Tuesday, 21 June 2016



E.V.P. is an abbreviation for 'Electronic Voice Phenomenon'.  
It is also a part of I.T.C. - 'Instrumental Transcommunication' - which basically covers every form of attempted communication between the living and the physically dead that can be recorded upon a machine.
E.V.P. is the part that focuses purely upon audio recordings, claiming to have captured the voices of people who have passed away.

So, how far back can E.V.P.s be traced?  
It's probably common for people to associate E.V.P.s with more recent technology, especially as most of them currently appear to originate from modern voice recorders, as seen often on paranormal television programmes.
However, there is evidence to suggest that the first disembodied voices were picked up much earlier, as far back as the 1890's, when pioneering, curious minds were engaged in the exploration of early radio.
If we examine the notes made by two prominent and gifted scientists - namely Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla - there is mention of unusual, disembodied voices by both parties.
Although an originally strong sceptic of all things spiritual and other-worldly, Tesla persisted with experiments to discover the source of such voices. 
In 1918, Tesla wrote:
'The sounds I am listening to every night at first appear to be human voices, conversing back and forth...I find it difficult to imagine that I am actually hearing real voices from people not of this planet...there must be a more simple explanation that has so far eluded me'.

Nikola Tesla (1856 - 1943)
As fierce rivals, Edison discovered that Tesla had been 'hearing voices' and publicly denounced him.  In truth, Edison and his assistant, Dr. Millar Hutchinson, had also heard similar disembodied voices during their own experiments. 
Dr 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.'

Around the same period during World War I, disembodied voices were heard on early radios and also recorded as faint whispers on magnetic tape. While these were noted, not too much emphasis was placed upon them.  After all, it's a tough scenario - you're dealing with the latest technological advances in communication so it's easy to imagine the head-shaking as unusual sounds and voices emerge from the recent invention of a radio.
Even Tesla himself was never able to fully understand the source of the voices. His estimated guess was they probably originated from an extraterrestrial source; a not too unreasonable assumption at that time, with no real comparisons at his disposal.

During the 1920's, Thomas Edison also experimented with E.V.P. - guided by a predominant belief that it was theoretically possible to build a machine that could act as a communication device between the physically living and people who had passed on.  
He named his planned device 'Spiricom' and although his blueprints for the machine exist, Edison never lived to see his instrument built.

In the 1930's, an unusual event occurred during a spiritualist demonstration at Wigmore Hall, in London, England in front of a few hundred witnesses.  A stage microphone began to suddenly 'pick up' disembodied voices, which began talking through the speakers.  Despite a strict technical examination by the makers of the equipment, no logical reason could be established as to how 40-50 individual voices had been talking, when no-one was standing near to the microphone.

Another early pioneer of E.V.P. was an American photographer, Attila von Szalay.  Originally, von Szalay had experimented with the possibility of recording 'spirit voices' in 1941, but with minimal success.  In 1956, after discarding the process of using 78 rpm records and replacing them with reel to reel tape recorders, von Szalay began working with the psychologist, Raymond Bayless in Los Angeles.  During these experiments, the pair recorded several odd whispers, noises and odd mechanical voices. 
In 1952, two eminent Roman Catholic dignitaries - Father Pellegrino Maria Ernetti and a former physician, Father Agostino Gemelli - were attempting to record a live, musical performance of a beloved Gregorian Chant.  When Father Gemelli's recording equipment chose to start misbehaving, he became frustrated at the bad timing.  Becoming increasingly frustrated at the machine's resistance to work, Gemelli verbally asked for spiritual assistance from his deceased father.  Later, when the priests listened to the results of the partially-successful recording, Father Gemelli was astonished to hear his father's voice amongst the music.  Gemelli was referred to by a childhood nickname and apparently told: 

'Zucchini, it is I...it is clear...do you not know it is I?  I am always with you and help you.'
Concerned at what exactly they had captured on the tape recorder, the priests took the bold step of approaching their highest source and went to ask the Pope - at that time, Pope Pius XII (1876-1958).  Thankfully, instead of merely branding the voices as 'demonic' or hateful, Pius XII listened to the recording and declared:
'Dear Father Gemelli, you really need not worry about this.  The existence of this voice is strictly a scientific fact and nothing 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 of scientific studies which will strengthen people's faith in a hereafter.'
Friedrich Jurgenson (1903-1987)

A man considered by many to be the 'Grandfather of E.V.P.' became immersed in its study during 1959.
Friedrich Jurgenson (1903-1987), an artist and film maker, was preparing a wildlife documentary. While walking through woods and using a tape recorder to capture birdsong, he was astonished on hearing the playback to discover an odd noise, followed by a loud burst of trumpet, as if to grab his attention.  This was immediately followerd by a male voice, speaking in Norwegian about different birds...becoming even more surprised when the voice of his mother appeared on the tape.
As with Father Gemelli, the voice used a childhood name known only to Jurgenson and his mother, who had died four years earlier:
'Friedel, my little Friedel...can you hear me?  It's Mammy.'  

Both encouraged and mystified by these voices, Jurgenson ceased his painting work and decided to focus his energies on research and experimentation.  In 1964, in a book titled, 'The Voices From Space', Jurgenson commented how his life had been changed by the discovery of the E.V.P. voices.
'I heart-searchingly asked myself if it was the right thing for me to abandon the art of painting, a creative occupation that I had submitted my whole life to...instead I was sat here with an enormous jigsaw puzzle, brooding in despair over the problem of whether one could assemble a more complete picture from all these 'fragments'.  I had never before been so touched and captured by any other urgencies, than by these 'mystical connections', literally floating in the ether'.

Jurgenson's style of recording was initially simple, utilising a tape recorder and microphone.  While he sometimes had to experiment with the speed of the playback, Jurgenson collected thousands of voices.  All of the disembodied voices were in languages that Jurgenson could speak, including English, German, Russian, Swedish and Italian.  However, in 1960, he was encouraged by a recorded voice to experiment with radio.  Via this method, Jurgenson discovered that the voices became more 'natural' and rapid, meaning that there could also be potential two-way dialogue between himself and voices coming out of the radio.   
In later life, Jurgenson continued to experiment with E.V.P., giving it his own title of 'Audioscopic Research'.  He also expanded his experiments out into wider forms of I.T.C., such as using television to receive messages, voices and images.  (More on I.T.C. in a forthcoming article)

Jurgenson's work was examined by others, including prominent parapsychologists such as Hans Bender and his team of scientists.   
Jurgenson died in 1987, leaving hundreds of audio tapes, full of E.V.P. recordings.  While certainly an important 'cog in the wheel', Jurgenson's research served not only to satisfy his natural curiosity, but also created an inspirational path for others to follow.

More of that in Part II.  

Friedrich Jurgenson with some of his recording equipment, used to capture Electronic Voice Phenomena.

1 comment:

  1. Why no breakthroughs after so much experimentation...?