Remote Viewing

Joseph W. McMoneagle

The End of the Line / Sightings on the Radio
with Jeff Rense

Sunday, March 2nd, 1997 8:00pm - 11:00pm Pacific Time

Featured Guests
Dr. Edwin C. May and Joseph W. McMoneagle

Transcript File 1 of Total 7

Transcribed by PJ Gaenir,

Transcribed from audio cassette which was courtesy of Jeff Rense.

"The End of the Line" is now known as "Sightings on the Radio"

This is a "general" transcript. It does not include every syllable.

File 1 of 7 in this series.

[begin transcript]

RENSE: Hi once again everybody. If 1996 was known for anything much, it certainly will be remembered as the year remote viewing entered the UFO/Paranormal mix in a big way. So big in fact that the phrase 'remote viewing' pretty much made the full circle, beginning as the new buzz-word on the block, then evolving into almost a cliche and then finally turning into what many would describe as merely a farce. Remote viewing made it's general public debut early in 1996 with Courtney Brown's fast-selling book "Cosmic Voyage," which also just happened to underpin his own private institute in Georgia, which offers courses in remote viewing to the public. Late in the year of course came Brown's involvement in the now-infamous hoaxed photograph of the alleged "second object" traveling with the Hale-Bopp comet. And most recenty, remote viewing has been in the news compliments of Ed Dames, and his doomsday statements about the Hale-Bopp comet traveling with some huge cylinder containing deadly plant pathogens. All in all, remote viewing has been in the news for much of the past year, from the tabloids to TV and it continues to intrigue and to confuse people in 1997. Well, tonight we are going to finally get the truth about remote viewing from two of the world's most experienced, honored, and legitimate experts in the field.

RENSE: First, we will speak to Dr. Edwin C. May, PhD, the Director of Cognitive Sciences Laboratory in Palo Alto California, who has been intimately involved in the study, and in the application of, remote viewing from the very beginning at Stanford Research Institute and the CIA's original involvement in that program. And then joining us a bit later will be the legendary Joseph McMoneagle, one of the six original CIA remote viewers, and the only remote viewer to have worked in that top secret government program during its entire operational existence. In fact Joe McMoneagle was so effective at remote viewing that he was given the Legion of Merit, the highest honor the intelligence community can bestow upon anyone.

RENSE: But before that, a little more background now on Dr. Edwin C. May. Dr. May has managed complex interdisciplinary research projects for the US federal government since back in 1985. He presided over 70% of the funding and 85% -- and this is important -- 85% of all the data collected for the government's 24 year involvement in parapsychological and remote viewing research. After obtaining his PhD, Dr. May accumulated over 12 years experience in experimental nuclear physics research, which included the study of nuclear reaction mechanism, and nuclear structure. Dr. May is the author or co-author of over 130 reports, including 16 papers in experimental nuclear physics and 20 papers presented at technical conferences on anomalous cognition. He won the outstanding achievement award in parapsychology in 1994, granted by the Parapsychological Association, and he is also the current President of the Parapsychological Association, which is an affiliate member of the American Associate for the Advancement of Science.

RENSE: Alright Dr. May, that's about enough, now let's get busy. How are you?

MAY: Good evening Jeff, fine, how are you this evening?

RENSE: I'm fine thank you. Let's start at the top here, and let me ask you: Very simply, for those who don't really know, what is remote viewing, and how does it work?

MAY: Well the first half of that question is fairly simply to answer. The second one, sadly, is at this point impossible to answer. Let me get to the first part. Remote Viewing is an apparent human ability to have access to information that is blocked from the normal sensory ways in which we gather information about the world. For example, I'm sitting here in the office, and I don't know at all what your studio is like, and I could probably give a reasonable guess. That's not remote viewing. But I can sit here in this office, and let's say if I try to remote view your office, I might be able to get some information about your office, and I have no idea what's there, and with careful analysis, after the fact determine that at least partially what I received by some unknown way, turned out to be accurate.

RENSE: Let me ask a quick question, let me interject here, why are we blocked from having this ability as a species as much as we might well be able to under certain circumstances?

MAY: Well, this is just a good scientific guess -- I think that remote viewing as a human ability is on the way out from an evolutionary point of view. Let me give an example Jeff. We don't see as well as hawks do, and we don't hear as well as deer. And the reason for that is, we have other ways of optimizing our survival. A deer obviously needs to hear very well to survive, and so a hawk to see a mice he's going to attack for eating, he's got to be able to see well. We have a brain, a well-developed brain, which is optimized for survival. We don't need ESP as much as some other creatures might need to survive. So I would bet it's on the way out from an evolutionary standpoint.

RENSE: And of course with that statement you're putting yourself at variance with much of the new age folks, who think we're coming into that.

