There has long been a demand for a means of secretly securing written information, immediately and while in the presence of the writer, or before an audience. Too many previous methods involved a time lag -possession of the original written slip for a switch, a center tear, suspicious moves or other objectionable features.
A solution to this problem is offered by any clipboard, especially one designed primarily for private office and platform work. However, used elsewhere it would be illogical. The Mental Pads offer an excellent means of getting the written data, but research and long experimentation show the 'Phantom Mindreader' to be the most logical means to this goal. It embodies utter simplicity, requires no carbons, no reloads and virtually nothing to wear out. It can be 're-set' for repeat use in an instant.
The 'Phantom' gimmic is never seen by the spectators. Any presence of a gimmic is entirely unknown. Its handling is natural and extremely effective.
THE BASIC EFFECT: Mentalist requests spectator to write a question and sign his name on a slip of paper. Performer withdraws a packet of several envelopes from his pocket and (gives with the slip on top) to the spectator, the envelopes to act as a writing platform. As soon as spectator finishes the writing, the spectator is asked to fold the message, as performer takes back the packet of envelopes, and hands one envelope to spectator, requesting that the written mes sage be placed in envelope and sealed, and retained by the spectator.
At NO time does the performer even touch the written data. The packet of envelopes are returned to the performer's pocket and the performer is then in possession of the written message. It is as simple, clean and above-board as thatl
MYRIAD APPLICATIONS: Because of the natural handling and ease of operation, the Phantom can be used in countless mental and psychic tests. Its primary use is to secretly secure the written data and make it available to the performer.
It's most important application is to afford the means of 'reading a person's mind' on the spur-of -the moment, when button-holed down with a challenge. What is more natural than to accept this challenge by saying, "All right, if you will cooperate I will try. "
"Please realize in experiments in mental telepathy it is necessary for you, as the transmitter, to broadcast your thoughts to me, and I as the receiver, so to speak, will try to tune in on your mind.
"In order to prove this possible, please write your question (or data) on this slip of paper. Use these envelopes for a writing platform. (Hold envelopes and slip on top over the right shoulder, resting on same, so you cannot see the writing. ) Please fold your slip so I cannot see what you have written, because I am going to turn around. Place your written question in this envelope, seal and place in your pocket. "
"I have asked that you write your question for two simple but important reasons. When you write, you see and visualize the situation more clearly, aiding in the concentration and making it easier for me to get the mental vibration from your mind. Secondly, your written question definitely will establish whether or not I am successful in the experiment. Now, please concentrate on the vital parts of your question ..."
This routine can be used ANYWHERE and practically under any circumstances. It is especially adaptable for a single person as a test - in giving a reading, such as pseudo clairvoyance, publicity stunts, in booking and newspaper offices, as we'll as being the most important part of mental tests in your regular program.
It is the perfect answer in setting up advance block-buster tests for radio and TV appearances, personal appearances, publicity stunts, etc.
OPERATION: The 'Phantom' is a pocket-size copying device which may be obtained from a toy store. By placing a sheet of paper over the plastic cover and writing on same, a perfect copy will register on the slate. By raising the cover and breaking its contact with the waxed surface, the message will disappear, and the slate is ready again for immediate use. DO NOT WRITE WITH PENCIL OR PEN on the gray surface! Always have a cover when writing. With a sheet of paper over the slate, draw a line across the bottom of the slate, about 1/8" from the bottom. This causes the cover to adhere.
You will need twelve standard envelopes — one of which has the gummed flap removed. Into this envelope, insert the gimmick writing side up, and immediately under the front of writing side of envelope. The open edge should be to the LEFT. Place on top of the stack of envelopes, all facing the same direction.
Place envelopes in inner coat pocket, along with a slip of paper. Have BALL POINT type pencil handy. Remove envelopes and slip of paper from the pocket as one. Ask the spectator to write his question (or data) on the slip of paper - which you start to hand him separately, but place on top of the envelopes. Hold envelopes over right shoulder, resting against same, to act as a writing platform. This allows you to retain a grip on the envelopes. OR, hand spectator the pack with instructions to start writing, concentrating on each word as he writes.
