EVP or Not To Be….
Okay. What was the question again??
By Brent Raynes
For over four decades I have been on the trail of the unexplained, patiently collecting first-hand accounts from men and women (and sometimes children) who described experiences with things that existed outside mainstream and conventional realms of accepted science, religion, and our many cherished social norms. Always nagging slightly in the back of my mind, mainly at a subconscious level, was the realization that while I interviewed hundreds of these people myself, up close and personal, individuals who seemed to qualify as fully credible, honest, not to mention sane, it nonetheless bothered me a bit that when all was said and done, when I got down to me, myself and I, there was a conspicuous absence of direct paranormal experience in my own personal life! I would wonder to myself sometimes how come I hadn’t had some sort of ghostly phantom encounter or a classic Close Encounter of the Third Kind? After all, I am obviously more than a little open-minded about such matters (how long have I edited this magazine now? Hello!).
Then last year, last March to be more precise, I once again crossed paths with the proverbial unexplained, but this time around it’s been a non-stop and ongoing interaction with the paranormal ever since. Sandy Nichols of the Alien Research Group out of Thompson Station, Tennessee, was talking a few months ago with Bret Oldham of Halo Paranormal up in Lebanon, near Nashville, when Sandy remarked, “You know, I’ve known Brent for over ten years and every now and then he’d comment on some odd experience that he had had, but then he’d turn around and offer up a possible natural explanation for it, like a lucid dream state, or it possibly was just some weird coincidence. But since we’ve been on these investigations together using the ‘spirit box,’ he has surprised me since he admits he’s convinced of their reality and can offer no natural explanation.”
Well as I told Sandy when he shared with me a recounting of this conversation that he and Bret had had, there had for me just been too many undeniable first-hand experiences with these “electronic voices” for me to simply dismiss them as something natural or normal. I feel convinced that some sort of interactive intelligence outside of ourselves is manifesting itself though radio frequencies. One theory popular with some parapsychologists is that these “voices” originate from our own subconscious minds, though after nearly a year of hearing and interacting with untold numbers of these “voices” myself, I find that explanation overly simplistic. When you’ve experienced something like this as often as I and others have, you have the distinct impression that you are dealing with something very much outside of yourself, with different voices, different personalities, and so on!
As Bret and I were recently reminiscing about my conversion, so to speak, he recalled a dramatic moment back in July of last year. “I still remember your reaction the first time you heard ‘them’ read what was on the cue cards you had made up,” he wrote in an email. “It was that night over in Sandy’s office. I think the ladies had all dozed off and only us die hards, you, Sandy and myself were still at it. I don’t recall exactly which card it was since we’ve had so many [it was MIB, I remember!] but they got it and it came out clear. I remember I just smiled as I had experienced this phenomenon before. You were leaned over toward the box and listening intently. When ‘they’ read it back to us, and we all clearly heard it, Sandy let out a loud ‘whoa’ and you suddenly sat up straight and raised your hands up over your head cupping the back of your head. The look of amazement on your face was priceless! Too bad no one got a photo. It was classic. Of course, there have been many more moments like that since but unless people experience this for themselves I think it’s difficult for them to understand just how profound the experience is.”
To me, it seems curious that there isn’t more serious research and investigations being conducted on the electronic voice phenomena. Many experimenters worldwide have replicated the same anomalous results and many prominent and distinguished researchers have addressed publicly the deep significance that they perceive with regard to this tantalizing mystery that offers electronic proof of its reality rather than alleged “channeled” messages or subjective oral accounts alone.
Parapsychologist Jon Klimo wrote in UFO Magazine (June/July 2001), that the electronic voice phenomena (EVP) was a “particularly exciting” avenue for researchers to pursue. He felt that parapsychology and ufology independently investigated “two complex fields” that seemed to share “much in common” with a wide spectrum of paranormal phenomena, and he felt strongly that they should “join forces.” He even expressed a strong desire to initiate a study wherein an effort be made to “record extraterrestrial as well as human spirit presence.” He also wrote, “At least some of these extraterrestrials appear by their feats to be inhabiting a set of dimensions, levels or kinds of reality other than our own physically-based one, and by visiting us they seem to lend a cross-world or interdimensional quality to our experience.”
My late friend and colleague Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz, a distinguished psychiatrist, wrote in his book Psychic Nexus (1980), “Two particularly exciting areas that point to the future of parapsychiatric research involve thoughtography (paranormal or spirit photography) and paranormal audiotape recordings.”
