Firedocs Logo - Home Link

REMOTE VIEWING

MEDIA

remote viewing: Psychic World magazine cover

Joseph McMoneagle is interviewed in:
Psychic World / Summer 1998
/ $2.95 US $3.95 CAN
Subscriptions: Psychic World, PO Box 55442, Boulder CO 80322-5442.
U.S. $9.97/year (4 issues), Canada $14.97/year (+ 7% GST), all other countries $13.97


Interview with Joe McMoneagle, World Class Remote Viewer, by Tom Csere

In 1970 after a near-death experience, Joe McMoneagle discovered that he had an unwanted knack for leaving his body, as well as an uninvited capability for "spontaneous knowing" (suddenly knowing what a person in another room was thinking about). He now is considered to be a world-class "remote viewer."

Upon enlisting in the Army in 1964, McMoneagle was recruited by the Army Security Agency for classified assignments. He spent 14 years on overseas missions. In 1978 he was assigned to the headquartres of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) in Arlington, Virginia, where he served as Special Intelligence Projects Officer, Counter-Intelligence and Physical Security Officer, and Operations Specialist-Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.

While stationed in Germany in 1970, McMoneagle collapsed one day in a restaurant and endured a most unusual event--a near-death experience (NDE). In a hospital where he had been delivered dead on arrival (DOA) with no pulse, McMoneagle recovered, only to learn he suddenly possessed a involuntary knack for leaving his body. For example, while trying to sleep, he suddenly would find himself floating through the trees, or perhaps being relocated to a Japanese temple. He also discovered that he possessed a capability, again, unwanted, for "spontaneous knowings" (suddenly knowing what a person in another room was thinking about). By nature a nuts-and-bolts type of guy, McMoneagle was disturbed and even depressed by these happenings.

"My reality as I understood it was completely shattered," he later wrote. The NDE proceeded to become one of the deepest and darkest secrets of his life for eight years.

After reading a book on out-of-body experiences (OBEs) called Journeys Out of Body, by Bob Monroe, as well as an article from the journal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Inc. (or IEEE Journal) in 1978, McMoneagle began to understand his new reality. The article, written by Hal Puthoff, a scientist in charge of a government-funded remote viewing program at SRI International in Menlo Park, California, addressed something called "remote viewing." Reading these, McMoneagle gained the first real sense of who he was and what exactly he could do. Later, he would spend 14 months at Bob Monroe's institute, learning how to successfully control his OBEs (which up to then had been spontaneous).

The same year, the Army decided to create (as a counter to the perceived threat of Soviet psychic espionage) a psychic spying unit comprised of remote viewers. The Army had heard about the SRI program and was impressed. Because of the recurring psychic experiences following his NDE, McMoneagle was one of six intelligence officers recruited for the unit. At SRI, he became the first test subject in the program's six-year history to place five matches on the first try. Subsequent training in RV techniques transformed McMoneagle into an exceptionally talented remote viewer. He remained with the unit until his retirement from the Army in 1984 and earned a Legion of Merit award for "providing crucial and vital intelligence unavailable from any other source." This intelligence dealt with more than 150 different targets!

McMoneagle maintained his association with the psychic spying program through the company he founded in 1984, Intuitive Intelligence Applications. He continued working as a RV consultant to the Cognitive Sciences Lab at SRI International. When the lab was transferred to Science Applications International Corporation in 1991, he continued his RV consulting work there. McMoneagle is still employed as a research associate at the Cognitive Sciences Lab (now in Palo Alto), where he continues to seek more effective answers to questions concerning the applications of RV and its underlying metchanisms within the field of the paranormal.

McMoneagle has been successful in demonstrating RV both live and on camera, and, in fact, was one of the first persons ever to demonstrate RV before national television and radio audiences.

As the only remote viewer to be part of the formal government remote viewing program from its beginning to end (1978-1995), McMoneagle received publicity when the CIA first publicly acknowledged the program (right before terminating it) in late November 1995. Following the CIA announcement, articles referring to McMoneagle appeared in Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post. He was also interviewed by Ted Koppell on Nightline.

