An Introduction to Project Hermes

An Introduction to Project Hermes

    Selections from “Two Inventors Return & Project Hermes”, featuring materials by J. Gilbert E. Wright, with notes by R.M. Holland, Ed John, Meade Layne, Riley Crabb, et al.

    In the fall of 1951 the former director of BSRA, Meade Layne, received a diagram and description of an untried electronic device whose avowed purpose was to stimulate ESP. Meade published this in the Nov—Dec 1951 Round Robin. Some of the Associates, and no doubt others, made haphazard attempts to construct a working model; but only one, Associate Ed John of San Francisco, reported any positive success with it. He claimed it worked to some degree with everyone on whom he tried it; but his report was so at variance with the failure of all the rest that nothing was really settled, one way or the other Apparently no systematic attempt was made to calibrate the variable condenser, so that uniform responses of the brain for different settings could be predicted. Nor did anyone come up with the maximum and minimum frequencies of the coils, as specified in the original diagram or in Ed John’s modifications. So in effect, in this year of 1960, we are starting from scratch in reviving Project Hermes; though your present director of BSRA hopes that electronics have come so far in eight years that the original questions can be easily answered now.

    Meade Layne’s INTRODUCTION

    “The manuscript of Project Hermes comes to BSRA Hdqrs. from one of our most gifted Associates, and is submitted for our information. Readers will note the discretion and reserve with which the author expresses himself. In fact, he advises against publication, lest in event experiments should come to nothing, the BSRA ‘might appear a bit ridiculous’. But the BSRA publications are a clearing house for novel and may—be productive ideas in the field of Borderland research; their value can be determined only by experiment and cooperation — which in turn implies that they must be made known. The fact that we publish them implies nothing except that the BSR Director thinks them interesting and worth examination; and the author of the Hermes MS himself makes no other claims. He is, however, well known to many of our Associates, and his identity would command a respectful hearing for anything he has to offer.”

    Associate R.M. Holland’s NOTES and COMMENTS

    “This circuit and other information was given to me via paranormal means, by a technical source with whom I have been in contact at intervals for the past 4 or 5 years. Some of the information from this source has proven valuable, but caution much of the other information received proved to be worthless. Therefore, do not place too high a value on it, or assume its correctness, unless or until actual tests can be made.

    “The device is supposedly a reproduction of an ancient communication instrument — one form (there are several others) of what Dick Shaver called ‘telaug’ in his writings. Its main use by the ancients was to communicate telepathically with others on the same here—living planet; our informant says, however, that it can also be used to communicate with entities on other planes, if properly tuned. This particular form is very short range under ordinary circumstances. That is: its effect will influence only persons or entities in the immediate vicinity, when used singularly. If, however, two persons each have such a device, and the devices are tuned to each other, they will work over fairly long distances. The actual method of operation is to create a controlled vibrational field which will sensitize those within its influence. It may be noted that several persons have apparently been sensitized to telepathic contact by wild radiations from electric arcs, etc. Electric welders and old time spark—gap radio operators were usually regarded as a peculiar lot and would confess they got a lot of screwy ideas while in the influence of the arc.

    “The original device was made of components which have no modern counterparts and could not be reproduced in a large lab— oratory except at prohibitive cost. The effort during the. past few years has therefore been to find commercially available components which would reproduce the same effect as the original. This has involved (on my part) the securing of technical characteristics on hundreds of electronic components, which my contact would check for the particular effect he wished to secure. (This explains the apparent familiarity of the communicator with our components.) It must be emphasized, however, that my contact has no facilities for actual construction, and that he has evolved the circuit entirely from the theoretical point of view.

    Comment on the actual circuit: Parts (1) and (4) are a conventional oscillator circuit. Parts (3), (7) and (8) would be a conventional radio—phone modulator circuit if (7) was a by—pass condenser, and (8) was a microphone. As it stands, it is over my head. Communicator is very insistent that nothing but a variable reluctance unit will work at (8). The (2), (5) and (6) setup at the lower left is also over my head. I cannot visualize what effect they would have. Note that the tube is connected so as to form a triode, but communicator insists that it is essential that the pentode be used, as all triodes which I told him about lacked the proper characteristics.

