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Table Of Contents Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7
Introduction The electromagnetic spectrum EMF detectors Thermal imagers Digital Cameras Franks box ,spirit box, shack hack) Voice Recorders And EVP's
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Introduction Television and the paranormal have become a money making giant in the past several years. As a result the pressures to keep the ratings up and the viewers tuning in on a weekly basis have become incredible. It has been my observation that to keep viewers tuned in these shows sometimes stretch the truth, mislead and sometimes outright lie to keep their fans coming back. This isn't based on me "knowing" how to or not to catch a spirit, it is based on understanding my equipment and what their limitations are. The purpose of this book it to help the average paranormal investigator understand the different types of paranormal equipment used on investigations, and to help understand how they work. This will also show you what your equipment can and can't do for you. From that point I hope you will be able to make your own determinations based on what you have learned. In this book are some of my own opinions, and of course you are free to agree or disagree, the contents are based on my own years of research, testing and field experiments. I don't claim to know how to capture or prove paranormal activity, so far nobody has, but what I can prove is how some of the equipment used by paranormal researchers cannot do what others want you to believe they can, they have their own agendas.
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The Electromagnetic spectrum Before we can get into the equipment we use on paranormal investigations we have to first understand the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum is at work for every piece of electronic equipment we use on investigations. The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. The electromagnetic spectrum extends from below the low frequencies used for radio communication to gamma radiation at the short-wavelength (high-frequency) end, thereby covering wavelengths from thousands of kilometers down to a fraction of the size of an atom. The limit for long wavelengths is the size of the universe itself, although in principle the spectrum is infinite and continuous. Wavelength means exactly as it sounds, the length of a wave. It means the distance from the peak of one wave to the peak on the next wave fig. 1. "the distance from any point on a wave to the same point on the next cycle of the wave". The peaks are just easy places to measure from.
It can be measured in: kilometers
mm 1/1000th of a meter.
A hundredth of a meter. 1/1000,000,000th of a meter. Or a millionth of a millimeter.
Frequency is a "how often the waves are measured per second". Hertz
1 Hz means 1 wave per second
1 kHz is 1,000 waves per second
MHz 1 MHz is 1 million waves per second. FM radio stations broadcast around 100 MHz
GHz 1 GHz is 1,000 million waves per second. Microwaves are around a few GHz.
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The electromagnetic spectrum is broken down into seven main regions 1) Radio waves 2) Microwaves 3) Infrared light 4) Visible light 5) Ultraviolet light 6) X ray 7) Gamma ray
Radio waves generally are utilized by antennas of appropriate size (according to the principle of resonance), with wavelengths ranging from hundreds of meters to about one millimeter. They are used for transmission of data, via modulation. Television, mobile phones, wireless networking, and amateur radio all use radio waves. Radio waves can be made to carry information by varying a combination of the amplitude, frequency, and phase of the wave within a frequency band. Microwave, The super-high frequency (SHF) and extremely high frequency (EHF) of microwaves are on the short side of radio waves. Microwaves are waves that are typically short enough (measured in millimeters) to employ tubular metal waveguides of reasonable diameter. Microwave energy is produced with klystron and magnetron tubes, and with solid state diodes such as Gunn and IMPATT devices. Microwaves are absorbed by molecules that have a dipole moment in liquids. In a microwave oven, this effect is used to heat food. Low-intensity microwave radiation is used in Wi-Fi, although this is at intensity levels unable to cause thermal heating. Infrared spectrum 725nm-1000nm +Far-infrared, The lower part of this range may also be called microwaves. The water in Earth's atmosphere absorbs so strongly in this range that it renders the atmosphere in effect opaque. The wavelength range from approximately 200 Âľm up to a few mm is often referred to as "submillimeter" Page | 5
Mid-infrared, Hot objects (black-body radiators) can radiate strongly in this range, and human skin at normal body temperature radiates strongly at the lower end of this region. This radiation is absorbed by molecular vibrations, where the different atoms in a molecule vibrate around their equilibrium positions. This range is sometimes called the fingerprint region, since the midinfrared absorption spectrum of a compound is very specific for that compound. Near-infrared, Physical processes that are relevant for this range are similar to those for visible light. The highest frequencies in this region can be detected directly by some types of photographic film, and by many types of solid state image sensors for infrared photography and videography. Visible light 380 nm and 760 nm Above infrared in frequency comes visible light. The Sun emits its peak power in the visible region, although integrating the entire emission power spectrum through all wavelengths shows that the Sun emits slightly more infrared than visible light. Visible light is the part of the EM spectrum to which the human eye is the most sensitive. Visible light (and near-infrared light) is typically absorbed and emitted by electrons in molecules and atoms that move from one energy level to another. This action allows the chemical mechanisms that underlies human vision and plant photosynthesis. The light which excites the human visual system is a very small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
A rainbow shows the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum; infrared (if you could see it) would be located just beyond the red side of the rainbow with ultraviolet appearing just beyond the violet end. Electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 380 nm and 760 nm (400-790 terahertz) is detected by the human eye and perceived as visible light. Other wavelengths, especially near infrared (longer than 760 nm) and ultraviolet (shorter than 380 nm) are also sometimes referred to as light, especially when the visibility to humans is not relevant. White light is a combination of lights of different wavelengths in the visible spectrum. Passing white light through a prism splits it up into the several colors of light observed in the visible spectrum between 400 nm and 780 nm. At most wavelengths, the information carried by electromagnetic radiation is not directly detected by human senses. Natural sources produce EM radiation across the spectrum, and technology can also manipulate a broad range of wavelengths. Optical fiber transmits light that, although not necessarily in the visible part of the spectrum (it is usually infrared), can carry information. The modulation is similar to that used with radio waves Ultraviolet (UV) 100-400nm, The wavelength of UV rays is shorter than the violet end of the visible spectrum but longer than the X-ray. At the middle range of UV, UV rays cannot ionize but can break chemical bonds, making molecules to be unusually reactive. Sunburn, for example, is caused by the disruptive effects of middle range UV radiation on skin cells, which is the main cause of skin cancer. UV rays in the middle range can irreparably damage the complex DNA molecules in the cells producing Page | 6
