Statement by Ingo Swann
on Remote Viewing
1 December 1995
I refer to:
- CIA Public Affairs Bureau release of a
concerning Remote Viewing dated 6 September 1995 (click
to read it)
- The ABC TV Nightline show of 28 November 1995 (hosted by
Since these two events, I have been besieged by many telephone
calls and requests for interviews. I have decided that the most
efficient way to respond is to prepare this general statement
which addresses the basic issues of the involvement of the intelligence/military
communities with remote viewing.
A good place to begin this statement is to unequivocally state
that nothing being reported in this latest 1995 flap is new news.
Media coverage was quite extensive during the 1970s decade regarding
Jack Anderson's syndicated columns usually had the scoop, but
all the news services picked up the lead a day or two later. These
include the Associated Press (AP) and the Washington Post, etc.,
who are claiming new discovery, but which venerable institutions
apparently haven't bothered to check their own archives of published
materials. Several competent books were also published during
the 1970s and early 1980s. I, however, maintain a nearly complete
archive of all published materials I am referring to here.
Hardly anything I've seen or read in the media during the last
two weeks is new news, and all of it has been reported on before,
including the fact that several intelligence agencies were involved
in so-called "psychic research." The present media,
therefore, are re-sensationalizing (i.e. re-hashing) old news,
probably for the novelty of hype or the benefit of ratings and
There is one difference, though. This regards the "spin"
being loaded into today's media frenzy. This spin is different
from the more factual one of the 1970s. To understand it requires
a little background data.
Between 1969 and 1971, American intelligence sources began discovering
and confirming that the Soviet Union was deeply engaged in so-called
"psychic research." By 1970, it was discovered that
the Soviets were spending approximately 60 million rubles per
year on it, and over 300 million by 1975.
However, the Soviets were not conducting research into what the
West means by "psychic research." The term for their
general concept of the research was "psychotronics."
This was a Soviet neologism, and English has no near equivalent.
So reporters glibly assumed that psychotronics and psychic stuff
amounted to the same thing.
A clarification is, therefore, necessary. The nearest English
equivalent is "mind (psycho) energy applications (-tronics),"
with emphasis on "applications."
The new English equivalent became "psychoenergetics,"
but which term does not convey "applications." "Applied psychoenergetics" would be more accurate.
The amount of money and personnel involved in the Soviet psychotronics
clearly confirmed that they were serious about it and had already
achieved breakthroughs which justified the increases in expenditures
and tightest security.
American intelligence analysts were appalled and embarrassed that
the Soviets (KGB and GRU), were involved in topics considered
in the USA as speculative, controversial, and fringy. But they
were alarmed at the prospect that the Soviets would "get
ahead." And so the phrase "the psychic warfare gap"
came into existence.
The intelligence community was well aware that "psychotronics"
meant an "applied" something, something psychically
aggressive with real applications, something threatening to the
well-being and security of the American nation.
In response to this, and with Congressional approval to do so,
the intelligence community then involved itself with researching
this threat -- the threat analysis of Soviet-applied psychotronics.
It is, after all, the established and expected duty of the intelligence
community to examine and research all threats to the security
of the nation.
This is to say that the intelligence community did not conduct
psychic research and go out on a limb just for the hell of it.
In fact, that community never did psychic research. What it did
was to assess the threat of the Soviet efforts.
This is not just splitting hairs. There is a very big difference.
All media reports of the 1970s correctly identified the purpose
of this threat analysis, albeit with a good deal of joking and
At the time, this threat analysis was perfectly justified, completely
necessary, and unquestionably required in behalf of the well-being
of the nation.
All personnel involved with this situation considered that they
were working on behalf of the nation and its security -- and future
discoveries regarding invasive penetration by psychoenergetic
means -- clearly confirmed the reality of the threat. Even most
of the 1970s media concluded that the work was necessary, even
if it was funny and ridiculous according to Western anti-psychic
The most authoritative and publicly available Western book on
psi warfare was by Martin Ebon, published as
Threat or Illusion? (1983). Documents still classified tell
an even more threatening tale.
The present 1995 media versions of this effort have slid out
of this particular important focus which made the effort understandable
in the 1970s. The 1995 focus has detached from the cold war and
exclusively hypes the sensationalistic aspects.
This largely hype-deliberate change of focus is not only just
trivializing. It is disgusting -- and cruel to all those past
workers who did that strange work to defend the nation and its
security. Hardly any of those past workers can come forward with
the cold war facts because they are patriotic and still bound
by their security oaths.
On the Nightline TV show of 28 November 1995, Mr. Robert Gates,
former director of the CIA, estimated that the intelligence community
had invested about $20 million over the sixteen-year period during
which the threat was under examination.
Well. During the mid-1970s, the government paid a manufacturer
about $65 each for hammers which could be bought in a hardware
store for $2.95. The Pentagon invested $60 million for new toilet
seat designs, none of which worked better than the ones you and
A great deal was learned for those $20 million, and our nation
received a lot back for the buck spent.
And this knowledge, although somewhat on the shelf now, will
soon come in handy, again.
