ESP and Remote Viewing – Part 1

[For those who missed out on both the 1973 announcement and its significance]

By T. L. Keller

ESP                                         Extrasensory Perception.  Occurring or seeming to occur apart from, or in addition to,  the normal function of the usual senses.

Geller, Uri                               Famous Israeli telepathist and entertainer specializing in mind reading and psychokinesis (PK).

psychokinesis                         the apparent ability to influence physical objects or events by thought processes.  Sometimes referred to as PK.

Puthoff, Hal                            American engineer specializing in gravitational and paranormal research.  Founded SRI International.

remote viewing                      ability to “see” objects at a remote distance using paranormal sensory channels.  Also known as RV.  Coordinate remote viewing (CRV) is the ability, given the physical coordinates of longitude and latitude, to “see” objects at remote distances.  

SRI                                          Stanford Research Institute. A “think tank” originally part of Stanford University in Menlo Park, CA, SRI was separated from Stanford due to a student uprising when it was announced that SRI was performing work for the Department of Defense during the Vietnam War.

Swann, Ingo                            lateAmerican psychic and remote viewer.  Working with Dr. Jacques Vallee, Swann coined the term “coordinate remote viewing” (CRV).

telepathy                                communication between minds by some means other than the normal sensory channels.


In 2000, I attended one of  Dr. Steven Greer’s “Ambassador to the Universe” combined training program and field expeditions.  Prior to the “retreat,” as it was called, we each received copious briefing notes describing the approach for attracting ETI beings with group meditation and searchlights (at night).  During an afternoon briefing, each of the 10 or so attendees introduced themselves and among them was Beth (not her real name) and Lt. Colonel John Williams.  For those who have followed Steve Greer for a number of years, John Williams is one of Greer’s key witnesses who were presented at the National Press Club in 2001.  During the introductions, Beth Williams said that she was an amateur psychic and had a certain degree of extrasensory perception (ESP).  Frankly, I had never met a psychic before in my life, and I had thought nothing would surprise me on this trip . . . was I wrong!

Here is a quotation for one of my books about that experience:

“At one point, Dr. Greer wanted to get a sense of the sensitivity to meditation of the members of the group. We all meditated for a few minutes and then Dr. Greer asked if any of the members of the group had a feeling as to where we would be going that night.  Silence.  Then, Beth spoke.  She said she thought it had to do with a Native American Indian name.  Dr. Greer smiled and asked for any other thoughts for the group.  Dr. Greer then said that we were going to something like Chief Cochise River bed. There were a couple of gasps. Most of us were quite surprised. Dr. Greer, Linda, John and Beth were not.” 1

Annie Jacobsen is an established author with a specialty, it would seem, of writing about deep black, US Government programs. In 2017, she published Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis2 Her other titles are: Operation Paperclip, The Pentagon’s Brainand Area 51.  They are all quite extraordinary, to say the least.  What follows in Part 1 of this series describes what might be called the “SRI-CIA Years” of Government involvement in secret experiments in ESP, psychokinesis and remote viewing.

The Experiments

Ingo Swann

According to Jacobsen, the late Ingo Swann is quoted in his unpublished memoir, “I was quadruply freaky”.  He had premonitions and had the ability to see auras of people near him.  He went into a dream state by just closing his eyes.  He could go into an out-of-body trance and travel to undiscovered places. He left the US Army in 1958 and moved to New York City where he hoped to become an artist.  Swann, to cover his expenses, became a test subject in psychic research at the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR).  At ASPR, research was conducted by Dr. Karlis Osis, a former US Army researcher from the early 1950s who studied cats (!).  Osis used Swann in a series of tests involving out-of-body experiences (OBE).  Osis’ assistant would bring in a box in which some object was placed.  She would climb a ladder and place the box on a tray. Swann, sitting in a lounge chair, was directed “see,” via an OBE, what was in the box.  Swann found it difficult to verbalize what he “saw,” so he would make a drawing of the object.  Osis was thrilled when, each time, Swann successfully drew the mystery object. Swann was able to perform the visualization immediately.  He called it, “instantaneous connection to the psi signals.” 3  A colleague of Swann’s suggested that he contact Dr. Hal Puthoff of the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) since Puthoff’s research was pursuing a similar hypothesis.

