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Remote ViewingPublicity and Media
  The Vancouver Courier
07 July 1995
Spying sight unseen
Inexplicably, 'remote viewers' often pinpoint distant details

by Geoff Olson
Contributing writer

Joe McMoneagle wasn't feeling well on a hot July night in 1970. An overseas U.S. military man, he was relaxing in a restaurant in Brassau, Austria. McMoneagle remembers the establishment as being full of loud and happy revellers, the interior thick with cigarette and pipe smoke. It was warmer than usual, but it wasn't until he was offered a rum and coke by one of the revellers that he began to feel ill.

The back of his next grew hot,and as the group gathered to leave, McMoneagle had the distinct impression his surroundings were changing. The voices around him grew unintelligible, and as he reached for the door, his hand moved "in a slow-motion arc toward the handle."

"My last blurred memory," he wrote in his 1993 book Mind Trek, "was the door opening and my body falling through it from its own momentum. I distinctly remember fearing that I would break the glass with my fall and then heard a horribly loud pop and thought it might have been my face striking something as I was falling."

Expecting cobblestones to smack him in the face, McMoneagle caught his balance and found himself standing in the street. He felt light and quite well, but when he turned he discovered a body half in and half out of the gutter by the front door. "The shock of what I saw sent a huge shudder throughout my being. Lying in the street was my body, face up, with eyes and mouth open."

This was one man's introduction to what he would later consider to be psychic experiences. Out-of-body travels and other paranormal events continued to dog McMoneagle after his 1970 near-death experience.

In 1978, he found himself under the study of Prof. Hal Puthoff at Stanford Research Institute. McMoneagle, along with others who had previously demonstrated psychic talents, were tested to see if they could "remote view" distant targets. A target could be a public swimming pool, a hi-tech windmill, a church--anything visually compelling on the California landscape. Two individuals would open sealed instructions with the target, and travel to the site, while back in the lab McMoneagle and other remote viewers would attempt to get psychic impressions of the target seen by the two travelling subjects.

Using double-blind procedures to rule out conscious or subconscious cueing, the experimenters themselves were unaware of the target sites. Only after the return of the travelling subjects were the results examined.

The testing grew more sophisticated, and a standard set of protocols was developed. According to the SRI scientists, McMoneagle and others consistently scored significantly higher than chance.

The military and intelligence interest in the research at SRI was near immediate. Soon both the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency had their own remote viewing units, and by the mid-'80's, remote viewers were working on hidden nuclear weapons, drugg trafficking operations, and even the whereabouts of Col. Gaddafi. This was the so-called "Project Stargate."

McMoneagle was assigned to the Headquarters of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) in Arlington, Virginia, where he culminated his career acting as a Special Projects Intelligence Officer with the 902nd Military Intelligence Group.

It was from 1978 to 1984, according to reports, that McMoneagle had several outstanding successes with remote viewing, including the discovery of a new Typhoon class Russian sub--with all details later determined to be correct.

With the discovery of the apparent ability to transcend space and time, remote viewers strayed into distinctly non-military areas. One effort involved remote-viewing Jupiter. Ingo Swann, a New York artist, and one of the most successful of the SRI remote viewers, was tasked with psychically plunging into the upper atmosphere of the planet. Here's Swann's own record of the session:

6:03:25. "There's a planet with stripes."

6:04:13. "I hope it's Jupiter."

"I think it must have an extremely large hydrogen mantle. If a space probe made contact with that, it would be maybe 80,000-120,000 miles out from the planet surface."

6:03. "So, I'm approaching it on the tangent where I can see it's a half-moon, in other words, half-lit/half-dark. If I move around to the lit side, it's distinctly yellow toward the right."

6:06:20. "Very high in the atmosphere there are crystals... they glitter. Maybe the stripes are like bands of crystals; maybe like rings of Saturn, though not far out like that. Very close within the atmosphere... I bet you they'll reflect radio probes."

Swann cites this as evidence he remote-viewed Jupiter's ring--an astronomical feature of the planet only discovered by probe in 1979. The time of the remote viewing session was 1973. Critics have pointed out there are no mountain ranges on Jupiter, as Swann asserted in his session, but the artist points out they ignore his succesful "hit" with Jupiter's ring, and Jupiter's high infrared reading, among other observations.

Other remote viewers took to targeting what appeared to be UFOs. Both McMoneagle and Swann claim to have had some success with this, apparently picking up on bizarre, structured craft entering earth's atmosphere. McMoneagle was once given, without his knowledge, the "Cydonia region" of Mars as a target. Pencil in hand, he sketched the images from his unconscious. He had impressions of an advanced civilization that suffered a catastrophe millions of years ago, and later discovered his drawings and landmark descriptions matched the geological features targeted by co-ordinate for the Martian surface.

(Courtney Brown, a Ph.D. political science professor, recently went through remote viewing protocols with the intent of examining the more far-out stuff alluded to by other psychic voyagers. He now runs a remote viewing center, the FarSite Institute, and his book on what he considers to be psychically retrieved information on UFOs and aliens, Cosmic Voyage, marks the newest phase of remote viewing: an expensive inner arcade game. However, critics sympathetic to remote viewing charge Brown's book is a record of bad science, with loose procedures unlike those used at SRI.)

Eventually it was the more bizarre aspects of the rmeote-viewing programs that led the intelligence agencies to wash their hands of them--at least officially.

The years following Oliver North and Iranscam guaranteed the official scrutiny of any other small-scale "hip-pocket" operations that might prove to be embarrassing for American intelligence agencies. Remote viewing itself, consequently, was viewed dimly. Project Stargate was unfavorably reviewed, and civilian administrators shredded 20 years' worth of documents. Resources to the program dwindled, morale plummeted, and the Defense Intelligence Agency no longer wanted any involvement with politically questionable spooky stuff.

The program limped on with support from Congress, and remote viewers were called upon in intelligence operations during the Gulf War. In 1995, the remnants of the program were transferred to the agency that initially supported it--the CIA, who shut it down. Still smarting from the Ames spy case, and feeling vulnerable to congressional and public criticism, the agency decided to take the ESP out of espionage, or so the story goes.

The question is: if remote viewing had proven utility for U.S. intelligence, has it truly been discarded? Or, did it attain too high a public profile at SRI and other locales, necessitating a new, "black" program somewhere in the highly compartmentalized world of intelligence?

"It isn't the remote viewing that's dangerous," McMoneagle now says, "it's the information and what people might do with it." The remote viewers themselves came away with an irretrievably altered view of themselves and their place in the universe. For many, relationships with family and friends suffered, as they moved into realms of human experience beyond sharing. According to one remote viewer, who was tasked with remote viewing the Lockerbie jet disaster, the greatest risk was "a God complex."

McMoneagle, for his part, didn't want to return to his body during his near death experience: "In comparison, this physical reality we live in is most primitive. There are many people who share our world but have no respect for it.

"I wanted to remain in the Light and become part of it because it felt as if all knowing and feeling were contained there. It was like swimming in nothing but pure and unconditional love... I argued to stay, but lost the argument. There is probably a reason for it, but I haven't a clue as to what it might be."

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