There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2019.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
| It's fun to pretend|
|Fails from the crypt|
An unemployed bellhop, Serios not only convinced Denver-based psychiatrist Jule Eisenbud that he could imprint images on Polaroid film with his mind, but that it worked best when he was totally drunk. Serios used what he called a “gizmo”, a paper tube placed against the camera lens that he claimed helped him focus his mental energy. Eisenbud expended 3 years (and who knows how many bottles of whiskey) testing Serios and concluded that Serios was undoubtedly capable of "thoughtography" because he couldn't find any evidence of trickery or fraudulence.
Trickery and fraudulence
Serios agreed to a public challenge, but when magicians asked to examine the paper tube immediately after a photo exposure was made, "Serios backed away, putting his hand in his pocket." Investigators guessed that Serios' "gizmo" concealed a second, much smaller tube, most likely a common jeweler's loupe or transparency magnifier. With a tiny magnifying lens at one end and a section of a 35mm transparency affixed with tape at the other, the device could effectively project the transparency image into the lens of the Polaroid camera. Photos produced by investigators using this method were nearly identical to Serios' "thoughtographs." After being summarily debunked and exposed by various photo experts and James Randi (when Randi replicated Serios' tricks on a live TV show, Eisenbud was reportedly "flabbergasted"), Serios faded into obscurity.
- Thoughtography The Skeptic's Dictionary.
- About Ted Serios Leonardo Sirios
- Jule Eisenbud The World of Ted Serios: "Thoughtographic" Studies of an Extraordinary Mind Morrow
- Joe Nickell Camera Clues: A Handbook for Photographic Investigation University Press of Kentucky.
- James Randi Yellow Bamboo Surprise, Fear of Technology, and Answering Montague Keen James Randi Educational Foundation.