The Life and Times of Russell Targ

Hosted byIan Punnett

The Life and Times of Russell Targ

About the show

Writer and physicist Russell Targ discussed his life and his role in the creation of the government's Remote Viewing program. In addition to elaborating on his famous work in the RV field, he shared insight into his lifelong struggles with facial blindness, his relationship with chess champion Bobby Fischer, his work on the Patty Hearst case, and other anecdotes from his colorful life.

Targ recalled how he'd first become introduced to the phenomenon of ESP, tracing it back to his days as a magician when he was in college. One popular trick that he would perform involved the audience members putting questions into envelopes which he would then pretend to read psychically. Despite knowing the question ahead of time, Targ noted, under the pressure of the performance he would also get mental images pertaining to the audience member. "So I could supplement an ordinary trick by whatever ESP came my way," he explained.

"In a certain sense, it was Von Braun's psychic grandmother" which served as the impetus for the birth of government sponsored Remote Viewing, he mused. This unique set of circumstances was detailed by Targ when he recounted how NASA had taken an interest in his psychic phenomena research. At a meeting amongst space agency luminaries, Werner Von Braun told them all about his psychic grandmother. According to Targ, this sort of internal support, alongside his professional credentials having worked with the government on lasers, laid the groundwork for getting early funding for the Remote Viewing program.

Later in the show, Targ revealed a remarkable story about an afterlife communication from his deceased daughter Elizabeth. A few weeks after his daughter's death, a family friend went to a job interview and was interrupted during the process because the interviewer said she was receiving a message from someone who had died recently. While she did not understand the message, when Targ heard the story, he immediately recognized it as a reference to a specific incident in his daughter's life which "I was the only living person to whom that would have any meaning."

Behind Watchmen

Appearing during the first half hour, comic book writer and artist Dave Gibbons talked about his role in creating the classic graphic novel Watchmen. He marveled at the lasting appeal of the work since its original publication in the mid-1980's. "We just thought we'd do twelve issues of a comic book and then it would go into the back issue bins and never be heard of again," he said. When asked which character in Watchmen is his favorite, Gibbons said "Nite Owl" because he is based on "a character that I’d dreamt up when I was a kid."

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