    “I cannot guarantee to secure any further information which any may desire, as contact with my communicators is at his option, not mine. That is: I have no way of contacting him, but must wait until he decides to contact me.”

    This was Associate Holland’s explanation and summary of how he received the original material prior to its release in 1951. Then, in March 1952, Mr. Holland summarized additional information which had come to light, both from his own sources and from those Associates who had written to Meade and to him of their efforts.


    “Project Hermes is a telepathic communicating device. While primarily intended for use between persons on this plane, it can if tuned to the proper frequency, reach any intelligent entity on any plane. The information concerning it was given, by para—normal means, by friends on another planet and plane.

    “It creates a high frequency field which will sensitize individuals to such contacts by stimulating some ordinarily unused portion of the brain. There may also be some heterodyning involved. The frequency used is one which carries only a short distance and is easily stopped by solid objects. Thus it will ordinarily influence only those in the immediate vicinity. If, however, it is tuned to the exact frequency of another similar instrument, or to the natural mental frequency of some other being, then by the law of resonant rapport its range becomes theoretically unlimited. For the intended use, however, exact resonance is not necessary and quite a large frequency tolerance is permissible. In some cases it may be necessary to make slight tuning adjustments in order to produce identical results in different individuals.

    ‘It should be understood that the information was not presented as a fully and immediately workable device, but merely as a basis from which to begin experimentation. The actual device used by the communicators could not be exactly duplicated by us because the parts are not to be had here. On the other hand electronic components available here are not available to the communicators, so they can do no experimental work with them. Such would be useless even if it were possible. Due to differences in the natural mental ‘wave lengths’, a device suitable for them would produce no results for us, and vice versa. They have attempted to select components which are commercially available to us, and theoretically work out a circuit which will produce essentially the same result as the device used by them. They do not claim to be infallible, and some changes may be necessary.

    “While many persons may be interested in the possibility of communication with entities on other planes, the communicators regard this of minor value. They are, however, particularly anxious to have it developed and universally used as a personal communication device between persons on this plane. This would eventually result in the greatest and most rapid changes for the better in our social, political, economic and human relationship systems this world has ever seen.

    “Crime, sin, duplicity, and other unworthy deeds flourish only in secrecy and anonymity. Few are so depraved as to commit such deeds in the full light. In any form of telepathic communication the minds of both parties are laid bare. It is impossible to conceal any evil or low intent. If a man wanted to be a stinker; but he could no longer, as now, masquerade as the Honorable So—and— so from here—or—there. His own awareness of his intent and purpose would be so vividly in his mind that anyone who contacted him would instantly be aware of it. Few could stand the resulting contempt.

    “If, on the other hand, the device were developed secretly and monopolized by any group or nation, it could result in the greatest evil the world has ever known, since it could be used to hypnotically control the thinking of others. It is essential, therefore, that the information be so widely distributed that it will be impossible for any one person or nation to monopolize it.

    (1), (2) & (3)Coils. Original information specified Meissner Co. Nos. 14—1074, 14—1072 and 14—1071, respectively. It now appears that these are probably too low in frequency to work. See possible alternate coil data below, worked out by Ed John.
    (4)3.9 to 14.5 variable condenser, Hammerlund BFC 12 or equal.
    (5)Carbon resistor, 3 to 6 megohm, exact value not critical.
    (6)Crystal diode, Raytheon CK—705 or Sylvania 1N34.
    (7)Crystal diode, Raytheon CK—708 (might sub Ci~—7O5 here).
    (8)Cartridge unit only from variable reluctance phono pickup.
    (9)Rheostat, exact value not critical.
    (10)Push button or momentary contact switch.
    Indicates ground to chassis. If metal chassis is not used, connect these points together with wire.

