It is the 1970s. The American military create a team whose job is to retrieve tactical information using unorthodox methods. The members of Project STARGATE are tasked with finding a way to provide information about objectives and sites all across the world, using just the powers of their minds. To fully meet their brief, they will have to develop means by which normal soldiers can be taught how to do the same.
Incredibly, STARGATE is a complete success.
The project team perfect and deploy a rigorously scientific technique named Remote Viewing that allows trained ‘viewers’ to literally perceive distant places as if they are there. The project runs for years, providing information that would otherwise be impossible to obtain, until Congressional uneasiness at the idea of psychic spies sees funding withdrawn, and the project is closed.
You might be forgiven for thinking that I was describing a new Hollywood thriller, but the STARGATE Project is documented fact, rather than fiction. It all began when a Russian defector passed document to the US detailing his scientific research with the USSR’s own Remote Viewing unit, and a man named Skip Atwater realized the potential of a technique for accessing intelligence remotely. It quickly became obvious that America would have to explore the possibilities itself. Some years later, a young Texan Sergeant named Lyn Buchanan got into a fierce argument in his base’s computer lab…
The story of the STARGATE project is well-documented – most of the original core team have now written about their experiences and subsequent work. Buchanan’s own book, “The Seventh Sense”, is published by Simon & Schuster (his novel, “Gravity Can Be Your Friend,” is available from lulu.com).
After leaving the military, Buchanan kept up his interest in training new Remote Viewers. As well as training interested members of the public – coordinated through his website, crviewer.com – he also works directly with large corporations and with police departments, on a strict basis of total confidentiality. For companies, that generally involves setting up and training an entire Remote Viewing department, putting reporting and checking procedures in place, teaching people how to manage both the talent and the data, and so on. Applications include technical & medical diagnostics, scouting (for just about anything), R&D, archaeology, finance – anywhere you can ask questions like ‘where’, ‘which’ or ‘whom’.
Setting up and training a corporate department is a lot of work, parallel to hiring consultants to set up a major in-house telephone call centre. Even so, Buchanan says, more and more corporations are finding that this sort of operation really pays for itself. Interestingly, police work is often a far smaller-scale affair. His viewers help by providing extra information or targeting locations rather than trying to ‘solve’ cases.
In February 2006, I was fortunate enough to get the chance to interview Buchanan in person. He is a softly-spoken Southern Gentleman with a quiet, self-effacing charm and the understated rock-solid confidence that must come with being one of the world’s top Remote Viewers. What he says would sound like wild boasting from most people, but he just sounded mildly embarrassed:
Ghostwoods: Hi Lyn. Thanks for agreeing to talk to me. It’s a pleasure and privilege to get to talk to you.
Lyn: Well thank you.
GW: Let’s start with the basics. How would you personally define remote viewing? How would you describe it?
Lyn: The term Remote Viewing, for most people, is just the new-age term for psychic perception. True remote viewing, which is what we were taught in the military, is a science that was developed in the laboratory using non-psychics — that was actually the goal, because the military didn’t want to deal with psychics, and all they wanted to do was to grab a soldier off the battlefield, teach him to do this, and then send him back to the unit so that he can tell his commander what’s over the hill. And it worked. And so it’s actually a science that allows a non-psychic to use their subconscious mind in a way that a psychic normally does.
GW: Right. Is that by… is that a passive thing, where you’re tapping into an information pool of some sort, or is it a more active thing, like casting your senses out?
Lyn: It’s both, sort of a dance, you know, in the sense that it’s a thing you have control over. That’s why they call it Controlled Remote Viewing. What we’ve found is that if you take a psychic that has natural talent and teach them the controls, they become phenomenally super-psychic, because they already have the ability. Most psychics don’t have any control over it, so we have special classes just for psychics, we don’t teach them remote viewing, we teach them the controls, and they go on to produce some phenomenal work, just amazing work.
