The Discoveries
The Political and Technical History
The Rise and the Fall
The Saga and the Soap Opera
The Strange Circumstances


An Autobiographical Memoir
by Ingo Swann




Remote Viewing -- The Real Story is a book being placed in the Internet and WWW in serialized form, with continuing segments appearing at unscheduled intervals because of the time necessary to complete each segment.

The book is appearing in this fashion because the top five publishers in these United States rejected it on the grounds that the public interest in the real story of remote viewing is minimal and the story is of no real mainstream interest.

The author has nonetheless determined that a record of the story should be available for open-and-free-access historical purposes and for those who might chance to have interest.

For purposes of accuracy, the book is very carefully based on documents existing in the author's voluminous, chronological archives as well as some in the possession of other sources and resources. All documents substantively depended upon are noted in the text. A complete bibliography of additional sources and other supportive materials will be appended later on.

In those instances where guideline documentation is not available, or never existed, I have confirmed my recall by consulting with one or more direct witnesses of those instances. This follows accepted journalistic procedures which are both traditional and proper.

However, the book, as it must be, is cast in the form of an autobiographical memoir and therefore contains many memories, opinions, deductions and estimations of the author -- and who therefore leans on the freedoms of speech, belief and opinion guaranteed by founding documents generally and equally applicable throughout the United States.


This book is especially dedicated to those of the next century soon to be upon us, and who will at last open up and develop the superpowers of the human bio-mind.

But it is also profoundly dedicated to those very many of the past who, in small and big ways, helped consolidate and open that particular doorway into the superpowers, that doorway called "remote viewing."

But this book is also, and perhaps principally, dedicated to that astonishing timeless phenomenon called human memory -- but which perhaps might be called our species collective bio-mind memory, and in which the superpowers perpetually dwell.


Dr. H. E. Puthoff, former director of the Psychoenergetics Project at Stanford Research Institute, has agreed to provide an Introduction for this book. Major General Edmund R. Thompson, U.S.A. (Ret.), former Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, U.S. Army 1977-1981, has agreed to provide a Foreword.

The Introduction and Foreword will be introduced into the book when they are received. At some point ahead, as the serialization extends, a Table of Contents will be inserted. The production of this book is a rather momentous effort, and the effort to produce it has to be time-shared with the author's other necessary activities. And so it is anticipated that the Internet presentation of the Real Story will take over a year.


I had never planned to write this book. In the past there were compelling reasons not to do so. In any event, I thought someone else would eventually take a deep, serious interest and do THE book on remote viewing.
Because the story of remote viewing is a substantial one from a number of viewpoints, I had anticipated that such a book would be a scholarly one, and would clarify all of the issues involved and render them understandable for historical purposes.

Most of the issues involved are straightforward ones when seen in their own contexts and times -- and which times began in 1971, after which the issues remained more or less straight-forward until about 1988. This was the seventeen-year period during which the elements of controlled remote viewing (CRV) were gradually separated out from a somewhat ambiguous morass of parapsychological phenomena, then refined until it was an entity of and within itself, complete with a novel nomenclature appropriate to it.

In its refined and developed state, its chief characteristics were twofold:

- its gradual increase in scope, precision and accuracy; and
- its closeness more to general human potential rather than to special things seen as psychic or parapsychological.

When remote viewing was understood, even in its natural state in individuals, it was no longer ambiguous, but seen as a precise set of existing faculties against which the ambiguous term "psychic" was no longer useful. After 1988, though, the year I retired from active research, what might be called the decomposition of remote viewing began to set in. Conceptual distortions began to occur, with the tendency to return the formerly strategic characteristics back into the ambiguous morass of parapsychological and psychic phenomena. After about 1990, the decomposition proceeded at a rapid rate -- one reason being that the term "remote viewing" went public and was seized upon by many as a scientifically dignified replacement term for "psychic."  Thereafter, just about anything could be called "remote viewing," just about anyone could call themselves a "psychic remote viewer" -- and ambiguity had once again been achieved. Back to square one, as it were.

