Today I happened to come across an interesting piece of information online. It involves Project Star Gate, the government-funded investigation of remote viewing that was shut down in 1995.
Here's the skinny from the relevant website, Stargate Interactive:
Stories of the 1995 ending of the Star Gate program vary, but many have Ray Hyman saying remote viewing didn’t work and Jessica Utts saying it did. Speculation abounds over whether or not the entire program was really shut down as well as whether or not results over those twenty years were operationally valuable and/or statistically significant. Those discussions have often involved someone saying “Ray Hyman said…” and “but Jessica Utts said….” or visa versa, as if the two didn’t agree. Check out the document and see if that’s true.
The download attached to this blog is a 22-slide presentation produced in 1995. Once you look through it, you’ll be able to answer whether or not Hyman said the results were not statistically significant and, if he didn’t say that, what he actually did say.
Intrigued, I downloaded the file (a PDF) and looked through it. Indeed - if the slideshow is in fact accurately reproduced - it turns out that Hyman's views were not as totally dismissive as I'd been led to believe.
First, the slideshow gives a summary titled "Dr. Utts’ conclusions":
Asserted that “Psychic functioning” is well-established
Observed that statistical results obtained were far beyond chance expectations
Refuted argument that methodological flaws or fraud could account for results
Claimed some SRI, SAIC results were replicated in other labs
Recent SAIC results are methodologically superior to previously flawed SRI work
New results are statistically significant
Results hampered by secrecy, experimental database has had no community peer-reviewed, no public school they
Better than chance results do not, by themselves, establish that a paranormal phenomenon is the cause
Use of same “judge” during all SAIC experiments is possible serious flaw
“Remote viewing,” as opposed to Ganzfeld, has not been replicated in other labs
Boundary conditions, i.e., when and where remote viewing can reliably occur, have not been defined
Possibility of methodological flaws in results has not been eliminated
Reviewers agree more than they disagree:
- Statistically significant results
- Vast improvement in experimental protocols
Reviewers disagree on key points:
- Establishment of paranormal causality
- Replication of “remote viewing” in other labs
The data do not establish that a paranormal phenomenon is involved, nature of source not identified
The data have not been replicated independently
The boundary constraints critical to obtaining statistically significant experimental results are not practical in real world of intelligence collection
AIR concluded future R&D should not take place within Intelligence Community since 20 years of IC investigation failed to establish a paranormal phenomenon