GW: Wow. How interesting. Fascinating stuff.
Lyn: Yeah, it is. I’ve always found it amazing. I’m not surprised by things I see any more, but if I ever stop being fascinated, I’ll go back to programming computers! I remain fascinated by the whole field.
GW: Yes, I’ve been interested in the whole field of the paranormal for a long time. I’ve tried a bit of co-ordinate remote viewing with certain limited success. I think I need to put in a lot more practice though!
Lyn: Yeah, it’s a lot of practice, and, y’know the field itself… the controlled remote viewing has its limits.
GW: Yes, I understand that it is more effective if you have a partner to help you.
Lyn: A lot of people run into the limits, and think its their own limitations when really it’s the limitations of the procedure itself.
GW: That’s interesting. So the different procedures have different scope for producing results?
Lyn: They have different strengths and weaknesses, yeah.
GW: That’s interesting. I haven’t had much chance to get exposed to material that’s not on the web. I hope the day will come.
Lyn: I don’t know if you’ve visited my website or not, it’s at http://www.crviewer.com.
GW: Yeah, I’ve had a look at CRViewer. A lot of interesting stuff there. I’m very interested in the assigned witness program, particularly.
Lyn: Thank you!
GW: So… I saw from a brief bio about you on a different website that you were originally flagged up for the Stargate project because of some telekinetic abilities. Can you tell me a bit about that?
Lyn: Well I’ve had that ever since I was a child. You’ve heard of the poltergeist children, well, I was one of those, and uh, the ones who get the notoriety of course are the ones who are emotionally disturbed.
Lyn: That’s only one part of the whole telekinetic children though. The ones who are not emotionally disturbed, who just run across this talent, they start playing with it and get control, and so I started to roll with it. Well, that talent came out at one point in the military, and uh, sort of resulted in the destruction of a room full of computers. To my surprise one of the officers that was there had been trained to spot these things and report them and so the general was over a few months later and he was prepared, and he dragged me into his office and scowled into my face and said “did you destroy my computers with your mind?” And I thought “I can lie about this, or tell the truth and my great-grandchildren will still be paying for those computers.” Well, I said “Yes sir, I did,” and the scowl just vanished and turned into a big grin, and forgive the language, he said “Far fucking out! Have I ever got a job for you!”
Lyn: He called me back to Washington DC, and they wanted me to be the beginning of a unit that would destroy enemy computers, and later would learn how to control the information within the computers. Back in the 60s though, Congress had been caught doing mind-control experiments, and so when the General said he wanted funding to start this unit, Congress turned round and said “No, no way.” They’d been caught once doing this mind control… They said no active mental work. We had to make sure what we were doing was passive mental work, which was the remote viewing, where remote viewers sit down and passively receive information. I was already in Washington DC, so they just stuck me into the remote viewing unit, which was Stargate.
GW: I see. Fascinating.
Lyn: Actually, I think we could have made a really good unit, but I have always wondered, if it had happened, how it would have been used.
GW: Yeah. I notice from what you say on your site about remote influencing… The whole thing about what goes around comes around — I guess that kind of work can get quite self-destructive if you’re not careful.
Lyn: Well. Not only self-destructive but, used incorrectly… it can be harmful.
GW: Yeah. I guess we should be grateful that it hasn’t come to pass, at least as far as we know.
GW: So what do you think in the end the military hoped for from Stargate? Do you think they hoped it would become more offensive, or did they just want great Intel, or…?
Lyn: They achieved what they hoped for — intelligence information that nobody ever would have found, that intelligence agencies could never produce. A spy-in-the-sky satellite can see a secret facility, but it can’t see what is inside. We could. They could track cars around a city, but they couldn’t tell which one had the political hostage inside. And so forth. We were always used as the last resort, to produce information they couldn’t get any other way.