At SRI, Dr. Harold E. Puthoff was a physicist in gravitational research.  He and his later colleague, Dr. Russell Targ, a laser physicist who had a long time interest in parapsychology, were conducting experiments in paranormal research. Swann arrived at SRI in 1972 prepared to become a subject of experimental research into his unusual and thus far untested abilities — at least as far as physics was concerned.  Puthoff escorted Swann into one of the laboratory basements and introduced him to eight academics who were to witness the first test.  In one corner Swann was shown a chart recorder with its pen moving along a long scroll of recording paper.  It had been recording a straight line on the paper as the magnetometer that fed the recorder had no perturbations for some time before.  Swann was directed to “perturb” (in other words, cause the recorder to show a disturbance) the magnetometer.  Swann said that he needed to view the magnetometer so that he could understand it.  One of the witnesses, smirked, said it was a secret device and told him that he was standing on it.  It was explained that it was a large device buried in concrete underneath the floor and that it was developed by the Office of Naval Research for a highly-classified project.  Swann proceeded to concentrate, but nothing happened.  All of the witness smirked.  Swann said he needed to draw the magnetometer that he was supposed to perturb.  Puthoff tore a piece of paper from the recorder and Swann drew what he saw “in his mind’s eye.”  Swan said, “Is this the Josephson junction?  If so, I think I can see it quite well.”  Then the chart recorder took a jump.  Then the recorder pen stopped.  And then, it took another jump higher than the first.  The magnetometer had been “perturbed.”  “Jesus Christ, “ Swann heard one of the witnesses mumble. “Can you do that again?” asked Puthoff.  The pen jumped again.  Puthoff shook his head.  Later Puthoff said, “I thought, I’ll be damned.”  The next day, Swann left for New York City after declining an invitation by Puthoff to return again. 4

Dr. Hal Puthoff and Ingo Swann (c 1972) 5

Uri Geller

Of course, this is the same Uri Geller who first earned fame and fortune as an entertainer in Israel bending spoons, reading minds and performing other acts of psychokinesis (PK).  According to Jacobsen, Germany’s Bild-Zeitungnewspaper had a series of reports on Geller’s celebrity.  It printed “fantastical stories about his alleged paranormal powers: Geller reportedly stopped a cable car on Mount Hochfelln in Bavaria; bending handcuffs at a Stuttgart police station; halting an escalator in a Munich shopping mall.  In a matter of months, Geller amassed a legion of dedicated fans — but also an army of foes.  The intense public interest followed him to America.” 6  

His first visit in America was to none other than Dr. Wernher von Braun, then an executive at Fairchild Industries in Maryland.  Von Braun claimed that he bent his wedding ring without ever touching it.  At von Braun’s urging, Geller also was able to restart a pocket calculator that wasn’t working, which he did.  As soon as the Pentagon got wind of his restarting a failed calculator, the USAF became concerned that PK might be used to cause a malfunction in the guidance systems of ICBMs.  The race was on.By the time that Geller arrived at Puthoff and Targ’s SRI laboratory, concern over security was paramount.  Geller, being a foreign citizen, might be a member of the Mossad (Israeli spy organization).  The laboratories were fully swept for electronic bugs and so was Geller upon arrival. Thus, began a series of experiments that lasted from December 1972 to early 1973.  Puthoff and Targ conducted any number of successful tests on Geller. A report delivered to the CIA stated, “The probability that this could have occurred by chance alone is approximately one in a million.”  The CIA was nonplussed with Geller’s celebrity.  After all, the CIA is a secretive bunch, but that got the CIA’s attention.  A CIA representative then conducted an experiment of their own on Geller inside an electronically-shielded room (known as a Faraday cage).  Ten metal cannisters were lined up with some containing objects and others empty.  Geller was subjected to a full body search for electronic and magnetic devices. Upon viewing, Geller successfully set aside the empty containers.  Then, he identified the contents of the remaining cannisters that contained objects — drops of water, steel ball bearings and a small magnet.  The CIA report stated, “This task was performed twelve times, without error.  The probability that this could have occurred by chance alone is about one in a trillion.” 7

Dr. Puthoff and Uri Geller (c 1973) 8

Scientist Dr. Christopher “Kit” Green was, at the time, the director of the CIA’s Life Sciences Division.  At a later date, it was Green who would be assigned to discover how ESP and PK technically functioned.   One day, Green received a telephone call from Puthoff to discuss the relationship of Geller and SRI.  Puthoff said, “He can see things at a distance.”  Green recalls saying something like, “No, he can’t.”  Then, Puthoff introduced Geller to Green as they had never spoken.  Puthoff suggested a test right over the telephone.  Geller asked Green to open any of his books with a strong visual image. Green opened a book of medical illustrations of the human brain.  Green had written in bold the word “Architecture of a viral infection” at the top of the page.  Green stared at the image intently.  Geller then made sketches on a sheet of paper.  Geller then said that he had made a sketch of scrambled eggs with the word “architecture” coming on very strong.  “I was baffled,” said Green. 9  “How could Geller have ‘seen’ what I was working on?”

