Remote viewing (RV) is the ability to
see things with the mind's eye that are blocked from normal sight by
Because of impeccable, scientific experiments conducted in the late
1970's - performed occasionally by the very skeptics that sought to
disprove them - remote viewing has been established as a viable human
There were plenty of hindrances to promoting psychic research when these
experiments were initially conducted.
For one, the physical scientists, in general, were skeptical of the
ability to empirically prove soft science (e.g., psychology) theorems,
let alone those of a paranormal nature that had no scientific backing
Also, there was then, as now, a cultural distrust of any skill that
was perceived to be outside the proverbial box, tagged "normal."
Because of those types of methodological and social prejudices, few
scientists at that time were willing to be associated with paranormal
This often left the burden of proof on the psychic or the extremist,
willing to carry the torch well beyond the limits of actual verification
into a magic realm where psychic gifts were bestowed on the chosen few.
Historically, the supernatural charging of ones psychic powers, on the
one hand, and the opposition to legitimizing real human phenomena, on
the other, has caused both sides to resist looking at normal psychic
abilities such as remote viewing with both discernment and open speculation.
If open-minded observation of psychic phenomena were to happen more
frequently and those on both sides were willing let down their cherished
defenses, the resulting transformation of human consciousness might
expand human thinking well beyond its present limits.
Experiments that diverge from the authoritarian, subject/researcher
format, allow an alliance between the two sides that further a deeper
understanding and sharing of how a person uses their psychic abilities.
Conducting boring, repetitious experiments has a negative effect on
a person's remote viewing accuracy.
Although a person can certainly describe what they are seeing, remote
viewing is better communicated by art rather than language, and is understood
to depend more on the functioning of the right, or imaging, hemisphere
of the brain.
Remote viewing is not dependent on linear time, i.e., a person can see
targets into the future that are later chosen by "chance."
In general, the remote viewing of someone's mind is dependent on the
targeted person being open to having her thoughts "viewed."
Thanks to innovative experiments, these kinds of facts about the mental
foundation and workings of remote viewing were discovered, and the fiction
that surrounded it has less of a hold on our thoughts today.
Russell Targ and Harold (Hal) Puthoff's remote viewing research began
on May 29, 1973 at the then Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Menlo
Park, California. The first subject (and sometime co-researcher) was
an artist and psychic by the name of Ingo Swann.
The project was dubbed SCANATE. In the beginning, Swann was given nothing
but geographical coordinates of latitude and longitude, and asked to
describe the intersected geographical area.
His narratives and drawings of landmarks, waterways, mountains, roadways,
buildings, trees etc were so accurate that they spurred further scientific
investigation into this newly re-discovered human, psychic potential.
Two days later, on June 1, 1973, the amazing psychic - as well as ex-police
commissioner and vice-mayor of Burbank, California - Pat Price was added
to the team as a remote viewing research subject.
Pat's descriptions of places were so accurate and so detailed with respect
to the elements and patterns he mentally perceived at a distance that
they boggled even the sensibilities of researchers that had already
accepted the validity of the process, based on earlier experimentation.
Everyone has the innate, psychic potential to practice remote viewing.
This assertion is based on hundreds of remote viewing experiments conducted
on over twenty experienced and inexperienced research subjects.
Not only are we all equipped by nature to practice remote viewing should
we desire to develop the ability, but the more difficult the challenge,
the greater are the odds of accuracy. The early RV experiments were
designed as increasingly difficult for this reason.
They were also set up as double-blind experiments (neither the subject
nor person conducting the experiment were privy to the target location
until after the viewing) to protect from suspicion of fraud or parlor-trick
In one such experimental model, a subject was secluded with the experimenter
while a target location was chosen at random and a target team of independent
judges, watching each other for any signs of trickery, drove to and
then observed the target site for the prescribed 15 minutes.
The isolated subject, still being observed by the experimenter, was
given 30 minutes to record and draw his RV impressions. Later, the subject
and researcher would visit the site to compare the remote viewer's impressions
with the actual location.