When spectator completes the writing, tell him to fold the slip so you cannot see the writing, and at the same time recovering the envelope packet in your hands - also pencil, which you pocket. Holding the packet in the left hand (with gimmick in top envelope, ) and with thumb of left hand, slightly pull top envelope (as in dealing seconds), and hand this envelope (assumed to be the top one - or what difference does it make?) Ask spectator to seal his written message in the envelope and pocket it. At the SAME time, you are holding the packet in both hands. Tilt the packet upwards with a slight angle, insert the left thumb in the top envelope on TOP of the gimmick. The left hand moves slightly to the left, while the right hand moves the envelope to the right. The gimmick envelope is placed to the bottom of the packet, or immediately underneath the gimmick. (Bottom position is easier and equally as good. You now have a packet of envelopes in your hands, with the gimmick AND MESSAGE on top. A glance at the gimmick gives you the message as you arrange the envelopes and return them to your pocket. You can casually 'shuffle' the envelopes around, bringing one or more on top of the gimmick after you get the message if you wish. This permits you to casually lower the position of the envelopes before you pocket them.
The packet - with gimmick - can be returned to the inner coat pocket (most logical) or placed in side coat pocket. Later, if you wish to remove the envelopes, this is easily done, leaving the gimmick in the pocket.
For platform presentation, where data is written by members of the audience, this information can be secured from one person on stage, acting as a committee of one, or the performer may enter the audience -and withdraw the 'packet' with the single slip of paper on top - offer same to any spectator, still holding packet with finger tips, and turning head while the spectator writes, say, three digits on the top of the slip. Still retaining it, but holding packet out. of his line of vision, another spectator writes a second number (underneath) of the first three digits. Continue until four or five numbers have been secured in like manner. Another spectator adds the given figures and arrives at a total. This spectator is asked to RETAIN the written figures (slip) and given an envelope in which to seal and retain them.
Performer starts back to the platform, with envelopes in left hand, withdraws the gimmick and glances at the TOTAL . . . slips another envelope on top of it. He is now in possession of the total. Packet may be replaced in the pocket or on the table and gimmick later referred to.
A brief resume is made of what has transpired to date. Five different spectators unknown to the performer have written a three digit number and a sixth spectator totalled the numbers. At no time has the performer been appraised of a single digit . . . yet, in a dramatic manner, he asks each spectator to THINK of their number -apparently receives this information via telepathy and then proceeds to call the correct total.
To further amplify the impact, each spectator is asked to state aloud their numbers, which are verified by the spectator retaining the slip (as performer nods his head in agreement, as though he KNEW these numbers), and of course, the total is verified.
This is a most effective presentation, with a little showmanship. If the performer is good at memory, he can call out all the numbers submitted and the total.
Other variations are for the spectators to write colors, objects, etc. , OR first spectator writes a three digit number, the second - a color; the third - a name; the fourth - a word and the fifth - a brand of cigarettes, auto, etc.
You can simulate a test in He'llstromism. Spectator thinks of some simple action for the performer to perform on stage with the committee - such as to remove the gentleman's glasses, etc.
ESP - Place several ESP cards in view. Mentalist is to remove the different symbols in a specific order, or to transpose such symbols. Spectator writes the test and retains the 'memo', while performer does the test.
Using several of the 'Phantom gimmicks', I have found them a most logical means of collecting questions and data in advance of the performance. Each spectator is given an envelope in which to seal their question - performer then proceeds to perform the spiritualistic manifestation known as 'Sealed Billet Reading'.
For impromptu and publicity exploitation, and prediction stunts the 'Phantom Mindreader' is without peer. There is no apparent apparatus used at any time, or even a suggestion of such. The writing of the question on the envelope is most natural. In arranging 'block buster tests' for personal appearances and TV, knowledge of the test is secured by this logical means.
