In 1901, US ethnologist Waldemar Bogoras traveled to Siberia to visit a shaman of the Tchouktchi tribe. In a darkened room, he observed a spirit conjuring ritual. The shaman beat a drum more and more rapidly, putting himself in a trance state. Startled, Bogoras heard strange voices filling the room. The voices seemed to come from all corners and spoke English and Russian. After the session Bogoras wrote:
I set up my equipment so I could record without light. The shaman sat in the furthest corner of the room, approximately 20 feet away from me. When the light was extinguished the spirits appeared after some "hesitation" and, following the wishes of the shaman. spoke into the horn of the phonograph. The recording showed a clear difference between the speech of the shaman, audible in the background, and the spirit voices which seemed to have been located directly at the mouth of the horn. All along, the shaman's ceaseless drum bats can be heard as if to prove that he remained in the same spot.
This was the first known experiment in which voices of "conjured spirits" were recorded on an electrical recording device . Back to table
In the 1920's, Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the electric light, the motion picture camera, and phonograph, was busily at work in his laboratory building a machine to achieve spirit communication with the dead. His assistant, Dr Miller Hutchinson, wrote :
Edison and I are convinced that in the fields of psychic research will yet be discovered facts that will prove of greater significance to the thinking of the human race than all the inventions we have ever made in the field of electricity.
Edison died before he could complete his invention. Yet, as he lay dying, he remarked
to his physician, "It is very beautiful over there." Edison was a scientist,
very factual, and as a scientist would never have reported "It is very beautiful
over there." unless he believed it to be true.
In 1967, Edison spoke through West German clairvoyant Sigrun Seuterman, in trance, about his earlier efforts in 1928 to develop equipment for recording voices from the beyond. Edison also made suggestions as to how to modify TV sets and tune them to 740 megahertz to get paranormal effects. (Session recorded on tape by Paul Affolter, Liestal, Switzerland). Back to table
In 1936, Attilz von Szalay started to experiment with a Pack-Bell record-cutter and player, trying to capture paranormal voices on phonograph records. Von Szalay bought a Sears-Roebuck wire recorder and got better quality voices but had technical problems with the wire in 1947. After Raymond Bayless joined von Szalay in experiments, they wrote an article for the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1959; neither the Society nor the authors received a single response from readers. Back to table
In the early 1950's in Italy, two Catholic priests, Father Ernetti and Father Gemelli, were collaborating on music research. Ernetti was an internationally respected scientist, a physicist and philosopher, and also a music lover. Gemelli was President of the Papal Academy. On September 15, 1952, while Gemelli and Ernetti were recording a Gregorian chant a wire on their magnetophone kept breaking. Exasperated, Father Gemelli looked up and asked his father for help. To the two men's amazement, his father's voice, recorded on the magnetophone, answered :
Of course I shall help you. I'm always with you.
They repeated the experiment and this time a very clear voice filled with humor said:
But Zucchini, it is clear. don't you know it is I?
Father Gemelli stared at the tape. No one knew the nickname his father had teased
him with when he was a boy. He realized then that he was truly speaking with his
father. Though his joy at his father's apparent survival was mixed with fear. Did
he have any right to speak with the dead?
Eventually the two men visited Pope Pius XII in Rome. Father Gemelli. deeply troubled, told the Pope of the experience. To his surprise the Pope patted his shoulder:
Dear Father Gemelli, you really need not worry about this. The existence of this voice is strictly a scientific fact and has nothing whatsoever to do with spiritism. The recorder is totally objective. It receives and records only sound waves from wherever they come. This experiment may perhaps become the cornerstone for a building for scientific studies which will strengthen people's faith in a hereafter.
The good father was somewhat reassured. But be made certain that the experiment did not go public until the last years of his life. It wasn't until 1990 that the results were published.Back to table
In 1959, the man who was to become a great pioneer in the recording of voice phenomena, Swedish film producer Friedrich Juergenson, captured voices on audiotape while taping bird songs. He was startled when he played the tape back and heard a male voice say something about "bird voices in the night." Listening more intently to his tapes, he heard his mother's voice say in German:
Friedrich, you are being watched. Friedel, my little Friedel, can you hear me?
Juergenson said that when he heard his mother's voice, he was convinced he had made "an important discovery." During the next four years, Juergenson continued to tape hundreds of paranormal voices. He played the tapes at an international press conference and in 1964 published a book in Swedish; Voices from the Universe and then another entitled Radio Contact with the Dead. Back to table
In 1967. Juergenson's Radio Contact with the Dead was translated
into German, and Latvian psychologist Dr. Konstantin Raudive read it skeptically.
He visited Juergenson to learn his methodology, decided to experiment on his own,
and soon began developing his own experimental techniques. Like Juergenson, Raudive
too heard the voice of his own deceased mother, who called him by his boyhood name:
"Kostulit, this is your mother." Eventually he catalogued tens of thousands
of voices, many under strict laboratory conditions. He published his book Unhoerbares
Wird Hoerbar (The Inaudible Becomes Audible), based on 72,000 voices he recorded.
In 1971, the chief engineers of Pye Records Ltd. decided to do a controlled experiment with Raudive. They invited him to their sound lab and installed special equipment to block out any radio and television signals. They would not allow Raudive to touch any of the equipment. Raudive used one tape recorder which was monitored by a control tape recorder. All he could do was speak into a microphone. They taped Raudive's voice for eighteen minutes and none of the experimenters heard any other sounds. But when the scientists played back the tape, to their amazement, they heard over two hundred voices on it.