Another reason for the decomposition was that the demand for precision and accuracy in which the intelligence community had invested its efforts was, in the public domain, not really necessary.
As we will see later in the text, it was to be the scope and increase of accuracy which identified the original formats of remote viewing, and especially controlled remote viewing, and which accounted for the long duration of the intelligence community's effort. The authenticating of such high-stage accuracy could only be determined by adequate and long-term testing, record keeping, and equally long-term oversight processes and committees.

There do exist extremely gifted natural remote viewers, of course. It happened that I was one of them, and I know of four others. But in general the raw (so to speak) forms of remote viewing do not produce the high-stage accuracy absolutely mandatory for intelligence purposes -- and this was the case even regarding my own natural aptitudes at the start-up of the discovery and development phase.

In any event, there are a few things that cannot be ambiguous -- and remote viewing proficiency and accuracy are two of them. And so when, in the went-public stage, latter-day formats of "remote viewing" began detaching from TESTED, DEMONSTRATED and CONFIRMED proficiency and accuracy, the decomposition of remote viewing proceeded apace.

But even so, those latter-day formats served to bring about two essential and constructive effects. They served to bring the concepts of remote viewing to larger public attention.  As to the second constructive effect, I, at least, am of the opinion that any work regarding remote viewing is better than none at all -- for all of it helps to shift the direction of human awareness toward the real existence of the superpowers of the human bio-mind. In the end, the absolute need for demonstrated and tested accuracy of any format of remote viewing will win the day. Remote viewing formats not up to this will disappear.

Nonetheless, the decomposition period entered many distortions into the public situation. And so it is part of the factual history of remote viewing to meet up with the details of this decomposition -- as we will do much later in the book under the general heading of "The Fall of Remote Viewing."

I suppose that most of the distortions might have been avoided, at least in an historical perspective, if someone as an insider had earlier produced a substantial book regarding the how and why of remote viewing. The public would then have had something by which to judge things. I was the most logical person to do this -- for although very many were strategically involved in remote viewing I was intimately familiar with the entire history of remote viewing.

However, the real story of remote viewing has always been encumbered with the secrecy which gradually surrounded it after 1972. The secrecy initially involved attempts to protect the identities of certain government agencies which involved themselves with remote viewing and with what was referred to as the Psi Warfare Gap during the Cold War era. The secrecy was never really very good.

Various major media waves of the 1970s and early 1980s rather forthrightly exposed the players in such places as THE WASHINGTON POST and TIME magazine, etc. The arch-digger of secretive information, Jack Anderson, often appeared to be given deliberate and quite accurate leaks which he joyfully exposed in his syndicated columns. Many supposed that the leaks were engineered to frighten the Soviets and the KGB of the Cold War era with the fact that the United States was indeed developing competent "psychic spies."

In any event, if secrecy means totally black projects maintained completely invisible, the research and development of remote viewing and who sponsored it never enjoyed anything of the kind. Yet, the pall of secrecy overhung the real story of remote viewing, at least as far as its insiders were concerned, and so none of them wished to step forward.

As any secrecy specialist knows, secrecy can have unpredictable outcomes and clay feet. In the case of remote viewing, with the real story of it unavailable, the media and the public had nothing to judge against when latter-day distortions of its decomposition blazoned forth with media attention. It would then be natural to make the mistake of assuming that the distortions were factually representative not only of remote viewing itself, but of what the sponsors originally funded for research and development.

The concepts and story of remote viewing are now twenty-five years old. But that story is not just the story of remote viewing. It is also, and more importantly so, the real story which has involved hundreds of people who worked to research and develop the concepts in good faith and because they were told that it was important for the security of the nation to do so. In their living memory, some of those were reasonably familiar with the whole story, others with important parts of it. It's surprising how many of those people are dead by now.  And, after a while more, all those who possess the important living memory will also become absent.

And then the real insider story will be gone -- lost -- replaced by versions of it emanating from those with their own mindsets, agendas, and what is fashionably dignified as "their own realities." And, indeed, this replacement has already commenced via many garbled and truncated versions in which agenda-hype excels over the facts. In pondering all of this, as I have done for the last three years, it boils down to either of two choices for me. I can write the living-memory book -- or I can let the living memory slide into oblivion.
What would you do?

