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You may wonder at this point, where do these Project Artichoke posts originate? Well I don’t mind keeping it a little bit of a mystery, as the book itself deals with three mysteries:

  • What is MKULTRA?
  • Who is the Zodiac killer?
  • Who killed Bobby Kennedy?

You may respond to those questions:

  • MKULTRA was a super-secret CIA program to prepare Manchurian Candidate assassins.
  • We’ll never know who the Zodiac killer was.
  • Sirhan Sirhan killed Bobby Kennedy.

As with most mysteries, the answers are more complicated than what we think we know.

In any case, you don’t often run into a true crime book that deals with three major mysteries, all in one place. Project Artichoke, by David Silvey, does that.

Project Artichoke book cover

The problem with this book is that it is David Silvey’s unedited journal. It is not constructed as an actual book, even though it is published as one. Because it looks like a book, and is sold as a book, you expect it to read like a book as you get into it. It does not. The material in Project Artichoke is much more disconnected than that.

The friend who referred me to Project Artichoke said I ought to look into the events that David Silvey writes about. That wasn’t so easy, especially since the c took place in the 1960s, in California, and I live in Massachusetts fifty years later. Time, space, and mobility make research, documentary and otherwise, fairly impractical.

Yet I’m an editor, and a blogger, so I thought perhaps an edited version of this book, or portions of it, might draw attention to the events in Silvey’s story. No one should have to live the life that Sylvie lived. No one can say the bad events in Silvey’s life were his fault. Yet he had courage to write about these frightful events, and preserve for us connections among three notorious crime projects: MKULTRA, Zodiac, and RFK.

So you know a little background now. If Sylvie’s story draws you in, you may want to buy his book in order to see the original. Or you can simply follow the version that appears here, in Conversations with Dio.

Related books

MKULTRA : The CIA’s Top Secret Program in Human Experimentation and Behavior Modification

Bluebird : Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists