Electronic Voice Phenomena Discovered: The First Case Study Books

Case Study Books Published Between 1964 and 1981  
(Including Some Comments about My Own Discovery of the Phenomena)
The first EVP experimenters were Friedrich Jürgenson (1903-1987) and Konstantin Raudive (1909-1974).
Today when one conducts a search for videos about 'EVP' at YouTube, there are hundreds of results offered documenting amateur investigations associated with hauntings. Many of these superstition-oriented 'ghost hunting' enthusiasts have seen TV shows about the topic. In my own life, one of the most significant discoveries resulting from my experiences as chronicled in the case study TESTAMENT (1997) is that ordinary tape recorders and any audio transmitting device can facilitate communication with intelligences of an ascended state of existence.
I've previously commented in a blog article — After discovering some prominent 'spirit messages' while transcribing my Oklahoma interviews, I learned about Electronic Voice Phenomena ('EVP') and now recognize (as I've mentioned previously) that EVP may be obtained anywhere with all varieties of recording devices. Listen closely to unedited radio or TV broadcasts/recordings and you may be surprised. While watching people speak, I've also noticed instances when people make unconscious utterances such as "no," thus negating what they are consciously stating. This is further evidence of the spiritual Force constituting a shared subconscious among all people.
 While my investigation of "spirit messages" recorded in Oklahoma on interview cassettes occurred without any knowledge of historical research into what is now known as 'Electronic Voice Phenomena,' when I learned about this field of investigation corroboration was found for circumstances that I myself had observed. Since 1995 when I first became aware of spirit messages and unattributed sounds audible on my tapes, my realization that the phenomena expressed an unrecognized dimension of 'Angelic communication' was confirmed when I became acquainted with accounts of published EVP research. I first learned about 'electronic voice phenomena' in brief Internet articles. The first books to chronicle the phenomena are two books by Freidrich Jürgenson: Rösterna från Rymden (Swedish/Voices from Space 1964) and Sprechfunk mit Verstorbenen: Praktische Kontaktherstellung mit dem Jenseits (German 1981 / English translation entitled Voice Transmissions With The Deceased and translated by Tom Wingert and George Wynne). 
Another of the earliest books is Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead (1971) by Konstantin Raudive, Ph.D. I also found a book written by Raudive's Breakthrough editor, Peter Bander, to be significant: Carry On Talking: How Dead Are the Voices? (1972). A book that provides an American experimenter's perspective of EVP is Talks With The Dead (1975) by William Addams Welch. Prior to the development of the technology making EVP possible, 'direct voice' was one expression given to disembodied voices manifesting in the presence of a medium. One book on this topic is Voices From Beyond (1976) by Raymond Bayliss. (Direct Voice articles list) In Voices From Beyond, Bayliss described his own experiences in the dawning field of recording "taped voices." He commented that the most notable characteristic of these voices is that they were being received by a large quantity of experimenters: "The entire field truly offers a fantastic phenomenon, which for the first time in the history of psychical science apparently provides a mass phenomenon."


