If you could have one superpower, what would it be? For the CIA, they apparently wanted psychic vision, and they won’t wait for some magic to happen, nor would they try to recreate Professor X’s Cerebro to gain ESP powers. From 1972 to 1995, they investigated the potential of psychic abilities in military and domestic intelligence applications. The classified project went by various code names, one of which was Project Grill Flame.

The Idea Was Born

It started in 1970, within the geopolitical tension of the Cold War era when the United States believed that the Soviet Union was working on some psychotronic research and spending around 60 million rubles per year for it. Thinking that they would not spend a huge amount of money on something that was not a breakthrough, they believed that the Soviets were getting positive results from this whole psychotronic thing.

In turn, the CIA started the funding for the SCANATE (scan by coordinate) program, and remote viewing research immediately followed in 1972 at the Standford Research Institute. The proponents of the research, Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff, said that the minimum required accuracy rate of 65% that the clients required was often exceeded in the later parts of the experiment.


Now, to better understand what exactly they were trying to achieve with this remote viewing research, let’s have a look at how they define it. As written in the summary of Springer,