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Remote Viewing: Real, Fantasy or Far-Sighted?

I find remote viewing fascinating, and I see it as a form of expanded psychic abilities. We all have latent psychic abilities, and in theory everyone could develop remote viewing. It just differs from person to person. This article is not about advantages of obtaining information by psychic means but about a pitfall that seems to be overlooked by remote viewing teams leading to acceptance of information that is most likely false.


Is Psychic Perception Reliable?

How does Remote Viewing work?

Verifiable Targets

Unverifiable Targets

The Workings of the Mind

Reading Each Other's Mind

Mars and Preconceptions

Moses and Extraterrestrials

The Crash of Flight 800: Choose Your Pick

The Neglected Question

Is Psychic Perception Reliable?

Remote viewing is a recent development that have gained a lot in popularity. Originally developed by the military to develop and exploit the psychic abilities of gifted people. In military applications information is very important, at least if it is reliable. Having the wrong information can be disastrous. The military developed protocols to streamline the remote viewing process trying to make the information gained as reliable as possible. Now, remote viewing has entered the public domain, and several people and organizations remote view for both the military and for corporations, and for anybody who has enough money to buy their services. They also offer courses to anybody who wants to learn the remote viewing process, if you can pay for it, as it is pricey, with no guarantees.

Although remote viewing organizations try to distinguish themselves as a separate psychic discipline characterized as scientific and based on protocols, safeguards, and carefully reviewed results, it is still about traditional clairvoyance (an old term that aside from visuals, also includes the other senses as well, and also 'feeling', 'knowing' etc.). Some clairvoyants, or psychic people, are very good, but they all have their downside too, especially when it comes to 'seeing into the future'. Remote viewers now also use their talent to make predictions, and thus they are the same as the old school prophets. In regards to predictions, it is well-known that most of them never come true. People often forget about that, but one should ask: why is it that what the person perceived and what he thinks is true, is actually false information?

The question we always should ask with remote viewers is: "Is the information gained by remote viewers always reliable?" Even is they themselves are convinced it is.

How does Remote Viewing work?

At present there are several websites offering information and courses in remote viewing. A well-known site about remote viewing is the Monroe Institute. A more popular website I have come across is the Farsight Institute. I have browsed it for several years, and watched their videos and read their information. I kept feeling that there is something not quite right about it all, but I couldn't really pinpoint what it was. I like the fact that one can gain information by psychic means but the way the Farsight Institute website is constructed looks more like a lot of hype, and commercially appealing, in order to buy their services. Well, we do live in a world of money and competition. I do find it very nice of them that they publish the entire reports of the remote viewers of certain tasks/subjects they viewed. The videos are just a summary. When you look at the individual reports you start to understand how the remote viewing process works.

A 'target' is what the remote viewers have to 'view'. It can be anything, from people, places, to events. In order to keep the remote viewers 'blind' (ignorant) about what the target is, the 'tasker' (who decides what the target is) assigns a random number, called 'coordinates', and delivers this number to the remote viewer. The viewer does not consciously know what target these coordinates represent, but its subconscious does know. It is assumed that when the viewer tunes into the coordinates, he links up with the target and then the process of receiving impressions (visual, feelings, sounds ...) begins. In case you want to know more, Courtney Brown has put up a manual on the Farsight Institute website detailing the entire remote viewing process: Scientific Remote Viewing.

Verifiable Targets

Ideally a viewer's awareness shifts to the target, and he describes the impressions he receives. That will differ from person to person. Every person is different, has different psychic abilities, have different interests, has different likes and dislikes. That is why a project uses several viewers and then compares their notes to build up a coherent picture of the received information. That is easy enough when the information from the different viewers is similar. The greater the similarity the more reliable the information, the less likely it is that their minds made up the information.

That is where the big problem lies: how reliable is the mind of a remote viewer? Remote viewers will tell us that the information is very reliable because of all the precautions they take. The tasker assigns a random number to the target. The viewers are 'blind', they are not told what the target is. They have a strict protocol they follow in their remote viewing sessions. Multiple viewers are used to combine their information and check if they indeed all were able to describe right target.

If all the viewers described, for example, a horse, then it is easy enough to verify that the target was the horse in my backyard. We can go out and physically check it. it is verifiable.

It sounds fool proof, but is it? Or did they overlook something?