McMoneagle is the author of Mind Trek: Exploring Consciousness, Time and Space Through Remote Viewing. Originally published in 1993, an expanded edition was released in 1997. His remote viewing drawings and accomplishments are also published in other books, including The Mind Race by Keith Harary and Russell Targ (1984), Natural ESP by Ingo Swann (1987), and Miracles of Mind (1998) by Russell Targ and Jane Katra.

WHAT IS REMOTE VIEWING?

Remote viewing is the act of perceiving and describing details about a distant person, place, thing, or event, via psychic means. The term was originally coined in 1971 by parapsychologists at the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) in New York to describe a type of ESP experiment (specifically, one designed to test "traveling clairvoyance"). From the very start of its usage, remote viewing has referred not to an ability, but to an entire experimental model; thus, it is always done within an approved scientific protocol. Though this protocol does involve using psychic ability, it is not any new psychic ability, but an amalgam of what was formerly called clairvoyance, telepathy, and thought-transference.

Numerous remote viewing protocols have been created. One of the earliest, a protocol essentially for testing and practice, calls for one person--the "outbounder"--to go to a randomly selected location--the "target"--while a second person--the "remote viewer" (a.k.a. psychic test-subject)--sits and waits in a windowless room in a lab. At an appointed time, say in 30 minutes, the remote viewer is asked to verbalize or draw the location of the outbounder. A world-class remote viewer not only can draw and describe that location, but can do so with measurable accuracy. A follow-up visit to the location by the viewer usually confirms that!

INTERVIEW WITH JOE MCMONEAGLE

Tom:

First of all, Joe, we are curious to know what it was like being a "psychic spy" (also known as "Remote Viewing Agent #001"). Did you enjoy the work? Was it glamorous or exciting in the way most of us ordinary folks imagine espionage work to be?

Joe:

While the work was sometimes exciting, it definitely was not glamorous. Intelligence work, by its very nature, requires that it be done in the background, without notice, as unobtrusively as possible. Since success highlights a vulnerability, success is never discussed openly. This holds true for all forms of intelligence work, including remote viewing. Our work was generally focused on performance, so a lot of pressure and always a very serious attitude were present. What made it terribly difficult at times was having to function within a general atmosphere of ridicule, specifically from those in the military who rejected what we were doing out of hand. Not everyone accepted, or wanted to accept, the fact that we were able to do what we were doing.

Inset Photo of McMoneagle

[inset photo, with the caption: "McMoneagle has successfully demonstrated RV both live and on camera, and, in fact, was one of the first persons ever to demonstrate RV before national television and radio audiences."]

Tom:

You were involved with the government's remote viewing program first as an Army officer, and then, after your retirement from the military, as a civilian employee, for a total of 18 years. How many operational taskings--we probably should refer to them as psychic spying missions--did you engage in during these years?

Joe:

Over the course of nearly 18 years, I was probably involved in a few thousand operational taskings. More difficult, however, were the more than 1000 "viewings" I did for research purposes during this period. And I probably did another 2500 for practice,operational demonstrations, private and public demonstrations, and that sort of thing.

Tom:

What was your accuracy rate for these taskings, or missions?

Joe:

Accuracy is difficult to measure. Operationally, it is a measurement of whether or not you gave someone the answer they were looking for. You could make 50 or 60 statements, the majority being unverifiable, but if you provided that one fact they were looking for, then you would be considered accurate. In truth, accuracy should only be measured in a laboratory, scientifically. That way, both the target and the circumstances of the "viewing" can be scientifically controlled. The scientists present know how much you said, how much of what you said was right, how much of what you said was wrong, and, usually, how much you could have said but didn't. My average under these circumstances ranged between 65 and 75 percent.

Tom:

We know that you're under National Security constraints, and sworn to secrecy oaths, but are there any taskings or missions that perhaps have been declassified that you can tell us about?

