A Brief History of Remote Viewing by David A. Morehouse, Ph.D.
If God held all truth concealed in his right hand and in his left hand the persistent striving for the truth… and should say, “Choose!” I should humbly bow before his left hand and say, “Father, give me striving. For pure truth is for thee alone.”
Let me begin by saying that throughout my studies in the various civilian and military universities I have attended, I have been witness to, and personally held, many academic and intellectual views on what the “truth” is in regards to many things. The author Felipe Fernandez-Armesto wrote, “truth, time and history are found in paintings and not in books [or essays] born of the recollections of others.” As I grow older, I have come to maintain that truth has been and always will be a matter of one’s perception, captured and held briefly in the moment, and then faded into memory. I teach a segment in Phase I of the Coordinate Remote Viewing class, on truth or reality, as it exists only in the moment, whereas all else in the future or the past is illusion; becoming increasing possibilities in time, increasing interpretations, increasing angles of reconstruction, increasing notions, and amalgams of ideas and emotions. Even when there is an alleged consensus of opinion or recollection of the past, it is really only interpretive data that is “agreed upon”. Recollection is not fact. In fact, it is only fiction… a creation born in the minds of those who agreed on a version to suit their own agenda… whatever that agenda may be.
For those interested in the “truth” of the latter, you can search the mathematical explanation for these notions, which are supported in the work of physicist and Nobel laureate, P. Dirac, Ph.D. Time drags truth into history but history itself does not care. Only those who attempt to record and recount it care; and they fall victim to their own perceptions and willing acceptance of what is−according to them. The truth about Remote Viewing is trapped between fundamentalists, who believe they have the only truth, and relativists, who refuse to pin it down.
So, what does all of this mean, and why this approach as a preface to a brief history of Remote Viewing? Simple. I want you to know that this is a version of the history. I want you to know that the history of Remote Viewing should be used to establish a degree of credibility for the art and science of it−and then let it go. The great reverence of the truth of Remote Viewing waits in the future of the human application of this great gift. Too much is wasted in the re-raking of the past, the reconstruction of how it was or how it could have been. Remote Viewing is the promise of what can be−of what is possible for humanity.
When we read history, we must understand that we are reading the account of one individual’s recollection of events narrated in such a way as to capture the consensual beliefs of others that “this version” of the events is simply as it really was. Therefore, I submit to the reader that truth cannot be viewed as an objective. Rather, it must be seen as a path. A path of understanding that the only way to know truth is to explore it in a world devoid of the interpretation and filters of others−learning Remote Viewing is one path that will bring about this awareness and ability.
Remote Viewing is not a new phenomenon; the ability has been ours since the beginning of time. The formulation and systemization of theological doctrine as set forth in ancient records present us with countless examples of humanity’s learned and inherent abilities to transcend the physical, to see in the mind’s eye people, places and events separate from their physical reality. From the ancient hieroglyphics carved into the walls of forgotten Egyptian tombs to the “Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean”, the Urantia Book, A Course in Miracles, the Old Testament, the Koran, the Kabbalah, the Talmud, and the New Testament−to name but a few−all give accounts of journeys out of the physical body, to night flights of soul, to projections of consciousness, et cetera. However, the most recent history began circa 1972 when the Central Intelligence Agency learned through various human intelligence sources that the Czechs, Chinese, Soviets, Germans, the Israelis and even the British, were all heavily involved in the study of various aspects of what we would call “the paranormal.”
These investigations were in many ways the spawn of very bizarre programs initiated by the Nazi’s during World War II. While exact details are a matter of historical debate, it is widely held that the Russians captured numerous documents and records held by Adolph Hitler’s infamous Nazi Occult Bureau, after the fall of the Third Reich. Other documents, partial and complete, became the property of various allied intelligence services who elected to study them further in the ensuing years or, in some cases, totally ignore their potential.
When the CIA learned of these studies, the obvious question was, ‘Do we have such a potential?’ At this juncture, the United States did not have such a capability, nor had they ever really considered it−until now. If all these other “agencies” are involved, then why are we not involved? It was clear that the principal intelligence agency for the United States needed to “catch up” to the intelligence collection efforts of the others−at least in this “alternative” method of gathering intelligence.
Late in 1972, CIA scientist Sidney Gottlieb, Chief of the Technical Services Division procured a rather large monetary endowment to initiate the research project that began it all. If the Soviets, and the others were as heavily involved in this research as was being reported then the National Security of the United States could be in jeopardy. Probably, the simple notion that this “eerie capability” might really be out there and the possibility that we could do it as well almost certainly drove the CIA’s decision process. You have to admit−it does pique one’s curiosity.