thymine dimers making it a very potent mutagen. The Sun emits significant UV radiation (about 10% of its total power), including extremely short wavelength UV that could potentially destroy most life on land, However, the Sun's mostdamaging UV wavelengths are absorbed by the atmosphere's oxygen, nitrogen, and ozone layer before they reach the surface. The higher ranges of UV (vacuum UV) are absorbed by nitrogen and, at longer wavelengths, by simple diatomic oxygen in the air. Most of the UV in this midrange is blocked by the ozone layer, which absorbs strongly in the important 200 315 nm range, the lower part of which is too long to be absorbed by ordinary dioxygen in air. The range between 315 nm and visible light (called UV-A) is not blocked well by the atmosphere, but does not cause sunburn and does less biological damage. It is not harmless and does cause oxygen radicals, mutation and skin damage. X-rays -one ten billionth of a meter, which, like the upper ranges of UV are also ionizing. Due to their higher energies, X-rays can also interact with matter by means of the Compton effect. Hard X-rays have shorter wavelengths than soft X-rays. As they can pass through most substances with some absorption, X-rays can be used to 'see through' objects with thicknesses less than equivalent to a few meters of water. The most notable use in this category being diagnostic X-ray images in medicine. X-rays are useful as probes in high-energy physics. In astronomy, the accretion disks around neutron stars and black holes emit X-rays, which enable us to study them. X-rays are also emitted by the coronas of stars and are strongly emitted by some types of nebulae. However, X-ray telescopes must be placed outside the Earth's atmosphere to see astronomical X-rays, since the atmosphere of Earth has a density equivalent to about 10 meters thickness of water, an amount sufficient to block almost all astronomical Xrays. Gamma rays- anything smaller than one ten billionth of a meter, After hard X-rays come gamma rays, which were discovered by Paul Villard in 1900. These are the most energetic photons, having no defined lower limit to their wavelength. In astronomy they are valuable for studying high-energy objects or regions, however like with X-rays this can only be done with telescopes outside the Earth's atmosphere. Gamma rays are useful to physicists thanks to their penetrative ability and their production from a number of radioisotopes. Gamma rays are also used for the irradiation of food and seed for sterilization, and in medicine they are occasionally used in radiation cancer therapy. More commonly, gamma rays are used for diagnostic imaging in nuclear medicine, with an example being PET scans. The wavelength of gamma rays can be measured with high accuracy by means of Compton scattering.
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An EMF meter is an instrument for measuring electromagnetic fields. Most meters measure the electromagnetic radiation flux density (DC fields) or the change in an electromagnetic field over time (AC fields), essentially the same as a radio antenna, but with different detection characteristics. The two largest categories are single axis and tri-axis. Single axis meters are cheaper than a triaxis meters, but take longer to complete a survey because the meter only measures one dimension of the field. Single axis instruments have to be tilted and turned on all three axes to obtain a full measurement. A tri-axis meter measures all three axes simultaneously, but these models tend to be more expensive. Electromagnetic fields can be generated by AC or DC currents. An EMF meter can measure AC electromagnetic fields, which are usually emitted from man-made sources such as electrical wiring, while gauss meters or magneto meters measure DC fields, which occur naturally in Earth's geomagnetic field and are emitted from other sources where direct current is present. The earth's natural EMF levels range from .01 to 1.0 Nm depending on the structure of the bedrock you are standing on and its contents. As most electromagnetic fields encountered everyday are those generated by household or industrial appliances, the majority of EMF meters available are calibrated to measure 50 and 60 Hz alternating fields (the frequency of US and European standards). There are other meters which can measure fields alternating at as low as 20 Hz, however these tend to be much more expensive and are only used for specific research purposes. The largest problems with these tools are not if they work to detect paranormal activity, it is in the interpretation of data collected, and the gross neglect to properly identify the sources of the readings. On all of the popular TV shows and with many investigation teams, you will see investigators walking around a location getting a "Base" reading. This in itself is misleading at best. There are no base readings at a location that has electricity running through it, every time you plug a device in or unplug a device it will change the "base" reading for that area. The same with appliances turning on and off, like a refrigerator, furnace or air conditioner. These shows will never tell you how these tools really work because if they did they would lose their audience, so they go out of their way to make you believe it is something paranormal (without ever Page | 8
saying so) Identifying the different types of energy using your EMF detector can be tricky, This is because your meters can detect three different type of energy. (Trifield meters can be set to detect a particular energy) they can detect electromagnetic energy from anything that uses electricity to operate, this includes washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, dishwashers, clocks, TV's, stereos, computers, gaming systems and ALL of the wiring running through the walls, floors and ceilings that have electricity flowing through them. And your meter can detect radio waves from, WI-FI, analog cordless phones, CB radios, cell phones, walkie-talkies and baby monitors. And finally it can detect microwave energies from microwave ovens, cell towers and some WI-FI networks So now you are forced to ask yourself a question, If you were to get a reading with your EMF detector, how do you identify the source? Was it a truck nearby using a CB radio? Was it your neighbor's baby monitor or Wi-Fi network? In today's technologically advanced world it is impossible to isolate a location to the point where there is no electromagnetic energy contaminating your investigation, so therefore in this type of environment you as an investigator should not collect this as evidence because there are no ways to determine the source or type of energy detected, much less trying to prove that it is something paranormal. This isn't to say that your EMF meter cannot detect something paranormal, It very well could, but how can you tell? How do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt it's not something in our environment that triggered the reading, short of getting a reading while you see a spirit standing in front of you.