MAY: Well, I'd be happy to sit and be convinced otherwise, if they can show me what data they have that suggests we're evolving toward this evolutionary stance.

RENSE: OK, now the other question, the unanswerable part of my question, the second part, how does it work? Well how in the heck does it work? I mean, we don't really know but we can see I guess cause and effect, action and reaction, we do have results to measure, and from there you've got to extrapolate and try to construct the mechanism involved, correct?

MAY: Sure. Starting from, like in any science, you have to say 'what can you measure, what can you observe,' and although it's at times a little complex, when you look at remote viewing in the laboratory, you can absolutely confirm that there's some sort of statistical anomaly, there's some sort of very clear evidence that we have an ability to gain information about our environment that's blocked from other senses. OK, that's the data. What does that tell us about how this might work? A good guess however Jeff is that well, we see with our eyes, smell with our nose, hear with our ears and so on, perhaps there's another sensory kind of system, not unlike our ears and nose and so on, that allows us to 'see' with remote viewing.

RENSE: What we call a sixth sense?

MAY: Yeah, that term was coined by a fellow by the name of J.B. Rhine back in the 30's at Duke University. And probably, he didn't realize perhaps how accurate that statement will turn out to be.

RENSE: And yet you do feel, according to your work, that this is a sixth sense that is certainly in decline, in an evolutionary sense.

MAY: Well, that's a guess on my part. What I can say is that we can measure in the lab that there are very strong indicators that the way it works when you study it carefully is very much like the other senses. You know, just to give you an idea, we can see things that are changing much better than we can see things that are standing still. You can easily see why evolution might have made us that way, because we're standing at the edge of the grassland, we're more interested in the leopard that moved than the grass that didn't.

RENSE: Yeah, good point, I understand.

MAY: And so when we study something like that by analogy in the laboratory, we found very strong evidence that ESP works very much the same way. It's much more sensitive of things that change, as compared to things that don't change.

RENSE: Hmmn. What can remote viewing do for us, what is it good for? And that's an open ended question, but you've been involved with the intelligence community for long enough -- is it really a viable tool anymore, I guess, we have a long story to tell about that, but what can remote viewing do for us?

MAY: Well, that's an interesting question. Any kind of a tool depends upon how you want to use it. For example if you tried to play baseball with a can opener that wouldn't be a very effective use of that particular tool, or better yet, try to open a can with a baseball wouldn't be a lot of fun either. So, if you say, can remote viewing be a tool? The answer is, well it depends on how you apply that tool. If you try to use remote viewing to, let's say, see what Hale-Bopp comet is doing, that's a very inappropriate use of that tool, that's kind of like the playing baseball with a can opener. The reason is, you have no idea whether you're right, wrong or indifferent, you're just guessing, and nobody can confirm the answer.

RENSE: No validation at all.

MAY: No validation whatsoever. On the other hand, if you say, there's a kidnap victim, somebody who was kidnapped off the streets of Chicago, could we use remote viewing to find that individual? With 100% reliability? Absolutely not. But, if you say, could we use the remote viewing as a tool to assist law enforcement, to help them find this kidnap victim a little faster than they would otherwise do, I would say, absolutely yes.

RENSE: And as we both know, the use of so-called psychics by law enforcement agencies is certainly, well it's not prolific, but it's out there.

MAY: That's true. There are mixed results there, but often enough this happens to where, you know, without a lot of publicity in front of the media, some law enforcement officials will, on their very tough cases, come to so-called psychics or even us to try to help on certain occasions.

RENSE: You're right, this isn't talked about much at all [MAY: No.], it's very quiet. How did you, Dr. May, become first involved with this whole idea of parapsychological research and remote viewing?

MAY: I was what's called a "postdoctoral fellow" in nuclear physics at the University of California in Davis, up here in the North land. And I'd never heard of psychic or parapsychology, I was a fairly straight physicist, doing what physics people do, in terms of studying the inner workings of the atomic nucleus, and I attended a conference at Davis, organized by a well known psychologist by the name of Charles Tart. And the conference was entitled, "Psychic Abilities." And I'd never heard of this, so I went and listened, I thought, "Gee, if this stuff is really real, then it's exquisitely important in terms of its implications for physics and physiology and a lot of other things." And over time I became more and more interested and began looking into some of the research and began conducting some of my own research, and just evolved into it as a full time occupation since 1976.

RENSE: How did -- I'm going to jump ahead just a bit -- how did the CIA first become involved with this? And that really talks about Stanford Research Institute I guess.

