But the fact that it didn’t make sense to me didn’t mean that it was wrong. You have to prove that it’s wrong by experimentation. When I was the Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, I had learned about some classified research done by Academician Leonid Vasiliev, in the old Soviet Union. Academician is the title accorded a kind of super-professor in Russia. I think there are less than a hundred of them in the whole country today. Vasiliev had asked what I saw as a fundamental question: Is this sense of heightened awareness an electromagnetic phenomenon?
And to answer the question he had begun doing experiments with people in Faraday cages, which are a kind of electromagnetic screening cage that blocks out radio waves. He had put people in Faraday cages in the bottom of caves and mineshafts, only to discover that such shielding didn’t make any difference. The people who were providing the nonlocal consciousness data did just as well as they had when they were on the surface just sitting in his lab.
REDWOOD: So there had to be some other means of transmission.
SCHWARTZ: Not transmission, but let me get to that. Vasiliev was a very methodical guy, a very fine researcher. He broke the electromagnetic spectrum down and he began shielding for each little piece of it. And finally, he got down to the point where the only thing that was left was ELF, extremely low frequency. These are large wave forms, huge, on the order of miles, as opposed to smaller wave forms in higher frequencies. What made ELF interesting to both Vasiliev and me was its tremendous penetrating power. It has the ability to go through physical barriers. Only deep submergence in sea water provides a shield against it. And Vasiliev said, what you really need to do [to test it] is do experiments in a submerged submarine. He started in the Fifties and Sixties. This was around when Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, had been built by the U.S. Navy.
There was a story reported by French journalist in which he wrote that there had been a [United States military] telepathy experiment in a submarine. While I was working for the Navy I had gone looking for this experiment. I even asked Admiral Hyman Rickover if it was true, and he said no. I kept trying to track it down and confirmed that this experiment had never been done, although it had been canonized by repetition in many popular magazines. Like the Philadelphia Experiment -- the idea that the Navy dematerialized a ship -- the submarine experiment had never happened.
But these things get repeated, they become like urban legends. What happened is that Vasiliev is working away and the KGB [the Soviet intelligence agency] gets wind of this experiment, and they believe that it hashappened. So they think, oh my goodness, the Americans are developing this program and we need to develop a program, too. So they develop a program of which Vasiliev becomes a part. He keeps going but he can never quite get to the submarine part. He finally eliminates everything but ELF. And he says ELF is the only explanation, if the phenomenon is electromagnetic.
I’m working at this point in the Navy. I go to Rickover and ask if he’ll put a remote viewer aboard a submarine to do some experiments. He listens to me but he finally says no, that the media will get hold of it and make it a scandal. It will cause a lot of problems and there’s no upside. So I was not able to do it while I was in the Navy. But I talked to a lot of people about this experiment . . .
REDWOOD: And eventually you got access to a submarine.
SCHWARTZ: I had written The Secret Vaults of Time, and had gone to Los Angeles to take a fellowship when I ran into two friends, Don Walsh and Don Keach, who are two of the legendary figures in deep ocean engineering. Don Walsh had made the deepest dive that will ever be made, to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench in the Philippines. Don Keach was the guy who found the lost hydrogen bomb off Palermo, Spain. They had retired from the Navy and had taken over the Institute of Marine and Coastal Studies of the University of Southern California. They knew of my interest -- we had been friends for a long time -- and they let me know that they had a submarine coming down to do its sea trials off their facility in Catalina. They said, “We’ll give you a submarine for three days.” This is 1977.
That was incredibly exciting, because it meant the experiment both Vasiliev and I longed to do could finally be carried out, which would answer the question, “Is psi electromagnetic?” And I thought that as long as I’m doing that, I’ll also see if it is possible for remote viewers to locate a previously unknown wreck on the sea floor, because that’s a wonderful blind experiment. Everybody can agree on what we don’t know, so if they find something that we didn’t previously know, there’s no way someone can claim that they snuck out at night [and cheated]. The water’s too deep.
Also, I had an idea that it was possible to get information from the future, a testable bit of information from the future that could be acted upon.
The submarine experiment, which became known as Deep Quest, took place in the summer of 1977 in the waters off of Santa Catalina Island which stands off the Los Angeles coast. Using a small submarine called the Taurus, a little research submersible, the research had three parts, the archeological part, the electromagnetic question, and what I was calling associative remote viewing. Anyway, as I was planning this experiment, I met Russell Targ and Hal Putoff, two laser physicists who were running a classified government program at SRI [formerly Stanford Research Institute], as well as a third, nuclear physicist, Edwin May, who was beginning to work with them. Russ and Hal had just published a very fine paper which paralleled much of my own thinking. So I invited them to participate in the experiment with me.
