humans to experiments with drugs, such as LSD, hypnosis and radiological and biological agents. Shockingly, some studies were conducted without the subject's knowledge.
Kernbach's paper on the Soviet Union's psychotronics program fails to mention one thing - the results. He also doesn't detail whether there are ongoing programs in this area in the US or Russia, which became the successor state of the Russian SFSR following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but there are suspicions.
Putin made mention of futuristic weaponry last year in a presidential campaign article.
"Space-based systems and IT tools, especially in cyberspace, will play a great, if not decisive role in armed conflicts. In a more remote future, weapon systems that use different physical principles will be created (beam, geophysical, wave, genetic, psychophysical and other types of weapons). All this will provide fundamentally new instruments for achieving political and strategic goals in addition to nuclear weapons," he wrote.
The newly declassified information outlined in the report only touches on the Soviet psychotronics program and the bizarre experiments undertaken. With so much information still classified, will we ever know the whole truth?
Source and special thanks: News.com.au