Such as, performer challenges a prominent merchant to open a combination safe on the stage during his performance, and remove an unspecified object from the stage. When arrangements are made in advance for the test, the party involved is asked to 'make a memo' of the unspecified object and the safe's correct combination - to seal it in an envelope - and not open same - until on the stage AFTER the test. Its so easy with the Phantom Mindreader!
THOUGHTOGRAPHY SX 7 0 by
EFFECT: The subject is the taking of thought-photos: images placed on film by the mind's power 1 The performer has a spectator concentrate on some image - a playing card, geometrical or ESP symbol, or his astrological sign. While the spectator concentrates the performer takes up an SX 7 0 camera, loads it with a brand new filmpack and takes a shot of the spectator. The first shot is seen to have failed when it pops out and develops before the spectators. However, on a second try, the photo develops before the audience, showing not only the spectator, but superimposed in ghostly colors over his image is a strange identifiable picture of the symbol he was concentrating on! Both camera and sealed filmpack can be examined for fakery, as there is none to be found. The only answer seems to be Mind - Over-Matter - or perhaps Spirit Photography.
METHOD: First, let's consider the more mundane (and essential) elements of the modus operandi before getting into the special preparation of the filmpack for the SX 7 0 camera. In the case of a playing card or ESP symbol, the card or symbol the spectator is to concentrate on must be forced. I will leave the exact method of this force up to the ingenuity of the individual performer. All that can be said here is that the method chosen from the many should be clean, convincing and without obvious finger-flinging or contrivance.
If the subject to be concentrated on is to be an astrological symbol or spirit form of personal importance to the spectator, that symbol or form must be ascertained secretly by the performer through methods of the center tear, impression devices, research or pumping of the subject, at a time enough in advance to the photo-taking session to allow the performer to prepare the filmpack.
So much for the methods of ascertaining the thought-of image. Now for the filmpack preparation:
You will need the following materials, plus a dark room in which to prepare the filmpack;
a) One complete and unused SX 7 0 film pack;
b) One empty film pack cartridge in which the battery is still good;
c) One developed SX 70 photo. This is prepared by snipping off the upper righthand corner of the photo with a pair of scissors as shown in Figure 1;
d) A 20 watt blacklight TL-lamp with a foot switch for convenience;
e) a six inch square piece of black cardboard or railroad board;
f) various colored blacklight paints and paint brushes. The colors of the paints are up to you. I have found that red and yellow give the most satisfactory images. Blue tends to wash out somewhat, unless outlined with another color such as red (this combination can be very effective). You may wish to experiment with different colors and color combinations to get special effects;
g) Two lided boxes, lightproof and large enough to take SX 70 photos easily.
With this assembled apparatus and your SX 70 camera in the darkroom, you are ready to make up the "doctored" filmpack.
Place your camera on a good sturdy desk or support that you can trust not to wobble or move while you are setting up and working. I find it a good idea to put a piece of black felt under the camera to help absorb any small vibrations to the camera as you work.
The piece of black cardboard is proped up against a convenient wall or other solid support. This cardboard must be positioned in line and parallel to the lens of your camera. You will find this means putting the cardboard about six inches in front of the camera lens, lower than the camera and at an angle to the wall against which the cardboard is resting (Fig. 2).
Now check through the viewfinder and focus on the black cardboard as best you can. When everything is properly set, you should be able to see only the black field of the cardboard in the viewfinder. If any background can be seen through the viewfinder, adjust the positions of the camera and cardboard so that only the cardboard fills the viewfinder's range of vision.
When you get everything set properly, take some short straight pins or thumb tacks and use them to mark out the field of vision you have found in the viewfinder by placing a pin at each corner of the space seen through the viewfinder. (As shown in Figure 2).
Now, making a mental note of the approximate position and tilt of the cardboard to the wall, remove the cardboard and paint in the image you wish to appear superimposed on your photo with blacklight paints within a rectangle marked out by the pins. Figure 3 shows several examples.
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