Book Review

Book cover image
The Psychic Battlefield

W. Adam Mandelbaum
St. Martins Press, 2000, 303 pages

S ome unknown force prompted me to buy this book, written by a lawyer, former intelligence agent, and practicing nut*, who presents his insider knowledge of the CIA's "remote viewing" project. One claim is indisputable, is that the CIA and the U.S. military, to their credit, are remarkably open-minded about unconventional phenomena such as these, and funded studies of remote viewing for many years.

The book describes some of the - shall we say - colorful characters who fought on the psychic battlefield and mentions some of their supposed successes. For example, remote viewers supposedly detected a failed Chinese nuclear test at Lop Nor, predicted the exact crash site of Skylab, and identified the exact building where the Soviet Typhoon submarine was being constructed well before the West knew about the Typhoon. Of course, no evidence is given for any of this, but the author claims, perhaps not unreasonably, that the military is withholding evidence of the efficacy of clairvoyance and telekinesis from the public. Details in this book about the actual programs of the CIA and other government organizations are sketchy at best. Details about the author's own remote viewing company are also sketchy.

I predict that if even one-tenth of the fantastic claims made in this book could be scientifically proved, it would radically transform our conception of the universe. As the author says, if this happened we would all live in "interesting times". Surely an understatement of mind-bending proportion. Somehow I can't see it happening, though.

* I have since been informed by a reliable source that the author is not, in fact, a practicing nut.

April 14, 2002 Back