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Thermal Imaging Cameras
Thermal imaging works by capturing the infrared radiation emitted by any object, person or animal. Anything above the temperature of 0 degrees Kelvin, also known as absolute zero, emits some measure of infrared energy. To get an accurate reading of temperature using thermal imaging, the camera must run a series of algorithms based upon the infrared radiation emitted by an object and its emissivity. Because no object radiates 100 percent of its temperature as infrared radiation, thermal imaging cameras use emissivity, the percentage of the thermal radiation emitted to the true temperature of the object to provide a more accurate read of the object's temperature. Using these algorithms, the thermal imaging cameras can create an image of the environment without the need for visible light with fairly accurate temperature readings. Thermal imagers seem to be the most desired instrument for ghost research at the moment. They are 'most wanted' because they are very expensive. The fact that they appear on TV ghost shows just adds to their desirability. So why do paranormal researchers want these expensive tools and what can they expect to see if they own one? The most obvious reason is that they hope that ghosts will show up in thermal imagers when they are not visible in normal light. So cold spots are an obvious target. Some ghost researchers speculate that ghosts manipulate energy to appear and that such anomalies may show up in thermal imagers. Are these reasonable expectations? No, not really.A cold spot can be a real area of lower temperature or just one that feels colder to people. Even if a cold spot really is physically colder, would a thermal imager reveal it? No, it won't. Like IR laser thermometers, it picks up temperatures from object surfaces rather than the air. So a cold pocket of air will not show up in a thermal imager. On the other hand, an imager might reveal cold surfaces that might be causing people to feel cold nearby. What about ghosts? The idea that ghosts should show up in thermal imagers is more of a wish than something supported by evidence. Apparent figures and other anomalies have appeared in thermal imagers but there could be other reasons for this. This doesn't mean ghosts can't appear in thermal imagers, just that there is no evidence yet that they do, since we still have no idea what ghosts consist of. Page | 10
How does a thermal imager work? It is crucial that anyone buying a thermal imager understands what they are getting. Many people think they are getting a 'heat viewer' but it is not quite as simple as that. A much better way to consider a thermal imager, despite its name, is that it is like a camera. However, instead of recording visible light, it shows mid- and farinfrared radiation. Most surfaces in direct line of sight to the thermal imager should give a temperature reading. That's because they emit mid-far-IR, rather than reflect it. Since the image shows the temperature, rather than light reflected, there can be hot and cold spots that wouldn't appear in a normal photo. In addition, a surface may appear warm or cool after having been in contact with a hot or cold object. For instance, a chair may show a warm image of a human for a while after they get up. Unlike light, heat moves very slowly through a solid body. As with an ordinary camera, the air is generally invisible. Thermal imagers will see completely through smoke, mists or sprays, which is one of the reasons why they are so useful for what they were designed to do. For this reason, a cold spot in the air will not show up in a thermal image at all. Not all surfaces show their true temperature. Metals, for instance, appear dark and reflect midfar-IR. Other surfaces that readily reflect mid-far-IR include glass, polished ceramics and stone. Any temperatures, or even images, on these surfaces, in fact, are a reflection from another source. Imagine taking an ordinary light photo of a mirror and you will begin to see the problem. Such reflective surfaces may even reflect radiation onto surrounding surfaces, warming them up. Any reflective object could also reflect radiation directly into the thermal imager lens, possibly causing strange, false images similar to lens flare. Since mid-far-IR acts like light, the same kind of anomalies can occur as in ordinary light photos. Odd shapes can appear suggestive ( like faces or figures) of paranormal phenomena. Given that the objects look completely different to their appearance in light photos, this can be particularly problematic. So what may look like a dark ghostly figure in a thermal image may just be a tall, cylindrical metal object. As in ordinary cameras, images can be out of focus in thermal imagers. Also, since mid-far-IR has a longer wavelength than light, images will always appear fuzzier compared to ordinary light video. Overall, this means that you should not expect too much detail in thermal images. Any small anomalies are probably nothing but artifacts. Because midfar-IR ignores small particles in the air, at least you needn't expect orbs! Because of these problems, it is recommended that another video camera ( night vision), pointing at the same scene, should always used in conjunction with thermal imagers. In this way it should be possible to check the identity of any strange shapes that appear in the thermal imager. As with laser thermometers, the temperature reading depends on the emissivity of the objects being imaged. This is a property that varies from object surface to surface. Since the emissivity will typically vary from object to object in one image, it means the temperatures shown cannot be relied on to be accurate. What looks like a 10 C difference between two objects may only be 5 C or perhaps it's 15 C. A thermal imager can give a reasonable picture of surface temperatures but if accuracy is important, you will need a thermometer as well. As with any instrument, you should understand what it does, how it works and its limitations. Unless you clearly understand the science behind a thermal imager and what it is measuring, claiming a paranormal anomaly from a thermal would be unwise. I will try to sum this all up, to show you why a thermal imager does not and will not do what all the paranormal reality shows say they do. Consider this. 1) If a FLIR camera could detect paranormal activities, don't you think the manufacturers would market this fact? they don't, they understand the limitations. If they could detect such things they would win the Nobel Prize. 2) Thermal imagers cannot see through glass, it only sees the surface temperature of the glass itself, therefore anything seen moving on a pane of glass is simply a reflection of thermal Page | 11
energy from another heat source.
3) look at the photo below, we can roughly determine the ambient temperature of the environment by looking at the color key to the right. If a thermal imager could see the temperature of the air (which is what you would have to do to detect a spirit, based on current theories) ask yourself this. If it truly can see air temperature why isn't the entire screen covered with the color of the ambient environmental temperature on the color key below? If it is thirty degrees C, why isn't the entire screen orange? Because it can't see air temperature, no matter how hot or cold. The air is not dense enough to emit infrared radiation. Therefore it cannot detect a cold spot moving through the environment.
So just like the last section on EMF detectors, the TV shows do not want you to know the real science behind this device or they would lose their audience. More deception.
