Summary. In a particular form of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), the spirits communicate by changing the properties of pre-recorded unintelligible speech which is played in the background and re-recorded. Experiments suggest that the spirit entities recover an excitation signal from successive segments of background speech in order to reconstruct an approximation of the original glottal pulses. The amplitude of the latter can evidently be controlled, and the train of pulses is used to energize an adjustable filter simulating a human vocal tract. The result is the production of new words that need not be at all like the analyzed background speech. The simulated vocal tract process may also generate whispered speech in the absence of voiced background speech.
Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, is a general term that refers to communication with spirits using some kind of electronic equipment. Recently, some striking results have been reported by a team of researchers in the U.K., and their work is described on a website called "The Amazing Portal". The website clearly explains the methodology employed and some of the results obtained. Questions posed by the experimenter are answered by voices as well as by unambiguous Morse code which is easily converted to text. The voice and Morse code communications are sent by spirit technicians who are also doing their own experiments.
Although electronic equipment is required to produce EVP, it is important to recognize that the physical experimenter is an essential component in the communication process. The person provides the energy required to connect to the spirit world, and so her state of being can affect the process. The successes of the Amazing Portal team became possible after two years or more of experimentation.
The team is introduced on the website. Alison Kirkbride, the second author, typically poses questions and records the answers. She is accompanied by three others; Domenic Capaldi who has had a long interest in EVP, and Eric Cole and Peter Willoughby who experiment with reception of the Morse code.
A number of the spirit technicians have been identified as people who have transitioned to the spirit world in the recent past. The names of some are listed on the website. For example, the scientist Thomas Townsend Brown is well-known in some circles for his discovery of the Biefield-Brown effect, which is now suspected to be the basis of a covertly developed aircraft propulsion system. He transitioned to the spirit realm in 1985. Another technician is George W. Meek who transitioned in 1999. Meek is known for his development of audio and visual technology for communicating with spirits. Also on the list are several other accomplished scientists and radio engineers.
The first author expressed his admiration of the obtained results to Alison Kirkbride, and after several exchanges he became involved in the experiments described below. Eventually, the experiments suggested how the observed effects might be produced. As we will see, a strength of the methodology is that the communication need not always be intelligible in order to study how the process works. This is helpful since listeners may not agree on what was said under less than optimal conditions.
In brief, the spirit technicians communicate by changing the properties of pre-recorded, background sounds while they are in the process of being played and re-recorded.
The Amazing Portal approach places special requirements on the nature of the pre-recorded sounds to be played as background. Currently, the most effective background is unintelligible speech obtained from recordings of a foreign language reversed in time. The recordings are carefully examined to ensure they do not accidentally contain intelligible English words.
The methodology requires two audio devices, one to play the background speech, and another to re-record it. Alison starts recording the ambient sounds in the room, poses her question to the technicians, and starts playing the background file through speakers for about half a minute. Then the player and recorder are stopped. Comparison of the re-recorded data with the original background data repeatedly shows that some of the background sounds are replaced with intelligible English words and phrases. These can often be taken as a reasonable response to the question posed at the beginning. However, one may also hear words that appear to belong to a different context, and these could be interpreted as spirit technicians talking to themselves or each other. Even when the response is unintelligible, it can still be taken as a communication from the spirit realm. This is the only available explanation for why it differs so obviously from the expected background sounds, and is often supported by the content of the received messages.
The following audio segments illustrate the dramatic change often made to the unintelligible background speech. The question posed to the technicians was "Can we expect any major changes in the new year?" The re-recorded speech sample contained an utterance that sounds like "let her go, praise god for ethic too" that was not present in the background speech. Only the speech before the beginning and after the end of this utterance appears in the same locations in both samples. The intelligible re-recorded speech is nothing like the background speech it replaced.
|Re-recorded speech sample:
|Background speech sample:
The Amazing Portal team, in collaboration with the spirit technicians, had already determined the nature of the background audio that would allow communication to occur. The requirement of speech-like audio in the background offers a way to investigate the mechanics of the communication process. In the following subsections, we vary the properties of the background audio in order to examine how the technicians change it in their attempts to form intelligible speech.
Years ago, the project began without using any background sounds at all. This condition was replicated recently in order to reproduce those experiments. The resulting recorded file, which should have had no audio content, contained a sequence of irregularly spaced clicks. These sounds, when played back at a quarter of the original speed, appeared to have the quality of whispered speech. The sequence of sounds had the pattern of stress and intonation of normal English speech.
The following audio sample first plays the sounds at the recorded speed, then slowed down to one-quarter of that speed.
The impetus to use reversed foreign speech as background developed from the rudimentary 'clicks' communicated by the spirit technicians who attempted to offer advice. In Alison's words, "It took a couple of years to finally understand the advice. I asked questions, for example, 'how can we assist you to come through stronger/clearer?' and in the responses heard 'speech' or 'foreign' and 'voice', etc. Over a period of time we took the words we could understand and tried to piece them together. We eventually realized that they were trying to point us in the direction of using a background file". When reversed foreign speech was played in the background, responses containing voiced speech rather than whispers were obtained immediately. Initially, the responses consisted of only one or two words, but they grew to longer sentences over the last three years.
|Sample of reversed foreign speech:
Many of the responses are amazingly intelligible, while others arouse differences of opinion. This is the current state of the art, and the focus of the research is to understand how the English speech is produced in order to improve the quality even more.
The Amazing Portal methodology is conceptually similar to that developed by George Meek and Bill O'Neil in the form of the Spiricom device. This device produced a droning sound generated by a set of 13 tone generators. O'Neil often spoke while this sound was being generated, and one day another voice from an invisible person began to speak with a very monotone but understandable voice. The spirit behind the voice was identified as Dr. George Jeffries Mueller. Apparently, he used the energy in the generated sound to produce speech. O'Neil and Mueller spoke for more than 20 hours between 1979 and 1982, with Mueller helping to optimize the device. There are a number of conversations to be heard on the World ITC website.
|A sample of O'Neil and Mueller conversing:
The frequencies employed by the Spiricom device were 131, 141, 151, 241, 272, 282, 292, 302, 415, 433, 515, 653, and 701 Hz. For our experiment, a complex sound was synthesized using tones at these frequencies, each at the same amplitude. The resulting digital audio file was created using a sampling rate of 44100 Hz. The created sound had a droning quality that differed noticeably from the Spiricom recordings. Nevertheless, Alison used it as the background sound in her communication with the spirit technicians. If they were using acoustic energy in the room to construct voiced speech, could they use the combined Spiricom tones to do this?
|Sample of our Spiricom sound:
Three experiments were performed and none produced speech. Nevertheless, the re-recorded Spiricom droning sound differed from the original in each case, and there may have been at least one attempt at speaking a word. The most obvious changes were variations in amplitude. In several places, the amplitude was either raised or lowered to a very low level. An example is shown in Figure 1. Figure 1a is an audio sample showing the constant amplitude of our version of the Spiricom sound. Figure 1b is a re-recording of the same audio which shows how the audio amplitude was modified during the communication attempt.
|Figure 1a. Constant amplitude in the background audio file.|
|Figure 1b. Variations in amplitude presumably caused by a spirit technician.|