I would like nothing more than the proof of various cryptids, alien civilizations, even alien visitors to be found. But that proof will come only through rigorous science and objective analysis, and by holding evidence to the highest standards of scrutiny. Born in south eastern Pennsylvania, i have found myself at one time or another living in Chicago, Cleveland, Raleigh-Durham, on the island of Kaua'i and finally landed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. I have turned my hand to various professions from early work in 3d graphics to historic building restoration, carpentry and log home building to working in a bronze art foundry on the WWII Veterans Memorial. Currently I am a writer, script writer and working for a non profit organization called Empowerment Through Connection which is involved in equine assisted therapy for veterans, at risk teens and women.

This article goes back to a discussion that occurred around a previous article on Remote Viewing. One of our readers has had personal experience in the practice of Remote Viewing and felt that his own experiments in the field made a better case than I felt has been made for the practice. Dan offered a link to his blog where his results are discussed. I thought it appropriate to make that information available here. I offered Dan the opportunity to discuss his results, but never heard back from him. Below is the article that has been hanging out in my files since then.

Some of you may have been following a discussion on a recent article on “Remote Viewing” which addresses fraudulent and even dangerous actions by a group called The Farsight Institute.

One of our readers, DAN, has performed multiple experiments of his own over the years and has challenged me to address his results. Not in a schoolyard fashion, simply stating that he does not feel I have given either the practice (I refuse to deem remote viewing a science) or his results a fair assessment. The only practical way to do that is here rather than in a discussion board.

Dan has linked his blog in that discussion and I am also linking it HERE for your convenience.

In this experiment a sender concentrates on an image while a receiver creates their impressions of what is being sent. You can view all of these images larger on Dan’s blog, for viewing simplicity they are kept smaller here.

Image Sent Image Received

Here you see on the left the image sent, and on the right the image received, and in this image I can easily concede a degree of relevance between the images.

 

This one poses some difficulties both for and against. Gorbachev was a figure in the news in 1992, had been for the better part of a decade, no surprises he might show up. Environmental issues were growing in the public consciousness. I cannot deny a case can be made for the connection between the circles in both images. BUT, look at a page of most people’s random doodles and see if there are circles (even within the examples shown here, the majority contain circles.)  Each item taken for what it is, does not make much of a case for remote viewing, taken as a group, well it comes closer, but there are three items received and only two sent, typically you would expect to see information lost, rather than expanded.That does pose a translation difficulty to my mind.

 

Here again the left image was sent and the image on the right received. In Dan’s comments, a blind judge determined that the character of the cat’s eyes and the presence of four distinct circles in the cat drawing relate to the image of binoculars. I cannot agree, and consider that assessment broad generalization and an attempt to force the result to fit the data. Dan has this to say on the subject in his blog:

The assignment of an incorrect item to a correct perception is called deduction in Scientific Remote Viewing, and analytic overlay in traditional Remote Viewing. We perceive adjectives, we feel compelled to make them in to a noun.

Others call it Confirmation Bias. In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.

On the left, the image being sent and on the right the image being received. There are numerous doodles on the received image and the presence of half filled dots is not enough to convince me that the yin-yang image is being represented here. This one is open to debate.

 

Here is a hit I will happily concede.

 

Here is a beautiful example, with the sent image of a waterfall on the left and the text description in image received on the right. Dan has this to say on this to say on this one:

This one was my “holy moly this works!” moment. Remember, I’m still a novice, so for this little training, it shows impressive results!

I cannot agree. As with horoscopes and other sorts of predictions read the description of what was received; Awe, and Nature, Glassy calm, Movement, etc. I could apply that description to images of herds of animals running near a lake, Flamingos, schools of fish, Storm clouds rising in the distance on an otherwise sunny day,  kittens playing next to a mirror and claim equal success. This is a perfect example of fitting a broad description to a specific image.

You may want to view the received, second imagre larger and can do so HERE Suffice to say this is far more vague than the example above. Description of rocks, rough surfaces and a smooth artificial machine tilted the wrong way. A beached cargo ship, a collapsed oil derrick, the Hindenburg. The list of possible interpretations which could be called successful is practically endless.

