An upcoming book claims that a spy was discovered through the use of psychic powers.

According to the "Canberra Times", Scott Carmichael, a former investigator for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), "is writing a book about how he used a psychic to identify [saboteur Jean-Philippe] Wispelaere after the former Australian Defence Intelligence Organization analyst tried to sell stolen U.S. documents to Singaporean embassy officials in Thailand."


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Wispelaere was caught in a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting when he flew to the United States to broker the documents. He was arrested, convicted of espionage, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

How, exactly, was Wispelaere discovered? Carmichael claims that a psychic named Angela Ford told him that the DIA should look for a muscular Australian man in his twenties who used the name Baker, and tried to sell secrets at the Singaporean embassy.

Based upon this description and evidence, Carmichael says, he was able to identify Wispelaere (a bodybuilding low-level Australian intelligence officer who used the name Baker) and tip off the FBI to launch the investigation.

Carmichael's claim has come as a surprise to law enforcement, who know exactly how Wispelaere was discovered — and it had nothing to do with psychics. According to several sources including a March 8, 2001 "Jane's Intelligence Watch Report," "[Wispelaere's] potential buyers informed U.S. authorities" about the spy's offer.

So it was not Angela Ford or any other psychic who tipped police off, but instead the embassy worker Wispelaere offered the information to. There appears to be no credible sources that mention any psychic information solving the case.

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The book has not been released yet so it's impossible to know what evidence, if any, Carmichael offers for his claim. But if what he says is true, apparently Angela Ford is much more accurate than the countless psychics who try –and always fail – to find missing persons for the police.

If the U.S. government employs accurate psychics as Carmichael claims, it raises many interesting and puzzling questions. For example, why was the intelligence community's information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction so badly wrong in 2003?

Valid, verifiable psychic information could have averted the costliest war in history. For that matter, why didn't psychics locate Osama bin Laden? Presumably psychic power could have found him within days or weeks, instead of careful (non-psychic) intelligence collection spanning a decade.

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While tipping off investigators to aborted attempts at spying may be helpful, in the larger picture it would seem much more important to identify active, actual, ongoing spying that damages our national security. No psychics identified and stopped recent spies such as Aldrich Ames or Robert Hanssen (whose spying was called "possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history").

In fact, it is certain that there are active, undetected spies currently working in American intelligence agencies at this very moment. If Ford and other psychics truly can expose spies, locate terrorists, and find missing persons, there seems little or no evidence of it.

Photo: Jean-Philippe Wispelaere Credit: Australian government