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The MERLIN Project

 

Futurist Paul Guercio is a co-founder, with Physicist Dr. George Hart of The MERLIN Project® Research Group. MERLIN is the first, scientifically-based forecastng technology that combines equations derived from celestial phenomena with past historical data and blends that information into a graphical time-line that accurately plots the chronology of future events. (Source: CNN, NBC, NPR)

 

 

Background

 

October 1988
Physicist, Dr. George Hart first hears Futurist, Paul Guercio with Dr. David Brudnoy on WBZ Radio in Boston and contacts him to arrange a professional consultation. Dr. Hart is intrigued with Paul’s theory of “time-patterns” since it parallels his own extensive research as a highly respected theoretical physicist and inventor of the excimer laser used in eye surgery.

January 1989
Dr. Hart comes to Paul’s office for a professional consultation and to discuss this “time-pattern theory” at length. The consultation time is pre-empted by a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion of common experiences as the two researchers spend nearly six hours comparing notes on time-related anomalies and possible forecasting models.

July 1989
After five separate and similar meetings over the subsequent six months, Dr. Hart offers to design software built around Paul's theory of Time. A team of underemployed SDI (Star Wars) physicists is recruited and the MERLIN Project is born July 4, 1989 in Lynn, MA at 11PM.

October 1989
First working copy of the MERLIN software (October 5, 1989; dubbed ‘Timetraks®’) forecasts the imminent demise of the Soviet Union or alternately, World War III. Both Paul and Dr. Hart consider either scenario unlikely at best. The efficacy of the entire MERLIN premise is at stake.

November 1989
Soviet Union collapses and the Berlin Wall comes down (November 5, 1989) as Eastern European Communism quickly disintergrates. The newly-designed MERLIN software has proven to be a stunning success.

January 1990
From New Years’ through the late summer of 1990, the tempo of the research with MERLIN increases. The complexity of the program’s graphical output steadily improves and the enhanced level of sophistication of the software permits much more precise forecasts to be made.

August 1990
Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait and MERLIN forecasts a war, beginning in January 1991 and lasting only six weeks. This is considered an unlikely prospect at best in the summer of 1990.

October 1990
Paul and Dr. Hart unveil the MERLIN "Gulf War" forecast on a New York-based national call-in radio program with FOXNEWS commentator and long-time client, Alan Colmes as host.

November 1990
The Boston Globe and Boston Herald each do a series of articles on MERLIN and its creators and their unlikely but very specific “Gulf War” prediction.

December 1990
On the strength of their “Gulf War” forecast, all three of the major Boston TV stations do feature pieces on MERLIN and The Associated Press puts the MERLIN story on their national and international wire. It is subsequently picked up by newspapers and magazines around the world including the London-based Arabic newspaper AL HAYAT, which features the MERLIN story in their Science section. No Arabic newspaper had ever run a story on the subject of forecasting the future, a talent previously reserved only to Allah.

January 1991
The Gulf War commences on Jan. 16th and lasts almost precisely six weeks (as predicted), marking another stunningly accurate forecast for the two researchers and their remarkable “time pattern” software. Broadcast and print stories about MERLIN begin appearing in such diverse publications as the German magazine PM PERSPEKTIVE and USA TODAY.

November 1991
The NBC Nightly News sends a news crew to Boston to tape a formal interview with Paul and Dr. Hart for use on the evening Tom Brokaw national telecast. During the taping, the MERLIN co-creators forecast a huge drop in the Stock Market, which immediately occurs the following day. In the meanwhile, ABC News NIGHTLINE hotly debates taping their own interview and National Public Radio broadcasts an hour-long national call-in show on MERLIN by satellite. NBC subsequently airs their taped interview, including the stunning Stock Market prediction which is widely seen and CNN's Larry King LIVE calls to arrange a segment on MERLIN.

December 1991
CNN's Larry King LIVE features a segment on MERLIN, which is seen in 210 countries with a viewing audience estimated to be 20-30 million worldwide. On that show, MERLIN forecasts an extraordinary and imminent career spurt for Larry. Barely two months later, Ross Perot single-handedly turns the King show into required viewing by utilizing a February 1992 interview with Larry to announce a dramatic 3rd Party Presidential bid. Between 1992 and 1996, the King show becomes the place to announce breaking-news of worldwide interest. MERLIN’s prescience continues unabated.