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Instead of film, a digital camera has a sensor that converts light into electrical charges. The image sensor used by most digital cameras is a charge coupled device (CCD). Some cameras use complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology instead. Both CCD and CMOS image sensors convert light into electrons. Once the sensor converts the light into electrons, it reads the value (accumulated charge) of each cell in the image. This is where the differences between the two main sensor types kick in, A CCD transports the charge across the chip and reads it at one corner of the array. An analog-to-digital converter (ADC) then turns each pixel's value into a digital value by measuring the amount of charge at each photo site and converting that measurement to binary form. CMOS devices use several transistors at each pixel to amplify and move the charge using more traditional wires. Differences between the two types of sensors lead to a number of pros and cons: CCD sensors create high-quality, low-noise images. CMOS sensors are generally more susceptible to noise. Because each pixel on a CMOS sensor has several transistors located next to it, the light sensitivity of a CMOS chip is lower. Many of the photons hit the transistors instead of the photodiode. CMOS sensors traditionally consume little power. CCDs, on the other hand, use a process that consumes lots of power. CCDs consume as much as 100 times more power than an equivalent CMOS sensor. CCD sensors have been mass produced for a longer period of time, so they are more mature. They tend to have higher quality pixels, and more of them. Although numerous differences exist between the two sensors, they both play the same role in the camera, they turn light into electricity. For the purpose of understanding how a digital camera works, you can think of them as nearly identical devices. Digital Camera Resolution, The amount of detail that the camera can capture is called the resolution, and it is measured in pixels. The more pixels a camera has, the more detail it can capture and the larger pictures can be without becoming blurry or "grainy." Some typical resolutions: 256x256 - Found on very cheap cameras, this resolution is so low that the picture quality is Page | 13
almost always unacceptable. This is 65,000 total pixels. 640x480 - This is the low end on most "real" cameras. This resolution is ideal for e-mailing pictures or posting pictures on a Web site. 1216x912 - This is a "megapixel" image size -- 1,109,000 total pixels -- good for printing pictures. 1600x1200 - With almost 2 million total pixels, this is "high resolution." You can print a 4x5 inch print taken at this resolution with the same quality that you would get from a photo lab. 2240x1680 - Found on 4 megapixel cameras -- the current standard -- this allows even larger printed photos, with good quality for prints up to 16x20 inches. 4064x2704 - A top-of-the-line digital camera with 11.1 megapixels takes pictures at this resolution. At this setting, you can create 13.5x9 inch prints with no loss of picture quality. High-end consumer cameras can capture over 12 million pixels. Some professional cameras support over 16 million pixels, or 20 million pixels for large-format cameras. For comparison, Hewlett Packard estimates that the quality of 35mm film is about 20 million pixels You may have noticed that the number of pixels and the maximum resolution don't quite compute. For example, a 2.1-megapixel camera can produce images with a resolution of 1600x1200, or 1,920,000 pixels. But "2.1 megapixel" means there should be at least 2,100,000 pixels. This isn't an error from rounding off or binary mathematical trickery. There is a real discrepancy between these numbers because the CCD has to include circuitry for the ADC to measure the charge. This circuitry is dyed black so that it doesn't absorb light and distort the image. In paranormal investigations, we mainly focus on four types of digital cameras and the first three are straight forward. The first is a regular unmodified digital camera, this allows us to capture photos in the visible light spectrum, the second is a infrared (IR) camera. This type of camera allows us to capture photos in the near infrared spectrum (700Nm -1mm) The third is a UV camera, this allows us to capture photos in the ultraviolet spectrum (380-200 nm) And finally a "full spectrum" camera, this is a bit misleading, there are no cameras that can see the full electromagnetic spectrum, a more accurate name would be a wide spectrum camera. This type of camera combines the capabilities of the previous cameras I have discussed and can take photos in the IR, UV, and the visible spectrums. (380 nm-1mm), wider spectrum, not full spectrum. I cannot get through this segment without mentioning Orbs (backscatter) so here it goes. Orbs are the most debated part of the evidence at this point in the history of paranormal investigation and although dust, water droplets, snow, pollen, water vapor, mold spores and other such material can mimic the way orbs look physically, there are important differences that must be carefully examined and identified before an anomaly can truly be called an orb. As a generally accepted rule there are three questions an investigator can use to determine if an orb is genuine or if it is some sort of airborne particulate matter. These are: 1) circular Is the orb in question perfectly circular? By definition an orb is a circular or sphere shaped object. If an orb in question is elliptical, oval, diamond shaped, etc. it is not a true orb... therefore, the potential for an airborne particle is almost 100% 2) 3D Is the orb three dimensional? Does it stand out from its surroundings and/or have depth in the photograph? If not it is probably airborne particulate matter or something on the camera lens. 3)self luminous Is the orb self luminous - does it emit its own light? orb brightness 1) HDO High Density Orbs Ă’2) LDO Low Density Orbs Page | 14
HDO High Density Orbs are the least common of the two types of orbs. Generally, these orbs are the only anomaly in a photo, are opaque (solid) in appearance and glow brightly from within. These orbs are usually of magnitudes two (bright) and three (super bright). 2) LDO Low Density Orbs are the more common of the two types of orbs and are generally what is thought of when the subject of orbs is mentioned as these can very closely resemble airborne particulate matter. The primary difference between these orbs and airborne matter is that, although they are translucent, they are light emissive. This type of orb is of a magnitude zero (almost completely dark) or one (dim). Much like stars in the night sky, orbs can be measured by their magnitude (brightness) in a photo. Although this is really only a theoretical system for classifying photographic data for investigation purposes I believe that it will prove useful for those serious enough to explore it. The basic idea behind orb magnitude is that investigators can now classify orbs so that they may be understood in relation to events such as solar flares, geomagnetic storms, etc. so that a pattern of activity may be established. Orbs rated by magnitude will follow an ascending scale from zero (0) least bright to three (3) most bright. Arguably, the most common causes of orbs are dust and other airborne particles, or even small flying insects. When solid particles are floating just inches in front of the camera's lens, then the photographic flash makes them very bright. This particle is out of focus, so it just shows up as a round spot of light in the picture. Moisture in the air can also catch the light and cause orbs. It is important to know if the air was damp the day the picture was taken or if it was raining or snowing. These particles, when exposed to the flash, cause refraction rings that form within the orb which can easily be seen without much effort. These rings are caused by the particle refracting the light back to the lens, different particles may have different rings and different types of rings. Orbs can also be created by bright lights in an area where the photo is being taken, by angles of light and by many types of artificial lighting. Lens flare is caused when there's a bright light, like the sun, in the picture or just outside of it. The source of light reflects off a portion of the lens, and creates internal reflections of the aperture of the camera. Colored orbs may be just dependent on what light refraction's