Featured Writer Series - Mike Jamieson

We are pleased to announce the third in a series of articles by Mike Jamieson, the well known researcher and former MUFON state section director for Napa County in California.
Mike is a valued member of the REALITY uncovered forums and this article is the second part of his enthralling "History of Remote Viewing" feature.

Part 1 - Adoption of the term "Remote Viewing"
Part 2 - The CIA Gets Hip To A New Intelligence Tool
Part 3 - All You Really Need Is An Address

A History of Remote Viewing

10th May 2008

The focus for the first few months of SRI's initial 8 month long study for the CIA was on PK effects, but with minimal success (and a lack of consistency) in the results, SRI experimentation refocused on the potentials of RV for use by their current client. It was not clear at first how remote viewing, in the way they had been experimenting with it, would be of use to any intelligence agencies. The most typical way they had been practicing it was to send "outbounder" teams to a site which the viewer would then focus on (via the presence of the team). The group at SRI was mulling this over with only a short time left on the initial CIA contract (May '73 to Aug. '73, with the contract having begun in January). A visitor to SRI, Jacques Vallee, suggested a simple solution: "All you really need is an address."

Swann in turn suggested the use of geographic coordinates, something Puthoff and Targ thought didn't make sense due to the fact that coordinates were artificial and abstract representations. But, preliminary experiements were satisfactory enough and the CIA itself offered coordinates to a wooded area in the hills of West Virginia. So far as the CIA person offering the coordinates knew, there was only a vacation cabin at the site.

Ingo Swann and another man named Pat Price were tasked with remote viewing this location. (Price had recently heard about the project and, feeling he had a psychic aptitude, volunteered for experiments.) Both Swann and Price described a partially underground military like facility not far from the cabin! (Confirmed in followup visits and consultations.) Not only were the descriptions of the site (again, unknown even to the provider of the coordinates) accurate, but the CIA's project manager for the SRI contract, Dr. Ken Kress, noted: "Pat Price, who had no military or intelligence background, provided a list of project titles associated with current and past activities including one of extreme sensitivity. Also, the code-name of the site was provided. Other information concerning the physical layout of the site was accurate." [pages 72-73, Ken Kress, "Parapsychology in Intelligence: A Personal Review and Conclusions", STUDIES IN INTELLIGENCE, Washington, DC, CIA, Winter 1977.]

Other double-blind coordinates were tasked for the remote viewers before the CIA contract ended in August 1973 and since the results were good overall, CIA support for this research at SRI continued until 1975.
Ingo Swann would take a year long break from this study, but in addition to Pat Price, others would become involved: Hella Hammid (professional photographer), Duane Elgin (SRI employee), Gary Langford and Keith Harary.

Pat Price's participation in RV efforts changed directions when he began working with the CIA directly, in the months just prior to his unexpected death in Las Vegas in July 1975. Not long after Price died (an event about which some people have questions), the CIA dropped out of the RV business. Being under fire in Congressional hearings over past questionable practices, they were reluctant to hold onto what might be controversial. Also very important: there was strong disagreement within the CIA over using remote viewing. Many there felt it was neither real nor potentially useful. Paul Smith reports in his book Reading The Enemies' Mind ("chronicling America's psychic espionage program") that "even though a few in-house CIA employees had shown some success with remote viewing, and Price himself was now working exclusively for the agency and coming up with results corroborated by other intelligence information the CIA had already obtained, this ongoing debate contributed to the termination of CIA involvement after Price's sudden death in July 1975" [p.76, paperback edition]

A year before he died, Pat Price was still working for SRI, though, and that's when he was given the task of remote viewing a research and development facility in the old Soviet Union (near Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan). After receiving the coordinates (on July 19, 1974), Price reported his impressions of that location from the several remote viewing sessions he did over the following two weeks. Some of his descriptions were confirmed by satellite imagery: a large gantry crane that rode on rails and that passed over a 2-3 story building and the presence of gas cylinders. But not confirmed for another few years were 60 foot diameter steel spheres that Price described being assembled.

The story of this particular remote viewing impressed many in the intelligence community, but by July 1975 many others there felt that the fact Price produced a lot of bad data and otherwise descriptions that could be neither evaluated or confirmed made RV useless as an intelligence tool. For example, this was the conclusion of the officers at the CIA's Office of Research and Development when the CIA's involvement with RV ended in 1975.

The SRI team spent its last stretch of time under CIA contract partially examining the nature of RV phenomena (and seeing what factors enhanced successful use). But, they more importantly focused on remote viewing's potential uses. For example, a series of double blind experiments, with 12 remote viewers targeting 7 pieces of instruments and machinery, yielded some very detailed and accurate sketches.

At this stage, Paul Smith reports in history that some key conclusions and observations had been made by those involved in the SRI study. He also notes that at this point "it was also just two years into the program, and many lessons about tasking, analysis, and reporting of remote viewing data were yet to be learned." [p.68, paperback edition]. So far as some of the understandings acquired from the study, Smith summarizes some, like these key points: (1) concrete descriptions more accurate than labeling and analysis; (2) using several remote viewers for a single task improved quality of the final data; (3) anybody could be taught RV; and, RV improves with practice.

Some of what's next:

Though the CIA ended its involvement with RV in the summer of 1975, later in the year SRI's research effort would be sustained by funding from the Air Force Foreign Technology Division at Wright Patterson. This came about through the interest of a civilian employee there, Dale Graff.

Then, two years later an Army Lt. ("Skip" Atwater) begins forming an Army RV program at the direction of Army Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Edmund Thompson.

The DIA assumes control of the program.

Early 1980s, the remote viewing procedure is structured and training CRV to government remote viewers begins.

The Remote Viewing process (as commonly taught).

Questions, controversies, debates.

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