December 6, 2005
The MindBox - I Told You That There Would Be Some Bizzare Topics HereJust so we can begin building a reputation for eclectic posts, here is a "conspiracy story" that caught my attention a few years back. I think that one of these things was operating in my old Inland Empire childhood home.
This story is about a phenomenon. A phenomenon that for many years, seemed like just another haunted house, but that turned out to be much more man made. I don't know what is scarier - the prospect of evil spirits tormenting people or the realization that it was our own government that was doing it.
I grew up on the east side of Detroit, Michigan in the sixties and seventies and lived in the same house from the time that I was born until I was 30 years old. For as far back as I can remember, there were frightening things happening in this house.
It was always in the middle of the night, usually between 4:20 and 4:35 in the morning. This phenomenon took several forms. Sometimes, it took the form of a vivid nightmare. The nightmares weren't clear, it wasn't like you could describe people and events in them. They were more like frightening feelings. It was like being chased by something very, very evil. As a child, I recall images of various electrical fixtures, such as the light in the bedroom or the outlets coming alive and being instruments of this evil. I nicknamed
the evil entities "Beebles". (Later in life, I read somewhere that one of the names for the devil is Beezlebub).
As I got older, the effects of this phenomenon changed. Increasingly, it would manifest itself by the feeling of an evil, malevolent spirit being in the bedroom. All of a sudden, I would snap up, wide awake and cower in my bed as this sensation enveloped me. I would say a prayer
and "order the demon, in the name of Jesus Christ, to be gone", and it would slowly disappear.
Like clockwork (literally), this always ocurred between 4:20 and 4:35 in the morning, regardless of what time of the year it was. It did not occur every night, in fact I only experienced this form of the phenomenon perhaps once a month or so. In some cases, a milder form of the childhood
nightmare would occur in its place. After awhile, I got used to them and wasn't so afraid of them.
My sister and monther also reported strange sensations and ocurrences in the house. Somewhere, we heard that someone had died in the house in years past. We also learned that the house had been built in 1929 from bricks that were salvaged from an old hotel that was being torn down at the time of the house's construction. At that time, the hotel
was over 100 years old.
This would mean that the bricks were made no later than 1829. I always marveled at this - thats less than a half-century after our Constitution was written and
before the Civil War.
Seeing many documentaries and pseudo-science shows on TV, I
conjectured that there was some sort of evil spirit that came with the bricks. Some of these shows suggested that
spirits can move with objects, so I assumed that something very old and evil was present there.
Time went on and we moved from that house in 1993. I have since moved out of town to another major city and went on with my life.
One day, in 2001, I was laying in a hotel room in Albuquerque after doing work for a client in that area, and my mind began to wander back to that old house. I had just seen the Ghostbuster's movie on HBO and was thinking about their theory that spiritual energy can be measured by measuring disturbances in the electomagnetic field
present in a room.
As my mind wandered, I remembered one thing about that house. It has metal hardware mesh as the backing for the wet plaster walls. In most old houses, plaster was put up by first nailing wooden slats across the 2 x 4's and then applying the plaster. In our house, however, they used a metal mesh instead. Thinking about this, I realized that
the walls and ceilings of that house were all lined with this stuff and wondered if it was acting as an antenna
for spiritual energy. I also began to wonder if some person or persons could create a signal in that house by putting a signal onto the power lines in the area. The signal would
be brought into the house by the wiring and the mesh would act as an antenna to transmit it to the interior of the rooms. I briefly recall hearing something on the Art Bell radio show about the CIA's project MKUltra, where the CIA did mind control experiments on US citizens with drugs, microwaves and other electromagneti equipment. I dismissed this all as wild conjecture and went to sleep.
The next morning, the idea was still on my mind, so I called up my friend Dave (not his real name) who still lived in the old neighborhood and was an electronics technician. I explained to him my theory about the mesh acting as an antenna. Dave told me that it is true that
power lines do carry alot of junk. You could rig up a device that you could plug into your outlet and you would be suprised what you would hear: other people's radios, alarm clocks going off, etc. He said that this is especially true since the "digital age". Digital electronics are very
noisy. He said it was possible that the mesh could be picking up this signal from the house wiring and it could be acting as an antenna.