Unverifiable Targets

I am not saying that they are not able to get accurate information, especially when the target can be verified. Then it is easy to throw out irrelevant information that sometimes shows up because the mind, well..., is not perfect.

There is a big problem when you cannot verify the target. When you look at the Farsight Institute website, you can a lot of topics about aliens, extraterrestrials, planets, historic figures etc. Courtney Brown, the founder of the Farsight Institute, wrote two books, Cosmic Voyage (1996) and Cosmic Explorers (1999) in which he details many remote viewing sessions about extraterrestrials, from several angles. It is a very interesting read, but how accurate is the information? There is no way to verify it.

The problem with any psychic perception, be it remote viewing, clairvoyance, out-of-the-body experiences etc. is ... the mind.

The Workings of the Mind

The mind, or subconscious, has unlimited access to everything, everywhere, any time. The mind has to relay its information to our daily consciousness. That is where a lot of things can go wrong. Our consciousness is really primitive and mostly colored by our upbringing, the culture we live in, our preconceptions. We often do not know how the mind works. Let me give you two examples from my own life.

In my early twenties I met a lot of people who were interested in alternative subjects. One of them, Bob was doing a form of Ouija board with two crossed sticks. Two sticks are tied together in a cross form. The cross is held up by two people using their two index fingers. So, the four ends of the cross are sitting loosely on top of the ends of the index fingers. So, I decided to give it a try. Although I am open-minded, I am also a skeptic, in the sense that I want to figure out how things work. Bob starts by saying to open ourselves to the spirits. I don't say anything, but I am not going to open myself to any spirit. If a spirit wants to move the cross, OK, but I am not allowing any spirit to enter me. The cross starts moving here and there. I have to say there is no way that you can consciously steer the cross in a particular way (to the letters in the circle). It is like you are trying to keep up with the apparent independent movement. Then I think "what if I think about a particular sentence?" So I do. Lo and behold, the cross moves from letter to letter spelling out the exact same sentence. Bob thinks it is the spirit talking, until I tell him what I just thought. No spirit, no message from beyond. It was my own mind that moved the cross, unconsciously or subconsciously. I didn't put any conscious effort in it. I just watched and let it happen.

It shows that the mind can do things we are not aware of, or we misinterpret it. This little story brings up the issue of channeling. Channeling is a way too of getting information via the mind, but what is one channeling anyway? Is it really uncle Nick, or Commander Ashtar, or any other spirit or alien? Or is it one's own mind that is getting information in the all encompassing subconscious, by tuning into a 'target' like with remote viewing? Then, the mind passes the information on to the conscious in a form that we can understand. How does one verify the information that comes through or where it came from? When you are familiar with channeled information, especially about aliens or extraterrestrials, then you will know that the different sources offer widely varying information about the same subject, and they are often in contradiction with each other. Who is right and who is wrong?

The next story about how the mind can work is also from my early twenties. I took an introductory class in hypnosis. The teacher let one student hypnotize another. At the end of a session, the hypnotist-student said to the hypnotized student "I will count from ten to one, and by the number one you will wake up." Now, by accident, the hypnotizing person was thinking about the number one before he started to count down, and the hypnotized person immediately woke up. What happened here was that the mind of the hypnotized person had picked up the thoughts of the hypnotizing person, and thus heard, in his mind, the number one. In other words our minds can read each other minds, especially when we are engaged in the same kind of work. This is important when considering the possible pitfalls in remote viewing.

Reading Each Other's Mind

As mentioned earlier, the remote viewer is 'blind' to the target. He does not consciously know what the target is. He get 'coordinates', a random number assigned to the target by the 'tasker'. The tasker avoid direct contact with the viewer by having the coordinates delivered on a piece of paper, or by email. Sometimes a middle person is used to deliver the target. This person also does not know anything of what has to be viewed. All this sound very good if you want to qualify the talent or psychic abilities of the viewer. If the viewer gets it right, you have a good psychic, if he gets it wrong all the time, it is better that he goes home.

