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Remote Viewing Instructional Services
True skepticism does not begin by being anti-anything. The processes of open consideration and examination (i.e., research) will ultimately establish whether something exists or not. ~ Ingo Swann

Paul H. Smith

Requests come frequently for myself or other experienced remote viewers to perform demonstration remote viewing sessions for media or clients. Such sessions can be quite stressful for the viewer, since they bring with them added distractions, in the form of cameras, lights, or observers, and increased pressure to "perform." Nonetheless, they are often necessary, and can be valuable when done properly. The viewer presumably knows how to execute the session itself correctly, but often has little control over the environment or the target selection process. To help make these aspects of a "demo session" as painless as possible, I provide the following guidelines:

General considerations:

There are three conditions that must be met for a successful and credible demonstration session. 1) The viewer must be kept totally isolated from any information about the target until after the session is concluded and it is time for feedback. 2) The target must be selected in a way so as to preclude bias in the selection process. 3) Care should be taken to select appropriate targets and avoid "trick" targets.

Viewing Environment:

For a controlled remote viewing session (the type of RV primarily considered in this document), all a viewer needs is a small stack of white typing paper, a black ink pen that writes smoothly, a chair and a table to sit at. Good lighting--adjustable lights are helpful if available--is also important, though not essential, as well as a reasonably quiet area free of external interruptions.

Target Selection Process:

Two considerations are important in selecting a target: randomicity and security--i.e., keeping any hint of what target is selected away from the viewer. One recent documentary crew handled the problem in the following way. They selected forty targets in the greater Los Angeles area (the viewer was located, and session conducted, in Maryland, and the viewer was kept unaware of the geographical origin of the target pool), and had each target placed in an opaque envelope and sealed.

They next had a disinterested third party randomly select six of the envelopes, which were provided to the crew at the time of filming. An "encrypted" number was written on each envelope, to stand for whatever the target in the envelope was (see below for a discussion of encrypted coordinates). Then a fourth disinterested party rolled a die, with the number on the die face representing which of the six envelopes should be selected as the target. By this point, of course, neither the film crew nor, certainly, the viewer were able to determine what the target was, thus satisfying requirements for both randomicity and security. The envelope was not present on the viewer's table during the session (only the "encrypted" number was provided). The envelope was opened after the session to provide feedback for the viewer and determine how successful the session had been.

Type of targets to select:

There is sometimes a temptation to select a "trick" target--an empty envelope ("But you're supposed to be psychic; you should have known the envelope was empty!"), or a target off somewhere in space ("Gee, you're supposed to be able to get anything!"). On the other hand, sometimes a target is chosen that is in important ways indistinguishable from a dozen other targets, so there's no way to tell if the viewer was describing one target or another. Sometimes selected targets are so complex that it would take hours and several sessions to unravel them. On the other hand, occasionally targets are selected that are so uninteresting (i.e., the inside of someone's car trunk, bedroom, etc.) that the viewer's subconscious casts around for something more intriguing.

While viewers are sometimes successful against any and all of such targets, for a demonstration session one should carefully select a target pool according to the following criteria:

  1. As much as possible, select targets with one major thing represented at the target site. A predominate structure, geological feature, point of interest, etc.
  2. Make selections for the target pool that are distinct enough from each other that it is reasonably easy to tell by the final description and sketches what target has been viewed.
  3. Avoid highly visible, famous landmarks (such as the Washington Monument, the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, etc.). When describing such a famous target, the viewer always wonders if he/she is accessing his/her own preconceptions rather than true data. Less-known features work just as well as the Washington Monument, as long as they meet the other criteria.
  4. Avoid "trick" targets, "weird" or "anomalous" targets, etc. While it is possible that such a target might be successfully viewed during a demonstration session, viewers have expectations like everyone else, and when told they will be doing a typical remote viewing target do not, for example, anticipate an empty envelope. Since they know that an interesting "performance" is expected, in the absence of a real target their subconscious mental functions may "supply" a response, which would of course be wrong. This is neither fair to the viewer, nor a fair test of remote viewing.
  5. Pick a target for which there is adequate feedback, since it is usually by the feedback that the success of the session is judged.


The classic form of remote viewing tasking is the "beacon" approach as it was done in the early days of remote viewing research. In this scenario, the viewer remains secluded in a room, with or without a second person monitoring, and both viewer and monitor kept totally unwitting as to the target. Selection of the target is done somewhere sufficiently removed from the viewer that there is no way for him or her to become aware or receive clues of what the target might be. Then one or more persons departs for the target location. At a prearranged time, the "beacon(s)" approach and as much as possible immerse themselves in the target environment. At the same time, the viewer is told to access or acquire the location of the beacon(s) and describe in as much detail as possible this target location.

An alternative approach, and the one I prefer, is the use of a targeting "coordinate." The person establishing the target pool selects a non-meaningful number ("encrypted coordinate") to stand for each target. Once a target has been selected at random, its encrypted coordinate is given to the viewer at the start of the demonstration session. This is all the cuing the viewer gets, and the session proceeds from there. This non-meaningful number might be the date--i.e., 971002 (year, month, day), plus a unique number for each target, such as 101, 102, 103, 481, 973--whatever. Thus: 971002973. Including the date insures that this number will indeed be unique, and never used for any other target, even a target numbered similarly. At the same time, it conveys absolutely no non-psychic information to the viewer doing the demonstration session.


Feedback is essential at some reasonable point after the session is completed. Feedback is important even if the session is a failure (which does indeed happen at times). Feedback should consist of clear photos, preferably color (though in a pinch black-and-white will do), and, when possible, a written description of the target discussing non-visual aspects, such as purpose(s), history, peculiarities of the target, hidden elements, etc.


One must bear in mind that even conducted in the fashion described above, such a remote viewing session does not fully constitute a "scientific" experiment. There are any number of other protocols having to do with control groups, repetitive trials, data collection and evaluation, etc., that are not being met here. At best what we have established is a reasonably controlled field trial. The point of the exercise is not pure scientific validation anyway, but rather to demonstrate the remote viewing phenomenon in a way that illustrates to those who are interested in seeing how remote viewing is done.

11/15/97 © 1997 by Paul H. Smith,
Remote Viewing Instructional Services, Inc.
All rights reserved.