March 1992
VANITY FAIR approaches the MERLIN team about doing an exclusive, long-form interview about the Project. Then Editor-in-Chief, Tina Brown requests that MERLIN “Timetraks®” be calculated for herself and each of her senior editors. The “Timetraks®” reveal a fact (then) known only to Tina and owner S. I. Newhouse; (that) she is about to have a “job change.” Within 90 days, it is announced publicly that Tina will become the new Editor-in-Chief of The NEW YORKER. The announcement becomes a publishing mega-story! Meanwhile, the MERLIN article is scheduled to appear (in Vanity Fair) the month following Tina’s jump to The New Yorker. Newly installed VF Editor Graydon Carter indelicately pulls the piece and a potpourri of other Brown-tenured articles. Ah, politics!

December 1992
The second of four CNN appearances (Larry King) occurs and a multitude of feature segments air on several New England TV stations. Unbeknownst to Paul and Dr. Hart at the time, MERLIN's uncanny success has triggered the beginning of high-level intelligence surveillance by the Pentagon, culminating in the spring 1995 with a request by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a comprehensive "white paper" on the MERLIN technology that focussed on plotting the timetable for potential incidents of future domestic terrorism.

January 1993
The possibility of a "MERLIN book" is first discussed with a literary agent and the MERLIN team is approached by author Sidney Sheldon, offering the tempting prospect of a MERLIN-based novel. Sheldon is rumored to have considered a MERLINesque story line in a later work..

January 1994
MERLIN has now become an annual outing on CNN, with Paul and Dr. Hart forecasting tough-times for Bill Clinton; he later lost both houses of Congress to the Republicans in the Nov. 1994 election (first such loss in 40 years.) MERLIN also predicted that Bob Dole would be his opponent in the 1996 election, almost two full years before Dole even announced that he would seek the Republican nomination. On the same program, they also predicted unparalleled drama in the final years of the Clinton Administration (what would later become known as the ‘Clinton Impeachment Scandals,’) four years before anyone ever heard of Monica Lewinsky.

December 1994
The last of the initial CNN appearances ("TalkBack LIVE") was the most successful and drew the largest audience to that show since its inception. CNN President, Tom Johnson personally invited Paul to his office afterwards for an hour-long chat to discuss possible joint ventures (and to have a look at his own MERLIN Timetrak®.) Paul told Johnson that, if Ted Turner were to sell the privately-held CNN, it would likely be in the next 6 to12 months. Turner sold CNN to AOL/TimeWarner the following September, precisely nine months later.

April 1995
The MERLIN team receives a call from Lieutenant Colonel Mike Lenhert, who was attached to the Joint War Fighting Center of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff. They were informed that MERLIN had been under surveillance for three and a half years and were asked to prepare a comprehensive "white paper" on possible intelligence applications of the technology for his "flag officers." (They later find out that flag officers are two-star Generals and above.) They produced a 50 page report in July 1995 on MERLIN's intelligence capabilities, focusing on domestic terrorism. (The Oklahoma City bombing occurred later in the same month they were initially contacted, on April 19th.)

In the report, they elected to use the first World Trade Center bombing of Feb. 1993 as MERLIN’s "time-model." The resulting “Timetraks®” suggested that the next significant incidents of domestic terrorism were likely to occur in the period beginning in mid-summer 1998, peaking in 1999 and 2000 and tapering off in the late fall of 2001, with a pronounced break in the trendline coming at the end of 2001. (Bin Laden hit the Trade Center (again) Sept. 11, 2001.) By employing this “time-model,” MERLIN had uncovered the likely window of opportunity for a second terrorist strike on the World Trade Center six years before it happened.

December 1995
Paul and Dr. Hart spent most of late 1995 through early 1997 working on a MERLIN book, tentatively titled "Surfing the Waves of Change in Your Future," which was initially accepted for publication by the Viking division of PENGUIN-PUTNAM Publishers in the spring of 1996. Then, curiously, the representative for the book, (publisher) Marty Greenburg, bowed out of the negotiations without explanation and a serious illness struck the Viking executive who had made the original offer. Since the initial advance was quite small, Paul and Dr. Hart shopped around for another offer, eventually ending up in the offices of Judith Regan, Editor-in-Chief of imprint ReganBooks, a division of HARPERCOLLINS. After several months of negotiations, Judith made a formal offer, but then, inexplicably, put the project on hold so that she could devote her time to an ill-fated autobiography with ex-Playboy centerfold, Jenny McCarthy. The McCarthy book failed miserably and even engendered some nasty litigation, but by then a very weary MERLIN Team had invested almost 18 months in getting the book project ready for publication, only to see their efforts thwarted repeatedly, without explanation in 1996 and 1997.

