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Old 24th August 2009, 04:01 PM   #1
Eyeron
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EVPs?

How do you explain electronic voice phenomena? This seems to me to be one area that is exceptionally hard to explain as a natural phenomena. For example, if it is the recording of a radio broadcast, how could it be picked up by a normal tape recorder without anybody else hearing it? The tape would also have to be extremely sensitive to pick up a radio broadcast that nobody else in the room can hear.

However, I'm not certain that it is truly supernatural either. Which is why I am asking how could it be a natural phenomenon, or if it is a hoax, how could it be a hoax?
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Old 24th August 2009, 04:11 PM   #2
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There are many forms of this EVP stuff. But, one thing to read about is paradolia.

You might notice in all these EVPs, a person says what it is they hear, and after that, other people confirm it. But what you don't see is people listening to the sound independently, with no preconceptions of what they are suppose to hear, with not knowing what questions has just been asked, and with no labeling or other clues of what the sound is supposed to say.

In every test I've seen, when people do listen to the sounds by themselves, with no hints, clues, or labels - just the sound - and write down what they hear, then come together and compare notes, they all have heard something different.

Paradolia.

Last edited by Denver; 24th August 2009 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 24th August 2009, 04:27 PM   #3
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I have heard that one before actually, and there are many times when I can't hear something clearly but it does sound like someone is saying something. I just couldn't make it out.
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Old 24th August 2009, 04:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Denver View Post
There are many forms of this EVP stuff. But, one thing to read about is paradolia.

You might notice in all these EVPs, a person says what it is they hear, and after that, other people confirm it. But what you don't see is people listening to the sound independently, with no preconceptions of what they are suppose to hear, with not knowing what questions has just been asked, and with no labeling or other clues of what the sound is supposed to say.

In every test I've seen, when people do listen to the sounds by themselves, with no hints, clues, or labels - just the sound - and write down what they hear, then come together and compare notes, they all have heard something different.

Paradolia.
What he said, it's right.

If you ignore what others are claiming it says and REALLY listen, you'll find that the "voices" are actually just random noise.

One thing that's interesting to note is that ghost investigations held in non-English-speaking countries by Americans somehow magically produce EVPs that are in English. Isn't that convenient?!? In the afterlife, one becomes multi-lingual
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Old 24th August 2009, 04:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
How do you explain electronic voice phenomena? This seems to me to be one area that is exceptionally hard to explain as a natural phenomena. For example, if it is the recording of a radio broadcast, how could it be picked up by a normal tape recorder without anybody else hearing it? The tape would also have to be extremely sensitive to pick up a radio broadcast that nobody else in the room can hear.

However, I'm not certain that it is truly supernatural either. Which is why I am asking how could it be a natural phenomenon, or if it is a hoax, how could it be a hoax?
Actually, this is quite easy to explain. You will notice that most people who make these recordings use run-of-the-mill voice recorders. These devices are unshielded and some are actually very good at picking up radio interference. This radio interference can sometimes be actual human voices but more often then not it is random noise.

The human brain seems to hate chaos. It tries to find patterns in the chaos. Auditory pareidolia is the phenomena of hearing something where there is nothing but chaos.

As for hoaxes? Some EVPs could be. But more often than not I think that the person recording the EVP believes they have recorded a voice when all they have is static. An EVP hoax, as far as I understand, is easy to achieve if you have some knowledge of electronics and radio. Find out what frequency is prone to interfering with your recording device, and then find a way to broadcast on that frequency. Or just make your device pick-up a convenient frequency.
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Old 24th August 2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Apology View Post
One thing that's interesting to note is that ghost investigations held in non-English-speaking countries by Americans somehow magically produce EVPs that are in English. Isn't that convenient?!? In the afterlife, one becomes multi-lingual
For what little it's worth, ghost hunters international has claimed to have gotten EVPs in local languages and, I think one time, in an older dialect. Not that I trust them, or anything.
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Old 24th August 2009, 05:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
How do you explain electronic voice phenomena? This seems to me to be one area that is exceptionally hard to explain as a natural phenomena. For example, if it is the recording of a radio broadcast, how could it be picked up by a normal tape recorder without anybody else hearing it? The tape would also have to be extremely sensitive to pick up a radio broadcast that nobody else in the room can hear.