Born in Odessa, Russia, Friedrich Jürgenson (1903 - 1987) was a frequent witness to war during his youth and his city would become a famous setting for the classic Russian anti-war film "The Battleship Potemkin." Jürgenson's early professional career in the fine arts spanned eleven years training and performing as a singer. Then, he became a successful painter of exhibited works. He also had performed in a few radio specials on cultural history with the Swedish Broadcasting Company, including a show about the end of the Tzarist empire that motivated him to research the case of Anastasia. In Stockholm 1959, Jürgenson was intent on recording birdsongs in a countryside garden. What happened on this occasion would change the course of his life. 
I checked the recording after the tape ran for about five minutes. What I heard was very strange. I was hearing a roaring or hissing static sound, like a shower, in which you could identify the chirping of the finch, but as if it was coming from a distance.
My first thought was that one of the tubes was damaged during the trip. Nevertheless, I turned the recorder on again and let the tape run. My second recording it was just like before: I was hearing this strange hissing and the distant bird chirping. Then all of a sudden there sounded a trumpet solo as if to announce something. I listened with continued surprise as suddenly a male voice began to speak in Norwegian. Though it was very quiet, I could clearly understand the words. The man was talking about "bird songs at night," and I heard a number of chattering, whistling and splashing sounds, and among them what seemed like the chirping of a sparrow.
Suddenly the bird choir fell silent and with that so did the hissing sound. In the next instant the twittering of a finch was audible and in the distance you could hear a titmouse — the tape recorder was working perfectly again.
But what had actually happened? The fact was totally clear to me; this was a Norwegian radio broadcast. But the only radio receiver that we had was left back at the house, and it was not turned on.
There were no other radios far and wide because of our isolated location and considerable distance from the next village. Besides, this mysterious transmission was first turned on and then suddenly turned off.
Jürgenson asked, "Was there an invisible intelligence that with such a remarkable way was trying to get my attention? Very puzzling!" As he continued to experiment with the tape recorder, further phenomenal experiences followed. After some hours of concentrated listening, and getting used to the disturbing noises, a pleasant male voice started to emerge from the chaos of sounds. The voice spoke English with deep conviction and an unusual intonation.
After a small pause the name "Churchill" was audible, then suddenly another male voice started to speak in German. Though speaking without an accent, the sentence came through ungrammatically. The voice literally said, "Tsar-region we must springtime speak about . . ."
"Tsar-region," didn’t that sound strange? I immediately had to think about Anastasia."Friedrich, you're being observed . . ." added the same voice with firm emphasis. 
There were more messages. Jürgenson wrote: "Though it left me puzzled, it became clear to me that the transmission was meant for me personally." Jürgenson appraised his mental condition in 1959 as he dedicated himself to "finding an explanation for the puzzling phenomenon that was all around me."
A hidden, secret plane of existence had connected with me in two different ways. One way was from within, through my subconscious and the other was from the outside through physical acoustical means using the tape recording equipment.

I was selected by some unknown force to be a pioneer and at the same time to be a humble guinea pig also forced to endure with body and soul a considerable measure of stress and challenge.

He admitted his initial idea was wrong that connected the mysterious voices on the tapes with 'planetarians' or space aliens and unidentified flying objects. At that time, sightings throughout the world were creating worldwide curiosity and speculation. There was later another incorrect alternative conclusion reached by himself and his wife as they made negative assumptions about the entities giving the messages. His reel-to-reel tape recorder was still in exile under his desk when something happened that aroused surprise and introspection. Then:
It started with a strange sound phenomenon being audible around me during the course of the day. For example, when I was sitting in my studio listening to the splashing of the rain, I could clearly hear short calls, words or partial words, yes among them even longer sentences, that originated from the drizzle or rain dropping sounds from the water and that were whispered undeniably by a female voice. For the most part the sentences repeated themselves and were spoken sometimes in German and sometimes in Swedish and they went something like: "Hold contact — with the equipment hold contact — please listen — daily contact with equipment — please, please listen! . . ."
The same words were even audible in the crackling of the stove fire or in the rustling of paper.

There was no doubt for me that this was truly a sound phenomenon and not my imagination, because I could clearly recognize the sound and character of the same female voice, that had been heard on my tapes on many occasions.