This story relates to a body recovered from a suicide attempt, the second attempt in two days at Niagra Falls, leaving open the possibility that the “receiver” had heard the story of the first attempt somewhere other than CNN, where Dan reports the headline appearing, and the description received is a rough oval with circles and arrows reminiscent of a football strategy chart, and a list of words: Hard, Solid, Surrounds, Encloses, Unpleasant, Control, Cold, Hard, Pointy, Many, Smooth, Cruel, Fear, Threat, Many, Moving, Angry, Crowd, No Outlet, Bad, Concerned, Worried.

I challenge you to name a disaster this image could NOT relate to, then go to the newspaper or a news website and look for any disaster that has happened in the world, today, yesterday, last week, or guess if one will happen somewhere tomorrow?

Out of these eight examples there is one I can definitively call a “hit” two that are questionable and have more to do with justification than recognition, and the rest fairly easily dismissed. You can view Dan’s full set of viewing experiments at his page.  and form your own opinion.

My integrity has been questioned for exclusion of this piece of evidence from Dan’s blog, so in the interest if fair play I include it here, with the text that accompanies it.

The assignment of an incorrect item to a correct perception is called deduction in Scientific Remote Viewing, and analytic overlay in traditional Remote Viewing. We perceive adjectives, we feel compelled to make them in to a noun.

Analytic overlay can turn a fork in to a paint brush, then a forearm.

When Kathy simply described the object “stick with something at the end”, she was correct.

So, we have an image of a fork being sent, and received, what appears to be a pillow, what appears to be a paintbrush, and what is pretty clearly a human arm. If the standard of success is to receive a “stick with something at the end”, than I say your goal is pretty low. What would you have not accepted as success? A rake? A broom? A rifle? A hammer? A flag? A Balloon? Cotton Candy?

Dan goes on to report his own experience of predicting that Apple ™ stock would close up on a particular day. Not to be flip, but Apple is one of the top performing stocks in the world. Does it ever close down? Sure, does it fluctuate over the course of a day, absolutely, but people invest in it because it grows.

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  • Dan Pouliot

    “What I have stated here and in the previous article is that there has been poorly applied science to the study of remote viewing”. The field of remote viewing as a whole, or just my anecdotal evidence? Either way, all you have done here is make one counter-claim of confirmation bias to a couple of my examples… which I addressed (and refuted) extensively in a new section of my piece. Surely you don’t think that your failed rebuttals to my examples constitutes proof of ‘poorly applied science’ to the field as a whole. If you believe the entire field suffers, I must ask, which scientific studies in particular do you take issue with? What are the specific flaws in their methodologies?

  • Dan Pouliot

    I added a section “How is this possible?”

  • Yes you did, and like most things written on the subject merely presumes that it is true and goes on with psuedo-science and ideas misrepresented as theory or evidence.

  • Dan Pouliot

    Any accusation requires supporting evidence. The extent of my presumption of possibility is not greater than your presumption of impossibility. I, however, have backed up my claims and suspictions with supporting evidence. I have already extensively responded to your singular accusation of confirmation bias. what of that? I have yet to hear any solid evidence from you supporting your presumption of impossibility. Be specific. Since you mention “most things written on the subject”, you must have some studies in mind. Which specific studies do you take issue with? (Mine is not a study). What specific methodological errors do you note? Your presumption of impossibility combined with your absence of supporting evidence smells like Rejection Bias to me.

  • Any claims of Remote Viewing are backed with presumptive evidence. The science as applied in inherently flawed. Just by your own descriptions in your blog and this thread that is demonstrated.

    Methodology errors? I have already pointed out several. Failure to use controls on the analysis of imagery. Failure to perform truly blind analysis. Calling it blind is not the same as actually being blind. Those alone disqualify reported results as valid. The idea that Targ and his study feel that five samples are statistically representative and taken as evidence is laughable.

  • Dan Pouliot

    “Any claims of Remote Viewing are backed with presumptive evidence.” be specific. Which? How? f by “presumptive” you mean “unsupported”, (which I fail to see any evidence that I do not support), how is that any different than your presumptive (unsupported) rejections? You do realize that falsehood is not the logical outcome of an unsubstantiated claim, no? (not that a single of my claims are unsubstantiated).

    “The science as applied in inherently flawed.” Again, which? You know you can’t just assert something without supporting evidence. Vagaries often point to a weak position.