Stanford Research Institute International (SRI) in Palo Alto, California ultimately became the proving ground for what was to eventually be one of the intelligence services’ most controversial, misunderstood and often feared Special Access Programs. The two men initially charged with responsibility to oversee this testing and evaluation program were Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff, Ph.D.; both laser physicists working at SRI.
In my opinion, it is Targ and Puthoff who are the early heroes in all of this. These two men (with others) risked their professional reputations to test and evaluate the possibility that human beings can transcend space and time for the purpose of “viewing” persons, places and things, remote in space and time, and collect useable intelligence information on the same. Certainly, the vast majority of their colleagues would have loved it if this federally sponsored project had consumed its funding and six years of study only to conclude that there was nothing to it−that it was all worthless and the project should be abandoned. However, this was not the case. Instead, the answer was just the opposite, that there was something to this. This phenomenon was credible, it was measurable and definable, and trainable. It was certainly not one hundred percent accurate but, then again, neither was anything else in the intelligence collection assets. They all had their limitations. As long as one understood the limits of the technology, then the technology could be employed as another collector of information−another provider of ‘pieces’ of the jigsaw puzzle that was truth in the espionage game. In short, the CIA was handed a new intelligence collection methodology−psychic spies.
To digress briefly; a New York City artist, author and gifted natural psychic, Ingo Swann, became one of Dr. Puthoff’s first test subjects. According to Mr. Swann, he initially participated in a number of pioneering experiments performed under the auspices of the American Society for Psychical Research. Upon being recruited into the project, Mr. Swann worked with Dr. Hal Puthoff at SRI-International’s Radio Physics Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. It was here that Puthoff and Swann−and a number of others−conducted a series of ever-more sophisticated experiments, developing the protocol or structure they ultimately christened “Remote Viewing,” opting for this term over the much debated label of “Remote Sensing.”
According to Mr. Swann, he was tasked by the CIA to train ‘others’ in the art and science of Remote Viewing. Men who he claimed were bizarre in their manner and mechanistic and cold in their approach to learning Remote Viewing. In a sense, they were there for the training, and then they were gone, never to be seen or heard of again. I use this as one evidence that other Remote Viewing elements existed in the government intelligence agencies. I cannot accept in any way the notion that only one Remote Viewing program existed; this would go against all philosophies and practices within the military and government intelligence agencies to ‘never put all of your eggs in one basket.’ Who would spend tens of millions of dollars on a program that existed in one place and had only one life to live? I assure you, nobody in the intelligence community.
Recognizing the potential for controversy and public ridicule (if ever discovered), the CIA did what it has always done−distance itself in word and deed from the project. There is an old adage in ‘the community’ that I continually struggled with, ‘always keep someone between you and the potential problem.’ Therefore, the project(s) was handed off to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) under the program code name ‘Grill Flame.’ It is assumed that the other programs continued to thrive under the oversight and administration of other military services and intelligence agencies. However, the Army’s program, which was originally begun as a counter-intelligence effort, was allegedly doing so well that its mission was destined to morph into something else.
The original mission was to evaluate through ‘reverse engineering’ how vulnerable to ‘psychic spying’ U.S. intelligence agencies and their secrets were. This was done to such a degree of accuracy that Department of Defense and Army officials decided to change the emphasis from assessing friendly vulnerabilities to actively collecting intelligence information against America’s Cold War adversaries. Unfortunately, but expectedly, the Remote Viewers had their detractors among many generals, such as Major General Bill Odom and, later, Lieutenant General Harry Soyster, upper-level bureaucrats in the Department of Defense and the CIA, and politicians within the White House, Congress and the Senate.
Allegedly, by 1980 all of the Remote Viewing programs were suffering from a lack of popular support. The Army program lost all its funding, lacked any permanent home and was destined for extinction. Several sources within the intelligence community, third parties who either knew of the Remote Viewing programs or had some level of oversight relative to them, indicated to me that Remote Viewing was not the target−rather, it was the entire direction some elements of the intelligence services were taking. During this era, 1978-1980, the military was in pursuit of such things as ‘The Golden Sphere Concept’ (the quest for advanced human performance potentials), the Task Force Delta Concept Paper, the First Earth Battalion, and the Warrior Monk’s Vision sponsored by Lieutenant Colonel James B. Channon, Colonel Mike Malone and a host of others. Again, not to impugn the work of these men and others, it was simply becoming too far out on the fringe for the comfort of a large number of people. It could be said that the envelope was being pressed too far, too fast, especially for people who felt that careers could be lost over this kind of project. It didn’t really matter how you expressed it or explained it−this was the application of what the larger percentage of the military and civilian population would call, ‘the paranormal.’ As a sort of ‘knee jerk’ response to it all, many sought to squash anything that resembled unconventional approaches to leadership, tactics, strategy, intelligence collection and the like−Remote Viewing would become collateral damage in the quest to trim the fringe efforts.
