ASD 2001 Dream Telepathy Contest:

A Precognitive Approach


E.    W. Kellogg III, Ph.D. ©2002

(A short version of this paper appeared in the Summer, 2001, issue of the ASD newsletter DreamTime)


In this year’s dream telepathy contest I used a precognitive approach to tune into the target image.  Usually, participants attempt to tune into the image in their dreams only after the dream telepathy “sender”  has selected and seen the target image.  In this case, I submitted my dream report to Rita Dwyer two days early  - before the “sender” had selected or seen the target image. (See Appendix A for a timeline).


The Dream


(As the dream report seems quite long, I’ve only included sections relevant to the final intentional evocation of the target image. Notes inserted into the original text indicated by the use of (italics and parentheses).


7/11/01 ~ 6 AM “In a Nieman-Marcus sort of venue, I find myself in an upscale cocktail party.  I see lots of well dressed people.  I realize that I dream and remember that Rita had asked if I had already precognitively tuned into the ASD 2001 Dream Telepathy Target.  I had not, and decided to try the LDIT (Lucid Dream Information Technique) ... (After a long lucid dream, in which I make two LDIT attempts that I felt did not succeed) ...  I go into another room for one more try at using the LDIT for the target.  ... I’ll need to take a different approach with even more specific intent.  I compose this chant (and say it out loud as I do): By the Power of Alkahest /

Let the ASD 2001 Dream Telepathy Contest Target / In a Lightning Flash Manifest!


To my surprise a small bright lightning flash (with a muted crash) occurs in the corner of the room.  I clearly see an image of a toy sized helicopter - with a gray body and orange-yellow props - it may also have a set of orange-yellow wings, like some hybrid helicopters I have seen. (Note: I saw this image at first isolated in the middle of a white, lightning flash background).  It looks pretty simple, no fine details.  The vivid image only lasts a second or two after the flash, and then disappears. However, as a sort of after image I see a smaller, animated 2D helicopter projection, props whirling, moving rapidly about the room like a gray and orange-yellow shadow on the walls and  surfaces, until it fades from sight on a  window shade (off white in color).  (I start to leave the room, but return to waking physical reality instead).”




 (Select for larger picture)

Figure 1 illustrates a likely scenario of what happened during the evocation of the target image in the lucid dream.  In my experience, dreams, like plays, occur on at least three qualitatively different levels.   First, the structural level, analogous to the stage settings, actors and props, the raw dreamscape / data pattern before one projects meaning on it.   This level makes up the substratum of the dream, dream phenomena qua phenomena.  Second, the meaning level, in which symbols, feelings, and the relationships of the dream characters and objects predominate.  And finally, and most superficially, the labeling level, where one verbally interprets and identifies what happens during a dream.  In truth, the process through which one perceives and identifies objects in a dreamscape may have much in common with the process through which one perceives and identifies an object in a Rorschach ink blot.  Although two individuals might see “the same” ink blot, they may also perceive quite different objects.  I first wrote about these levels of intentionality in my paper "The Substitution Phenomenon" in 1985 (1) and I have developed this concept further in subsequent papers (2-5).

Table 1 compares features of the manifested dream object (MDO) to the target object itself.  On the structural level the manifested dream object had many similarities to the central target image, including its general shape, its predominant colors, and the implied spiraling movement.  In fact almost all congruencies occurred on the structural level - little if anything made it through on the meaning level that one could not logically explain otherwise (a small floating dream object becomes a small helicopter, which I simply identify as a “toy” helicopter because of its size and odd shape), and nothing on the labeling level.  



It looks as if I picked up very little from the sender, Peggy Coates, or from the artist, Linda Magallón (see their reports in this issue) but instead simply tuned into the structural elements of the target image. Perhaps this happened because I took a precognitive approach - where I simply intended to tune into the image, and did not attempt to tune in telepathically to either the sender or artist, both unknown to me as such at the time of the dream.

It seems clear to me that the LDIT did in fact manifest the target image accurately as a visual data pattern.   Unfortunately, the actual target image resists easy identification, having many logically unrelated elements.  In fact, when I looked at the actual target image Saturday morning - while in full waking consciousness - I found myself bewildered and at a loss for how to describe it.


As in waking life, dream perception involves recognition followed by identification.  For example, when I first wake up in the morning I may see only a colored pattern of light and darkness - however within a second or two I will automatically resolve this visual pattern into a roomful of objects - a bed, curtains, a window, etc.  When awake, the resolution of objects from this visual sensory data pattern occurs automatically, without conscious effort, except in cases where I see an unfamiliar object that does not fit into the set of commonly used templates I use in categorizing and identifying physical objects.  Phenomenologists call this process “functioning intentionality”, which essentially acts as an "automatic object identifier".  I've learned from experience that this particular mental operation works far less accurately and reliably in experienced “Dream Reality” than it does in “Waking Physical Reality”.


