The basic technique involves an "agent", who visits a randomly-chosen location and attempts to 'transmit' mental images to a distant remote viewer, or "subject".
Previously, agent and subject would have been called "sender" and "receiver", respectively. However, most ESP researchers now believe that there is no transmission of information in the usual sense, but that ESP seems to involve some quantum-like process whereby information (and thoughts) can get from one point in space and time to another without physically passing through the intervening space. Electrons do this all the time. In order to get from one place to another, an electron takes on a ghostly, partial existence (termed a "superposition of states") in which it is everywhere and nowhere simultaneously: it becomes a universally-distributed potential - a "ghost" - before re-materializing at a different location. Atomic particles move in and out of existence (and from one place to another) like this all the time. Many parapsychologists, myself included, believe that information can travel from one place to another - or from one mind to another - in the same way. This is why I proposed the term "quantum perception" as a replacement for "ESP". Telepathy, clairvoyance and so on, have nothing to do with the sensory process; on the contrary, the sensory process inhibits psi. This is why psychic abilities are stronger the further down the evolutionary ladder we look. Animals are more "psychic" than humans; insects are more "psychic" than animals. Even among humans "psychic" ability is strongest among the most so-called "primitive" races - by which is meant people who are close to nature and who rely more on intuition than logic - such as the Australian aboriginals - and among very young children. The more sophisticated or developed the critical faculties, the less scope there is for "psychic" functioning.
There are other reasons for assuming that psychic information does not travel across space in the conventional way. For example telepathic communication has been found to be unaffected by distance, and experiments in which sender and receiver were thousands of miles apart have produced results every bit as good as those in which the participants were in adjoining rooms. Psychic impulses do not seem to be affected by distance. This contravenes the inverse square law which states that the intensity of a force - such as gravity or light - diminishes in inverse ratio to the square of the distance involved. Furthermore, experiments into telepathy, clairvoyance etc., in which both sender and receiver were surrounded by shielding equipment designed to block out all known forms of electromagnetic waves have yielded results essentially no different from those in which no such shielding was used.
The quantum connection is important to remote viewing because most of the experimentation sponsored by government and security agencies (especially the CIA in the US) was based on the quantum premise of interconnectedness.
Remote viewers use a variety of techniques to develop their RV skills - or, rather, to attain the state of mind that is known to be most conducive to psi functioning. This state is characterised by the production of an alpha brain rhythm (typically 8-12 Hz) The main techniques are:
Mechanical - The use of biofeedback to monitor brainwaves and other biological functions (heartbeat, respiration, galvanic skin resistence, acid levels and so on) and enable the subject to develop conscious control of these functions. Other mechanical methods used to induce the appropriate state of mind include stroboscopic lights and sounds, subliminal tapes etc.
Sensory Deprivation - Again, the senses inhibit psi; and when the senses are switched off, the "psychic" faculty comes to the fore. It is well known, for example, that blind people often develop a "sixth sense". Sensory deprivation techniques include VR (virtual reality) programs, immersion in isolation ("flotation") tanks or, at the most unsophisticated level, simple blindfolds and ear plugs to minimize sensory input.
Drugs - A wide range of psychoactive and psychotropic ("mind expanding") drugs are used to enhance RV sensitivity, including mescaline and lysergic acid (LSD).
Autogenic - A variety of non-mechanical and non-assisted techniques including auto-suggestion, self-hypnosis, controlled breathing, yoga, meditation, deep relaxation and so on.
These techniques - which are often used in combination - are based on factors which have been found through experimentation to coincide with heightened psi sensitivity or "psychic" ability.
Remote viewing subjects who are employed by intelligence agencies to carry out "ESP-ionage" (eg, pinpointing underground missile installations, locating and tracking key military personnel, etc.) are usually college students who have achieved high scores in tests into telepathy, clairvoyance etc. Most ESP laboratories are attached to universities.
