Beyond Psychic Spying – Remote Viewers and Cops

A Case Study of How Remote Viewing Can Be Applied to Civilian Uses

If you know about Remote Viewing (RV) or think about it at all, one of the first things that comes to mind is the U.S. military’s Star Gate program – a unit established by the Defense Intelligence Agency to investigate potential military and domestic applications of psychic phenomena. That unit, however, was disbanded in 1995, and the U.S. Government no longer supports work or research involving psychic activity. What did the people employed in the Star Gate program do? After retirement, many of them started companies that both offer remote viewing services to the public and teach remote viewing to individuals.

The services offered by these companies are varied – investment advice, strategic corporate planning, and geological exploration all number among established remote viewing services. However, one of the most natural fits for RV in the civilian world has turned out to be law enforcement – and the majority of firms that offer remote viewing services often help the police with criminal or missing persons cases free of charge.


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One might imagine that law enforcement agencies would take advantage free RV services. That’s not the case. Remote viewers who would like to volunteer their services rarely do because of the first RV rule for workinAngela1g with law enforcement which is to not contact the police authorities themselves.  Generally, police departments lump remote viewers with any other psychics or clairvoyants who volunteer their services. There are a lot of crackpots out there and, frankly, the data is not considered seriously. If a law enforcement agency uses a remote viewer, it is generally only after a person known to that agency has stepped forward and vouched for the utility of Remote Viewing. I recently spoke with Angela Thompson Smith, PhD, Director of Mindwise Consulting, and founder of NRVG – the Nevada Remote Viewers’ Group. She shared her experience in assisting the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office to resolve a murder case.

In 2006, Robert Knight (link) – a photographer who specializes in the rock and roll music industry – approached Smith and told her he had a project for her. Without telling Smith the problem he needed to resolve, Knight gave her a “case number” – a random set of letters and numbers known in remote viewing as a coordinate – that represented the issue. Smith conducted an RV session and reported that she saw “brackish water near an estuary – a mix of salt and fresh water.” She also said that she got the impression that an “event” had occurred at the location.

Criminal Mind 1At this point Knight revealed that he was looking for his friend, radio DJ Steven Williams, who had gone missing a month earlier. He didn’t think Smith’s information made sense and doubted she was on track. Smith then broadened the project by bringing in several members of the NRVG to form a group.   Using an RV group rather than a single viewer can have the advantage of bringing a wide range of skills and expertise to the table – individuals may be engineers, medical personnel, or teachers, and they often focus in on different parts of the problem. When their sessions were completed, the NRVG viewers provided the information that: a person was dead; the body was in or near brackish water; the body was in water near Santa Barbara, CA; and a boat was involved. Knight did not want to hear this – he did not want to accept the possibility Williams was dead. But a couple of days later saw a story on the evening news – an unidentified body in an advanced state of decomposition had been found off Catalina Island. It was the scenario the viewers had described.

The next morning Knight called the county morgue and asked whether the unidentified body was missing three fingers from its left hand (Williams had lost the fingers in a 9th grade school shop class 50 years earlier). The response was affirmative; Stephen Williams had been found, and Knight immediately became suspect number one.

Knight explained his RV project to Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department officials, but they were both suspicious and skeptical, especially when Knight offered additional data the viewers had come up with – information on people who had been involved with Williams’ murder and their location. At that point retired Army Col. John Alexander stepped in. One of the founders of the International Remote Viewing Association (IRVA), Alexander had previously given the Sheriff’s Department a presentation on how RV could assist law enforcement. Now he called up Sheriff’s Department Commander Sid Heal, vouched for Knight, and urged the Sheriff’s Department to consider the data. (Please note once again the importance of having a respected individual vouching for the remote viewers.)

Man behind barsIt took a couple of years, but the guilty party – William Morrow – was tracked down, arrested, ordered to stand trial for the murder of Steven Williams, convicted in 2011, and sentenced to life in prison. Police were able to confirm that much of the information provided by the remote viewers was correct.

To what extent did remote viewing help solve the murder? In a 2012 article in the Las Vegas Sun, a Las Angeles Sheriff’s Department official admitted that due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body, Williams may never have been identified without Knight’s information. Beyond that, the data produced by the remote viewers was used either for confirmation of police work or for suggesting possible lines of inquiry.   It’s clear that while remote viewing can not replace good solid police work, it can serve as a valuable tool to save law enforcement agencies time and money, as well as to get more criminals behind bars.

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