MAY: Yes. My colleagues, Dr. Harold Puthoff and Mr. Russell Targ had a small contract from the CIA in 1972 at Stanford Research Institute. And the CIA had asked them to investigate the abilities of a well known psychic in New York City by the name of Mr. Ingo Swann. The bottom line, to speed things along, is they invited Mr. Swann out to SRI and lo and behold, from a statistical point of view, he could do what the claims were, mainly, remote viewing. And so the CIA at that time became very interested. My goodness, if Mr. Swann could sit in a laboratory office in SRI in Northern California near San Francisco and in his mind travel to anyplace in the world, including to underground facilities in the Soviet Union, then perhaps this could be used to help our nation in terms of gaining intelligence about the then-perceived enemy of the Soviet Union.

RENSE: Yes, yes. And when did you come into the picture then?

MAY: I joined that onworking group early in 1976, as a Senior Research Physicist. There's a joke about we physicists, that we're jacks of all trades and masters of none {laughs}, and because of my background in experimental work, it was a nice adjunct to the team. And so we worked closely together as a team. By attrition, Puthoff left in 1985, and Mr. Targ left in 1982 a little earlier, so I became the project director in 1985, and have been so to this day.

RENSE: Alright, very good groundlaying, we'll be back with Dr. Ed May and pursue this fascinating story about remote viewing tonight, here at The End of the Line.


RENSE: We're back talking to Dr. Ed May. Dr. May, by 1976 when you joined the program, the CIA had been involved for about four years, beginning with Ingo Swann in 1972 and moving on. At what point was the program, in its evolutionary sense, at that point?

MAY: Well, if I could correct something a little earlier: the CIA has been given lots of credit for this program, or detraction from it, depending upon your viewpoint. [RENSE: Right.] Actually the CIA for the most part were really small players in this whole game. They started the program and spent about $275,000 which for you and me is a lot of money, but for government programs it's hardly a stamp budget. [RENSE: That's right.] And they actually quit funding the program in 1975.

RENSE: Well they just sort of pulled back and dropped out?

MAY: Yeah, they pulled back and dropped out for a number of reasons. Probably if you recall your history at that time, the Watergate scandal had hit, and the CIA was in trouble on all fronts for doing stuff they shouldn't do, so they tried to unload as much 'borderline' things as they could possibly do to save from being embarrassed in Congress and the press. Fortunately for the program and for us, other members of the so-called intelligence community picked up the program, one of those being the Defense Intelligence Agency, which is the military version of gathering intelligence.

RENSE: Interesting, that's 1976 they stepped in?

MAY: Yeah, 1976. And other people were involved throughout time, but right at the moment, only the CIA and DIA have sort of 'fessed up in saying that they helped fund the program. {laughs}

RENSE: Interesting. So what was the climate like, this was the height of the Cold War I guess, were we concerned at that time the Soviets were making significant advances in this field and we were not?

MAY: Yeah, that's a common thing to hear in the press these days, that gee, the U.S. was scared silly of what the Russians might be up to. Part of our role actually was not only to work with psychics to find out to what degree was ESP actually real and how it worked, but another role was to actually help with the intelligence community in an experimental way, applying remote viewing to gather intelligence, and then finally the third and very important aspect of what we did was what's called foreign assessment. You know, by normal collection methods in the intelligence community, somebody at DIA might hear for example that such and such a researcher in Russia had made the claim that you could levitate a light bulb, or whatever the claim was. And they would ask us to try to do as best we could a scientific evaluation of that claim, and at times, even to try to replicate that claim, to find out whether or not, if it were true, did this constitute a threat to the US in any sort of way.

RENSE: The DIA then, went around I guess normal channels and through the government, trying to put together a program. And they sent candidates out to you for evaluation I understand. How did that work?

MAY: That's right. In about 1978 they thought well, maybe we should set up an internal program, in terms of the government, rather than hiring SRI scientists [RENSE: Right.], to try to use remote viewing on a more day-in and day-out basis. And so they asked the group at SRI to help them in the screening process. They did some pre-screening, and found about 30 people that they thought might be interesting remote viewing trainee candidates. And we went and interviewed all of those, and from that, picked six. And later on in your program is Mr. Joe McMoneagle, who is one of those original six. The intelligence community folks then sent these six people, one at a time, out to SRI for "training." Though basically we called it 'technology transfer,' all we did is say "Well here's how remote viewing works, here's how we conduct a trial in the laboratory, let's try it and see how it did." And these six people did excellently.

RENSE: How excellently did they do?

MAY: Well, I don't want to bore everybody with a little bit of statistics, but it turns out that they did 36 different trials, six people did six of the six trials apiece, so there were 36 chances of doing remote viewing. And if remote viewing didn't work, on the average you would get six right answers out of that 36. [RENSE: I see.] We had 18. Three times as much as what we expected by chance.

