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Record Type: Review   ID: 944

Tracks in the Psychic Wilderness: An Exploration of Remote Viewing, ESP, Precognitive Dreaming, and Synchronicity

Graff, Dale E.

Although trained as an engineer and physicist, Dale Graff also had exceptional experiences in his youth, including striking synchronicities, the meaning of which he potentiated and absorbed. His book is an excellent introduction to several forms of parapsychological (psi) research, not only because he is very knowledgeable but because he has experienced what he writes about, not only spontaneously, but as a subject in his own experiments and those of others. Neither is his knowledge simply based on first-hand experience.

In 1975, as an applied aerospace engineer and physicist, he was with the Air Force’s Foreign Technology Division in Dayton. One of his responsibilities was to monitor research into applications of various sensor devices and write assessment reports about them. In the course of this work he studied reports of nonmechanical means of obtaining information—human beings employing what is popularly known as "the sixth sense." He reviewed Soviet research in this area and recommended looking into it and its future potential. It received favorable attention and led to his being asked to look into remote viewing research being conducted by Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ at Stanford Research Institute. They had been secretly funded by the CIA, but for political reasons their support was ended. Graff was asked to look into their research and its possible applications of interest in government, such as espionage, locating missing people, aircraft, satellites, etc. Graff’s report was positive, and SRI remote viewing became secretly funded by the Department of Defense. He was asked to oversee this research and eventually consolidated both research and applications through the Defense Intelligence Agency. He created the name Stargate for this new integrated approach to signify an innovative effort that expands the horizons of human capabilities.

What makes this book different from the usual books about psi research by parapsychologists is the narrative style, which Graff takes further than most of his predecessors who have used it, because he not only describes the research from the researchers’ viewpoint, but he also was a guinea pig in various experiments and reports on what he experienced. But he takes the story even further than that, and here he does what few other researchers have. Many of his spontaneous and experimental experiences were highly meaningful to him, that is, they were exceptional human experiences. Whereas many books on parapsychology may end with some paragraphs on the implications of psi in general, Graff does it at the personal level. This opens the minds of readers to the likely reality that they could have similar experiences. And indeed, since his retirement, that is what Graff has been doing: giving lectures and workshops in which he teaches people not only about parapsychological phenomena but how they can experience them. As he summarizes it, "Currently, many people are opening up to their intuitive and psi nature. Anyone can become part of the growing trend, to help themselves and others, and to make a difference in the world we live in" (p. 207). Best of all, from the viewpoint of this Journal, he not only emphasizes the potential applications based on what psi can accomplish when nothing else can, but, as he points out, "in our experiments, we discovered that by going inward to explore psi we had touched deep roots at personal and transpersonal levels" (p. 100). Here, psi experiences become EHEs and enter the domain of the metaphysical and spiritual, leaving behind tracks that can be traced, in many instances.

Graff is unique, I think, in that he does not write simply from academic book learning. He reviews research, yes, but what he writes is also based on his own experiences, and he only writes on types of psi he has experienced both spontaneously and as a participant in experiments. Moreover, he does not just write about the wonder aroused when complex targets are discerned by psi, but he describes just as fully the doubts and resistances an even knowledgeable participant can experience in depth and over periods of time, not just momentarily. People need to know these things that only a participant/investigator can know.

The areas that Graff covers are remote viewing, precognitive dreams, and synchronicity. Not only does he review experiences and experiments objectively and subjectively, but he shares his considerable knowledge and wisdom of how people can go about encouraging, developing, and testing their own capacities to do remote viewing, dream the future, and entice synchroncity into their lives. This is one of the best books about psi, and it is perhaps the first wisdom book that has been written by a researcher about the quantitative experimental approach.

Publisher Information:Boston, MA: Element, 1998. Pp. xiii + 209. Appendix. Concepts and Projections: 201-207; 25 refs
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