A number of things now happened, mostly as a result of the picture-drawings.
People could now simply look at the drawings and the target trays laid side-by-side. The lack of correct information in the drawings was visible, but one also could quickly distinguish between ambiguous and unambiguous aspects of the information which WAS visible.
This was different from the usual method of recording the subjects' responses on tape, having them transcribed, and then sifted through by the experimenters and judges in order to discover which verbal components matched which visual components of the targets.
The verbal record was, after all, a verbal interpretation by the subject of what was being seen, while the "sifting through" involved interpretations of the subjects' interpretations.
All of this meant that the results of the experiment trial were inaccessible to people other than those examining the responses.
Regarding the picture-drawings, a "quick appraisal," as it was sometimes called, was now immediately available to anyone who cared to look.
The difference here was to become exceedingly important in the future. So I'll explain it more clearly.
One can listen to or read a foreign language and understand none of it. But the content of pictures can be recognized worldwide.
A good example regards the "Fasten your seat belts" advisory seen on airplanes. This can be verbally expressed in all languages, to be understood only by the speakers of those languages. But the visual image (sign) showing a picture of fastening seat belts is universally understood.
In other words, pictures talk more than words do.
The picture-drawings revealed the absence of target information, ambiguous target information, and unambiguous information. After a few picture-drawing experiments, a curious phenomenon was observed in them.
There was an absence of incorrect information.
Certain elements of the targets were missed by the subject. But among the elements not missed, ambiguous or otherwise, very little in the way of completely incorrect information appeared.
This was immediately interpreted to mean that the subject DID achieve some kind of perceptual contact with the target materials, albeit in some cases a contact which was wobbly.
Some kind of correct information DID appear in all of the picture-drawings. Just a few years ahead, and under other auspices of other more dramatic circumstances, this "perceptual contact" was scientifically to be referred to as a "perceptual channel" regarding the acquisition of information from beyond the limits of the ordinary five physical senses.
Perceptual contact with the target materials could now be somewhat consistently seen simply by casting one's eyes on the subjects' picture responses and the targets themselves.
As a result, Dr. Osis, Janet, Schmeidler, and others began talking in terms of a "repeatable experiment" because the perceptual contact was repeating itself -- albeit sometimes weakly, sometimes strongly.
The only issue now outstanding was whether the perceptual contact was a true out-of-body one, or if it could or should be attributed to some other psi perceptual process, such as clairvoyance, telepathy, mind-reading, etc.
In my mind, though, the quality and quantity of information was important. And so I suggested that we needed to practice "enhancing the perceptual contact."
The picture-drawings had a magical effect on the mood and tone of the people at the ASPR -- not unlike what other picture-drawings were eventually to have within the intelligence community.
Everyone awaited the results of the next experimental sessions so that they could at least see some kind of ESP at work. It may be too much to say that the mood became excited, but it certainly became elevated.
A subtle shift regarding my "place" now took place. I was articulate, well studied in matters regarding not only parapsychology, but creative-perceptual processes as well.
My relationship with others now sort of shifted from merely being a test guinea pig to a tentative colleague status. Everyone was focused on the goal of the experiment, and everyone was feeling very good about it.
The news of the picture-drawings leaked out, of course. Many board members came to view the visual materials, as well as many otherwise affiliated with the ASPR but who seldom attended upon its premises.
Among these were two wonderful women in the category of "influential matrons" of which the ASPR had quite a number.
These were Mrs. Judith (Judy) Skutch and Mrs. Ruth Hagy Brod. Both were to play important roles within what was soon to follow, and I am eternally in their debt. Ruth, however, was quickly to become my chief mentor regarding media situations, and a very close and dear friend until her untimely death.
The news of the "evidential" picture-drawings of course circulated into Mullen and Zelda Centrals -- and the ASPR soon began getting a few calls from media types.
So far as I knew back then, such calls had been few and far between -- largely because, in my opinion, the ASPR had never had the sense to hire at least a part-time publicity person and which might have helped in raising funds always needed.
All in all, the experiments were now going well and my responses were beginning to improve. So I seized the bold opportunity to ask for two things.
As I explained it to Dr. Osis and Dr. Schmeidler, I found doing the same thing all of the time very boring, and that I felt the boredom was detracting from my efficiency as a responsive test-subject.
Now, encountering bored test-subjects in parapsychology labs was not unusual. And it was generally admitted that many experiments failed only because of boredom of doing dozens, hundreds or even thousands of trials regarding the same kind of experiments. So my little complaint was understood.
As long as the ASPR was paying me for the day, I asked if some other kinds of experiments be devised so that my interest factors might be maintained.
This was readily agreed to, for in fact Dr. Osis already had other experiments in mind.
I then said that I had a couple of ideas I'd like to try out, and I wondered if Janet and the ASPR's resources could help me to do so. I would pursue these ideas after the daily work routines were completed.
I had already discussed this with Janet whose help I would need, and she was agreeable.
No one saw anything wrong with this since all would be exploratory and informal.
One of the ideas had come about, as I explained, because in a recent practice session after being hooked up with the electrodes, but while waiting for Janet to deal with the temperamental Dynograph, my "OOB perceptions" seemed to have gone through the wall into the street outside.
There was snow on the ground, but there was a woman going by dressed in a ridiculous orange coat.
This had been something of a spontaneous event. While waiting for the experiment to commence, I was just suddenly outside of the building -- in a "pop" kind of way. I had made no deliberate attempt in this regard, nor had even thought about doing so.
This event was so unusual that I wanted immediate feedback as to whether there was an orange coat in the street.
I tore off the electrode leads, jumped into Janet's room, explained as I dragged her down the stairs to the building's front door.
Once outside we were just in time to see the orange coat turning the corner onto Central Park West.
So I had got to wondering why out-of-body viewing should be confined only between the subject and the targets inside the room. If such viewing really existed, might it not travel to far distances -- much like the ancient literature had suggested?
Everyone agreed that this was a good possibility and should be checked out in our spare time. But how, Dr. Osis asked, could we specify a distant target and get feedback as to whether the distant viewing was a hit or a miss?
So I described a procedure Janet and I had quickly worked out between us.
Someone should prepare a series of sealed envelopes containing the name of a major city in the US Also included would be the telephone number of the weather service there.
The goal would be to try to describe the weather conditions at that city, and then Janet could immediately telephone the local weather bureau there to discover what the actual weather conditions were.
The costs for this would only consist of the long-distance telephone charges.
It was agreed that this novel experiment be tried. If it showed signs of working, then other more fool-proof, long-distance experiments could be designed.
In this way, I got to try the first of my own experiments.