He decided shortly before Christmas to resume listening to tape recordings. Listening to the voices that he heard on the tapes, Jürgenson recognized brief utterances in many different languages, sometimes in rapid succession. One frequent woman's voice who addressed him by name would eventually introduce herself as 'Lena' — her voice would be heard so often that he would often refer to her as his otherworldly radio assistant. Among the voices audible to Jürgenson were those he recognized as being those of friends who'd passed over from their Earth lives.
 The voices urged him to "make contact with radio" and one female voice was heard by Jürgenson to say "We need voice amplification." He observed about these messages, "Apparently it was about certain sound frequencies that were to be transformed into words."
 Working with the tape recorder and a radio receiver allowed the "mixing in" of the phenomenal messages into radio programs. One voice declared, "Through the radio . . . you have guessed it . . . much more will come through." Among identifying factors for the EVP were that the messages would often combine languages and often be presented via singing "in that certain multilingual manner, not only solo, but also as a choir and ensemble." Jürgenson described having to 'peel' the voices of his unseen friends out of the motley confusion of the radio transmissions, sometimes with only partial success.
 Among the voices recognized by Jürgenson was that of his own mother and he found that vocalizations from famous individuals could be heard along with those of simple workers, sometimes calling each other by their own names. The list of historical names he associated with the transmissions includes Stalin, Hitler, Trotsky, Lenin, Van Gogh, Elenora Duse, Annie Besant, d’Annunzio, Goering, Himmler, Felix Kersten, and, as a name introduced by a 1987 correction, Hilda Goebbels.
 Jürgenson described a memorable "dream visit to a receiving station for the dead" where he encountered a man without a face who introduced himself as having the same name as one of Jürgenson's friends, 'Hugo F.,' and mentioned he was a cavalry officer when he was young. Upon relating his dream to his friend with the same name, Jürgenson was told by Hugo that he, himself, was a cavalry officer when he was young. In a matter of days, the friend unexpectedly died of a heart ailment yet Jürgenson heard his voice several times in the following hours and acknowledged in his book, "I don't recall if I heard his voice within me or if it was outside in the open."
 The scope of the voices detailed by Jürgenson in Voice Transmissions With The Deceased encompassed one that sounded like that from "A robot instrument" announcing "in a mechanical German." (I, myself, had experienced similar incidents as described in TESTAMENT.)
 In reaching conclusions about his research, Jürgenson admitted avoiding such general concepts and terminology as God, Love, Spirit, the Good and the Bad yet he appraised the secret of life and death was hidden in the depth of our consciousness. A postscript to Voice Transmissions From The Deceased added an additional anecdotes as Jürgenson described "The Case of Rigmor Andersson." The following is an excerpt.
Once again the lively male voice conveying its message in a rhythmic German and Sweden cadence: "Federico, an important communication, the Maelar is in touch with Moelnbo, keep contact, Rigmor reports Mikeal . . . we are coming through the radio, we bridge the apparatus of the dead . . . we bridge . . . Lena has the connection and the interval. We bring through the radio . . . examine the radio . . ." and then at the end with special emphasis: "Rigmor wants a contact . . ." (This is an instance of what I've described as 'The Michael Pattern' linking cases of transcendental communication as mentioned in blog articles.)   
Rigmor was a friend's daughter who was murdered by her fiancée after she ended their engagement. Playing recordings of cheerful communications from Rigmor for her father was tremendously inspirational for Jürgenson and the case became further evidence for "the immortal nature of life; the transforming power of death and the existence of the bridge between our world and the hereafter."




Like Friedrich Jürgenson, upon discovering electronic voice phenomena Konstantin Raudive (1909-1974) would remain committed to continuing this research for the rest of his life. Born in Latvia, Raudive was a psychologist who was a student of Carl Jung. Living in Sweden, Raudive read Jürgenson's book Rösterna från Rymden (Voices from Space) in 1964 and contacted him the following April to ask for a demonstration. Raudive described this event in the first section, "The Phenomenon," of his own book Breakthrough. The book was originally published in Germany as The Inaudible Becomes Audible (1968).
I felt an immediate sympathy towards Friedrich Jürgenson: all that he told me had a ring of sincerity and deep emotional involvement.
Apart from myself, three people were present at the demonstration: Dr. Zenta Maurina, G.Sch. (a teacher) and Mrs. M. Jürgenson. Jürgenson went straight to the point and let us listen to a selection of his recordings. Against a background of ordinary tape-noises voices were audible; we could hear them, but our unpractised ears had great difficulty in identifying them. They had to be repeated several times before our sense of hearing could gear itself to the unusually quick rhythm.
At the first recording Jürgenson made in our presence, through microphone, voices appeared that could not possibly have come from any of the people in the room. Dr. Maurina, for instance, remarked that she was under the impression that the inhabitants of the beyond were living a happy, carefree life. A voice answered: "Nonsense!" This word was distinctly audible and easily identified by all of us when we listened to the tape being played back, and there were other voices that could not be determined quite so unequivocally.
Two months later, Raudive decided to do some research with Jürgenson on his estate to gain some personal experience of the phenomena. Raudive began his own experiments that same month and described his early progress in Breakthrough.
After three months of practice, at last I heard a male voice. In answer to my observation that the inhabitants of the beyond, just like earthly humans, probably have to contend with certain limitations, the voice said in Latvian: "Pareizi tā būs" ("That is right").Later on, after repeated and careful listening-in, I could detect many voices I had not noticed in the beginning.