RENSE: So random chance would give you six [MAY: Correct.], and you had 18. [MAY: Yeah.] So that had to get your attention.

MAY: It, uh, to use a highly technical scientific term, "knocked our socks off." {laughs}

RENSE: I should say. Dr. May, national security certainly prevents you from talking about certain sensitive areas [MAY: Yes.], but, you've had a lot of experience with this, a long time. These people in your opinion, were gifted? Were freaks? Were unusual? What made them so unique in this talented areas?

MAY: Well Jeff, let me answer that in two ways. First of all, they're definitely not freaks. Gifted, perhaps. In the same sense, the way to think about this is like any other form of, or any other kind of human talent. You can pick a basketball star, Michael Jordan, is he gifted? Sure. Is he a freak? Absolutely not.

RENSE: Let me ask you to pause right there, and we'll be right back after the news to continue.


RENSE: Alright we are back, talking to Dr. Edwin C. May, PhD about remote viewing, and we're talking about the six remote viewers who were involved in the government program from 1976 to '84 was it then? [MAY: Say that again sir?] The period of the program ran from '76 to '84, wasn't it?

MAY: Well, no, the period of the whole government program started in 1972, and closed officially in November of 1995.

RENSE: Oh. So what was the '76 to '85 period? Was that just the DIA involvement?

MAY: Yeah, '76 is when I first joined the program, and became its director in 1985. But the program continued.

RENSE: I see, ok. So the six people we're talking about, what kind of people were they? Just nice common folks? And I guess the obvious subsequent question would be, does everyone has this ability to one degree or another?

MAY: Well, yeah, they are nice common folk. Back when the CIA was still funding the program in the '73 time frame, they spent close to something like $50,000 investigating the best remote viewers that the program had at that time. The bottom line was, they were boringly normal. There was nothing medically or neurologically or psychologically special about these people. These six government remote viewers, they were all professional military people, five were men and one woman; they would not, if you met them on the street, you wouldn't think 'gee this is some weird psychic,' they just looked like average folks like you and me.

RENSE: What can remote viewing not do, what is it really limited by?

MAY: Well, it appears like now, remote viewing is not very good at getting specific detailed information, like let's say you had a safe in your office. I couldn't use remote viewing to get the combination. I might get a description, say, 'well, gee I think Jeff's got a safe in his office,' but that's about it. Now sometimes that kind of information is extremely valuable, again, it depends upon how you want to use the tool. Are you trying to use a can opener to play baseball? No.

RENSE: If you use it as a tool in an intelligence capacity, how accurate is it, what kind of consistent results did you get?

MAY: Well there's two answers to that question Jeff. One in the laboratory. How accurate? Well, without going into details, chance -- if you were just guessing, and remote viewing didn't exist -- you would get the right answer just by luck alone 20% of the time.

RENSE: That high?

MAY: That high, just because that's just one in five guesses. If I told you to pick a number between 1 and 5, you would get the right answer just because you were lucky 20% of the time. [RENSE: I see.] Because there are five choices. Well, turns out, that in remote viewing experiences, we routinely get, 45-50% of the time, we get the right answer. So we get almost twice what you'd expect by chance, more than twice what you'd expect by chance. Now, in the intelligence community it's a little bit harder. Let me illustrate what I mean. Let's suppose you're the CIA, and you're wondering, what in blazes are the Soviets doing at this, what looks like a nuclear testing facility? You can fly over with high-altitude airplanes and take pictures of it, but you don't know what's going on underground. So, you ask a remote viewer to tell you what's happening. And the remote viewer uses his or her ability and sure enough, gives you a very accurate, by remote viewing, description. Unfortunately, of just about everything that's above ground. So there's a case where you have a very accurate remote viewing, but no intelligence value whatever. The reason is, they knew it anyway, our government. [RENSE: Sure.] The inverse to that is true. Suppose you do a remote viewing that wouldn't pass muster in the laboratory as being evidence of anything -- it might just provide a tip-off for an intelligence analyst to solve the problem. So, to answer how effective this was in the intelligence community is not easy. The best way to do it is to say, well, did customers come back over and over again, the same customers, like did the secret service come to us more than once? Yes. Did NSA come to us more than once? Yes. If they kept coming back, they must have been happy with the product.

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This is file 1 of 7 in a series

Transcribed by PJ Gaenir,
PJ Gaenir's Firedocs Remote Viewing Collection:


"The End of the Line" is now known as "Sightings on the Radio"

Jeff Rense Sightings on the Radio web site:

Dr. Edwin C. May is the Director of, and Joseph W. McMoneagle an associated of, the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory:

The Firedocs Remote Viewing Collection features Joseph McMoneagle here.
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Joseph W. McMoneagle