What Do We Know About Psi? The First Decade of Remote Viewing Research and Operations at Stanford Research Institute

Russell Targ


Beginning 1972, three physicists at Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International)––Harold Puthoff, Edwin May, and Russell Targ––initiated free-response remote viewing experiments with psi gifted participants. The percipients were asked to describe their mental images with regard to some person or event distant in space and time. Many of our experimental series were statistically significant at four standard deviations from chance expectation, with effect sizes greater than 0.6. From these highly efficient experiments, we concluded that the accuracy and reliability of remote viewing is independent of distance up to 10,000 km, and of time up to several days into the future. Psi ability clearly violates our ordinary ideas of causality, since future events are seen to be the cause or trigger for experiences at an earlier time. We also learned that feedback to the viewer is helpful, but it is not necessary. Remote viewing is a nonanalytic ability; describing a distant shape, form, or location on the planet is easier than guessing a number from 1 to 10. The purpose of this paper is to correct the misconception that psi is weak and unreliable. On the contrary, in our laboratory experiments and classified operational tasks psi was found to be surprisingly reliable and useful.

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