Recollections on the Making
"The Secret World"

By W.G. Bliss

W.G. Bliss -- inventor, author, rogfogo researcher -- was a columnist and consultant during Shavertron's 1980s heyday. After a decade of silence during the 1990s and the closing of his Chillicothe, Illinois fix-it shop, he recently installed a NOS ribbon in his IBM Selectric, and on July 14, 2001, pecked out a letter to ye editor detailing his contribution to the Palmer publication, The Secret World. It is a little known fact that some of the rogfogo color plates in that book were actually the work of WGB.

"Shaver got a $100 advance for The Secret World from Palmer. I gave my stuff in the book to Palmer [a freebie]. Feedback [from Palmer] was only two scribbled notes.

"I had a very expensive full color 14" Rochester print made of a slide Shaver had sent me of the pix on pages 80 and 81. The pix on pages 74 and 75 are entirely my work. Upper left and lower on page 75 are obsidian. The rest of them are common glass. On page 74, the upper left red had a skull a lot like the mystery rock crystal skulls. Palmer cropped it off. The two pix lower on Page 78 are also common glass. Pic at the top is from a common 2-1/2 inch green conglomerate rock out of local gravel. Also cropped and printed 90 degrees off upright counterclockwise. It had a very alien octupoid humanoid wearing a dark jacket and black skullcap. It has big yellow eyeballs. The color register is way off on that print. Pic on page 70 is also one of my glass pix. Palmer also used it for a cover on Search magazine with no credit [given]. Upper page 71 is from a Herkimer diamond side crystal 1/16 inch long.

"Illumination was with a type 47 dial bulb behind it. Bottom is from an old pentagonal crystallized lead ore...just about total wipeout overexposure by Palmer. Middle lower was a very high quality color pic of a middle-aged male wearing a robe/shawl. Left of him was blue and showed some unidentified machinery parts on a hillside. On page 73 [is] my first successful high magnification rock pic. It's from a local common small rock. The head is close to 1/1000 inch high on the rock. Palmer cropped away a weaker image of an old man holding an infant [near] a fence.

"Palmer didn't send Shaver a complimentary copy [of The Secret World], so I bought a copy for him. The book was a dud for any sizable market. It was supposed to be entirely of the art type of rock pix with scant, if any, rock pix technical data. Why did Palmer do such a number on it??

"So wot's new? Banana peel images. They have a development period of about 10 hours; after that, they rot. I put one on the copier in the print shop with fair results. Images are everywhere. It made a goopy mess in the copier. Also chicory images. Have had a few problems, so no viable results yet. The leaves have to be transillumuniated. Very high quality. But there is an overexposure problem and a lighting problem and a very limited field.

Banana peel image by Bill Bliss

"Wot have I been smoking?? Oh, just legal stuff. Since rock pix haven't promoted (only scantily so far) I have devised a couple of ways to get other images. Sample enclosed. I have some I call 'Darkworlds.' They have the same characteristics as rock images. Just say that (and it is true in part) [the manner in which they] are produced cannot be revealed because some features of it are patentable. I found out early that showing people the magic of rock pic turnarounds (new images every 90 degrees) did not impress them much."