survival

Image result for stafford bettyLewis Stafford Betty is a professor of religious studies at California State University. He is also a careful, painstaking psychical researcher in the field, and somebody who brings a PhD’s depth of reflection to difficult questions that are as old as psychical research itself. Before dealing specifically with Dr Betty’s take on one of such questions, let me very briefly digress.

Upon learning that a person teaches religious studies, one is almost automatically led to believe that this person must have a strong religious faith. Furthermore, if this person also has an interest in psychical research – and the survival hypothesis in particular – it is very tempting to think that the person “believes” in survival as much as he or she “believes” in the teachings of his/her chosen religion. As tempting as it may be, in the case of Dr Betty, this is also very wrong. In this respect, I find a quote of his – lifted from an interview he gave a few years ago to Michael Tymn – extremely refreshing:

“In general I find much more support for survival than for God.  For me, there is ample empirical evidence for survival, so much from so many quarters that I regard it as proven.  But God’s reality is not so clear. By that I mean I’m not very clear about what God is.  In particular, is God the kind of being that hears my heartfelt prayers? And where do I meet God? During deep meditation when I silence the inner chatter? Is God in some sense the silence? God to me remains something of a mystery, one I wish I could understand.”

To me, these are the words of an intelligent and profoundly honest person. I wish skeptics, scoffers and “dismissers” of various kinds took note of the fundamental difference between a belief based on the knowledge and critical review of evidence and a belief based on faith.

Now, one of the questions Dr Betty addresses in his reflection is the origin of what in modern terms is termed Recurrent Spontaneous Psycho-Kinesis (RSPK), better known as Poltergeist activity. Ever since this kind of disturbances were first reported, researchers and scholars have considered two hypotheses. In certain cases, poltergeist effects can be attributed to a living agent, a ‘poltergeist focus’ (if such an individual can be identified, which is not always the case), and it is sometimes assumed that the manifestations reflect some form of psychological tension within that person, or changes associated with puberty. In other cases, hauntings are attributed to discarnate spirits who, for one reason or another, have failed to make a satisfactory transition from their earthly life to the presumed afterlife.

Following the in-depth investigation of one particular case he carried out in the early 1980s in Bakersfield, California (where his University is located), Dr Betty argues that not only the living agent hypothesis could not apply in that particular instance, but that the deceased agent hypothesis provides a better fit for poltergeist cases in general.

The original article, appeared in 1984 in the the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, provides all details of the investigation and makes for riveting, fascinating reading: click here to view.

 

down_app

marcello-bacciAs I grow older, the “monkey mind” aspect of my inner life annoys me more and more. Reference here is to the teaching of the Buddha, who described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. We all have monkey minds, Buddha said, with dozens of monkeys all clamouring for attention.

One particularly loud monkey constantly screeching for attention in my own mind is the one that says “Skeptics are so stupid! Look how stupid they are! And ignorant! And dishonest!” Much as I try to ignore this racket, the screeching often triggers a train of thoughts in which I get lost, up to the point when I realise what I am doing and, with a considerable effort, I force myself to stop.

The pattern of such thoughts is typical: I review pieces of evidence from psychical research, I work myself into a rage wondering how on earth a normally intelligent, sensible and intellectually honest person can possibly ignore or deny the validity of that anecdote, that investigation or that laboratory experiment.

It so happens, then, that yesterday, as I was panting my way up the very steep side of a Scottish hill in preparation for my upcoming mountain climbing vacation in the Alps, I went through exactly the same pattern.

The particular piece of evidence I was thinking of is a very little known documentary on one of the most important personalities in Instrumental Trans-Communication, Marcello Bacci. The reason why this excellent documentary is little known is that it was produced by the Italian branch of the Swiss national broadcasting company. Switzerland is not a big country to begin with, and Italian is the least spoken of the three national languages in the country, far behind German and French. The intended audience for this film, therefore, was rather small. Add to that the fact that the subject itself – two-way communication with discarnate personalities through technological means – is highly controversial, and you will realise how this is truly a hidden gem. Fortunately, however, a kindred soul from the island of Malta took upon himself to translate the whole 30-minute documentary and make a subtitled version publicly available on YouTube.

