Origins of the Ft. Meade RV Program
The Plan, continued
“Sir,” I said with authority, “I'll need to check with the researchers at SRI in Menlo Park and several other organizations about available training programs. We may be able to train personnel with these organizations initially with an eventual goal of in-house training. But first, we need to decide or determine our responsibility and commitment to remote-viewing surveillance as an issue of national security.”
“That,” Major Keenan said, “will be a decision for General Smith, Deputy Commander, INSCOM.” Keenan spoke slowly as he thought it through, “This area of inquiry is beyond the scope of our planned budget, and the Deputy Commander must approve any expenditures on new projects. If he were to approve our looking into this, it would, in turn, be setting policy—official authority for INSCOM to consider the OPSEC ramifications of remote-viewing surveillance.”
He stood up. “Lieutenant, prepare a briefing for General Smith during his visit next week. Work up a travel budget for yourself covering the rest of the fiscal year. Prepare a document for General Smith’s signature, providing us the authority to train our personnel in remote viewing. Make sure you review with General Smith the threat information covered in Mr. Salyer’s visit.”
I rose from my chair and stood across the table from Keenan and obediently responded, “Yes Sir.” He smiled and extended his arm, inviting a handshake, a gentleman’s agreement that we were taking the appropriate action. I took his hand and smiled back. He gestured, tossing his head towards the door and said, “Now get out of here, Lieutenant, and get to work.” I picked up my yellow legal pad and headed out of his office and back to my own cubicle.
I spent the next several days preparing to brief General Smith. When the briefing schedule for the office was posted, my fellow intelligence officers in SED began to come around my work area, curious about the posted subject “Remote Viewing” and wanting to tease me about briefing the Deputy Commander.
General Smith was a short, skinny, feisty old man with what was left of his silver hair cut very short. The only thing commanding about his appearance were the stars on his shoulders, which always looked a little too big for him to be carrying around.
It seemed the general had a reputation. Officers and NCOs would spend day after day collecting backup documentation, preparing lecture notes and graphics, and rehearsing their presentations. When the day and the hour would finally arrive for them to stand in front of General Smith—we called him Snuffy Smith in honor of the cartoon character—they would march smartly into the conference room ready to dazzle him. More often than not, as soon as they announced the subject of their briefing the general would say something along the lines of, “I know all about that. Don't waste my time. Get out of here.”
“Deep inside I knew somehow that years in the future there was to be a history of Army remote-viewing operations.”
I had witnessed this myself several times. My peers were teasing me about General Smith’s eccentricities and were sure that I would be immediately and summarily dismissed when my time came.
It appeared to me that the general, because of his position, did in fact get briefings from a number of different offices, and many times subjects would overlap. He also did not want to appear as uninformed or ignorant to his junior officers. The rumor was that General Smith had been passed over for promotion and was on his way out, and had been assigned the deputy-commander position as a way of easing him into retirement.
I knew that when my time finally came that if I was on course with my spiritual journey through live, my briefing the Deputy Commander would best serve those interests. As the moment approached I stood in the hall outside the conference room with my fellow intelligence officers, and one by one we were called in turn to brief the general on a variety of subjects.
My name came up early on the list, so I didn't have to wait very long. I didn't bring any graphics or briefing notes, but I did carry the classified remote-viewing documents in case the general asked for them.
In an attempt to bolster my professional deportment and knowledge of the subject matter, I made sure that those in the conference room saw that I was carrying several officially published classified documents. (I was fighting the all-day-in-the-Army-lieutenant factor here.) I set the documents on the conference table next to the podium and when my eyes met the general’s, I smiled and attempted to establish some rapport by asking, “Are you enjoying your briefings this morning General?”
“Get on with it, Lieutenant,” he barked.
“Yes Sir, I said, “this briefing concerns a subject about which you have not been kept fully informed.”
Major Keenan glanced at the general to see his reaction. Snuffy (whoops, I mean General Smith) didn't bark again so I continued. “More importantly Sir, this is a decision briefing. We here at SED are soliciting a policy decision from you as Deputy Commander affecting the future of Army OPSEC procedures, INSCOM’s support responsibilities, and, from a larger perspective, a broad range of national defense issues.”
He held up his hand motioning me to stop and turned to Keenan, “What’s this all about Major?”
Keenan replied, “Lieutenant Atwater has had ten years of experience as a Counterintelligence Special Agent and has unique knowledge of this particular topic. I have asked him to bring you up to speed on this subject so you can sign off on our action plan.”
As I stood there waiting, General Smith shuffled through the papers on the heavy mahogany conference table in front of him. When he finally found the briefing schedule he took a moment to peruse it and then looked up at me and said, “Lieutenant Atwater, tell me about remote viewing. This sounds like it’s going to be interesting.”
Well there I was. I hadn't been thrown out. I stood there in a secure conference room before General Smith, the Deputy Commander of INSCOM, prepared to tell him about remote viewing. It had only been a few months since I mentioned to Lieutenant Colonel Webb, back at Fort Huachuca, that I wanted to be involved with remote viewing and its obvious impact on national intelligence and security issues. It had been less than a year since Staff Sergeant Rob Cowart and I had last discussed and mused over the counterintelligence ramifications of remote viewing.
Somehow I knew this was another one of those pivotal times in my life. There was a sense, an overwhelming feeling that all my previous life focused on this one moment and that in the future, this briefing would be thought of as crucial in tracing the history of Army remote-viewing operations.
Deep inside I knew somehow that years in the future there was to be a history of Army remote-viewing operations. This experience, this out-side-of-time knowingness filled me with self-confidence. So without trepidation or even the slightest inkling of a doubt about my future, I told General Smith about remote viewing.
Copyright © 2001, H.R.V.G.
All rights reserved.
·Discussions on RV
·The CRV Conference