June 1997
What was even more curious, is what became of MERLIN’s extraordinary media exposure. In the 18 months that followed the submission of their Pentagon “white paper,” virtually every point of media contact evaporated. Producers of programs where MERLIN had been favored guests were replaced or were now unwilling to (even) return their phone calls. Press coverage, which was extensive and uniformly positive, dried up, as though someone had purposefully turned off the faucet.

More likely, as later became apparent, their high profile exposure and uncanny accuracy, combined with constant and unflattering forecasts of upcoming Clinton scandals and excesses, were perhaps a little more than the Clinton White House could tolerate. Like their friend and fellow traveler, Matt Drudge (MERLIN forecast Matt’s meteoric rise several years before he broke the Monica Lewinsky story), they were effectively muzzled by strategic phone calls and the cloak of national security issues. Their personal lives and well being were also challenged (Paul was shot at (they missed) during this period; yes, there is a Police Report!) and their various employment and professional relationships were seriously compromised.

January 2000
By the year 2000, it had become clear that MERLIN had been the target of a concerted effort, likely orchestrated by Administration loyalists, to be discredited and marginalized. If it hadn’t been for FOXNEWS commentator and long-time client (and friend) Alan Colmes, who continued to schedule regular, monthly appearances on his WEVD New York nightly call-in show and occasional local appearances on the Boston media, the MERLIN Project team would have virtually disappeared from the scene.

In the fall of 2001, the 9/11 Al Qaeda terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center and the subsequent strike on the Pentagon, provided graphic and timely vindication to the MERLIN Project forecasts and it’s pioneering creators and the January 2001 Inauguration of Republican George W. Bush ended a several years drought of their extensive media exposure.

March 2003
In March 2003, the MERLIN team approached David Shanks, the CEO of Penguin-PutnamUSA with an interesting proposition. Could MERLIN be the rightful heir to the audience that had become fascinated with books like Michael Drosnin’s ‘The Bible Code’ or the Penguin-published sequel, ‘Bible Code II.’ The ‘Bible Code’ books suggest that there are modern predictions, like those involving the 9/11 attacks and the current Iraq War embedded in the original Hebrew texts of the Old and New Testaments.

Shanks promptly turned the project over to Senior Editor Denise Silvestro, who after profuse apologies for delaying a serious investigation of the book proposal for nearly a year, turned the project over to Berkley Editor Ginjer Buchanan. Buchanan, in turn, wasted several more months before admitting that she had never actually invested anytime in reviewing the project. In complete frustration, after an exchange of often terse emails, Paul requested that the proposal and proprietary materials be promptly returned.

July 2003
On July 27, 2003 after years of preliminary work, MERLIN establishes a presence on the Internet’s World Wide Web by premiering the first interactive Merlin Project website, http://projectmerlin.com. In its first full year of operation, the website generates a respectable total of over 3,500 hits.

August 2003
In August 2003, the MERLIN team made the first of a (now) series of dramatic appearances on ‘COAST-TO-COAST AM with George Noory,’ a PREMIER Radio syndicated program that is heard on more than 500 stations in the US and Canada, as well as on SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio and on the Web. Predictions made about the disastrous course of the Iraq war and the December 2003 capture of a very much alive Saddam Hussein (among others,) were stunning. They also forecast the likely emergence of John Kerry, John Edwards and Richard Gephardt from the crowded field of Democratic Presidential contenders. Remember, (that) this was six months before the Democratic primaries were held, when it appeared that Vermont Governor Howard Dean all but had the nomination sewn up.

August 2004
As a result of their initial appearance and the remarkable success of their on-the-record predictions, the MERLIN team was invited back for a return visit to ‘COAST-TO-COAST AM’ in August 2004. (But) unlike 2003, the date for this appearance is chosen using the MERLIN ‘Timetrak®’ technology and only George Noory and his producer, Lisa Lyon were told of this in advance. Remarkably, this show captured an audience estimated at over 8 million listeners and produced a listener response of more than 75,000 hits on the MERLIN website over the next several weeks -- twenty times the response achieved during the entire preceding year.

On that program Dr. Hart predicted an immediate looming conflict with Iran and North Korea, which made news barely one week later (and which is gathering momentum, right now – mid-January 2005,) and the continuing and escalating insurgency in Iraq. They addressed the confusion that is now evident in the wake of the 2004 Election results and the hopelessly inept policies of the second Bush administration. As a direct result of that program, Paul and George were also introduced to the legendary Hollywood literary agent Mike Hamilburg by a very pleased ‘C2C AM’ listener and friend and the rest, as they say, could well be history in the making! Stay tuned!
 


 

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