Tessie and Binnie, the US Army's psychic dogs

JB Rhine (1895-1980), the founder of parapsychology, spent the bulk of his career attempting to scientifically investigate ESP, psychokinesis, and clairvoyance at Duke University. While Rhine debunked numerous claims, he also reported on many experiments that he argued were evidence of psi phenomena. In 1952, the US Army consulted with Rhine on their idea to use psychic powers to detect landmines. The psychics weren't people though; they were German Shepherds named Tessie and Binnie. From author Nick Redfern's retelling of the weird tale over at Mysterious Universe:

Although Fort Belvoir was the place from where the work was coordinated, the actual tests took place on stretches of quiet California beaches. A contingent of soldiers, Rhine, Binnie and Tessie hit the beach and the work began. The role of the troops was to bury dummy mines (thankfully!) at varying depths in the sand and to see if the dogs could locate them. To begin with, both dogs were kept in the back of a covered, military truck – to ensure that they couldn’t see what was going on at that same stretch of beach. That is, until it was time for the operations to begin.

Incredibly, it didn’t take Binnie and Tessie long to find the fake mines. The work progressed and the military was impressed. But, was it all coincidence and random luck? To ensure that wasn’t the case, the Army began to make it more and more difficult for Tessie and Binnie to find the mines. Instead of just burying the bogus mines deep in the sand, they took the devices into the water – to depths of about six or seven feet – and had the pair try and find them. They succeeded. The dogs raced into the ocean water, dived below, then surfaced, barking excitedly when they found the mines. It was the water-based experiments that impressed the military most of all. Rhine told the Army: “There is at least no known way in which the dogs could have located the underwater mines except by extrasensory perception.”

"Psychic Dogs of the U.S. Military: Tessie & Binnie" (Weird Universe)

For more on the US military's fascination with psychic spies and fringe science, might I suggest you read: Jon Ronson's "The Men Who Stare at Goats" and Jim Schnabel's "Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America's Psychic Spies."

illustrative image: adapted version of "Sable German Shepherds" by Sablegsd (CC BY-SA 3.0)