As a final safeguard, the victory or defeat of the experiment was determined
by a researcher not directly associated with the experiment in any other
capacity except to make the final judgment call as to the viewer's accuracy.
To further Obfuscate results and protect against manipulating outcomes,
a series of experiments were performed in a row, and the unlabeled results
were given to one of the more doubting of the researchers to verify
against the targets, listing all the results at each location from most
descriptive to least descriptive.
This the researcher did alone without any of the experimental team present.
The correct matches were then measured against chance expectation. Often
these trials measured much higher than chance and were considered to
be outstanding remote viewing experiments.
They were later published in a well-know journal of that time, Proceedings
of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
At the same time, researchers in the USSR were developing the theory
that ESP occurs within the relationship between low-frequency ranges
of electromagnetic fields and the mind's filtering and dissemination
The nine experiments, using Patrick Price as the remote viewing subject
were of the double-blind variety described above. They were amazingly
accurate - a combined 35,000:1 odds! - and were published in Nature,
a British journal of science.
During these experiments, researchers noticed that while Price was able
to describe physical locations down to the detail, even correctly naming
some structures, he was less correct in describing the function of certain
Over time, this same mental behavior was observed in other RV research
subjects at SRI. This led the team to believe that there are specific
mental behaviors that occur during remote viewing.
According to Price, who, unlike Swann, was not a proclaimed psychic,
remote viewing was nothing to get excited about and required no special
tools or occult gifts while he practiced it.
His philosophy could be stated as the idea that anyone who believes
she can do it has the main tool to begin remote viewing in earnest.
Once, while flying over the SRI grounds, Price was directed to RV an
illustration drawn by a man below.
Price drew correctly a moon and stars, but added a cross-like figure
not included in the picture. This turned out to be the cross the man
was wearing inside the shirt where the picture lay in his pocket!
No one could actually see the cross until the man pulled it out of his
shirt later, but Price picked it up during the remote viewing experiment.
In another RV experiment with Price, he correctly describes colors of
flowers, clothing that a particular target team member was wearing,
and a dirt pathway that is lined by trees.
As he describes these scenes, the experimenter, having no knowledge
of the target location, asks general questions of clarification such
as what the periphery surrounding the location looks like.
This type of questioning seemed to help Price to get a better picture
of what he was seeing, feeling, hearing, and sensing. At one point,
Price states that he feels, not sees, something moist and that he hears
It would appear that his senses were fully engaged during remote viewing.
On the other hand, although Price described a place with lots of flowers,
he never mentioned anything about their scent.
In the twenty SRI experiments performed by the end of 1973 with Ingo
Swann and Patrick Price, it was scientifically proven that they observed
places, people and things that distance, alone, would have kept from
their "normal" perceptions.
It had become evident that certain laws governed RV. If these were not
physical laws - as yet, there were none to be found - then mental and
other characteristics of perceivers themselves needed to be studied.
An experiment was devised in which individuals whose psychic abilities
had been proven in paranormal research and beginners to the process
were put in two subject groups. Two groups of three with respect to
demographics such as age and interests were formed.
The number of research subjects was kept small to allow time and resources
for very stringent physical and psychological testing - such as astronauts
would endure! - and follow-up. The medical tests were performed at Stanford
University Medical Center and at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic.
The main criteria for the learners were that they be smart and affable.
The group consisted of two mathematicians from SRI and a photographer
friend of Russell Targ, Hella Hammid. Hella's RV capabilities proved
to be exceptionally high and were comparable to Price's.
In setting the stage for a relaxed transition into the new territory
of remote viewing, - prior to actual experimentation - Hella was allowed
feedback to her target responses via walkie-talkie. She accurately described
the target scene in her very first trial RV experiment.
This phenomenon, sometimes commonly referred to as beginner's luck,
is known as first-time effect by the scientific research community.
Several trials later, her outcomes were still looking good.
