EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon. In basic terms, it is sounds that are detected on an audio recording device that were not heard by the human ear at the time. There are many possibilities and explanations ranging from frequencies the ear can hear through to auditory pareidolia, however, in many cases, these voices are often considered to be spirit voices.
There is much debate in the paranormal community about what a ghost or spirit just might be. While the majority of people believe that it is the soul or consciousness of a person who has passed away, there is evidence to suggest that living people could be behind a lot of the phenomena reported. I know this is certainly where a lot of my research is pointing me. Many people who have been investigating the paranormal will have had some instances where they have thought that it is a living person behind whatever paranormal activity they are experiencing. It is not that this particular person is faking something, it is that on some level through the ability of psi, they are somehow projecting things on a psychokinetic level which is what we refer to as psychic projection.
Essentially it means that some of what we could be hearing on an EVP could actually be projected from a living person and not a spirit.
Many of the observed characteristics of EVP could be explained as thoughts of the living. One, the fact that some
messages are clearly spoken in response to something the experimenter is about to say, seems to eliminate the
experimenter as a source. More convincing are the reports from the AA-EVP Big Circle recording group19 showing that, on occasion, a member will record the voice of a person, say “John,” who is later shown to be the discarnate son of a person who had not yet joined the Association, but that in subsequent conversations, John’s voice is recognized saying the sort of things John would have said while in the flesh.
Parapsychologists for decades have been testing people to see if there is some merit here to the thought that a person can in fact transmit their thoughts telepathically. J.B Rhine's trials with Zener cards and the Ganzfeld experiments from the 1970s immediately come to mind. It isn't about a person reading another person's mind, it is more a person sending a message to a person that they can receive, with the main point of difference being it is done with the mind itself. If a person can mentally send a message to another, could a person record their thoughts on a digital recorder? Does it mean when we hear what we believe is an EVP, that it may not be a spirit like many believe, it could in fact be a living person?
While many within the ITC and EVP community have been doing these kinds of experiments and work since the 1980s, I first became aware of psychic projection experiments with EVP when doing an event with Brian J Cano from Haunted Collector and later Paranormal Caught on Camera several years ago now. It was an experiment he created for his investigations quite some time ago. It is based on the concept of the Phillip Experiment where instead of trying to make contact with the spirit world, it more looks at the possibility that we ourselves can project our thoughts onto a recording. In the Phillip Experiment, parapsychologists made a fake story of a fake person and then did an investigation trying to contact this fake person. The theory was that by using collective thought, they could project their thoughts to manifest a spirit. Following on from this, the psychic projection experiment is seeing if by using collective thought, can we get a word to appear on the recorder just by a group of people willing it to happen. It was performed by having a group of people all concentrating on a word that was significant to them and seeing if by all focusing on this word over a period of time that they could get the word to appear on the recording as an EVP.
It is not an experiment I am told that works all the time. I have never had it work myself, but other investigators have claimed to have had success. In fact, over many years, Brian said on the night we tried it that it only worked a handful of times out of the hundreds of times he had done this experiment at his events. I suppose it makes it all the more interesting when something comes through.
If this does work as intended, does this mean that EVP could in fact be a form of a psychokinetic projection from a living person?
A second parapsychological explanation is that EVP result from a psychokinetic process by which the consciousness of living people influence electro-physical processes within electronic equipment. The fact that EVP are usually in a language understood by the investigator has led some to conclude that either the investigator or other people who are present play some role in their production (MacRae, 2004; Senkowski, 1995). (Of course, this observation is also consistent with the possibility that EVP are human contamination or pareidolia). There is also the suggestion that EVP have been produced by people who are asleep (Butler, 2001). During coordinated recording sessions, EVP seemingly coming from the sleeping person were recorded in two studies. There have also been anecdotal reports of EVP thought to be from the person doing the recording or someone known the living in another location, but these claims have not been substantiated by research.
Parapsychology: a Handbook for the 21st Century
Etzel Cardeña,, John Palmer, David Marcusson-Clavertz (2015)
So we know it is an experiment that people feel they have had success with while conscious, but what if one of the people involved in the experiment is asleep?
Between 1994 and July 1995, French ITC researcher Jacque Blanc-Garin wanted to take further the theory that living people can communicate with each other via EVP. He set out to test if a person was capable of communicating with another living person who was asleep.
Excerpts from recording of Monique Simonet during sleep, April 7, 1995.
Jacques: “It is useless for me to explain to you how to make Tci. I believe that you are more expert than me in this domain and you will know how to use all vibrations that I can send you.”
