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Controlled Remote Viewing
A little known bit of history

Lyn Buchanan

Controlled Remote Viewing is a discipline devised by Ingo Swann,  PhD, while working on a government contract with Stanford Research  Institute to look into the science behind intuitional performance in  general, and "psychic spying" in particular.. The discipline was devised  with a background hope that, if, as they say, everyone has this talent,  then there should be a scientific way to develop it to the person's maximum  individual potential. The further background hope was that it could be  trained to any soldier, so the government would not have to deal with  "natural psychics" - something which is political death in the US.

A very short history and a bit of military trivia: Most people in  the United States, and very few in the military know of the existence of a  very specialized unit within the U.S. Army called the "remote  viewing unit". It was also known as the Army's "psychic spying" unit by  most of the people and agencies who used its services.

Formed in 1972 as a reaction to the fact that the Russians already  had such a unit in place and which was successfully stealing U.S. military  secrets, an ad-hoc unit was first formed under the project name  "SCANATE". That was short for "scan by coordinates". This unit was formed  in order to have U.S. psychics spy on U.S. top secret targets, to see if it  could be done successfully. After the first trial run, the CIA raided the  project, confiscated their paperwork, and tried to arrest the project  members for espionage. The trial was obviously successful.

The unit then moved to covert operations under the name "GRILL  FLAME", and was tasked with collecting intelligence on foreign targets. It  was tested and approved for charter by Congress on a year-by-year basis for  the next 12 years as an official US Army unit within USAINSCOM (US Army  Intelligence and Security Command) until 1984. At that time, its revised  chain of command put it directly under the Defense Intelligence Agency, but  it remained an Army unit, under the new code name "SUN STREAK" It  continued on a yearly-approval basis for another 12 years until, in 1994,  it was transferred to the CIA under the code name "STAR GATE".

With the cold war over and funding and personnel slots growing  more scarce, the CIA immediately cancelled the project in early 1994,  without ever using its services. In December of 1995, the CIA, under  pressure from FOIA requests, published a statement that the unit had  existed, but that it had not proven to be of any use to the CIA. The  unit's existence, its technology, and history became effectively  declassified as a result of this public statement.

Although it was called "psychic" spying, the methodology used was  not psychic at all, but instead, a highly uniform and technological  methodology which had been designed at Stanford Research Institute  under military contract. Originally, the military desire had been to  develop a methodology which could be taught to any solder in any unit, as a  unit-level intelligence collection tool for local commanders.

The military's uses for CRV, which were proven over the 24-year  life cycle of the unit, extended to reliably discerning enemy plans and  intentions for the next day of battle, predicting enemy troop  movements, ordinance capabilities, and potential mid-action choices which  would be open to commanders. It also proved to be useful in medical  diagnostics, R&D, and in the political arena, where it was shown to be very  dependable at discerning the plans and intentions, actions and reactions of  foreign political leaders.

It was mainly the political factor which proved to be the largest  block in taking the technology out of the covert intelligence field and  moving it into the local unit. Because of political fears about its  perceived "giggle factor", where local constituents would challenge the  politician for voting to fund "psychic" work. Also, because it proved to  be extremely useful within the (non-military) political arena, it was kept  as a single covert unit and never moved out into the military at large,  where it could have been trained as a tool for use by local commanders.

The methodology, which had a tested accuracy rate of 72.8%  dependability, was reported to be the highest dependable accuracy rate  within the entire intelligence community - higher even than satellite  imagery or in-country espionage agents.

If you would like more information about this fascinating part of  the U.S. Army's history, take a look at the Controlled Remote Viewing web  page, at That is the web page of a private  company belonging to Lyn Buchanan, the former CRV unit's trainer. He keeps  a portion of his site dedicated to the history and technology of Controlled  Remote Viewing. If you ignore the rest of the site and simply click on the  button which says "CRV Web Page" you will be taken to the correct portion  of that site, which is strictly non-commercial and contains documents,  essays, historical material, etc. on the subject of CRV.

Approximately 400 people worldwide, both military and civilian,  have now been trained in this technology. Controlled Remote Viewing has  now moved out into the civilian community and is presently being used for  police work such as locating missing and abducted children and solving long  unsolved cases, business planning, stock market work, archeology, and a  host of other civilian applications, such as medical diagnostics, and even  one "active" method which has been proven in a study where a trained  Controlled Remote Viewer was able to significantly lower the blood pressure  of chronic hypertension patients.

One last word of caution. You will hear the term "Remote Viewing"  bantered about by many natural psychics who, after the public revelation of  the military's methodology, declared themselves to be "remote  viewers". As a result, you will find hundreds of people saying that what  they do is "remote viewing". There are so many definitions for "remote  viewing" these days, that the term no longer has any definite meaning. The  discipline of Controlled Remote Viewing is totally different from any form  of parapsychological method you have ever seen. In fact, it is not even a  totally mental discipline, at all, but more of a martial art, using  physical training and many physical disciplines to allow the subconscious  mind to communicate with the conscious. In the next article, I will cover  the differences between CRV and the other disciplines, what makes CRV work,  and give some examples.

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