    ALTERNATE COILS— The only experimenter who secured any results made his coils as follows: (1) & (2), 10 turns on each primary and secondary of #17 silver wire, i in. diameter of coil, and spaced to occupy a total length of about j inch. (3) same as above except that 12 turns were used on each primary and secondary. The primary and secondary of each coil were placed side by side about ~ in. apart, and the coils were arranged in triangular fashion to prevent induction from one to the other. (Note: primary and secondary coils could be placed end to end if desired.) To wind coils use two pieces of wire and wind side by side on a round rod or pencil. Slide both off the rod and unscrew ~ne out of the other, giving you two matched coils.

    The above coils produced somewhat erratic results and rather weird psychic phenomena, and are perhaps too high in frequency, which may put them into an undesirable astral range. It is suggested that several different size coils be tried. For convenience these can be arranged on some sort of a plug—in mounting board for quick interchange.

    TUBE NOTE — The 2E31 tube is a sub—miniature tube developed for pocket size radios, and available only from Raytheon. It has wire leads long enough to permit connecting into the circuit without a socket. Sockets are available, however, which would make tube replacement easier; in which case the leads are cut shorter to form pins. Almost any small tube could be substituted in case of necessity. (And now in 1960 Transistors and GE Tunnel Diodes are available for operation in this ultra high frequency range, with far less battery drain than the Raytheon tube. -Crabb)

    BATTERY AND SWITCH NOTE — A standard flashlight battery, when new, has a voltage ~ volt higher than specified for the tube. A penlight cell may be used, however, as the voltage soon drops under load. The “A” battery leads could be soldered directly to the battery, or some sort of spring mounting clip devised. The power should be turned on by a small rheostat, rather than a switch, as the first inrush of current might otherwise be excessive. To prevent a possibility of tube burnout the “A” battery should always be turned on before the “B”. A momentary—contact or push—button type switch is recommended in the “B” battery lead. Then, in event of undesirable psychic results, the natural reaction would be to release the switch, thus shutting the device off.

    GENERAL NOTES — Ultra high frequency devices such as this are very sensitive to induction between parts. In circuit diagrams lines are often shown parallel as a matter of drafting convenience. In actual construction they should run at angles to each other and be kept as short as possible.

    The most desirable construction would be to mount the device on a metallic chassis (copper or aluminum), with each of the three sets of coils in their own shielding cans, which should connect to the chassis. It would also be well to enclose the entire device in a metallic box or enclosure, with only the con­trols and items (5) and (8) projecting outside. These shielding parts could be bent up out of thin sheet aluminum, or made of foil covered cardboard.

    MODULATOR NOTES — [Items (3), (7) & (8)] Communicators advise that the frequencies involved are intermediate between radio and optical waves. To quote the remarks of Associate John, these are in the “dog house corner of electronics”; too high for wires and too low for wave guides. Since there is no available component which would respond to the fundamental frequency, communicators are attempting in their circuit to pick up and use as a modulating frequency one of the lower or higher harmonics. The phono pick—up cartridge listed is about the most compact and the cheapest device which would respond to the lower electro—magnetic harmonics. Certain types of magnetic or dynamic microphones might work equally as well. Only the coils and cores function. All other parts are surplus but need not be removed unless desired.

    It should also be possible to make the device function with the upper harmonics: in the sub or ultra optical, or the heat, range. Certain types of photo—electric cells will respond to frequencies outside the visible spectrum. To eliminate possible undesired interference from visible light rays, communicators suggest using either infra—red or ultra—violet filters, both plain and polarized. If any change is made in part (8) it will probably be necessary to also make changes in coupling coil (3) which must have the proper characteristics to match (8) to the rest of the circuit.