The actual experiments with Hella, modeling the nine Patrick Price RV
experiments were ready to begin. There were only two changes to the
protocol of the original nine experiments.
One, it had been proven in the experiments with Price that covering
the research area in copper shielding did not diminish RV accuracy,
so that technique was not used. Two, since researchers had noticed during
the trials that subjects began to tire when left to RV for 30 minutes,
the time was cut to 15 minutes for the actual experiments.
Several salient factors of remote viewing came out of these nine RV
experiments with Hella. The first and most obvious is that beginners
at paranormal research can be as skilled at exhibiting RV capabilities
as the more seasoned subjects.
Also, basing their observations on Hella's responses as well as those
of Ingo Swann and Pat Price in the previous 20 experiments, experimenters
noted that all subjects were more accurate when drawing their impressions
than when verbalizing them.
Although Hella was obviously as skilled a remote viewer as Price, they
each exhibited a difference in approach that resulted in different result
patterns. Pat had more first-place hits due to his penchant for full
description, but this over analyzing also caused him to miss two targets
Being more guarded in her descriptions, Hella never missed a target
completely, in that she never ranked below a second place hit, but got
fewer first place hits than Pat. These preferences were not measured
as differences in degree, but rather showed that remote viewers exhibit
diversity in style.
The third veteran with proven ESP abilities to be included in the Swann
and Price subject group was Duane Elgin, an SRI research analyst. Duane's
psychic forte was the ability to foresee future, cultural evolutionary
He attributed his success as a paranormal research subject to his unique,
intuitive ability to be aware of faint changes in his "body-awareness."
The experiments with Duane and the remaining two in the learner group
were cut to four sessions each due to time constraints.
Ingo's were also cut to four. Duane's and Ingo's eight remote viewings
were then compared to the two, remaining learners' eight experiments.
Duane had one first place hit and three in second place.
In the first experiment, and his only first place, Duane correctly viewed
Russell feeling a "metal plate" in a transit station at the
exact time that Russell placed his hand on the item - a metal map affixed
to the wall.
Three minutes later, Duane saw a complete change in the target team's
circumstances, and at the exact time he noted this, they had boarded
a train and were leaving the station.
In another experiment with Duane, his verbal description was wrong,
but his drawing of the target site was correct. And he was not alone
in exhibiting this dichotomy between pictured and spoken target descriptions.
As mentioned above, most correct RV observations are descriptions of
a spatial/characteristic nature rather than an analytical/functional
one. The total assessment for Elgin and Swann's eight tests ranked at
odds of 2,500:1.
The last of this set of experiments - four each - were with learners
Marshall Pease and Patricia Cole, both SRI mathematicians. There were
two first-place hits and two second place, but they still ranked at
odds of only 12.5:1.
Patricia exhibited another "first-time effect" with a direct
hit on her first experiment. In another experiment, her miss on interpretation,
but hit with her pictured representation suggested once again that remote
viewing is in large part a skill that utilizes specialized brain activity.
After the above series of experiments, remote viewing subjects were
chosen at random and even did demonstrations for visiting government
This eventually evolved into using the doubting officials themselves
as research subjects to show first-hand that remote viewing was indeed
legitimate. These early visitors performed remote viewing amazingly
They and others that followed never failed to do at least one remote
viewing demonstration that was successful both from a scientific and
a personal point of view.
By 1974 research teams elsewhere were beginning to study remote viewing.
RV success notwithstanding, research funds remained an ongoing problem.
As luck would have it, the team got word of the unusual, some would
say psychic, beginnings of Richard Bach's then wildly popular book Jonathan
Livingston Seagull, and Bach was called on a hunch that he would be
interested in the RV project and would donate toward the research.
When Richard arrived a year or so later at SRI, he was invited to be
a remote viewing subject.
As Richard tentatively began his narrative of the target site - never
believing for one minute that what was in his mind was the actual location!