However, I'm not certain that it is truly supernatural either. Which is why I am asking how could it be a natural phenomenon, or if it is a hoax, how could it be a hoax?
It's me.

I did it.
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Old 24th August 2009, 06:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
How do you explain electronic voice phenomena? This seems to me to be one area that is exceptionally hard to explain as a natural phenomena. For example, if it is the recording of a radio broadcast, how could it be picked up by a normal tape recorder without anybody else hearing it? The tape would also have to be extremely sensitive to pick up a radio broadcast that nobody else in the room can hear.

However, I'm not certain that it is truly supernatural either. Which is why I am asking how could it be a natural phenomenon, or if it is a hoax, how could it be a hoax?
Other than pareidolia that has been well identified by other posters and radio "noise", it is very easy to demodulated AM broadcasts using just a diode (some of us may be old enough to remember "crystal" radios ). Diodes are common components in electronic devices and often the EVP can be traced to a local AM transmitter.
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Old 24th August 2009, 06:40 PM   #9
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But has that been observed? Should they require during ghost investigations to have a specialist who can make the trace to a radio station to show that it's a signal recording?

Edit:

Also, many times the EVP is just one word. If it truly is a radio signal, why should it be just one word?

Last edited by Eyeron; 24th August 2009 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 24th August 2009, 07:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
But has that been observed?
I have not done an exhaustive listen to EVP recordings but a couple I have heard do appear to be mundane terrestrial radio.

Quote:
Should they require during ghost investigations to have a specialist who can make the trace to a radio station to show that it's a signal recording?
Well. If they had anyone on these shows with half a brain -- no make that a quarter of a brain -- that would be then end of them wouldn't it?

Quote:
Edit:
Quote:
Also, many times the EVP is just one word. If it truly is a radio signal, why should it be just one word?
If you have ever listened to shortwave radio you would understand this.
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Old 24th August 2009, 07:39 PM   #11
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I haven't listened to radio in years. So i don't really understand shortwave radio. I've never even tried ham radio either.
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Old 24th August 2009, 11:52 PM   #12
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For more discussions about evps click on the tag evp I just gave this thread.

Last edited by rjh01; 24th August 2009 at 11:53 PM. Reason: Fix the URL up
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Old 25th August 2009, 12:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
I haven't listened to radio in years. So i don't really understand shortwave radio. I've never even tried ham radio either.
Then let me spend a little time to explain.

The radio band is incredibly noisy. If you take a shortwave radio and wave your hands near the antenna, you will affect the sound. Take any portable transistor radio and detune it - walk around with it for a bit and listen to how the sound changes.

The human mind is a pattern-recognition device. Have you ever had the experience of being in a crowded room with everybody talking at once, then someone across the room says your name and you can hear it clearly? Your mind picks out the pattern from the semirandom background.

This is exactly what is going on with EVP.

The semirandom sounds being constantly generated in the radio spectrum can be picked up by most radio receivers. The human mind picks out what it thinks are voices and applies an interpretation. There are no actual voices, just sounds that are reminiscent of voices.
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Old 25th August 2009, 02:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Then let me spend a little time to explain.

The radio band is incredibly noisy. If you take a shortwave radio and wave your hands near the antenna, you will affect the sound. Take any portable transistor radio and detune it - walk around with it for a bit and listen to how the sound changes.

The human mind is a pattern-recognition device. Have you ever had the experience of being in a crowded room with everybody talking at once, then someone across the room says your name and you can hear it clearly? Your mind picks out the pattern from the semirandom background.

This is exactly what is going on with EVP.

The semirandom sounds being constantly generated in the radio spectrum can be picked up by most radio receivers. The human mind picks out what it thinks are voices and applies an interpretation. There are no actual voices, just sounds that are reminiscent of voices.
Hey. Arth. Close enough. What I was actually hoping Eyeron would do was to try listening to shortwave and hear a faint station fade in and out at the level of audible perception such that only a word or two can be heard. Not paradolia per se.
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Old 25th August 2009, 02:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There are no actual voices, just sounds that are reminiscent of voices.
That's crazy talk. How do you explain this? (keep listening for numerous examples)

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


I want my mama


Seriously, though, they don't sound like voices. They sound words being formed in whatever background noise there is. In the examples I've heard none sounded at all like a human talking.