There are three sectors, or layers, to the real story of remote viewing, as well as several quite subtle ones.
The three sectors need to be pointed up here at the start to help expand the reader's overview of the real story and that phenomenon named "remote viewing" -- but which, in hindsight, probably should have been called something else. The first sector is the most visible one. It concerns the long-term involvement of the American intelligence community with remote viewing which was commenced in 1973 by the Central Intelligence Agency. This sector is visible for two reasons. The mixing of the mainstream intelligence community with the Fringe area of remote viewing and so-called psychic spying IS one of the bigger tales of the twentieth century.

Because it is a big story, the media sporadically task themselves with attempting to expose or speculate on its sexy and scandalous details -- with the result that media frenzies occasionally occur, and the first of which was in full bloom in 1975. Several media waves or frenzies regarding the "government connection" have since come and gone, the most recent being the extensive wave of late 1995 and early 1996.

Of all the media waves, the one of 1995-1996 was the least well-informed. And so it initiated a series of information distortions which misled the public. This particular media wave confused all of the important issues beyond recognition, and, in general, held the intelligence community up to ridicule for allegedly wasting tax payer money on the bewilderment of "psychic" hoopla.

There is no doubt that the "government connection" is popularly seen as THE sexy and big story, whose limelight is dramatically laden with secrecy, super-espionage agencies and psychic foolishness. Here is the exact stuff which can be hyped out of proportion and real contexts -- to the utter delight and fascination of conspiracy buffs and vulture-like skeptics awaiting opportunity. Many think that the sexy story is the only real story. But it is only a part of the real story.

The real story is found just beneath the sexy first sector of the government connection. This second sector is of course comprised of remote viewing ITSELF -- and WHY the intelligence community took a long-term interest in it in the first place. This concerns what remote viewing actually IS. And here we encounter an exceedingly strange phenomenon which surrounds remote viewing, one which few will even notice unless it is pointed up.

Hardly anyone really wants to know what remote viewing actually consists of, especially if they see themselves in any way connected to social mainstreams -- and which phenomenon, in my opinion, constitutes the exact reason why the top five mainstream publishers refused to publish this book.

As you will see, I encountered this phenomenon from the start as early as 1972, and especially among scientists and media types, but, surprisingly, among parapsychologists, too. I have made a long-term, intimate study of this phenomenon and its theme will occasionally appear in the text. But basically, learning what remote viewing actually is might mean having to alter one's academic and conventional wisdom. Even though most support the concept of increasing our knowledge, very few really want to do anything of the kind if it wrecks their existing "realities."

There is another reason that the fundamentals of remote viewing have not been made visible. Aside from a few documents made public before 1976, and which identified remote viewing as a channel of long-distance perception, the blame easily falls on those who instituted its research and development and those who funded it. In this instance, no one wanted the fundamentals made visible to the broad public because remote viewing was considered a potential intelligence tool -- an espionage vehicle whose methodologies needed to be responsibly guarded. However, the CRV concepts and methodologies themselves were never classified -- which is why I can write this book giving their fundamentals and details. But there was common agreement about this, additionally protected by the fact that no one really wanted to know about the fundamentals anyway -- and in any event, the fundamentals of CRV will seem like an alien language unless one is walked through them step by step.

Beneath the fundamentals of remote viewing, however, is the third sector I have referred to. The first two sectors involve individuals, research projects, agencies, and all sorts of situations which are introverted in smaller-picture kinds of ways.  As I have described, the centerpiece of the first sector is the government connection. The centerpiece of the second sector is remote viewing itself.

The centerpiece of the third sector is OUR SPECIES itself -- and whether it DOES possess the superpowers of the human bio-mind fabled throughout our history.  Does our species possess the superpowers even in societal opposition to them or in spite of ignorance about them? It is in the light of this third sector that we will encounter the ONLY rationale for the two sectors already described. And it was this exact species issue, and nothing else, which caused the intelligence community to undertake what it did, and why remote viewing was extended the opportunity to attempt to strut its stuff. And here is something which hardly anyone has understood.

