Some people hear crosstalk coming out of their toaster and start cursing their next door neighbor's cheap portable telephone. Other people (like Thomas Edison) hear the same thing and are convinced that it's Aunt Millie reaching out from the other side. I count myself in the first category, but in honor of World Hearing Voices Day, here are a batch of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) recordings from one of the granddaddies of the field, Latvia's Dr. Konstantin Raudive. These are the MP3s of the flexidisk which accompanied Raudive's 1971 book, Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment In Electronic Communication With The Dead:
These MP3s are fairly noisy, but what do you expect - these are ghosts talking here.
In his defense, Edison never claimed to actually record voices of dead people, but he did reportedly try to build a device which accomplished this. He merely theorized that it might be possible. The now burgeoning business of EVP was born in 1959, when a Swedish artist and filmmaker, Friedrich Jorgenson recorded the faint voice of his dead Mom while trying to record bird songs in the Swedish countryside. Raudive took his cue from Jorgenson, and brought academic credentials to the field, having studied with Jung and taught at Sweden's University of Uppsala (yes, the namesake of WFMU's former owner).
The rest is...paranormal history? Or electronic interference? You decide. Even Joe Meek was onboard with EVP. (OK, that's not exactly an endorsement you can take to the bank...)
Follow the jump for some of the notes that accompanied Raudive's MP3 recordings.
These are the text files that came with the MP3s of Raudive's flexi-disk:
Voices From Another Dimension
By John G. Sutton
There exists in the UK a society that investigates the communication of spirits through electronic means: the spirit voices are captured on magnetic tape or digital recorder. The EVP & Transcommunication Society headed by former Psychic World Deputy Editor Judith Chisholm was formed in the early 1990's after she had received and recorded verbal messages from another dimension. In her excellent book: 'Voices From Paradise: How The Dead Speak To Us' Judith details how, in despair at the premature death of her son Paul, she set out to discover if he was alive in spirit in another world. Her search led her to experiment with the EVP using a tape recorder with inbuilt and open microphone. After recording various voices, some of which she recognised, Judith did manage to record a number of short messages from her physically deceased son Paul.
Amongst Judith's thousands of EVP recordings are some that are attributed to one of her former Sunday Times colleagues - the now deceased picture editor Jack Hallam. In one EVP tape recording Mr Hallam can be heard to say in response to Judith's request for help "I'll go there...Hallam..the dead man". This recording can be heard by all with access to the internet, it is located in a WAV-Sound file on PsychicWorld.net at the EVP pages.
The phenomena of electronic voice dates back to the earliest days of radio transmission when many of the world's leading scientists were convinced that those alive in the next dimension could communicate with this world via radio waves. Thomas Edison spent the last years of his life experimenting with a device he was designing to enable electronic communication between this world and the next. In Germany the parapsychologist Dr. Konstantin Raudive conducted thousands of EVP experiments and wrote a book on the subject 'Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication With The Dead'. This book led to Dr. Raudive being invited to partake in a controlled test experiment in the recording studios of Pye Records. There the top electronic engineers of Pye recorded Dr. Raudive's EVP spirit voice communications in pristine studio conditions. The results were astounding, over 200 discarnate voices were recorded in a completely insulated environment.
I recently interviewed Mr Malcolm, Lewis a Senior University Lecturer, on the subject of EVP. Malcolm somewhat cautiously confirmed that he, as a scientifically minded man, believed that the voices on EVP recordings did originate from sources beyond our current level of understanding. He believed that the explanation for EVP recordings lies beyond this earthly dimension.
In Voices From Paradise, Judith Chisholm posits one possible explanation based on Einstein's formula E=mc2 (energy equals matter to the speed of light). She quotes from the book 'The Vortex' by David Ash and Peter Hewitt. This book suggests that the next dimension may be beyond the speed of light and therefore invisible to us. From this dimension, which is inhabited by the spirits of the dead, come the EVP voices.
Electronic Voice Phenomena is much more common than most people realise. Indeed it is highly probable that many of the readers of Psychic World will have personally experienced EVP. However, experiencing EVP and recognising it as such are two different matters. Consider my own experiences as examples: In October of the year 1999 my wife Mary and I were watching the evening news on BBC television when the sound of the broadcast changed, becoming quiet for a moment. Mary and I looked at each other wondering if the TV set was faulty, then a voice in metallic tones said 'Time Now!' This voice was not connected to the news broadcast, in fact it seemed to be directed at us. Then as suddenly as it had changed the sound returned and the news programme continued as usual.
In March of this year I was sitting in the waiting room of my GP's surgery, on the loudspeaker system pop-classical music was playing, I was not really listening to this. Then I heard the sound drop and fade then a female voice said 'Time is almost here now'. The voice was quite distinct and not connected to the receptionists who were seemingly oblivious of all but their appointment books and PC screens. Looking around I noticed no one who had registered this short message. What did this mean?