However, it doesn't tell you that the psychic viewer is delivering correct information about the target, unless it can be verified. What those remote viewers don't seem to get is that a good remote viewer or psychic can read the mind of the tasker and all the other remote viewers in the project, subconsciously. That is how the remote viewer figures out what the coordinates represent. It doesn't matter if the viewer is giving the exact name of the target, or only coordinates, or even a blank envelop. The viewer's mind will first contact the mind of the tasker to figure out what the coordinates represent, and then go to the target (a place, person, event ...). It is not the numbers (or coordinates) that brings the viewer into direct contact with the target. The numbers by themselves don't mean anything. He has to go first to the mind of the tasker. If the viewer is well-trained, and depending on his own mind constructs, he will correctly tune into the target and get reliable information, although some distortion or false information can creep in for various reasons. However, the problem overlooked is that the viewer's subconscious can read what is in the mind of the tasker, and pick up what the tasker already knows about the target or any preconceptions he might already have, or what he has already read from other sources. The viewer might use that information to weave himself an information construct about the target that does not represent true information about the target. The viewer can equally read the same from the mind of the other viewers in the same team. Consciously the viewers will not be aware of this. They consciously accept the information that subconscious mind is relaying.

Mars and Preconceptions

When you can verify the information, then you know how reliable a viewer is. The problem starts when you have targets that are not verifiable. On the Farsight Institute you see a section of Mystery Projects and Free Projects that are not verifiable. That information, even when all the viewers in one project are giving information that is similar to each other, can be quite wrong. They might be reading more of what is in the mind of the tasker and other viewers, than picking up any true information about the real target.

That brings me to the reason for writing this article. I was already feeling uneasy when I the books of Courtney Brown.  In his books he remote viewed surviving Martians living in underground cities on Mars. They are still struggling for survival, and at present they are slowly moving their people over to Earth.

Mars was totally devastated more than a million years ago. I find it very unlikely that after a million years there would still be survivors on a mostly barren planet. Not to mention how would they be able to adapt to Earth with its totally different atmosphere (oxygen/carbon dioxide content and atm. pressure), microbes and a three times higher gravitation.

I also studied their remote viewing sessions of MOC# M11-00009 NASA picture of the surface of Mars, that Courtney brown found on the website Mars Anomaly Research by J. P. Skipper. Skipper, the website owner interprets the landscape features as showing two large domes and what he thinks is a large spray of material coming out of a pipe leading to one of the domes. He goes into detail of what he thinks is a large artificially constructed dome in which extraterrestrials are doing some work, spraying out a water mixture through a nozzle. Maybe he is right, maybe not. In any case, it is a preconception in his mind of what might be down there. Courtney Brown, who is equally interested in an extraterrestrial explanation, wanted to find out more by using it as a target for his remote viewing team. They all described similar activity that confirmed Skipper presumption. Here again we have to ask the question: did they indeed see what is going on down there, or did the viewers read the mind (and thus the preconceptions) of both Brown and Skipper? There were some differences between the viewers too. The beings in that facility were described as humans, human looking, and humanoids. One viewer was of the opinion that there were also people in that facility who were strongly spiritual. It was also said that these people were recent arrivals who did not expect to return from where they came (a one-way-ticket). For Skipper the beings are extraterrestrials. Courtney Brown says that it is possible that these are Earth humans (military personnel trying to start up the ancient facility), but he is convinced that they are extraterrestrials who arrived recently. He says that if the were humans then they would be able to return to Earth, because they would have gotten there in military anti-gravity craft. Yes, that is true, but isn't that equally true for extraterrestrials? If they can come to Mars from somewhere else in the universe, then they must have spaceships that are advanced enough to fly back. And, would it be more believable that the military would offer only a one-way ticket to those workers and engineers (for the privilege to partake in something very special) to prevent them from talking if they would return to Earth? Isn't Brown interpreting the results to favor of his own theories? Does he not understand that his team might be viewing his own preconceptions and/or those of Skipper? Where is the fail-safe to prevent this?

Moses and Extraterrestrials

It gets even weirder. 

What really made me raise my eyebrows is when the Farsight Institute started posting their remote viewing sessions about the biblical Moses. You can find their page here.

Remote viewing Moses? The Bible is a collection of stories, not factional events or people. They are stories in allegorical form to convey spiritual information. Some of it might be based on historical events, but as usual they were recorded much later and altered to reflect the belief systems of the people who recorded them. The Moses story by itself is far from a historical record. God appearing as a burning bush? He couldn't find a better appearance? Only ten commandments, in a time when rulers had a large library filled with thousands of laws? Anyway, did Moses even exist?

