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Do Sheep Count People When They Can't Sleep

Updated on March 13, 2012

Do sheep get insomnia? Do they count people?

Is it a silly question? The lead-in to a joke? Or just another example of how people tend to anthropomorphize? The question; "Do sheep count people when they can't sleep?" seems like anything but a serious question, and maybe it isn't. But is there a chance it could be? Could a scientific explanation appear any less silly than the question? And what if that scientific answer came from a secret 1960's era Soviet Cold-War spy operation? No, that's ridiculous, isn't it?

Well, fasten your seat belts, because there actually is a serious answer1, and it really did come from Soviet scientific "paranormal abilities" research that took place under the cover of secrecy from approx. 1960 through 1979. And it gets better. In 1969 the American CIA, started a similar "remote viewing" experiment codenamed "Stargate." Reality or bizarro world?

*See composite component image citation
*See composite component image citation | Source

The back-story...

Russians have a long history of believing in the paranormal. As early as the 1920's Soviet scientists were conducting paranormal experiments involving telekinesis and telepathy - officially recognizing that some psychic abilities were real, and people with paranormal abilities not uncommon.

Soviet scientists; V.M. Bekhterev, A.G. Ivanov-Smolensky and B.B. Kazhinsky carried out government funded, and sanctioned, paranormal experiments, and published highly regarded papers about their results until 1937 - when Stalin forbade any further psychic research, deeming it superstition and idealism.

Fast-forward to 1960, add an ironic twist of fate*, and the Soviet Union once more plunged head first into another massive scientific paranormal effort. The spark that lit their fuse was a secret communique from one of their western operatives that declared the CIA was heavily involved in "remote viewing" experiments to spy on the Soviet military.

A nation-wide search for people with paranormal abilities in the Soviet Union turned up 42 candidates, which were immediately relocated to the Institute for Brain Research in Petrograd. This research continued under a veil of strict secrecy until 1979 - when it was abandoned by Leonid Brezhnev. Primarily due to the Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan.


source: 1972 DIA reportControlled Offensive Behavior - USSR

*The ironic twist is that the CIA did not have such a program at the time, but got wind of the massive Soviet effort in 1969, and immediately started an American counterpart to the Soviet effort. The American operation was conducted as part of an umbrella paranormal project codenamed "Stargate."

That is the background story that explains the introduction of Lev Nikolaevich Dostoevsky - one of the 42 "psychics" brought into the experiment in Petrograd, (Leningrad), and the source for the answer to the question of sheep counting people when they can't sleep.

Lev Nikolaevich Dostoevsky
Lev Nikolaevich Dostoevsky | Source
Village of Kinnermäki Karelia, Russia
Village of Kinnermäki Karelia, Russia | Source
Kinnermäki - Lev's home village :
Republic of Karelia, Russia

get directions

Petrograd (now St. Petersburg):
St Petersburg, Russia

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Lev Nikolaevich Dostoevsky - Sheep Whisperer

1Lev Nikolaevich Dostoevsky was the son of a Russian peasant farmer who supported the family with cattle and sheep herding, in the small Russian village of Kinnermäki, in Karelia, Russia.

The middle of three sons, there was nothing remarkable about Lev, in appearance or abilities. In the Soviet's background documents that were gathered in their search for psychics, it is noted that through most of his childhood he was considered an "oaf of a boy" that wasn't too bright, and perhaps a little "odd." But according to the investigator's later findings, this may be an example of the truth of the old adage that ...appearances can be deceiving. As it turned out, Lev Dostoevsky was not only very bright, but also very gifted. It may have been the "middle-child" syndrome that caused him to adopt the outer shell that he did, but under the covers, Lev was much more than anyone perceived.

The first sign that he was different, and maybe the reason he was tagged with the "odd" label occurred when he was seven years old. His father had introduced a new bull into his cow stock and was hopeful of the results. But after two weeks, there seemed to be a problem. The cow's milk production was falling, and the bull's only interest seemed to be standing in the far corner of the stockyard and staring at the open fields beyond.

Young Lev followed his father through his daily tasks, enjoying both the work and the company. One day, in response to his father's mutterings about the bull's lack of initiative, he told his father the cows did not like the bull because he was 'gomoseksualist', (which loosely translates to the English word 'homosexual'), and they would not even talk to him. When his father asked where he got such an idea, he said the cows told him. His father thought it was just the crazy imagination of a young boy, but that bull never did work out.

As he grew up, he had similar problems with the rest of the folks in the village too. All the animals seemed to like him, and it was not unusual to see him surrounded by the neighbors cats, dogs, goats, or whatever. Almost like a Russian Pied Piper.

From friendly to reclusive...