In the same year, Colin Smythe, Ltd. England, published expanded English translations of Raudive's book: Breakthrough, an Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead. Back to table
In 1968, Father Leo Schmid, Oeschgen, Switzerland, was assigned a small parish to give him time to experiment with taping voices. His book, Wen Die Toten Reden (When the Dead Speak) was published in 1976, shortly after his death.
In 1972, Peter Bander, England, wrote Carry on Talking, published in US as Voices From the Tapes: Recordings from the Other World, 1973.
Experimenting in the electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) became very popular in Europe in the 60's and 70's. Back to table
Then the 1970's brought a significant breakthrough. Ironically, it occurred
in the US where EVP had been virtually ignored. In 1973, spiritual researchers George
and Jeannette Meek met a psychically gifted man William J. O'Neil, who could see
and hear spirits. The Meeks provided funding and direction for a ground-breaking
project of advanced spirit communication and O'Neil provided the necessary psychic
skills and electronics know-how.
O'Neil recruited several of his spirit friends into the project. One of his invisible colleagues was the spirit of Dr George Jeffries Mueller, a deceased university professor and NASA scientist who simply appeared in O'Neil's living room one day as a semi-materialized spirit and announced that he was there to assist in the project of Meek and O'Neil. It became a rather astonishing collaboration between dimensions: Doc Mueller in spirit helping O'Neil on Earth design a new piece of electromagnetic equipment that would convert spirit voices into audible voices. Appropriately christened Spiricom, the new device was a set of tone generators and frequency generators that emitted 13 tones spanning the range of the adult male voice.
By the fall of 1980 Spiricom had advanced to the point where Doc Mueller's spirit voice, although quite buzzy, was loud and easily understandable. In 1982, Meek made a trip around the world to distribute tape recordings of 16 excerpts of communications between William J. O'Neil and their spirit colleague Doc Mueller. He also distributed a 100-page technical report giving wiring diagrams, photos, technical data and guidelines for research by others. Upon return, he held a press conference in Washington, D.C., and distributed free tape cassettes and technical manuals to the representatives of the press, radio and TV. These are reported in some detail in the book After We Die What Then? by George Meek. Back to table
The pioneering efforts of George Meek and Bill O'Neil planted seeds and fueled minds all around the world. Sarah Estep started the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (AAEVP) in 1982 and quickly assembled a list of hundreds of EVP experimenters to receive her newsletter. In Europe, thousands of people were already following up on the EVP experiments of people like Friedrich Juergenson and Konstantin Reudive, and they became very excited and inspired by the news from the States.
During 1982-88, Hans Otto Koenig, West Germany, develops sophisticated electronic equipment, using extremely low beat frequency oscillators, ultra-violet and infra-red lights, etc.
During 1984-85, Kenneth Webster, England, receives (via several different computers) 250 communications from a person who lived in the 16th century. Most print-outs are in English text consistent with speech at that point in history, and personal details fully supported by library research. Communications often concurrent with poltergeist-type phenomena. Webster writes book, The Vertical Plane, with extensive photo documentation, 1989.
Klaus Schreiber, West Germany, with technical assistance from Martin Wenzel, begins
to get images of dead persons on TV picture tubes, using opto- electronic feedback
systems. There is positive identification in many cases by accompanying audio communications,
including audio-video contact with Schreiber's two deceased wives. This work is the
subject of a documentary TV film and a book by Rainer Hobbe of Radio Luxembourg.
During 1985-88, Jules and Maggie Harsh-Fischbach of Luxembourg, Directors of CETL, the ITC receiving station in Luxembourg whose work won the 1992 Swiss Award for Paranormal Discoveries, develop and operate two electronic systems superior to any of the EVP equipment up to this time. This communication becomes significantly more dependable and repeatable than the systems developed earlier television. Soon they got TV picture sequences of good quality and established sustained computer contact. Back to table
Friedrich Juergenson, Dr Konstantin Raudive, and other great pioneers of EVP such as Klaus Schreiber and more recently Bill O'Neil, have died and are now coming across on television and other electronic media. On June 12, 1992, Friedrich Juergenson told the eagerly watching ITC experimenter on earth:
Every being is a unity of spirit and body that cannot be separated on earth or in spirit. The only difference is the fact that the physical body disintegrates and in its place comes the astral body.
Our message is to tell you that your life goes on. Any speculations on how an individual will experience it are bound to be limited in validity. All your scientific, medical or biological speculations miss the mark of these realities. What serves as "real" to science is not close to reality in the broad picture. It is no more than a word in a book.
In the autumn of 1995, INIT(International Network for Instrumental Transcommunication) was organized. Mark Macy, one of leading-edge thinkers in INIT, founded Continuing Life Research (P.O. Box 11036, Boulder CO 80301 USA). He and his colleague Hans Heckman are publishing a newsletter, "Contact!". Back to table
In the autumn of 1998, GAIT decided to cooperate with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in California, USA, in a project to examine the claims scientifically among dimensions of reality. The joint announcement was made by Dr.Marilyn Schlitz, Director of Research, at IONS and M. Dale Palmer, International Coordinator of GAIT. IONS is the organization founded by Astronaut Ed Mitchell to bridge the gap between science and religion. Back to table
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