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May 8, 1988


by: Jack Houck

In this paper, I am going to describe what "remote viewing" is, how to conduct experiments, how to think about it, and briefly how to do it.

In the mid-1970's, I read an articlel on remote viewing written by Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ in the IEEE Spectrum, an engineering publication. What they said was that a person could be sitting in a room in one part of the earth and send their mind out and perceive information about some place, or site, in the next block, or in another country; this is what we call a remote site. They can draw pictures and accurately describe these sites. This seemed absolutely incredible to me and did not fit at all with science as it had been taught to me! Like most, I guess I did not really believe that this was possible because I had had no personal experience with such things. However, Puthoff and Targ were credible scientists and worked at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California. I then read as much as I could find about remote viewing, out-of-body travel, and astral travel. Remote viewing had been called clairvoyance and I realized that there were many people reporting this type of experience. There was too much being reported, both historically and in recent times, all over the earth to be a collective hoax. Puthoff and Targ named this phenomenon Remote Viewing to try to accurately describe it for what it seemed to be to them. Since then, other researchers in parapsychology laboratories around the country call it remote perception because they had found that in addition to the visual information people picked up from a remote site, they could hear and feel things. There is no way they could have obtained this information using their normal physical senses in the usual way.

Puthoff and Targ conducted many of their experiments by having the person doing the viewing sit in their laboratory; one of the scientists would interview the viewer while the other one would go to an outbound target site, usually within a 30 minute drive from their laboratory. This site would be selected by some random process in a double blind manner so that the people in the laboratory did not have any idea where the target was located. The outbound researcher and the interviewer staying in the laboratory would synchronized their watches and agree on a preselected time (e.g., 30 minutes from when the outbound scientist left the laboratory) that the outbound experimenter would be at the target. At that time, the viewer would be asked to send his or her mind out to where the outbound scientist was and describe as best he could what he saw. The viewer would then describe where he thought the other scientist was and whatever else he saw. The viewer would also draw a sketch of the area. The outbound scientist would then return to the laboratory and compare notes. What they found, much to everyone's surprise, was that the viewer often accurately described the place where the outbound scientist had gone. In most cases, descriptions were given in great detail, much too precise and unique to occur by chance, or by simply guessing. Another thing they found was that almost everyone could do remote viewing. They called this type of experiment “Local Remote Viewing.2 All that seemed to be required was that the viewer had a brain, ... and luckily .... most of us have one!

I think the brain acts like a transmitter and receiver of information. You can think of it as sending your mind out to a remote place, taking a feel, hear and look around, and then transmitting back to the brain which receives the information and determines what is out there.

In the late 1970's I met with Targ and Puthoff. They suggested I conduct my own experiments. This seemed like a great idea to me, so I went out and found a female psychic who seemed to be able to see remote things. I asked her to work with me, and she became the viewer in my early experiments. These experiments were fun and exciting because remote viewing seemed to work for me too! After a couple years of running my own experiments, I wrote a conceptual model3 of how I think the brain/mind and nature might work together in order to support this unusual and fun phenomenon. I want to describe that model a little bit because I have found that it provides people with a structure for thinking about how remote viewing works. This structure then helps most people do remote viewing even better.

I think of the brain as a series of computers, all wired together as in a radar that transmits and receives information into, and from, some kind of a central storage system, outside a person's body, in which all information is stored. It is like this information is stored in another dimension, into which each of our minds have access. This dimension is NOT one of the normal three - length, width, height - nor the so-called fourth dimension, time, in which we are accustomed to perceiving information. Our mind is the connection between our brain and the information stored in this other dimension. I call this the STU (the letters STU stand for Space Time Unit). You know, in the aerospace business we give everything an acronym --- everything is in the STU! Our mind is constantly accessing the STU. It is my belief that our memory is also stored in this other dimension. After all, the neurologists and brain researchers have been searching for the location of memory in our brains for many years, with no success. Our mind is constantly storing and accessing the information along our "world line" which is the record of everything we have done, felt, heard, seen, or experienced in any way. Thus, when the mind searches back along our world line, it accesses the information that represents our memories. We can then feel, hear, and see the information presented by a memory that we then perceive inside our heads. To access information outside of your own world line, you need to have reduced the power of the peak emotional events on your own world line. Peak emotional events are like turning the corner on your way home to find your house on fire; or ... --your first kiss, or ... going to a conference that you know will be boring until you meet Mr. or Ms. fantastic; or... like getting an unexpected bonus! When you get to the point that you can allow your mind to go outside of your physical self to some remote place, you do not want it locking onto some peak emotional event in your own past. One of the best ways to get rid of those past peak emotional events is to simply work through them, knowing that you are OK, you have grown up, and you can move through those past peak emotional events until they no longer hold a big attachment over you.