Although I characterize a fully lucid dream state as one where I have the same degree of conscious awareness (such as my sense of self, ability to think, etc.) as in my waking physical state, the quality and accuracy of the labeling of my "functioning intentionality" markedly diminishes .  Even when fully lucid, I will far more easily make faulty identifications while dreaming than I will in “Waking Physical Reality”.  For example, if I saw an unusual fruit halfway between a tomato and an orange in appearance in “Waking Physical Reality” , like an orange tomato, I would usually identify it as an "odd" fruit and look more closely.  However, if I saw such an object even while fully lucid in a dream I would automatically identify and perceive it as an orange, without noticing the discrepancies.   While dreaming, for me “similar to” becomes “identical to”,  unless I make a specific, conscious, intentional effort  to compensate for the loss of function of my "automatic object identifier". 


Of course, one can misidentify objects in waking physical reality as well, but when functioning intentionality does so in a dream it not only changes the labeling and meaning level of the dreamed object, it can also rapidly change the dream object itself.  In my dream the manifested object became more and more helicopterish, almost instantaneously transformed from a meaningless visual data pattern - a predominantly gray comma shaped object lying on its side, with patches of yellow orange in the middle and on the "tail" - into a cartoonlike toy helicopter.  The evoked image even became animated, and in an after image effect, zoomed around the room in a 2D image with its rotors whirling.   Although the LDIT did not at first produce a "toy helicopter", my “automatic object identifier” rapidly turned it into one, based on the "best fit" template available.  Having identified it as a “toy helicopter”, it then proceeded to make it one, as in dream reality, dream mind can indeed dramatically and effectively change "dream matter".


But why did the target image manifest as a “toy helicopter”?  Although I recognized that my evoked dream object had the general shape and color as the target image did, at first I couldn't quite see why I’d perceived it as a helicopter.   Where did the rotor on top come from?  Later, when I had time to study the picture, it became obvious how and why my dreaming functioning intentionality made the target picture into a helicopter.  The orange ginger bread man floating in the cup, on the top inside of the central image does indeed resemble a toy helicopter rotor - the five "blades", consisting of the head, two arms and feet, giving a standard stylized cartoon rendition of a rotor in motion, seen from an angle with the helicopter tilted slightly towards you on its side.  This experience brought to life for me the speed and the power with which dreaming functioning intentionality can work, illustrating quite nicely the point I made in the phenomenological paper I presented at this years ASD Conference, about how what we perceive in a dream at the meaning and labeling levels can vary considerably from what we actually see at the structural level.  Normally the exact characteristics of dream objects on the structural level remains unknown to a greater or lesser extent, as we perceive them and remember them through an overlay of intentional meaning and identification.  If one assumes that the actual target image made it into the dream intact, simply as a visual data pattern, this experience offers a unique opportunity to observe how dream perception works from the ground up.


Conclusions and Recommendations


In order to increase evidentiality and accuracy, those who wish to investigate the phenomena of psi dreaming may need to pay more attention to descriptions of the structural level of dreams, rather than to the identifications made by the dreamers on the labeling level.  A similar effect exists in "remote-viewing" experiments, where researchers find that when subjects focus on the structural content of their perceptions, as opposed to the verbal identifications made from that content, that the probability of their achieving a "hit" on the target improves markedly (6, 7).


In my experience there exists three stages of "psi intentionality": 1. psi intentionality on the structural level; 2. psi intentionality on the meaning level (that interprets structure); and, 3. psi intentionality on the labeling level (that attaches labels to that meaning).  A percipient may use psi not only to tune into the correct target structure, but also to tune into the correct meaning and the correct labeling for the target.  Usually psi intentionality works sequentially, with the structural level serving as the foundation, and with every jump to the next level bringing an increased possibility for the incorporation of error. During an extraordinary psychic event, all three levels work congruently and in alignment.  Unfortunately, ordinary functioning intentionality quite often inadequately substitutes for, and dominates, psi intentionality on the meaning and labeling levels.  This can lead to gross error even when the percipient has solidly tuned into the target image on a structural level, as it did for me when I incorrectly perceived. and then transformed, the ASD2001 target image into a helicopter in my dream.


However, given a provisional understanding of how dreaming perception works, might one now create target images and design protocols that might make verifiable and evidential psi dreaming easier, instead of unnecessarily difficult?  Aside from other elements that make up good target pictures (many already incorporated in this years target pool, such as positive emotional content, attractiveness, clear differentiation of target images from one another, etc.), it seems clear to me that if we want to make it easier for people to dream of, and then to correctly identify a target image, it makes sense to use images that the percipient will automatically and easily recognize as "X" or “Y” or “Z”, and will not have to consciously puzzle over.


