Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Paranormal & Fortean : EVPs & The Spirit World Part One

I would like to do another small series on a paranormal phenomenom that perhaps readers have heard about, perhaps not. There are several reasons for this. 1) I think it is a very interesting subject to look into. 2) It ties back to the series about the Belmez Faces. 3) I think this subject, as so many other subjects in the study of the paranormal and parapsychological, always get a good round of thoughts and comments going about just what the fabric of our reality is like and what we can say about it. There are several hypotheses about the 'Big Picture' that the study of Electronic Voice Phenomena or EVP can connect with. EVPs are supposedly the 'voices' of discarnate spirits that are either intentionally or accidentally recorded on any type of recording device and the material that is actually used to store the data or voices, magnetic tape for example in a typical tape recorder.

Thomas Edison, America's most illustrious inventor, whose inventions include to name a few, the phonograph, moving pictures and the electric light, wrote the following in the 30 October 1920 issue of Scientific American: "If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical and scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect and other faculties and knowledge that we acquire on this Earth. Therefore, if personality exists after what we call death, it is reasonable to conclude that those who leave this Earth would like to communicate with those they left here... I am inclined to believe that our personality hereafter will be able to affect matter. If this reasoning be correct, then if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected or moved or manipulated...by our personality as it survives in the next life, such as an instrument, when made available, ought to record something." There has been some speculation that Edison himself experimented with such a device, although no evidence has come to the fore to confirm this. Edison's linking of the spirit world to that of new technologies may not have been the only one in the world of his day. There is some evidence that Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of modern radio and Nikola Tesla, also a very celebrated inventor of his day (who we would probably hear more about, but it does not suit the purposes of those really running the show here on Planet Earth)-who invented alternating current (AC) which remains the way electricity is transmitted across power lines and also drives the induction motor, another Tesla invention, that these men also showed an interest in using emergent technologies to contact the other-side independently of Thomas Edison.

Only after a matter of decades would what became known as electronic voice phenomenom come to light. In the 1930s, during the build-up to World War 2, Norwegian and Swedish pilots found unrecognizable and strange voices on their frequencies. The voices were believed at the time to come from stray Nazi transmissions. There was no evidence for this either way. The odd voices the pilots were picking up stopped appearing as suddenly as they had started in 1934. Once the voices stopped being picked up they were largely forgotten. It is also interesting to me that at least in its early days, the science of EVPs had so many Scandinavian connections, as we will see.

In his book, Exploring the Psychic World, John Butler described a very strange event. This event also took place in the 1930s and happened in front of approximately six hundred people. A medium was on stage with a microphone placed ten to fifteen feet away. This microphone was wired to loudspeakers throughout the meeting hall. Abruptly, voices began to speak through the microphone. People in the audience counted between forty and fifty different voices. There was no one near the microphone. Two technical representatives of the well known company that specialized in public address systems heard the voices and publicly stated that they could not have had a human source and seemed to be disembodied in origin. These two men signed a statement later, which was published in Psychic News, that they had become spiritualists as a result of this experience. I am really excited about this series. I do not know how many posts it will run to, if it goes over four posts I will break it up with poetry or something different. I will also have audio examples of EVPs in at least one of these posts. One of the questions that came to my mind as I started writing down information for this series is that if indeed there is an afterlife, I think it would be interesting if 'they' had a kind of technology in their world and needed our technology to catch up, so to speak, in order to be able to communicate with the earth plane of existence. Thanks again very much for all of the thoughtful and intelligent comments people have been doing here, I really appreciate it so much! Peace and be well to anyone stopping by!


Autumnforest said...

I'm really pleased to hear you talking about EVPs. It's an intriguing subject. My husband, the sound engineer, would tell you what he tells me--recorders are receivers and they can be receiving anything from out there, be it radio, satellite and cell phones... Still, I have hard some exceptionally clear ones in places where no other walkie talkies or devices could be nearby. Still,I'm highly skeptical about them actually answering questions. The answers are often times questionable like answering "yes," or "no" which being one syllable could be a sound from the environment nad not a worded answer. I have yet to hear a truly good and intelligent response. It is intriguing and I keep hoping to get something that once completely debunked is truly genuinely phenomenon on record.

Devin said...

Autumn -I am so glad you stopped by! This is a very interesting subject-in some cases what the voices say do seem to make some sort of sense-but in most cases it seems to be complete gibberish and non-sensical-great job at your blog-I find your theories very interesting!-best as always!

Anonymous said...

Isn't sound made up of radio waves? It is possible that echoes of voices may live on beyond the physical body and somehow get thrown back at us later? Just a thought.

Devin said...

Aggie -I love the thoughts and ideas that you come up with! I wonder-kind of what you have expressed here-about the validity and origin of EVPs will come up in the final post-I did find that EVPs have been captured on recorders in Faraday cages-so that is interesting-because if this is true it rules out radio interference in some cases-best as always and thanks for stopping by!