Dave became as curious about this as I was. I told him about the wierd things that had happened in the house. My working theory was that it was something spiritual, but that perhaps, like in Ghostbusters, this mesh was amplifying or attracting the energy. I really didn't think that it was some CIA experiment - I wasn't one to really beleive in
conspiracy theories. Dave told me of a friend who was an electrical engineer who worked for the Michigan EPA. His most recent assignment was to work on a study of high-voltage power transmission lines. There was
a great concern that the magnetic fields generated by these lines was causing health problems to people. Mark (not his real name) would probably have more information.
Several days later, I was in my office in the major city in which I now live when I got a call. It was Dave. His voice was agitated and I thought it strange that he would call
me long distance in the middle of the day. He had some urgent news to tell me. He had spoken to Mark (the MEPA engineer) and had received some startling news.
Dave called Mark and explained the whole thing to him. The "haunted house", the wire mesh, the 4:30am like-clockwork hauntings, the sensation of being closed in with something
really evil - the whole nine yards. As he finished his description, Mark started uttering "OH NO, OH NO, THERE'S ANOTHER ONE OUT THERE SOMEWHERE". Perplexed, Dave asked him what he meant by "another one".
Mark explained that in his travels as an engineer, he had met some people who were investigating the CIA's mind control experiments called Project MKUltra. Part of
this experiment involved testing electromagnetic energy to see if it could be used to alter the brainwave patterns of test subjects and if so, if it could be used to produce illusions or emotions of various sorts.
One of the things that the CIA did was to go to several major cities, Detroit included, and to deploy what he called "CIA Mind Boxes". These devices generated a signal that
would be capable of messing with the mind of anyone within a certain range. These boxes worked by being plugged into an electrical outlet. They would not only get electricity from the outlet to operate, but would generate a signal that would crawl into the house wiring and out onto the utility pole and into the homes of everyone within a five block area.
The symptoms caused by these boxes were identical to the ones that I described to my friend Dave. In addition to this, these boxes were on a timer and were only active for about 15 minutes a day. These folks that Mark was working with had discovered two of these boxes in Cleveland and had disconnected them. These folks also found that houses with metal hardware cloth plaster backing had very high occurences of symptoms.
These boxes were created and installed between 1959 and 1961. The CIA would buy or rent a house and would install these devices and would board them up in the walls of these
houses. He said that they apparently abandoned them when the MKUltra project was shut down.
Some people involved in the investigation of these incidents did not trust the CIA and thought that MKUltra was still on-going in spite of the CIA's claim that it had ended.
Bottom line, Dave said, is that there is one of those boxes loose in the neighborhood somewhere. A day later, Dave called me back. Mark had contacted his other friends, the ones who were involved in this investigation, and they send Mark a diagram on how to build a device that could be plugged into and electrical outlet to detect any signal
on the line. This device would turn the signal into an auditory form. Mark said that, most of the time, you would
only hear static, the result of the AC signal (60Hz) and the
occasional bleed from someone's radio, TV or alarm clock. Mark said that when this Mind Box came online,
you would be able to hear it, clearly and unambiguously.
This was a Wednesday. The device was not too complicated, so Dave went to work building it and I agreed to come by his house on a Saturday evening and we would make a night of it,
ordering pizza and drinking a few beers while we awaited the arrival of 4:20am.
When I arrived, Dave plugged in the device and turned it on. Nothing but static. We did indeed hear the occasional alarm clock tone and the bleed from someone's TV. (Someone was a fan of "Keeping up Appearances", the English comedy - we heard about 5 minutes of an episode that I had seen before).
The clock ticked on. 1AM, 2AM, 3AM - all (relativily) quiet. 4AM - nothing yet, 4:15 - nothing yet the tension was mounting. My heart raced, 4:20AM, nothing. And them
04:21:02. All of a sudden, all the static was drowned out by a very clear, repetetive signal. I sat there, more frightened than I have ever been in my life. My childhood flashed before my eyes. Memories came back of horrible, frightening nights alone in the dark. Although I don't
think I have ever heard that sound as an audio signal before, I KNEW IT WELL, and it hit me so hard, that I started to shake uncontrollably. Dave had to hold on to me to keep me from shaking apart. His wife was
ready to call 9-1-1, thinking I was having a heart attack. I regained my composure, if ever so slightly and told Dave that this was it - this was what we were looking for. The sound faded in and out, but was always strong. At 04:35:59, it stopped abruptly and was replaced by the background static once again.