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Old 25th August 2009, 06:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
That's crazy talk. How do you explain this? (keep listening for numerous examples)

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


I want my mama


Seriously, though, they don't sound like voices. They sound words being formed in whatever background noise there is. In the examples I've heard none sounded at all like a human talking.
CUE SCARY MUSIC

Who says They are Human???

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Old 26th August 2009, 02:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Other than pareidolia that has been well identified by other posters and radio "noise", it is very easy to demodulated AM broadcasts using just a diode (some of us may be old enough to remember "crystal" radios ). Diodes are common components in electronic devices and often the EVP can be traced to a local AM transmitter.
I built one in older electronic kit.(Elekronika - made in czechoslovakia)
But signals too weak.

Anyway there is another possibility besides unshielded demodulating taperecorder. badly designed with leakage between two parts.(Since radio-taperecorders usually can record radio,it is not that impossible) Even with shielding...
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Old 26th August 2009, 07:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
I built one in older electronic kit.(Elekronika - made in czechoslovakia)
But signals too weak.
If you still have it around, try a longer, much longer, antenna. The one I had as a kid had a piece of wire about 10 metres long.

Quote:
Anyway there is another possibility besides unshielded demodulating taperecorder. badly designed with leakage between two parts.(Since radio-taperecorders usually can record radio,it is not that impossible) Even with shielding...
You won't find shielding in any consumer electronic product for under $1000.
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Old 26th August 2009, 08:41 PM   #19
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Not at all hard to explain. False positives in your pattern matching wetware. Pareidolia, as has been suggested.

The sad thing is that this is fueled by people who stops just short of the mundane explanation. Somehow they figure that dead people talking is a better explanation than random noise triggering wishful thinking.

This FAQ from the "American Association of EVP" even acknowledges that you need noise to get EVPs. They know it full well, and if you can't find a suitably noisy recorder, like the crappy tapeless dictaphone they prefer, add some room noise:

Originally Posted by AAEVP
We have found that it is generally necessary to provide background sound during EVP experiments when using a very quiet cassette or reel-to-reel recorder. This is usually accomplished with an external microphone and such sound sources as a fan, static from a radio, running water or a pre-recorded sound file of the sound of garbed foreign language voices.
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Old 26th August 2009, 10:23 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
How do you explain electronic voice phenomena? This seems to me to be one area that is exceptionally hard to explain as a natural phenomena. For example, if it is the recording of a radio broadcast, how could it be picked up by a normal tape recorder without anybody else hearing it? The tape would also have to be extremely sensitive to pick up a radio broadcast that nobody else in the room can hear.

However, I'm not certain that it is truly supernatural either. Which is why I am asking how could it be a natural phenomenon, or if it is a hoax, how could it be a hoax?
A good explaination I heard was from an applicant for the MDC.

We were trying to help him nail down a protocol and it transpired that he wanted to use a particular brand of digital recorder...

An audio expert chimed in and explained that that brand had been designed for voice recording and had circuitry in it that amplified certain frequencies (voice range - to improve recoding quality / pickup)

It's most likely nothing to do with radio (AFAIK).

You're listening to static, and your brain is finding bits that sound like words. Same as backmasking.

Nothing hard about this one at all I'm afraid.
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Old 26th August 2009, 10:35 PM   #21
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I had a guitar amp that used to channel spirit voices.

Or, it might have been the police band coming through.
Spooky either way.
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Old 27th August 2009, 05:48 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
I had a guitar amp that used to channel spirit voices.

Or, it might have been the police band coming through.
Spooky either way.
The amps that go to 11 do that...
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Old 27th August 2009, 06:31 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by vIQleS View Post
A good explaination I heard was from an applicant for the MDC.

We were trying to help him nail down a protocol and it transpired that he wanted to use a particular brand of digital recorder...

An audio expert chimed in and explained that that brand had been designed for voice recording and had circuitry in it that amplified certain frequencies (voice range - to improve recoding quality / pickup)

It's most likely nothing to do with radio (AFAIK).

You're listening to static, and your brain is finding bits that sound like words. Same as backmasking.

Nothing hard about this one at all I'm afraid.

The Panasonic RR-DR60.

Apparently it's the "must have" make/model of EVP recorder for the discerning ghost hunter's toolkit... right alongside the proton pack and the dowsing rods.

