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Skip Atwater
Origins of the Ft. Meade RV Program

The Plan, continued

In pursuit of this evidence I had made several contacts within the Department of Defense (DOD) and in turn revealed to them that INSCOM had an interest in the security implications of remote viewing. At the same time my fellow officers and coworkers in SED saw that not only was I busy with some “special project” but that I was getting an unexpected amount of attention from the boss. This junior lieutenant, this new guy on board, seemed to be moving pretty fast. Why did Keenan want to see me? Why did he announce from his doorway, in a voice that everyone in the office could hear, I was to meet with him this morning?

From my office cubicle I kept a watchful eye on the coat rack outside Major Keenan’s office until I saw that his braded, field-grade-officer’s hat sat on the shelf above the hangars. Once I could see his hat, I knew he was in his office. At 0900 I showed up at the doorway outside Keenan’s office with a yellow legal pad in hand, looking as much as I could like I was interested but not anxious to hear what he had to say to me. “Lieutenant Atwater,” he said, “come in and have a seat.” As I sat down at the small conference table he went around behind his desk and assumed a commanding position.

“Would you like some coffee?”

“No thank you,” I replied. In this dance, the junior officer was not expected to accept the coffee. The offer was just setting the social dynamics for the meeting.

“I want to thank you for the meeting with Mr. Salyer yesterday. I was impressed.”

“Yes Sir,” I replied cautiously.

“But you still haven't answered my question.”


In a rather stern voice he said, “I asked you what you were going to tell the Missile Command down at Redstone Arsenal. They asked what they could do to protect themselves, their military operations, from remote-viewing surveillance.”

“Yes Sir, that’s correct,” I continued, “and as I told you before, it seemed to me that in keeping with the SED mission, our first step was to determine if remote viewing presented a probable threat.”

“And with yesterday’s DIA briefing it would appear that it is.”

“Yes Sir,” I went on. “In keeping with SED’s way of providing OPSEC support, our next step would be to use remote-viewing surveillance on the Missile Command ourselves to demonstrate its vulnerability to this form of hostile intelligence collection to the Commander, US Army Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.”

“And how do you propose we do that, Lieutenant?”

“Well Sir, at SRI they have some remote viewers who would seem to be capable of performing such a task but there is a problem with using them.”

“What do you mean? What problem?”

“It would seem to me, Sir, that for us here at SED the issue is larger than just the Missile Command in Alabama. If remote viewing is in fact a hostile-intelligence threat, then the OPSEC posture of all Army installations, operations, and assorted facilities are vulnerable.”

“What are you saying, Lieutenant?”

“Sir, the remote viewers at SRI are basically research subjects, and they work as independent consultants or subcontractors to SRI. They do not have the appropriate security clearances or the proverbial need-to-know for much of the sensitive classified information at the Missile Command or other Army facilities. And if we genuinely see remote viewing as a probable threat, we will need to include it in our OPSEC vulnerability estimates for many of the Army commands for which we provide service.”

“Yes. I see what you mean, Lieutenant,” he said slowly. “The SRI remote viewers wouldn't have security clearances for any of that.” Coming out from behind his desk, he sat down at the small conference table across from me and asked, “So what are we going to do now?” I leaned back in my chair and glanced down at the blank yellow legal pad on the table in front of me. As my eyes slowly rose to meet his, my mind raced for an answer to his question.

“Major Keenan," I said carefully, “we need to train some of our own people—intelligence professionals with appropriate security clearances — to be remote viewers.” In the back of my mind I thought this sounded pretty good. I continued, “Once trained, these assets could be used repeatedly to provide remote viewing in support of SED’s OPSEC-support mission. Just as we use other intelligence surveillance assets such as satellites, communications intercepts, and facility penetration agents to demonstrate OPSEC vulnerabilities to Army commanders, we could use these trained remote viewers to demonstrate vulnerabilities to this unique form of surveillance.”

A pensive stillness filled the room as Keenan gathered his thoughts. “Lieutenant Atwater,” he announced, “you're right!” And then asked, “How do we train our people to be remote viewers?”

I didn't know exactly how to answer his question. How do you train someone to do something that to me seemed a natural aptitude? And yet, that’s what training was all about, bringing out or developing natural aptitudes. You can't train people to play the piano, for example, unless they have some inherent aptitude. Maybe remote viewing worked the same way. But how could I identify people with this natural aptitude? I would want to select people for training who had some chance of being successful. I would want to have several people trained so I would have backup and multiple sources. As my thoughts raced on, very little objective time passed back at the small conference table. The wisdom from within that was always with me emerged and I answered Keenan’s question.

Skip Atwater
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