We got on the speaker phone and called Mark at home. Dave had been recording the sounds and played them over the phone for Mark. Mark asked Dave if he could digitize the tape
and send it as an MP3 audio file to him. Mark would then send it to his investigator friends. Exhausted, I bid Dave and his wife farewell and went back to my Mom's house out
in the suburbs.
Two days later, Dave called me at home. He was on the line with Mark and the two investigator friends of his. "Yup," the one investigator said "that signal is a CIA Mind Box. You need to find it and get rid of it". The investigator suggested that we modify the device that Dave has built. We would add an antenna and power it by battery so that it
could be carried around.
The idea was to wait until 4:21am and then try to go around the neighborhood to locate where the signal was the strongest. It would be neccessary to hold the antenna about a foot above head level and walk along the utility easement under the power poles. The investigator told
us that the, judging from the strenghth of the signal, it was no more than two blocks away from Dave's house.
The next day, Dave modified the detector device and that evening he went along his street from a block north of his house to one block south. He called me the next day, a bit tired from his work, to announce that his test was inconclusive. The signal didn't seem to vary enough to get a fix. Dave We conjectured that maybe we needed to move
over one block to the east, to examine the utility corridor behind my old house. I told Dave that I would leave
work early and be back in Detroit by 4AM so that we could go out together. Dave was a bit anxious to go out again on his own. He said that he thought that the police would come along at any time and arrest him. There are no alleys in our old neighborhood, so he had to dart in and out of people's back yards to get to the utility poles.
I arrived at Dave's house at 3AM the next morning. We were joined by John (not his real name) one of his lineman
friends from Detroit Edision who was also interested in this thing. John offered a measure of protection from suspicious police as he was wearing his lineman's uniform with the DECO
logo and had his ID badge on. As far as they are concerned, John said of the police, "we are Edison people looking for a line break", he said.
So, off we went, North to Cornwall St between Bedford and Three Mile Drive. We timed our departure just so we would arrive at 4:21 so we wouldn't have to stand around in the street looking dumb, waiting for zero hour. When we arrived, it was 4:22 and Dave donned the headset, flipped the on switch and immediatly picked up the signal from the
overhead secondary mains.
We moved south along Three Mile Drive, quickly darting in and out of backyards. Unlike the day before, this time the signal did get stronger as we headed south.
Soon were were in the backyard adjacent to my old home. There is was, old and familiar. I half expected the signal
to fade as we left there, thinking that the damn box was buried right in that house, but as we left and headed south, it got stronger.
We crossed Munich St as the signal got stronger. We were almost to the next side-street when we encountered an abandoned house. We darted into its yard and examined the signal at that point.
It was the strongest yet. This pole has a conduit, a very old one, running down the side of the pole. Dave ran the antenna along it and the signal was crystal-clear. John looked at it and immediatly knew there was something odd about it. All of the houses in this area are fed by overhead drops. "Always been that way", he said. "There are no
undergounds". Secondly, he said, they NEVER feed secondary voltage to underground service in this area. Its always
primaries, usually to a padmount transformer. "Very odd," he said "Looks like an illegal tap".
We shrugged it off and moved out and continued to head south. As we did, the signal faded and we got farther away from that abandoned house. All of us had the same thought - that has to be it! The odd conduit, the non-compliant underground feed. The very old, rusty conduit on
the pole. No one said a thing as we headed back up Three Mile Drive, but we all dashed into that backyard again. John looked up at the pole and said "THAT is an ILLEGAL FEED, I don't care how old it is, there is NO REASON FOR IT TO BE THERE", he said, noting that all four of the houses adjacent to that pole had overhead power drops connected to them.