There were other similar incidents as he grew up, but nobody took him seriously, and he soon learned to just keep his "animal conversations" to himself. Then, in his early teen years, he started experiencing instances of "remote viewing." (Remote viewing is mostly the ability to see things at distances that are well beyond visual sight, and sometimes also involves precognition)

The first noted incident occurred when he was 13. He came running into his house yelling that his friend, Vsevolod, had just fallen from the barn and broken his leg. Rushing out of the house to help the boy, his father dashed into the barn, only to see - nothing. No Vsevolod. Lev quickly explained that Vsevolod wasn't here, he was in the barn at his home, and they must go help him. His father became very angry and scolded the boy for wasting his time with jokes - because Vsevolod's house and barn were over three miles away.

Later that day Lev and his father were in the village when Vsevolod's father brought him into the village to have the boy's broken leg set by the doctor. It had happened just as Lev had told his father - but about an hour after Lev "saw it."

His remote viewing incidences became so frequent that the villagers started mocking him, and by the time he was in his mid-teens he had learned to keep them to himself.

Dostoevsky and the Brain Institute

Lev Dostoevsky was 23 when the State investigators came to his village. Unaware of their purpose, he freely discussed his ability to "see" things that were out of eyesight, but he did not understand why they were asking, and when they asked him to take a test, (designed by Leonidovich Vasilev, head of the Brain Institute), he freely complied.

His results were 'off the charts', so to speak, and within hours he had agreed to accompany them to Petrograd. When he got into their car to leave, he was carrying only a set of extra clothes, and a box of cheap writing tablets he had been using to write the journals he had been keeping since he was 9 years-old.

Under Dr. Leonidovich Vasilev's administration the Soviet remote viewing project grew into one of their most intensive espionage programs - and Lev Nikolaevich Dostoevsky became one of its brightest stars. His psychic abilities were so powerful that he was actually able to "see," and forecast, the date of the launching of TelStar, the first American communications satellite in space, three months before it actually happened in 1964.

Dostoevsky continued to excel in the Soviet program until his death in 1968, when he was killed in a tragic dormitory fire on the Institute grounds. Which he unfortunately hadn't "seen" ahead of time.

*See composite component image citation
*See composite component image citation | Source

But what about the sheep counting people...

Finally, the explanation of what Dostoevsky has to do with the question; "Do sheep count people when they can't get to sleep?

In 1996 Joseph McMoneagle, while doing research for his book on remote viewing -The Ultimate Time Machine, (published 1998, Hampton House), was given access to some of the records from the Soviet program at the Brain Institute. Included with those records was Lev Dostoevsky's box of childhood journals. McMonegle was fascinated by the sophisticated insight of the young psychic, and poured over those notebooks for more than six months, before his access to them was terminated.

It was in the Soviet source appendix of his new book that the seemingly silly question - whether sheep counted people to get to sleep, was answered by a simple journal entry of a 9 year-old boy.

According to McMoneagle, Lev wrote the following entry on July 12, 1953:

The sheep aren't happy. Especially Bob-tail. They say the new chickens stay up all night talking about who lays the most eggs, and the cackling keeps them awake. The new fence won't let them get far enough away from the hen house to get any quiet.

Bob-tail said they tried everything, even counting all the people in the village, but it still didn't help. Shaggy, in frustration, finally kicked one of the loudest chickens, but that just brought Mr. Rooster into the argument. The sheep say that if something isn't done to quiet those hens soon, then.....

And that answers the question. According to a noted psychic from the Soviet's secret remote-viewing paranormal experiments, and documented by the published papers of noted Soviet scientists, and further corroborated by the research of a noted historical author - Yes, sheep do count people when they can't get to sleep!

Were you aware of the real Soviet and USA psychic programs?

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Informational citations:

1 All pictorial data is fictitious, and article content is entirely a figment of the author's imagination*. *with the exception of the Stargate and Soviet psychic experiments and programs - which were/are real


About the Author

"Seeing it does not make it real, and reading it does not make it true. Use a little common-sense and trust your instincts." - GAA

See more of my writings at:

*Composite image component source citations: Creative Commons images,,,, and personal art and graphic programs: GreenStreet Clipart, Print Shop, Art Explosion Pro Silver Edition Publishing program - *photo and image source credits: divider and separation images -

*See composite component image citation
*See composite component image citation | Source

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Do Sheep Count People When They Can't Sleep Comments

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    • GA Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      GA Anderson 

      5 years ago from USA

      @Habee - Sorry to be so late thanking you for the comment. As for my thinking... I guess BSing comes naturally

      @peachpurple -- Thanks for the comment. Lev's working for the DNC now. He was one of Pres. Obama's top campaign aides for 2012


    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      interesting article. Lev has a unique ability, to be able to see future events and talking to animals. Thought that these were just seen in movies. He could have used his abilities in the right field if someone had believed in him. It's a pity. Voted interesting

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      Fascinating hub. I love the way you think! I guess Lev was a "bovine whisperer." lol. Rated up.


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