    CAUTIONS — Experimenters should have considerable background in psychic and occult matters, as some possible results might otherwise be a severe mental shock. The most effective use of the device seems to be when it is bound to the forehead, but this is rather dangerous and Meade Layne urges very great caution in placing it over any chakra area. There is some danger of actual brain cell damage, particularly if the frequency is not correct, or the unit insufficiently shielded. Until much more is known about it than at present, it is recommended that the maximum usage be not more than one hour at a time, and not more than 3 or 4 times in any 24 hours. If the user experiences any distortion of vision or hearing ~ using the device, or unusual difficulty in concentrating or remembering, discontinue all use until completely normal, and reduce subsequent use to very short periods.


    After the initial release of the Project Hermes diagram in 1951, Associate Holland felt the need for an independent opinion on its possible effectiveness, preferably from an electronics expert who had passed over to the invisible worlds. When again in touch with his original communicator on the device, Holland asked for such a contact.

    “I was told he had devices by which he could ‘connect’ with anyone I wished to contact, provided that person was willing and able to talk at that particular time. I suggested Nikola Tesla, and, after a few moments delay, was told that he could and would discuss it for a short time. The following is therefore supposed to be a conversation with N.T., but I should like to warn that I have been frequently bothered by cases of impersonation in these matters, so it should not be taken at face value but analyzed critically.

    R.M. HollandWill this circuit which I have before me work? Will it do what is claimed for it?
    Nikola Tesla (After a slight delay) It is essentially correct. Quite crude, and capable of a great deal of refinement.
    RMH Do you wish to suggest any change? I would be pleased to make them.
    NT No. It would be difficult to make you understand, and still more difficult for you to accomplish with available facilities. It is very crude but it will do.
    RNH I have here a letter from an Associate which postulates a beat—note theory. Can you get its contents?
    NT Yes. I can get anything you have in your mind.
    RMH Is his hypothesis correct?
    NT Yes and no. There is some heterodyning involved, but it is a direct communication device essentially.
    RMH I had always assumed that mental waves were far above radio range. If this is a direct communication device, then they (mental waves) must be in radio range. Is that correct?
    NT Yes, they are within the range of conventional radio apparatus, if they are sensitive enough, although a radio receiver would not detect it except as low—level interference. Radio receivers are not properly constructed to translate the thought waves
    RMHCould you tell me the exact frequencies of these thought waves?
    NTI must convert them into terms which you will understand. (Several moments delay) Each individual has a frequency of her or his own, just as each radio station has its own frequency. Each plane, however, has a normal range, with individuals on that plane on some frequency within that range. Beginning at the lowest level, there is a group of demonic and elementary entities in the range of about 10 to 20 myria— cycles. The lowest astral level begins at about 30 and continues upward to about 80 for the higher astrals. Those on the planetary etheria levels communicate on a range of about 70 to 90. You will note there is a great deal of overlapping. In fact, there are no firmly fixed lines between levels. They just merge into one another. The thought waves of the embodied “here living” persons of your planet are within the range of about 10 to 40 myria cycles, with 20 being about the normal average. Thus you will note that there are many who, unfortunately, are in direct contact with the lower astrals. Many of them may be unaware of it but are influenced by it. Most of your people are sensitive only to frequencies very near their own, but there are some, including the true mediums, who have the ability to tune their mental vibrations to higher or lower ranges at will.
    RMHI should think that radio and other apparatus would cause a lot of interference on other planes.
    NTIt does. Since the birth of your electronics age, there has been a terrific din here. Radio and television is no problem. Your FCC can be influenced not to grant licenses for the particular frequencies which we know will disturb us. They do not realize it, but they are under constant watch and guidance from other planes. In the case of some other apparatus, the problem may be more difficult, and more direct and drastic action may be required at times. After a man has had his peace and quiet disturbed for about so long, he is going to go out and silence the source of it. He will usually be polite about it, if he can be, but, by God, sir, he intends to stop it regardless.
    RMHI didn’t know that those on higher planes were subject to such human instincts and failings.
    NTYou know better than that. Don’t forget that “higher” merely refers to vibrational levels, and not necessarily moral instincts. I would remind you that, when you first began to recall your lives on Venus Etheria, the details were so much as they are on your present plane that it was a few years before you realized that it was not on Venus Materia, as you first assumed. I have never been there but I doubt that all was sweetness and peace.
    RMHNo. As I recall, there was a lot of variation between individuals. The general level seemed to be higher than here, but there was bad and good. They seemed to live and love and hate and hope just as those on any other plane. As you say, that fact confused me for a long time, although I was aware that Venus Materia was not ordinarily regarded as habitable by higher incarnates, and that life forms were on a rather low order there.
    NTThat is my understanding. I have never been to either.
    RMHHowever, they know you there. I assume that you must be of Lemurian origin, to use the Earth designation, and I understand that they usually discarnate to Terra Etheria.
    NTThat is correct. Some of us have visited your Etherian Nors there, but I have never happened to be one of those. If they know of me, it must be from contacts which I have made with them on Terra Materia at times.
    RMHI assume that is it. At any rate, sir, you are highly regarded by my people. But to get back to Project Hermes, which as you perhaps know was so named because he was the messenger of the gods and this device can perhaps communicate with some of those whom the early Tellurians regarded as gods ——
    NTThe name is appropriate. One name is as good as another.
    RMHThe question I wished to ask, sir, was regarding the secrecy of the thing. My communicator fears that it could be misused if it should fall into the wrong hands, and could cause great harm. He therefore urges that it be restricted to only those of good will.
    NTThat is impossible! Who is to judge who is of good will? How are you going to prevent leaks? No. If you get it developed, give it to the world, without reservations. Every new thing will cause some harm. That is the nature of new things. You have to take the bad along with the good. But, on the other hand, who is to say which part is bad and which part is good? That is all in the point of view. But I do not wish to get involved in a philosophical discussion of good and evil. That is not my forte. I have never considered that part of it in my work. We must do our job and let the chips fall where they may. I cannot spare any more time now, so goodbye.