 

For me, there is not much else to say. I believe that most of my readers, upon watching this 30-minute movie, will feel much in the same way as I do. What kind of person can look at this – just this, just this one, individual piece of empirical evidence about ITC – and invoke fraud, deception, misperception, pareidolia, “desire to believe” or any other of the silly, demeaning “explanations” that are regularly put forward?

down_app

imgresA visitor to my website recently left a message in the comment sections which struck a chord with me. This lady, who is grieving the loss of a husband and life companion for 55 years, says that she believes in the afterlife but asks one very crucial question – Where is he now?

Isn’t this the question any bereaved person asks? Isn’t this the question we all ask ourselves when we think of the transition we call death? And yet, no matter how frequently it is asked, it is question that does not make sense.

From the little we seem to understand about the mystery of the survival of personality to bodily death, the afterlife is not a “place”. Therefore, the question “where is he now?” is not appropriate and cannot be answered.

When trying to describe the afterlife, we have to rely on the descriptions that have been provided to by great many spirit communicators, speaking to us either directly – through the phenomenon of direct voices or through electronic voice phenomena – or through gifted mediums. It is interesting to note that not only – if you look at the substance of what is being said – these descriptions are much in accord with each other – no matter if they were given through a medium’s automatic writing in the 1890’s Victorian England or from a voice speaking from a radio in contemporary Italy – but they are also consistent with what is being said by near-death experiencers.

All those who have experienced the afterlife – either because they have left their body behind or because they have temporarily peeked into this other realm during an NDE – do not talk about a “place”. Rather, they talk about a state – more precisely a state of mind.

In order to begin to understand that, we have to remember what I said in the introduction of my book “Adventures in Psychical Research” – that moment of insight in which I realised that “We are not bodies, with a consciousness that we lose at death. We are consciousness, with a body we lose at death.”

We identify ourselves with our body, but that is very wrong. Our body changes from a year to the next, from a day to the next. In fact our body now is a completely different object from the one it was only a second ago. We are not our bodies. “We” are what is with us from the day we were born, what never changes: our awareness, our thoughts, perceptions, memories, our personality. In a word: our consciousness. We also believe that such consciousness – our mind – resides in the physical brain, and that it depends on the brain functioning. But this is also wrong, as amply demonstrated – among many other things – by Near-Death Experiences.

In a way in which we do not being to understand, our mind exists independently from our body, and is strongly related to, but independent from the physical brain. When our bodies die and our brains stop functioning, our mind “detaches” from anything physical and, quite simply, goes on existing. The transition we call death is so imperceptible, in terms of the continuity of experience, that many do not realise they have actually died until a certain time after the event.

So, the afterlife can probably be best described as a dream. A very special dream, though. A dream which feels more real than our day-to-day reality, and a dream over which we have complete control. Spirit communicators tell us that, in this special reality, it is enough to think about a place, an environment, an activity, a set of circumstances, and these immediately “materialise” and become a living experience. That is why – we are told – souls find themselves in an environment that mirrors their beliefs and expectations concerning the afterlife. There is always great light, and great warmth, marvellous colours and beautiful landscapes. And that is why, especially for the initial period after passing, souls remain engaged in the kind of activities they were engaged in during life on earth. Artists keep doing their arts, scientists keep studying the mysteries of the universe, etcetera. Until the moment in which they feel an attraction towards the higher, less material, more spiritual dimensions of the afterlife, and naturally sore towards this purer, brighter, blissful light.

In this incredible dimension in which we are able to create reality with our thoughts we still have limitations, though. We cannot, for example, communicate easily with the loved ones we’ve left behind. We are still with them, in many senses. We are still aware of what is going on in their lives. We still love them. But only occasionally and very briefly we manage to break the barrier between dimensions and make ourselves seen/heard/perceived. Innumerable examples of after-death communication tell us that this does happen, but rarely and for very short periods of time.

