Remote Viewing is Real

... And therefore our materialistic models of Consciousness and the Cosmos are not really true

© Copyright 1999 by Timothy Conway, Ph.D.

One of the most spectacular “proofs” for the existence of nonlocal consciousness and paranormal psi ability was the U.S. and Soviet intelligence agencies’ support from the 1970s into the 1990s of a form of ESP clairvoyance known as Remote Viewing for espionage purposes.

In the United States, where the most complete information on Remote Viewing is now available, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the Army’s INSCOM (Intelligence and Security Command) supported small teams of remote-viewing psychic spies at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), a prestigious scientific think-tank in Menlo Park, California, from 1972 to 1986, and then at Fort Meade, Maryland, from 1978 to 1995.

As part of projects variously named “Scanate,” “Gondola Wish,” “Grill Flame,” “Center Lane,” “DT-S / Sun Streak,” and “Star Gate,” these remote viewers demonstrated repeatedly that human consciousness in “subtle” form can “travel” around the globe (even into outer space) to see, hear, touch and feel remote phenomena—persons, places, things, events—in the past or present. Even phenomena in the future were accurately witnessed on numerous occasions in pre-cognitive remote viewing sessions. (Robert Jahn and his group at the PEAR lab [Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research] have for over 20 years found statistically significant evidence of the same RV and pre-cognitive RV abilities in average subjects off the street.[1])

All of this suggests that consciousness has interdimensional powers, the ability to paranormally access information beyond the usually experienced constraints of the three known spatial dimensions and the one known time dimension (the 4-dimensional spacetime continuum). Moreover, it is clear from Remote Viewing that certain forms of "seeing" do NOT depend on physics, chemistry or biology. Remote Viewing does not depend on a brain, eyeballs, or light refracting off local objects. To put it another way, how can there be any "seeing" of remote "visual objects" 10,000 miles away in Eastern Europe, when there are no electromagnetic light waves refracting off those objects and impinging on the rod and cone cells in the retina of the eyeball of the USA-based remote viewer, and therefore no biochemical information-signals then being carried by the viewer's optic nerve to the occipital region at the rear of his physical brain? "Vision," it seems, evidently involves psychic or spiritual factors presently quite unknown to science. (This brings up the enigma of consciousness itself, an utter scientific mystery: how any of us have any subjective experience at all. See essay on Consciousness at our Science & Spirituality section.)

Critics may cavil, but it is well-established by examining the literature that astonishing remote-viewing successes were achieved in gathering detailed, precise information on distant targets such as the Soviet military research facility at Semipalatinsk, the crashed Soviet Tupolev-22 bomber, rogue CIA and KGB agents, and thousands of other targets by especially talented remote viewers.

These “shamanic spies” included Pat Price, Ingo Swann, Joe McMoneagle, Ken Bell, Mel Riley, Lyn Buchanan, Gary Langford, Keith Harary, and others who learned how to access their own visionary “zone” and explore the space-time “Matrix” or “ether.” (Swann and Price initially trained many of the remote viewers; Swann invented a multi-stage process for Coordinate Remote Viewing, CRV, that remote viewers used along with a less-structured process known as Extended Remote Viewing [ERV].)

The accuracy rate of especially gifted remote viewers like Pat Price (who died mysteriously in 1975) and Joe McMoneagle was assessed in test situations at up to 80%in a single series of tests. Several of these remote viewers received medals. McMoneagle was awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit, in part, for "producing crucial and vital intelligence unavailable from any other source." The remote viewers dazzled a select group of persons in the military and congress who tasked and funded them. The fact that remote viewers at SRI and Fort Meade had so many “satisfied clients” who returned again and again over the many years to obtain RV input is proof enough that remote viewing was and is a real human capacity. Indeed, Remote Viewing became a valuable form of intelligence-gathering—PSI-INT, as it was known, complementing the Pentagon’s other forms of intelligence such as SIGINT, COMINT, PHOTINT, ELINT, and HUMINT.

Because of scientism’s anti-psi campaign of ridicule and the concomitant “giggle factor,” most of the evidence for remote viewing has never been made available to the public, to congress or to the general scientific community. Because of this, “true disbelievers” such as Ray Hyman of CSICOP and certain skeptical persons in the military and intelligence community have been able to get away with dismissing remote viewing as bogus; and the mainstream media, not doing its investigative job, have likewise concluded that there is nothing to it. Certainly, remote viewing procedures were not always successful: some remote viewers, including the best ones from time to time, failed completely, especially on certain kinds of searches with which RV has never done well. But what about all the clearly successful cases? For skeptics to try to deny these astonishing “hits” is like saying that Michael Jordan [Kobe Bryant, et al.] is “not a real basketball player” but “bogus” because he misses 50% of his shots.