Quote:
Ghost Finders Scotland

http://www.ghostfinders.co.uk/the_tron_kirk.html

Equipment Used
Panasonic RR-DR60 Recorders
Quote:
Los Vegas Paranormal Investigations

http://www.freewebs.com/lasvegasghosts/evpsandaudio.htm

EVP's caught at Redd Foxx's mansion on a Panasonic RR-DR60

I listened to the "EVP" hoping to hear, "Lamont! You big dummy!" I was dissappointed.


Quote:
EVP Research Association UK

http://www.evpuk.com/evp_equipment.html

One of the most talked about digital recorders for recording EVP is that of the Panasonic RR-DR60 IC Recorder. The RR-DR60 is a voice activated recorder that has shown over time that it is highly effective for capturing EVP. Inexplicable voices seem to come through on this recorder in abundance, even when used inside a Faraday Cage to rule out external interference. Unfortunately many of voices captured on the RR-DR60 seem to be extremely distorted and require much work using filtering software.
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Old 27th August 2009, 01:43 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
The amps that go to 11 do that...
Or 911!
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Old 27th August 2009, 01:58 PM   #25
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I'd really like to see someone do a little trial.

Use two or three different recorders to record sounds in an attempt to pick up EVPs. Let's get say ten samples from each, recorded in various locations including a quiet office, a house, a cemetery and a "haunted" location. Choose ten samples, say fifteen seconds in length.

Play each of those ten samples to ten people, a mix of skeptics, EVP believers and average people off the street. Have each person write down what they hear in each sample. Do not give them any clues at all of what they're "supposed" to hear.

Compare the results. What do you suppose the odds are that the majority of people would hear the same things?
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Old 27th August 2009, 02:06 PM   #26
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I've tried simpler tests: I took an EVP that everyone was claiming was SOOO CLEAR, and distributed it without any clues, for comment.

No one got the words that the EVP group was claiming to hear. Many didn't even hear words.

So that can be another kind of test: find an EVP group online that posts EVPS; find one that they claim is unmistakable, and circulate that one.

Sometime, I will do this back to the same group (several months after it is first posted, and with the file under a new name), and see if these same people still hear the same thing.


Originally Posted by FramerDave View Post
I'd really like to see someone do a little trial.

Use two or three different recorders to record sounds in an attempt to pick up EVPs. Let's get say ten samples from each, recorded in various locations including a quiet office, a house, a cemetery and a "haunted" location. Choose ten samples, say fifteen seconds in length.

Play each of those ten samples to ten people, a mix of skeptics, EVP believers and average people off the street. Have each person write down what they hear in each sample. Do not give them any clues at all of what they're "supposed" to hear.

Compare the results. What do you suppose the odds are that the majority of people would hear the same things?
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Old 27th August 2009, 02:13 PM   #27
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Way back when I was a kid, radios didn't have fancy electronic tuners that could filter out bleed from stations on nearby frequencies or interference from far away stations on the same frequency. So it was perfectly normal and mundane to turn your radio knob and get little snippets of speech or music. There was no expectation that the spaces between 91.1 and 91.5 would contain silence.

I think that explains much of the EVP phenomenon. People just don't know how radios and TVs work and how many man-made broadcasts are out there. Sometimes, maybe most times, EVP is pareidolia applied to static, but other times people are hearing actual voices - the voices of disk jockeys, announcers, and actors.
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Old 27th August 2009, 02:27 PM   #28
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Aside from issues of devices picking up stray snippets of broadcasts, I think there's a good degree of confirmation bias involved. Ghost hunters expect to hear something, so of course their mind will fill in the blanks.
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Old 27th August 2009, 03:11 PM   #29
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An experiment that might be interesting would be to digitally copy recordings alleged to contain EVPs to a digital audio workstation and then provide listeners with some simple controls- PLAY, STOP and REWIND buttons, a timecode display fed from the TC output of the workstation and, if possible, a set of "capture current TC address buttons (all this would be easy to do with a ProTools rig and an SSL console).

Listeners would be instructed to stop playback whenever they heard something appearing to be speech and capture the TC address of the point in the recording where they heard it. They would not be given any cues as to what to listen for- just instructions to keep an ear peeled for anything resembling speech.

On successive runs the recoding being listened to would be changed- the files would be chosen randomly from a set including alleged EVPs, similar recordings not alleged to contain EVPs and dummy files created with a digital psuedorandom noise source and known not to contain anything but a series of pseudorandom sample values.