These nonmaterial dimensions of experience are not a place, then. But – we are told – they don’t have a time either. Speaking about an “initial period” after passing is just our way to express a concept that makes no sense in the afterlife. This, incidentally, is exactly what NDErs tell us: time as we perceive it in the material dimension is just an illusion. In the other reality, everything happens at once. There is no time and there is no space.

As I write these notes, I realise that I sound like a spiritually enlightened guru. I speak with the assuredness of somebody who’s figured everything out, or who has directly experienced what he’s talking about. This could not be further from the truth. I, like anybody else who has studied these matters, am deeply puzzled, uncertain and confused. In these few paragraphs I have colossally simplified concepts which are in reality very complex and nuanced. Anybody wishing to look into these crucial question in more depth is strongly advised to read the excellent and excellently researched book “The Afterlife Revealed – What Happens When We Die” by Michael Tymn.

down_app

adcA recent letter from a long time follower of my blog presented me with a most intriguing case, and triggered some reflections which I would now like to share with my readership.

The letter came from a lady whom I will call Margaret (not her real name), who was asking my opinion on a very strange thing that happened to a picture of her late husband, one December in 2105. Margaret writes:

On that day I was unwell and had spent most of the day in bed, I was alone in the house, at about 3pm I went downstairs to make a drink and as usual I went to look my husband’s photo on the worktop. I noticed that a white mark had appeared above his left temple, so thinking that something had got inside the frame I removed the photo to find to my astonishment that the mark was in the photo itself.

Later, my daughter, who was staying with me at the time, came home. I called to her to bring the photo up to my room, and as she came up the stairs she started to scream saying “it has changed again” (I had previously phoned to tell her about the white mark). In the photo my husband was wearing opaque sunglasses, now the centre of each lens was clear and through the lens a white eye with a black dot in the centre was visible, these were not real eyes but like an amateur drawing of eyes. The left lens contained one “eye”, but the right one actually contained two. It was quite disconcerting and I was a little afraid. My daughter was very distressed and then she said “Daddy has done this that is just the way he would draw”.

Margaret was kind enough to share a copy of the picture with me. This is what I wrote back:

I am as disconcerted as you are. I can offer no explanation whatsoever as to how these alterations might have been produced normally. I believe that the chances of a spontaneous change in the photographic emulsion happening basically overnight and coinciding with where the eyes of the subject would be are astronomically low. Plus, I cannot see how such changes would happen in the first place…

I think there is no harm at all, given the circumstances, in thinking that this may be indeed a sign from your late husband. Why he elected to communicate in such a way remains a mystery, but this, let me reassure you, is the way our deceased loved ones seem to do all the time. They seem to have amazing powers to intervene in our reality, and they often do so in ways that look – with all respect – a bit silly…

Now, the picture. I fully understand the interest and curiosity on the part of my readers, and the desire to see first-hand what we are talking about. However, whilst I asked Margaret permission to share her story, I didn’t want to ask her permission to share the actual picture. We all must remember that, before being an interesting item for psychical research and a potential Permanent Paranormal Object, this is the picture of a much loved husband – the depiction of a person who, we believe, continues existing in the nonmaterial dimension we call the spirit world, but is still very much missed by his wife on earth. Out of respect for both husband and wife, my readers will have to do with my own tentative description.

The picture portrays a very handsome man in what I reckon would be his late fifties or very early sixties. It’s a head and shoulder shot taken on a summer day. The sun must be high in the sky, and behind the subject. The man has an endearing smile and wears Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses, with brown tinted lenses. And, sure enough, there is a pattern of four “anomalies” – three in the sunglasses and one outside, slightly higher, above the right ear. The best way to describe such anomalies is “fried eggs, sunny side up”, in which the yolk is smaller and much darker than in a chicken’s egg. In the left lens, the anomaly is positioned perfectly so as to correspond to the eye behind the glass. The effect is surprising: you have the white, which looks like the sclera (the white part of the eye) and the “yolk” which gives the impression of the iris.  In the right lens, the anomalies (which are similar in general appearance but differ in details and are different from the one in the left lens) lie side by side, and the “eye” effect is much less strong.