    Here are a few paragraphs from the letter to which Holland referred in his talk with Nikola Tesla. The letter to Holland was from Associate Ed Schultz in Buffalo, New York.

    “It has been my hunch—theory that when any earthian circuit oscillates it also produces at the same time, overtones of higher octaves, in the matter of hyperspaces, corresponding to mental— matter frequencies, astral—matter frequencies and to etheric— matter frequencies. And we know that etheric matter is part of our physical spectrum of matter, which brings us right next door as it were to the potentialities and responses of our gross cir­cuit elements and components. Now let’s see what could happen here. Suppose your Project Hermes oscillator circuit is perking away and at the same time oscillating in terms of the higher—octave, overtone matter of the mental, astral and etheric planes.

    “It is then not impossible to envision the mental frequency octave heterodyning with the astral octave, to produce a beat—note. Then suppose that beat—note heterodynes with the ether octave and produces a beat—note within the range and frequency of our earth plane hookup. This would complete the cycle and —— we are in tune with mental frequencies. We can note that, if we dispense with the mental matter octave and begin with the astral, the whole thing would form the basis of an astral communication instrument, the objective of the ages.”

    Associate Ed John’s COMMENTS

    “This device is a sneaker. It works and it works well. Perhaps too well. I have discovered that it isn’t wise to use it too often, as it tends to stimulate some unused portion of the brain, and causes kickbacks of some rather strange psychic phenomena, even semi—materializations of objects that happen to be uppermost in the operator’s mind at that time of particular use.

    “I have already tested it on many others and it has not yet failed to make some sort of a response on every test person. Some experience great clairvoyance. Others see beings in other worlds, and still others see and hear both backwards and forwards in time. Others merely see the souls of those who have died some time ago.

    “Your subjects no doubt are too tense as yet to feel any of the feeble radiations from the set. . . A nervous, irritable and somewhat frightened person will perhaps get only a headache. Make certain of several factors in your subject first: A, that he does not have to go someplace- in a hurry; B, that he is relaxed; C, that he has a decided curiosity regarding what he’ll hear or see; D, that he tries to contact some definite person of whom he has read or heard of in history of mythology.

