The blog is a view of life, science, politics and education from an engineering perspective. As engineers, we are taught to view the world objectively. We can hope, believe and calculate a particular outcome, but natural laws are inflexible and pay no heed to who we are or what we believe. We must approach the objective dispassionately, while compensating for our own distorted perceptions. Balance is also a key element; balancing between the ideal and the pragmatic, balancing cost and functionality, balancing analysis with action, etc.
Scheduling routine critical self-analysis is the foundation to objectivity. If we do not fully understand and compensate for our own failures, tendencies, habits and skewed thought processes, we will not see the world as it is. Without a regular critical self-analysis we will see the world as we are and then fall prey to self-delusion.
Failure is a great teacher. When failure is coupled with perseverance, it produces the fruit of patience and humility. An engineer, fresh out of engineering school is typically set up for failure early and often. The failure breaks the new engineer of any ideas of self-importance, arrogance and book smarts. Only then can the new engineer be formed and molded into a productive element in the industry.
The CIA has declassified some of their activities and research from the 1970s and 1980s. The declassification includes the revelation of an Area 51 in Nevada.
The CIA has also declassified and approved the release of documents revealing its involvement in a remote viewing program conducted at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA. These declassified documents reveal a program that is extremely troubling for me. The program was designed to determine if agencies like the CIA could use such non-physical phenomena for “intelligence collection.” The research conducted by Stanford University and the CIA lasted for decades and confirmed the fact that the intelligence community has a high interest and involvement in para-psychological phenomena. The study was compromised of department of defense personnel and an individual named Ingo Swann -just to name one of the many. Research was conducted by Russel Targ and Harold E. Puthoff, the Doctors who founded the 23 year long study at Stanford University alongside Defense Intelligence Agencies and Army Intelligence.
One of the remarkable areas of research was Remote Viewing. This para-normal activity has been criticized by many scientists and psychologists; claiming that those who believe that this is credible exist only on the fringes of humanity. They are one step from the asylum. According to Dr Puthoff, he was leery of entering that field of research, “by Western scientific standards the field [Remote Viewing] was considered nonsense by most working scientists.” But the CIA documents reveal that there was enough interest within the department to fund studies conducted by researchers.
The results were not as expected but very intriguing.
“The tests were simple, the visitors simply hiding objects in a box and asking Swann to attempt to describe the contents. The results generated in these experiments are perhaps captured most eloquently by the following example. In one test Swann said "I see something small, brown and irregular, sort of like a leaf or something that resembles it, except that it seems very much alive, like it's even moving!" The target chosen by one of the visitors turned out to be a small live moth, which indeed did look like a leaf.” –Dr Harold E Puthoff.
After confirming the reality using objects hidden in envelopes and identifying physical characteristics at locations a few hundred kilometers away, a participant in the study at Stanford suggested carrying out an experiment to remote view the planet Jupiter.
The Jupiter experiment was wrapped up in very stringent protocols. But the remote viewing raw data had to be recorded somehow, so that it could be established that it existed prior to the NASA vehicles getting to the planet. The raw data were circulated far and wide, offered to and accepted by many respected scientists in the Silicon Valley area, including two at Jet Propulsion Laboratories - Ingo Swann
It just so happens that the NASA Pioneer 10 was about to make a flyby of the planet. Before the flyby, Ingo was able to view a specific ring around Jupiter before NASA was able to take pictures of it. Mr. Swann was correct in his descriptions. As he had claimed, he successfully remote viewed the ring around Jupiter. This result was published by Stanford University in advance of the rings’ discovery. Many other anomalies of Jupiter were described before being given scientific substantiation.
"The intelligence services are heavy players, they required an active picture of PSI potentials somewhat larger than standard parapsychology could provide. Because of these unusual circumstances, I got dragged into realms of often idiotic secrecy, into endless security checks conducive of paranoia, into all kinds of science fiction dreamworks, into intelligence intrigues who’s various formats were sometimes like toilet drains, and into quite nervous military and political ramifications." - Ingo Swann
Ingo Swann was pulled into an intensive questioning session by NASA officials regarding the condition of equipment on the moon from the Apollo missions. He successfully remote viewed objects, structures and bases on the dark side of the moon and was able to provide details such as the thickness of the layer of dust on the moon rover.
Successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the (remote viewing) phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise. The CIA even participated as remote viewers themselves in order to critique the protocols. CIA personnel generated successful target descriptions of sufficiently high quality to permit blind matching of descriptions to targets by independent judges. - Harold E. Puthoff
The concept of Remote Viewing is so bizarre that I can’t comprehend what it is or how it is done. In fact, I think that it embraces forces that we don’t understand. I liken it to playing with radioactive materials. At best, it may be fascinating, but the effects can be long-lasting and harmful.
We can’t know much about the non-material, non-physical world, because we are not alive to the non-physical world. This doesn’t mean that the non-physical world doesn’t exist, but we should use great caution when handling things that we don’t understand.
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in a decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence – Nikola Tesla
What happens when we come across information that goes beyond matter and into the realm of reality we can’t sense with our eyes, can’t feel with our hands, can’t hear with our ears or can’t smell with our nose? Does it cease to become scientific? Absolutely not, quantum physics has confirmed the non-physical reality in years past, and the human race is beginning to acknowledge these realities in its continual examination of the make-up of our reality.
