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
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.
paul h. smith
A Brief Time Line of Remote Viewing History
by Paul H. Smith
reprinted from APERTURE, Vol. 1, No.2, 2002
This chronology was compiled by IRVA vice-president Paul
H. Smith partly based on research for his forthcoming book,
Reading the Enemy's Mind.
This 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
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.
||Ingo Swann begins PK
research with Cleve Backster
||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)
|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
|27 June 1972
|Puthoff communicates with
Kit Green, Central Intelligence Agency, concerning the
magnetometer experiment results.
|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
|Russell Targ joins the RV
program at SRI.
|Pat Price and Ingo Swann
remote view NSA's Sugar Grove facility in West Virginia.
|Pat Price's operational
remote viewing of a facility near Semipalatinsk in USSR
|18 Oct 1974
|Russell Targ and Hall
Puthoff publish article on remote viewing research in
|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.
|Puthoff & Targ publish a
major article about remote viewing in Proceedings of IEEE.
|Dr. Edwin May joins RV
program at SRI International.
|The book Mind Reach (Targ
& Puthoff) is published.
|Founding of Mobius Group;
Project Deepquest - a submarine RV experiment is jointly
conducted by SRI International / Stephan Schwartz.
|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.
|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
operational remote viewing session performed.
|Remote viewers working with
Dale Graff at Wright-Patterson AFB and at SRI correctly
locate downed Soviet TU-22 recce aircraft.
|Stephan Schwartz conducts
Alexandria Project, a remote viewing archaeology project in
Egypt. His book Alexandria Project is subsequently
|Air Force Chief of Staff
cancels AF RV program; Dale Graff joins Defense Intelligence
Agency as principal staff officer for remote viewing effort.
|Puthoff and Swann develop
coordinate remote viewing (CRV) architecture.
|Russell Targ leaves SRI
International's RV program. Mel Riley departs Ft. Meade's
operational RV unit.
|With Swann as instructor,
two individuals (Tom McNear and Rob Cowart) begin first CRV
|US Army's RV project's name
is changed to CENTER LANE.
|Charlene Cavanaugh joins
military RV unit in August; Paul H. Smith joins in
|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).
|The book Mind Race (Targ
& Keith Harary) is published.
|Lyn Buchanan joins the Ft.
Meade RV unit.
|Joe McMoneagle retires from
the Ft. Meade RV unit.
|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).
|Dr. Hal Puthoff leaves SRI
International to take directorship of Institute of Advanced
Studies in Austin, TX. Dr. Edwin May becomes director of
|Caravel Project, an
underwater archaeology project conducted by Stephan
|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.
|Mel Riley is once more
assigned to the Ft. Meade RV unit.
|Brig Leander Project, an
underwater archaeology project conducted by Stephan
|F. Holmes "Skip" Atwater
departs the Ft. Meade RV unit on retirement leave.
|David Morehouse is assigned
to the Ft. Meade RV unit.
|Ed Dames departs the Ft.
Meade RV unit.
|David Morehouse departs, and
Mel Riley retires from the Ft. Meade RV unit.
|Paul Smith is reassigned
from the Ft. Meade RV unit to the 101st Airborne Division
for Desert Shield / Desert Storm.
|Dale Graff becomes chief of
the Ft. Meade RV unit, and changes project name to STAR
|Edwin May moves RV research
program from SRI International to Science Applications
|Lyn Buchanan retires from
the Ft. Meade RV unit.
|The book Mind Trek (McMoneagle)
|Dale Graff retires.
|Wording added to Federal Y95
budget transferring control of STAR GATE from DIA to CIA.
|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.
|Remote Viewing is featured
in many media articles and broadcasts, and becomes a
featured item on Art Bell's and other talk shows.
|The book Psychic Warrior
(Morehouse) is published.
|The book Remote Viewers:
The Secret History of America's Psychic Spies (Schnabel)
|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
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..
|First IRVA sponsored remote
viewing conference. Held at Texas, Station Las Vegas, NV.
Featured speakers: Edgar Mitchell, Dean Radin,
|IRVA remote viewing
conference in Austin, TX, celebrating 30 years of remote
Featured speakers: Ingo Swann, Hal Puthoff, Dale
Graff, Cleve Backster.
Copyright©2002 by Paul H. Smith.
Permission granted to quote in full or part with proper
Paul H. Smith Biography
Paul H. Smith served for seven years in the government's remote
viewing program at Ft. Meade, MD (from September 1983 to August
1990). During 1984, he became one of only a handful of government
personnel to be personally trained as coordinate remote viewers by
Ingo Swann at SRI-International. Paul was the primary author of the
government RV program's CRV training manual, and served as theory
instructor for new CRV trainee personnel, as well as recruiting
officer and unit security officer. He is credited with over a
thousand training and operational remote viewing sessions during his
time with the unit at Ft. Meade.
Raised in Boulder City, Nevada, he enlisted in the Army in 1976
for Arabic training, attended Officer Candidate School, and was
commissioned as a Military Intelligence officer. Besides his tour at
Ft. Meade, his military assignments included Arabic linguist,
electronic warfare operator, strategic intelligence officer for a
special operations unit, Mid-East desk officer, tactical
intelligence officer with the 101st Airborne Division during Desert
Storm/Shield, strategic intelligence officer in the Collection
Directorate of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and chief of the
intelligence and security division for the Military District of
Washington, from which he retired in 1996.
Paul has a BA from Brigham Young University in Mid-East Affairs,
Art, and English; an MS from the Defense Intelligence College
(Mid-East Concentration); and is enrolled in a Ph.D program in
Philosophy, specializing in consciousness and philosophy of mind.
He or his work as a remote viewer have been featured on
television programs such as the Arts & Entertainment Network's "The
Unexplained," the History Channel's "History Undercover" series,
"Strange Universe," "Inside Edition," and two documentaries on
remote viewing produced for German television. He has also been a
guest on Art Bell's "Coast to Coast" radio show and Jeff Rense's
"Sightings on the Radio".
Besides serving as President of Remote Viewing Instructional
Services, Inc., a company offering remote viewing training courses
to individuals and small groups, he also works as a remote viewer
and RV consultant, is a founding director of the International
Remote Viewing Association, and serves as the organization's
vice-president. Paul and RVIS, Inc. can be reached:
Related Books and Resources