The Cold War CIA, Parapsychology & Claims of "Remote Viewing"

Perhaps 18 years ago, NOVA aired a report on parapsychology, or ESP. During the program, critics took turns debunking the varied forms of parapsychology–clairvoyance, telekinesis, etc.–until the topic of “remote viewing” was addressed. And that’s when things got interesting.

According to the NOVA interviewees and later confirmed in subsequent exposes, CIA and DIA were heavily involved in parapsychology during the Cold War which, in itself, should not surprise, given the tenor of the times. Of particular interest, however, was the late Pat Price, of whom other CIA/DIA remote viewers later said they were in awe. According to this site (
Price’s “viewings” were usually wrong–except for when they were eerily correct. Supposedly, Price could see the interiors of intelligence buildings in the former USSR, as well as terrorist camps and such.

Let me bottomline it: I do not believe in RV, but I am wondering how an organization like CIA could have gotten so enamored with it. Was it paranoia? Desperation? A bureaucrat’s attempt at empire buidling? A deliberate disinformation campaign to rattle the Sovs? An expensive and embarrassing venture later wrapped as a success?

Your thoughts without venturing into IMHO?

I think many (most?) people have some deep seated need to believe in the supernatural. You can find an article on “Origins of the Ft. Meade RV Program” at
(This is the second edition of the “Remote Viewing Newsletter.”) (Fort Meade is where the National Security Agency is located.)

I dont have a source, but I remember part of the reason the CIA et al got into psychic research was because of reports of success in the Soviet Union, and the US didnt want to get left behind in the psychic arms race. Later it turned out that the reported success of Soviet psychics was clever disinformation, essentially a fraud perpetrated by them to make the US nervous (see Nuclear Arms Race for similar results). Similar to the Mineshaft Gap in Dr Strangelove I assume.

“Psychic” charlatans have had really good results duping foreign and domestic scientists over the years, so maybe the Soviets were just a gullible as we were, or maybe they knew that their results were outright fraud, either way it caused concern in those circles.

If either side had any suspicion that parapsychological espionage might work, Rumors that the other side was experimenting with such methods would cast greater uncertainty into counterespionage efforts. "The other side almost certainly has an inside source for this information…unless that voodoo stuff is real after all.

This being the case, both sides would likely feel the need to put up a front in any case. Another instance of spooks spooking spooks.

In addition, there is surely some intelligence benefit to researching the psychology of parapsychological beliefs, and what better way to perform that research than through purported ESP research. Heck, the CIA could have used those facilities for all sorts of fun activities.(adjusts tin foil helmet)

The entire subject of “remote viewing” is a load of clam piddle. For a good debunking of the whole thing , go to and do a search. Or, just wonder why Art Bell doesn’t have his buddies “remote view” some horse races or lottery picks.

Buck The Diver <—saves his remote viewing for women’s locker rooms

I don’t know the answer to your question, but I have my own question. What is the difference between “clairvoyance” and “remote viewing?” I thought they meant the same thing.

If any governmental agency was going to do it, it would be the CIA. All sorts of strange mushrooms can grow in the shadows of secrecy that would otherwise wither in the light of public scrutiny. Remember the plot to do away with Castro’s beard?

I remember seeing a program that claimed a “remote viewer” was able to see that U.S. military officer who was kidnapped by the Hezbollah in Lebanon many years ago. He was eventually killed, so, I am not sure what the benefit of the “viewing” was.

OK, sorry, I don’t normally resurrect threads like this, but I need to know: There was a plot to do away with Castro’s beard!?

Hitler believed in it, why not the CIA?

This thread is sooo September 10th.


Castro’s beard and other parts.