But there is tremendous resistance to the study of the non-physical phenomena. People who show interest into this, like Art Bell, are ridiculed and mocked. Society is just not comfortable with the ideas that are presented, and rightly so. Many of the people who espouse these views have experimented with LSD and their grip of reality is in question; Timothy Leary comes to mind.
“Societal resistance to PSI breaks neatly into two aspects: to prevent PSI development; and the keep obscure the actual reasons for doing so.
One reason for the blanket suppression which has been offered up by many before me is that effective formats of PSI would disturb any number of social institutions. Those institutions would feel ‘threatened’ by development formats of, say, telepathy, which might thereafter be utilized to penetrate their secrets.” – Ingo Swann
When the Stanford studies reached and exceeded the expectations of the CIA, a second set of studies was conducted to confirm the results of the first study. Two separate groups were selected to replicate the Stanford results; Princeton and a consortium of UC/Davis and the University of Oregon. In the studies conducted by the Princeton University researcher, Brenda Dunn, the Remote Viewers needed some mental/emotional conditioning prior to the viewing session. One of the Viewers that that she found it helpful to spend about 10 minutes before the trial putting herself into a mind altered state which she achieved by relaxing physically, breathing deeply and visualizing herself descending a spiral staircase.
The conditioning and training of the viewers dictated the level of success. It was vital to ‘turn off’ the left brain influence of the viewer. The descriptions had to be described in metaphorical terms rather than specifically accurate. Nonlinguistic, non-intellectual mental activity appeared to be an asset to the participant’s performance level.
Each viewer had perceived a slightly different set of coordinates when performing an ordinate/coordinate viewing session. Five of six viewers were able to accurately describe the building at the described coordinates while one described the building next to the one in question. Much of the information gathered was dependent on the abilities of the viewer to separate from his left brain and tune to the flow of energy.
The prior knowledge of the object in question extremely hampered the success rate of the viewing session. For example, a viewer who might perceive a shape which reminds him of a castle might be tempted to include a description of a mote and draw bridge when none existed.
Using a post hoc analysis, Dr. May concluded that in one of the cases the remote viewer was able to describe a microwave generator with 80 percent accuracy. But standard statistical methods cannot be used in these cases because there is no standard for probabilistic comparison. But evidence gained from applied remote viewing cannot be dismissed as inconsequential just because we cannot assign specific probabilities to the results.
Despite the high rate of success by several different studies, I am amazed that the Federal government would spend millions of dollars on research into Remote Viewing, telepathy and other paranormal activities. Until some of this was declassified, I truly believed that anyone who believed this stuff or saw UFOs were in a drug induced state of delusion. Part of reason for my denial of any such activity or occurrences is that I have not seen or experienced anything like this…nor did any of my family or close friends. UFOs also have no place in my world view.
As a sociological aside, we note that the overall efficacy of remote viewing in a program like this was not just a scientific issue. For example, when the Semipalatinsk data [high rate of accuracy regarding a Russian military site] described earlier was forwarded for analysis, one group declined to get involved because the whole concept was deemed unscientific nonsense, while a second group declined because, even though it might be real, it was possibly demonic; a third group had to be found. –Dr Harold E Puthoff
A third group could not be found and the research programs were halted by the CIA in 1977. Either of two camps existed; camp 1: the high rate of success was irrelevant since this is nonsense and therefore the results must have been fabricated or camp 2: the results were deemed to be real, but the source of that reality is a dark spiritual place and is not to be messed with.
Note: The DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) picked up the Remote Viewing program in 1985. Since 1986 more than 50 independent programs have been funded. Most notably was the 'Star Gate' program initiated in the early 90s.
I am still highly skeptical of Remote Viewing, paranormal activity and UFOs. But the door is opening very slightly to the possibility that it indeed exists. It appears that national and world leaders certainly believe in it. The CIA, Stanford University, Yale University, University of California/Davis, University of Oregon and the military believe enough of it to spend a great deal of resources in it and then classify the findings.
When Henry Kissinger talked about an extraterrestrial invasion, I doubt that it was a response to the movies that he was watching. One must come to the conclusion that Kissinger either was delusional or he has information that I am not aware of.
“Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order [referring to the 1991 LA Riot]. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond [i.e., an "extraterrestrial" invasion], whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this ‘scenario’, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government.”
Dr. Henry Kissinger
Bilderberger Conference, Evians France, 1992
Upon concluding the CIA portion of the program, the final footnotes were added and the program was classified.
“The statistical results were so overwhelming that results that extreme or more so would occur only about once in every 1020 such instances if chance alone is the explanation (i.e., the p-value was less than 10-20 )," according to Dr. Michael Mumford of the IFR. The difficulties were encountered when attempting to explain the source of the statistical success.
However, the results were primarily a function of the quality of the individual viewer. Of the hundreds of viewers used through the various studies, six of them produced performances which far outpaced the remainder of the viewers.
“Regardless of one's a priori position, however, an unimpassioned observer cannot help but attest to the following fact. Despite the ambiguities inherent in the type of exploration covered in these programs, the integrated results appear to provide unequivocal evidence of a human capacity to access events remote in space and time, however falteringly, by some cognitive process not yet understood. My years of involvement as a research manager in these programs have left me with the conviction that this fact must be taken into account in any attempt to develop an unbiased picture of the structure of reality.”
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