- Russell began to gently prod and ask questions to get him to expand
on what his RV faculties were picking up (remember Russell did not know
the location either and was merely helping Richard to elucidate on what
When Russell recognized that Richard was using analyzing statements
- proven by previous research at SRI to be misleading and incorrect
- he asked him to merely describe the characteristics of what he saw.
This lead him back on the right path as later proven by visiting the
target location and comparing Richard's transcript to it. Remote viewing
was such a success for Richard that he did indeed back the research
as a believing patron.
The next series of experiments were labeled the technology series and
involved short-range viewing.
In these experiments, the researchers were looking for as much descriptive
features as the subjects could provide about the closer range, intricate
target equipment at SRI.
They used five subjects and conducted twelve experiments. Targets were
used more than once to see if there were any common characteristics
between subjects' descriptions.
During 15 minute sessions, remote viewers were asked to both describe
and draw the target equipment while the target researcher used it. Seven
pieces of equipment were used and chosen at random so that three were
used twice and one was used three times as a target.
In general, the drawings were more accurate than the verbal transcripts
and multiple viewing of a target proved to lend more detailed results
than when a single person did the viewing. The results were 28:1 odds,
which were considered to be significant.
As experimentation continued, it became apparent that the difference
between the experienced and learner type of subject was one of reliability.
Those who were more seasoned in psychic research were less likely to
show irregular results, but in general both types showed positive RV
Some of the results from learners were actually of the highest quality
and right on target. This phenomenon led the SRI team to conclude that
remote viewing is an innate and dispersed perceptual skill.
Furthermore, since these experiments were of the highest double-blind
quality and no selective reporting occurred when publishing original
and unedited data, conclusions about the inherent quality of remote
viewing were considered valid and replicable.
Whether an experienced psychic or a learner, each remote viewer had
his/her own way of experiencing and expressing remote viewing phenomena.
In compiling data, the research team's consultant, Dr. Arthur Hastings,
noted these differences.
They were much the same as the differences between individuals describing
any observable scene: some notice minute detail, some focus on overall
patterns and the way light and dark create contrasts, others "view"
through the senses such as tactile and auditory experience of a place,
while others are good at discerning the relationships among individuals.
Based on these experiments, the main differences between RV and normal
viewing, besides the obvious, are that during remote viewing, things
can be viewed that would be inaccessible to persons merely observing
a scene with the normal, five senses; objects in motion are frequently
not seen at all; and because of the non-analytical nature of the process,
remote viewing appears to be - in general, but not exclusively - a right-brain
A person learns remote viewing through practice much the same he learns
to read and write, play the piano or roller skate. Without practice,
mastery of any skill is most likely not going to occur. Below are six
guidelines for developing mastery of one's remote viewing skills:
1. Do a personal inventory about your own beliefs concerning psychic
phenomena, in general, and remote viewing, in particular.
Do you believe in paranormal phenomena, and more specifically do you
allow yourself the ability to practice it, including remote viewing?
If the answer is no, ferret out the reason(s) for this, and then suspend
disbelief for the time being, trusting that you can practice remote
Keep in mind that the experimentation at SRI scientifically proved that
remote viewing skills did occur in varying degrees in all subjects tested
- both experienced psychics and beginners with no known psychic abilities.
So expect success!
2. Now partner with a friend to practice your remote viewing skills.
Once that person has chosen a target location and you have both decided
on the time of day or night for the remote viewing to occur, you are
ready to begin.
At the chosen time, the friend merely observes what she is seeing at
the target location for 15 minutes and you record what you perceive
remotely about the same location for 15 minutes.
It is not necessary for the person at the target location to attempt
to send you information telepathically.
3. Just prior to the agreed upon remote viewing time, it is best for
you to retire to a quiet room, where there is minimal sensory stimulation,
and simply relax your mind for a minute or so - no fancy rituals, just
quiet and relaxation.
4. Next, at the prescribed time, either to yourself or to another friend
who, like you, doesn't know the target location, start describing the
distinguishing features of the remote scene as you observe them.
