HISTORY

In 1965 the Latvian psychologist Konstantin Raudive (1906-1974), inspired by the work of many 'scientists' before him (including Thomas Edison), began experiments using a standard cassette recorder in which he attempted to record the voices of the dead.

In his 1971 book "Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead" he noted around 72,000 'paranormal' contacts that he had recorded over the years using the cassette recorder techniques that I have outlined below.

As you will see, this how-to incorporates more than just the correct set-up and use of the equipment. It also includes detailed instructions on how to listen to the results in order to hear the Raudive voices thus recorded. To some, this may seem akin to asking observers to stand on their heads in order to perceive the results of an anti-gravity experiment (See? Now I'm on the ceiling!), whereas to others it will simply be a necessary step on the road to proof. Such is the rich divergence of human perception and experience, and I for one would not wish it to be otherwise.

METHODOLOGY - RECORDING

Below I describe two of the main methods that are used to record Raudive voices. In both cases, recordings are typically only one to two minutes in length, for reasons which I will go on to explain in the next section.

Method one : a cassette recorder.

Make a short recording using a microphone in a quiet room; or with the microphone sealed in a soundproofed box; or with no microphone connected at all.

Method Two : a radio and a cassette recorder.

Tune a radio so that it's between medium-wave stations and only white noise is coming from the speaker. Commonly used frequencies are between 1450-1475 kHz, a range known as the Jürgenson frequency, which is named after the Swedish artist Friedrich Jürgenson who reported success with it in similar experiments. When you're satisfied that you are only receiving white noise, make a short recording with a microphone.

Embellishments.

Some sources recommend relaxing and emptying your mind before attempting a recording. Many seem to think it's helpful to introduce or announce yourself. Still others think it helps to invite comments or ask questions at the beginning of the recording.

METHODOLOGY - LISTENING

Most sources recommend the use of headphones for listening back to your recordings. So get your headphones on and play back your tape.

Firstly, don't expect to hear anything right away. Most sources recommend listening six or seven times in order to begin to pick out the 'message' from among the hiss of white noise. The reason given for keeping the recording time short is that it will be necessary to listen very very intently, hence it is better to have a small amount of material to work with.

You should be listening for a very short message: perhaps name or a single word, or even just a syllable. Messages are often spoken quickly.

RESULTS : WHAT TO EXPECT

There are many supposed examples of Raudive Voices on the internet and they are not at all difficult to find - use any search engine and the search terms "Raudive voices" or "Electronic Voice Phenomena", which is another term often used for these recordings.

There are undoubtedly many straightforward fakes out there. Equally, there are examples that I truly believe were obtained using the techniques that I have described above. Such 'genuine' examples demonstrate what I personally believe to be a central component in this phenomenon. Namely; if you believe hard enough, persevere long enough, and listen intently enough, you can hear voices in these sound clips, and they'll almost certainly send a shiver down your spine. But if you don't believe hard enough to start with, you're not going to invest the time and attention necessary to hear any 'messages'; instead, you're going to hear a very short blast of white noise which purports to be a recording of a ghost voice saying something along the lines of "Do you like potatoes?" (this is an actual example) and you're probably going to laugh. Hard and long.


    Sources:
  • Methods and history from the "Ghostly voices" page on Michael Daniels "Psychic Stunts" website at http://www.mdani.demon.co.uk/stunt/jun97s1.htm
  • The "Alphaland" website at http://www.alphaland.com/method.htm (methods) and http://www.alphaland.com/biogs.htm (history)
    Further information:
  • Michael Daniels "Psychic Stunts" website at http://www.mdani.demon.co.uk/stunt/jun97s1.htm includes two audio recordings, one of which is the "Do you like potatoes?" clip mentioned in the body of this writeup. There is also a 'further reading' list.
  • The Colin Smythe website has a large list of related publications in many languages at http://www.colinsmythe.co.uk/authors/covers/voices.htm

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