In the book Triumph of Evil1, Austin Murphy describes a US Government project to remotely affect the mental functions of people in enemy countries. (My emphasis and footnotes added)

... Keeler (1989) reports that the CIA had an Operation Pique that was designed to affect the mental attitudes and behavior of employees at nuclear power plants in communist Eastern Europe, implying some intent to cause a nuclear meltdown/holocaust. Given the bizarre and otherwise virtually inexplicable behavior of the employees who caused the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union in 1986 (Medvedev, 1991)3, it is possible that the USA's Operation Pique may have had something to do with it.

Murphy cites an article, Remote Mind Control Technology2 by A. Keeler, who explains:

Propagation of microwaves has been very well studied and is very sophisticated, e.g., a two inch beam can be sent from a satellite, point to point, to a receiving dish on earth; and, it was reported in 1978, that the CIA had a program called Operation Pique, which included bouncing radio signals or microwaves off of the ionosphere to affect the mental functions of people in selected areas, including Eastern European nuclear installations.

Keeler doesn't provide a direct citation, so it is unclear which, if any, of the sources were used as the basis for this statement.


Is there evidence that there was:

  • a United States government operation
    • designed to remotely affect the mental functions of targeted people
    • by using EMF / radio waves
  • that was in operation between 1978 and 1986?

Note that this question is not about whether or not this operation may have played a role in Chernobyl. This question is about evidence for Operation Pique (regardless of actual targets). The claim that there was "bizarre and otherwise virtually inexplicable behavior of the employees who caused the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl" is disputed.


1 Austin Murphy, The triumph of evil: The reality of the USA's Cold War victory (Fucecchio, Italy: European Press Academic Publishing, 2000), 43-44. Retrieved from pp. 24-25 of the PDF copy of the book available at https://redscans.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/austin-murphy-the-triumph-of-evil.pdf.

The following references are duplicated from the bibliography of the above-named reference, and links are provided when I've identified the content freely available on the Internet.

2 Keeler, A. "Remote Mind Control Technology." Full Disclosure 15 (1989), 11. Retrieved from http://www.spunk.org/texts/altern/pub/keith/sp000435.txt.

3 Medvedev, G (translated by E. Rossiter). The truth about Chernobyl. Basic Books: New York (1991).

  • 4
    Chernobyl doesn't seem that strange--it's less of an anomaly than the Challenger disaster and the bosses were much less accountable in Russia than in the US. Feb 24, 2017 at 4:12
  • 2
    @LorenPechtel Or any of the aviation accidents where the question 'what on earth were they thinking' is only answerable because the cockpit voice recorder survived the crash.
    – richardb
    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:17
  • 1
    Also it seems very unlikely that microwave beams (even if they could affect mental function) could penetrate a reinforced concrete building or a metal roof.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 24, 2017 at 19:01
  • 2
    Is the question: "did the government have this program" or "is there any chance of it working". I wouldn't be surprised if the first is true, the CIA did a lot of crazy things. But the second definitely isn't. Feb 25, 2017 at 22:46
  • 2
    @defaultlocale good catch. Perhaps it was a Freudian slip for Oddthinking.... :P
    – Dan
    Feb 28, 2017 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


The statement that "a 2-inch beam [of microwaves] can be sent from a satellite, point to point, to a receiving dish on earth" is false. The limit here is diffraction across the transmitter. Being able to resolve 2 inches from orbit for visible light would require mirror bigger than the Hubble space telescope. Doing the same for microwaves would need a dish hundreds of times bigger because of the longer wavelength. Full technical details are in http://ceeserver.cee.cornell.edu/wdp2/cee6100/6100_monograph/mono_10_Fa12_microwave.pdf. This is about receiving rather than transmitting, but the maths is the same in either direction. See the end for some figures for a typical real-world system, which can manage a beam width of 1.8 degrees. At a range of 200km that would be a circle around 6km in diameter. And of course that is just the "-3dB point", which means the signal is only half as strong there.

  • I'm not saying you are wrong, but this was unconvincing. What part of that document supports what you are claiming? What about MASERs?
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 26, 2017 at 13:12
  • 2
    Masers are subject to the same basic physics of diffraction as any other EM source. Feb 26, 2017 at 14:35
  • 1
    That is helpful to know, but does not answer the question about whether or not there was a US government operation within a certain time frame that attempted to alter mental functions using EMF / radio waves (regardless of its technical infeasibility).
    – Dan
    Feb 27, 2017 at 18:52

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