Fortunately, the full, true story of remote viewing’s validity and its successful applications is available from several sources. The peer-reviewed science periodical, Journal of Scientific Exploration, devoted its Spring 1996 issue to several articles revealing the effectiveness of remote viewing by such experts as Hal Puthoff (the respected electrical engineer who directed the RV program at SRI from 1972-1985); his longtime SRI colleague, Russell Targ; a later colleague Edwin May, director of a subsequent research program at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC); and Jessica Utts, a statistician from the Univ. of California at Davis.[2]

In a book, Remote Viewers (and Discovery channel television documentary), mainstream science writer Jim Schnabel candidly and carefully provided an historical account of the RV phenomenon and the main players from the early 1970s to 1995.[3] Schnabel himself, who was curious to undergo personal RV training under Swann in Spring of 1994 while writing his book, experienced the reality of remote viewing and later was able to convince his skeptical girlfriend of its effectiveness. He also reports the amusing tale of one hugely skeptical female employee from the CIA who came out to SRI, convinced in her prejudice that remote viewing must be fraud or delusion or both. She could not suspend her disbelief even upon directly monitoring some incidents showing RV’s efficacy. Imagine her surprise when, upon being “forced” into it by Puthoff, she found herself successfully remote-viewing distant targets just by letting her imagination come up with spontaneous impressions.

It turns out that almost everyone has the ability to accurately remote view, but this subliminal form of psi perception needs to be refined: one learns to isolate “signal” from “noise” and suspend the “analytical overlay” (“AOL”) coming from the rational mind that suppresses and/or severely distorts the information spontaneously generated.

Most of the remote viewers at SRI and Fort Meade became quite spiritually oriented, and many experienced visions of luminous spiritual guides, other civilizations, other dimensions, other worlds, UFOs and aliens, deep empathy with suffering humans and animals, and so on. In the words of Captain David Morehouse (formerly a Mormon), who joined the team at Fort Meade in 1988 and later incurred persecution and attempts on his and his family’s lives when he let it be known that he was going to expose the Army’s involvement with remote viewing,

“I could write volumes ... on what I’ve seen in the ether, as could countless other military-trained remote viewers. It was commonplace for us to have spiritual experiences. We knew and accepted the reality of those things just as easily as we did the existence of missile silos, or Soviet submarines, or cocaine shipments hidden in the bowels of freighters. Our sacrifices were made so that you could know, as surely as we do, that there is much more around us than our physical eyes can see. I can say with absolute confidence that the gift spoken of in this chronicle is a precious and wonderful tool that we have been fortunate enough to see in our lifetime. ... The gift can be transformed into a curse that will plague mankind rather than serve, protect, and advance it. This will be my fear so long as remote viewing remains a secret weapon of the Defense Department. The choice is ours. The secret is out: remote viewing exists, it works, it has been tested, proven, and used in intelligence for over two decades. The recent government admissions [in 1995] concerning the use of psychic warfare are crucial, irrefutable testimony ... The government of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth has admitted that it knows humans can transcend time and space to view distant persons, places, things, and events, and that information thus gathered can be brought back. I hope you comprehend the signficance of that information. ... It’s up to you, the people, not to let it slip back into secrecy for another twenty years.”[4]

Many of the remote viewers decry the use of RV merely for espionage purposes. And as Morehouse and others make clear, they have also condemned the military use around the world of a much less known technique called “remote influencing,” a form of psychokinesis (PK) or psychic action at a distance, for the purpose of harming people and equipment in other nations. These remote viewers feel that RV has tremendously positive potential applications in fields such as medicine, astronomy, police work, environmental protection, and so on.

With RV having already been tested and proven as often effective at SRI, SAIC, Fort Meade and elsewhere (some of the talented remote viewers are now affiliated with private consulting companies such as McMoneagle’s “Intuitive Intelligence Applications,” Lyn Buchanan’s “Problems Solutions Innovations [PSI],” and Ed Dames’ “Psi-Tech”), RV deserves to be brought fully into the scientific mainstream and further developed for benevolent purposes. And all of us, including the children in our schools, need to know that this is a very real aspect of our potential human experience. For too long, we have been cheated into thinking that it is not.

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Press Release:

Former Directors Dispute Conclusions of Government ESP Program Review by CIA

Stanford, CA, March 22, 1996 -- The current issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, an international peer-reviewed research journal, presents the most complete discussion to date of the 24-year long government-sponsored ESP programs at SRI and SAIC. In addition to the official reports on the program by Prof. Jessica Utts, (University of California, Davis) and Prof. Ray Hyman (Univ. of Oregon) the Journal is publishing the first in-depth discussions by former program directors Dr. H. E. Puthoff and Dr. Edwin May and by former SRI researcher Russell Targ.