There may be those that assume that I am experiencing auditory hallucinations, were I alone in the experience then that may be so. However in the first example, given above, both my wife and I experienced exactly the same phenomena. In the case of recorded EVP the argument of auditory hallucination is totally negated, one simply cannot record a hallucination, or it wouldn't be hallucinatory would it?
Some years ago, whilst I was researching and writing a book for Harper Collins, I was invited by BBC Radio Leeds to attend a psychic investigation into a reputedly haunted house on the outskirts of Bradford, Yorkshire. The BBC sent an outside broadcast unit and also two sound engineers to record the results on top of the range reel-to-reel tape recorders. The medium present, a Mr James Byrne, advised the BBC sound engineers that they were wasting their time, as the machines they had brought would record nothing. This advice was greeted with gales of laughter, the two BBC men said they had been recording outside broadcasts for years and were hardly likely to fail now just because this was a so-called haunted house. However, when the recording was over and the BBC replayed the tapes they discovered that they were absolutely blank, not a word or a single sound was on any of them. That was more a case of EVP in reverse.
If you have experienced EVP in any way, shape or form then please do write to me and outline the details.
I am John G. Sutton: PsychicWorld.net 31 Cunnery Meadow, Leyland, Preston. PR5 2RN.
To contact Judith Chisholm about The EVP & Transcommunication Society Tel: 0208 806 9777 or e-mail her on: email@example.com
The Book: 'Voices From Paradise: How The Dead Speak To Us' by Judith Chisholm is published by Jon Carpenter Publishing @ £9.95 ISBN No. 1 897766 59 9, available by mail order (post free in the UK) from: Jon Carpenter Publishing, Direct Sales Dept. 2 Home Farm Cottages, Sandy Lane, St Paul's Cray, Kent BR5 3HZ. Tel: 01689 870437 or from any good bookstore or by mail order on the internet at Amazon.co.uk
Before the turn of the last Century
Austrian psychic researcher Baron Hellenbach predicted in his book
Birth and Death the evolution of electromechanical means of communication. He foresaw that the content of the earliest contacts might suffer from the inherent difficulties of bridging a gulf between two dimensions and warned against undue optimism.
Beginning of theLast Century
Thomas Edison, Gueglielmo Marconi, and Nikola Tesla, inventors and geniuses who helped harness electricity and laid the foundations upon which electronic communication has been based, spent the last years of their lives trying to develop devices for communicating with spirit.
Hereward Carrington, a respected American psychical researcher notes in his book Psychic Oddities an occasion at which he was present when a 'disembodied' voice asking "Can you hear me?"came out of a microphone in a sealed room in a radio recording studio when the rest of the building was empty. This was in the presence of an un-named medium and was heard by everyone else in the room. No-one could give any explanation.
The English writer Thorpe who had developed what he called 'Etheric Vision' (and wrote a book of the same name) whilst a prisoner in Germany, promised his readers details of mechanical means of detecting what he called 'The Voice Phenomenon' in a further book. This never appeared.
Italian aristocrat and medium Count Centurione Scotto makes gramophone recordings at Millesimo Castle of the 'direct voice'. The Count had contracted the gift seemingly by 'psychic contagion' from the controversial Valiantine.
Swedish & Norwegian military pick up strange, unidentified voices on their frequencies. These were thought to be stray Nazi transmissions and came to their peak in March 1934 then ceased abruptly. But after war, when archives searched, no evidence of German involvement was found. American writer John Keel details thes incidents culled from press reports of the 1930's in his book Operation Trojan Horse written in the 1950's.
Ham radio operator Gordon Cosgrave in London apparently picks up Morse code messages between the 'Titanic' and the 'Carpathia' which would have been sent 24 years earlier in 1912 when the 'Carpathia' was racing to the rescue of the stricken 'Titanic'.
John Otto, patent engineer and radio ham together with a group of local radio amateurs in Chicago, USA detects unusual signals of unknown origin on undisclosed frequencies. Lyrical voices using what we now know as polyglot (a mixture of languages) sing and speak in rapid bursts which the group recognised were unlike anything transmitted by regular sources.
An 'Electronic Communication Society' is formed in Manchester, England where serious attempts are made to amplify by electronic means the pervading energies of the seance room. George Hunt Williamson author of Other Tongues - Other Flesh published by the Amherst Press logs reports of intrusive voices of unknown origin on tape while another American John Keel, investigating UFO reports world wide, comes up with dozens of reports of voice intrusion culled from military and civilian sources. In his book Our Haunted Planet Keel devotes an entire chapter to these rogue transmissions.
