LOWE-CATION: USING CONTROLLED REMOTE VIEWING TO SOLVE MYSTERIES WORLDWIDE

Hands drawing

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LOCATION: Facilities can be found worldwide.

BACKSTORY: Controlled remote viewing (CRV), a form of disciplined human perception that uses the subconscious mind to gather impressions about a distant, unknowable target, was originally developed as an intelligence-gathering tool for the U.S. military. The program ran from the 1970s until 1995, when it was declassified. At that time, several of the military officials who had practiced it for the government took the approach into the civilian world.

People turn to CRV for many reasons, often for the same reasons they would consult with a psychic. Some are looking for a missing loved one. Others want to learn about a birth parent or are searching for a valuable lost item.

Gail Husick, founder and CEO of the Husick Group, is a leading expert in the remote-viewing field. She describes CRV as being a methodology to try if there's something for which you wish you had an eyewitness, but don't. It's like having one, she says, "but doing it with your mind instead."

HOW IT WORKS:Remote viewers start without any outside information. "When the viewers view, they're working blind," Husick says. "I don't tell them who the client is. I don't tell them what the client's question is. I don't want their conscious mind to kick in, [where they will] try and figure it out using logical analysis." She notes that she also doesn't want their imaginations to run wild. "CRV follows strict protocols that were developed at Stanford Research Institute under contract with the U.S. government during the Cold War. They developed a method to train soldiers to do this."

The most Husick will share with a viewer is a broad category, to let them know whether their target is a location, a person or a process, for example. Viewers are not trying to name the target, but rather to describe it. Husick says, "Whatever perceptions they are mentally aware of, they will write down in a very structured way." Viewers start with descriptive words and then often move on to creating sketches in varying levels of detail.

WHO IT'S FOR: While people seek out CRV for many reasons, they are all looking to learn something they simply can't get from standard research. "It's information that's hard or impossible to get other ways," says Husick. Still, she is quick to point out that CRV doesn't solve cases, but rather provides information.

"We do quite a bit of work with law enforcement on things like missing-person cases," says Husick. "We've done it in the medical research field, looking for areas that would be productive for research on a particular disease. We've used it for journalists who wanted to do some background research on an in-depth story."

Once CRV is complete, a report is shared with the client or agency the viewer is working with. "It's up to them to combine that with whatever other sources of intelligence they have and figure out how to use [it]," Husick says.

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WHO DOES IT?: The first remote viewers were the individuals who were practicing the methodology for the military prior to the program's declassification, including Paul Smith and Lyn Buchanan, who trained Husick.

"Coming out of the military it is very step-by-step, very disciplined," Husick says. "It's not just random stuff popping into your head. One way we often explain it to people is it's a mental martial art."

As with any martial art—or really, any skill at all—CRV is something anyone can learn, but only some people excel at it. "People doing this at the professional level have done a lot of training and practice just like a martial art," says Husick. "If you want to be a black belt, it's good if you have some athletic talent. But that's not going to get you all the way there.

ACCURACY: CRV is not a 100 percent accurate tool, even according to its biggest proponents. Husick says, "What you're looking for is patterns and clues. For instance, on a missing-person case there's going to be some stuff in the session that's just off or doesn't make sense, but hopefully there will be enough in there that is accurate, that describes or sketches some landmark that local law enforcement will recognize." Husick sees value in following up to learn just how accurate viewers' work ultimately was. "I try to pick projects where we're going to eventually have feedback," she says.

SKEPTICS' SENSIBILITY: "If 15 years ago someone had come to me and said, 'Gail, you're going to be doing this,' I would have laughed," Husick says.

Husick attempted her first target after about a day and a half of formal CRV training. Her goal was to perceive and describe the scene in a photo that she would see after completing a written session. She explains, "The only thing I was told about my target before attempting to remote view it was that it was a location. It could have been any place on Earth... As I began to work on my remote-viewing session, I became aware of various perceptions—almost like an aperture rapidly opening and closing just long enough to reveal a flash of an image. In my mind's eye, I could see a sunny outdoor landscape. And I sensed a body of water, dark blue and expansive. And motion involving some sort of man-made vehicle. Something about the whole thing made me feel happy. After I completed my written session, my instructor handed me my feedback photo…of people enjoying a sunny day on the water in their power boat."

That's why instead of always trying to do demonstrations, we will often just teach the person how to do it. Then when they have that experience where they can actually do it, the doubt goes away."