An outgrowth of the original MKUltra experiments, it was discovered by CIA researchers that certain chemicals could be used to enhance the neurological receptors of a human being, thus enabling them to perceive what could possibly be termed “higher dimensions.” It is believed that one specific chemical produced by this project, termed XS6 (Experimental Substance 6), allows the human brain to exceed its natural organic limitations of perception, and expands the traditional sensory suite to be able to perceive the entire spectrum of energy.

The earliest known reports of experimentation with XS6 which survived a mid-70’s purge of the CIA’s documents pertaining to MKUltra programs, claims that two chemists from UC Berkeley were actually behind the first trials of XS6. The early human trials of XS6 quickly established that it was a psychoactive compound far more potent than anything ever previously identified, and that it left the human body relatively healthy. No negative physical effects were ever reported from these tests. The Berkeley trials, as they have come to be known, came to an abrupt end when one of the original chemists committed suicide from atop the school’s bell tower, leaving behind a dozen or so spiral note books, all containing what appears to be schematics for a yet unknown or unfeasible engine of some kind.

The great bulk of their research was turned over to local law enforcement during their investigation of his death, but this would later put it in reach of the CIA’s growing neuropharmaceutical research wing. After acquiring this research, it quickly became the object of attention for the CIA’s MKUltra program, which itself had been looking for a “truth serum.” XS6 was by no means a truth serum, but it did reveal something greater. Participants in the so-called Witness studies that took place shortly after the acquisition of the Berkley papers claimed that they were injected with large amounts of XS6, and placed under extreme sensory deprivation for possibly weeks at a time. The purpose of this undoubtedly cruel regimen is still unclear to this day, but what is not disputed is that in 1979, the first “Manipulator” emerged from this very same program. In the winter of that year, project Pantheon was established to study the possibility of creating future Manipulators, and weaponizing them.

During the USSR invasion of Afghanistan, it quickly became apparent that a similar Soviet program had been running parallel to Pantheon, but was able to produce Manipulators at an astonishing rate. While their presence did not seem to affect the outcome of the war in any great way, it did signal a new and terrifying dimension to the Cold War: the emergence of the Manipulator as a legitimate force on the battlefield. In 1984, the budget for PANTHEON was increased ten fold, allowing it to compete with its Soviet successor for the remainder of the Cold War.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, many of the key aspects of the Pantheon program were abandoned, and further budget constraints under the Bush and Obama administrations effectively shuttered the program as a whole. While American Manipulators are known to have participated in various actions since then, including police actions in Haiti, Panama, and Kosovo, as well as the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, their role has been extremely limited. Their chief purpose in the 21st century is curtailing the proliferation of XS6 and the would-be Manipulator programs of rogue states.