The superpowers of the human bio-mind, of which remote viewing is but one, can be defined as those SPECIES-INHERENT faculties which permit human awareness to transcend the conventionally perceived limits of space and time, and of matter and energy as well. If our species DOES NOT possess such faculties, then remote viewing would have to be condemned as a figment, and the participation of the intelligence community silly.

But, in this sense, it's worth mentioning that if the faculties for the superpowers do not exist within our species, then we also have to throw out a great deal -- such as intuition, telepathy, peak experiencing, the creative processes, intelligence, altered states of conscious. And on and on until we are left only with our most mundane aptitudes which do correspond to the "laws" of matter, energy, time and space -- which is to say, correspond to those laws as presently understood, but which understanding does undergo renovation and change within the sciences themselves.

On the other hand, if such species-superpowers DO exist, then the participation of the intelligence community in researching them was correct and justified -- while what was out of whack were the modernist philosophies and sciences of the cultural West which derided the superpowers under the stereotyped stigma of the term "psychic."  This particular situation deserves somewhat extensive treatment, and will be adequately dealt with in the text. But here it is worth noting that it was the COLLISION of Soviet bio-mind research with the stereotyped stigma of psychic research in the West which occasioned the circumstances within which remote viewing was identified and developed. Had not this collision occurred, then remote viewing would never have seen the light of day.

It now has to be pointed out that neither psychic aptitudes nor the superpowers of bio-mind have been viewed in the light of being a SPECIES THING. Which is to say, as being ALWAYS present at the species level as inherent faculties and potentials entirely capable of manifesting in specimens of our species. And it is in this context that we encounter the timeless and time-transcending aspect not only of remote viewing but of all the other superpowers, too. And it is this aspect which more or less has to arouse some radical readjustments regarding conventional cosmologies and the actual place of human consciousness within them. Since few really want to alter their sense of cosmology, it is this exact thing which subtly lies behind the widespread resistance to finding out what remote viewing really consists of.

As you will see in the narrative ahead, this precise situation often led to many amusing soap-opera incidents -- and many affected or "threatened" in this way literally proceeded to the nearest bar to "recover."
If the superpowers had been considered a species thing from the start at some place back, say, around 1870, then the history of psychical research and parapsychology would have been entirely different. What has rather happened, though, is that we tend to think of the superpowers as belonging to selected individuals who, for reasons peculiar to their psychology, manifest them more vitally than others do. And so our concepts regarding the superpowers is locked into time and place at the individual level -- resulting in the assumption that we can treat positively or negatively the individuals (and what THEY are thought to represent) according to our dispositions one way or another.

However, if the existence of the superpowers is lifted from the individual to the species level, an entirely different and very much larger panorama immediately opens up. For one thing, the existence of the superpowers becomes a species situation or problem, and no longer an individual situation or problem, while the elements to be considered are completely different. If we consider the superpowers an inherent species thing, then we can immediately see that various forms of them have manifested throughout the whole of our recorded history, and in all past and present societies. By logical extrapolation here, we can be sure that they will continue to emerge into the indeterminate future.

The fact that formats of the superpowers (under a plethora of terms) have continuously emerged across generations and across all kinds of social enclaves and strictures -- well, here is the strongest evidence that the superpowers ARE a species thing first, and only secondly an individual thing. If you can bear to consider what this shift of perspective means, please begin doing so now, for this aspect is the virtual backbone of the remote viewing story. This is the same as saying that individuals, societies, intelligence communities, research enclaves, philosophies, skeptics, sciences and so forth come and go. But even so, each time a specimen of our species is born, he or she will in some form be a carrier of our species faculties for the superpowers -- more or less in the same way that he or she is a carrier of our species genetic pool.

