from IRVALibrary Website
Sometimes those stories seemed plausible, but sometimes they conflicted, while other times they seemed inflated or contrived. As with any event in modern times, the best evidence for this amazing saga would have been the documents that recorded what really happened, what really was done, and who really was responsible for things that occurred.
Unfortunately, those documents were
missing – and they were missing because what is known in government
circles as the “proponent agency,” the government entity that is
responsible, never got around to making them available.
That meant that much of the scientific
progress surrounding remote viewing that was made was not available
to be used. That meant unraveling the various versions of the remote
viewing story was indefinitely on hold. That meant that the many
lessons-learned from laboratory and practical experimentation with
remote viewing would not be available to build upon. Many folks
would be left to re-inventing the wheel. It was a crying shame.
For well over a year these same documents had been available on a limited basis, but you had to go bodily to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, sit at a CD-Rom carrel, wait while the CDs were loaded for you, then page through the [15,200] documents one at a time, printing off copies of those you wanted to take with you. It was laborious and maddening... and a crap shoot.
The documents were numbered, not titled, there was no comprehensive index, no subject-matter nor chronological organization to help you know where to look or what you might find there. Soon after the Star Gate corpus was installed in the National Archives, CIA remote viewing program founder Dr. Hal Puthoff tried it out, spending the better part of a day and coming away with relatively little (though he did have lunch with Joe McMoneagle).
A U.S. News & World Report
journalist went to the Archives and ended up with a hodge-podge of
documents of which she couldn’t make heads nor tales. In January,
2003 she faxed me a one-inch stack of them and we had to go through
them together over the phone while I explained what each was and
where it fit into the overall picture.
Among these are some of the legendary ones you’ve heard of before: for example, Joe McMoneagle’s famous sessions against Building 402, where the world’s largest submarine, the Typhoon, was being secretly built by the Soviets.
Also here is the long series of sessions done against America’s Stealth aircraft before its existence was revealed to the public.
The purpose of this remote viewing effort was to evaluate what danger Russian remote viewers might pose the secret project. It turned out to be considerable. I also found dozens of sessions on the Iranian hostage problem, remote viewings from the project done after the raid on Col. Qaddafy’s Libyan palace, sessions seeking to locate POWs in Southeast Asia, a project trying to unlock the secrets of a Soviet rocket explosion over Scandinavia, and many more.
Altogether there is extensive
documentation for scores of real-world remote viewing intelligence
There are also hundreds more remote viewing training sessions,
including many done by such lights as Mel Riley, Joe
McMoneagle, Bill Ray,
Lyn Buchanan, Gabrielle
Ed Dames, and even a large sheaf of
my own. I took time to look at some of these training sessions, and
found it quite enlightening to see how virtually everyone, no matter
how their reputations may have eventually grown, struggled in the
beginning trying to get a leg up on this notably flighty discipline
we call remote viewing.
There was an attempt to see if viewers
could predict events during Liberty Week 1986. Some of these
produced interesting, though far from perfect results. For Search,
there were projects involving dowsing for an agent’s location in a
nearby area, and there were attempts to modify remote viewing beacon
experiments as a search tool.
Those concerned with remote viewing
cover everything from documenting protocols and methods, to how one
evaluates remote viewing sessions, to how to screen a population for
remote viewing talent, to training methods, to hypnosis (see the
Taskings&Response feature in this issue of Aperture) and much
One interesting find, for example, was a
370-page compilation of research on the Chinese practice known as
But it is only here that many of the more sensationalistic claims made since RV “went public” can be proved or disproved. There are those who don’t want the history delved into because it will show that the claims they’ve been making over the past decade may not necessarily be as firmly grounded as they would like us to believe.
But, jumbled though it may be, here
that history is for anyone with enough patient and detective skills
to sift through it. Besides, as happened to me, it can be quite
entertaining to be roaming through these Archives and then suddenly
stumble across letters and memos written by CIA scientists
and officials talking back and forth about what exactly they had
gotten themselves into and just what they might be able to do with
Not only were [20,000] pages of documents withheld entirely, but many parts of the ones that were released have been “redacted” – or edited (or, if you want to be picky, censored). It is annoying to be paging through an interesting document only to discover that two crucial pages out of the middle are missing, with the “next two pages exempt” label heading a blank page with a horizontal slash through it.
Elsewhere, all the pages are there but phrases, sentences, or sometimes even whole paragraphs may be blanked out. By far it is persons’ names that are most often hidden, but there are plenty of other redactions as well. Fortunately, most of the session transcripts themselves tend to be intact (though often geographic coordinates are blocked). But more frustrating is that many of the operational targets for those sessions are not revealed.
What good is a session transcript if you don’t know what
the target is?
One often wonders, though, when some of the documents
with the best evaluations of success for the remote viewing effort
are themselves edited of the very information that tells the reader
how and why the work was so successful.
One might almost think there was still a
conspiracy afoot to undermine the credibility of the remote viewing
program by the Agency that was responsible for terminating it.
Significantly, the program continued for five years beyond that
fateful meeting. Apparently the examples, while now unavailable to
us, did at the time at least persuade the generals and admirals and
their representatives who make up the Board.
With some occasional exceptions,
feedback is included with these session transcripts, or is located
in nearby files. As I mentioned above, these sessions also are very
instructive, though for obvious reasons not always of the same
quality as the operational work. Still there are many brilliant
stand-outs among these sessions as well. And it helps that one can
evaluate success more easily since the targeting information is for
the most part readily available.
In fact, Graff and his program were directly responsible for keeping the SRI-International remote viewing research effort going after the CIA abandoned it the first time. But there is nothing to show for it, at least as far as I’ve been able to discover. There is also little in evidence from Graff’s and Dr. Jack Vorona’s offices at the Defense Intelligence Agency’s main facility in Washington, DC. A lot of high-level coordination with Congress and with important agencies in the intelligence community took place there, and yet the paper trail does not seem to be present in the Archives.
Yet more disappointing yet is the
absence of any of the raw data (remote viewing transcripts and
such), and most of the background documentation that should have
accompanied the research work at SRI and at
SAIC. Mostly what is
present in the Archives from those important remote viewing venues
is draft and final reports of the research that was done, plus a
volume of correspondence from the early days. There is much more of
importance that has not, therefore, yet seen the light of day.
With any luck, much of the missing documentation will be found in there.
However, given how long it took this
current batch to come forth, I don’t plan on holding my breath.