At first glance, the anomalies might be taken for reflections of something the man is looking at. But – quite apart from what Margaret is saying about them appearing suddenly in an old picture… – upon closer inspection this is unlikely to be the case. Plus, and this is crucial, a fourth, very similar anomaly is visible outside the area of the sunglasses. So, no reflection.

I stand by my own assessment of being at a loss in terms of normal explanations. I am certainly not saying that there may not be one, and I am not saying that these anomalies are a “proof” of paranormal forces at play and that they constitute proof of survival.

But I have seen, heard and learned enough in my years of study to be open to that possibility. And so I have written in my response to Margaret.

The eternal problem remains, however, as old as psychical research itself. If this beautiful, loving man had in his powers to alter the physical properties of a picture, why not writing “I love you”? If the spirit communicators of hundreds of physical mediumship séances can cross unimaginable dimensional barriers and have an impact in our physical reality, why bothering with raps, flying trumpets and levitating tables?

The answer, dear readers, is that I don’t know. Nobody knows. This question has been asked by intellects much superior to mine for one hundred and fifty years, and there is very little in a way of answer. We simply don’t know, and this adds to the general frustration for grieving relatives and psychical researchers alike.

I would only like to caution everybody about the easy mistake of wanting to measure the world (the seen as well as the unseen) by our everyday standards. Please remember that our everyday logic and common sense are just powerful illusions. You don’t need to deal with after-death communication to see them failing miserably: a quick look at modern physics, for example, will tell you that the world is a much, much weirder, less understandable place that we commonly presume.

down_app

ndeblind414Amongst the phenomena pointing to the survival of consciousness of bodily death, Near-Death Experiences (NDE) are possibly the most compelling. They area also, however, the best known by anybody interested in the subject of survival. Countless books have been written on the subject, several feature documentaries and even a couple of Hollywood movies have been produced. My readers, therefore, may wonder why I decided to initiate a mini-series of articles dealing with NDEs.

My motivation is that I feel that more clarity is needed. I would like to think that, like myself, the community who follows my writing is mostly composed of “rationalist believers” – individuals who are convinced of the survival hypothesis neither on the basis of faith nor even on the basis of a generic “desire to believe”. Rather, I think, most of us “believe” on the basis of empirical data. Facts are what matters here: following a true scientific approach, we feel compelled to follow the data, wherever that may take us. I also think that we all should be advocates for the truth as we have – always tentatively, provisionally – come to understand it. In the specific case of NDEs, there is one “truth” that is frequently challenged, at times even by open-minded and well-informed observers, and I think that we should be very clear about the arguments and the counter-arguments so that, if we want, we can play our advocates role.

I am talking here of the fact that, before strongly suggesting the survival of consciousness, NDEs are fundamentally at odds with the materialist theories of mind. In NDEs as we understand them are true, then mind and consciousness are not merely the product of the electrochemical activity of the brain. This may seem a secondary point, whilst I believe it is absolutely primordial. The fact that mind and consciousness are somehow independent of and more than the physical brain provides the foundation for a rational belief in life after life. One can open up to the idea of survival if one has, beforehand, understood that mind and brain are not the same thing.

As I follow debates and controversies, I am disconcerted to hear age-old “explanations” being regurgitated again and again, regardless of the fact that they were shown to be incompatible with the empirical data 10 or 20 years ago. I am incensed by the widespread intellectual and methodological mistake of ignoring anecdotal evidence. I am annoyed by the all-too-common promissory materialist explanations: “We don’t know yet, but we’re on the verge of understanding it all – the brain, after all, is much more complex than we think…”

If all this was coming from the sorry lot we call the skeptics, then I wouldn’t worry too much. My problem is that, as I mentioned, you hear such arguments from philosophers of mind and other scholars who are not staunch materialists. These people are open – at least in principle – to the fact that mind could be more than neurons, but they still believe that data from NDE research can somehow be made to fit within the prevailing materialist paradigm. This incapacity of “taking the plunge” and accepting the extreme consequences of what the data seem to indicate makes the efforts of these educated and intelligent thinkers pointless.

In this new mini-series of articles, therefore, I will attempt to build as a systematic, logical and compelling case as I can to argue that NDEs are fundamentally incompatible with the brain-generates-the-mind paradigm. I hope this will be of general interest to my readers, and possibly of use to those who may want to engage in discussions with open-minded critics.