The friend with you can ask questions about what you are remotely viewing
to help you flesh out the scene - colors, contours, sounds, etc.
Do not put names on or attribute functions to what you are viewing,
but rather keep your descriptions to simple observations and feelings
for greater success in the beginning.
5. Whether or not you consider yourself to be an artist, sketching the
different features of the target scene as quickly as they come into
your mind often catches nuances that are either missed or mistakenly
6. It is best for you to observe the targeted location in person as
soon after the remote viewing as possible, while the images are still
prominent in your mind.
This quick evaluation of your descriptive hits and misses will help
you to be more accurate in subsequent remote viewing trials.
The next paranormal research that was conducted had to do with remote
viewing targets that had not yet been chosen randomly.
These were spurred on by a couple of Russell's precognitive, or seeing
into the future, dreams at the time.
Hella Hammid was invited back as the subject, based on her success as
a "beginner" in previous remote viewing experiments.
As other causality experiments within the field of physics had shown,
linear time - as moving in a past to present to future fashion - seemed
to be an observable fact, but not necessarily a scientific law.
Fact or law notwithstanding, the precognitive, remote viewing experiments
so challenged the existing time-continuum paradigm that existed outside
of physics that the researchers were hesitant to publish their findings!
The precognitive, remote viewing experiments with Hella, followed the
same research protocol as the previous experiments except for the fact
that she was instructed to begin her 15-minute observation of the target
area 20 minutes prior to it being chosen.
This meant that Hella gave her full description of the target location
35 minutes before the experimenter even arrived at the target!
Hella was anxious about the new experiment and wondered how she was
going to see outbound experimenters in a place they hadn't yet chosen.
Russ helped her to relax by telling her that the researcher that was
to choose the target location would have to choose at random a place
that ultimately matched her description when they were compared later.
The burden would be his, not hers. Hella's fears put to rest, the experiments
were wildly successful.
During each of these precognitive remote viewing experiments, the traveling
experimenter began by driving continuously for 30 minutes.
Then, still driving, he used a Texas Instruments SR-51 random number
generator to select a number from 0 to 9. The generated number was used
to count down and select one of the ten envelops he held - each with
different instructions for a targeted area in them.
After choosing the randomly chosen envelop, the experimenter headed
- for the next 15 minutes - to the location, according to the directions
contained within the envelop, and remained there, stationary for the
first time, for another 15 minutes.
Since moving targets have not generally been observed during remote
viewing, the experimenter always remained in motion until arriving at
the target site to keep the subject from observing him at various locations
along the way.
Meanwhile, the subject's remote viewing session (complete with tape
recording and drawing) was completed five minutes prior to the target
location selection process.
Hella limited her descriptions to what she observed, trying to not analyze
data during her four precognitive RV experiments. Each of the four was
judged to be a success. In one, she correctly described a landscaped
area with a double-colonnaded wall that led to it.
In another she identified a black iron triangle that made a squeaking
sound over and over. This was a black swing set that indeed did squeak!
The judging of each experiment was done by three scientists at SRI,
not associated with the experiment other than to determine correctness
of the unedited tapes and drawings describing the future locations.
The odds of the combined experiments averaged at better than 20:1.
In order to fully understand the skill of remote viewing, it is necessary
to understand the functions of the right and left hemispheres of the
Since the beginning of recorded history, human beings have been seeking
to discover the true nature of mind and how it operates.
Over time, branches of science developed to help in this quest. Neurophysiology,
or the area of science that is concerned primarily with the study of
the brain, is one such development.
Neurophysiologists in the nineteenth century observed that the brain
is split into two halves. These halves are known today as the left and
During the early years of neurological investigation, it was noted when
studying a group of right-handed individuals whose left side of the
brain was damaged, that the ability to communicate through speech and
rational thought processes was impeded.
This was not observed when there was damage to the right side of the
brain; thus, it was thought that the right hemisphere was of little
It was only during the 1960's and '70's that right brain research caught
up with that of the left, and the importance of both hemispheres to
whole brain functioning was just beginning to be understood.