Just let your mind go out to some remote place. Let's say that remote place is some ship in the South Pacific that was wrecked ten years ago, with a thousand people abandoning ship, leaping into the water, yelling and screaming. Your mind will land at that place and move back in time to the time that ship was wrecked, the ship's peak emotional event. You will be able to experience the entire shipwreck and see all the activity surrounding that event. Know that the mind is capable of moving back and forth in time. However, it tends to lock onto peak emotional events. In my remote viewing experiments, I have found that often a person will send their mind out to a remote place (I would specify latitude and longitude coordinates) and their mind would slide either forward or backward in time and lock onto some event, typically a peak emotional event. The event could be at any time, maybe four or even forty years ago or longer; it doesn't even have to be in your lifetime. It could even be in the future! The analogy I like to use is that of a radio that sweeps in frequency; like when you push the scan button on modern car radios. When the radio sweeps through the frequencies, it will lock onto the first strong signal it comes across, and that radio station will play out the information being broadcast through the radio speakers. The mind does the same type of thing, only it sweeps in time, locks onto a peak emotional event, and plays out the information stored in the other dimension at the time of that event. It plays it out through our brain so that we can become consciously aware of that information.

It is important to understand time shifts, because when you are doing a remote viewing, you can control time. The way to do that is to specify to your own mind the time when you want the information. If you do not do that, you can potentially become victim of the time of a peak emotional event at the place you are trying to view and you would get information from some other time other than what you want. This problem can also be avoided by using a meditation technique of throwing away any initial thoughts that come to your mind because they may be coming from events distant in time. Wait until you are very relaxed and your mind seems to be focused on a single time (the one you want) before you do your remote viewing. The other way to accomplish this is to simply tell yourself that you want the information at the current, or present time. For example, say: "I want the information at such and such location today, October 15, 1987, at 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time." In other words, be specific.

I observed that when you would allow your mind to go out to a remote place, you would not necessarily always be there at your normal size. You might send your mind out to this remote place and you are only an inch tall. You would see things from a completely different perspective than you are used to. You may be getting a squirrel's eye view of the place. All you have to do is specify that you want to be your normal size. You can specify that you want to be very large and have a global overview of the place that you want to view. You can then be your normal size and move your remote body down to the target area. You have complete control. You also have total mobility. You can fly, jump over buildings, and go through doors and walls. I often have the viewer plan to arrive at the target at 10,000 feet above the target. First, they get a feel for the air temperature and wind conditions, to get a feel for the whole area. Then they can lower themselves down to the ground and have complete movement around the target area. Often by allowing yourself to look at something from completely different aspects, or viewpoints, than you normally would, you improve the quality of the information that you receive. We have now covered two important things that you need to specify; one: the time, and two: your size.

One of the things that Puthoff and Targ did was to have a person begin remote viewing by trying to sense at the remote target using their lower senses (smell, taste, touch). They had much better results than having them go directly for visual information. I feel we have come up with the ideal way to do the remote viewings, by first going out to your intended target area, and then try to just feel what it's like there. Feel if it's cold or warm; feel if there's any wind; just get a sense of the area; you can sniff and smell, and begin to get an attachment to that remote site. When you begin to feel that you're really getting information from that remote site, you can then begin to listen; listen for any sounds. Obviously, you want to be doing this in a very quiet place, so that you are not affected by the sounds from where you are physically sitting. Then, after feeling and listening, use your visual sense and pick up the visual information from the remote site. It is sort of like opening your remote eyes. When you do that, you should have a pretty good connection to your remote site, and then your visual information will be accurate. Another aspect of doing remote viewing is trying not to analyze the data. I think that this is the most difficult part because we all tend to analyze, all the time. It is very natural to do so. You may already know about the right and left brain theory; that the left brain is the analytical side and the right brain is the creative, imaginative side. So in remote viewing, the analogy is to just use your right brain. It is sometimes nice to have someone there who is asking your left brain questions; we call this person "the interviewer."2 For example, if you have described a building, the interviewer may ask you to give more specifics about that building. The interviewer should not lead the viewer; that is, he should not ask, "Is the building white?" The interviewer has now prejudiced the viewer with the color white. "What color does the building appear to be?" might be a better question. A final example might be; "Could you tell me something of its size and shape?" It is possible to do remote viewing without an interviewer, but Targ and Puthoff, other researchers, and myself have found that the interviewer does enhance the quality of the results. understand that we are talking about getting 80 to 85% accurate information from remote areas.