Despite everyone’s sudden interest to burn witches, Major General Bert Stubblebine, Commander of the U. S. Army’s Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), took a personal and active interest in the program. INSCOM was a Washington D.C. based unit. At the time, it existed in an old building complex near the Headquarters for 3rd Army (The Ceremonial Old Guard), and eventually ended up in a new location at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In 1983, General Stubblebine directed that the Remote Viewing program be redesignated under a new code name, ‘Center Lane’, and be called the ‘INSCOM Center Lane Program.’ Under this umbrella, General Stubblebine could fund the program directly from INSCOM’s budget without the requirement to justify a budget from any outside agencies or through the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Army’s ranking intelligence officer. Funding the Remote Viewing project in this way also meant that other units and projects within INSCOM would have to pay the bill−not a good thing when funding is tight across the board in the military. Most commanders would willingly cut something as controversial as Remote Viewing in favor of having more to spend on other more overt and successful projects. This approach sewed seeds of despair throughout INSCOM, and of course met with opposition within his command at the subordinate level as well as with many of his colleagues and superiors.
I have to say that this man, General Stubblebine was another of the unsung heroes of this phenomenon. You see little of him now, and hear him even less. He is a man who trusted much, believed in human possibility and potential, and was willing to sacrifice himself to promote the notion that we are indeed more than the physical. Many who knew him before and after the service betrayed him in word and deed−an unforgivable tragedy. Had it not been for General Stubblebine, Remote Viewing may not have lived long enough for the rest of us to be writing, talking about, or teaching it at all.
Fortunately, the SRI team had developed a prototype ‘improved’ version of Remote Viewing known as “Coordinate Remote Viewing.” The term ‘Coordinate Remote Viewing’ derived from the early assignment of targeting ‘coordinates’ using latitude and longitude. As the Remote Viewers continued to develop ever increasingly accurate information about the targets, the scientists reevaluated the use of latitude and longitude, assuming the Viewer’s had memorized the globe and were to a degree using the latitude and longitude ‘coordinates’ to locate portions of the globe through memory. It was suspected that if they were indeed remembering a place on the face of the earth based solely on its physical location, then their descriptions of ‘perceived’ basic textures, colors, temperatures, dimensional aspects, et cetera of the target were not really due to Remote Viewing skills−they were simply working on memory. In reality, this was not the case but the scientists did what they were supposed to do−suspect and inspect everything in accordance with scientific protocols.
Most of us never practice science−we merely become compilers and communicators of it. Most in this genre of work like to call themselves parapsychologists and that is a grave mistake. In the quest for truth in Remote Viewing, there were no real parapsychologists as they are nothing more than individuals masquerading as scientists, alleging they can prove Remote Viewing, mind reading, telekinesis, psychogenesis and a host of other paranormal mysteries. Many reputable authors, scientists and certainly skeptics refer to parapsychologists as pseudo-scientists, meaning they espouse a system of methods and assumptions they erroneously regards as scientific. I am very pleased to say this was not the case at SRI. Had SRI and those scientists affiliated with the project not worked completely and thoroughly under the protocols of their field, the door for skeptical analysis would have been left wide open. It was the scientific procedure used to evaluate and develop this protocol of Remote Viewing that has kept it from the pseudo-skeptic wolves all these years.
A note on skeptics at this point, because I feel it is critical that the reader have a clear understanding of who is debunking this work and exactly what their ‘scientific’ background is or isn’t and what motivates their skepticism. I have been interviewed several hundred times on radio and probably fifty times on television all over the world. In about twenty percent of those interviews and appearances I’ve had the distinct pleasure of having a counter position representative from the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, (CSICOPs) or some other ‘skeptical’ committee. I agree with Dr. Raymond Moody’s description of these men, as he likens them to the hecklers of nightclub comedians−that is to say, what they really crave is not excellence in science, but more attention for themselves.
Most self-proclaimed skeptics are not skeptics at all. They are ideologists who think they have the answers. The ideology they espouse is known as scientism, the belief that the methods and assumptions of the natural sciences are the only ones appropriate for the pursuit of knowledge. Scientism is an open value judgment that other disciplines conform their techniques of investigation to those of the physical and biological sciences. These ‘skeptics’ are in fact not interested in science; rather, they are fueling some sort of social movement against the possibility and promise of humanity. Knowing what they espouse, consider this fact: that if it Remote Viewing cannot be explained by science (their science), then it cannot exist at all and it must be a hoax or, at best, wishful thinking and certainly a waste of taxpayers money.
Back to the history−after considering a number of options, the ‘coordinate system’ was revised to use the random assignment of numbers to represent the ‘concept’ (or thought form) of the target; hence, the term Coordinate Remote Viewing. For the reader to learn more about what all of this means, you will really need to take a course in Remote Viewing as this theory is a large segment of the lecture, and is well outside the scope of this essay.
