ABC puts Nelson man's psychic skills to the test
by David A.
Had he seen her before? "No," he answered.
Could he draw a picture describing the place where she was right now? Sitting in a windowless room in Houston, the Nelson county resident said, "Yes."
The results of McMoneagle's effort will broadcast at 8 tonight on ABC. Part of the television program "Ghosts, Mediums and Psychics" will test the retired army officer's ability to "remote view."
"Remote viewing is the act of describing or drawing details about a place, person or thing without having any prior knowledge of that place, person or thing," McMoneagle said. "In other words, it's done psychically.
"We call it remote viewing and not psychic functioning, because the act of remote viewing is always done within an approved scientific protocol. Whereas, psychic functionings such as channeling, looking into a crystal ball, those sort of things are done essentially without controls.
"When ABS asked me if I would be willing to put my remote viewing to the test live on camera, I said, 'Yes, absolutely.' I only asked that they stick to the established protocol, which they did precisely."
Ruth Rivin, the senior segment producer for LMNO Productions, a company which produced the ABC show, said they had heard about a Stanford University study on remote viewing. McMoneagle had been a part of that study.
Riven learned more about McMoneagle and the subject after reading his book, "Mind Trek: Exploring Consciousness, Time and Space Through Remote Viewing." Riven met McMoneagle for the first time in Houston when they filmed the segment.
"We chose Houston because it was a city that Joe had never been to before," Riven said from her Los Angeles office. "We felt it was important that he wouldn't be familiar with any of the target sites that would be selected.
"We also told the person who selected the sites not to pick anything obvious like the Astrodome or the NASA Space Center. We wanted everything to be completely on the up and up, and so did Joe.
"When we asked Joe if he would give us a demonstration of remote viewing on national television, he was completely fearless about doing it. All he asked was that we followed established scientific protocol, which we were only too glad to do."
Before McMoneagle's arrival in Houston, an executive from LMNO selected eight sites within an hour's drive of the downtown area. Directions to and photographs of each site were placed in separate, double wrapped envelopes and numbered.
The envelopes then were turned over to the Houston Police Department, which locked them in a guarded safe. When it was time for the experiment to begin, a die was cast to see which envelope would be selected.
The envelope was opened out of sight of McMoneagle who was sequestered in the windowless room. Except for the cameras, it was a familiar scenario for McMoneagle.
For nearly 20 years, he had used his remote viewing skills to assist the United States government with intelligence gathering and research into the phenomenon.
"While I was assigned to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) during the late 1970s and early '80s, I was part of Project Grill Flame," McMoneagle said. "We did a lot of research concerning remote viewing and actually used it in real situations.
"The American Research Instititute just came out with a report that was done at the behest of the CIA. It's a semi-classified report, but from what I understand, it states that there is really very little use for remote viewing in collecting intelligence.
"Unfortunately, this is not true. For the past 23 years, remote viewing has been used in collecting intelligence. To my knowledge almost every major government agency, including the CIA, National Security Agency, Drug Enforcement Agency, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secret Service, have used remote viewers at some point."
During one experiment for Project Grill Flame, McMoneagle said, researchers wanted to find out if remote viewers could gather information on military equipment under development.
"The target we were given was the Abrams battle tank, which was in the prototype stage at the time," McMoneagle said. "They parked the tank in an aircraft hangar thinking the remote viewers would find it more complicated to describe it with planes around it.
"But, in fact, we were able to draw in detail the optical targeting mechanism, the auto-loading mechanism, the interior seating arrangements and the type of armor being developed for it."
On another occasion McMoneagle said his remote viewing skills were used to locate an American general who had been kidnapped by terrorists. The general was rescued before the information could be used, but he said it was found to be extremely accurate.
McMoneagle discovered his talent for remote viewing quite by accident after he was assigned to INSCOM in 1978. In October of that year, he was sent to a conference at the Cognitive Science Lab of SRI-International near San Francisco, where remote viewing was one of the subjects being studied.
When McMoneagle was asked to participate in a remote viewing experiment, he agreed. Although he said he thought he was only guessing, it turned out that he had described several of the target areas in great detail.
He then became involved with remote viewing full-time. To date, he said, he has participated in more than 4,000 remote-viewing sessions under controlled conditions.
"Since I've been doing this, I've maintained approximately the same percentage of accuracy in terms of the number of times I can hit a target," McMoneagle said.
"That ranges between 25 and 30 percent. So out of any four targets I will get one of them. But out of the one I do nail, the amount of accurate information will usually run around 75 to 88 percent."
McMoneagle believes that to varying degrees everyone has the power to view. In his book, he writes about his experiences with remote viewing and includes exercises and advice to help readers develop their own remote viewing skills.
The book, published by the Charlottesville-based Hampton Roads Publishing Co. Inc., is in its third printing.
"The concept that someone can sit in a room and, through a photograph of a person, be able to describe the place where he is at that moment is absolutely fascinating to me," Rivin said.
"Every scientist I spoke to about remote viewing said that Joe's percentage of hits is extraordinary. He's down to earth, too, and doesn't cover up with a lot of 'I got this from the spirits or angels' sort of thing.
"He's very straightforward about it. He simply says it's a skill he has."
According to McMoneagle, the skill isn't limited to the present. He believes he can also remotely view the past. The problem inherent in historical remote viewing is being able to verify his findings.
Nonetheless, McMoneagle has used his skills to view events such as the construction of the pyramids and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
"Based on my remote viewing, Kennedy was probably killed the way everyone thinks he was," McMoneagle said. "That is, it was a conspiracy, involving people within and outside the government.
"Kennedy was killed by a bullet to the front of the head and not the rear, and there was more than one shooter. What I think needs to be understood better are the reasons behind why the assassination took place.
"I think, at least in the minds of the people who planned and initiated it, there were some extremely valid reasons for doing it. Perhaps Kennedy, as president, was a threat to them or the country."
After McMoneagle's segment in Houston was filmed, the television crew took him to dinner at a five-star restaurant.
"While we were eating, the crew kept wanting to tell me about the other targets they had selected," McMoneagle said. "I told them I wasn't interested, but they kept pressing the issue.
"Finally, to end it all, I said, 'Look, you're just going to tell me about a water slide or an ugly modern art statue.' They were stunned, because I essentially told them what two of the other targets were."
Riven, who was at the dinner, said she was taken aback by McMoneagle's offhand remark.
"Joe just casually mentioned two other sites, and he was pretty darn close," Riven said. "Before the experiment, I think we were all somewhat skeptical about the whole thing.
"But when I saw Joe doing this, I think a little something shifted inside me. It opened my mind and made me have to consider a broader picture."
McMoneagle now uses his remote viewing skills in his business Intuitive Intelligence Applications. He has used remote viewing for everything from locating missing people to providing information about oil wells before they're drilled.
Although McMoneagle's accuracy has proven to be uncanny at times, he said that information gathered by remote viewing shouldn't stand alone.
"Remote viewing is just another tool and should be verified," McMoneagle said. "But it's not the flaky psychic subject that many people think it is.
"It's real, and I think it has a lot of applications."
Like finding misplaced car keys?
"One in four," McMoneagle said with a laugh.
Back to the Firedocs Feature Page
Joseph W. McMoneagle