I have a world where there are two types of beings. One type, let's call them X, exist in our "dimension," and the other, let's call them Y, exist in another "phase" or dimension.

Only 10% of X beings have the ability to see Y beings.

I need a technology that would make the Y beings visible to ALL X beings. Ie. a Y-being booster. Any ideas would be great, but this technology should be something a MacGuiver meets Einstein type genius with an Amazon account could build in his basement lab.

Furthermore, I also need a technology to make them invisible to the 10% who can currently see them (because seeing them is a bit traumatic). Ie. a Y-being blocker.

Now, I've developed a type of cloud chamber that makes them visible for scientific experiments because evil X beings are trying to kill the Y beings (using vapours that exist in both the X and Y's dimensions).

But I need something that is portable that would either block or boost the visibility of the Y beings in a radius around you that would grow or shrink depending on the power source.

This does not need to be 'real science;' it can be Star Trek or Star Gate pseudoscience, but if you have some actual links or science to back up your answer that would be awesome!

I appreciate your help!

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    $\begingroup$ Two biggest clarifications to figure out: - How do 10% of your Xs can see Ys, and the other 90% can't? - Assuming matter in X's dimension is not also concurrently in Y's dimension, how do Ys not fall through the floor? $\endgroup$ – Qami Aug 20 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ The 10% can see them because they are special. It's just a 'gift' that happens spontaneously on their 16th birthday. Some people get it, most people don't. $\endgroup$ – Shalon Sims Aug 20 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ I have watched clips on Youtube of the movie Spectral which seems to have something like this. Rays that show where the ghosts are. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectral . Except the hard to see ghosts come up and kill you. $\endgroup$ – Willk Aug 20 at 19:35

Since 10% of Xs can see the Ys, the question would be how do they see them. Given a "stretched science" framework, we have two clear possibilities - Biological differences (10% of Xs can see an extended range of electromagnetic frequencies beyond those of most Xs), and psychic/psionic/extrasensory abilities.

Extended Frequency sight

This option has a simple solutions for a technological civilization for both conditions. To make the Ys visible to all Xs, the Xs wear frequency shifting eyewear (such as infrared googles, but for whatever frequency is appropriate). To make the Ys invisible to the 10% of Xs, a pair of "dark glasses" that filter out the appropriate frequencies would work.

Psychic/Psionic/Extrasensory abilities

This is where things get fuzzy. You would have to define what these extra abilities are, how they work, and whether or not the appropriate forces involved can be detected by the society's standard science.

For example, "Some Xs have an extra senory ability, used similarly to normal vision, that enables them to detect... um... neutrino scattering, something that Ys do naturally far more than any other substance known, because of their extra-dimensional capabilities.", or "Some Xs are naturally psychic in such a way that they can detect solids or semisolids near them without use of their other senses. No one really notices this sense in most cases (although some of the 10% are unusually good at dodging attacks from where they cannot see them coming), except the Ys are detectable this way. If someone becomes adept at using this sense, they can 'see' the Ys."

Extending the science of these things will take extrapolation or hand-waving, but the mechanism should be either neutral to survival (just a random mutation that doesn't help or hinder a person's life expectancy), or somewhat beneficial (the ability to detect attacks from behind).

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    $\begingroup$ I like the extended frequency sight because I think that's how it basically works (in my mind, anyway), but instead of 'dark glasses' or frequency-shifting eyewear, I need something that emits something like an electromagnetic wave frequency that makes them visible to everyone in the radius. An actual device. The reason being, the climax of the book is they take this device to Times Square and turn it on (hooked up to a massive power source---a gravitational wave capacitor) to prove these Y-beings exist. $\endgroup$ – Shalon Sims Aug 20 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ I'm going to do a scientific 'handwave' here, and throw out a term for you to use. "Destructive Interference". This is how static works. For this case, you have found a combined set of frequencies that, when a Y is exposed to them, interferes with the frequencies they reflect (based on their 'color'), and shows them, probably as a ghostly form, in visible light frequencies. Specific frequency step-up / step-down viewers show them in detail, but this allows them to be seen in an area without the viewer requiring a special tool. $\endgroup$ – Laughing Vergil Aug 22 at 16:44

Your Y creatures are very small.

The analogy is scabies mites. Measuring a fraction of a millimeter, most people cannot perceive them with the naked eye. With a magnifying glass or better, a microscope they are easy to see.

Your sharp eyed people who can perceive the Y mites do indeed find them horrifying, because mites are crawling all over them looking for blood and tasty skin.

These persons can be prevented from seeing the Y mites by giving them someone else's glasses together with a light sedative.

Dimensions can be dimensions of scale.

