What is Remote Viewing?
Remote viewing (RV) is a skill by which a person (a "viewer") can perceive objects, persons, or events at a location removed from him or her by either space or time. In other words, one does not actually have to be there, nor does one need any so-called "physical" connections, such as television, telephone, etc., to gain information about the target. RV exploits and improves upon what is more commonly called "psychic" ability (an overused word that has accrued unfortunate connotations), and works whether the target is in the next room or on the other side of the planet. Neither time nor any known type of shielding can prevent a properly-trained remote viewer from gaining access to the desired target.
What Remote Viewing is Not
Remote viewing is not "being psychic" in the way commonly understood by the media and many practitioners of "paranormal" arts—though thanks to recent incomplete or inaccurate reports many have been led to believe otherwise. Remote viewers are not the typical "clairvoyants," "fortune tellers," or "psychics" we often hear about on TV or read about in the papers. Many of these more traditional psychics often do have amazing talents and abilities, but there is a qualitative difference between the average "natural" psychic, and a properly-trained remote viewer.
Do you have to be "gifted" to learn RV?
One of the wonderful things about RV is that virtually anyone can learn to do it. Much like studying the piano or art, nearly all of us have the capability to acquire the techniques and put them into practice. There are those who might not believe this. You often hear people say they can't learn to play the piano or even to "draw a straight line"—or to remote view—because they don't have "the talent." But what really gets in the way is almost always merely a simple a lack of time, motivation, or energy to devote to learning the principles and then practicing them enough to become proficient.
The bottom line is that, unless there is some sort of physical or mental handicap that prevents it, almost anyone can learn to play piano at least competently, can learn to draw aesthetically, and can learn to remote view reasonably effectively. It just takes desire, time, the right teacher, and the belief that it is at least possible.
How well does it work?
Lately, we've heard two extreme claims about remote viewing. One says that it doesn't work. The other says it works all the time. The truth is really in between—although closer to the positive end of the scale. After long practice, experienced viewers can access a target nearly one hundred percent of the time. This does not mean their data is 100% accurate, nor does it necessarily mean they get all the data they were looking for. All it means is that they retrieve information indicating that they were "there." However, these experienced viewers regularly obtain extremely accurate, often error-free information from the target.
Even novice viewers may surprise themselves at the accuracy of some of their sessions. Though we anticipate beginners will perform less consistently than those who are more accomplished, we also expect them to frequently turn out commendable results.
A Brief Time Line of Remote Viewing HistoryThis is only a brief chronology of events in remote viewing history. Many more details could be added, and many more names included. But this will serve as a starting place to record the major events and some of the important personalities in relation to one another. Certainly, important events and personalities remain to be added. This chronology will become more complete over time. If you wish to nominate an event to be considered for addition to the timeline please forward it to timeline.
Readers should be aware that there are two parallel remote viewing timelines: the operational, military-run program at Ft. Meade, Maryland, and the civilian-led, military-funded research program in California. External civilian research and applications were also taking place. In the chronology below, the operational and military lines are intermingled with a few references to the RV-related activities in the civilian sector.
|Sept 1971||Ingo Swann begins PK research with Cleve Backster |
|Nov 1971||Swann participates in PK experiments in Gertrude Schmeidler's lab; also participates in OBE experiments. |
|8 Dec 1971 ||First remote viewing experiment (describing weather in Tucson, AZ from ASPR offices in NYC). Term "Remote Viewing" is adopted. |
|22 Feb 1972 ||First beacon experiments (also conducted at ASPR) |
|March 1972 ||Cleve Backster shows Swann a letter from Dr. Hal Puthoff at Stanford Research Institute. Swann and Puthoff communicate. |
|6 June 1972 ||Swann/Puthoff magnetometer / quark-detector equipment experiment in physics building at Stanford University. |
|27 June 1972 ||Puthoff communicates with Kit Green, Central Intelligence Agency, concerning the magnetometer experiment results. |
|Aug 1972 ||Under Puthoff's supervision, CIA representatives conduct first evaluation trials with Swann. Russell Targ visits Puthoff at SRI. |
|1 Oct 1972 ||CIA awards SRI $50K exploratory contract. |
|Sept 1972 ||Russell Targ joins the RV program at SRI. |
|Summer 1973 ||Pat Price and Ingo Swann remote view NSA's Sugar Grove facility in West Virginia. |
|July 1974 ||Pat Price's operational remote viewing of a facility near Semipalatinsk in USSR conducted. |
|18 Oct 1974 ||Russell Targ and Hall Puthoff publish article on remote viewing research in Nature. |
|July 1975 ||CIA terminates involvement in and funding of remote viewing. |
|Later in 1975 ||Air Force Foreign Technology Division becomes the primary funder of SRI research program, with Dale Graff supervising. |
|March 1976 ||Puthoff & Targ publish a major article about remote viewing in Proceedings of IEEE. |
