Science File Information:
In this very disturbing episode, a woman is abducted by a person who unknowingly
leaves pictures of his darkest thoughts on undeveloped film. I won't even
speculate on the possibility of "thought photography" (famed skeptic
James Randi dismissed it as a fraud), but
photography, in itself, is as much a science as it is an art. Cameras operate
on several simple scientific principles, focusing light onto specially treated
film which is then developed in a series of chemical baths.
film (or any kind of instant-developing film), like the kind used in this episode,
contains development chemicals in the film itself which allow the you to see the
results of your camerawork right away.
To find out more about how cameras work, go to
Verlangieri's Virtual Art Gallery
for a great description of the whole process at http://www.calpots.com/sp_exhibits/camera_exhibit/how_camera_works.html.
To learn the lingo of photography, check out Kodak's
photography glossary at
For more information on photography, go to "Exposure" at
When the missing woman is eventually found, she has been brutally
lobotomized. Much in the
style of the earliest lobotomies, the abductor had pushed an icepick into corner of
the victim's ocular socket, piercing the bone behind the eye, and rending apart
the brain tissue in the frontal lobe. This grisly "treatment," named the "transorbital
lobotomy," was developed in 1945 by an American neurologist named Walter Freeman.
Freeman thought that he had developed a method with which almost anyone could treat a
serious case of mental illness. In its heyday after the second World War, tens of
thousands of mental asylum patients were given gruesome icepick lobotomies.
To read more about the gruesome history of the icepick lobotomy, visit
This page is part of a fascinating site on the
history of psychosurgery
by Renato M.E. Sabbatini, PhD.
Part of the abductor's modus operandi involves knocking out his victims with a
potent anesthetic. Lab work determines that the chemical cocktail is an old dentist's
brew called "twylite sleep"; the late father of the prime suspect in this case was a
dentist. All of these clues help Mulder finally track down Scully after she too is abducted by the
psychotic lobotomist. (A sidenote: Mulder has a run-in with an anesthetic of a slightly
different kind in DEMONS.)
For the intriguing history of ether, the first anesthetic, read
To find out anything you'd possibly want to know about the field of dentistry, go to the Ask a Dentist page at