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    $\begingroup$ Brilliant! I love it. Unfortunately, it doesn't work because I've already written the book and need an actual device, which my characters have spent many chapters building, but I LOVE the idea. If only I could go back to my outlining phase.... $\endgroup$ – Shalon Sims Aug 20 at 19:13

The creatures are made of Dark Matter

The true nature of dark matter remains unknown. What is known about it is that it does not interact with ordinary matter, except through gravity. These beings are only detectable as a spatial "ripple" that slightly distorts the objects they pass through, but not enough for an ordinary person to notice - unless they are trying to kill you, which they do by concentrating their mass into a single point, gravitationally compressing their target to death.

Detection of the beings is not an either-or thing, but some people are more sensitive to slight gravitational anomalies than others, just like some people can detect changes in air pressure and predict the weather. A machine to detect the creatures simply needs to detect the ripples they make as they interact with normal space.

Hiding the entities from those who can detect them is trickier, but perhaps technology that produces negative energy density could be used to counteract their effect, similar to "noise-canceling" headphones. This technology, if it is powerful enough, may be able to defend against their attack as well.

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    $\begingroup$ This is exactly what I needed. It's simple, makes sense, and fits with my story as it is. There are also some beautiful tie-ins: my character wears noise cancellation headphones, and the sensitivity to gravity works because these people are sensitive in general, and there is a 'gravity' so to speak about their experiences (most of them go crazy). Talk about Dark Matter... I love the play on words. Question: what would you call the devices, technically? Colloquially, my 16 yr old MC calls them monster blocker/booster, but what would his brilliant physicist mentor call them? $\endgroup$ – Shalon Sims Aug 21 at 23:03

Y beings are ultraviolet colored. 10% of X people have has eye surgery for cataract, which replaces the lens of the eye.

The trick is that our retinas are sensitive to UV light, but it gets blocked out by the cornea and lens of the eye. Some people who have had surgery for cataract can see UV - it depends only on the kind of artificial lens implanted into their eyes as replacements for the natural ones. Seriously!

Regular X people would be able to film Y people by using some UV sensitive camera. Some cell phones will do the trick. So will a lot of handheld cameras.

To make Y people invisible to those 10% of X people: use a device that shifts their frequency to higher than UV. Or some sunscreen-based transparent mist that absorbs UV.

  1. I’d suggest using something that detect infrared light. Even if the being can pass light around it’s body the infrared of the body has to go somewhere, especially on its feet’s or so. The result would be that the surrounding still heats up ..and that’s what you might see. The only case where that being doesn’t emit even body radiation is, if it is completely insulated. However that would ask for the being to heat up over time so that it has to become visible at times at least.
  2. Otherwise could your detection work on the wavelength that your being perceive it’s surrounding ... it has to pass through to be absorbed hence it is not redirected most likely. Hence you should be able to see it on that wavelength.
  3. You could use sound waves to detect waves like bats. Because it isn’t light it should make your beings visible. However in case those being use absorbent material the detection will be difficult.
  4. If the detection doesn’t has to be movable you could measure the speed the light waves travel. A precise measurement would make changes due to bending light around the body visible. This however would be quite expensive.
  5. Using a fog machine, water or powder making movements visible or something similar. You could use dehydration of the fog to produce a powder. The powder is put into a delivery charge that can dispense the material in a certain area. Maybe it can be burned to create a fog?

Any counter measure would depend on the Methode of the cloaking. I assumed here that your beings are able to bend/redirect visible light around a physical present body.


Ultrasonic Sensor

If you have a handheld device with an ultrasonic rangefinder, you can discover the invisible beings easily. Let's say it's attached to an LED display to give you a readout of distance to object in numbers (just to make it easy to use). If you're walking along, scanning in front of you, and the number suddenly jumps down while you're pointing at empty air, well buddy there's an invisible being in front of you. You don't even need to be a genius to assemble them, and they could be mass produced pretty easily.


For the 10% who no longer wish to see the invisible beings, you should check out the hitchiker's guide to the galaxy. Zaphon Beeblebrox has a pair of sunglasses that can detect his stress level. When he gets too stressed out, the sunglasses turn completely opaque so that he cannot see the thing making him stressed. Boom, instant solution. Your 10% get scared and suddenly they're blinded, no flaws or setbacks imaginable with this scenario.

  • $\begingroup$ The stress goggles are so hilarious! If only, right? I like the ultrasonic rangefinder, but it doesn't fit with what I have so far in the story. People actually need to see the monsters as the climax hinges on the big reveal to 'normal' people. $\endgroup$ – Shalon Sims Aug 24 at 16:03

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