After serving in the Korean War, working at United Nations, and establishing a career as an artist, Ingo Swann devoted himself to cultivating super-sensory powers and attempting to prove their legitimacy. Remote Viewing instructional Services writes:
Born in 1933, during the 1950s and 1960s, because of psychic potentials partly evident in childhood, Swann became actively interested in occult and parapsychological literature and in a variety of novel mind-development programs for the enhancement of ESP potentials.
Swann’s participation in parapsychology research began in 1969. During the next twenty years he worked only in controlled laboratory settings with scientific researchers. Because of his participation in hundreds of thousands of experimental trials, author Martin Ebon wrote of him as “parapsychology’s most tested guinea pig.”
In 1970-71 Swann experimented with Cleve Backster in attempting to influence plants by mental activity. In 1971-72 psychokinetic experiments involved successfully influencing temperature recorded in a controlled setting.
Swann was also the subject of experiments in out-of-body travel, or psychic perception at a distance. These took place during 1971-73 at the American Society for Psychical Research. They involved Swann sitting in a chair and attempting to project his consciousness into sealed boxes on a small platform several feet above his head, in which there was a target symbol completely shielded from view. Swann scored significant successes in describing the targets.
At the American Society for Psychical Research, Swann began suggesting experimental protocols to test for the existence of mind-dynamic processes that would enhance ESP and Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler, he coined the term “remote viewing” to describe the experiments in which subjects attempted to view targets at a far distance.
Swann early distinguished between psychic phenomenon and psychic mind-dynamic processes. He noticed that while parapsychology researched the existence of paranormal phenomena (such as ESP, telepathy, and psychokinesis), there was little interest in the mental processes involved in producing evidence of them. From this distinction he slowly developed unique theoretical approaches to process enhancement of psi perceptions, which was in keeping with ancient descriptions of Siddhis as found in various Eastern Yoga literature and Abraham Maslow’s developmental abilitism theories.