|1976 ||Dr. Edwin May joins RV program at SRI International. |
|1977 ||The book Mind Reach (Targ & Puthoff) is published. |
|June 1977 ||Founding of Mobius Group; Project Deepquest - a submarine RV experiment is jointly conducted by SRI International / Stephan Schwartz. |
|Sept 1977 ||US Army's remote viewing program GONDOLA WISH is extablished by Lt. F. Holmes "Skip" Atwater at the direction of the Army Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Edmund Thompson. |
|13 July 1978 ||GONDOLA WISH name is changed to GRILL FLAME. |
|Oct 1978 ||US Army's INSCOM is tasked by the ACSI with developing a parapsychology program. |
|Dec 78 - Jan 79 ||Selection of remote viewers for GRILL FLAME. Mel Riley, Joe McMoneagle, Ken Bell, and three others are included. |
|4 Sept 1979 ||First Army-conducted operational remote viewing session performed. |
|March 1979 ||Remote viewers working with Dale Graff at Wright-Patterson AFB and at SRI correctly locate downed Soviet TU-22 recce aircraft. |
|1979-81 ||Stephan Schwartz conducts Alexandria Project, a remote viewing archaeology project in Egypt. His book Alexandria Project is subsequently published. |
|ca. 1980 ||Air Force Chief of Staff cancels AF RV program; Dale Graff joins Defense Intelligence Agency as principal staff officer for remote viewing effort. |
|1981-82 ||Puthoff and Swann develop coordinate remote viewing (CRV) architecture. |
|1982 ||Russell Targ leaves SRI International's RV program. Mel Riley departs Ft. Meade's operational RV unit. |
|1982 ||With Swann as instructor, two individuals (Tom McNear and Rob Cowart) begin first CRV training. |
|Dec 1982 ||US Army's RV project's name is changed to CENTER LANE. |
|1983 ||Charlene Cavanaugh joins military RV unit in August; Paul H. Smith joins in September. |
|Jan 1984 ||Bill Ray joins military RV unit; second group of CRV candidates begins training (group includes Smith, Ray, Charlene Chavanaugh; Ed Dames is last minute addition to training contract while remaining assigned to his sponsoring unit). |
|1984 ||The book Mind Race (Targ & Keith Harary) is published. |
|Apr 1984 ||Lyn Buchanan joins the Ft. Meade RV unit. |
|Sept 1984 ||Joe McMoneagle retires from the Ft. Meade RV unit. |
|July 1984 ||Brig. Gen Harry Soyster replaces Maj. Gen. Bert Stubblebine as Commander, INSCOM. Orders close of Army's CENTER LANE RV program. Soyster eventually persuaded to allow transfer of program & personnel to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). |
|1985 ||Dr. Hal Puthoff leaves SRI International to take directorship of Institute of Advanced Studies in Austin, TX. Dr. Edwin May becomes director of SRI's program. |
|1985-86 ||Caravel Project, an underwater archaeology project conducted by Stephan Schwartz. |
|31 Jan 1986 ||After a year of holding operational control, DIA takes formal control of the military operational RV program, and renames it SUN STREAK. Ed Dames joins RV unit. |
|1986 ||Mel Riley is once more assigned to the Ft. Meade RV unit. |
|1987 ||Brig Leander Project, an underwater archaeology project conducted by Stephan Schwartz. |
|Dec 1987 ||F. Holmes "Skip" Atwater departs the Ft. Meade RV unit on retirement leave. |
|June 1988 ||David Morehouse is assigned to the Ft. Meade RV unit. |
|Dec 1988 ||Ed Dames departs the Ft. Meade RV unit. |
|June 1990 ||David Morehouse departs, and Mel Riley retires from the Ft. Meade RV unit. |
|Aug 1990 ||Paul Smith is reassigned from the Ft. Meade RV unit to the 101st Airborne Division for Desert Shield / Desert Storm. |
|Late 1990 ||Dale Graff becomes chief of the Ft. Meade RV unit, and changes project name to STAR GATE. |
|1991 ||Edwin May moves RV research program from SRI International to Science Applications International Corporation. |
|Jan 1992 ||Lyn Buchanan retires from the Ft. Meade RV unit. |
|1993 ||The book Mind Trek (McMoneagle) is published. |
|June 1993 ||Dale Graff retires. |
|1994 ||Wording added to Federal Y95 budget transferring control of STAR GATE from DIA to CIA. |
|1995 ||CIA begins Congressionally directed evaluation of RV as an intelligence tool. American Institutes of Research is hired to do a "scientific" study; in the report officially published in September the AIR concludes that RV has no value as an intelligence tool. Significant questions are raised about the completeness and accuracy of the AIR study. |
|30 June 1995 ||CIA cancels STAR GATE program. The five remaining personnel are reassigned to other jobs in the government. |
|28 Nov 1995 ||Ted Koppel's Nightline reveals existence of government remote viewing effort. Interviewed are former CIA director Robert Gates, Dale Graff, Edwin May, Joe McMoneagle, etc. |
|1996 ||Remote Viewing is featured in many media articles and broadcasts, and becomes a featured item on Art Bell's and other talk shows. |
|Nov 1996 ||The book Psychic Warrior (Morehouse) is published. |
|Feb 1997 ||The book Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America's Psychic Spies (Schnabel) is published. |
|18 March 1999 ||The International Remote Viewing Association is formed. |
|19-20 March 1999 ||First remote viewing conference: CRV Conference hosted by Lyn Buchanan's training company, P>S>I. |
Featured speakers: Russell Targ, John Alexander..
|19-20 May 2000 ||Year 2000 Remote Viewing Conference in Mesquite, NV. |
Featured speakers: Charles T. Tart, Jessica Utts, Larry Dossey, Marcello Truzzi..
|Jun 2001 ||First IRVA sponsored remote viewing conference. Held at Texas, Station Las Vegas, NV. |
Featured speakers: Edgar Mitchell, Dean Radin, Jeffrey Mishlove.
|June 2002 ||IRVA remote viewing conference in Austin, TX, celebrating 30 years of remote viewing.|
Featured speakers: Ingo Swann, Hal Puthoff, Dale Graff, Cleve Backster.