    “Methodology errors? I have already pointed out several.” I was specifically referring to your accusation of ” like most things written on the subject”. I assume by “most things” you have at least one study in mind? Or maybe you don’t! As for mine, I see one accusation by you— confirmation bias— which I refuted, and you have yet to respond to… perhaps because you have no response? It is easier to make unsubstantiated accusations, though it is counter to scientific-method and demonstrates a human failure.

    “Failure to perform truly blind analysis. Calling it blind is not the same as actually being blind.” Huh? I mentioned blind *judging* as a way of ruling out confirmation bias. Again, you did not present evidence in opposition, just merely changed the subject to blind “analysis”, whatever that is, and however that is supposed to cure your as-yet-unsubstantiated objection to blind judging to rule out confirmation bias.

    “The idea that Targ and his study feel that five samples are statistically representative and taken as evidence is laughable.” I quoted his methodology in the footnotes. You are welcome to explain the flaw in his methodology, rather than merely accusing it of being “laughable”.

    I think I need to be done here. I’m not sure if you are just incompetent at constructing a reasoned argument, or if your rejection bias blinds you to your own inability/unwillingness to buttress a single of your accusations. Unless I see some solid responses, I bid you good luck.

  • My assertions are well described in this thread in discussion of the flawed methods you yourself describe as support for your evidence. Continuing to state your case does not add support to it. Your belief does not constitute evidence. Ignoring the questions about your assertions does not make those questions go away. So long as those questions remain they call into question any validity of Remote Viewing.

  • Dan Pouliot

    Henry, I already rebutted your singular claim of confirmation bias on my site. You are a smart man, yet you have as of yet not responded to my rebuttal. I have responded to every question you have supplied. Questions of *me* call nothing of an entire field in to question. Henry, I need to be done with this conversation. When you are ready go beyond lobbing unsubstantiated accusations, thinking calling a methodology “laughable” counts as a refutation, ignoring my response to your one claim of confirmation bias, and failing to respond to *my* charges of rejection bias on your part, let me know. Cheers.

  • Dan Pouliot

    “I challenge you to name a disaster this image could NOT relate to, then go to the newspaper or a news website and look for any disaster that has happened in the world, today, yesterday, last week, or guess if one will happen somewhere tomorrow?”

    I considered rebutting this on my site, but it is such a poor argument it would just look silly… in it reason is cast asunder like a weed. It might, however, make a nice case study of pseudo-skepticism and rejection bias.

    What is not at issue is if this is similar to “a disaster”, but if it resembles the lead story cnn ran when I logged in. Now, Henry seems to be suggesting that it is too vague (perhaps it would match most CNN lead stories, is where I assume his logic is going), but then he cheats: broadening his own criteria beyond my cue. He doesn’t care that I was only looking for the one lead story on one news site on one day, he thinks it is ok if you can find *any* *disaster* (not just any story, but it must specifically be a disaster!) in *any* newspaper on *any* day. Henry becomes both overly vague (*any*) and overly specific (*disaster*) at the same time in order to confirm his own bias.

    Henry, instead of such a broad swath, use my own criteria: use *only* cnn’s lead story, and only when you first log in on any given day. by lead story I mean the front and center story on just the home page, not some subsection, and not a secondary or tertiary home page story. If you want to try this for a week or two, fine. See, I wondered too if my target was too vague, so I did just what I’m saying… I too looked at CNN lead stories over a swath of days after I came up with my astonishing result. Turns out, my target did not match any of them: queen’s visit, world series playoffs, etc. Heck, even this week, with the horrible situation in Syria dominating CNN’s lead story area, my session doesn’t match those either. Each lead story is about some political leader pondering.

    And don’t just use the words… use the entire session, including the imagery…. an oval enclosure with concerned people inside who can’t get out.

    While we are on the topic of sessions that could match anything, Henry, you still haven’t addressed the fact that I have 2 waterfall targets. Surely those 2 sessions would be interchangeable… and yet they aren’t. The niagara session I did clearly matches that target better than the moonlanding or victoria falls. ditto for the other two… you don’t need a blind judge to tell you that.

  • Kramer

    Dan, Henry
    It is obvious to the rest of us that you two are in love and don’t know it yet.