    “Naturally, when one puts one of these devices on and sits there with an expectant look on his face, and a blank mind, that’s just what he gets, a blank. Remember this device is a two—way apparatus, and if one wishes to hear someone he must send out a call to someone. . . Beings of other dimensions wait until they are called then they try to answer. Remember they are afraid of being called ‘queer’ in their world, too; so why should they try to start to speak to someone just because that someone built a receiver to perceive them?

    “The receiver works and well, too, but give it a chance. Wait until you are in a mood to have an open mind and wish to see and speak to persons in ancient Egypt or other parts of the earth. It’s especially effective in conversing with the people who land spaceships here from Orion, Arcturus and the Great Bear constellations.


    “Young people who are newly married are the poorest subjects. They only get a headache. The next poorest are those who have many legal troubles and too much business on their brains. Therefore, the average person it will work to a degree but the best are those who live and work on the sea, boatmen or fishermen who care not much for earthly things and have a slight knowledge of the occult. Weak mediums are better than these but keep it away from well developed, strong mediums.”

    So there you have it! Ed John reported almost 100% success with Project Hermes, and all others, of those reporting to BSRA Headquarters in 1952 and 53, reported 100% failure. This wide gap leaves us just about where we started in 1951. The present director of BSRA obtained zero results with the model he built in Honolulu in 1952, though no test equipment was used to discover if the thing was even oscillating properly, or if it would oscillate. I read over Ed John’s letters to Meade Layne describing his successful operation of the device and you get an idea of what may happen to you if you succeed in making it work. You’ll be out, brother, way out!

    A sketch of John’s device showed it to be 4 inches high, l~ inches wide and 3/4 inches thick. He fastened a small plastic block to the back, and provided a headband so it could be worn on the forehead. The tube and resistor were at the bottom, with the tuning condenser in the center, and the phono pick—up unit at the top. The weight of the entire device, not including batteries, was 4 ounces.


    Associate Wagner of DeFuniak Springs has had his own other—world contacts for years. He took up Project Hermes with them and discovered the same guarded optimism about it. Below are excerpts from his April, 1952 letter to Hdq as released by Meade Layne to the Associates.

    “…liked a report last night on Project Hermes. Our informant says there is a good basis for the project. Present layout must be greatly modified. Delicate tuning will prove to be essential. Diagram as given very imperfect —— as Tesla seems to have said also —— but it is a start on the way.

    “A far better understanding of what the thing is doing and how it produces its effects must be had before it will be safe to use. The effect on the subject using it will be the same as that on a medium who is kept too long at work. Cause undue strain and wear and many would not stand up under it. They can do nothing from their side to control the thing [...]

    “A different tuning necessary for each brain, and a certain (definite) means for regulating the strength of the stimulus given the brain of the user. In each case would have to be adjusted for the victim at hand, both as to frequency and as to power output.

    “Will not work for everyone, but with those of mediumistic ability. Effect is that of a powerful group of sitters. May be valuable in allowing a small group more available material for the Invisibles to work with. Lot of value in its present form; but definitely something worthy of experimentation, but not for everyone. Being asked if it would help open the channel we were using the reply was that in the future perhaps, dangerous at this stage. ‘Let the gadgeteers work with it for now.”‘

    The present director of BSRA hopes that Associates and other borderland researchers with the necessary technical background will pick up Project Hermes this time and push it through to a successful conclusion. In view of the world situation nine years ago perhaps the 1951 release was premature; I hope that’s all that was wrong with it —— no “push” from the other side of the veil. There may be willing cooperation in perfecting it now where there was none or little before. Also, now in 1960, the electronics industry has pushed much farther into that “dog house corner of radio” and we have much better equipment and data available to. us.

    Anyhow, having read this Borderland Sciences Research Associates publication, you now know as much about Project Hermes as I do. With this, and with the information put forward by J. Gilbert E. Wright, you have plenty to think about, and gadget—data to work with: have fun! —Riley Crabb

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