SRI

Menlo Park, CA. Click here for their home page. I couldn't find anything there on remote viewing. Founded in 1946 at Stanford University, it went independent in 1970 due to protest of its military contracts. Among them were studies with LSD and chemical warfare. Willis Harman and Alfred Hubbard were contracted to study the influence of LSD on the counter-culture and business.
Remote Viewing Program: Led by Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ. Originally funded by Science Unlimited Research Foundation, San Antonio, TX in April 1972. The program began with Ingo Swann, after being told of the project by Cleve Backster.

Swann contacted Puthoff on 3/30/72, telling him of previous studies of his abilities. Swann came to the lab that June. His first experiment was to remote view and manipulate a shielded magnetometer. Near the end of this visit, he performed a series of experiments identifying objects inside boxes. Puthoff invited several potential sponsors of his project (including the CIA) to observe, and he CIA was impressed enough to fund an eight month pilot study. Swann returned to New York to clean up some previous commitments.

During this break, Russell Targ joined the research team. At the end of October, Andrija Puharich brought Uri Geller to SRI to be studied for six weeks. After several demonstrations under uncontrolled conditions, Geller did experiments in twisting metal, predicting die rolls, and copying pictures drawn by assistants. Geller was critically evaluated at SRI by Ray Hyman, among others.

Ingo Swann later in 1972 (Swann says he returned in October, Puthoff places Swann's return after Geller's six week study) to start the eight month pilot program funded by the CIA. Reportedly on Swann's suggestion, he began doing remote-viewing experiments using longitude and latitude as a target. A series of 100 experiments were done during the breaks between Swann's normal experiments.

These experiments were formalized into Project SCANATE. These coordinates were supposedly picked by a NSA (National Security Agency) monitor and transmitted to a CIA agent at SRI. On 5/29/73, during this series, Swann identified a military base (reportedly a satellite listening post). Puthoff read these coordinates to Pat Price, whose amazing results led him to join the SRI team. Click here for an extended review of this experiment.

Price and Swann continued their remote viewing experiments, this time using a person as a target. At an assigned time, the viewer would target the person and describe the scene where he/she was located. These experiments were the only ones which have been openly available to other scientists, and have been extensively reviewed (see references below).

In the summer of 1973, Swann finished the eight month pilot program and left SRI. He continued to work occasionally with the project until at least 1988.

By the end of 1973, the SRI team began to use average people in the remote-viewing project, not just "naturals" (i.e. people with natural psychic ability). These experiments included intelligence agents, and reportedly members of Congress. This series of experiments went on until around the fall of 1974, and the lab was allegedly running out of funding.

Author Richard Bach visited the lab for a series of experiments starting in April, 1975. Other experiments included experimenting with an "ESP teaching machne" for NASA. This device simply a random number generator which shows one of four pictures, and the subject tries to guess which picture is chosen each turn. Anoher experiment involved trying to see if individuals could pick signals from a subjects EEG. One subject is in a shielded room, with a strobe light activated at random times, and the other subject tries to detemine when the strobe is on.
(Targ, Russell and Puthoff, Harold E, Mind-Reach, Delacorte Press, 1977; Puthoff, Harold, "CIA-Initiated Remote Viewing Program at Stanford Research Institute", Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring 1996)


In 1977, the Naval Electronics Systems Command contracted SRI (for $87,000) for "an investigation of the ability of certain individuals to perceive remote faint electromagnetic stimuli at a noncognitive level of awareness."
(McRae, Ronald, Mind Wars, St. Martin's Press, 1984, pg 5)
The activities of the lab are somewhat more sketchy after this point, but published accounts (such as Targ, Russell and Harary, Keith, Mind Race, Villard Books, 1984; Swann, Ingo, Everybody's Guide to Natural ESP, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1991) suggest more of the same, with little expansion and almost no work to isolate the actual mechanisms at work.
Hal Puthoff remains fairly tight-lipped about the classified aspects of the program, but says that the activities focused on studying the possible threat of psi in enemy hands than on actual operations. However, Swann and Price did view many military targets as part of their experiments, so the line between research and operations becomes a bit fuzzy. (see Wilhelm, John, "Psychic Spying?", Washington Post 8/7/77, B1)
I am somewhat skeptical of the claim that the CIA entered the picture sometime after Puthoff began his experiments with Ingo Swann. Here we have a CIA connected parapsychologist (Backster) introducing a subject with a Top Secret clearance (Swann) to a former Naval Intelligence officer who has worked with the NSA (Puthoff) who is working at a military contracted research lab (SRI). I find it highly doubtful that the intelligence community was not involved until experiments were well under way. It's more likely that the CIA was involved from the beginning, and that they might have even initiated the program.
The early experiments were allegedly conducted by researchers involved with Scientology and believers in psi, which some feel may have tainted the data. There are several critical references below.
SRI has a history of mind-control research. "Under contract to the Army, SRI chemists studied psychoactive components like LSD for their potential as chemical-warfare agents". (McRae, pg 94) Puthoff has argued that his research at SRI had nothing to do with mind control (see Puthoff/Constantine Debate). However, it is interesting to note that Puthoff and Targ researched mind-machine interfaces in context with the remote viewing project. (R. Targ, P. Cole and H. E. Puthoff, "Techniques to Enhance Man/Machine Communication," Stanford Research Institute Final Report on NASA Project NAS7-100 (August 1974). Note: I have not seen this paper, but it was referenced by Puthoff). However, this may be techno-speak for telekinesis, much like "novel biological information transfer" is for telepathy.

Around 1976, Dr. Sam Koslov, scientific assistant to the secretary of the Navy, received a briefing on various research projects, including those at SRI. Among the headings on the screen describing SRI's work included "ELF AND MIND CONTROL". ELF stands for extremely low frequency, and electromagnetic radiation in this band has an effect on the central nervous system and has been studied by the military under projects Pandora, Sanguine, and others. Koslov was reportedly upset and shut off Navy funding (although the Navy has been, and continues to be, one of the biggest supporters of electronic mind-control). (Wilhelm, 1977)


Some of the early experiments involved Elizabeth Rauscher as a consultant. In 1985, Hal Puthoff left the lab and was replaced as director by Edwin May, who had joined the lab in 1976. Russell Targ had left in 1982. For reasons unknown to me, the research aspect of the program were transferred from SRI to SAIC in 1991.


Experiments at SRI are documented in: Critical reviews of the early experiments are contained in:
Partial list of researchers involved in the SRI study include:


Partial list of subjects:
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