Recognition of scientific methodology for PSI experiments
Let’s not kid ourselves: As the largest lexical tool, Wikipedia has come to play a major role in shaping public opinion about the content it describes. It is often forgotten that the articles always reflect individual opinions and cannot be one hundred percent objective. The article about Remote Viewing in the German Wikipedia still reads reasonably objective, because the author avoids to introduce a corresponding valuation of the phenomena. It is different on the English pages. There the whole topic is quite directly dismissed as “pseudoscience”. Regardless of the fact that the U.S. government and secret services have put more than 23 years and several million dollars into this project. (The discontinuation of the program in 1995, after sifting through the rationale and how it came to be, may safely be considered a “show act.”)
In any case, it is relatively illogical to assume that some of the brightest minds in the country should not have noticed over two decades that the method was not producing significant results. At least, that’s what we think. But read for yourself:
In the English Wikipedia article about Russell Targ, Remote Viewing is called “pseudoscience”, as well as in the article about Remote Viewing itself. Russell Targ, who researched the phenomenon with Harold Puthoff in 1972, wrote an open letter to the Wikipedia platform in 2014, showing many arguments why this is not correct. The Wikipedia authorship has not responded to it until today.
The open letter of Russell Targ to Wikipeda
Remote Viewing is not a “pseudoscience”. From now on, please refrain from this inaccuracy and insulting label you have spread on my Wikipedia bio page.
“Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice that is presented as scientific but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. The term pseudoscience is often considered inherently pejorative because it suggests that something is inaccurately or even deceptively presented as science.”
Wikipedia about Russell Targ:
Targ’s work on remote viewing has been characterized as pseudoscience and has also been criticized for lack of rigor.
Wikipedia about Russell Targ:
A number of scientific reviews of the SRI (and later) experiments on remote viewing found no credible evidence that remote viewing works, and the topic of remote viewing is regarded as pseudoscience.
Wikipedia about Remote Viewing:
There is no scientific evidence that remote viewing exists, and the topic of remote viewing is generally regarded as pseudoscience.
There are a number of reasons why editors at Wikipedia should not call “remote viewing” pseudoscience when it is not so called by the informed scientific community.
- In order to get our results published in the 1976 Proceedings of the IEEE (scientific journal), we had to meet with Robert W. Lucky, the managing editor, and his board of directors. The editor suggested that we show him how to do a remote viewing experiment. If the experiment was successful, he would publish our work. The editor was also head of electro-optics at the Bell Telephone Laboratory. We gave a talk in his laboratory. He then selected some engineers to be “remote viewers” for five days. Each day, one of them hid in a randomly selected location in the nearby town. After the agreed-upon five trials, the editor read the five transcripts and correctly assigned each of them to the hiding places. This was significant at 0.008 (one in 5!, 5-factorial). As a result, he published our paper on “Information Transmission Over Kilometer Distances.”
- In our 23-year government program at SRI, we had to perform demonstration tasks for the Director of the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), NASA, and the Commanding General of the Army Intelligence Command. (The names are available upon request.) For the CIA, we were able to accurately describe and draw a giant gantry crane rolling on eight wheels over a large building. Furthermore, we were able to accurately describe the 60-foot “disks” of a sphere built in northern Russia. The sphere was described completely correctly, although its existence was unknown at the time. The description was so accurate that it became the subject of a congressional hearing of the House Committee on Intelligence. There was fear of a security leak. No leak was found, and we were told to “move on.”
- Remote viewing is easily reproducible and has been demonstrated all over the world. It has been the subject of several doctoral dissertations in the U.S. and abroad. Princeton University had a 25-year program to study Remote Viewing with more than 450 studies. Prof. Robert Jahn also published a long and highly significant (p = 10-10 or 1 in ten billion) experimental study of remote viewing in the Proceedings of IEEE in 1982.
- The kinds of tasks that kept us in business for twenty-three years included: SRI remote viewers finding a crashed Russian bomber in Africa; reporting on the health of American hostages in Iran; describing Soviet weapons factories in Siberia; locating a kidnapped U.S. general in Italy; and accurately predicting the failure of a Chinese nuclear bomb test three days before it occurred, etc. When San Francisco heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped from her Berkeley home, a remote viewer on the SRI team was the first to identify the kidnapper by name and then to accurately describe and locate the kidnap car. I was at the Berkeley police station and witnessed this event.
- Jessica Utts, professor of statistics at the University of California, Irvine is president of the American Statistical Association. In 1995, for her part of an evaluation of our work for the CIA, she wrote: “Applying the standards used for any other field of science, one concludes that extrasensory perceptions (remote viewing) are well demonstrated. The statistical results of the studies examined are far above what would be expected by chance. Arguments that these results may be due to methodological errors in the experiments have been thoroughly refuted. Remote viewing has been conceptually replicated in a number of laboratories, by different experimenters, and in different cultures. This is a robust effect that, were it not so unusual, would no longer be questioned by science as a real phenomenon. It is unlikely that methodological errors could explain this remarkable consistency.”
- Whether you believe some, all, or none of the above statements, it should be clear that hundreds of people were involved in a 23-year, multi-million dollar operational program at SRI, the CIA, DIA, and two dozen intelligence agents at the Army base at Ft. Meade. Regardless of the personal opinion of a Wikipedia editor, it is not logically coherent to belittle this whole remote viewing enterprise as some sort of “pseudoscience.” Besides me, there are plenty of PhD physicists, psychologists, and government agency heads who think our work was valuable, if puzzling.
~~~~ Russell Targ, May 12, 2014
PDF “Letter from Russell Targ to Wikpedia” in original for download on his page
Remote viewing by order
MITTEL UND MÖGLICHKEITEN
Viele verschiedene Fragestellungen sind mit Remote Viewing erforschbar. Besonders reizvoll ist auch die Möglichkeit, unabhängig von Raum und Zeit Orte und Situationen zu beleuchten und nach Lösungen zu suchen. Erwarten Sie aber keine Wunder – auch der beste Remote Viewer hat keine 100-prozentige Trefferquote. Die Methode ist nicht unfehlbar und hat Empfehlungs- oder Beratungscharakter.
Durch Remote Viewing eingeholte Informationen sind ausschließlich Empfehlungen oder Beratungen ohne Gewährleistung. Wir empfehlen, sich umfassend zu informieren und alle verfügbaren Informationen auf der Basis von Logik und Rationalität abzuwägen. Speziell im Gesundheitsbereich gilt: Die Inhalte der Sessions können und sollen nicht verwendet werden, um eigenständig Diagnosen zu stellen oder Behandlungen zu beginnen.