were present when the photos were taken. While rare (except in some heavy swampy marsh areas), ball lightning may also be mistaken for an orb and may fit all the requirements previously stated. Refraction rings- Some have argued that these anomalies could still be dust or airborne particulate matter. Potentially, however unless the dust was radioactive it probably would not glow of its own accord. Dust, water vapor/droplets, pollen, mold spores and other such materials can only be photographed within a few feet of the camera which is generally the effective flash distance any orb outside of this range that meets the three primary criteria could not be disproved by this line of reasoning (unless it was a bright light seen off in the distance.. such as building lights, lights off of towers, solar grave marker lights, reflections of reflective surfaces, or dim lights commonly seen within the home). More often than not I have seen photos taken by someone that is of some sort of airborne particulate matter which they believe is an orb. When I have tried to explain, by the reasoning utilized in the three questions previously outlined, that what they have photographed is not a real orb some people have become upset and insist that it is an orb that they photographed. Some people so desperately want to believe that they have captured ghostly activity in their photo and because of this they will not listen to any logic or scientific reason that would indicate anything other than what they want to believe. If you are evaluating a photograph and the anomaly in the photo does not meet the minimum three requirements as stated above, whatever is in the photo is, almost without question, not a true orb. In order to avoid this â€œis it or isn't it?â€? argument if someone still insists that it is an orb because it has an unusual color you may want to refer to the following list: Page | 15
Orb colors and what causes them Yellow, Orange or Red orbs = Pollen Green or Blue orbs = Mold Spores Grey orbs = Dust White or Blue orbs = Snow, water or dust Dust/Dirt
I am stunned by the number of Paranormal reality shows who pass on orbs as a genuine paranormal event. How long are people going to cling to this ridiculous fallacy just so they can claim to be a part of something Paranormal? It just undermines any serious attempts at capturing true paranormal phenomena.
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Franks Box (Spirit Box, Shack Hack)
The spirit box is a hot button topic these days, you have those who believe whole heartedly that this device allows people to communicate with the other side, and those like myself who think it is something entirely different than that. Frank Sumption built a homemade radio reciever that was broken by design, He built it so it would continually scan the frequancies of the radio band. Later it was taken a bit further by Bill Chapelle who modified consumer AM/FM radios and created what we see today. Before I give my thoughts on the Franks box, I would like you to read an interview from Frank Sumption himself on how this device works, Pay attention to the underlined words. The Box as Explained by Frank Sumption durring an interview, in his own words. The purpose of the “box” as it is now referred to, is simply to provide a source of audio bits made up of fragments of human speech, music and noise. This noise is known as “raw” audio, it is the raw material out of which spirits of the deceased, and other entities use to create their own voices out of. “Presumably” by remodulating and remixing the raw audio to make the various noise fragments from words and voices of their choosing. In the box, the raw audio is created by sweeping the tuning of a radio electronically across its band, or tuning range, the resulting bits of speech music and noise are the raw audio. Radio is simply a convenient source of raw audio. However, that's only a guess as to how the box works, there does seem be an RF component, or at times an actual signal received, or some other method of getting an external voice into the radio in the “the box.” Some of the manipulation of the raw audio seems to take place inside the electronics, again, presumably “they” can manipulate the electrical signals. I don't have the equipment, or know how to be able to test these ideas. Page | 17
The concept of the box is that simple, it can be stated in a single paragraph, as above. There is nothing special, or magical about the box, it is in fact just one method of supplying the raw audio. The raw audio can be white noise, the sound of running water, crowd noise-as in a crowd of people talking, noise from a fan, or the noise from a radio tuned between stations. Raudive believed the frequency of 1,485 Khz was useful to the entities. I like to use this radio method when there is skip, or distant radio stations fading in and out almost randomly. Sweep Modes When I first made the box, I fashioned it after EVP Maker, a computer program that takes speech audio in the form of a wave file, breaks it up in chunks, then plays these chunks, or raw audio, back randomly while recording the result. The term “raw audio” is from EVP Maker. Entities manipulate the raw audio inside the computer to form meaningful phrases and messages inside the computer! When I first got the idea for the box I assumed the sweep had to be random, like EVP maker. In 2006, with the help of members of the yahoo group EVPITC, we found that the sweep could be done by hand, simply turning the radio dial by hand while recording directly from the speaker. Then we found the box sweep could be linear. To me, the ghost voices seemed more consistent, and longer when linear mode was used. Curiously, now that I have linear mode I have a great deal of trouble getting the random sweep mode to function at all. Types of Radios Back in the mid 1990's, I was using radio tuner modules removed from older digital car stereos to make sensitive voltage tunable radios to receive distant AM stations, known as AM DX. As I used EVP Maker, I kept getting messages the seemed to be relayed from spirits that seemingly could not use the computer, so in 2002 I was wondering what else I could use. After a week or two I was driving the company truck and the idea for the first box popped into my head, fully formed, I could actually see #1 in my head. Fortunately, these “visions” are just very brief times where normal reality seems to disappear. I've had a few of these “visions” throughout my life. I think in this case it was my own mind assembling previously known information to create the idea for the box, as I had used these tuners in the past. I am no engineer, and I was unaware of other sources of tuners and radios, other than car stereos that could be voltage tuned until the man that invented the Paranormal Puck, and the Ovilus, a digital method spirits can use to form voices, discovered that a simple box could be produced by “hacking” some of Radio Shack's AM/FM radios. By clipping one pin, the radio would sweep up the band without stopping when the tuning button was pushed and held for a couple seconds, then start over when it reached the upper band limit. This was actually the discovery of linear sweep. I used these same Radio Shack radios without their processor board, and supplied my own sweep voltage from an op amp based function generator. The voltage from the sweep generator is in the form of a triangle wave, so it sweeps the radio's tuning smoothly up the band, then back down the band. Recently, Radio Shack discontinued the radios that were originally being “hacked,” fortunately for ghost research there are newer models that are hackable. I didn't want to be tied to commercial whims of radio availability so I began trying to come up with my own design. At first I tried using standard heterodyne, or down conversion radios, which is the norm for radio design now. I found in every case that the radios were very noisy in between stations. While some of this noise is acceptable, and may even be used by some entities to form voices, mostly it interferes with intelligibility of the voices. I found that in this case, simpler may be better, as in a simpler radio design. When radios were first produced back in the 1920's, they simply amplified the Radio Frequency Signal using circuits that were adjusted by hand to resonate at the desired Page | 18
