Is Remote Viewing Bunk?
The exciting science of using right brain functioning to find missing people, solve world mysteries
and examine future events has taken a black eye.
The technique, developed by a team of psychics as a military tool during the Cold War years, is
called remote viewing. I know it works because I have seen our son, Aaron C. Donahue use it with startling accuracy. My wife,
Doris, and I have also had limited training and have been surprised at the way we can use this interesting tool. The possibilities
for fixing many of the ills of society are endless.
But there has been some bad publicity.
--There was the Courtney Brown fiasco, when Brown, one of Dames' students who started a school of
his own, said in 1997 an alien ship was following the Hale-Bopp Comet to Earth. It didn't happen.
--Dames countered with a story that what Brown's team saw was a canister carrying an alien created
plant pathogen that was going to contaminate the planet, killing all vegetation. It didn't happen. There is a black mold spreading
through homes and public buildings that seems to be making people sick. It appears to be a radiated mold that
is a product of global warming and the big holes punched in the Earth's ozone layer. It didn't come from an alien canister
tagging along behind a comet.
--There was a major lawsuit between Dames and his former partner, Jonina Dourif, after Dames left
Psi-Tech and started his new enterprise, a competitive school of remote viewing. It was a bitter fight that spilled over into
an exchange of charges and counter charges on the Internet.
--Dourif and her new partner, Dane Spotts, made fools of themselves and set the image of remote
viewing back to the level of a psychic hoax when they attempted to intervene in the celebrated search for Elizabeth Smart,
the daughter of a wealthy Salt Lake City couple. They claimed the girl was dead and that her body was hidden in an ancient
Indian burial crypt. The search led to television cameras and police desecrating the sacred burial ground without finding
a body. Dourif and Spotts even had the gall to publish their research in the case on their web site and declare it a success.
Elizabeth Smart later turned up alive and well.
--Dames repeatedly appeared on the Art Bell Coast to Coast Radio show with such dire predictions
that he was nicknamed by Bell as Doctor Doom. But his predictions of a solar kill shot, a plant pathogen that would destroy
all of the food, of babies dying from poisoned milk, of alien appearances, and a nuclear bomb blast on the Korean peninsula
(during the US war with Iraq) have yet to happen. He also predicted a fly-by of Planet X that would cause a
polar shift and a complete world economic collapse caused by a great war following the Korean bombing.
Dames has even gone so far as predict a public landing by an alien craft in August of this year
in the Chaco Canyon area of New Mexico. He has solicited a prominent Hollywood movie producer to accompany him to the site
and photograph the event, which Dames dubbs Project Zardoz.
Skeptics, including the noted psychic debunker James Randi, have had a field day with people like
Dames. Randi reportedly offers a $1 million cash payment to anybody who can prove to him that this stuff isn't a hoax, designed
to fleece the public's money. Dames has stated on the radio show that his efforts to respond to Randi's offer have been ignored.
Randi has posted an open letter on the Internet stating that Dames has never contacted him, and that he is ready and waiting
to take up the challenge. I sense the hucksters working the hucksters in this strange exchange.
The fact that Dames, Dourif, Brown and all of the other so-called professional teachers of remote
viewing are asking thousands of dollars for classes in their schools, suggests that Randi is quite right.
And yet there is something about remote viewing that has been lost in the dash for the cash.
We have been personally linked with the development of remote viewing from the day in 1996
when Aaron enrolled in Dames' class. Aaron paid $5,000 for that week of training. He discovered that the technique worked,
even though it was still in its infancy.
For the next five years we watched Aaron hone the skills Dames taught him. He spent hours experimenting
with ways to improve the program and assure 100 percent accuracy when looking at any target. Before Aaron, the remote
viewers around Dames boasted an accuracy level ranging from 70 to 90 percent. Dames believed that a team of remote viewers
all working on the same target could achieve 100 percent accuracy, but I have my doubts about that claim. His record fails
to prove it.
But Aaron's work is a different story.
He single handedly demonstrated his skills in a television show that has been aired more than once
this year on the Sci-Fi Channel in a pilot re-generation of the old In Search Of . . . series. In the show, Aaron is locked
in a hotel room with television cameras rolling. His target is a woman named Caprice who is placed at an undisclosed location.
Television cameras are also with Caprice. While under the hot lights of public television, Aaron works on the target, and
concludes that Caprice is in a turning restaurant tower at Los Angeles International Airport. He not only draws the building,
but his pen sketches the cars and tails of the aircraft in the area around the building.
Since then, Aaron has been making appearances for a Japanese television station, where he has found
missing people, united lost family members, and made other remarkable discoveries, always under the glare of television lights.
He has invitations to appear as a guest in shows in Europe.
Aaron, who attempted to work with Dames for a while, broke his ties with his old teacher after Dames
appeared on the Coast to Coast Radio show last winter, ignored Aaron's advice, and used incorrect data to make some rash
predictions that Donahue disagreed with.
Donahue said he did not see a nuclear bomb exploding in South Korea. He said the stock market would
not crash, but rather hold steady for a while before starting another downturn. He says there will be no Planet X that threatens
the Earth, nor will there be an alien landing in New Mexico in August.
Aaron's concern is that people like Dames, Dourif and Brown are poor remote viewers at best, but
are attempting to exploit it for financial gain. Because they are skilled at getting in the public eye, their exploits are giving
the skill a bad name.
"They are making remote viewers look like a bunch of nuts," Donahue said.