Dave suddenly uttered a curious "Hmmmm.." and shuffled his feet. "Whats this", he said as he brushed the twigs and leaves aside to reveal a shiny metal object. It was a manhole cover. There isn't anything unusual about that, since all of the sewers in the neighborhood run in the back of the houses along the fenceline. About halfway down each
block, someone's backyard will be plagued with an ugly manhole cover. Its just the way the neighborhood was built.
John looked at it and said "I want to see whats in there, wait here", he said as he ran from the yard leaving Dave and I standing alone in the yard of this abandoned house. The
wind picked up, blowing leaves around and I suddenty felt quite frightened. We head a truck pull up across the street. John had gone to his house (about a block away) and came back with his truck. He reentered the yard with two Detroit Edison hardhats, each with a little "miners" light on it. He hefted a metal rod that looked like a tire iron, but was really a specialized tool that was used to lift off manhole covers.
The cover came off along with a whiff of nasty sewer gases. We all stood back to let things air out. John shined his flashlight into the hole and we all peered in. It was a long shaft, at least 20 feet, but you could see the water flowing at the bottom. The sewer main was huge, a man could walk upright in it. Each side of the shaft has climbing rungs, like a ladder. The shaft as well as the sewer line itself were made from bricks, an indication of how old the
system was. John put away his flashlight and donned his miner's light on his hardhat and began to climb down. About halfway down he stopped and hollared up at us. "One of you come down here and help me - climb down the other side of the shaft, put on one of those hats".
Being more curious and angry than afraid, I grabbed the hat and climbed in. When I got to John's level, he motioned with his head towards the wall of the shaft. "Look!", he said.
The bricks had been removed and replaced without any mortar in a 18 inch by 18 inch section. We both must have had the same thought because we both started using our free hands to pull out the bricks with one free hand while holding on to the rungs with the other hand. One by one the bricks fell away and we could hear them splash into the raging sewage below.
Behind the bricks, there was a metal frame that fit inside of the dug out section of the earth. Sitting right there inside was a black metal box, about a foot square.
The conduit that came down the pole terminated there and the wires went into an opening in the box. We looked at
one another with amazement. "Looks like we found it", I said. "Yeeeup", John said. We both climed out of the hole, much to Dave's relief. John pulled the cover back up over the hole.
"Lets get out of here", he said. We gathered up our stuff while Dave questioned us "What did you see?, what did you see?". "Lets go across to my house and we'll talk about it", John replied.
We walked out of the yard and Dave tossed the tools into the cab of his truck. He went around the block and pulled back in his driveway as we stood on his front porch. He opened the front door with his key and we all filed into his kitchen where we filled in Dave. We debated what to do. That box had to be removed, but could we get in trouble for it?
John said that he would check the blueprints for the distribution grid in this area to see if that feed
was on any circuit maps. If not, he said, it would be an illegal feed and it was "his duty as a Detroit Edison lineman, to disconnect it." We also discussed the fact that if this was part of MKUltra, that we had a perfect right to take away that box since MKUltra was an illegal operation that congress had forbidden.
We decided to remove the box and study it. We sat there till 7am hatching our plot. We would go back in there at 2am the next morning. John would bring his lineman tools and shimmy up the pole and cut the feed. Dave and I would then cut the other end of the line and remove the box by tying it to a rope that would be fastened up above. We would then hoist the box out of the manhole and take it to Dave's house. Later that day, John called. He was down in the Edison map room. There was no mention of that feed anywhere. It was an "illegal tap". We had the green light.
We arrived at John's house at 1:55 and hopped onto the back of his truck and he drove the half-block to the abandoned house and parked in the same spot he had the night before. Like a bunch of trained special forces commandos on a raid, we jumped off the truck, grabbed our hats and tools and sprang into action. John climbed the pole with his
lineman's boots and cutters as Dave and I rigged up a sling made of rope. We tied it off to the fence. I pulled
off the manhole cover, taking care to step back to let the gases air out. I then crawled in and started to climb down one side of the shaft, with Dave following closely on
the other side. John hollared down at us that he had cut the power. I reached in with the insulated sidecutters and clipped all three of the leads - the 2 hot leads and the
neutral lead. I tried to move the box but it was stuck to the floor of its perch. "Give me the pry bar", I said to Dave. Instead, he reached in himself with the pry bar and broke it loose. We struggled for about 10 minutes trying to slip the sling around it, finally succeeding. We pulled the box out and it fell about 2 feet before hanging suspended by the rope.
