Electronic Voice Phenomena
First published in Heart Soul and Spirit Magazine, Issue 4 Nov/Dec 2014, pags 22, 23
In 1959, the world of paranormal investigation changed dramatically with the discovery of what is now called EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomena.
Ukraine born artist, Freidrich Jurgenson was as his summer house and decided he wanted to record some birds singing close by. It wasn’t until late that evening, whilst listening back to the recording, he made a discovery of a man’s voice in the recording. Knowing he had been alone in his garden, he could not account for whom the man was.
This discovery would lead Jurgenson on to record thousands of samples, of what he termed “Voices of the dead”, he was of course criticised for his work, but it did not faze him as he had one single recording that cemented his belief that these were indeed the dead talking to him. His dead Mothers voice.
He spoke of the recording in his book “The Voices from Space” published in 1964
Jurgenson: "I was outside with a tape recorder, recording bird songs. When I listened through the tape, a voice was heard to say "Friedel, can you hear me. It's mammy ...." It was my dead mothers voice. 'Friedel' was her special nickname for me."
Although Jurgenson can be noted as a pioneer in the recording of EVP, it was Konstantin Raudive's experiments and laboratory testing that made the Spirit recordings famous, and also set many of the standards in the field for how we record EVP sessions in this day and age.
Raudive read Jurgenson’s book in 1964 and was inspired to test theories and procedures written within.
Raudive took the information he learnt from Jurgenson into laboratory trials and scientific testing. He tried many different recording devices, and soon, customised his own germanium circuit, known today as a “Raudive Diode”.
Raudive took his testing seriously, and even placed the devices into a “Faraday Cage” (A metal cage that blocks radio and Television frequencies). Like most sessions, no voices were heard during the recording, but on playback, to the amazement of all involved, voices could be heard clearly, including Raudive’s own deceased sister, who said her name “Tekle” and Raudive’s nickname, “Kosti”.
In 1968 Raudive published a book titled “Unhörbares wird hörbar:- or “What Is Inaudible becomes Audible”, which has also been published in English as “Breakthrough”, He went on to write two more books before his death in 1974.
In the modern Ghost Hunting age EVP is an essential part of any investigation process, we ask questions, we go home and listen for answers – I should state here the “Spirit” Box or “Franks” Box are not genuine Electronic Voice Phenomena, but “Radio Voice Phenomena” (a term I coined on my blog) – they are sweeps of radio frequencies and ARE audio pareidolia, not something that can ever be claimed as "evidence" of the paranormal.
Anyone can have a go at an EVP session, there is nothing stopping you, you do not need expensive equipment or specialised training, but there are a few tips I would like to share with you, to get you on to your path of EVP discovery!
Firstly, I recommend a voice recorder that has a usb or memory card built in, so you don’t have to sit at your computer listening back to the whole recording, saving it into a program. Rather than that wasted time, you can easily switch the file from the device to your laptop or pc.
Try and get a voice recorder with a good microphone, brands like Sony, Zoom and Tascam currently have some reasonably priced, stereo microphone records that work exceptionally well. Even your phone or tablet now days have good enough microphones for experimenting with, or you can always buy an external microphone and plug it in.
If you do EVP sessions, take note of your surroundings, who else is there? What natural sounds are happening?
I try to always put my recorder down, or use a tripod to support it, so the sounds of my movements cannot be interpreted as an EVP (this does happen). In my team, we also have a video camera pointing at us whilst we record EVPs, that we can play back later on and see if any sounds coincide to our movements.
My wife Karen also takes notes as we work, in those notes Karen will write the time, where we are, what I ask and if any natural or man made sounds are happening at the time (cars driving past, birds flying over etc) – this gives us a little bit more information that we may have forgotten when we begin our review of the recording.
My next tip is a simple one, DO NOT WHISPER – if you decide to go out with a group of people, ask everyone who is with you to be silent whilst you record, but, if they have to speak, do so in a normal voice. This is for the simple reason that you may not know someone else has whispered, and when you get to review your EVP session you hear this amazing EVP...only to find out later that it was simply a team mate whispering...
Lastly, do NOT tell people what you believe an EVP says. Let the person listen and give their ideas first.
Why you ask? Influence... if someone tells you what an EVP says before you hear it for yourself, you are pre-influenced to hear what they say it is, rather than make your own determination as to if the recording is a genuine EVP or just some random mistaken noise.
As always folks, Be respectful. Be prepared. Be protected. Be safe.
© Allen Tiller 2014