We now know that the left hemisphere is the center of language and analysis
and that the right hemisphere is the center of intuition and recognition
of patterns in the world at large.
The left relates to logic and linear reasoning. The right relates to
whole systems such as direct insight, or the intuiting of solutions
that bypasses step by step reasoning. The left proceeds sequentially
The right covers vast ground in space. The left stores memory in form
of language. The right stores memory as images. Because of this, art
is associated with right brain functioning.
According to ancient Eastern philosophy, the cosmos functions in much
the same way as the different hemispheres of the brain, but instead
of left and right, these two modes of being are known as the Yang (logic,
linear, goal-oriented) and Yin (Intuition, holistic, passive).
The West has traditionally revered the Yang mode of being and the East,
Yin. Both are needed for balance, as are the right and left hemispheres
of the brain.
While both hemispheres of the brain are now understood to be important
to the full functioning of consciousness, due to the reverence of the
Scientific Method in the West (e.g., logic and sequential reasoning),
the right is still more obscure.
Given the above right/left brain information, it would appear that remote
viewing is more closely tied to right brain functioning.
Also, one might build the case for ESP being more of a right brain activity,
as it involves one's intuition reaching out in space rather than deducing
something sequentially over time.
Therefore, one can see that typical PSI tests that are sequential in
nature, such as the Card Draw, trick the brain into thinking with the
left hemisphere when ESP is better suited to Intuition.
This is known as forced-choice, as opposed to free-response testing.
The ideal remote viewing subject should be able to access both sides
of the brain to a certain extent - relative to the tests being performed.
The important thing in most successful remote viewing trials is not
to test one's ESP per se, but to allow the subject to express his innate
RV skills during varied, free-response, and non-repetitive (i.e., boring)
Prior to the SRI remote viewing experiments, during a conference on
psychic healing in 1972, Russell discovered the psychic Uri Geller,
then famous for his ability to psychically bend and move metal objects.
Experiments were devised at SRI to test this strange ability. The thick,
metal objects to be bent were enclosed in a bell jar to avoid physical
One month later, Uri was at the institute to begin testing after driving
a speeding car around Palo Alto while blindfolded as a testimonial of
his abilities for the research team that was to work with him in the
Immediately, he took the experiments out of the team's control and began
manipulating objects, adding new ones and the like.
True, objects appeared to bend by mental means alone. But was it magic,
illusion or experimentation?
No one knew. Uri was a take-charge, albeit likeable, kind of guy, and
experimentation took on a circus like quality.
Still, he was 100% correct at telepathically guessing what object was
brought in by the researchers' cameraman each day - when he chose to
do so, and would decline to guess 20% if the time.
No tests with the elusive Uri were conducted under strict, experimental
conditions, so all were considered inconclusive at best until the team
had the bright idea to put him in an isolation chamber at SRI.
He was given only pencil and paper to remotely record drawings that
were made by researchers in another building on the grounds. No one
outside of the researcher doing the drawing was permitted in the target
Silence was maintained in both the target area and Uri's isolated chamber.
An experimenter watched the door to the chamber at all times during
A picture was then chosen by sticking a card at random in a college
dictionary, and the first item that could be drawn from column one on
the right-hand page was chosen by two members of the research team.
These RV experiments were successful at a statistical rate of 1,000,000:1!
While fascinating, experiments like the one with Uri Geller were not
new. In 1930, a little known book by the author Upton Sinclair was published.
It was entitled Mental Radio.
In it are over one hundred pictures of remote viewing experiments that
were performed by Sinclair and others with his psychic wife, Mary.
Mary explains many of the ways she remotely perceived the drawings that
coincide with the SRI findings, such as being unsure of the function
of a particular item, while being able to drawn the pattern.
Interestingly, Albert Einstein was an observer in some of the experiments
and wrote a preface to the book. The book has gone relatively unnoticed
to this day, mainly because it does not fit in nicely with the current
scientific paradigm of the physical universe.