Patrick H. Price

The late Pat Price had a checkered background.  He was a student pilot in the US Army, he had been a gold miner, a security guard, a construction worker, the manager of a packing plant and a multitude of other jobs. When he joined the Church of Scientology, that sparked his psychic talents.  At his mid-fifties, Price said that he wanted to make a nice sum of money and retire. 10  Price met Puthoff and Swann under odd circumstances, apparently (?) by pure accident.  Six months later, Price called Puthoff on the phone and said that he could help.  Puthoff says that, “It was so odd and out of the blue that I decided to give him the coordinates.” 11  These were the geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) of a location of significant interest that was being used to test Swann’s abilities at, what Swann called, coordinate remote viewing. 

Three days later, Puthoff received a lengthy letter from Price with a description of the objects at the location of the coordinates given to him earlier.  It was more than a detailed account of what was on the surface. After describing in detail roads, multiple buildings and even a flagpole, Price gave Puthoff details of what was undergroundas well.  The letter contains descriptions of the number of floors, dimensions of rooms, cabinet locations and their colors and the elevator.  Most alarmingly, names of folders were correct.  It was all correct.  Alarm signals went off at the CIA.  Their security officers arrived at SRI suspecting violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. 12  An investigation proceeded and Price, Puthoff and Targ were eventually exonerated. Guess what followed?  It turned out that Price provided far more details than Swann.  Price was then hired directly by the CIA.

Puthoff, Green, Targ and Price (1973) 13

The Science

For those who have read my NEWSciencearticles in the past, at this point, this writer would normally attempt to explain how ESP, PK and RV work. [Roll computer graphics and music, please]  Well it’s not that easy.  Here’s how Jacobsen characterized it:

“In the meantime (late 1972], Green supported Puthoff and Targ in their conclusion as physicists, in what the CIA called in memos the Swann-Geller phenomena. ‘We have observed certain phenomena for which we have no scientific explanation,’ wrote Puthoff and Targ. Officers at headquarters had their say. ‘The paranormal field is so delicate, so suspect, so potentially explosive that only the most orderly of plebeian approaches seems likely to survive the bureaucratic atmosphere,’ one Agency representative wrote.  ‘Let me state simply that I, at the present time, neither believe nor disbelieve in the phenomena — although I must frankly admit that, like many others, I find myself essentially disposed (philosophically/emotionally) in favor of the proposition that what we have so far learned about the nature of man and his environment compares poorly (qualitatively at least) with what we have yet to learn.  Probabilistically, then, I find it easier to believe that there might be phenomena in this general area which we do not understand, than there are not.’” 14 

Ultimately, the decision was to be made by Richard Helms, the Director of the CIA.  Helms not only directed that the “Swann-Geller Phenomena” studies continue, but that they should be expanded.  Essentially, those in control had no idea how the phenomena worked, but they were willing to invest in its further development to find out how it did work.  Of the funds allocated to the project, 20 percent was to support Dr. Green’s work toward the “investigation of the neurophysiological correlates of paranormal experiments.” 15 In other words, Green’s job was to discover how it actually works.

Part 2 will be a follow-on report on the history of the US Army/DIA remote viewing programs.  What does this all have to do with UFOs and ETIs?  Stay tuned . . .


  1. Keller, T. L. The Total Novice’s Guide To UFOs, 2FS Press, 2010, page 195 and digital edition.  This event was followed by several other “far out” personal experiences the next night that made me a true “believer” in ESP.
  2. Jacobsen, Annie, Phenomena: The Secret History of the U. S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis, Back Bay Books, 2017.
  3. Ibid., Jacobsen, page 126.  
  4. Ibid., Jacobsen. Page 134-135.
  5. Ibid., Jacobsen, photo section. 
  6. Ibid., Jacobsen, page 141.
  7. Ibid., Jacobsen, 144.
  8. Ibid., Jacobsen, photo section.
  9. Ibid., Jacobsen, 148.
  10. Ibid., Jacobsen, 162.
  11. Ibid., Jacobsen, 157.
  12. Ibid., Jacobsen, 161.
  14. Op. cit., Jacobsen, page 148.
  15. Op. cit., Jacobsen, page 149.

© T. L. Keller 2019

To the readers: In these series of articles, we attempt to cover the full gamut of UFO/UAP experiences: sightings, ESP and remote viewing, abductions, science and technology, etc.  If you are an experiencer or have a specific topic that you would like presented, please contact the author.  T. L. Keller can be contacted at