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Within the universe of the TV show Supernatural, is there any awareness of the "things that go bump in the night" and those who hunt them by the government of the United States or the government of any U.S. state?

I'm not talking about:

  1. Someone who thinks they saw something one time or who "believes" in the supernatural.
  2. Some pencil-pusher with no real authority, anybody in the Department of Education or similar agencies, low-level field agents, junior officers, enlisted personnel (with the exception of someone like the Sergeant Major of the Army).

I am talking about:

  1. Some person or agency with definitive knowledge of the existence of supernatural threats to the people of the United States.
  2. Someone with the authority to do something about it. (Federal agencies like NSA, U.S. Marshals Service, FBI, CIA, military (colonel or higher), etc or state government agencies)

In the real world, the U.S. government did experiments on psychic phenomena. It stands to reason that in a universe where the supernatural exists in a verifiable way, someone in the governments of most, if not all, major countries would know about it.

Is there anything in the show or other official media that would indicate such?

  • I don't think so; seems like anyone with power who finds out about the supernatural is either possessed or pretty quickly killed off. I always thought it would be cool if they did an arc involving project Stargate or something; but I'm guessing the writers avoided this so they wouldn't get drawn into a season that's basically an X-files clone. – VapedCrusader Jun 3 '16 at 16:46
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    Granted, I haven't watched many episodes of X-Files, but the ones I have seen are more about investigating. I would imagine a team of hard-core, highly-trained operatives doing black ops style work ganking the things that go bump in the night. – pleurocoelus Jun 4 '16 at 12:56
  • X-Files has both individual shadow agents, and elite strike teams involved in killing/containing paranormal threats(though admittedly these guys are more prominent in the sci-fi eps, and only appear in 'supernatural' cases a few times). Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a FEAR-style military squad- I just suspect that out of universe, a pair of investigators(often posing as FBI) with gov't containment teams felt too close to the 'files, especially in early seasons...as it is the first few seasons have a BUNCH of X-files shout-outs/references – VapedCrusader Jun 4 '16 at 22:12
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Honestly, given the nature of the threats the Winchesters have faced, it seems almost impossible that NO higher government officials have EVER considered the realm of the supernatural given the state of bodies found, mysteries left unsolved, crazy people who survive and the number of police involved in most of these events.

  • When I think about it, I can barely ever remember any references to our government's three letter agencies ever being interested or involved in the cases the Winchester's (and other assorted Hunters) ever follow.

  • My suspicion is the stories would become MUCH more complicated if we included a leg of our three letter agencies becoming regularly involved in the misadventures of the Winchesters.

  • But if we play with Occam's Razor, it may simply be: Once Hunters get involved, assuming the Hunters are successful, the trail goes cold. The killings or magic stops and the FBI runs out of useful clues. The file becomes a cold case and given the remote locales of many of these stories, are soon forgotten by everyone except the locals.

Let's take a look to see if any of them would even be interested (meaning having their interests activated by Supernatural interactions):

The NSA: The National Security Agency (NSA) is an intelligence organization of the United States government, responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes – a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). NSA is concurrently charged with protection of U.S. government communications and information systems against penetration and network warfare.

  • Given the NSA spends its time monitoring communications more than anything else, as long as Supernaturals stay off of public communications systems, they shouldn't be terribly interesting to the NSA.

The CIA: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the U.S. Government, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and his Cabinet.

  • Again, while the CIA does more work with living beings, most Supernaturals have a supernatural awareness of Humans and could easily avoid these agents when they are working stateside.

  • If anything, I would think many Supernaturals, such as Angels and Demons would do their best to INFILTRATE the CIA because of its high profile intelligence apparatus.

  • Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, CIA has no law enforcement function and is mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic collection. Even if the CIA discovered a Supernatural, they would likely only be interested in it (assuming they survive) if it conflicted with their mission.

The FBI: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, which simultaneously serves as the nation's prime federal law enforcement agency. A leading U.S. counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes. Although many of the FBI's functions are unique, its activities in support of national security are comparable to those of the British MI5 and the Russian FSB.

