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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 79
     V E R I C O M M sm                 "Quid veritas est?"

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By Martin Cannon

May 1996


Hi. My name is Martin Cannon. About five years ago I annoyed
researchers in various fields with a monograph called "The
Controllers." The book-length update of this paper will include a
few words about "Remote Viewing," which seems to be THE hot topic
among both political and paranormal investigators right now. Ever
since a CIA officer discussed the Agency's interest on Nightline,
a sort of RV mania has swept over many people.

This mania has been exacerbated by the recent book "Cosmic
Voyage," by Courtney Brown ("PHD.," as he like to remind us)
which has proven extremely popular -- some people revere it as a
Third Testament. In the book, Brown uses RV to obtain interviews
with Martians, Jesus, and Buddha. Now, if I were having a
dialogue with a discarnate entity calling itself Jesus, I'd ask
him to say a few words in Aramaic. And Buddha might want to
predict the winner of next year's World Series in Sanskrit. But
the RV advocates with whom I've spoken say that this response
indicates a decidedly negative, un-groovy attitude, the sort of
attitude that inhibits proper RV functioning.

Now, let me quickly make one point quite clear: I am not
completely skeptical of remote viewing claims. A few years ago, I
got a call out of the blue from a lady named Shelly Thomas, who
described herself as a remote viewer trained by the Psi-Tech
organization. I tested her. Specifically, I asked her if she
could describe the painting then hanging over my couch. As it
happened, this was a particularly unusual painting (Jupiter as
viewed from one of its moons -- I had done this airbrush work in
my other life as a commercial illustrator). Shelly had a go at it
-- AND SHE WAS SPOT ON! Very accurate. I made sure not to say ONE
WORD -- I did not even breathe an audible breath -- while she
delivered her description. The whole experience was genuinely

So I cannot dismiss all such claims. It's possible, of course,
that she had spoken to someone who visited my home. This seems
unlikely, since no-one I know appears to have met or spoken with

Despite this experience, I am becoming somewhat skeptical of the
many remote viewing claims that I am now hearing. The whole thing
has become rather too faddish for my taste. Moreover, I am
finding it quite difficult to have a normal conversation with
certain people -- they refuse to differentiate between
information received via the normal five senses and information
obtained psychically. It is annoying to have to constantly ask:
"Wait -- just HOW do you know this?"

Sorry folks, but data obtained through RV is NOT "just as valid"
as data obtained via the eye and the ear. For example: I've met
two people who "RV-ed" what happened in 1947 at Roswell, New
Mexico, and neither story even "remotely" matches the other.

Anyone out there want to prove me wrong? Okay, let's do it. I am
quite sincere here. I'd like to offer a challenge -- in the TRUE
spirit of inquiry, and not in the spirit of CSICOPian smarminess.
I'll publish the results in my book. Instead of remote viewing
things which cannot be validated, such as Jesus, Martians,
Roswell, etc., let's have a go at things which CAN be validated.

Specifically: The NEW paintings above my couch.

I have two new paintings on the wall above my couch. I moved into
this place only quite recently, and have had very few visitors.
Thus, it is not likely that any hoaxer can determine the nature
of those paintings using conventional means.

Now, let's not have any rationalizations about why this is not a
fair test. I've heard plenty of such rationalizations, and to be
frank, they always sound to me like special pleading , or --
forgive my bluntness -- like whining. The point is this: Shelly
Thomas did not rationalize. She faced the test fairly and
squarely, and came through with flying colors. Maybe some of you
folks can do the same?

If co-ordinates pinpointing my home are necessary -- well, all I
can tell you is that I live quite near the corner of Lankersheim
and Laurel Canyon in North Hollywood, California. (A truly CRUMMY
neighborhood.) Sorry, I don't have longitude or latitude for that
location, but you can look it up on a map if you need to.

I'd be very grateful to anyone who participates in this
experiment. Any successful RV-ers who want to be mentioned by
name in my book or radio appearances, will be. I promise to keep
private all other names. And I promise NOT to make fun of, or to
criticize in any way, anyone who honestly attempts this test, and

This challenge seems perfectly fair to me. C'mon, all you
self-proclaimed RV-ers: Give it a go. Fame and glory to those who
succeed, and no hard feelings toward those who fall short. If I
can prove that Shelly's hit was NOT just a fluke, if I can prove
that this stuff really DOES exist, I would love to state so in my

I look forward to any replies...

  - Martin Cannon 

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