What is remote viewingWhat is remote viewing? Remote viewing is a mental skill. Remote viewing is a new way of “being psychic.” Remote viewing is an experimental technique for doing research into extrasensory perception (ESP). Remote viewing is all these things, and more.

When, in late 1995, the CIA revealed remote viewing to the general public, many people were fascinated by the possibilities. But they were often unsure just what remote viewing was. Many still are.

So let’s start off this way: Remote viewing is a mental faculty that allows a perceiver (a “viewer”) to receive impressions from a target that is otherwise not accessible to normal senses. The target being perceived might be hidden by distance, time, or shielding. For example, a viewer might be asked to describe a location on the other side of the world, which he or she has never visited; or describe an event that happened long ago; or describe an object sealed in a container or locked in a room; or perhaps even describe a person or an activity; all without being told anything about the target — not even its name or category.

You probably already realize that remote viewing is related to what are sometimes called “psi”—or “psychic”—phenomena or ESP (for “extrasensory perception”) such as clairvoyance or telepathy. Whatever human ability makes remote viewing possible is probably the same basic ability that makes such things as clairvoyance work. But remote viewing (or “RV”) differs from these other, more typical psi or psychic activities in a number of ways.

How remote viewing is similar, yet different from other ESP-related skills
  • Most psychic events happen outside the science lab. Remote viewing, on the other hand, was actually developed and first explored in a scientific setting (more about this in the history section). Targets chosen for “viewing” include geographic locations, hidden objects, and even such things as archaeological sites and space objects. In all of these targets, what the remote viewer perceives can ultimately be verified.
  • Unlike other psychic phenomena, remote viewing is not just one thing—in this case “seeing” or “viewing.” It is actually a “cocktail” of various sensory experience. Despite the “viewing” part of the term, remote viewing also involves mental impressions from the other senses, such as sounds, tastes, smells, and textures. In more advanced stages, remote viewing can also include a telepathy-like effect, and in some cases, just plain intuitive “knowing.” RV owes some of these qualities to lessons learned from research in clairvoyance, telepathy, and even out-of-body experiences. Those disciplines, while separate from RV, played a role in its development.
  • In remote viewing, the viewer not only verbalizes what he or she is perceiving, but usually records the results of the RV session in writing, in sketches, and sometimes in three-dimensional modeling.

    Example of a successful remote viewing of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, by a "blind" remote viewer in Maryland--showing one answer to what is remote viewing
    Example of a successful remote viewing of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, by a “blind” remote viewer in Maryland.
  • Remote viewing tends to be more structured than other psi disciplines. In some important varieties of remote viewing, viewers follow specific scripted formats. These formats are designed to enhance the viewer’s performance in various ways, such as to better deal with mental “noise” (stray thoughts, imaginings, analysis, etc. that degrades the “psychic signal”) or to allow incoming data to be better managed. Some of these structural methodologies, such as controlled remote viewing, or CRV, are widely used. Other methods are more ad hoc. An individual remote viewer, for example, might develop his or her own customized approach through trial and error. This individually-developed approach is sometimes called “generic remote viewing,” or GRV.
  • Proper remote viewing is done within a strict science-based protocol (or “set of rules”). The remote viewer is kept unwitting (also known as “blind”) to either the nature or identity of the target until after the session is completed. Except in training situations, the monitor (a facilitator that may assist the viewer during the session) is also unwitting, and external clues or data about the target are carefully excluded. This maintains what is known as a “double-blind” condition (that is, both the remote viewer and the monitor are kept unaware of anything about the intended target). Sessions are conducted in a setting that prevents knowledge of the target “leaking” to the viewer. These measures are important to guarantee that the viewer does not receive hints or clues about the target in any way other than what would be considered “psychic.”
  • Remote viewing is not used to give psychic readings, tell fortunes, read auras, or other popular activities of this nature, nor does it require the involvement of or participation with deceased persons, “spirit guides” or “channeled entities.” Instead, remote viewing is a means of doing serious science research and performing operational tasks in criminal investigations, government intelligence work, commercial applications, etc. Many who want to explore their human potential also become interested in it. (See “Why Learn Remote Viewing?”)
To wrap up

One last point related to structures or methods that are often used in remote viewing: RV is not really a “psychic phenomenon” as such, but an imposed discipline or skill that helps the viewer to facilitate or “harness” his or her own innate, underlying psi abilities. Some RV theorists think that formal RV methods are really just strategies that help the viewer to access his or her subconscious more successfully and reliably. These theorists believe that the subconscious is where information perceived during remote viewing first emerges into human consciousness.

Watch this video for an overview of remote viewing: Remote Viewing: Martial Art for the Mind. To see examples of real remote viewing results, see our example page here.

Or find out how to learn remote viewing yourself.