After this introduction, I will try to keep a weekly schedule for these articles, to make it easier for readers to follow my argument. We will start next week with the very basics, that is understanding what, according to the prevailing materialist theories of mind, is necessary to produce consciousness. That in itself, I believe, should be enough to make the entire house of cards fall in light of the NDE facts, but there will be much, much more. Stay tuned.

down_app

 

rossIt is not often that, in my articles, I review other authors’ books. In about one hundred blog posts I have written so far, that has happened literally a few times. As I come back to my core subject of survival and – in particular – the use of afterlife science for the benefit of the bereaved and the dying, however, it is my pleasure to point my readers to a little book which I discovered only recently and turned out to be a wee gem.

The author is celebrity Swiss psychiatrist Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004), primarily known by the general public for having introduced the “five stages of grief”. Or maybe not? The problem of the “stages” is that Kubler-Ross spent a lifetime working with the dying, and not the bereaved. Her five stages provide a general framework for understanding how a person reacts when he or she is told of imminent and premature death, not how a person reacts to the loss of a loved one. The process through which the five stages morphed from a general framework for the dying to a fixed, almost religious dogma artificially applied to anything and anybody, from the bereaved to those who have lost their jobs, is one of the extraordinary tales of the our modern era. Look up “Kubler-Ross” on Google, and see for yourself…

The little book (it’s only 85 pages) I want to briefly talk about is On Life After Death. It looks like a collection of essays, but in fact three of the four main chapters are the transcription of as many lectures that the author gave to various audiences, and the fourth one (perhaps the less strong, in my opinion) is the text of an audio lecture she recorded initially as an audiobook.

What I particularly liked about the book is that Kubler-Ross, speaking from the authoritative standpoint of somebody who has received 14 honorary degrees from Universities around the world, makes a clear, compelling and passionate case for the afterlife. She does so without “beating around the bush”, if my readers will excuse the expression. She has spent thirty years accompanying the dying – particularly dying children – and she has investigated in excess of 20,000 cases of near-death experiences, and she tells it as it is. She doesn’t need – as many of us do – to bring tons of supporting evidence in support of her case. For her, survival of personality has been a direct experience, as a physician, as a scientist and as a human being, for her entire life. She mentions bits and pieces of the research, but her message is extremely focused, aimed directly at those in fear and in pain. Death as we understand it does not exist. And, this is the outline of what happens when we shed our physical body and move into a nonphysical realm of existence.

This book will not say anything much, or anything new, to most of my readers, who, I understand, have been reading about these subjects for years. There are tons of books on afterlife science – including the ones I have written myself – and there are even a few good ones going into details on what we know about the dying process and the way the afterlife is perceived by the discarnate personalities. No – this book is one that you may want to give as a gift to somebody who doesn’t have the time or the energy to dig into the evidence. This person will find a warm, unequivocal, comforting message, delivered by a person of the utmost scientific and moral authority. A wise, caring, extremely learned grandmother who tells it as it is.

down_app

cloudsIt’s been a few weeks since I’ve published the last article on my blog. This is a reflection of the fact that my motivation for doing this work, which has been pretty low for quite some time, is nearing extinction. Should I definitively disengage, I promise that I will give full explanations – nothing new, for those who’ve been following me for some time, but still…

At the root of my frustration is the generalised lack of interest for what I consider the most important question there is to ask – What happens when we die? As French philosopher Albert Camus famously said “The only issue worth exploring in philosophy is suicide”. With that, he meant that if indeed there is no afterlife and life is just a serendipitous phenomenon void of any meaning, then why we don’t all commit suicide? How is it possible, I wonder, that so few people are curious, that hardly anybody wants to know, to learn, to explore?

This situation troubles me even more when I am reminded, like yesterday morning, listening to an interview on BBC radio, of how much suffering could be avoided if intelligent, open minded people would seriously consider the evidence for life after life.