Around the time of Center Lane’s debut, the Army and SRI signed a training contract which led to five military and Department of Defense (DOD) civilian personnel being trained in the new Remote Viewing technique at SRI facilities. In 1986, INSCOM transferred the unit to DIA, under the Directorate of Science and technology and changed its code name to “Sun Streak.” Early in the 1990s, it went through yet another code name change−this time to “Star Gate,” the name by which it became known to world when the program was declassified in 1995.
During its lifetime, the Remote Viewing unit collected intelligence against a broad range of targets: strategic missile forces, political leaders−theirs and ours, counter narcotics operations, research and development facilities, hostage situations, military weapons systems, secret installations, technology developments, terrorist groups; the list was staggering and the successes were many−as were the failures. Failures, yes, sometimes with limited useable results, yes. Nevertheless, consider what we are talking about. We are talking about a military Remote Viewer sitting alone or with a monitor and entering an altered state of consciousness. In this condition, the Viewer copies a set of randomly assigned numbers (the coordinates), that represent the ‘concept of the target in the mind of the collective unconscious. Then, using the protocols of the process, the Viewer begins detecting and decoding relevant visual and verbal sensory data pertaining to the target and does this with an accuracy level averaging thirty to thirty-five percent−from absolutely nothing. Even on a bad day, this innate ability within each of us is nothing but spectacular!
In 1995, Congress directed that the CIA take back responsibility for the program from DIA, DS-T. This was principally due to the fact that Psychic Warrior: Inside the CIA’s Star Gate Program was being printed by St. Martin’s Press despite the efforts of the agency and former members of the unit to stop the publication. The CIA was concerned; a book is considered durable media and will be around for a long time. Even though this was not the first book on Remote Viewing, it was the first book written by a psychic spy who was linking Remote Viewing to the military and to the CIA and that was cause for concern. The CIA knew it was going to be spread all over the media−even more than it was already being spread.
Historically, when there is controversy in the wind, the agency exercises its right to opt out at the most opportune moment. When this option fails, usually due to a timing error−then the only thing to do is tell your version of the story first. What followed was an extremely well executed media blitz which included Ted Koppel, Larry King and a variety of major new papers across the country and in Europe. What Americans should be asking themselves at this point is, “Why would the CIA make a decision to tell the people of the world about this program? What purpose did it serve? Were they suddenly afraid that the autobiographical Psychic Warrior was going to steer you in the wrong direction? Did they feel that they needed to make sure you knew the truth, first, from them?” Let the reader be the judge.
Later that year, under the cover of being an “objective” study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a reputable Washington DC think tank, the CIA commissioned the services of one of the most well-known ‘scientific skeptics’ in the country. The final report was designed to skew the assessment of the accuracy and usability of intelligence from the Remote Viewing program to such a degree that the “program”, after twenty plus years of use, would be deemed as “totally useless” as an intelligence collection resource.
In mid-1995, the program was cancelled and two weeks before Psychic Warrior hit the bookshelves the program was disbanded and the buildings were bulldozed and hauled away. Coincidence? I don’t think so, the impact of a writer’s work often exceeds his intention. However, the CIA did conveniently keep for itself all the personnel spaces that were transferred from DIA, DS-T, which is additional evidence to fuel the suspicion that the program lives on in all of its original service variations. As I said early in this history, the intelligence community does not place all of its eggs in one basket. The CIA would never have left an entire collection methodology open to the potential destruction of one rogue who might write a book about it. Rather, they would keep the technology safe via a standard process of compartmentalization. If one cell is compromised, then all others would merely go deeper black. The government will never abandon Remote Viewing−it proved far too valuable for the money it cost. What they will do, is make sure that they never make the mistake again of letting such a controversial and potentially far reaching technology rise to the surface. They will watch it more closely and watch who they train to do it.
Therein ends the history−assuming that if you read this far, you really needed one. What is truly significant here is that you move past all of this and discover what Remote Viewing is now and what it can be in the future. As I said to you in the beginning, there are many variations of this story and there always will be. I’m reminded of Kant’s intuition and scientific reliance on the senses he called ‘Gestalt theory’ or isomorphism. This theory prompted him to maintain that, ‘Truth is whatever makes you live your life better. Only the truth which edifies is truth.’ Remote Viewing is truth! It is an empowering art and science that will open the possibilities within you, creating doorways to levels of understanding never thought attainable. Accept the possibility that you are more than the physical! Learn to transcend space and time and view persons places and things remote in space and time! And know you are more than the physical! When people stop believing in something, they do not believe in nothing; they believe in everything−never stop believing in you. Seek truth, find knowledge−and, through the art and science of Remote Viewing, become wisdom.