frequency. Only one frequency is at resonance for any given setting of the controls, others are attenuated. Several of these resonate stages were used to get enough gain of the signal, then the audio was separated from RF by a detection circuit, usually a simple diode. The audio is then amplified to drive a speaker. There is a modern version of the TRF, Tuned Radio Frequency, receiver in chip form, the MK484. This chip has been replaced recently by the TA7642. Only one tuned circuit is required, and it can easily be made voltage tunable by using varactor diodes. The result in a box there is much less noise between stations, and my own opinion more intelligible voices. There is one drawback, the broadcast fragments, chunks of audio that are actually whole words and phrases from broadcasts, are more frequent, and longer. Now, there may be synchronistic reception of frags, that is there may be a personal meaning to what is received, or the frags (fragments) may be combined with words created by the entities. As with anything from the boxes, or any method, you have to judge it by personal meaning, or content. I don't take anything from any form of EVP as gospel truth. I use the box as a form of spiritual guidance. I think many are looking for certain kinds of voices from the box that would be consistent with older methods of EVP recording, in doing so they miss most of what comes through, and break out all skeptical/critical of the box and box users. I have heard from various researchers that will not accept that entities can re-arrange broadcast voice fragments to form meaningful messages. First, they assume spirit is somehow a human that is reduced in function and mind power, that spirit is something of a retarded half human entity no longer capable of intelligent action, that concept is Hollywood, and not even close to the fact that is us, the so called living that is diminished, and unable to perceive anything of the real universe out there. The spirits/entities are higher dimensional beings; as such they have full access to this level, a lower dimension, and can easily manipulate electrical signals. Box Beginnings The genesis of the box was not as profound as many seem to like to think. I'm not so much a paranormal researcher or investigator, mostly I'm just curious and intrigued. I used to buy the magazine Popular Electronics for articles and electronic construction projects. In 1995 there was an article on EVP in Popular Electronics, the first I had heard of the phenomenon. I tried the experiments with white noise, but got nothing back in 1995. Being busy with ham radio and other projects, I decided to set the magazine aside and try again some other time. I came across the magazine again in 2000, and decided to try again, this time there was a voice. I don't remember what was said, and I didn't save the recordings, but it was a man, and he seemed to know me, or it had that feeling to the contacts. I got a number of other voices, even animals, but listening to the recordings with the volume turned all the way up made my ears ring, so I started searching the web for other methods. I quickly found EVP Maker, a freeware program that runs on the computer. I tried this and one of the first voices I got on a computer that was just the bare board, drives and power supply, no case was â€œThat's some special computer board, Frank and Norma.â€? I was stunned, and completely hooked by then. After more than a year of using EVP Maker, I noticed I would get messages that seemed to be relayed form spirits that could not use the computer. It's now been too long for me to remember exactly what the messages, and suffice to say my record keeping skills leave a great deal to be desired. I began to wonder what else I could use so all entities could speak, this was in the summer of 2002. After maybe a week or two, again I don't remember how long, but all the sudden, while driving one day I got like a vision of the first box, and knew how it was supposed to work. I had used receiver modules removed form car stereos back in the 90s for AM DX, or listening to distant AM stations. The box or EVP receiver idea was to take one of these voltage tunable receiver modules and sweep it's tuning with a random voltage. It was only because EVP Maker used a random function in generating the raw audio that I had assumed the sweep had to be random in Page | 19
the boxes. Later experiments, and the “discovery” of the hackable radios led to the development of linear and manual sweep modes, which seems to work better than random mode in that the messages are longer and more coherent, easier to understand. Since I started using linear sweep, I find the random circuit difficult to even make work, and run consistently, but I do include it in an occasional box. I do this work pretty much out of curiosity about the voices, and the fact that something speaks via radio that ordinarily should not be there and is clearly not broadcast fragments, or any other “normal” radio transmission keeps me intrigued. It's not so much “for the benefit of mankind,” and I have no delusions of fame or fortune. A Word of Caution All of the boxes so far are experimental devices, and not designed, built, or intended to be carried around dark basements, or soggy graveyards chasing ghosts. The boxes were intended to be used in a fixed location for the purpose of ITC communications. The circuit boards and cabinets may not stand up to being carried on ghost hunts. You also have to keep an eye on the 12 volt AA battery packs, some have melted due to battery malfunctions. Contrary to popular belief, spirits, and entities travel, you have only to ask, or maybe even just think of the person you want to contact, there is no need to go the “haunted locations.” Besides, just what kind of being do you think you're going to contact in a dark moldy basement? I prefer entities that come out and play in the light. Ok, interesting interview. First let me say that I commend Frank for thinking outside the box (no pun intended) he had no intentions of misleading anyone, yet once it got into someone's hands with the wrong intentions...here we are. If you noticed during this interview there were a lot of assumptions and guesses to how this device works, he even admits that he doesn't have the ability to test his own theories as to how the Franks box works. This is a problem for me and other like minded people. Just because you assume something doesn't make it so. And here is my biggest complaint, the Franks box as we know it was developed by Bill Chappelle, who is a well known engineer in the robotics and semiconductor industry. He knows fully how this device works and he also knows exactly what's going on here. This is nothing more than audio matrixing. If you ask the same question enough times, sooner or later you will hear a relevant response, what about all of the other words that were spoken and were ignored? If you had asked another question then they would have been relevant. It's all about tuning into what you want to hear. I have an opinion on why Bill Chappelle doesn't disclose the information that he knows to be the truth, and it has nothing to do with the paranormal. Frank Sumption even admitted that linear sweeping has better results than random sweeps, this is due to broadcasts being carried over to nearby frequencies. If it is a random sweep there is no time to put two or three words together. But wait a second, I thought this was about building blocks... So once again it comes down to the same thing, even if this device allows you to communicate with the deceased, how in the world could you go about proving it? we take a lot of care to limit the amount of contamination in our EVP sessions, yet with the Franks Box we invite radio station contamination? This device is nothing more than another tool used by the media to hook viewers who don't know any better. Frank says the box is just a source for raw audio, and these are the building blocks for ITC and EVP's. So I did some tests of my own. First I used a PSB-7 spirit box, I asked five questions over and over again with timed intervals in between, I did this for ten to fifteen minutes. In this time I recorded several "answers" that were relevant to the questions I asked. Then I used a Sony Walkman, the thing about the Walkman is that I can use the UHF/VHF TV bands, these are no longer used by television studios since TV went digital, so there is nothing but static, basic building blocks right? I used the same questions for the same amount of time, and in that Page | 20
time I didn't record a single peep, no words, no music no sounds whatsoever. Why is this? I think you can answer that for yourself.