Hollywood, USA photographer and independent voice medium Attila Von Szalay and a writer named Raymond Bayless record voices on magnetic tape that should not have been there. Von Szalay had been experimenting since 1947 with phonograph discs and wire recorders and had succeeded in capturing faint whispers. They named the voices they captured 'aeriel' voices and reported their discovery in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. There was absolutely
In July of this year Russian born Sir Friedrich Jurgenson, an artist and film producer records his mother's voice using a reel-to-reel tape recorder at his estate in Mölnbo, Sweden. She had been dead four years. He went on to record thousands of discarnate voices and is regarded as the 'father' of the EVP. The noted parapsychologist Professor Dr.Hans Bender who headed a team of researchers at the Institute for Border Areas of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Freiburg, Germany makes a thorough study of the Jurgenson tapes even using voice print tests. He concludes that these voices were susceptible to a paranormal interpretation.
A well-known Latvian Philosopher and Psychologist, author of six books Dr. Konstantin Raudive, hears of Jurgenson's work. He had long been interested in the direct voice physical type of mediumship which may have begun in his early post-graduate days at Edinburgh University in 1934. He meets Jurgenson and sets up his own research project in Germany initially using an ordinary crystal set, the 'cat's whisker' of earlier radio days. Later he enlists the help of Friedebert Karger, a research physicist at the Max Planck Institute in Munich and other electronic engineers. Theodor Rudolph a high-frequency electronics engineer of the well-known firm Telefunken designs an instrument called a 'goniometer' for him. Dr. Raudive eventually records over 100,000 discarnate voices.
Dr. Raudive publishes his first research on the voice phenomenon in his book The Inaudible Becomes Audible. 1971 Publishers Colin Smythe of England are handed a copy of Dr. Raudive's book at a German Book Fair and after experimenting and, much to their surprise, record the voice of the mother (who had died some time before) of one of their company's Directors. They decide to translate and publish the book in the UK renaming it: "Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead". They coined the term 'Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) In the same year, American George Meek becomes interested in the EVP and develops an instrument called 'Spiricom' - a two-way comunication with the dead device which works only in the presence of his associate Bill O'Neill, an electronics engineer.
George Gilbert Bonner from England, a psychologist and artist, using a reel-to-reel recorder and battery radio tuned to 'mush' or 'white noise' to act as a carrier for discarnate voices begins to experiment after reading Dr. Raudive's book. He asks into his microphone: 'Can anyone hear me and would anyone like to speak to me?' not expecting any response. He receives the answer in a hiss and rush of sound 'Yes'. Bonner went on to record more than 50,000 spirit voices over the next 22 years.
At about the same time Raymond Cass, a hearing-aid practitioner in England begins research into the EVP using a small battery-operated radio tuned in to 'white noise'. He recorded thousands of clear discarnate voices over the years, speaking and singing, and theorizes that his proximity to a Mass X-Ray unit only 30 yards away produced an emanation which was 'beating' with the selected airband frequency and producing a transient condition enabling the voices to manifest.
George Meek (developer of Spiricom) publishes his results and continues his research with a battery of radio oscillators. Electronics engineer Hans-Otto Koenig helps Radio Luxembourg broadcast live what was claimed to be a two-way conversation with a 'dead' person. Koenig uses an ultrasound device after closely following Meek's work. The equipment is set up under the supervision of the radio station's engineers, connected to a set of speakers, and switched on. After a few second a clear voice is heard to say "Otto Koenig makes wireless with the dead".
Swiss electronics engineer Klaus Schreiber gets pictures of the dead on t.v. by means of an apparatus he calls 'Vidicom' which consists of a specially adapted tv switched on but not attached to an aerial with a video camera in front of it to capture images that appear on the screen. The word ITC is coined (Instrumental Transcomunication).
Hans Otto Koenig manufactures a Field Generator to communicate with the dead who he claims oscillate on a width frequency of 5 Khz.
I discover the EVP by accident while attending a weekly seance by using my tape recorder one evening. I inadvertently record a woman's voice saying my name 'Judith'. I was the only woman present that evening, and I didn't say my own name.
I form The EVP & Transcommunication Society for the UK and Ireland to disseminate information about the phenomenon and conduct research into it. My own research results increase and I begin to record discarnate voices regularly on my micro-cassette recorder, and eventually, two years after his death, my own son's voice.
My research takes a giant leap forward with the purchase of a digital recorder which by its nature cannot record extraneous broacast transmissions of any kind - a charge always levelled at recordings made by normal tape recorders to discredit them. I am now able to record two-way conversations at will with 'dead' people, including my son and primarily a friend and colleague of mine who 'died' in 1986.
My book 'Voices from Paradise' is published by Jon Carpenter, Charlbury, Oxford. It details my paranormal experiences since 1992 leading to my discovery of the EVP, how to experiment with obtaining the EVP, and all that has flowed from the formation of the Society in 1996.
I am writing another book which details the hundreds of hours of two-way recorded conversation I have held since October 1999 and am still holding with 'dead' people and the fascinating and sometimes disturbing information I am being given by them. The book also relates how, when I can't find time to record, spirits seek me out via my digital telephone answering machine in order to give me information and instructions or to comment on what is being said on a certain phone call or what is happening in my life.
THE EVP & TRANSCOMMUNICATION SOCIETY (of Great Britain and Ireland)