"Serios' critics tended to latch onto the 'gizmo' that Ted used," Hauver said. "It raised the darkest of suspicions."
Serios would hold up a hollow cylinder of plastic tubing or rolled paper to the camera lens and look through it before snapping the picture. Detractors suggested that Serios would insert a small photographic transparency into the gizmo by sleight of hand, trigger the shutter and slip the transparency out before the device could be inspected.
It's harder to explain, though, how Serios produced thoughtographs when the gizmo wasn't in use.
Perhaps if Serios had continued to make thoughtographs, the enigma would have been resolved. But on June 15, 1967, he came up with his final image — an unusually sharp picture of a set of curtains, every fold carefully delineated.
Though he later created a few whities and blackies, he never generated a recognizable thoughtograph again. He died in 2006.
"Ted had a presentiment that he was going to lose his abilities," Hauver says. "He would always say, 'One day, the curtain will come crashing down.' "
If you go
"Psychic Projections/Photographic Impressions: Paranormal Photographs from the Jule Eisenbud Collection on Ted Serios" resumes at noon today and runs through March 27 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Catonsville. Free. For hours and location, go to http://www.umbc.edu or call 410-455-2270.