SSE Talks – The Real Men Who Stare At Goats – John Alexander


In 2004 John Ronson published a book titled The Men Who Stare at Goats. Unfortunately George Clooney became interested in the project and in 2009 released a movie of the same title. In the book, the participants are addressed by their real names, and I am one of the principal characters. The movie added a degree of ambiguity to the participants but claimed it was based on a true story, albeit portrayed as a comedy. While George Clooney’s role is a composite of known personalities, as is Kevin Spacey’s, Jeff Bridges who won multiple best actor awards for Crazy Heart, played a role directly based on Lt. Col. Jim Channon, creator of The First Earth Battalion.

Anomalous phenomena are at the heart of the movie. The problem for the viewing public, and SSE members is that they would be unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy. The movie portrayed several phenomena including remote viewing, psychokinesis metal bending, mental weather modification (cloud-busting), and other events. Clooney even demonstrates a death by staring technique while a general officer, portraying my boss, attempts unsuccessfully to run through walls.

In reality, some of these events did happen. Goats did die, but due to dim mak, also known as the death touch, not by staring at them. The documentation was extraordinary and will be discussed. But more importantly, there were very practical and cogent reasons for exploring these fields when we did. Some of the experimentation came about as the result of the personal experiences of an American Special Forces officer held for five years as a prisoner of war in South Viet Nam. This presentation will set the record straight.

Recorded at the 29th annual SSE Conference in 2010 in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Published on May 5, 2011