RV Experimental Method
A typical RV experiment would involve a number of elements. First of all a target location must be chosen (from a number of others) by some random process. No-one - not even the experimenters - are allowed to know which target has been chosen. In practical terms this usually means that the addresses of target locations, and details of how to get to them, are placed in sealed envelopes (for example). A method is devised whereby the agent (the person who will visit the location) selects one of these at random. He or she then drives or is driven to the chosen location while the subject or subjects, under close observation at a distant laboratory, are asked to describe what they "see".
It is also possible to carry out remote viewing without an agent. For instance, a viewer may simply be given map co-ordinates and asked to describe what he or she "sees" at that location. Or they may be shown a photograph of a person and asked to describe his or her surroundings.
One of the most effective methods is to get as many remote viewers as possible to record their impressions of a scene, then pool the details they have given to arrive at a concensus image. For example, twenty remote viewers might be wrong on a number of counts; but they will not be in agreement on these incorrect points. However, on those points on which they are correct, their impressions are likely to tally.
In RV experiments, the results are evaluated by asking a panel of adjudicators - who have had no part in the tests and who do not know which is the correct location - to read each remote viewer's description of a scene, then decide which, from the original list of locations, this description most closely matches.
In less sophisticated and routine RV experiments, the sender is asked to look at a randomly-selected image (usually on a computer screen) while a subject or subjects in a separate room are asked to describe the scene that the agent is looking at.
From Quantum Perception:
"During the 1960s, when the Cold War was at its height, the Soviet Union began to pour money and resources into the investigation of ESP in the hope that it would give them an edge in intelligence over the Americans. Telepathy and remote-viewing were seen as possible ways of pinpointing missile installations in the USA, acquiring details of secret weapons systems and so on. Towards the end of that decade it was reported that a team of top Soviet and Czech scientists were working on electromagnetic transmitters that could induce strokes and heart attacks, and there was a persistent rumour that they had successfully constructed a prototype "psychotronic generator", a kind of destructive telepathic transmitter that could scramble minds at great distances.
"It is difficult to know how much credence to give these reports. Glasnost notwithstanding, it is still virtually impossible to obtain accurate and reliable information on this subject in the former USSR, and a cloak of secrecy descends whenever any serious attempt is made at discovering the truth. However, in view of the amount of time, money and manpower that the Soviets devoted to research in this area, it is probably reasonable to assume that significant advances must have been made. Consecutive Soviet leaders have made oblique references over the years to an "unconventional" secret weapon in their armoury, and there has been speculation among scientists in the West that this might be some kind of psychotronic device or "mind bomb".
"Secrecy also surrounds the research carried out by American intelligence agencies into psychic technology, and it is difficult to know whether, or to what extent the USA has managed to keep pace with Soviet developments in this area. What is known is that by the end of the 1960s American intelligence analysts, previously anxious about a possible "missile gap", were beginning to voice their concerns about the ever-widening "psi gap", and in the early 1970s the CIA and Pentagon began to overtly and covertly fund research into ESP, psychokinesis and other paranormal abilities. Very little came to light about this research until 1981, when the Congressional Committee on Science and Technology announced that: "Recent experiments in remote viewing and other studies in parapsychology suggest that there is an 'interconnectedness' of the mind with other minds and with matter".
"It is only in the last few years that details have begun to emerge about this research, but it has already become clear that the USA intelligence agencies' involvement in this area during the last twenty-five years has been far more extensive than had been generally realised. Many people were surprised, for example, when it came to light recently that American psychic spies had been used to pinpoint key facilities in Teheran during the 1979-81 hostage crisis; to locate Muammar Gaddafi prior to the 1986 bombing raid on Libya; and to locate general Manuel Noriega during the US raid on Panama in 1989. "Remote viewing", officials admitted, had also been used in a number of other major military and intelligence operations, including the targeting of Silkworm missiles in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war and the location of Scud missiles during Desert Storm.
"It is not known whether researchers in the USA explored the possibility of machine telepathy, or whether they made any significant breakthroughs in this field. Certainly, it would be strange if they had not carried out research or conducted experiments along these lines, bearing in mind the many reports that have come out of the former USSR over the years which appeared to suggest that Soviet scientists had made substantial progress in this area."