Answer: “I would like to make it on the Earth” (very audible whisper).
Jacques: “I hope that I do not disturb your sleep.”
Answer: “It was foreseen, I will remember” (whisper).
Jacques: “If you answer me, you are maybe in the environment where I record. If that is it you can then tell me what I currently hold in my left hand?”
Answer: “It is a crystal” (whisper).
Jacques said that, “I indeed, had a crystal in my hand. Monique saw me!”
Excerpt from recording of Monique Laage during sleep, Nov. 8 1994.
Jacques: “I call this double astral body that should be theoretically able to answer me. Are you there, Monique if it pleases you?”
Answer: “I am in airs, Poupoune” (audible whisper).
(Editors: “Poupoune” is pet name given to Monique by her father.)
Excerpt November 10, 1995 recording Monique Laage.
Jacques: “When you go to the astral, do you meet other people?
Answer: “I see them all again, but I will come back, I like you, Monique who likes you” (uninterrupted, whisper).
Excerpt December 10, 1994 recording Monique Laage.
Jacques: “It is extraordinary that, in a little time, you are going to wake up and you are going to return to your body.”
Answer: “One is well, it is happiness here” (whisper).
Jacques was not the first to do this. Sarah Estep noted in the 1983 AA-EVP News Journal that she had been working with sleep EVP experiments as well with a colleague. She continued this work as recently as 2001 with Lisa Butler.
Sarah Estep: Image Source https://atransc.org/sarah-estep-memorial/
If it is possible to communicate with a person who is asleep, it makes you wonder if you are able to communicate in the same way with a person who is in a coma for example. The thing is, however, from an ethical standpoint, is this an invasion of privacy? The above experiments were all conducted with consent from the person who would be sleeping and the questions were tailored to be appropriate for the person who was sleeping. Nothing overly personal or intrusive would be asked. When you think about it, you potentially have full access to a person's subconscious, something which they don't have conscious control over at that moment. It actually draws parallels to me of the movie inception where the characters entered a person's subconscious to extract information, or for a better word, steal this information.
A person who is in a coma is obviously unable to give consent. If a person has dementia, this would also fall under the same category. They also cannot give informed consent. Blanc-Garin wanted to design the trial as a way of validating information for people with a clinical mental diagnosis to 'prove' they were not insane as he put it. Again from a medical and ethical position, while the intention seems harmless, when you are potentially validating the thoughts of a person with a diagnosed mental illness, are you contributing to what could in fact be a delusion? In this case, I would say leave it to the medical professionals. If this is an area you are planning to research, please take a moment to consider the ethics of what you are doing and ensure all parties are informed and consent to the experiments.
It is really tricky to establish if psychokinesis plays a role when it comes to EVP. One of the arguments that even Sarah Estep has made is that while it may be possible, it does not account for all instances of EVP as people are able to record voices without anyone being in the room so therefore how could someone be projecting the voice onto tape.
One of the "proofs" individuals have used to disavow the psychokinetic theory is that the person making the tape can walk out of the recording room and still pick up voices on the tape recorder left behind. These same individuals also ask how we can blame psychokinesis for the voices if the experimenter isn't near the tape recorder. I have made a number of recordings when I was in a distant part of the house, out in the yard, even driving to the bus stop, and
the recorder was recording in my office. On playback there are frequently voices, sometimes Class A, and on a few occasions I've heard a conversation between two or more voices, which, because of their content, I am convinced came from another dimension.
Voices of Eternity by Sarah Wilson Estep (1988)
Parapsychologists have long argued for many years that it is virtually impossible to determine if the information is received or transmitted by a living person or by a spirit. It is a very unknown area, one perhaps in which we will never fully get the answers. What we do know is that these phenomena do exist in some way, shape, or form. It is what causes it that we spend our time trying to discover. It makes sense in a lot of ways that if a living person can communicate with another and even interfere and manipulate equipment, that they could do the same while they are asleep. Many believe that our consciousness is simply just contained in our physical body. When our physical body dies they believe we move onto some sort of higher plane of existence and that it is a person's consciousness that we are communicating with (a spirit). Regardless if a person is living or they have passed, either way, you are still communicating with a form of consciousness, it just means one just has a physical body and the other doesn't. If one is possible then essentially the other should be as well.
So what do you think? Do think living people can leave their thoughts as EVP? Do you think we can communicate with a person who is sleeping?
Voices of Eternity by Sarah Wilson Estep (1988)
Parapsychology: a Handbook for the 21st Century
by Etzel Cardeña,, John Palmer, David Marcusson-Clavertz (2015)
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