Sometimes, the information I was receiving was literally unbelievable. It seemed that Saddam Hussein had acquired a black-market American missile and had it aimed at the Holy Mosque at Mecca. His plan was to feign illness during the main Ramadan ceremony, and use the American missile to wipe out all the other Muslim leaders. As the last Muslim leader, he would be able to take over and unite the Muslim world in a holy war, first against the evil Americans, and eventually the whole non-Muslim world.
My results were passed up the chain of command, and all along the way, each person refused to believe that any Muslim would do such a thing – myself included – but they kept passing it on, just in case. Well, the missile was found, and sure enough, it had been bought on the black market, and was aimed in the direction of Mecca. If it hadn’t been for that session, we would be in a humongous world war right now. At one time or another, almost every remote viewer in the unit turned in some information which, to one extent or another, changed history. Believe it or not, it became almost second nature to go to work every day, do a few miracles, and go home in the evening to a good night’s sleep.
GW: It’s my understanding that the American interest in the field — at least military — has dropped to a halt now.
Lyn: It’s my understanding too… You know, when you retire they stop telling you secrets. But I have watched or been in intelligence most of my career, and I can look for indicators that would suggest remote viewers at work. The indicators were there in Gulf War 2 that we didn’t have a remote viewing unit — and that Saddam Hussein did.
Lyn: I was very surprised at those indicators. It is my suspicion — but I have no proof — it is my suspicion that after the first attack on Iraq, after that he got a remote viewing unit. The man was crazy, but he wasn’t stupid.
GW: Yeah… I guess. I mean, I was going to ask if you thought there were other countries using this sort of technology, but I guess it can’t be that tricky in terms of resources for a country to set up.
Lyn: Well actually, if you read between the lines in open source literature — and of course we had access to literature that wasn’t available to the public — most other countries have units of their own. Great Britain has a large one. Libya has one. The Israelis have a very large psychic spy network, and so forth, but I was very surprised to find one of the largest is Bulgaria.
GW: That’s interesting. I spent some time in the Czech Republic and I knew there was a large team in Prague at one point…
Lyn: Yes… Uh, yeah.
GW:… But I didn’t know there was anything in Bulgaria.
Lyn: Yeah, one wonders, what _is_ Bulgaria doing with all this psychic spy technology?
GW: Yeah, it’s interesting. Now, I noticed that you said on one of the pages that you feel it was almost as if the pace at which Remote Viewing could be learned has accelerated. I think you mentioned Sheldrake’s Morphic Field Theory. You must train a lot of people. Can you see if is this a trend of general spiritual development, or something coming, or is it purely in the remote viewing area, or… how do you see this?
Lyn: I think that you cannot learn this contact — learn to contact your subconscious mind on a real basis — without there being some spiritual impact. However most of the students I have are learning for specific applications, such as police work, or archeology, medical diagnostics, and so on. Everything we do is on a hard, firm, realistic basis. No looking at UFOs or anything like that.
GW: Yeah, I noticed that is a feature of your site, that you’re very interested in keeping it real.
Lyn: Very real, yeah. The thing is that it doesn’t earn its way in life, then what good is it? Another thing is that as we teach people, if we keep it on the basis of things where we can go and get feedback, then the people learn. If we give them, y’know, the Galactic Council Headquarters on some distant planet as a co-ordinate and then they do a session, then they don’t learn anything because they are not able to see what they got right, what they got wrong.
GW: Yeah, understood. I think it is almost certainly a very important attitude to have. I don’t want to denigrate anyone else, but I have a lot of respect for that position. If you can’t verify information on some level, then I think you have to assume it’s incorrect really.
Lyn: Yeah, well, it may be correct, but there’s no way to prove it.
GW: Yeah, exactly.
Lyn: And, you know, when it comes to getting out of the course and then going back to your real daily life, if you haven’t taught people to use it in real life, then actually I think you’ve cheated them out of their money.
GW: Yeah, I understand. Do you think it will ever get to the point where these talents are strong enough — in the mass unconscious if you like — that people start developing these talents spontaneously?