The Farsight Institute writes about the Moses project:

"The remote viewers all describe the same thing. Three totally corroborating reports. Moreover, all the remote viewing was done totally solo and blind, and none of the remote viewers communicated with one another during the data-collection phase of the project. This is not science fiction.

Told through riveting remote viewing conducted under clean, scientific conditions, this is one of the most amazing true stories ever told anywhere. The legends make sense now. Everything in the Exodus story finally makes sense."

Sounds amazing, but does it make sense?

In their summary they explain the results:

1. The Ten Commandments artifact contained alien technology.
2. The first of the great plagues that affected Egypt was a result of an extraterrestrial biological and chemical attack that affected the water supply.
3. Extraterrestrials directed a meteor or asteroid to hit the Red Sea, creating a gap in the water that allowed the Israelites to cross to the other side.
4. The artifact known as the Ten Commandments still exists today, in a war-torn region.
5. Extraterrestrials were fundamentally involved in creating the Moses legend, thereby transforming human society through the centuries in ways that seem miraculous even today.

An ET attack against Egypt, killing of the local population? Why would they bother? To liberate a small group of slaves?

Throwing an asteroid into the Red Sea, so the people can walk to the other side? If you ask me, the impact of such an asteroid would have been so tremendous that it would have killed all the Israelites waiting by the water. Why would the ETs choose such a dramatic and destructive force? It would have been much better just to beam then up and put them down at the other side. Again why would ETs be so interested to save a group of slaves?

Even the remote viewer PrinCess Jeanneť said that what she saw (the meteorite hitting the Red Sea to allow the people to walk through) doesn't make sense; watch the video at the beginning of the page at 15:18. But Courtney Brown believes it is all about extraterrestrials, and it is all true what they perceived.

To me it looks more that the viewers saw and experienced what is floating around in the mind of Brown and possibly of anybody else who have certain belief systems of who Moses was and the events around Moses. After all it is the mind of the viewer that looks for information and in the subconscious mind of humanity there are many different versions of Moses floating around. They don't necessarily pick up the real Moses if he ever existed at all.

Remember all this is not verifiable. You belief in the results or not.

The Crash of Flight 800: Choose Your Pick

Again, the results obtains might reflect what is the mind of the one who writes down the target.

Trans World Airlines Flight 800 was a Boeing 747-100 that exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, on July 17, 1996, at about 8:31 p.m. EDT, 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport on a scheduled international passenger flight to Rome, with a stopover in Paris. All 230 people on board perished in the third-deadliest aviation accident in U.S.

The Courtney Brown remote viewing team concluded that it was a bomb that caused the explosion. The remote viewing team of Ed Dames said that it was mechanical failure. Remote viewer David Morehouse said that it was a high-energy beam that brought the plane down. If remote viewers are supposed to tune into, connect to, and perceive the actual event/object, then why are there three totally different description? Maybe it is because the mind of the viewers tends to tune into the belief system present in the mind of the tasker. That would explain why all the viewers in the same team would all see the same thing.

The Neglected Question

The mind/subconscious is always eager to please the conscious and will alter or even invent the information. Memories, for example, are unreliable. More than once, I had a memory that I was convinced was true, only to find out later, by evidence, that it was wrong. It is well-known in psychology that the mind will fill in gaps in memories, and even create false memories leading to a False Memory Syndrome.

The mind/subconscious creating false memories is also well-known in hypnosis. Hypnosis is another way to access the subconscious mind to retrieve information that is otherwise not accessible through the conscious. It has been discovered that under hypnosis a person's subconscious is eager to please the expectancy of the hypnotist. Here too, the hypnotized person can read the mind of the hypnotizer and alter or invent information that is in accordance with the belief system of the hypnotist. In the UFO/ET/abduction field many researchers have shied away from hypnosis for this reason.

Is remote viewing different? The remote viewer goes into an altered state, just as a hypnotized person, or any other psychic. The tasker is the one who asks the questions, just like the hypnotizer. It doesn't make any difference if the tasker is next to the viewer or a thousand miles away. For the mind there is no distance. Both parties connect and can read each other's mind. This happens on a subconscious level, and the person, be it a remote viewer, a hypnotized person or a clairvoyant, is not conscious of this process.

The major unasked question is: is the remote viewer AWARE enough to not read the mind of the tasker, to not read the expectancy of the tasker, to not read the other viewers' minds, and to solely connect with the target at hand?