So let's go over this again. Let's assume that you are sitting in a quiet, low light level room, in your favorite chair, and you become very relaxed; make sure the dog isn't ready to jump on your lap, or somebody isn't going to come crashing into the room unannounced. Get very relaxed by using meditation techniques or simply allowing yourself to calm down and become nonemotional; know before you start what information you want, and/or what the intended target to be viewed is; for example, you may want to check in on relatives and see how they are doing; or you may want to look at some foreign land to see the sights, so to speak. It is a good idea to know what you are going to go for before you actually start. After you tell yourself you want the information at the current time - or whatever time - and that you want to be your normal size, then simply send your mind to the desired place and begin to feel and smell what it is like at that place. One of the ways I do this is to have a remote viewer roll over from an initial starting point of ten thousand feet about the target, as I mentioned earlier, look at the stars and then simply roll back over and look down to see what the local area is like. You can even look at nearby towns. If you don't particularly like the time of day when you arrived at the target, you can always shift the time. I've seen examples where a person has arrived at night and couldn't see a thing; by simply shifting time back to the previous day, all of a sudden it was light and they were able to see just fine. Being able to use this ability of the mind to shift, slightly, in time is a very important thing to know and use. Once you are at the target site, and have gotten really connected to it, and are starting to get visual information, then you can look around for something that is interesting, like a building, monument, or whatever comes up on your mental screen. I like the idea that you can think of your forehead as a movie screen, looking at your forehead mentally from the inside, as if it were a mental screen. Sometimes people have found that they do not see anything on their mental screen. I let the image "bubble up" until it takes shape, without trying to force it into any of my memories. Try not to compare it to anything; comparing is basically analyzing. Targ and Puthoff found that if people said "It is like something," they were comparing the image to a memory and the viewing was usually wrong. Simply report out anything and everything you get, without analyzing it. Sometimes you may see a little movement in some part of your mental screen. Pretend you have a zoom camera that you can then zoom in on that movement. You will probably find that it will begin to take form and shape. You might find that you are right up against the side of a building. If you've ever stood with your nose against a wall, you know your vision is quite limited, to say the least. It's just not very interesting. Here is where the interviewer is useful. He can sense that you are stuck and tell you to zoom back away from the building. You may then begin to see the intended target. You can look around the outside of the buildings, or go inside. Some people have been able to read documents. I know of one example where a viewer went inside a safe and read a classified document; this is rather incredible. It is unusual to have lights in a safe In fact, there weren't any. Just remember that you are in complete control. You just turn on your own lights and presto, you can see! We normally find that people do the best with seeing the form, or shape of objects in remote viewing. They usually accurately get the shape of the intended target. The more practice that you have with remote viewing, the better you will be able to get precise, information about the remote targets.

It is important that you know that you can always get back to your body. Your mind is still attached to your physical body, and you can withdraw your external senses (your mind) back into your physical body any time you wish. You become centered again, and you will be yourself. If you find that it is difficult to get back, then just move any part of your body. In other words, touching yourself with your hand will instantly bring you back. There need not be any fear. Doing remote viewing this way is much less traumatic than having a full blown out-of-body experience. You can be at a table where you have a pencil and paper. You can draw what you observe. You can talk into a tape recorder. By using some of your physical body senses, you will stay in your body, while sending your mind out on this viewing errand with your external senses to a remote location to acquire the target information.

People often ask how they can practice remote viewing. My suggestion is that you ask a friend to put a different object out on the dining room table each day. Assuming that you know the room, you can start the viewing by thinking of the room and table (visualize it) and then look for, and at, the object put out for that day. Draw it and write down any other information that comes into your head. Be very specific about the day and time that you are looking for the information and be your normal size. At the end of the day, call your friend and compare notes. By practicing this, you will begin to get the feel for when your remote viewing is accurate. You can also try long distance remote viewing of places of interest. We do not find any degradation in the quality of the remote viewing for any place on earth, no matter how distant! Ingo Swann did remote viewing of the moon and Mars before they were observed by space sensors sent up by rockets, and his drawings were found to be very accurate. It is, therefore, not limited to earth. Most of your practical experience will be viewing things on earth. You can go with your friends on vacation and do many other things. Just think of all the fun things you could do! I have found that remote viewing works, is fun, and by doing it you will open up and expand your knowledge of what is possible.


1. Puthoff, H., and Targ, R., "A perceptual channel for information transfer over kilometer distances: Historical perspective and recent research," Proceedings of the IEEE 64, 3 (March 1976), 329-354.

2. Jack Houck, "Instructions for Conducting a Remote-Viewing Experiment," in ARTIFEX, 4, 1 (Spring 1985), 4.

3. Jack Houck, "Conceptual Model of Paranormal Phenomena," ARCHAEUS 1,1 (Winter 1983).


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