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BOOK REVIEW:
The Seventh Sense: The Secrets of Remote Viewing as Told by a "Psychic Spy" for the U.S. Military, by Lyn Buchanan, 2003

Published by Paraview Pocket Books: New York

(Clicking on image takes you to Amazon.)


Lyn Buchanan's The Seventh Sense is two books in one. It is a riveting - often chilling - account of his own participation in one of the U.S. military's most significant and formerly classified remote viewing projects. But it also is one of the best discussions yet in print of the "Controlled Remote Viewing" (CRV) methodology that was developed and exploited by Ingo Swann and the military for espionage purposes.


Lyn Buchanan was a remote viewer and trainer in the U.S. Army during the later years of the so-called "Stargate" program. The Seventh Sense is his first book on the subject of remote viewing, and it chronicles his involvement in the military's remote viewing unit. As per Mr. Buchanan's own observation, this book is written through his own lens with regard to what happened during those interesting years, a statement that applies equally to other books with historical content written by former members of the military's remote viewing espionage project. Sometimes the "facts" of who did what, when, and how appear in conflict when the various books and their lenses are compared. This, of course, adds to the complexity of the history, but it does not detract from the basic facts of the military's involvement with remote viewing. It happened, the results were often considered highly profound, and the former members of the program authentically reaped a harvest of highly interesting and valuable experiences. Mr. Buchanan's retelling of his own story in this sense is highly significant, and his book will certainly find a valuable place in the libraries of readers who are interested in both the history and current status of the field.

Mr. Buchanan's story begins with experiences he had when he was a child. In this case, his early experiences involved not remote perception as much as psycho kinesis (PK - the movement of objects through mental means). An early and traumatic encounter with local religious authorities who considered his "demonstrations" to be works of evil powers produces a powerful hook for the book that helps to rivet the reader to the remaining pages as he describes in elegant detail how he eventually came to peace with his psychic self. I suspect that many readers will sympathize with Mr. Buchanan's autobiographical account, especially considering that intuitive perceptual abilities seem common to all humans, and that we live within societies that tend to forcefully deny this reality.

The Seventh Sense follows Mr. Buchanan's psychic military career all the way through his retirement from the U.S. Army. Along the way, the reader is treated to an astounding account things that he was ask to do, as well as the equally surprising listing of the things that he ended up doing. By no means should this suggest a need to dismiss the reality of Mr. Buchanan's claims. This is his story, and it reads as an autobiography told by a man who deeply wants to let people know what really happened in his life. I must also add at this point that I have met Mr. Buchanan on a number of occasions, and my reaction to him is that he is a fiercely honest individual who authentically desires to make a positive contribution to this world. The truth of the matter is that lots of nearly incredible things probably did happen during the military's RV hey days, and Mr. Buchanan's book gives the reader a window (through his own lens) into some of those things. I suggest that readers consider Mr. Buchanan's historical re-counting with an open mind. His generous inclusion of so many interesting historical scenarios add to the reader's understanding of how much Mr. Buchanan's experiences influenced his outlook on life, something I suspect many readers will be happy to appreciate.

This book also continues Mr. Buchanan's story after he left the military. It is clear that he wishes to use remote viewing for some positive end. One of his efforts involves coordinating his work with various police departments, and his "Assigned Witness Program" is an important part of his agenda. He both works as a remote viewer himself and trains other remote viewers to work on cases for which there exists a significant potential for positive return. I am not in a position to evaluate the effectiveness of his work in this regard, but it is clear from his writing that he takes his efforts use remote viewing to help people with the greatest of seriousness.

One of the most valuable extra benefits of The Seventh Sense is Mr. Buchanan's inclusion of so much information regarding the "Controlled Remote Viewing" (CRV) methodology that was developed by Ingo Swann in contract with the U.S. government. This book is one of the best discussions in print on this methodology. Moreover, Mr. Buchanan adds a great deal of information about how to evaluate remote viewing data, and he even includes copies of detailed worksheets that are used in this regard. Many readers will also appreciate his generous discussion of remote viewing terminology, which is much more than a normal glossary of definitions. Mr. Buchanan additionally offers exercises that he suggests may be used by his readers to enhance their own perceptual abilities.

All in all, I suspect that many readers will find this a valuable introduction to the remote viewing field. The book covers a great deal of historical territory, and Mr. Buchanan's writing is easy to follow. But readers will also find that the book yields a great deal more than simply a historical account. It offers a deeper understanding of the remote viewing phenomenon and its complexities, and many readers will discover that this is no small contribution for any volume.