Several quite respectable sources have informed me that two major
nations are making advances in psychoenergetics applications,
one of which is remote viewing. It is also being alleged that
a third smaller nation, with well known and advertised hatred
of the American Way of Life, is also making progress.
I believe those sources, because I know that liberated Russia
sold for big bucks the Soviet psychic secrets three times over
in order to acquire needed foreign exchange monies.
- Remote viewing was researched in response to the fact that
the Soviet Union was engaged in large scale research into psychotronic
applications phenomena. The national security implications of
failure to match a technological breakthrough by the Soviets
is obvious. In this respect, the remote viewing research was
a product of the Cold War, and is analogous to myriad other projects.
- Initial research was carried out at the very prestigious
Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Certain psychically-gifted
individuals were able to describe distant locations, often with
- With this fact established, the military/intelligence community
approved further funding. Research continued, but the main effort
soon switched to development (applications), based on two key
findings. First, remote viewing ability is latent in nearly all
humans. Second, it is possible to teach ordinary people to perform
- Groups of students recruited form the ranks of the funding
client agencies were trained at SRI. Their mission was to gather
data, using remote viewing, regarding targets of special interest
to the client agencies. Usually, these were targets inside the
Soviet Union that had resisted the standard intelligence gathering
- The 15% accuracy cited in recent public statements on behalf
of the CIA is the baseline which ordinary non-gifted and untrained
persons often do achieve. This figure was identified very early
in the SRI research phase. The minimum accuracy needed by the
clients was 65%. In the later stages of the development (training)
part of the effort, this accuracy level was achieved and often
- Throughout the period of my personal involvement (1972-1988),
oversight and monitoring teams from the client agencies were
in constant attendance. These teams consisted of multi-discipline
scientific professionals, some being leaders of their disciplines,
and drawn from just about every scientific field. Over the years,
representatives of these teams were rotated, with replacements
- During the sixteen-year time span involved, approximately
500 representatives of these oversight teams identified flaws
and strengths in the effort. With this intense scrutiny, the
program continued to be approved, tested, and ultimately utilized
by testing various kinds of experimental and real-time applications.
Thus, it seems at variance with the oversight committees' facts
that the CIA suggests that remote viewing was "unpromising."
But, as is well known, there are various levels to all games.
- Per the definition used by the client military and intelligence
agencies, and as I identified it at SRI, developed (or trained)
remote viewing is a highly-specialized technique. However, the
term has been adopted unfairly and incorrectly to include almost
any sort of psychic endeavor. This clouds the public mind as
to what remote viewing really is.
- The key players in the development, training and use of remote
viewing remain under the strictest security constraints. They
can't talk, but I, at least, honor them for their commitment
to the welfare of the Nation even if within a controversial area.
Similarly, the documentation supporting the real story is archived
under top security wraps.
So, there you have it. Detach the topic of remote viewing from
the threat analysis regarding nations who have motives against
our own -- and yes! you can have a media circus, and spin doctors
can gain pseudo-points and amuse and entertain the gullible public.
However, remote viewers did help find SCUD missiles, did help
find secret biological and chemical warfare projects, did locate
tunnels and extensive underground facilities and identify their
purposes. Not all of the time, of course, and sometimes imperfectly
From the top of our system on down, there are many who could
stand up and be counted regarding the efficiency of developed
remote viewing, and even regarding superior natural psychics.
It has been circulated in the intelligence community that successful
remote viewing sessions probably saved the nation a billion-plus
dollars in what otherwise would have been wasted, or misdirected,
activities. Not a bad payback for the $20 million.
Why do they not stand up and be counted? For the most part, they
are afraid of being taken apart in the press, afraid of being
ridiculed for doing their duty in an area of threat analysis which
was completely justified. This fear is not their fault. It is
the fault of our unthinking and irresponsible popular culture.
I now direct your attention to "successful remote viewing,"
and ask you to wonder if it can exist. Begin by considering psychics
who successfully help the police. Add to that success some quite
good remote viewing training. Then consider that what is a bit
possible in natural psychics might be understood, developed, and
Now assume that a "little-bit-psychic" can become a
"whole-lot-psychic" -- and you come up with the "eight
Those of you who witnessed the Nightline TV show of 28 November
1995, will recall an individual said to be from the CIA, but identified
only by the name "Norm."
Mr. Robert Gates had just finished saying that remote viewing
was unpromising. But when it came "Norm's" time to talk,
he began saying something like, "Well, if it's the Eight-Martini
Results you want to talk about, I won't talk about them."
What, then, is an "eight-martini" result? Well, this
is an intelligence community in-house term for remote viewing
data so good that it cracks everyone's realities. So they have
to go out and drink eight martinis to recover. Remote viewing
does have its amusing aspects, you know.
Regardless of official and media misdirecting, the general
world knows now that remote viewing exists. Soon other nations
will utilize it for their own interests.
So official and media misdirecting is shooting Uncle Sam in his
feet -- just for the hell of it and a few sensationalizing laughs.
But some insiders know that soon a new psi-threat analysis will
be necessary, or at least advisable.