In the introduction of Chapter I, Raudive stated the objective for the investigation documented in his book:

We are trying to gain some insight into this as yet unknown reality, and such insight not only changes our ideas and gives new directions to the activities of our psyche, but points to undreamed-of powers reigning within us and over us.
Those oriented towards natural science believe that such problems can be solved by empirical means. This book is the record of an attempt to do so.  
Breakthrough offers many transcripts in Chapter II, "Speech-Content of Recordings." Raudive appraised: 
The voice-phenomenon-language must, of course, strike us as highly complicated and on first encounter, without comment given or some knowledge of the situation, it seems confusing, even senseless. In many cases, however, each word has a wider, symbolic meaning, given to it . . . 
As with Jürgenson, Raudive found his mother's voice to be audible in his experiments. Raudive also identified voices as being those of close relatives who’d died, including an aunt, his sister Tekle and his brother Aljosha. When Raudive addressed Tekle, a voice answered in a Russian and Latvian composite response that is translated into English as "Leader, I am naked." This reminded Raudive that his elder siblings had called him "Ataman" (Leader) as children.
Some historical names are featured in the transcripts and Raudive's commentary makes it evident that, while some of these names are accepted as merely being announced, others are interpreted as participating in the communications with Raudive. In the first portion of the transcripts presented under the heading "Individual Manifestations," some of the categories are 'Further Close Friends,' 'Writers and Artists,' 'Psychologists and Parapsychologists,' 'Statesmen,' and 'A Multitude of Voices.' Some of the famous names listed on the presented transcripts include Tolstoi, Dostojevsky, Nietzsche, Jung, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini.
In the preface to Breakthrough by Peter Bander, this matter was viewed as one of two problematic aspects of Raudive's research. Bander established that multiple listeners of a sample of electronic voice phenomena may interpret a message in different ways, a characteristic of the phenomena that I've noticed upon listening to interviews of EVP enthusiasts on contemporary radio programs where samples of EVP (sometimes recorded in graveyards and other sites affiliated with the dead) have been played for the broadcast audience, sometimes motivating listeners to call in and challenge the guests' interpretation of what is being said in a particular sample of EVP.Raudive's analysis of the speech-content of recordings presents some conclusions about theorized capacities and intentions of the 'voice entities.' 
The final portion of Breakthrough, "Appendices," provides reports and commentary from a diverse group of experts corroborating Raudive's work and methods, including many of those who participated in the experiments. Among these experts are theologians and philosophers, psychologists and parapsychologists, and physicists and electronic engineers. A 33 1/3 rpm record of voice samples recorded by Raudive was released to accompany the book.