Voice Recorders and EVP's Voice recorders are intended for one purpose, to record human voice and do so over extended periods of time. They are great for witness interviews and keeping verbal logs of investigations. They are inexpensive, and as such are built that way with cost a primary concern. But that comes at a price. To begin with, these recorders are intended for long record times. Many see this as an advantage, but let's consider how they achieve these record times, some going as much as 100 hours depending on memory availability. Digital recorders work by taking an analog signal (the voice), and sampling it thousands of times each second to determine a digital equivalent to the instantaneous signal level at that time. The digital value of each of these samples are stored, one by one, in the recorder's memory. Later, when the recording is played back, the digital value is converted back to its analog level, amplified, and heard over the speaker or headphones. Many desire a long record time because they want to be able to record for long intervals without running out of memory. Digital recorders can extend the record time in two ways. First they can lower the sample rate, that is take fewer samples each second which simply makes the available memory last longer before filling. Secondly they can compress the audio files they create. This is a method where certain parts of the recorded file are deemed unnecessary and eliminated. Doing this makes each sample smaller, also using memory at a lower rate. But neither of these memory saving techniques is desirable for EVP work. The sample rate, Each of these represent instantaneous points in time when the sample was made. But sound is continuous, there really are no "instantaneous" points in a sound or voice. So the recorder when it replays the recording must fill in the gaps between these samples. But how does it know what to put there? Fact is, it doesn't. So it simply averages the last two points together and assumes the level should be approximate to that average. However it is quite possible to miss something there. When that happens we get what are known as conversion errors. These are alterations, changes, which deviate from the original sounds or voices recorded. One way to minimize these conversion errors is to increase the sample rate; take more samples and the recorder has less averaging to do. It has more of the original audio data to work with. There are certain standards which apply to determining sample rate, Nyquist Point, etc., simply Page | 21
know that the higher the sample rate the more accurate the recorder will be at processing audio. And Voice Recorders generally use the lowest sample rates they can to record voice quality instead of full range audio. A second factor is compression. Many voice recorders use various compression techniques, some more effective than others. The problem is the more effective compression methods result in longer record times. Unfortunately they also result in a greater amount of alteration to the audio signal since more data is determined to be unnecessary, and is discarded. Later the recorder will simulate what the various algorithms assume should be there and insert its own data to fill in. Trouble is no recorder can really know what was removed, only simulations can be made to restore what sounds reasonably close to the original. This may be fine for normal speech, but when it comes to EVP we really don't know what constitutes an EVP. We don't know how they are created. We don't even know what creates them. Yet here we have recorders which are removing and altering the data based on what we assume is normal speech. Since we don't know what EVPs are, how can we know what part of an EVP is unnecessary or can be removed? Answer is we can't. So for EVP work we need to go to the next level. If we are going to use digital we need to sample at a high enough rate to prevent most conversion errors. And we need to forego the compression which can alter the audio we record. In short we have two options. First we can go with analog tape which, because it records the actual signal instead of a digital equivalent, has no conversion errors and compression factors. Or if we go digital we can use a better quality digital recorder instead of one made for voice only. Cost wise, analog tape is the cheapest way to go. You can get cassette recorders starting around $100 (less for used machines) up to several hundred dollars US. If you choose digital, these start around $200 and can go into the thousands depending on what you want. If you are serious about EVPs though, you will need to get a recorder which is reliable and not prone to the multitude of false positives and altered audio on cheap recorders.
