Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Skeptic, the Believer and the Stargate Project

Researching paranormal phenomena is an overwhelming task, so I asked for the help of two good friends to collaborate in this research process; one is a staunch defender of the paranormal and the other an incurable skeptic. Both accepted to help me but for professionals reasons on condition of stay anonymous, so I will refer to them as Ms. Skeptic (is a she) and Mr. Believer. 

I didn’t know where I was getting into before starting this fascinating route. I found, no kidding, more than 400 types of paranormal phenomena and counting. So where to start? And then, all we concluded in one: the winner, a component presents in most of the phenomenon that also wields a respectable reputation and a increasing popularity, was clairvoyance.
The french term clairvoyance, clair ="clear" and voyance ="vision", refer to the ability of seeing objects or actions removed in space or time from natural viewing. The information comes through clairvoyance in the form of visualization and clear consideration.
But a shy discomfort started to emerge between Ms. Skeptic and Mr. Believer. Rolling eyes, polite sarcasms, and deep sighs began to escort the increasing differences between them both reaching a heat point when Mr. Believer brought to serious consideration the Stargate Project and  the remote viewing phenomenon.
The Stargate Project was established by the U.S. Federal Government in 1970, and it investigated the ability to psychically "see" events, sites, or information from a great distance or remote viewing, with the potential of military application. The Project created a set of protocols designed to make the research of clairvoyance and out-of-body experiences more scientific, and to minimize as much as possible session noise and inaccuracy. The project  was finished in 1995 after 25 years.
The term Remote Viewing seems to have been invented by physicist Dr. Russell Targ and physicist/scientologist Dr. Harold Puthoff to describe their work with psychics for the U.S. government in the Stargate project.
In the next video Dr. Hal Puthoff explains some evidence supporting the remote viewing phenomena.

Ms Skeptic claimed that the CIA finished the project finding no real evidence of remote viewed and the phenomena is anything else but the result of subjective validation, which means validation of words, initials, statements, or signs as accurate because one is able to find them personally meaningful and significant. In other words a person could think that two unrelated events would be related because of their personal belief, suggestions or need to find them related.
The truth is that after 25 years of operation and tax money investment, the CIA decided to review the project to evaluate its continuity or not. The CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said in that moment: "The CIA is reviewing available programs regarding parapsychological phenomena, mostly remote viewing, to determine their usefulness to the intelligence community" (Cole 1995). He also noted that the Stargate program was found to be "unpromising" in the 1970s and was turned over to the Defense Department.
To evaluate the research program, was assembled a panel including two noted experts in the area of parapsychology: Dr. Jessica Utts, a Professor of Statistics at the University of California Davis, a known believer in the paranormal, and Dr. Raymond Hyman, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon, a known skeptic. In addition to their extensive credentials, they were selected to represent both sides of the paranormal controversy.
The reviewers were to focus on two issues:  1. Is there scientific justification for the reality of remote viewing? 2. Is remote viewing of practical use for intelligence gathering?
Utts claimed there was good statistical evidence to support the reality of remote viewing; Hyman disagreed, mainly because only one judge was used throughout the experiments and he was the principal investigator. He also pointed that the evidence had never been replicated; there was inappropriate statistical testing and no established scientific proof of the paranormal phenomenon.
The report finally concluded that remote viewing was of little value and the CIA terminated the program in 1995.

And just as in 1995, I was witnessing now the skeptic versus believer fight for the remote viewing validation between my own collaborators, finding myself in a new role of mediator between both. I tried not to take any side and keep my friendship and research healthy. But honestly I couldn’t have decided any side. I still can not. Could you?

By Viviana Gomez - February 2, 2012.

Currently, Puthoff is the CEO of a privately funded research organization called EarthTech International, Inc. This organization is dedicated to the exploration of new frontiers in the physics of spaceflight energy and propulsion. The activities of EarthTech primarily center around investigations into various aspects of the Zero-point field. Among its technical activities EarthTech evaluates claims of devices (so called "over-unity" devices) that are said to release more energy, presumably extracted from the ambient Zero Point electromagnetic field, low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR), or some other source, than they consume from conventional power sources. Puthoff severed all connection with Scientology in the late 1970s

Russell Targ is today an editor, publisher, songwriter, producer, a teacher, and more. Targ retired from Lockheed Martin as a senior staff scientist, where he developed laser technology for peaceful applications.


No comments:

Post a Comment