“Both paranormal photographic and audiotape techniques are germane to a third subject that dramatically points to the future,” Dr. Schwarz added. “Ufology, or the study of unidentified flying objects (flying saucers), reveals that in many of the alleged close encounters with the entities of landed craft, in addition to various biological and psychophysiological effects, the witnesses often claim psychic effects, such as supposed telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, teleportation, materialization, dematerialization of craft and creatures, apports, causation, relief of various illnesses, and the like.”
A Tragic Event?
In January, on different dates and in different locations, our small investigative team has picked up (as a group all together and independently) disturbing details, through the “spirit box,” of what sounds like a tragic and deadly explosion in a large city in the American Southwest. This year, in fact. We continue to piece the possible clues provided together, which at times has been a trying effort, and at one point the spirits even responded to our anxious and serious questions about who was responsible with what amounted to an apparent form of spirit humor. They jokingly seemed to blame it on my late friend and colleague, Dr. Berthold Schwarz (just quoted a few paragraphs back), as a male voice said “Schwarz is,” and then three seconds later a male voice again is heard to quip, “Might make a toastie ghostie.”
Nonetheless, we’ve gotten the same essential details in different sessions. We welcome feedback from any “ghost box” users who have gotten similar messages, or could ask their spirit guides or spirit technicians for further details. If you do, please email us and let’s compare notes.
A few months back, I jokingly told my wife Joan that if it continues we could compile a CD of humor from the afterlife. The examples continue to accumulate. During a January 15th spirit box session, Bret Oldham produced five different sheets of paper, each one with something different written on it. Incredibly, the “voices” once again correctly told us all five times what was written on each paper! However, again they couldn’t always do something without interjecting some humor. In the case of a paper with “Talking Dog” on it, within three seconds of the second correct response, a voice pretends to howl, then we hear a “ruff,” then a voice says “heel,” and then “arf!” All in about six seconds! One of the papers was “Monsters,” and about two papers later a voice says “Monsters are our friends.”
But humor aside, as with the reading experiments, when “they” (whoever they are precisely) get down to business they can achieve some phenomenal results. I asked Dr. Schwarz if I understood correctly from a previous session that he wanted to be my spirit box guide/tech, to which a voice immediately replied “Yes,” followed by what sounds to me like “as a doctor.” I thought I heard a female voice ask if he was a doctor and I stated, “Bert knows he was a psychiatrist,” to which a male voice immediately said, “Sure Brent.” Again I was trying to get him to say the name of his book, UFO Dynamics, to which again he seemed to be having difficulty. I tried helping with “It starts off UFO. What is the next word?” Immediately a male voice says “Bert, get this.” Then another voice says “UFO D.” Well, my friends, “UFO D” is actually how Dr. Schwarz occasionally would abbreviate the title of his book in correspondence. In fact, I just went to a file folder and pulled a letter out from him dated June 26, 1986 where he referred to his book in this very manner!
But more amazing, a former friend and fellow researcher from Maine (who also knew Dr. Schwarz) has been coming through recently, and during the January 15th session a female voice not only said “Shirley Fickett here,” but this was immediately followed by “Brent, it’s Richard.” Well, my friends, it just so happens Richard was Shirley’s husband’s name! During this session, my daughter Chandra asked the spirits who they wanted to talk with next, and a female voice said “Schwarz-ee.” I had to chuckle to myself over that one, as Shirley had good-naturedly nicknamed the good doctor as “Schwarz-ee Boy.” I’m sure she never referred to him by that name during her lifetime, but now that they’re over there together in the afterlife it would seem that cat is out of the bag now, so to speak. Trying to communicate information to Shirley from her daughter Leanne, I expressed that I felt sure that her daughter was comforted to know that Shirley was “watching over her.” A second later a voice stated, “We’re watching over you too.”
What an eerie feeling it is to hear such things interactively coming at you from out of an AM radio! Yet it’s also a good feeling to feel that something of dearly departed friends and colleagues still seems to continue on after their physical death. Though we seem to have made some genuinely discernible progress since the days of pioneers like Raudive, Jurgensen, and Raymond Bayless, we still have a long, long way to go with EVP studies.
On a recent interview with David Schrader and Mallie Fox of the Darkness On the Edge of Town radio program out of Minnesota, I was telling them about my experiences with the “ghost box,” apologizing at one point saying, “It’s hard to believe I know.”
“Not at all actually,” David Schrader replied. “I’m a big advocate of the ghost box. I have used it very successfully in a number of locations and I have heard just some of the most insane communications ever. I have no idea, and I understand how radio works. This is my job and I sit back and scratch my head as I get communications that I have no idea where it came from and how it’s answering our questions.”
That interview is archived and dated January 26, 2011, and can be found at Darkness Radio.