Carrier Waves

6th January 2024. Reading Time: 5 minutes EVP, General, Stuff paranormal investigators need to know, Paranormal Investigation. 1369 page views. 0 comments.

Many believe that spirits can talk to us through EVP recordings and spirit boxes. Let's look at carrier waves and why people work with them.

I have written previously about Freidrich Jürgenson who was one of the pioneers when it comes to EVP research.  You can learn more about him here:
In 1960, one of the voices he captured regularly told him that he should use a radio to act as a medium.  This would go on to become his preferred method of contact for the rest of his life. He would connect a microphone and a radio receiver to the tape recorder and set the frequency for the radio reception to be in between frequencies as there was a variation of noises. He claimed to have a lot of success in between the frequencies of 1445-1500 kHz with 1485.0 kHz now known as the Jürgenson Frequency.  

Image Source Sonoloco

The reason that  Jürgenson worked with this particular kind of sound wave is because a radio wave is made specifically to be manipulated so it can be transmitted by radio signal means.  In theory, that means it could also be manipulated by a spirit.  The theory was that a spirit supposedly can manipulate the electromagnetic field and by using this field they could then possibly manipulate this radio wave to 'talk' to us.  It is essentially using a wave that was made to be changed.  This is called a carrier wave.
A carrier wave is a high-frequency electromagnetic wave that can be modulated or (changed) to convey information by being transmitted by a signal.  The theory in using this is because it is the type of wave that can be modulated, then a spirit or some sort of energy could manipulate the frequency or the wave to deliver a message in the form of a spoken word.  

A radio converts electromagnetic waves into sound waves in a radio transmission.  Each radio station is assigned a particular radio frequency for its broadcast.  This specific frequency is called the carrier wave.  Carrier waves can transmit a signal in one of two waves.  Amplitude modulation (AM) broadcasts information by varying the amplitude of the carrier wave.  Frequency modulation (FM) is when the radio varies the frequency of the carrier wave.

Image Source: Nitty Gritty Science
Conducting a carrier wave recording is quite a simple process.  A person tapes the static noise from a radio station (or in the days when we had UHF television signals a static TV channel), by setting up a tape recorder and taking a recording of the static noise.   

Experimenting with carrier waves is controversial and this is something that pioneer Konstantin Raudive himself admitted to.  While many credit Friedrich Jürgenson with the ‘discovery’ of EVP, it was Konstantīns Raudive who brought it to the mainstream attention of the world with his groundbreaking book “‘Breakthrough an Amazing Experiment In Electronic Communication With The Dead” Konstantīns Raudive (1971).  In fact, much of what we know about EVP today such as the class system is from the research of Raudive!

Image Source: Breakthrough an Amazing Experiment In Electronic Communication With The Dead Konstantīns Raudive (1971)

We already know about things like Audio Pareidolia and what white noise can do to our brains etc which were the common arguments Raudive in particular faced.  When conducting this kind of work, there are ample conditions for these things to occur.  What does work in your favour however is that compared to Raudive’s days, audio software has come a very long way and if you know what you are doing, you could potentially avoid some of these scenarios by looking at the waveforms themselves within the sound file instead of just relying on your ears (which we know are not always reliable).

A lot of investigators I know like to take this further and have perhaps modernised it by instead of taping carrier waves from a static radio station, they instead record the static from a spirit box.  A spirit box or ghost box is what is called a ‘hack’ to a radio.  The radio in some ways is ‘broken’ so that it will scan through all of the radio stations at a certain rate.  People select either AM or FM and choose to sweep through the stations either forward or backward at a speed they can select.  What you generally hear is a short snippet or just one syllable from each radio station as it plays through.  You also get a lot of static white noise.  The sound of a spirit box is one of the most recognisable by the ghost-hunting community while also being one of the most controversial tools used by investigators.  Many investigators record their sessions by either recording directly from the device or placing a recorder next to the spirit box.  Upon playback, they will often remove the background noise and look for voices that they perhaps didn’t hear during the session.  This work is very similar to what Raudive did, it is just modernised to how paranormal investigators work today.

One of the biggest arguments that is presented when it comes to using carrier waves be it a static radio station or by using a spirit box is that it could just simply be a faint radio station or signal.  Sound engineers have argued through the years that it is almost impossible to find a wave band that is not in use by a radio station.  This is a very valid argument that should be considered as well.  

What I do find interesting however is that for many people who use these methods, they find the messages are not the sort of thing you would expect to hear on the radio.  They are deeply personal messages to them. 

Many people who have experimented with this method over the decades have claimed to have great success - even more so than microphone recording sessions where they just use a simple microphone or digital recorder.  It is thought that because you are using a type of wave that is designed to be manipulated it means it is the easiest way for a spirit to ‘speak’ compared to a microphone recording.  When you look at it from this perspective, are they indeed onto something?

If you enjoyed this article, this is the type of content talked about in my book the LLIFS Guide to EVP which is available Worldwide through Amazon or direct through me if you live in Australia..


Breakthrough an Amazing Experiment In Electronic Communication With The Dead Konstantīns Raudive (1971)

The LLIFS Guide to EVP by Sarah Chumacero (2020)

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