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Ingo Swann papers

Identifier: MS-0060

Scope and Contents note

Research data, notes, correspondence, certificates, audio, a piece of jewelry, badges, videos, slides, astrological readings, artifacts, photographs, postcards, religious symbols, memos, Chinese name seals and porcelain paste boxes in chinoiserie boxes, training manuals, contracts, manuscripts, scrapbooks, speeches, two small original paintings, sketches, press clippings, and other materials from Swann’s work as an author, artist, and psychic explorer. The collection also includes extensive correspondence with artists in preparation for the book Cosmic Art (1975) including a significant number of correspondence files with artists from the original intented author of the book, Dr. Raymond Piper.


  • 1908-2022


Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights held by the University of West Georgia. The materials may be subject to licenses made by Ingo Swann during his lifetime.

Biographical/Historical note

Ingo Swann was born September 14, 1933 in Telluride, Colorado. In 1955 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. After graduation Swann enlisted in the Army and served a tour of duty in Korea and the Far East. Upon returning to the United States Swann settled in New York City to work as an artist. Not able to financially thrive, he accepted a position at the Secretariat of the United Nations where he worked until 1968. Around 1968, Swann began writing erotic fiction and focusing on painting. Swann’s paintings were of the cosmic art genre, many of which are now part of the collections at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Some paintings were sold into private collection, most notably to real-estate developer Trammel Crow. Swann also created gay-themed paintings (fourteen) and collages (hundreds), now in the permanent collection at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York, NY.

In July 1971, Swann participated in an experimental photography session in which Bert and Sherri McCann which sought to capture people’s psychic energies in a blackened room at a party. Allegedly, a photograph of Swann showed a ball of light above his head. It was largely from his social interactions, particularly with a woman by the name of Zelda Suplee, and with Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler (PhD from Harvard, a faculty member of City University of New York, and President of the Parapsychology Association in 1971), that Swann became fully aware of his psi abilities, and eventually came to the attention of Dr. H. E. Puthoff at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Swann recalled in a 1997 fax to Dr. Hal Puthoff his recollection of working with him the week of June 5, 1972 "at Sylvania" where Puthoff introducted him to Russell Targ (Swann papers, Box 138, Folder 1).

Beginning in 1972 Swann worked with Dr. Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ at SRI in experiments that began with magnetometer psychokinesis. Swann was later involved in experiments, using a term he coined, “coordinate remote viewing,” where the subject visualizes locations based on geographical coordinates, work which was part of the United States’ “Project Star Gate” which investigated whether psychic phenomena had domestic and military applications. It was during this type of experiment in 1973 that Swann stated the planet Jupiter had rings prior to the Voyager probe’s visit there in 1979. While at SRI, in 1974 Swann also remote viewed Mercury and the Moon. SRI formally published an analysis of the Mercury and Jupiter RV sessions in 1980. Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff wrote further on Ingo’s Moon RV in their book, Mindreach (1976). Swann’s tenure at SRI was from 1972-1990. During that time Swann was also involved in attempts to solve criminal cases, from 1972-1979.

Swann authored numerous books including: To Kiss Earth Good-Bye (1975), Star Fire (1978), What Will Happen When the Soviets Take Over (1980), Natural ESP (1987), Everybody’s Guide to Natural ESP (1991), Your Nostradamus Factor (1993), The Great Apparitions of Mary (1996), Penetration: The Question of Extraterrestrial and Human Telepathy (1998), and Psychic Sexuality (1999). He wrote erotic fiction, published under imprints of Olympia Press under the pen names Defence Eakens, Bigger than Life (1971), Honeymoon Perversion (1971) and Hero Haubold, Golden Balls (1971). Swann also served as the editor of the book Cosmic Art (1975).

Ingo Swann died on January 31, 2013.


88.64 Linear feet (201 boxes, 2 flat boxes, 1 map folder)




Ingo Swann (September 14, 1933- January 31, 2013) was known internationally as an artist, author, pioneering parapsychology practitioner and researcher. He is best known for his work in remote viewing (RV), a term he coined while working with Hal Putfhoff and Russell Targ at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). He was featured in every American and British documentary on the subject of PSI phenomena and remote viewing and was interviewed or profiled in dozens of major magazines. His artwork can be found at The American Visionary Art Museum, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Edgar Carce's Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E), The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Murleen S. Ryder, Executor of the Ingo Swann estate, in February 2014. Additional accruals donated in October 2014, October 2015, December 2015, August 2021, January/February 2022, November 2022, and April 2023.

Related Archival Materials note

Swann's papers pertaining to erotica are held by the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries in Los Angeles, California.

Major holdings of his artwork are at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore and at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York, New York.

Separated Materials note

Ingo Swann’s personal library of over 1,600 titles—many of them rare and scarce—are in Special Collections including books on astrology, UFOs, parapsychology, palmistry, divination, occult, magic, Jungian studies, psychic warfare, and all of Ingo’s original works. These items can be found in the Library's catalog by searching Ingo Swann as the former owner.

Processing Information note

Processed by Sally Hildreth (2014-2017), Amelia Bagwell (2017), Brian Lord (2017-2018), Verse Iyorkar (2022), and Jason Gaddy (2023).

Volunteers in Special Collections, Debra Katz and Jon Knowles, generously donated their time in 2017 to create item level descriptions for correspondence. Selected portions of this collection have been digitized and are available in the Special Collections research guide at

Guide to the Ingo Swann papers MS-0060
Finding aid prepared by Written by Sally Hildreth, Amelia Bagwell, Brian Lord, Verse Iyorkar. Additions made by Jason Gaddy, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States