Why are there still those that are opposed to the kind of legitimate,
paranormal investigation, conducted within strict, scientific protocol,
as performed at SRI? Particularly, when a large percentage of the population
at large believes in paranormal phenomena?
For instance, 67% of the 1500 readers - many in fields related to science
and technology - responding to a survey in a 1973 issue of New Science
magazine, indicated a personal belief or, at the very least, the possibility
that ESP is a viable human skill. 88% thought that ESP was worthy of
So, why have there been so many roadblocks to such investigation?
One of the reasons, according to one vociferous critic of ESP research
of the day, C.E.M. Hansel, was that experiments could not be protected
against fraud 100% of the time.
True, but that could also be applied most other scientific investigation,
The deeper reason was his belief, and the belief of those like him,
that psychic phenomena simply do not exist.
Also, no scientific speculation had been offered to challenge such thinking
or to calculate new outcomes based on previous research.
Although positive and controlled, paranormal experimentation had been
ongoing for over 100 years by the time the current experiments were
conducted; it would seem that it was ahead of the overall, scientific
community's support of it.
The good news is that many physicists are now supporting paranormal
research, based on quantum theory and on-going PSI experimentation.
Patterns are emerging that not only support further research, but theorems
to support and predict outcomes. Two such hypotheses are:
Kogan of the USSR and Persinger of Canada
have formulated the theory that RV information is transmitted by extremely
low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves due, in part, to the extreme
distances it can be conducted and the fact that shielding doesn't affect
Bell's Theorem of the interconnectedness
of all things - that within the Holoarchy of the cosmos, things distant
from one another are not totally self-governing and do affect one another
Since there is a gap between the creation of new ideas on the cutting
edge and a culture's acceptance of them, the opposition to psychical
research is not yet dead, but is weakening on most fronts.
Be that as it may Russell and Hal had their share of problems in dealing
with the opponents to the RV experiments described above.
One opponent and reporter for New Science, Joe Hanlon, came ostensibly
to observe only the Geller research (SRI was not ready to publish its
findings at that time), and then distorted it in an unofficial article
printed in a popular, British scientific periodical of the day, New
Russell and Hal replied in an angry editorial, stating that Hanlon had
deliberately distorted the facts.
Many such stories of deception and bending of the truth surrounding
paranormal experimentation began to appear as editorials from other
Brandon O'Regan, Research Director for the Institute of Noetic Sciences,
went so far as to point out multiple errors in the article, and although
his letter was never published, the Hanlon article did cause the magazine
much embarrassment in the long run.
Another extremist in the opposition camp, was Martin Gardner. Gardner,
an author, as well as on the staff of Scientific American, actually
harassed SRI researchers with several letters denigrating Hall and Russ'
He ended this tirade with a final letter to the President of SRI, urging
him to rethink his priorities and give up paranormal research at the
Mr. Gardner was obviously bent on blocking ESP research, even though
he himself called such unfounded opposition in his own book, In the
Name of Science, "…irrational prejudice on the part of American
psychologists…against even the possibility of extrasensory mental power."
He went on to further note that this irrational prejudice was one that
he himself shared! What was disconcerting is that anyone who cared could
write a negative review on the research being conducted at SRI without
actually giving a scientific review of the actual facts.
It did appear that many members of the opposition were projecting their
own propensity to replace scientific data with emotion-based belief
systems onto the SRI research team!
Unfortunately, every time this happens in a public arena such as the
magazines in which erroneous reports are published, more barriers are
erected against the recognition of innate skills that when understood
and used properly, can be part of an individual's self actualization
Far from being insignificant, the sharing of personal stories of ESP
is important in moving the current belief system from that of skepticism
to that of common belief.
It has been proven in the SRI laboratory that believing in one's own
ability to remotely view target locations is an important factor in
exhibiting the skill.