To begin, I got a standard basic sea chart from a sailing store and asked several people to locate a previously unknown wreck on the sea floor, to mark it, and to describe what would be found there. They sent back their charts and there were a number of locations, some of which we knew to be correct. But there was one for which the Bureau of Marine Sites of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the organization responsible for knowing where all the wrecks were, had no record. It was a location that all of the people had picked, and they had described the same thing. They had described a sailing ship that had a small steam engine on the deck,
REDWOOD: You’re saying that all of the people tested identified this exact same location?
SCHWARTZ: Yes . . . the remote viewers, some of whom are now very well known, picked a number of places, but they all picked this one place and described very specifically a sailing ship that had sunk about 90 years before. The steam engine had caught fire, the ship had sunk, and they said we would find the aft helm of the ship lying with the wheel down and the shaft coming out of it, and they drew pictures of these things. They said that we would find a block of granite (5 by 6 by 7), something you would never expect, and that we would find a steam winch at the site. I had a clear location and clear descriptions of what ought to be there if it was correct. On the first day of the experiment we put two of the viewers down in the submarine and got them to describe where Hal and Russ, who were up in Palo Alto, California (while Taurus was underwater off Catalina), were hiding. They had had a computer generate a bunch or targets, places where they could go hide, and in one case it was a great tree on the edge of a cliff. And one of the remote viewers said there’s this great big tree and they’re climbing in the tree. And, of course, that’s exactly what they were doing.
Now we were submerged in the submarine, so that the seawater was all around us and filtered out the ELF. Because, as it happened, just before we did this experiment, the U.S. Navy was also interested in ELF, because they wanted to use it to communicate with the “boomers,” the submarines with missiles that stay down a long time. The Navy didn’t want them to come too close to the surface because then the [Soviet] satellites from overhead would pick up the heat signature from the reactors. So the Navy had spent about $100 million studying how deeply ELF penetrated seawater and how such a system might work. So we knew exactly how deep we had to go to get past the ELF threshold. And that’s what we did. When we got there, Ingo Swann [a remote viewer] said, “They’re hiding in a shopping mall. There are big glass windows and there are people all around. There’s red tile on the floor. There’s this big turning wheel.” And it was exactly right. That was a big success, because it meant we now knew that these aspects of consciousness were not electromagnetic, and that we are not like walkie-talkies. Nothing is being sent, nothing is being received. There is just a sense of knowingness.
REDWOOD: What about finding the sunken ship?
SCHWARTZ: The next day, we had the surface ship drop a radio homing device at the site where the wreck was supposed to be, so that we would only home in on that wreck. And, in fact, the submarine crew, who had been diving there for weeks before we got there, said, “We have been all over this area and there’s nothing there, nothing remotely like what you’re describing.” So the homing device is going “ping, ping, ping.” When the signal gets louder, you’re going in the right direction. When it gets fainter, you’re going in the wrong direction. Well, low and behold, “ping, ping, ping,” and there it was!! Everything exactly as they described it. The big block of stone, the steam winch, the aft helm with the wheel down and the shaft pointing up. I think everybody, including me, and certainly the people the submarine, crew, and the guys at the Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies, everyone was kind of stunned by this.
I should mention that I filmed all of this, made a movie out of it, which is still showing either on the History Channel or the A&E Channel.
REDWOOD: What’s it called?
SCHWARTZ: Psychic Sea Hunt. It was all filmed real time as it happened. I originally filmed it just to make an archival record, just as I invited Ann Kale of the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, then the head of Earth Applications Satellite Research Group, a senior scientist there, to come along and witness everything and to hold all the records. I wanted to be certain that we had a clear, unimpeachable chronology of when they made the predictions, what the predictions were, and what was discovered on the site.
The Deep Quest experiment set me in motion for what has become, really, a life’s work. There was the Alexandria Project, where we discovered Cleopatra’s Palace, the Caravel Project, where we found remnants of Christopher Columbus’ caravel [sailing ship], and others. They set in motion this approach, and what we have learned is that it’s as easy to see something that is far as something that is near. Distance doesn’t make any difference. It is as easy to see something that happens tomorrow as it is to see something that happens today.
Seen from this perspective the world is organized differently, but it is still lawful, and that’s the important thing.
REDWOOD: Can you give us an example of how things are different?
SCHWARTZ: In nonlocal awareness the emotional charge associated with a target might prove to be more important than its physical characteristics. Also that the emotion associated with a target makes it easier to see. For instance, it is easier to see a religious shrine than a rice paddy. Why is that? Because the religious shrine is numinous, a term coined by Carl Jung.
REDWOOD: Can you expand on that a bit?
SCHWARTZ: Individual acts of intentioned observation, particularly when they occur when you are in a heightened emotional state, create a kind of field effect, and the aggregate of thousands and thousand of little acts of intentioned observation make a target shine in nonlocal consciousness. [This is also true] where there is entropy (that is, where there is some transmutation, such as matter to energy), like a nuclear reactor. Those kinds of things make very good targets; they’re very easy for people to see. So there are rules, it’s lawful. Once you get the rules, you can design experiments that are better able to yield good information.