And here is the ultimate consideration behind my decision to write this book. You see, if the superpowers are a species thing, then they have dynamics which can be identified, understood, developed and enhanced, and this possibly across the boards. Technically speaking, there is only one thing necessary here -- a strategic shift in vision regarding what the superpowers actually are, a vision which sees the superpowers as a species thing first. It is quite certain that the early Soviet researchers of the 1920s and 1930s were the first to make this shift. And, in making it, they were obliged to approach the matter quite differently from how the early psychical researchers and later parapsychologists of the West viewed psychic things, and still do.

Radically different hypotheses are certainly needed if the superpowers are to be viewed as a broad species affair as contrasted to an individual one. For one thing, if the superpowers are a broad species affair, then the constituents of the superpowers simply have to have fundamental and close biological connections. It is this which accounts for the peculiar, but necessary, nomenclature the Soviets ultimately set up for their work -- for example, "bio-communications," a term which had no Western equivalents.

By contrast, Western researchers have always viewed psychic attributes as a particular arrangement of the individual's psychology, independent of his or her biology -- as well as being non-material in genesis. Indeed, on the down side of Western parapsychology, the psychiatric definition of Psi held it to be the illusory result of a deranged psychology. In any event, the Soviet shift from the basis of a particular individual psychology to a fundamental species basis made the early Soviet work unintelligible to Western intelligence analysts -- and in which condition it remained for nearly five decades. It was not until the very late 1960s that American intelligence analysts VERY SLOWLY began to realize that the Soviets were attempting to identify and HARNESS, as it was nervously put, certain powers of bio-mind which transcended space and time, and probably also energy and matter. It was also realized, much more quickly, that the hypotheses of the Soviet work WERE completely different from the conventional hypotheses American and other Western parapsychologists labored within.

But it was the size and magnitude of the Soviet effort along those lines which probably impressed American analysts more than anything else. The utter SIZE of the Soviet effort clearly indicated a good deal of smoke, so to speak, beneath which fires were obviously brightly burning in order to justify the size. Where there was such a vast amount of smoke which few really understood, but anyway was shrouded in intense KGB secrecy, the intelligence community and elements in Congress began worrying if there was a "threat potential" in all of the Soviet strangeness involved.  And behind-the-scenes committees in Congress mandated a full inquiry -- as it was their responsibility to do regarding any possible "threat potential."

Thus, the American intelligence community, alarmed about a threat potential, was forced to take an interest in matters it certainly never would have otherwise -- and which resulted in the complex saga and soap opera of that bittersweet story which is detailed in the narrative ahead. By now, in 1996, that saga and soap opera has come and gone, at least for the present. But there is still outstanding the matter of bio-communications and the superpowers of the human bio-mind being a species affair -- and evidence shows that many top researchers -- for example, in Japan, China and elsewhere -- have begun to think in those terms. (The evidence for this will be presented much later in the narrative.)

In other words, the search for the superpowers has not ended just because the Soviet Empire fell, or because the American effort got screwed up and decomposed after 1988. I have no reticence at all in predicting that the species superpowers of bio-mind will become a topic of profound interest in the years and decades to come -- in other nations and under other auspices, certainly to be secret. All that it will take is the abandonment of the ideologies of the twentieth century which were intolerant of and totally misguided regarding such research -- ideologies already on their way out, and which anyway were never very important in most non-Western nations.

I have determined that no one else will, or can, present the American remote viewing epoch in the light of the species level of the superpowers. That epoch will be interpreted in lesser ways, according to particular agendas and particular ignorance and stupidities regarding what was really involved. And, this is my ultimate reason for writing this book. The narrative of the real and detailed story of remote viewing begins ahead in chapter 4. I have utilized the first three chapters to present certain background materials which need to be isolated and dealt with, and which I'd rather not spread throughout the narrative itself.

Remote viewing came about because of sets of CIRCUMSTANCES which literally sucked people into participating in them. Most of those circumstances, both big and small, ran across a spectrum of unexpected and astonishing to dumbfounding. Most of them practically came out of nowhere, and most of them left a trail of successes and skeletons in closets. No one could have predicted hardly any of those strange circumstances, least of all myself. But their unfolding became apparent to me quite early, and gave me cause to reflect on what circumstances actually consist of. As the years passed, I got somewhat good at predicting the unfoldment of some circumstances -- but only because I had undertaken a long-term philosophical consideration of what circumstances actually consist of.