From there one can launch into other areas of mind projection, including
actual interaction with remote physical systems, and the more lucid
out of body experiences (OOBE) in which the person being visited feels
the presence of the astral visitor.
In one such personal vignette, recounted in the late nineteenth century,
a traveler on a ship going from Liverpool to New York was visited in
his cabin by his wife - 1000 miles away in America - during a "dream"
in which she kissed him. He was amazed to find that the person in the
berth above him saw this scene also.
Yet, the witness to this scene was fully awake! The wife's question
to her husband upon their reunion a week later was, "Did you receive
a visit from me a week ago Tuesday?" She then proceeded to describe
both the stateroom and the person in the upper berth who had stared
at her - both correct!
Even though the above story is subjective, there has been research that
has definitively proven that the presence of the astral traveler can
be felt by other people as well as by animals. In one such experiment,
a cat's activity levels were measured during the astral presence and
absence of its owner.
The odds were significant at 100:1 that each time the owner remotely
visited his pet, the pet's activity levels would significantly decrease.
As these types of remote visitations continue to be recounted without
fear, we begin to notice the abundance of such stories in both literature
and everyday life.
While the experiences cannot be delivered as hard, scientific data,
they are plentiful, and have been collected as anecdotal stories of
the paranormal at SRI.
Furthermore, they have been related by intelligent, coherent, and otherwise
average people, leading to the belief that these experiences are much
more frequent than otherwise thought.
The need for survival during life-threatening situations most often
triggers spontaneous incidences of the paranormal. This is usually accompanied
by increased strength and courage.
A government scientist visiting SRI told a story along this line that
had happened while his son was a helicopter mechanic in Vietnam during
The night his son was shot down behind enemy lines, the man's wife sat
up in bed in terror, knowing exactly what had happened. The scientist
calmed his wife by reminding her that their son was a mechanic and never
The matter seemed to be settled. But when the son returned, it turned
out that he had been invited on a mission by his friends, and that they
had indeed been shot down behind enemy lines just as his mother had
Fortunately, they were able to walk back to safety. Since it was against
regulations for him to be on the helicopter that night, those involved
never told anyone the story!
Russ tells the humorous story of the family cat that began wetting on
the rug instead of outdoors as was her custom. Nothing the family tried
worked. Eventually, she was one day from being sent to the Humane Society.
Russ' wife, Joan, looked at the cat on the fateful Humane Society morning
and wished with all her heart that she could tell the cat what she needed
to do to stay with the family, but knew that this was impossible.
But later in the morning, the jubilant Targ children found their cat
miraculously urinating in the toilet, and she never wet in the house
ESP can be useful in a variety of ways. Some use it in the conducting
of business in the form of a hunch or actual precognition. Medical diagnosis
is a perfect place for paranormal intuition.
In her book, Breakthrough to Creativity, Dr. Shafica Karagulla
gives many examples of the intuitive skills similar to that which the
psychic Edgar Cayce employed in his medical readings.
Dr. Karagulla conducts ESP research in California, and has dubbed those
with expanded psychic abilities as "supersane." The exploration
of outer space, and even communication with extraterrestrials might
prove to be another remote viewing arena of the future.
Unofficial tests, conducted at SRI with Ingo Swann and the psychic Harold
Sherman, in which both remotely viewed Jupiter prior to Pioneer 10's
flight, have provided promising - if not scientific (at present the
target locations can not be visited for verification) - data.
There is nothing new about paranormal abilities. They appear to have
been with us since the beginning of time. In the ancient past, these
qualities were revered and respected.
Later, hierarchical religious structures began to show hostility to
the expression of such individualistic power. Eventually mechanistic
fashioning of the universe became the primary paradigm in the West.
At that point, paranormal abilities no longer held a place of honor,
and they became downright threatening to the new world view.
The good news today is that religion and science have developed over
time and each has come closer to including both the seen and unseen
forces at work in the universe.
Perhaps once again the exploration and use of our paranormal abilities
might be used to aid in the advancement of the human race - as well
as other species - on earth and beyond.
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