Both Puthoff and Targ discuss, among other things, declassified aspects of the code-named Scanate efforts at SRI to psychically view top secret facilities in the former USSR and elsewhere. They present the first released drawings of the Semipalatinsk, USSR facility comparing the psychically-obtained sketches with satellite reconnaissance observations. This is now possible because in July 1995, 270 pages of SRI reports were declassified and released by the CIA, the first, but not the only, sponsor of such programs as Grill Flame, Center Lane, Sunstreak and Star Gate. Although various unclassified aspects of the early work led by Puthoff and Targ have drawn media attention for some time, the bulk of the funded research was carried out between 1986 and 1995, directed by May. Building on the Puthoff-Targ findings, rigorous new tests were developed by May's team to try to identify the relevant variables and explore their dependence on space and time. Contrary to the implications of some media accounts, these efforts concentrated on developing proper scientific controls and were in fact guided by a Scientific Oversight Committee which included a Nobel Laureate, a former Major General, and internationally known professors of statistics, psychology, neuroscience and astronomy. It is estimated that more than 80000 pages of program documents remain highly classified.

Much of the opposition of mainstream scientists to ESP phenomena of this sort traces to the perplexing lack of appropriate space and time behavior. Electromagnetic and gravitational forces diminish predictably with distance and, except in science fiction movies, never mysteriously propagate backwards in time. Taken at face value the ESP data suggest that information can be psychically accessed as easily across two continents as two doors down the hall. And apparent examples of bizarre time-shifting of perceptions abound.

One of the most curious results, reported by Targ, concerns a remote viewing by former Burbank police commissioner, Pat Price, in 1975. In one of the experiments Price described a target site, a swimming pool complex at Rinconada Park in Palo Alto, with "great accuracy." But he then went on to describe some non-existent water storage tanks at the psychically-viewed location. Targ discusses how 20 years later, in 1995 long after Price had died, he came across an Annual Report of the City of Palo Alto from 1913 that touted the "new municipal waterworks" built that year on the Rinconada park site. A photograph from 1913 shows two water tanks "just where Price had drawn them" 60 years later... long after they were gone! Skeptics would criticize this as "post hoc" interpretation, but numerous less dramatic examples of asynchronous perception suggest further study.

The retrospective reviews commissioned by the CIA in 1995 reached contrary conclusions. Jessica Utts, a professor of statistics at the University of California, Davis and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science states: "Using the standards applied to any other area of science, it is concluded that psychic functioning has been well established." This is disputed in the dissenting report by psychologist Ray Hyman, a professor at the University of Oregon. [Note from Timothy: Hyman is a member of CSICOP, assessed as a group of closed-minded "pseudo-skeptics" by Marcello Truzzi, a founding member of CSICOP and former editor of its first journal.] However Hyman does agree with Utts on what the next steps should be, which in the Utts report is a recommendation for further funded investigation.

Whether this recommendation stands any chance of being implemented in today's budget climate is problematic. May's overall assessment of his program's results is that photographic reconnaissance quality data were psychically obtained in approximately 15 percent of the operational remote viewings. While this would be more than sufficient to interest scientists, such a success rate appears to be too unpredictable to make the grade for continued intelligence funding.

Most of the operational data remain classified, and in his commentary on the reports May argues strongly that virtually all high quality data and testimony of key individuals were deliberately excluded from the unclassified review process. He makes the case that owing to political considerations the ground rules of the review were determined so as to produce an outcome that could be used to justify terminating the program. This would explain why the CIA chose to, in effect, disregard the conclusions drawn by Utts in its official briefing to Congress.


1 See Robert Jahn & Brenda Dunne, Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989.

2 See Harold Puthoff, “CIA-Initiated Remote Viewing Program at Stanford Research Institute”; Russell Targ, “Remote Viewing at Stanford Research Institute in the 1970s: A Memoir”; Edwin May, “The American Institutes for Research Review of the Department of Defense’s STAR GATE Program: A Commentary”; Jessica Utts, “An Assessment of the Evidence for Psychic Functioning”; and the skeptical Ray Hyman, “Evaluation of a Program on Anomalous Mental Phenomena”; Journal of Scientific Exploration, Spring 1996, Vol. 10, No. 1. Note that CSICOP skeptic Hyman never had access to many of the most convincing cases for remote viewing.

3 Jim Schnabel, Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America’s Psychic Spies, Dell, 1997. See also Paul H. Smith, Reading the Enemy's Mind: Inside Star Gate—America's Psychic Espionage Program, Forge, 2005. These are by far the most complete, unbiased, and interesting account of remote viewing at SRI and Fort Meade and elsewhere. See also J. Schnabel and Bill Eagles, The Real X-Files, a one-hour documentary for Channel Four TV (U.K.), an edited version of the same name shown in the U.S. on Discovery Channel, March 12, 1996. Earlier and more recent works on remote viewing and related topics include Hal Puthoff & Russell Targ, Mind Reach, NY: Delacorte, 1977; Russell Targ & Keith Harary, Mind Race: Understanding and Using Psychic Abilities, NY: Villard, 1984; Joe McMoneagle, Mind Trek, Norfolk, VA: Hampton Roads Press, 1993; Joe McMoneagle, The Stargate Chronicles: Memoirs of a Psychic Spy, Hampton Roads 2002; Courtney Brown, Remote Viewing: The Science & Theory of Nonphysical Perception, Farsight Press, 2005; etc.

4 David Morehouse, Psychic Warrior: Inside the CIA’s Stargate Program, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1996, p. 259.