The interviewee was a well-known novelist in his early seventies. He was discussing his relationship with mortality, recalling that for most of his adult life he had been terrorised by the fear of death. Now, he said, he has come to term with the idea that death simply is the end of life, and he is not that scared any more. Still, he said, he is pained by the idea of leaving this material world, of not seeing his children and grandchildren grow up. All very human and very common experiences, I think.

This person is facing another twenty, twenty-five years of life with this constant sadness and pain, which is more much likely to grow stronger than weaker. And all that suffering, I reflect, is for nothing. It simply is the result of ignorance. Not, as many would say, the result of a lack of faith, for, once you have considered the evidence, there is no need to “believe”. I am convinced that if this person was to dedicate a little time and effort to the study of the evidence for survival, a whole lot of suffering could easily be avoided.

But, like so many others, this person remains out of reach, for me and anybody else dealing with afterlife science. How sad is that?

down_app

photo 4As recently promised, in this article I am sharing with my readers an interesting picture that was given to me a couple of years ago. I have another couple of others in my small library, and I will share them in the near future.

This one picture appears to show a quite dramatic, and for me inexplicable, light phenomenon – one of several which occurred in the household of the adorable, young bereaved mother who gave it to me. I remember this lady very well, not only because of the grace, the dignified serenity with which she was carrying the unbearable weight of the loss of a young daughter, but also because of a specific incident which happened during a public demonstration by medium Laura-Lynn Jackson.

This happened at one of the retreats for bereaved parents organised by the Forever Family Foundation, which I attended last year as a speaker and resource person. Such events include talks by experts and public demonstrations by FFF-certified mediums. It is during one of these demonstration – an emotionally (and, for the medium, physically) gruelling affair lasting almost four hours – that Laura-Lynn was addressing the young lady in question. At some point, the medium said “12”, and then insisted “I get 12, 12. Why is 12 important?” The lady, with a gracious smile amidst the tears, said “My daughter passed away on December 12, 2012”.

After the session, the lady approached me saying that she was certain of the survival of her daughter in spirit because she had a number of inexplicable things happening to her which she interpreted as forms of after-death communication. These included light phenomena occurring in her house, and she managed to capture a few on camera.

Now, I have made my view on orbs abundantly clear in my latest book Apparitions. Basically, I go with the opinion of those – notably including Dean Radin – who have investigated them scientifically and showed that they are in fact dust particles.

Here, however, we are certainly not looking at a traditional orb. It is clearly a light phenomenon, but try as I may I cannot come up with a “normal” explanation on how it may have been produced. This does not imply that I consider the phenomenon to be necessarily paranormal, nor I present it as “evidence” for survival. What I can say is that nothing, absolutely nothing in the demeanor of the young lady who shared the photos with me suggested anything other than deep honesty and, I would add, the unmistakeable signs of the wisdom of an old soul.

down_app

itc5This is the final instalment of the mini-series of articles on Instrumental Trans-Communication. As promised, I will share with you some of the results of my own experiments. I have changed the title of this last article, for I do not claim that the anomalies which I think I have found (and which I have briefly described in the previous article) are either “voices” or that they come from “the other side”. Still, they appear to me as anomalies which I cannot readily explain. Let’s briefly recap the technical conditions under which they were obtained.

At first, I used a professional-grade receiver, disconnected from any antenna and tuned to white noise on the frequency of 29,000 KHz. A studio microphone was placed near the loudspeaker and recording was done directly into the computer through a professional soundcard. Under these conditions, as I explained, by splitting the recording in segments of 4 or 6 seconds duration and listening to each segment repeatedly I could identify faint anomalies which simply should not have been there.

The first variation I introduced was to change frequency, to see if these “noise anomalies” were somehow specific to the frequency of 29,000 KHz. I tried going lower in frequency, down to 6,500 KHz, and found exactly the same type of anomaly. Then I went much, much higher, using a different receiver tuned to the frequency of 435 MHz. Still, exactly the same kind of anomaly was present. Interestingly, such anomalies appeared both as I was receiving in amplitude modulation (AM) or single sideband (SSB). These two modalities produce a different level – and even a different nature – of background hiss. Still, the same anomalies were present.