The publishing of Breakthrough resulted in many other remarkable occurrences and Peter Bander (1930-2004) would describe these happenings in Carry On Talking: How Dead Are The Voices? (1972) published one year after Breakthrough was published in the U.K. In America Bander's book was entitled Voices From The Tapes (1973).
 In the introduction to this book, Bander divulged his reaction to the original edition of Breakthrough self-published by Raudive was negative "because the claims made by the author appeared to me not only far-fetched but outrageous"; then Bander listened to one of Raudive's tapes and experienced hearing the phenomena himself.Bander explained: "This was the first of a great number of remarkable happenings which moved me to change my mind . . . what had started as a publicity campaign for Breakthrough had turned into an independent investigation into the Phenomenon as such." Bander’s intention with Carry On Talking was stated as: "I am stock-taking and putting on record what is known about the Phenomenon, the people involved in it and the attitudes of interested parties."
 Following the publication of Breakthrough, Bander appeared on 27 television and radio programs after the publishers decided to present the voice phenomenon independently from the book and thus diffuse potential criticism of Raudive's perspective of the electronic voices.
 A surprising disclosure is made in chapter 8 of Carry On Talking. Bander wrote: "It was certainly news to me that Friedrich Jürgenson was created a Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, and his close connection with the Pope and the Holy See for almost a decade was unknown to me until Mr. Jürgenson told me about it in the summer of 1971." Bander received a letter from Jürgenson in August 1971 mentioning that he was producing films for television, among them a documentary film about Pope Paul VI.
 A participant in Irish television's "Late Late Show" on May 8 and 22, 1971 was Father J. Pistone, Superior of the Society of St. Paul in England, deputizing for the Regional Superior, Father Valente, who was in Rome at the time of the broadcasts. Bander explained that the Society of St. Paul is a Catholic Order charged with teaching, and acts through press, radio and television. Speaking for himself, Father Pistone told Gay Byrne: "What we are faced with is a phenomenon; we need accept no more and can accept no less. Personally, I am satisfied that there is life after death and I also believe that there is a contact between the living and the dead because this contact is part of the Church's concept; the Communion of Saints, if you like. We can always contact the departed through our prayers and help them. Therefore, if they can contact us, directly or indirectly, it is a matter which is under the power of God because the departed are under His power also."
 In making some concluding remarks for Carry On Talking, Peter Bander reflected on the matter of specific instances of electronic voice phenomena finding contrasting interpretations by different people with the possibility of some sentences being intelligible in different languages.
Still, it is just one of those things which complicate matters when one least expects or wants it. Whether or not the mystery of the Voice Phenomenon will be broken in the near future remains to be seen. Until then, we can just hope that those who communicate provide us with more evidence and carry on talking!
While studying Peter Bander’s book, I found a biographical article about him written in 2005 by Colin Smythe at the publisher's website. There was a color photograph of Bander presenting former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev with a copy of Bander's 1995 book Orders of Knighthood and of Merit. At the time of his death, his name had changed to Peter Bander Van Duren because in 1976 he added part of his mother’s maiden name. The article included an anecdote from early in Bander's life. When Peter was about ten, his father was exiled to Spitzbergen for refusing to 'volunteer' to work in the post office in occupied Belgium. Smythe recounted:
Meanwhile Mother and son were compulsorily evacuated to Poland and PB was sent to a Nazi academy in Czechoslovakia, where he was the only child of non-Nazi party parents. He ran away, carrying with him nothing but a child's suitcase full of sandwiches he had saved in preparation, determined to find his mother in Poland and by amazing luck meeting her by a railway station south of Leipzig, she having set out to take her son away from the school, not being aware that he had already run away from it.
After writing Carry On Talking Bender worked with paranormal experiencer Matthew Manning and The Link: Matthew Manning’s own story of his extraordinary psychic gifts was published by Colin Smythe, Ltd. in 1974.

