Remote Viewing is the claimed ability for a person to perceive physically remote locations without recourse to normal sensory channels. It differs from Astral Viewing (in which people visit other non-physical dimensions) and the Ganzfeld experiments (since no altered state of consciousness is needed) and was the subject of a twenty year program of experimentation with US government funding from the CIA, the DIA and other government agencies. This was carried out at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) until 1989 when government funding for this issue transferred to the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) where Ed May (a previous Project Director at SRI) was working. The projects went under a variety of code names and is now generally referred to as Star Gate.
The experimenters were able to show that some subjects could see images of distant objects through the use of an experimental set up called the Ganzfeld room. They also showed that these images were not being produced by the subject’s imagination but rather were coming directly from another dimension. In addition they found that the images seen were very consistent in their content and that there was a high degree of accuracy in the details provided.
This research has been criticized on many grounds including lack of scientific rigor, poor methodology, and lack of reproducibility. A review of the literature revealed that most studies have used only one or two methods of investigation and that those that have used more than one method have not been consistent in their findings. For example, in one study it was reported that the results of a number of different tests were positive while others were negative. In another study, a test using a computer generated image was shown to be effective while a similar test using a photograph was ineffective.
In spite of the criticisms, the work continues today. There are still a few researchers who believe that the evidence supports the existence of the paranormal. Some claim that the experiments demonstrate psychic phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis. Others claim that the experiments do not support any form of paranormal activity.
Outline of parapsychology