The question would be whether the same listener flags the same parts of the same recordings consistently as containing something sounding like speech, whether different listeners produce similar results and whether the listeners perceive speech in the "EVP" set, the "non-EVP" set or the "dummy" set.

If there is in fact something intelligible in a particular recording I would expect the same person to flag it at the same point in the recording irrespective of where or how many times in the series of files it was presented.

If there's nothing I would expect the results to be all over the place.

The purpose of restricting the quesion to "do you hear anything that sounds like intelligible speech" would be to eliminate the inevitable arguments about "what does it say".
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Old 27th August 2009, 03:29 PM   #30
BillC
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Other than pareidolia that has been well identified by other posters and radio "noise", it is very easy to demodulated AM broadcasts using just a diode (some of us may be old enough to remember "crystal" radios ). Diodes are common components in electronic devices and often the EVP can be traced to a local AM transmitter.
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Old 27th August 2009, 03:29 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Psiload View Post
The Panasonic RR-DR60.

Apparently it's the "must have" make/model of EVP recorder for the discerning ghost hunter's toolkit... right alongside the proton pack and the dowsing rods.
(
Wait, ghosts prefer a certain brand of recorder? Are there endorsement deals in the Great Beyond?
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Old 27th August 2009, 03:40 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by FramerDave View Post
I'd really like to see someone do a little trial.

Use two or three different recorders to record sounds in an attempt to pick up EVPs. Let's get say ten samples from each, recorded in various locations including a quiet office, a house, a cemetery and a "haunted" location. Choose ten samples, say fifteen seconds in length.

Play each of those ten samples to ten people, a mix of skeptics, EVP believers and average people off the street. Have each person write down what they hear in each sample. Do not give them any clues at all of what they're "supposed" to hear.

Compare the results. What do you suppose the odds are that the majority of people would hear the same things?

I think it's important to note here that the question is not "Can people hear things?", but "Is it supernatural?"

I don't see any reason why an EVP mightn't be perfectly distinguishable by different people. We all know that the brain can pull audible patterns out of static and i'd hate the trubees to be able to say "the skeptics tested it and people heard the same thing..."

This misses the point - are the voices ghosts?

(Not that these wouldn't be interesting tests - I'd love to see it done. Just don't tell the trubees if it works :-P)
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Old 27th August 2009, 04:35 PM   #33
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That meakes sense about [people hearing things because they expect to hear them, or want to hear them. A lot of the songs with the EVP's are old, and how many times did you hear them without noticing? Then when you are told, youre waiting for the voice. But I listened to some without being told what words were 'said' and I could hear voices but not make out the words until my son told me what everyone heard, then it fit. (Not sure on which songs they were now, its been a while.)
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Old 27th August 2009, 07:16 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by shandyjan View Post
That meakes sense about [people hearing things because they expect to hear them, or want to hear them. A lot of the songs with the EVP's are old, and how many times did you hear them without noticing? Then when you are told, youre waiting for the voice. But I listened to some without being told what words were 'said' and I could hear voices but not make out the words until my son told me what everyone heard, then it fit. (Not sure on which songs they were now, its been a while.)
Rock songs are like that for me. I can never make out the lyrics unless I see them written.
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Old 28th August 2009, 01:09 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Rock songs are like that for me. I can never make out the lyrics unless I see them written.
Bob Dylan is a perfect example.
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Old 28th August 2009, 08:56 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by MaryCBW View Post
Bob Dylan is a perfect example.
Okay, I know I'm weird and like Yoko Ono, but she is also a perfect example. Especially her older work. Without a lyric sheet I was lost.
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Old 28th August 2009, 06:29 PM   #37
Gord_in_Toronto
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Originally Posted by BillC View Post
Exactly!
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Old 28th August 2009, 07:50 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
For example, if it is the recording of a radio broadcast, how could it be picked up by a normal tape recorder without anybody else hearing it?
Am I reading you right? Do you think a radio broadcast is actually audio itself and not electromagnetic waves?
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Old 28th August 2009, 08:12 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Rock songs are like that for me. I can never make out the lyrics unless I see them written.
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Old 28th August 2009, 09:36 PM   #40
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Thanks, money. I always wondered what those lyrics were.
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