A book that provides an American experimenter's perspective of EVP is Talks With The Dead (1975) by William Addams Welch, whose entertainment industry background included writing episodes of Irwin Allen TV shows including "Lost in Space," "The Time Tunnel" and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." A stroke was the precursor to Welch resuming his exploration of "all things psychic" and he joined the Southern California Society for Psychical Research. After Welch read a book review of Raudive's Breakthrough, he visited photographer/psychic Attila von Szalay. During the visit, Welch experienced his first demonstration of recording and playback of a taped voice when "Hello" was heard — something he thought showed "an exquisite sense of the apropos."
Welch described observations about how other psychic experiences, including automatic writing, related to his EVP experiments. There are also interesting associations to be made in some of the messages that may not have been possible to be understood by Welch at the time when he transcribed his tapes. For example: "Check your Re-po" and "Re-po" are first mentioned as meaning absolutely nothing to him and he finally deduced them to be signifying a consolidated expression for "recording position." As recounted in a blog article, the book The Ghost of Flight 401 by John Fuller involves the apparition of flight engineer Don Repo. The paranormal case study was published the year following that when Welch's own book was released.
Some of the observations in Talks With The Dead suggested to me that an EVP researcher might place too much importance on obscure communications or a personal interpretation of a single EVP message. For example, Welch described an incident that he believed involved a message from his 'guide' that Welch interpreted as "reincarnation is not a regular way of life."
When I first became aware of spirit messages augmenting recorded conversations on microcassettes as I transcribed interviews and audio journals, I continuously made new discoveries about the scope of spirit message/EVP and unattributed sound phenomena made possible through listening to the tapes as chronicled with the two Internet books at testament.org. Technological innovations have improved the quality of audio recording and this may be one explanation for the lack of commentary by Jürgenson and Raudive concerning unattributed sounds.
One of the most common unattributed sounds noted in tape transcripts comprising TESTAMENT is that of "clicking, clock or ticking" although silent digital timekeeping had become standard. Similarly, I discovered that such sounds had been a factor during the December 13, 1969 test demonstration by Raudive (as mentioned in Bander's preface to Breakthrough). Then, the first ten minutes of playback resulted in disappointment when a "clock on the mantelpiece had been ticking loud and clear and a labrador puppy, two rooms away from where we were, had been crying. These sounds were there and it was impossible to hear anything else." The evening concluded successfully when an unattributed voice recording was heard during a test — "a rhythmic voice, twice the speed of a human voice" saying, "Raudive there." The following night, Raudive signed a publishing contract with Colin Smythe, Ltd.
Back in 1995 when it first struck me as possible that spirit messages heard on audio tape wouldn't be limited to interviews conducted in haunted houses, I again listened to my first two telephone conversations with Maxine and that was when I discovered that spirit messages could also be heard upon closely listening to these tapes. This eventually led me to investigate my collection of interviews recorded while I was working at Paramount Pictures and again I found spirit messages were audible throughout the tapes.
Sometimes it was extremely difficult attempting to identify each spirit utterance and unattributed sound heard on the tapes. From a publishing perspective when I was planning to publish TESTAMENT, I considered that a reader perusing the book could find the inclusion of spirit messages as something too incredible to consider and for this reason alone decide against reading it. Once when I was proofreading the manuscript, I thought it might be beneficial to omit some of the spirit words as these continuous messages capitalized and in parentheses made the transcript hard to read yet just as I started to remove some from the transcript I came upon the previously typed spirit message "DON’T CHANGE IT." I decided to leave in the spirit messages and hoped the book would still be accepted by perceptive readers who would understand that the intention of my enterprise was to share an unadulterated case study without any infringement imposed by commercial prospects or considering how others might respond.
My perspective has evolved over the years in the respect that now I'm convinced all recorded materials and radio broadcasts feature EVP yet few people are aware of this while it would seem that those who do have this knowledge have been reluctant to discuss the phenomena due to its complexity in relation to the unawareness of the public. Perhaps, the EVP easiest to distinguish on radio broadcasts is the occurrence of the word "NO" sometimes heard simultaneously during a comment — thus indicating that something hasn't been remembered correctly while also clarifying a situation for observant listeners.
Perhaps what is my most memorable incident involving EVP happened on one occasion after I gave up trying to distinguish one particular word that didn't become any clearer after dozens of playbacks. Occasionally when this happened I would find that after taking a break and then listening to the passage again, the utterance would become discernible so this is the course I once more decided to take. At this time, my mother was becoming progressively more ill with flu-like symptoms and she finally agreed to go to the emergency room, something that she often tried to avoid no matter how poorly she felt. After returning from the hospital and resumed my transcribing work, the spirit message now sounded unmistakably like “VISIT.” 
Hurrying back to the hospital, I discovered that Ellen was alone in her room and her oxygen tube had fallen away. After reattaching the apparatus, I sat with Ellen for a while and when she seemed to become dizzy I went to find a nurse. I was surprised to learn the treatment instructions focused on cardiac care so I explained my mother’s condition and bronchial treatment commenced that resulted with my mother soon breathing easier. If not for my visit, I don't know if she would've received the necessary care that evening. This incident convinced me that there can be a telepathic aspect with some instances of spirit messages/EVP. Following the publication of Jürgenson and Raudive's books about their EVP research, the development of more sophisticated audio and video technology made possible new modes of communication from the ascended realm. These contacts are known categorically as 'Instrumental Transcommunication' (ITC). (EVP/ITC articles list) One surprising anecdote about EVP although the phenomena isn't given this term is presented in the article "Here Is UFOlogy's 'Bombshell Physical Proof'" in relation to an incident involving flying saucer contactee Truman Bethurum (1898-1969).



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