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AS A career - now retired - intelligence officer, I do not make public comment upon intelligence matters discussed in the media. To do so would violate my sworn obligation. I therefore declined Jim Schnabel's request for an interview when he was gathering information on the paranormal. However, his piece entitled "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, PSI" (Review, 27 August) demanded a response because of its unprincipled attack on my professional integrity.

During my tenure as director of Scientific and Technical Intelligence in the Defense Intelligence Agency, the remote viewing phenomenon was in fact under evaluation. Because the field was infested with charlatans and zealots, I had strict controls put in place to assure objectivity and scientific rigour in our investigations.

Yet Schnabel has me as gullible and "new ageish". He reported that I received psychic readings from Ms Angela Dellafiora on the most intimate matters in my life, ostensibly during the times I sought her professional services on official matters. It was further alleged that by telling me all the nice things I wanted to hear, she solidified her position in the unit.

These revelations came from two of Ms Dellafiora's co-workers. One must wonder just how Messrs Riley and Dames came to know all this since neither was present. They were, of course,wrong. One must wonder as to the motivation of these individuals to engage in such boorish slander, the most offensive parts of which I have not repeated.

Jack Vorona

Fairfax County, Virginia, US

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