Hearing The Dead Speak Via Electronic Voice Projection

The BBC on those who believe that radio and tape recording devices offer a window to the realm of the dead:

In 1969, a mysterious middle-aged Latvian doctor turned up in Gerrards Cross with a large collection of tape recordings…he had established contact with Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and many other deceased 20th Century statesmen. The recordings – 72,000 of them – contained their voices. His name was Konstantin Raudive, and he called his technique Electronic Voice Projection, or EVP.

It wasn’t real-time interactive communication. You asked your questions, and then left the tape running, recording silence. But listening back, through the mush and static, you could sometimes just about make out people speaking.

Nowadays, EVP is a standard tool of ghost hunters worldwide. There are hundreds of internet EVP forums and many serious and well-educated people who see it as proof positive that the dead are trying to talk to us.

For example, Anabela Cardoso, a former Portuguese career diplomat who lives in Spain and publishes the Instrumental Transcommunication Journal. She has a well-equipped recording studio and claims to have replicated the Gerrards Cross findings.

The simplest explanation is that EVP voices are just stray radio transmissions. Usually they are so faint and masked by static interference that it’s hard to make out what they are saying, and the EVP investigator has to “interpret” them for you. That might seem like a weakness but that’s also their power. A dead person speaking in studio quality wouldn’t be nearly so convincing as a voice you must strain to hear.

Once you start experimenting with EVP, it’s hard to stop. Today EVP researcher Brian Jones in Seattle records the noises made by seagulls, dogs, cats, and even squeaky doors and crunching pebbles. They all contain voices. One dog says, “Where’s Sheila?” referring to its owner. Another complains of its owners, “they always sail away”.

He would like to use his techniques to help solve crime, or to pick up the thoughts of stroke victims who have lost the power of speech. So far, he has been shunned by private detectives and doctors. But the EVP community really want to believe they are onto something.

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  • Juan

    He said the sheriff is near.

    • I_abide

      great now I have to go watch this movie for the 80th time.

      • Juan

        Ha, ha ;)

  • InfvoCuernos

    I can’t hear regular voices, how the hell am expected to communicate with the dead? I need Closed caption for the EVP. That’s it, I’m suing.

  • Tchoutoye

    Audio pareidolia. Our brains are programmed by evolution to seek patterns in all kinds of data. And we will find patterns even if the data is random.

    • Redux

      Exactly my thoughts, came here to find this comment.

    • jnana

      and maybe the patterns we find prove that the data is not random. if you wanna deny one pattern found in data, be ready to deny all patterns. Be ready to deny all order and affirm only chaos. What is our reality, 99% Chaos and a smidgen of order, or 99% order and a smidgen of chaos? Or all order or all chaos?
      I feel bad for those who reduce reality to evolutionary causes. cos those who feel most secure in their knowledge usually end up experiencing the most disappointing insecurity in their knowledge.

      • Andrew

        I believe our existence is 100% order, but that doesn’t mean that things are always what they seem causally. And the denial of one pattern (perception) in no way necessitates the denial of all order.

        • jnana

          I see existence as 99% Order, but it’s a constrictive, dictatorial Order. To me, Rebellion is that 1% Disorder, which can lead one to a realization of the actual 100% Order, which has no shadow of Disorder

  • http://www.facebook.com/dosher Chris Dosher

    I noticed something similar with scrambled porn on cable in the 80’s.

    • Tchoutoye

      I never thought I would feel a sense of nostalgia for the days of scrambled porn.

  • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

    they’re onto something they’ll not learn to catch up with i tink. besides, the experienced autist may hear answers to problems that their mind is operating upon, answers which are valid in their language and from the sounds of people who are not engaged in conversation with said autist. the brain, the mind, the matter … uhg. it is ga speak. it is babel. babel fis. two lines from one line by infinite division. it is combinatorics. it is nonpolynomial. it is seeing jesus faces. and people do this all the time with rock songs and art. it’s not rocket science. it’s rock et science. ets etera. moses’ scarabs have more than this to present to the tastebuds. SIN FIG

  • lifobryan

    Ghost on recording: “ggrgggzzzffft rrt yrifff”
    Scientist: “That makes no sense. Our brains are pattern-seeking organs that can misinterpret any random cadence as speech pattern.”
    Ghost on recording: “Grg shellfish fizzure”
    Scientist: “My point exactly. Without syntax, there is no netherworld.”

  • Zyi

    I like how all these squeaky doors and seagulls just happen to speak English.

  • Samson Agonistes

    I love you disinfo. You find the best stuff.

  • mindofsound

    The EVP community is one of the most blatant examples of mental illness.

  • GD23

    Perhaps the white noise just acts as the necessary filler/distraction so that they can now exploit their latent psychic abilities. Crystal balls aren’t magical, but they let you be.

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