Dave climbed out first, followed quickly by me. We pulled up our prize and placed it on the ground and gathered up the tools. I picked up the unit and carried it under my arm
It was heavy for its size, about 30 pounds. I felt a measure of satisfaction that I now had in a hammerlock, the very device that tortured me for all of my childhood. I remember
wishing it were the head of the CIA jerk who had devised such a scheme to torture American children.
We hopped onto the back of the truck and John drove us to Dave's house. We took the box down into his basement, to his workshop. It was made of steel, painted black, with a few
rust spots on it. On top of it was a a smaller box that looked like a small walkie-talkie. Dave grabbed it and pulled it loose from the clip that held it to the
main box. It had a small rigid wire sticking out of the top of it. "Thats an antenna", Dave said. He quickly
popped it open with a screwdriver to reveal a printed circuit board inside along with a battery. Almost as if he was holding something hot, he dropped it, backed away
and then grabbed it again and removed the battery. "Its a transponder, it sends a homing beacon", he said.
Dave had turned quite pale and I was worried that he would pass out. "Its old", I said, "no one is looking for it anymore". He grabbed me by the shoulders "No, you dont understand," he whispered. "Its not old. The box may be old, but this isn't. Look!", he said, pointing to an IC chip on the small circuit board. "I began to get the meaning when he chimed in again. "This chip wasn't manufactured before 1989", he said. "I can look it up, but they didnt have
IC's or minurature electronics like this in the late 50's and 60's".
We went upstairs to contemplate this. The box was old - 1950's vintage, but the transponder was no more that 12 years old. The battery was still fresh (Dave tested it) and they only last at most 12 months. This means that the unit was recently outfitted with the transponder and that the battery was no more than 6 to 12 months old. MKUltra was
supposed to be terminated in 1963. All sorts of ideas sprang forth. Were they still using this thing for something? Who? Maybe it was a bunch of rogue scientists who used to work on the project. But why? What would they gain? How would they be able to study their subjects? How would they
be able to even identify who was being affected?
Dave decided to call Mark and the investigators the next day. They said that their work in Cleveland did not reveal any transponders and this development startled them. One of them came to Dave's shop several weeks later to look at things. Yes, the box was a CIA Mind Box, but the transponder was news to them. Upon studying it, they discovered that it would send a digital signal every 30 minutes on 522.475MHz. The transmission was a simple 9 digit number:
229010874. A serial number? A signal saying "MindBox 229010874 checking in - alive and well"??
The icing on the cake came several days later. As I told you, John, the lineman, lives on Three Mile Drive, across the street from and about 4 houses north of the abandoned house in whose yard the box was found. It was a weekday, about 5pm. John was getting ready for work on the night shift when he looked out his window. There in the driveway of the old house was a dark blue car. In front of the house was another grey car. John suddenly got the urge to
walk his dog. He snapped on the leash and led the dog south on Three Mile Drive, on the opposite side of the street. As he approached the abandoned house, he noticed that both cars had US Government license plates on them. As he passed adjacent to the driveway, he could see one man emerging from the manhole and the other looking up at the pole with his hands on his hips. John quickly moved on and is sure they didn't see him looking.
It has been two months. No further incidents have been observed. There is no longer any MindBox signal on the power lines in the neighborhood. The abandoned house was torn down
several weeks ago and John can now see clearly from his front porch, the utility pole in that backyard. The feed is disconnected still and the manhole cover is back in place. No one has disturbed it since.
Mark's friends hooked us up with some MKUltra investigators in the Great Lakes region and we have formed an informal group called the "MindBox Hunters". We are currently investigating several anomalous situations on the southwest side of Detroit as well as the Roger's Park neighborhood in Chicago.
If you have any reason to beleive there may be a CIA MindBox operating in your neighborhood, please contact me and we can put you in touch with some folks who can help you find it.
Beware. All evidence supports the conclusion that MKUltra or its successor is still alive and well in 2001. We must stamp out this plague and restore our Constitution and make our
children's nights a time of sleep and not horror.
a MindBox Hunter