Lyn: I don’t think it will. Um, I have looked into the future of remote viewing and what I keep finding is that we will improve it and improve it and improve it and then one day the politicians will realize that they don’t have any secrets, the mafia will realise that it doesn’t have any secrets, and all of a sudden it will start getting all kinds of bad press, it will start getting horror stories, and all these people will ensure it’ll fall out of popularity, and then of course the government & military will be very quick to go round pick the cream of the crop to take them away to use them and once again what goes around will come around with psychics running units which are very secret and also much more advanced than what they have now.
GW: Right. Now that’s… quite a scary prospect for anyone involved in the field.
Lyn: That it is. Its kinda scary prospect for me.
GW: Yeah. For me as well, to be honest. And even just in terms of the lessons you can see in history, I can see a lot of self-evident truth in that analysis, unfortunately.
Lyn: The point is that history repeats itself.
GW: Absolutely. Moving to a more positive note, I couldn’t find any real details about the work you’re doing with the assigned witness program. I mean, I saw the content of what you do, I just wondered if you could give me any figures, how much you’re able to help, what number of cases you’ve been able to help with, that sort of thing.
Lyn: That was the right question, by the way, the cases we’ve been able to help with. If you asked me how many cases have you solved, I’d say none. Because we provide information, and the police solve the case. And we’re there to help, not to come round and save the day, take over their jobs, and all that. Once police departments realise that, they use us. So many times, psychics have come round and helped police departments, and then they call the newspaper and the magazines, and say “I did this, I solved this case for the police,” and behave horribly, say anything about it. And so the assigned witness program works FOR the police departments. We promise them anonymity, we promise them we will not use their name or _anything_ until they give us written permission, and we keep that promise. We do a lot of missing children cases. Lately we’re doing a lot more missing evidence cases — helping look for evidence that just can’t be found any other way. Lately we’re doing more of that than missing children cases.
GW: That’s interesting. I’d love to think that means there’s less cases of missing children. I don’t know if it does or not?
Lyn: I’m afraid it doesn’t, no.
GW: Do you have any figures, off-hand, on the number of cases you might help in a year? I mean, you talking tens, hundreds, thousands?
Lyn: I don’t have my detailed figures here, but I think you could say around… a good year would be around fifty cases right now. One a week.
GW: OK. That’s still a pretty major contribution, however you cut it.
Lyn: Well, it doesn’t scratch the surface.
GW: I imagine that whole battalions of remote viewers still wouldn’t manage to scratch the surface, with the kind of crime figures we’re seeing in the world.
Lyn: That’s right. One of the problems is that if we’re going to use a long term remote viewer, they don’t know how to speak police language, or what the policeman looks for in the world. The most success we’ve found is where police departments send some of their detectives to us and we teach them to do the remote viewing.
GW: Right. And then you might not necessarily get figures back as to how much difference that has made because…
Lyn: We get some verbal feedback from the detectives using this. Generally they’ll use it on every case.
GW: Of course, of course, once you’ve gained faith in your abilities in this skill, you’d have to be insane not to.
Lyn: Along the same lines, we’ve started teaching large corporations to develop entire remote viewing units within a corporation, and so… There again, I don’t know exactly what uses or how much use it goes to, because y’know… but we teach management, analysts, remote viewers, the monitors, reporting… and large corporations are finding out that this technique really pays for itself.
GW: That makes sense. Moving a bit more spiritually for a moment, I noticed on some of the web stuff you’ve talked about reincarnation, even reincarnation to past time zones. Can you tell us anything about that?
Lyn: Well, in the training in the military, I was told to access people as they went through the process of death, and to go through the process of death with them. I think I had 64 targets along that way. What I found on those targets was that some seemed to reincarnate, some seemed to go to hell, some seemed to go to heaven, and others, they just stopped existing. I never found any ghosts, which was surprising, but one of the things I found is that the group that seemed to reincarnate, well, they appeared to reincarnate into future times, or into present times, or into past times. For some, it was like the next lesson they had to learn on their spiritual journey was in the times of King Arthur or something, others would be jumped forward to future times.
