All business arrangements at the ASPR now agreed upon, and work schedules established, Dr. Osis, Janet Mitchell and I began doing unofficial experimental sessions.
But I took the precaution of ensuring asking Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler occasionally to oversee the work and note any progress or difficulties. She was the current vice-president of the venerable Society.
Regarding the purpose of the trial experiments, I was expected to practice floating up out-of-body to the ceiling and utilize my out-of-body "eyes" to spy down on the targets hidden on the suspended trays.
I was also expected NOT to flex a muscle or even move my real eyes too much, since doing so put artifacts into the brainwave recordings.
Getting ready to do each session took some time. First I had to ensure that I wouldn't need to take a leak (or a number two) and that I wasn't hungry.
When I was ready, I was required to enter the experiment chamber and under watchful eyes sit immediately in the Out-Of-Body Chair. Then I had to sit patiently while Janet pasted the electrodes to my scalp, neck and finger.
Then the temperamental Dynograph which measured the brainwaves had to be got going and seen to be working properly. If not, the machine needed to be fiddled with. If the electrodes needed to be readjusted or repasted, then that had to be done, too.
Then the intercom between the experimental chamber and Janet's Dynograph room on the other side of the partition needed to be tested.
Then the recording equipment which I would speak into to narrate what I was "seeing" on the target trays above also needed to be got going.
Dr. Osis left the whole of this to Janet, and to she sweated away, raced back and forth between the two rooms, and said "goddamn it" a lot.
The whole of this might take twenty minutes when things were going well, but it usually took about an hour since all things usually didn't go well.
Finally, Janet would close the intervening door, and through the intercom would say: "Well, Ingo, whenever you are ready. Take your time, don't feel nervous because that raises your blood pressure and distorts the brainwave feed-outs."
At that point it was up to me.
I hadn't the faintest clue of what to do to get out of body -- and this after years of having tried every recommended method except psychedelic drugs.
But, as has already been mentioned, the first practice trial had somehow been a success. I was later to identify this as the "first-time effect," often experienced by gamblers, etc.
In our working sessions thereafter, the "decline effect" soon set in, and if anything I only "got" bits and pieces of the targets.
So the experiments got harder and difficult because failure was more common than successes. I had to practice not agitating my head or body since this disrupted my brainwaves. I thought my head must already be disrupted because I had agreed to do the experiments.
At some point thereafter, I got to wondering why all of this had gotten harder rather than easier. So after a failed session, I decided to have another look at the experimental setup to see if I had missed something.
At first I could see nothing amiss or wrong. So, during the next session, I examined my own behavior while attempting to float up and see.
It was thus I discovered that I was having difficulty regarding a very usual aspect of the experimental setup.
I was having trouble with, of all things, articulating what I thought I was seeing into the microphone and tape-recorder. I found I had to stop "seeing," and think about how to say what I felt I was "seeing." Then I had to verbalize it.
It is now necessary to point up that parapsychologists typically had their subjects SPEAK their impressions into recording machines -- so that their "responses" could be transcribed to enable judges to examine and analyze them.
This procedure certainly seemed sensible enough. After all, how is someone to tell anyone else what they have experienced except by verbalizing it?
However, I already knew that most verbalizing is a function of the left hemisphere of the brain and which hemisphere does not process images very well. The same hemisphere is also mostly the source of judgments and decisions.
The right hemisphere, on the other hand, processes images quite well, or at least mostly does so.
Even in 1971, it had become commonly accepted that image information belonged more or less to the right hemisphere of the brain, while linear, nonvisual information belonged to the left. I was certainly familiar with this because of my research on the creative processes, especially those of artists who painted images.
Here, then, was a very subtle "artifact" within the overall experimental design.
The OOB subject was supposed to see the images. But after doing so it was taken for granted that the subject should verbalize what had been seen.
Furthermore, some of the items used as targets were so nonsensical that even when viewing them with my physical eyes I did not understand what they were supposed to be. After all, most people have difficulty in verbalizing what they don't understand.
Parapsychologists often used nonsensical targets (1) to guard against the mind filling in unexpected parts with imagination, and (2) that if the subject correctly identified something that didn't fit or was unexpected or nonsensical, then that was a better "hit."
At that point I had not achieved the power to suggest that a target had to be sensible and recognizable to enable the cognitive mind to make adequate sense of it.
But if you think this through, nonsensical psi targets (or nonsensical ANYTHING) do induce mental confusions -- and so the processes of articulating what one thinks one is seeing becomes more difficult. Even THIS was understood by perceptual psychologists by 1971.
With all this in mind, I now made a simple suggestion. But it was one which barely nine months later, and when more fully understood and fleshed out, was to produce a type of information which staggered many minds, and especially some within the intelligence community.
And it is for this reason that I've dragged you through the paragraphs just above.
I explained the following to Dr. Osis and Janet and also to Dr. Schmeidler.
"I'm having trouble verbally expressing what I think I'm seeing. What I'd like to try to do is just sketch out what I think I'm seeing. Would that be all right?"
Janet and Schmeidler immediately understood what I was getting at. Schmeidler was, after all, a perceptual psychologist among her other wonderful achievements. Janet specialized in brainwave functioning, and thus understood the differences between left-brain and right-brain functioning.
And Osis understood, too, although seeming somewhat more vaguely. As he explained: "Well, the reason we use tape recorders is that most subjects claim that they are not artists and can't draw. So no one has bothered with it."
"Well," I said, "I AM an artist and can sketch and draw."
So, at the next session I was equipped with a clipboard balanced on my knees, pages of white paper, and a pencil.
When it was seen that the minimal motion required did not produce artifacts on the brainwave read-out, we were set to go.
At the last moment, though, I asked for an inked pen -- so as to help ensure that the sketches could not be modified after the experiment was concluded.
And LO! The targets, or at least big parts of them, undeniably began appearing on the paper before me -- even if I hadn't the faintest idea of what they were.
The verbal transcripts were still typed up, but the efficiency of the sketches soon made it apparent that they alone could be compared with the targets -- and the judges need not read through dozens of pages of largely disconnected verbiage.
Unbeknownst to everyone, including me, here we had tripped across a very important element regarding remote viewing. But neither that term nor that concept had yet emerged, and so of course no one could imagine anything of the kind.
I also made one more subtle shift, but it was so subtle that even I did not realize it had been made for a few months.
In retrospect, it was because of my discussions with my wonderful mentor, Martin Ebon, that I had begun thinking not in terms of the legendary out-of-body seeing, but in terms of "the perceptual faculties of the biomind."
Ebon was one of the best Sovietologists in the United States, and he had indicated that the Soviets were involved in biocommunications and biomind, rather than parapsychology.
There were two exquisitely subtle fallouts from this. I didn't need to live up to the legends and try to emulate them. I also didn't need stereotyped labels to categorize what I was seeing or experiencing.
All I really needed to do was to PERCEIVE.
After all, PERCEPTION ALONE WAS THE GOAL, and this is bigger than trying to fit into words and stereotyped labels.