Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Moving ITC Forward


Conversations on several ITC-related Internet forums have mentioned an interest in moving ITC research forward in various ways. Ideas have ranged from improving listening methods, to testing ideas about the nature of the apparent spirit communicators, to finding new ways and tehnologies to improve communications.

This all prompted me to think about the trends since the early days of ITC, which arguably actually began in the late 19th century. Thinking about these older techniques suggested potential ITC improvements, which are described here.


Spirit voices were first heard from mechanical, not electronic, devices. With the discovery of electricity and its common availability, new devices tended to leverage the new invention. However in the interval at the start of the 20th century, many devices were built that seemed on the surface to be incapable of working. A classical example of such a design was a circuit composed of a single diode connected via a wire to a large cone. These devices purportedly produces something akin to spirit voices. Whether any actually did or not remains something of a mystery.

Audio recording brought us EVP much as practiced to this day. People like Raudive produced even more interesting and, for the first time, persistent records of such voice communications. This was the launch point for the phenomena worldwide. Many early technologies were noisy recordings and some voices were quite impressive. As quieter recording technologies evolved, it became harder to record voices. People came to believe that noise was required for EVP recording. Building on this idea, noise was reintroduced into otherwise quiet recording systems, and sure enough, once again the voices emerged.

This led to a 'more is better' approach to evolving EVP techologies. Among these were software like EVPMaker and various innovators' boxes like Frank's Box, Joe's Box, and so on. This last group of boxes essentially use the same idea, to present potential spirit communicators with audio fragments to manipulate on the notion that this could improve communications. But has this in fact happened? Have things gone a bit too far?

Old Is New

It may be time to go Back to the Future. EVP critics are quick to point out that the amount of signal present in the current crop of Box technologies makes it hard to hear any potential communications. Even an objective listener has to sort the audio wheat from the chaff. This often leads to disagreement as to what recordings actually say.

Sometimes, in order to improve things, it's useful to think about a perfect situation and work towards that scenario. Most would agree that the perfect ITC example would be an otherwise quiet recording from which a voice emerged in response to a specific question. There would be no other sounds and no background noise. Again, this is a perfect scenario. The only thing a critic could say about this recording is that it must have been faked. There is no other explanation. And that makes such a recording the best example conceivable.

There is a world of difference between that perfect example and today's box recordings; that is the opportunity for improvement. The focus needs to shift from recordings with audio clutter to techniques that will produce clearer, cleaner and more pristine results.

A New Approach

A simpler box could be designed and built which would be nothing more than a combined white noise and signal generator. A low level audible tone around 80 Hz or any higher frequency mulitple of 8 Hz would be employed as a carrier signal. The tone should be a sine wave, in other words a pure tone. This would seem to be an ideal signal for external modulation. While it could be argued that stray signals might modulate it, the fact is that this is highly unlikely. We would expect the voice to be reasonably clear and it should not be necessary to listen down in the noise for the signal.

The signal would be free from audible distraction and could be visually analyzed for evidence of modulation that would be otherwise difficult to hear. So there is an experimental benefit as well.

No one should be listening to any signals lower than 10 Hz as they can cause various neural problems. Choosing the frequency at multiples of 8 Hz is quite intentional. A frequency of 80 Hz is a good starting point for this carrier wave. Many early theorists on EVP and ITC suggested that the Schumann resonance (just a bit below 8 Hz) is a frequency of potential interest which should be studied more closely. Some people have asked if there is a good area of the spectrum in which they should listen. The Schumann resonance is that area and hence it makes sense to try multiples of 8 Hz (like 80 Hz for example).


The ITC evolution, much of which involves box technologies, may have gone too far. It may be time to rethink everything.One approach is to go back and simplify everything while raising the standards. In this way, a larger potential audience could hear these communications without the distractions present currently.

The downside of this approach is that it is quite possible those who currently hear words and conversations using the box technologies would cease to hear anything with the new technology. So there is a potential tradeoff: either bring better quality communications to a larger audience while making it harder for others to replicate these successes themselves, or grow the current audience using techologies which, by their very nature, obfuscate the signals they may be receiving.

It is possible the new technologies will breed a new type of listener who actually can produce the phenomena quite easily. Were this to occur, the phenomena would garner a whole new following. Lack of widespread success in the past with similar approaches would suggest a more pessimistic expectation, but that should not discourage a wholehearted attempt. Anyone trying this new approach should do so with every expectation of success.

Current ITC practitioners could ask existing box spirit techs if they could or would be able to assist in the new experimental mode. A highly positive response should inspire even greater confidence. Successful communications with the new technology would demonstrate at least a consistency with the notion that techs are important to such communications.

This is not a trivial decision, but someone needs to do it at some point. It could be groundbreaking and a most reasonable way forward for ITC in general.

No comments: