Chapter 19

-- DECEMBER 30, 1971 --

Between December 8 and December 30, additional long-distance remote viewing experiments had been tried, yielding a rather high rate of success -- more so than the OOB practice sessions had, although these too were improving.
But the result of the OOB experiment on December 30 was to blow me away.
Why this was so, needs to be explained.

Somewhere inside my mental processes lurked a thing -- a thing of some kind of skepticism.
The most straightforward way to put this is that I really did not believe, at some level, that any of this was possible.

A more indirect way of putting it is that I believe in everything while at the same time managing to believe in nothing. From my learning in astrology, I know that only a Virgo can manage to pull off this two-step dance kind of thing -- the dance of believing and not believing.
Thus, most Virgos tend to demand direct, hard evidence of something. And it is very difficult to find this evidence considering how societies tend to balance on a point between non-fiction and fiction -- while the latter is often given some kind of precedence.

Of course, I believed in psi ever since my childhood experiences along those lines. I had also studied everything I could get hold of regarding it and its many different formats.
But there are different, and difficult, psychological levels of disbelief and belief and they can lurk unknown and unexamined -- and, I think, confuse each other without the conscious intellect knowing why.

Even so, whether I believed or not, I was always astonished EACH TIME I witnessed even my own psi functioning, and have never lost this astonishment to this day. I am equally impressed with the psi of others when it can be shown to be functioning.
There is an exhilaration -- a "high," if you will -- that takes place when one witnesses psi functioning, whether someone else's or one's own.

The OOB practice experiment of December 30 began in the usual way.
But the result was very impressive due to its remarkable aspects.

I remember the day very well. I had come to the ASPR in the afternoon, and there were light snow showers outside. But it wasn't very cold, so the snow was a mixture of icy rain.
I felt very good, actually more excited about the long-distance remote viewing stuff than the OOB experiment. So I was anxious to get through it so we could to another RV experiment.

Yet when I had produced my picture drawing, I felt an initial sense of disappointment. My sketch somehow resembled the earlier one of November 24, and I wondered if Osis or Vera perhaps had used the same number 5.
I had also come to expect several objects and paper cut-outs on the tray, but in this case I had drawn only one.

I had drawn a rectangular shape which I labeled "a green thing." On it I had indicated "Letters? Maybe Arabic letters."
The experiment didn't take very long -- so that Dr. Osis had to rush downstairs to grasp the picture drawing firmly in his hand while the ladder was brought in. Vera Feldman climbed it and brought down the tray box.
I stayed in the OOB Chair, careful not to move much, since I was still hooked up to the electrodes because we were planning to do another RV experiment.

But I could see the contents of the target tray when it was brought down. I was immediately disappointed in that I had not gotten any of the other four targets which were highly visible.
And the "green thing" turned out to be a 7-UP can, not a green thing with Arabic letters.

Dr. Osis was studying the picture drawing and the targets. I started frowning -- and I felt I was doomed.
Then he turned the clip-board upside down.
In his heavy Latvian accent, he then said: "Vell, Ingo, if you turn zee drawing upside down'an'look at it, you haf drawn a perfect rendering of zee 7-UP can!"
He then broke into one of his wonderful ear-to-ear smiles -- which was about the only demonstration of excitement he permitted himself.

And sure as shoot! With the drawing upside down, the "Arabic letters" in the picture drawing were an unmistakable "7-UP" on the "green thing." Back then, 7-UP cans were vividly green.

Something really weird now began happening in my brain, or wherever. I think I actually blacked out for a moment. Then there was the immediate sense of some synapses undergoing rearranging -- that as best I can put it.
Then I calmly began detaching myself from the electrodes and said that I didn't think we'd do the long-distance experiment. I then staggered into the brainwave room. I was sweating, and with a shaky hand lit up a cigar even though it was forbidden to smoke in the cranky Dynograph's room.
Osis grabbed up the 7-UP can, and ran out to show the drawing and the can.
Janet was in tears, and my eyes (and nose) watered, too. We hugged each other.

I had to get out of there. In the ASPR's disgusting pink lobby, looking like a big lady's room, others were looking at the can and the drawing.
I fled past them. I walked in something of an "altered state" and got to the subway stairs at the corner of the Dakota apartments on Seventy-Second Street.

Half way down the stairs it hit me.
I sat promptly down, blocking the way of others rushing to catch the subway. It was getting dark, and huge white snowflakes drifted gently down to settle on my hands and face.
Holy shit! This IS possible. This really DOES exist. And IT exists somewhere inside of myself, in a place Idon'tknowwhere!

What had happened, or so I figured, was that there was a perceptual process of some kind which itself could do that kind of thing -- a process completely detached from my cognitive consciousness, from my intellectual appreciation of it.
IT had silently and without any mental fuss done ITS thing, and my intellect made no sense of it -- and it had done its thing upside down, but perfectly so.
It had done its thing in its own, well, in its own space-time-shape continuum, not in that of the awake, conscious intellect which is used to seeing things rightside up.

This could only mean ONE thing -- to me, at least. That the perceptions we were after in ALL of the experiments belonged to ANOTHER PERCEPTUAL SYSTEM other than those utilized by our cognitive consciousness.

But this meant another thing. I could not be unique in this regard -- but that the other system probably inhabited the whole of our species.

And now I quickly understood a few things -- among which was that I didn't want to be unique. If everyone in our species possessed the other perceptual system, then I was not unique.
For the first time, I finally felt at home among humans -- a feeling which had never really occurred, a feeling one can't identify until it happens.

A number of things I'd read in the past now began falling into place -- things which had seemed disconnected before.
There was another level of functioning consciousness! It functioned with rules and laws of its own -- most probably so, anyway.
Well, if that was so, then the only thing to do was find out what those other rules and laws were -- and emulate THEM, not try to impose our intellectual realities on them. Our intellectual realities are always limited anyway.

In that moment arose the decision (its many details to be worked out later) to work on behalf of uncovering our species' potentials along these lines.
I now knew I was not unique -- one of the factors which I realized had put the disbelief incredibility at work in my systems. The only difference with me was that CIRCUMSTANCES had worked to place me in a position of finding things out along these lines.
CIRCUMSTANCES beginning with the strange energy photos and progressing along as they had.
And one part of my mind began wondering about circumstances, while other parts of my mind continued to be boggled.

I don't know how long I sat on the subway stairs. But I do remember I slowly smoked five cigars one after another. So that would be about an hour. The traffic into and out of the subway had increased.

I finally stood up -- and noticed a strange orange light in the cloudy sky above.
The circumstances thing was rumbling around somewhere in my head. And I got to wondering to where circumstances lead.
THEN! I got this together with the long-distance experiments!

And at that very moment a sort-of vision of the future flashed briefly by, like an arrow of light zipping past.
I was going to become a psychic spy!
I didn't now how this was to come about -- THOSE particular circumstances flashed by too fast.
But it was only a matter of time.

I didn't want to call this precognition, foresight or intuition. This seemed to be something different.

Somewhat recovered, I decided to go to Zelda's -- missing the correct subway stop by a couple of stations, so dazed and euphoric as I was.
Once at Zelda's, though, I told her of the developments -- and that I was going to become a psychic spy -- for the government. I added that because who else could one spy for?

Zelda's mouth dropped open -- even though it was very hard to flummox her. "I love you dearly," she said, "even your flights of imagination." And so we both giggled at the silliness of it all.
Thereafter we settled into a good, vicious game of Scrabble. The logical part of my mind came back on line, and the psychic spy part of my experience seemed ridiculous. Indeed, I forgot about it -- until it actually started happening.

I was invited to six New Year's Eve parties and Zelda and I went to all of them.
And thus ended the year of 1971. I was only six months into my adventures in psi research. I didn't all think of this as a new career. Yet it was to become one and last for eighteen years.