Then I tried a third type of receiver, a cheap AM transistor radio for the medium wave broadcast band, tuned around 1,500 on a frequency on which no broadcasts were present. Same kind of faint anomalies.

The next step was to make absolutely sure that the anomalies were not ambient sounds picked up by the microphone. I was already certain of that, since I was careful to record in an extremely quiet room and, when ambient noises were occasionally recorded, these could be readily identified as such upon listening. Still, I wanted to rule out any possibility. To do so I employed a fourth type of receiver – literally a top-of-the line Software Defined Radio which employs a radically different technology from the others – and connected its digital output directly to the computer recording programme. By “directly” I mean that not only no microphone was used, but the connection did not even use physical cables! The software of the radio receiver communicated directly with the recording software through “virtual audio cables”, a third piece of software running on the same computer. I was stunned to find again the same kind of faint anomalies…

Finally, I built a “Raudive diode” receiver. This is the simplest possible form of radio receiver – basically a crystal radio detector made up of exactly three electronic components: one diode, one resistor and one capacitor – and plugged it directly into the soundcard I use for recording. Even with this ultra-minimalist setup, the puzzling anomalies were present.

Time now to see if yourself can hear anything at all in my recordings. I selected 10 of them, each one a fragment of a few seconds in which I seem to detect one of the sound anomalies I spoke about last time. Please, before listening, take a moment and read the article (again) so that you know broadly speaking what to expect. In order to simulate the process I have gone through, I copied and pasted each fragment a number of times, so you will hear it repeated many times, with a brief interruption between each repetition. If you react in the same way as I did, at the beginning you will only hear the hiss and then, as the fragment is repeated over and over, you may start detecting something.

Here is what you have to do:

1) Download this compressed file onto your computer (right-click and “save as”).

2) Unzip the file in a folder of your choice. You will end up with 10 separate .mp3 files named “Test 01” to “Test 10”.

3) Get hold of a pair of good headphones. Please note that this is absolutely essential – neither the computer speakers nor the cheap, lightweight kind of headphones will cut it. You have to use good headphones, ideally with good sound isolation.

4) Listen to the first .mp3 file. Remember that what you are hearing is the same 3-4 second fragment of the original recording, repeated many times with a brief interruption in between each repetition. See if you can identify anything by the end of the listening.

5) Whether you think you have heard anything or not, please listen to the same file a few more times. The make a note, in writing, of what you think you have heard. (“Nothing” is perfectly acceptable!)

6) Move to the next file and repeat the procedure.

7) Please. Please. Please. Share your findings with all of us. Add a comment to this article with your impressions and remarks. If you have never posted a comment before, it will take a few hours before it will appear. Do check back after a while, also to see what other have written.

Thank you, and I hope you will find this exercise interesting.

down_app

 

 

 

 

WaveIn this fourth article of a mini-series dedicated to some aspects of Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC), I would like to talk about the initial results (many would say non results…) of my own research in this field.

You will remember from the previous article that I have been a passionate radio amateur for over 40 years. I believe that the technical knowledge and experience gathered in exploring – through my hobby – frontier aspects of radio communications, combined with my interest in psychical research, would put me in an almost ideal position to experiment with ITC. So, about three months ago I set out to do some tests.

Following the established good practices in this field, I decided to dedicate half an hour to my experiments every day, and to do it at the same time, just after lunch. This – we are told – is a way to let potential communicators on the other side know that there is a daily window of opportunity.  For several weeks, I experimented with a variety of setups looking for examples of either electronic voice phenomena (utterances that appear on a recording after the experiment) or direct radio voices (utterance which are heard from a radio receiver during the experiment and are also recorded).

Let me say right away that I did not get any of these, at least nothing past what would be classified in ITC as a “class c” recording. I don’t consider this negative result as very meaningful, as I only experimented for a couple of months, whilst it is well known that to even begin to produce good results one has to keep at it, with regularity, for much longer. I therefore plan to resume my experiments soon.

However, right from the beginning, I encountered a most puzzling anomaly. A persistent and – to the best of my knowledge – inexplicable effect. I call it persistent because, in order to make it go away (or at least to have indications on its possible origin) I used a variety of technical setups. And going away, this weak but definitely present anomaly did not. Let me explain, apologising in advance if things get a little technical.

Following, again, the established technical recommendations for ITC experiments, I began by using one of my professional-grade radio receivers – disconnected from any antenna – tuned to the frequency of 29 megacycles (as in the case of the famous book “The Ghost of 29 Megacycles”…). A receiver not connected to any antenna cannot pick up any radio signal (except a very strong one, produced locally). Therefore I used the receiver as source of “white noise”, for we are told that discarnate communicators use this noise as a background to produce their utterances. In the initial experiments I placed a microphone close to the receiver’s loudspeaker, and recorded the white noise for three or four minutes, using a professional soundcard connected to my computer. As expected, during the recording itself, all I could hear was the loud “shhhh” sound produced by the receiver.

Then, I listened to what had been recorded during the experiment. To make sure that I did not miss anything, I divided my recording in sections of three or four seconds each, and listened to each “chunk” several times. If I could not hear anything at all, I would delete the chunk and move to the next one, until I reached the end of the recording.

It is with this method that, with my utter surprise, I begun identifying “patterns” in the white noise which should quite simply not be there. White noise is like white light – a summation of all possible audio frequencies. In the absence of a signal, you expect white noise to be completely homogeneous, to have no irregularities at all. But, alas, in roughly one “chunk” of my recordings in ten, “something” appeared. This means, for instance, that a three minute recording session would produce maybe ten or twelve “chunks” of four seconds in which something out of the ordinary was there.

How to describe these irregularities? Very, very difficult. First of all, they are faint. In most cases, they only become apparent after listening to the “chunk” on a loop for several times. But, once your auditory system “locks in”, they become unmissable. I’ve had my wife, as well as a friend, listen to many of these to make sure I was not having auditory hallucinations, and they confirmed that “something” was definitely there. In the next and final article I will post some of the recordings, so you will be able to tell for yourself.

Secondly, most of them have a rhythm, a pattern. You will certainly have heard somebody who’s lost the use of their voice box and talks through a vibrating mechanical device they put on their throat. In my tests, imagine the white noise produced by the radio briefly and faintly taking on the character of that particular, vibrating speech sound. The length? Very short, as ever in ITC. A short “irregularity” may sound like “Hey, Joe”. A long one may sound like “I’ve been eating bananas.” (Not suggesting any meaning – just to give you an idea of the length and cadence). This is in itself is really puzzling. Not only these irregularities should not be there at all, but the constant short duration (never more than, say, three seconds) and the clear, identifiable pattern and cadence (often mimicking the rhythm of human speech) is a weird coincidence.

Thirdly, these patterns are sometimes repeated after a few seconds, only once, and in almost – but not quite – exactly the same shape. However, they are never repeated more than once or from one day to the next. This is important, because one of my first explanations was that these could be noise from an electrical device (such as a fridge), propagated through the mains and somehow recorded by my setup. If that was the case, however, either the patterns should never repeat or – most likely – they should repeat all the time.

Fourthly, a few of these irregularities are actually sounds. In these cases, it is not a distinct pattern in the noise – but rather an actual sound, like, for instance, a bird chirping. No music whatsoever.

Now, before we go any further, let me tell you that, after a while, some of the “noise irregularities” started to have a clear meaning to me. I do not, repeat do not, claim that these are messages from discarnates. I believe that the most likely explanation is what is technically known as “pareidolia”, a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern where none actually exists. But I cannot help making an interesting remark. I am a bit special person when it comes to languages: I speak and write mother tongue-level Italian, English and French, and I am fluent in Portuguese. During the last 25 years, either at home, at work or in my social interactions, I have only ever spoken either English or French, and I have spoken Portuguese more often than I spoke Italian. Yet, the “anomalies” in the noise definitely have an Italian rhythm and cadence to my ears…. One in particular that I remember now seemed to say “G Marconi”, as in Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of radio.

Next time, I will describe my unsuccessful attempts to make this irregularities go away by using different setups and eliminating possible causes. You will also get to hear some of the samples themselves.

down_app