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BOOK REVIEW:
Captain of My Ship, Master of My Soul: Living with Guidance
, by F. Holmes Atwater, 2001

Published by Hampton Roads Publishing Company: Norfolk, Virginia

(Clicking on image takes you to Amazon.)


"Skip" Atwater's book about remote viewing in the military is both an important historical marker in the published accounts of the U.S. military's original RV program and a breakthrough discussion of the use of sophisicated sound technologies to enhance the remote viewing experience.


Skip Atwater is a leading researcher into the use of sound technologies to enable and sometimes enhance the remote viewing experience. Based at The Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia, he is continuing the pioneering research begun many years ago by Robert Monroe. But Mr. Atwater is also a former principal and original member of the Pentagon's "Stargate" remote viewing project. His book, Captain of My Ship, Master of My Soul: Living with Guidance, is a real treat for anyone interested in either the history of the U.S. Government's early remote viewing efforts or the use of sound technologies with regard to remote viewing.

This book has two parts. The first is a historical account of Mr. Atwater's introduction in the U.S. Army into the world of conscious research generally, and remote viewing more specifically. This part of the book is an especially lively read, with lots of personal details added that effectively convey his evolving appreciation of the uniqueness of his own career path as an Army intelligence officer involved with psychic research. Along the way, readers will learn some of the most fundamental facts of the Pentagon's early RV work, such as that it really did happen, and that it was once regarded by many as a highly valued intelligence asset. But Mr. Atwater also includes in his mix all sorts of fascinating trivia, from code names for various intelligence units to detailed descriptions of many emotional reactions of notable military brass to some of the results obtained by the military's RV unit.

Perhaps one of the most important points in this latter regard is Mr. Atwater's retelling of how top military officers quickly seized upon the importance of remote viewing to U.S. national interests when they realized the potential ways remote viewing could be exploited for espionage purposes. When confronted with scientific studies (primarily the early reports produced by researchers at Stanford Research Institute, now SRI International), a good number of Army generals (and lower ranking officers) quickly divided the potential challenges facing the military into two parts: (1) enabling the U.S. intelligence services to exploit remote viewing to spy on America's enemies, and (2) attempting to evaluate the potential for foreign foes to use remote viewing to compromise U.S. secrets. The appreciation of the reality of the remote viewing phenomenon and its potential use for espionage was deeply felt at various levels of the intelligence command hierarchy, and Mr. Atwater identifies by name many of those who were the most profoundly impressed by the Army's RV capabilities. In this respect, Mr. Atwater's book is an important historical marker in the chronicling of this interesting aspect of military history.

While retelling the history of the U.S. military's remote viewing efforts, Mr. Atwater also includes a great deal of information relating to the RV phenomenon itself, and many readers will appreciate the care which he takes in describing some of the often overlooked aspects of data-gathering while using RV methodologies. For example, Mr. Atwater describes in considerable detail the painstaking efforts that were made to integrate traditional interviewing techniques used by intelligence operatives with the RV protocols used by monitors who guided the remote viewers during sessions. He also discusses the potential for interesting or spectacular events at a target location to cause "time displacements" in the targeting process, and how he was able to train many military remote viewers to be less dependent on obtaining immediate feedback (or sometimes any feedback) for their sessions when delayed or withheld feedback was necessary (sometimes for security reasons). This is just a short list of such examples of fascinating detail that can be found in Mr. Atwater's book, and readers will certainly find themselves focusing on many these and other diverse elements offered here as they correspond with their own interests.

The second part of this book delves deeply into the use of sound technologies with remote viewing research. I had the pleasure of sitting in on one of Mr. Atwater's lectures on this subject at The Monroe Institute. I have long had a professional interest in nonlinear mathematics, and I was impressed with the seriousness of Mr. Atwater's own research into hemispheric frequency mapping of the human brain when individuals experience various altered states of awareness. It was and remains clear to me that Mr. Atwater has spent a great deal of time understanding the subtleties of this subject, including the advanced use of Fourier transformations to identify "beat frequencies" in internal brain communications during moments of unusual perceptual awareness. The technicalities in this part of the book will not frighten anyone. Mr. Atwater clearly describes his material so that nearly any lay person can understand his primary points, and I am certain that most readers will find his latter discussions to be as fascinating as I did.

I cannot finish a review of this book without mentioning the special treats that are included with the CD that comes with the book. On this CD are a variety of declassified documents, recordings, and presentations that can be accessed on a computer. Some of the audio recordings are of Mr. Atwater's own altered-state experiences. But there is also the inclusion of the original audio recording of Joe McMoneagle's now famous session where he remote views what appears to be a civilization on Mars in the very ancient past. This CD has much more, and indeed I think most readers will think that the CD alone is worth the price of the book.

For those who really want to know the truth about the military's remote viewing past, this book is a "must read." Moreover, Mr. Atwater's style of writing is fun for the reader. Most readers will likely finish this book by wondering with some anticipation when Mr. Atwater will publish his next volume. If this book is any indication of what is still to come, his next book will certainly be worth the wait.