Joe:

Well, in 1979, most U.S. Intelligence agencies had become aware that the Russians had built what was the largest building under a single roof in the world. No one in these agencies, however, knew what was going on inside. I was asked to remote viewing this facility, and I said I thought they were building a submarine. I was also able to provide specific details about this submarine, including its size, armament, hull configuration, and even the projected date of launch. As a result of this information I provided, the intelligence community was later able to confirm the existence of the new Soviet "Typhoon"-class submarine--the largest in the world! Another tasking assigned to me came when Army Brig. Gen. James Dozier was kidnapped by the Red Brigade in northern Italy in 1981. Upon remote viewing the situation, I was able to provide the name of the town and a description of where he was being held. Dozier was freed, however, before my information (which was correct) arrived on site.

Tom:

Joe, how much of the government's remote viewing program--which formally existed from 1978 to 1995, right?--would you estimate is still classified?

Joe:

The Army remote viewing program began in 1978 and ended in November of 1995. Probably less than two percent of the information pertinent to the program has been released; certainly almost none of the operational data. A great deal of the research data is still classified as well.

Tom:

Can you tell us which government agencies utilized you for psychic spying work?

Joe:

My Legion of Merit award, which I received for my work in the remote viewing program, mentions a number of agencies, including the CIA, DIA, FBI, Secret Service, Department of Defense, U.S. Customs, and even the U.S. Coast Guard. There are numerous others which will remain anonymous. I might add that, as is normally the case, information of extreme value is always separated from the source, in order to protect the source. So, it would not be surprising if some of the agencies that used our services didn't even know they were doing so.

Tom:

These agencies must have been highly satisfied with your performance! The fact that you received the Legion of Merit award, we think, is testimony to that.

Joe:

Most of the agencies were satisfied. If one understands how intelligence information is actually used, then one would understand that our material was no more or no less valued than any other sources material. It most certainly was never intended to be used as a "stand-alone" material, which is a fabrication.

Tom:

Probably the most extensive book published to date about the government remote viewing program is Jim Schnabel's 452-page Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America's Psychic Spies (1997). Having been a part of the program during its entire existence, do you regard this book to be a fairly accurate portrayal of the program and the individuals involved?

Joe:

Concerning Remote Viewers, it is probably 40/60--the 60 percent being way off mark. Without confirming or denying any of its content, I can say there are two major holes in it. First of all, 16 of the 26 people interviewed for the book had no direct knowledge of the Army remote viewing program except through hearsay. Most of my "interview" was extrapolated from a talk I gave at the Monroe Institute in Virginia, and required at least a few leaps of logic. Some of the people interviewed had axes to grind. And, if you examine the book carefully, you will notice a total lack of information concerning the research side, after 1986, when about 75 percent of the research was expended (between 1986 and 1995).

Tom:

You've been called "the most renowned remote viewer in the United States," but we might never have heard of you (or the remote viewing program) if it had not been for the sterling spade work done back in the 1970s by famed psychic Ingo Swann--who has been called the "father of remote viewing"--and the scientists at the American Society of Psychical Research (ASPR) and the Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International). Surely you must feel a good deal of gratitude to these individuals. Any others who come to mind and who you think should be acknowledged for their contributions to remote viewing?

Joe:

If you want to refer to the "father of remote viewing," you would have to go back half a century to the French parapsychologist, Rene Warcollier. At a lecture he delivered at the Sorbonne in June 1946, he presented the results of hundreds of experiments that he had conducted in the decades prior. The examples Warcollier presented were clearly, and without a doubt, remote viewing. Warcollier's work was certainly limelighted by Ingo Swann's work with the ASPR, as well as by the work done by Dr. Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ at SRI International. Pat Price, one of the first remote viewers to be tested by Puthoff and Targ, certainly was instrumental in establishing the intelligence value of remote viewing. And, over the past 10 years, a significant amount of research has been published by Dr. Edwin C. May of the Cognitive Sciences Lab. We could not have gotten to where we are without any of these individuals, as well as the dozens of others who made significant contributions.