GW: So do you think that might imply we have so many people here on earth because this is a good training time at the moment?
Lyn: Well, could be! I don’t know if I would make that association, but I certainly wouldn’t say no to it. I think spiritually this is one of the most harsh training times, yeah. Lots to learn.
GW: Yeah. With you on that one. Now, I know that looking at the future is a very difficult and uncertain thing… but do you have any sense of how things are likely to shape up in the next few years?
Lyn: Oh, yes. I think in spite of all efforts and everything, the next ten to twenty years is going to see just a phenomenally large war — it will of course will not be a war that ends all wars because they’ll just keep on coming — but it’s going to destroy a horrendous number of people, I mean, just huge numbers of people.
GW: Looking at the way that the world is going at the moment, that seems all too plausible. That’s a very subjective perception, it could just be pessimism…
Lyn: Yeah, or reading the newspaper!
GW: Your most recent book is “Gravity can be your Friend”, right?
Lyn: Yeah, ah, you’ve heard of it, I think it’s on Amazon now, but on lulu.com, you can buy it printed or download it to your computer for only half the price. It’s a scientific fiction book, although everything in it is scientifically possible right now. It’s not one of those far-distant future earth things. It’s a story about police work in space, and all the special training that they have to go through, and it weaves around the story of a police cadet whose father is a notorious criminal, and it becomes her job to catch her father, and all the old motivations they have to go through with the different remedies and the different processes… probably more science than fiction.
GW: That sounds great, and I look forward to grabbing it. So what do you do when you’re not writing?
Lyn: I teach classes of course, and I do charity work for police departments, and then we do work for hire, which we do for our students. We train them to professional and then we turn round and then, when someone in business or something comes in who wants something done, we pay our students for doing it. When we teach our students, we don’t just say “Good, you’ve done the course and now you’re a remote viewer.” There is a place for their work, and the way we do that is we give them a target which has definitely got… like a police case or something which is already solved, and everything is already known, and then we have them do a session, and we go through their viewing one perception at a time, and evaluate every perception as to being correct or incorrect. Then we database all of this, so any of the students, when they become professional, they have sessions in the database and we know exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are, we know exactly how dependable they are, all different types of information. This is definitely a science, were doing applications research whose role is training.
GW: Yeah, I understand, and backing up good students with potential work in the future as well.
GW: Yeah, that’s a great benefit of taking the training, I’d think.
Lyn: Yeah, every student has their own strengths and weaknesses, and so if we get a customer who wants something to do with the shape of some micro-component or something, we can look at the database, see who is best at shapes, and use them.
GW: Right, I understand.
Lyn: If Police want the colour of the getaway car, we don’t just task it to anyone, we look in the database and find out who has the highest accuracy with colours. By doing it that way we can take an average of people, use them with their best talents, and get the best results for the customer.
GW: Yeah, that’s really smart actually. Plus you have all the backup information to show results, where you’re coming from.
Lyn: Yeah, we can turn around and say to a customer this person here has a proven track record & dependability rating of, say, 87%. We can say you can depend on them to be right to 80% dependable, or 90% dependable, or whatever.
GW: Yeah, certainly I can see that being a very valuable service, both for the viewers and for the clients.
Lyn: That’s right.
GW: Alright Lyn, I’ve taken up enough of your time so I think I should let you get back to work. Thanks very much for talking to me.
Lyn: Great, thank you.
Note: To read the transcript of Lyn guiding me through an attempt at Remote Viewing, click here.Red Phone Box, a darkly magical story cycle written by myself, Warren Ellis and twenty-six other writers, and edited by the sublime Salomé Jones, is out now. I think you'll like it.