In choosing images, one could pretest potential psi target images for recognizability, and limit the selection of target images to those which an audience would correctly identify without pause or hesitation even if only flashed on a screen for a fraction of a second.   (To properly simulate the conditions of dreaming perception as closely as possible, I’d recommend using a tachistoscope for image display, and a pretest audience made up of barely-able-to-walk drunks!)  Using complex and bewildering images, however aesthetically pleasing, may unnecessarily make the process of identification of a target image more difficult and error prone.   Paying attention to how dreaming perception works, and using this information to optimize the design of an experiment, may well increase the probability of success for the participants, and in doing so increase the likelihood of obtaining statistically significant results.




1. Kellogg III, E. W. (1985). “The Substitution Phenomenon”. Dream Network Bulletin, 4(5), 5-7.

2. Kellogg III, E. W. (1989). “Mapping Territories: A Phenomenology of Lucid Dream Reality”. Lucidity Letter, 8(2), 81 - 97.

3.  Kellogg III, E. W. (1992). “The Lucidity Continuum”, a paper presented at the Eighth Annual Conference of the Lucidity Association in Santa Cruz, June 28, 1992.  Copies of this paper available from the author by request. © 1992

4. Kellogg III, E. W.  (1997) “A Mutual Lucid Dream Event”,  Dream Time, 14(2), 32-34.

5. Kellogg III, E. W. (1999). “Lucid Dreaming and the Phenomenological Epoché ”, paper presented at the Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences conference in Eugene, OR in October, 1999. Copies of this paper available from the author by request.

6. Swann, I. (1991), Everybody’s Guide to Natural ESP: Unlocking the Extrasensory Power of Your Mind, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., Los Angeles.

7. Graff, Dale E. ( 2001). “Learning from Psi Dreams”, Dream Time, 18(1), 14, 15, 33.



Appendix A


Time Line of Events:


6/26/01 Linda Magallón completes the final versions of the 4 target pictures for the 2001 telepathy contest and makes color copies.

7/11/01, ~ 6 AM  I have a long lucid dream in which I try to tune into the ASD 2001 Dream Telepathy Target. After apparently succeeding in doing so, I wrote down my experience in detail, which includes a colored sketch of what I had perceived as the target image.

7/12/01  ~ 10 AM  After finally locating a copy machine on the U.C. Santa Cruz campus, and making a copy of the dream report for myself, I give the original dream report to Rita Dwyer.

7/13/01 ~ 10:30 PM  The sender blindly selects a specific target picture, out of a target pool of four.

7/14 ~ 9:30 AM  The four possible target picture images displayed on a table in the ASD Computer Cafe’.  Only one picture has the form and coloring of the image seen in the dream of 7/11/01.   I submit a copy of my original account, with some prefatory notes on a separate page indicating my choice, and add some notes to the margins of a copy of the original account.


Table 1

Congruencies and Incongruencies of the Target Picture and the Intentionally Manifested Dream Object.


Structural Level



1.       Target Picture’s Central Image (TPCI) isolated/floating contrasted with a white background.

          Manifested Dream Object (MDO) first seen isolated/floating against the background of a white lightning flash.


2.       TPCI shaped like a comma lying on it side.

          MDO shaped like a comma lying on it side, same orientation as TPCI


3.       TPCI general color dichotomy gray- blue and orange-brown-red

          MDO color dichotomy gray and orange-yellow.


4.       TPCI patches of orange-brown-red color on the top of the main body shape and on the end of the tail.

          MDO patches of orange-yellow color on the top of the main body shape and on the end of the tail. 


5.       TPCI gingerbread man in cup “circular rotor” shape on top of middle of main body.

          MDO circular “helicopter rotor” shape on top of middle of main body


6.       TPCI implied motion: a spiraling, circular swirl.

MDO motion: whirling of the “helicopter blades”, circular spiraling motion around the room of the “afterimage helicopter”.



1.       The Target Picture had a lower “border” ground area, similar in its components and colors with the TPCI.

          MDO did not have a lower border area.


2.      White background around the TPCI had fine structural elements (the bars and notes of a musical score.)

          MDO white lightning flash background undifferentiated, no repeating horizontal lines.


3.       The Target Picture had many contributing structural elements in a very complex arrangement.

          MDO “toy helicopter” simple and much less differentiated - with only five structural elements.



Meaning Level



1.       Target picture portrays a playful, fantasy scene that would appeal to children.

          MDO “toy helicopter” associated with children and with children’s play.

2.       Target picture theme: “floating”, suspended in the air cup.

          MDO themes - flying, suspended in the air helicopter.



1.       Target picture themes: food and music, taste and hearing.

          MDO themes - flying mechanical toys.



Labeling Level

(Note: as judged through words one would expect to see in a description of the target picture, and of specific words used in the dream text as such.)






1.        Some Target Picture keywords: food, cookies (gingerbread men), fruits (grapes, strawberries), cocoa,     

          coffee, cup, saucer, spoon, musical score and notes.

2.       MDO keywords: toy, helicopter, wings, props, hybrid, window shade.

Telepathy Contest 2001 Index

Paranormal Index


©2002 Association for the Study of Dreams. All Rights Reserved