Tom:

You were featured on an ABC-TV special back in late November 1995 called PUT TO THE TEST, and successfully demonstrated your remote viewing abilities before a huge national audience. Weren't you the first person ever to do this? Has anyone else, to your knowledge, done it since?

Joe:

I might have been the first person to demonstrate remote viewing on a major TV network, but plenty of others preceded me in demonstrating it on film. Ingo Swann, Pat Price, and Hella Hammid, all remote viewers at SRI International during the '70's, were part of this bunch. I might add that, in regard to the ABC-TV special, I've since done seven more shows like it, both here and in England.

Tom:

Upon retiring from the military in 1984, you founded Intuitive Intelligence Applications and proceeded to make your remote viewing services available to the public. Your company is still around today, and we wonder what types of clients you tend to attract?

Joe:

In regards to my business, Intuitive Intelligence Applications, I've always promised my clients full anonymity. So, I cannot be too specific in my response. I can say that I've provided support to anthropologists, geologists, engineers, private investigators, law enforcement officials, investment counselors, people involved with research and development, as well as private citizens with unique problems. Most of my clients, about 80 percent, are serious and no-nonsense type of people, the rest perhaps a bit over the edge. Since I prioritize my work, there are some I have to turn away.

Tom:

Your highly acclaimed book, Mind Trek: Exploring Consciousness, Time and Space Through Remote Viewing (first published in 1993), was republished in June 1997. We understand you added some new material. What did you add?

Joe:

I added two chapters. One addresses the formal review of the remote viewing program that was done by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a review that was very negative in nature. To show the real merit of remote viewing, I provide (in this new chapter) an example of a simulated intelligence target we did for a specific agency to test my ability. It clearly demonstates our level of competence and flies in the face of the AIR report. The other new chapter addresses what I call Delusions and Potentials; in other words, what remote viewing can and cannot do. I also corrected a number of glitches that were present in the first edition.

Tom:

One of the most interesting chapters in your book is titled "Another World," containing an account of your remote viewing some pyramids on Mars. Many readers of the book were probably a bit surprised to learn that one can actually remote view such things! Tell us, is there anything that cannot be remote viewed? How about UFOs?

Joe:

In my 20 years of experience with remote viewing, I've never known a target that could not be remote viewed. But there are some targets, I feel, that shouldn't be viewed. There are also targets about which nothing can be verified. UFOs fall squarely into this category. It's my opinion that remote viewing should be used when and where it will do the most good; e.g., against terrorism, to assist police, in support of nuclear non-proliferation, and so on.

THE GOVERNMENT RV PROGRAM

After 1972, scientists at SRI International, the nation's second largest "think tan," improved and expanded upon the original remote viewing (RV) protocol created at the ASPR in 1971.

The discovery that a protocol involving geographical coordinates enabled remote viewers to accurate draw and describe a geological target drew the attention of U.S. intelligence agencies with interest in considering "coordinate RV" as a potential intelligence-gathering tool. After CIA funding, other agencies, including the ultra-secret DIA, Navy, Air Force, and NASA, also helped finance the research.

By 1978, the Army had heard about the SRI program and decided to create its own secret RV unit. It was initially code-named GONDOLA WISH, and consisted of Army intelligence officers with some natural psychic ability who were then familiarized with the RV techniques developed at SRI International. The Army RV unit operated covertly for 17 years under various code-names. The program established to employ it eventually passed to the DIA and finally to the CIA. Used primarily as an offensive spying unit, its services were made available to the entire U.S. Intelligence community.

The RV unit was terminated by the CIA in late 1995, and declassification of its records began. This paved the way for "civilianization" of RV, and for teaching RV techniques by former government remote viewers to the public.

Tom:

In your book you touch upon what perhaps could be referred to as "past viewing," and relate how remote viewing can be utilized to amplify our knowledge of past events. Can you provide us with some examples? How about the Kennedy assassination? Could that be remote viewed in order to learn the real truth?