By now, I will go so far as to say that the identification and anticipation of circumstances BEFORE they unfold is one of the many superpowers of the human bio-mind -- one which has never heretofore been identified. Since the role, as it were, of circumstances is so important throughout the story, I've decided to utilize chapter 1 to present, as best I can, a philosophical discussion of their nature. Thereafter, you will be better prepared to observe them and their remarkable phenomena in action as regards the story of remote viewing. The circumstances which ultimately led to remote viewing unfolded in the Soviet Union two decades before I was born. Those same circumstances doubtlessly will also serve as a basis for all future work regarding isolating and enhancing certain superpowers of the human bio-mind.

Technically speaking, those early Soviet circumstances established the correct hypothesis that what was involved was, indeed, something at the species level. The nature of the early Soviet work is hardly accessible to Western readers, and where it is briefly referred to it has been transliterated into Western nomenclature. The transliterations permit Western readers to assume they know something in familiar Western terms, but which terms are so much gobbledygook in bio-communications research terms. Indeed, as we shall see ahead, it was the transliteration of the Soviet work into incorrect Western concepts which was the first mistake make made by the American intelligence community -- and which delayed correct analysis for at least two decades. Bio-communications research was and is NOT psychic or parapsychology research, and I utilize background chapter 2 to sort through various important distinctions in this regard.

I utilize chapter 3 to present materials regarding my autobiographical self. Of all the chapters in the book, this was the hardest for me to undertake -- because I have to toot my own horn in ways which might seem overly ego-laden. But, and I just as well say it as plainly as possible, one of the amazing circumstances regarding the whole story of remote viewing was that my prior accumulated experiences and knowledge had prepared me to deal with a fair share of the NOVEL circumstances which literally sucked me into them.

There IS something called the "prepared mind." And, everything considered, I was more or less prepared to deal in the circumstances which -- to my own astonishment! -- came about in 1971 and thereafter. For example, I had already understood, in my own terms, that the fundamentals of "psi" perceptions were a species thing, not special manifestations of individual psychology.  I had arrived at this conclusion long before I ever heard of Dr. H. E. Puthoff, Stanford Research Institute, or the concerns of the intelligence community regarding the Soviet "threat analysis."  As you will see, this was to have certain advantages regarding what was to come.



Preliminary Comments On Ingo Swann's 


Foreword to follow, focusing on later parts of the book which deal with the period with which I am most familiar. Ingo Swann is the only person who could write this book. That he has undertaken to do so underscores his dedication to the understanding -- and to the further perfection of remote viewing in the face of his frustration with the distortions being injected into the story by the media and people with more limited perspectives -- and sometimes with various axes to grind.

The book also illustrates his dedication to furthering his optimistic expectation -- expressed to me in conversation as well as in this manuscript -- that the 21st Century will come to accept and understand this and other phenomena (today, so-called "psychic"), just as much as we do the results of crazy Ben Franklin's kite-flying.

The value of Ingo Swann's "living memory" narrative of the origins and refinement of remote viewing is that his memory, more than anyone else I know, encompasses more facets of the story of credible and verifiable, practical, usable parapsychology [Ingo wouldn't like that term].

His categorization of remote viewing as a "superpower of the human biomind" makes the most sense to me of any explanation that I have yet seen. His thesis that these superpowers are a species phenomenon, common to all humankind, also makes sense in view of demonstrated results I've witnessed by a number of trained remote viewers.

Ingo's dedication is further demonstrated by his placing this manuscript in the World Wide Web -- to make it available to any and all. Perhaps someone out there will pick up on his work and carry research forward to the optimistic expectation that he envisions.

Edmund R. Thompson
Maj Gen, USA (Ret)
Asst Chief of Staff for Intelligence, USA (1977-81)
September 1996


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