Currently, the FBI's top priorities are: - Protect the United States from terrorist attacks - Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage - Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes - Combat public corruption at all levels - Protect civil rights - Combat transnational/national criminal organizations and enterprises - Combat major white-collar crime - Combat significant violent crime - Support federal, state, local and international partners - Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI's mission

Of the FBI's primary missions, most organized Supernaturals would only trigger: Civil rights cases, kidnapping, combat significant violent crime, criminal organizations and enterprises, and possibly preventing terrorist attacks.

  • Now the FBI could be a legitimate threat to Hunters. Hunters act as a criminal organization (engaged in organized criminal activity - being a Hunter - which could look like conspiracy, murders, vandalism, destruction of property, identity theft and illegal identity enterprises, impersonation of federal officers and numerous other crimes the FBI would likely investigate).

  • Many Supernaturals would also have similar profiles particularly: Angels, Demons, Vampires or any other organized or structured supernatural group. Free range supernaturals use their enhanced physical, mental or psychic abilities to defeat, elude or destroy FBI agents foolish enough to try to investigate them further. However, smarter ones know not to leave a trace in the first place.

With what we have just learned why doesn't the FBI investigate these kinds of crimes that Hunters or Supernaturals engage in?

The most likely reason is - they never know about them in the first place.

  • One of the primary conventions of the show is the crimes Hunters search for when searching for Supernatural activity tend to have strange patterns not easily discerned by regular law enforcement. Note Sam and Dean's habit of reading small town newspapers online.

  • Double that for the FBI who likely has more on their plate than they have agents to address it.

Add to the mix, the Supernatural powers of most of these groups and should an agent discover something he shouldn't he is either:

  • Magically co-opted, his body claimed, his mind magically erased or destroyed, the Agent is now working for whoever took over his body and now provides resources and most importantly disinformation. With a number of inside agents providing disinformation regarding Supernatural events this becomes the number one reason more FBI agents don't dog the trail of Supernaturals more effectively.

  • More unfortunate Agents have terrible but believable accidents (the Mafia and the Government have been alluded to doing such wetwork for years) or

  • In a worse case scenario, the Agent becomes a missing person (least desirable state, of course, because it could attract MORE attention)

While the most likely reason for a lack of such government interaction is ease of storytelling, it does not have to be completely hand-waved away.

  • Just like in the real world, most people who work for the government are a genuinely unimaginative lot and the existence of magic, monsters, demonic mayhem, angels and gods, for them at least, is a sublimely ridiculous notion when there are enough Human terrorists, serial killers and white-collar criminals to go around that FBI doesn't have time to hunt for things that go bump in the night.

  • The Hunters and their devout but crazed mission are a grass-roots organization which has managed to both be successful and remain below the radar likely with Supernatural assistance from time to time and likely with a staggering body count both in terms of monsters thwarted, Human victims of said monsters and loss of lives in the ranks of the Hunters.

  • Given the nature of the people required to become Hunters (you have to be imaginative, dedicated, a just a bit over the psychological edge to consider it as a potential lifestyle choice, it is likely most FBI Agents would lack the imagination or the stomach to ever become good at it, even if they believed in it.

  • So, basically, the answer is "not that we've seen in canon so far." Anyway, you gave a well-reasoned answer. – pleurocoelus Jun 6 '16 at 11:45
  • I had considered that the FBI was most likely to have such threats within their purview. However, considering that these threats are secret, I had supposed that anyone with official power would work to deal with them, even if they did not have the legal authority. After all, hunters regularly break the law. – pleurocoelus Jun 7 '16 at 12:11
  • It is a big plot hole as to why there is no Ocint TLA's to borrow a term from the Laundry files – Neuromancer Nov 19 '17 at 21:49
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I think that was the purpose of the men of letters. They kept it secret and hunters do the same. The government would cover it up to prevent mass hysteria. Which those who know would have no one who believed them so they would most likely become hunters themselves.

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