Joe:

Some examples of past viewings would be: locating things on archeological digs; expanding upon an anthropological history of a specific culture; or, looking at details surrounding a historic event. The idea behind past viewing is to provide verifiable information that will expand our existing knowledge of these things in some way; perhaps indicate a place to dig, identify a few sources of information, guide someone to something that supports a new theory, or so on. Some things, such as the Kennedy assassination, are best left alone.

Tom:

We heard that you're at work on another book, one which deals with "forward viewing," or remote viewing the future. How far into the future have you viewed?

Joe:

My next book, tentatively titled A Journey Through Time, is nearly finished. It contains about 150 predictions relevant to now through the year 2075. Another section of the book describes what the Earth and life on it will be like in the year 3000.

Tom:

So, remote viewing is not constrained by time! It's astounding to realize that one can actually remote view the past and future as well as the present. This aspect of remote viewnig sort of verifies Einstein's words, "The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."

Joe:

That's right, remote viewing is not constrained by time. Time does, however, create some problems. In the case of remote viewing the past, one runs up against well-entrenched beliefs and theories that people are not willing to change. Remote viewing the future has its own problems. In some cases, once the viewer has gotten out just a few years (into the future), she or he might be able to see the information with 100 percent clarity, but will lack knowledge of the concepts needed to glue it all together and permit its understanding. As a parallel, imagine someone in the year 1880 trying to describe how a modern-day, high-energy pump laser operates.

Tom:

Joe, can everyone learn to remote view? And, if so, to the same degree?

Joe:

Research of over 25 years shows that just about every human being ever tested was psychic to some degree. So, yes, just about anyone can learn to remote view. However, the degree of ability displayed will range across the board. Some persons prove to be very good, others never get beyond "gestalt" (or rudimentary remote viewing). Innate talent has a great deal to do with it, like athletic prowess or having a musical ear.

Tom:

What advantage might a person have by being able to remote view?

Joe:

Actually, the viewer has very little advantage. As a viewer, one cannot pick and choose targets; otherwise, the protocol is invalidated. There are ways of coping with this problem, such as mixing a target in with several hundred others. The real advantage to learning how to view remotely is that one assumes control of what is happening in the mind. The benefits are there: pain control, focusing ability, tapping of creative juices--that sort of thing.

Tom:

In the past, you've referred to remote viewing as a "martial arts of the mind." What exactly do you mean by this?

Joe:

In the martial arts, one makes a study of an appropriate technique that others have established; it might be called a style. One proceeds to practice this technique, usually for years, until it is second nature. Once a certain level of competence has been reached, one then improves on the technique by adding his or her own style. Learning remote viewing is not something one does for a couple of years. It's something you do for a lifetime. It's a martial art of the mind.

Tom:

For those readers interested in learning about remote viewing, how do you recommend they do so?

Joe:

I'd like to say find somebody competent to teach you. Unfortunately, there are very few teachers who have succeeded in understanding the basics of remote viewing. Many who have hung up shingles don't even know what the remote viewing protocol consists of. If I were just beginning, I'd try and find my own road. I'd learn from a reputable scientist what constitutes a valid protocol, and then just start practicing. A basic protocol, by the way, can be viewed on our web site: www.lfr.org.

Tom:

Any plans, Joe, for becoming a remote viewing teacher yourself?

Joe:

I have no immediate plans to teach remote viewing. I am not sure we know enough about it yet to be teaching others past a rudimentary level. Besides, I'm very busy still learning more about it myself. I'm fully involved in remote viewing research as a research associate with the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory in Palo Alto (California), and am a full member of the Parapsychological Association. Along with my writing and the demands of my business, this work keeps me quite busy!

Tom:

Thank you, Joe, for making this interview such an interesting one.

NOTE: If unable to locate a copy of MIND TREK in your local bookstore, you can order the book directly from the publisher by calling toll-free 1-800-766-8009, or by writing to Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 891 Norfolk Square, Norfolk, VA 23502. Joe McMoneagle can be contacted by writing to Intuitive Intelligence Applications, P.O. Box 100, Nellysford, VA 22958.

[end]


Back to the Firedocs Feature Page
Joseph W. McMoneagle