The Spirit Electronic Communication Society was a group formed in Manchester, England in 1949. The group published a pamphlet with the goal of "Electronic Communicaton for the Spritual Emancipation of the People." The inspiration to start the group was the work of Dutchman Mr N. Zwann who had demonstrated, at the International Spiritualism Federation's 1948 Congress, an "electrical device which produced a field of energy capable of stimulating the psychic senses into activity." This device went through several name changes and remarkable results were claimed when using these devices. This supposedly included a way to have direct communication with the dead. By 1952, however, the excitement generated by the devices had died down(no pun intended). In the same year however, two respected Roman Catholics, a Benedictine monk Father Pellegrino Marina Ernetti and physician, Father Agostino Genelli, accidentally picked up voices of unknown origin while working on a recording of a Gregorian chant with a wire recorder in the physics lab at Milan University.
The work the two men were doing was not going well. In frustration, Genelli asked his dead father to help him. When the pair listened to what was on their primitive recorder they were astonished to hear Genelli's dead father's voice saying, "I am always with you and help you." Pope Pius XII even got in on the act after word reached him about the event. The pope decided that the Father's should not worry, because the voice they had recorded was a scientific fact and had no spiritual value.
In 1959, seven years after the event took place with Father Genelli and Father Ernetti, is when the real brealthrough came. A Latvian born artist and documentary film producer, Friedrich Jurgenson, was recording birdsong in the woods near his home in Molnbo, Sweden, for a film he was making. When Jurgenson played the recording later he heard a man's voice speaking Norwegian and discussing the nocturnal habits of birds. Jurgenson thought that maybe he had picked up a normal radio transmission even though the synchronicity of the subject matter was surprising. However, weeks later, Jurgenson was rattled and astonished when another recording had a female voice on it. The voice asked: "Friedel, my little Friedel, can you hear me?" Jurgenson instantly recognized his mother's voice calling him by his pet name. His mother had died four years previously. Jurgenson now believed he had found a connection to the hereafter. He continued recording, eventually registering hundreds of voices. Many of them spoke in different languages and many responded to him personally. He also identified some of the voices as belonging to deceased friends and relatives. In 1964, Friedrich Jurgenson published his findings in a book called Voices of the Universe. This book also attracted other researchers and scientists, including Dr. Hans Bender. Dr. Bender was the head of the parapsychological research unit of the University of Freiburg in Germany. Bender started his own team of scientists working on recording the phenomena. Their results, obtained by using blank tapes and regular tape recorders in a quiet enviorment, captured voices also, so this appeared to confirm Jurgenson's results.
The image is of the previously mentioned Friedrich Jurgenson. I hope to have the next post in the series here tomorrow. Thanks again for all of your thoughtful and intelligent comments. All the best to anyone stopping by!