I just returned from the film Men Who Stare At Goats because I was curious to see how Hollywood portrayed the subject of military remote viewing.
The film started with the statement "More of this is true than you would believe". After sitting through the zany, albeit fun, plot filled with psychopathic and wacky characters, however, a viewer would be left with the impression that the subject of remote viewing was indeed a work of fiction. As Scott and I were driving home, my mind wandered back to the early 80's, which was the time in which the movie was set.
As a young news anchor I talked my long suffering news director into allowing me to do a week long series on the subject of psychic phenomena and it's applications. This was not a topic covered on the news at the time - anywhere. I featured psychics who work with police and detectives to find missing people (The Medium) as well as paranormal experiments conducted with Professor Charles Tart at UC Davis. I had also come across a book titled Mind Wars by Ron McCrae. In it he wrote of the Pentagon's funding of an estimated 30-40 psychic research projects. One of them was apparently much like the fictionalized program in Men Who Stare at Goats according to a contact of ours. Intrigued, I followed the thread to SRI, Stanford Research Institute. I had heard that it was an elite facility for the exploration of the potentials of remote viewing and other psychic phenomena. I finally reached Dr. Russell Targ, the co-founder of the project. In hindsight I have no idea why he agreed to speak with me.
The year was 1985 as I recall. Dr. Targ gave me an interview on the nature of remote viewing, which was to air on our nightly news program. It was a ratings month and I wanted to do something I found to be really juicy and universally intriguing. Dr. Targ informed me that he was leaving the next day for the Soviet Union with his daughter Elizabeth and Keith Harary to be part of a remote viewing experiment. He agreed to give me a copy of the film upon his return to include on my psychic news special. At the time I had no idea whatsoever the magnitude of what I was involved in, nor that this was a CIA backed project.
Two weeks later, I was intrigued beyond belief that I had the video from Russia in my hands and excitedly viewed the experiment. The experinet featured a woman who was a reknowned psychic healer had once attended to the gravely ill Soviet Premier Brezhnev. Her name was Djuna Davitashvili and her remote viewing was being witnessed by a roomful of people including the two Targs, Harary, members of the Soveit Academy of Sciences and likely some members of the KGB. This can rattle even the best psychic to have such potential "interference" in the room. But not Djuna.
She was asked to state what she began tuning in to and to draw the images on a piece of paper. First she saw a pier, jutting out into the sea. Then she saw little shops and signs in "hieroglyphics" as she did not understand the western signage. Next she saw a cupola with a concentric circle around it. Finally she saw animals with glass eyes.
Meanwhile, in California the other end of the experiment was also being controlled. A random computer generated image was to be selected at an agreed upon time. The image revealed was of the carousel at the end of Pier 39 in San Francisco surrounded by little shops. Thus the pier, cupola, little shops with signs and animals with glass eyes. The mind blower of the experiment, however, was that the image was not selected until 4 hours after
she had viewed the scene. Dr. Targ later explained to me that experiments out of Duke University had shown that remote viewing into the future produced cleaner results than trying to view in the present.
I interviewed Russel Targ again a couple of years ago, some 22 years later, and reminded him of our first encounter, of which, of course, he had no recollection. Those days were past now. He was still in deep grief at losing his beloved daughter Elizabeth to a brain tumor and had quit the spy business. None the less he did speak of the days in which he would sit in a darkened room training spies to see with new eyes. Why they conducted the experiments during the Cold War with the Soviets, I don't know. The Soviets were supposedly using their psychic spies to spy on the U.S. But since the fall of the Soviet Union, we have learned that the Cold War was not as chilly as the media would have us believe. There were many covert, as well as black ops, projects being jointly developed between the two nations while the nightly news kept the citizenry of both nations terrified of one another.
Let Hollywood take us through a fun little romp with Men Who Stare At Goats. But, while the funding for SRI and some of the other projects dried up a decade or so ago, military psy ops continue to this day.
If you want to do a little research of your own, here's a simple place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_viewing
For a little extra background on Djuna, her's a link to an obscure document you may find interesting as another account of the events of the day: http://books.google.com/books?id=Xc1CqsQu3lQC&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=soviet+psychic+djuna+davitashvili&source=bl&ots=Fd4cHXc4mF&sig=O_AywtjPvTeKU-aRpqxCns2aeQI
Go to page 30 to see information about Djuna.