Electronic voice phenomena - or EVP - is a mysterious event in which human-sounding voices from an unknown source are heard on recording tape, in radio station noise and other electronic media. Most often, EVPs have been captured on audiotape. The mysterious voices are not heard at the time of recording; it is only when the tape is played back that the voices are heard. Sometimes amplification and noise filtering is required to hear the voices. Some EVP is more easily heard and understood than others. And they vary in gender (men and women), age (women and children), tone and emotion. They usually speak in single-words, phrases and short sentences. Sometimes they are just grunts, groans, growling and other vocal noises. EVP has been recorded speaking in various languages. The quality of EVP also varies. Some are difficult to distinguish and are open to interpretation as to what they are saying. Some EVP, however, are quite clear and easy to understand. EVP often has an electronic or mechanical character to it; sometimes it is natural sounding. The quality of EVP is categorized by researchers in this way. Class A: Easily understood by almost anyone with little or no dispute. These are also usually the loudest EVPs. Class B: Usually characterized by warping of the voice in certain syllables. Lower in volume or more distant sounding than Class A. Class B is the most common type of EVP. Class C: Characterized by excessive warping. They are the lowest in volume (often whispering) and are the hardest to understand. Page | 22
The most fascinating aspect of EVP is that the voices sometimes respond directly to the persons making the recording. The researchers will ask a question, for example, and the voice will answer or comment. Again, this response is not heard until later when the tape is played back. Where do they come from? That, of course, is the mystery. No one knows. Some theories are: 1) They are voices of people who have died. This is why many researchers go to cemeteries seeking EVPs (and often with great success). In this context, the phenomenon is sometimes called instrumental transcommunication or ITC. They are from another dimension. It is theorized that there may be many dimensions of existence, and somehow beings from some other dimension are able to speak and communicate with ours through this method. A good question is, however: How do they know English and other languages of our dimension? 2) They come from the researchers' own subconscious. It's been suggested that somehow the researchers' thoughts are projected onto the tape. Some people believe that these voices are angelic or demonic in origin. Skeptics assert that there is nothing to EVP at all - that the "voices" are either hoaxed, random noise interpreted as voices, real voices already on the tape, or voices picked up from radio, cell phones and other such sources. A short history of how this all began. 1920s. It is not generally known that in the 1920s Thomas Edison tried to invent a machine that would communicate with the dead. Thinking this was possible, he wrote: "If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical or scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, other faculties, and knowledge that we acquire on this Earth. Therefore â€Ś if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected by our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something." Edison never succeeded with the invention, obviously, but it seems he did believe that it might be possible to capture disembodied voices with a machine. 1930s. In 1939, Attila von Szalay, an American photographer, experimented with a phonograph record cutter in trying to capture spirit voices. It's said that he achieved some success with this method and got even better results in later years using a wire recorder. In the late 1950s, the results of his experiments were documented in an article for the American Society for Psychical Research. 1940s. In the late 1940s, Marcello Bacci of Grosseto, Italy claimed to be able to pick up voices of the deceased on a vacuum tube radio. 1950s. In 1952, two Catholic priests, Father Ernetti and Father Gemelli, inadvertently picked up EVP while recording Gregorian chants on a magnetophone. When the wire on the machine kept breaking, Father Gemelli looked to heavens and asked his dead father for help. To the shock of both men, his father's voice was heard on the recording saying, "Of course I shall help you. I'm always with you." Further experiments confirmed the phenomenon. In 1959, Friedrich Juergenson, a Swedish film producer, was recording bird songs. On playback, he could discern his mother's voice saying in German, "Friedrich, you are being watched. Friedel, my little Friedel, can you hear me?" His subsequent recording of hundreds of such voices would earn him the title "the Father of EVP." He wrote two books on the subject:Voices from the Universe and Radio Contact with the Dead. 1960s. Juergenson's work came to the attention of a Latvian psychologist named Dr. Konstantin Raudive. At first skeptical, Raudive began his own experiments in 1967. He too recorded the voice of his deceased mother saying, "Kostulit, this is your mother." Kostulit was the boyhood name she always called him. He recorded thousands of EVP voices. 1970s and 1980s. Spiritual researchers George and Jeanette Meek joined forces with psychic William O'Neil and recorded hundreds of hours of EVP recordings using radio oscillators. Page | 23
They allegedly were able to capture conversations with the spirit of Dr. George Jeffries Mueller, a dead university professor and NASA scientist. 1990s to present. EVP continues to be experimented with by a number of individuals, organizations and ghost research societies. Tips on how to record EVP's Set up the recorder. Many digital recorders have a selection for quality. Always choose the high quality (HQ) or extra high quality (XHQ), setting. (See your recorder's manual.) Make sure you put in fresh alkaline batteries. Choose a location. EVP can and have been recorded virtually everywhere. You don't need to be in a reputedly haunted location (although this might be more fun). You can even try it in your own home. But consider how you'll feel if you succeed in getting EVP voices in your home. Will that bother you or others that you live with? Keep it quiet. You are trying to pick up voices that can often be soft, subtle and hard to hear, so keeping the environment as quiet as possible is of utmost importance. Turn of the radios, TVs and computers, and any other sources of extraneous noise. Avoid moving around to eliminate the sounds of footsteps and the rustling of clothing. Take a seat. And never hold your recorder, your hand movements on the recorder case could make unexpected sounds Turn on the recorder. With the recorder on the HQ setting, put it in RECORD mode. Begin by stating out loud who you are, where you are, and what time it is. Don't whisper; talk in a normal tone of voice. Ask questions. Again, in a normal tone of voice, ask questions. Leave adequate space between your questions to allow the recorder to pick up any possible responses. Researchers often ask such questions as, "Are there any spirits here? Can you tell me your name? Can you tell me something about yourself? Why are you here?" Surprisingly, EVP voices sometimes respond to direct questions Have a conversation. If someone is with you during your recording session, you can talk with each other. Just don't be too talkative; you want to give the EVP voices a chance! A conversation is okay because many researchers have found that the EVP voices actually comment on what you're saying. Be aware of ambient noise. As you are recording, try to be very aware of noises both inside and outside of your environment. In everyday life, we have trained our brains to filter out a lot of background noise, but your recorder will pick up everything. So when you are making your recording, be aware of those noises and remark about them so they are not mistaken for EVP. For example, "That was my brother talking in the other room." "That was a dog barking outside." "... a car passing on the street." "...my neighbor yelling at his wife.“ or just simply “Mark That” Give it some time. You don't need to spend hours recording, but give your sessions a good 10 to 20 minutes. You don't have to be asking questions or talking the whole time. Absolute quiet is okay, too. (Just remark about those ambient noises.) Page | 24
Listen to the recording. Now you can play back the recording to hear what you got, if anything. Listening to the recording on the recorder's little speaker is usually inadequate. Plug in your earphones and listen carefully to the recording. You can also connect the recorder to external speakers, but earphones are better in that they are also blocking out external noise. Did you hear any voices that you can't explain? If so, you might have captured an EVP! Download the recording. A better method of listening to an analyzing your recording is to download it to a computer. (Many digital recorders come with software for doing this; see your manual.) Once you have it on your computer, it then becomes easier to turn up the volume, pause, go back and listen to specific segments of the recording. Again, it's best to listen through your computer via a set of earphones. Keep a log. When you download the recording to your computer, give the audio file a name that reflects the place, date and time, such as "asylum-1-23-11-10pm.wav". Create a written log of your recordings and any results you might have heard so that you can easily find the recordings again when you need to. If you do hear a possible EVP on your recording, be sure to note the time on the recording and put that in the log. For example, if you hear a voice say "I'm cold" at 05:12 on the recording, put that in your log for that recording as "05:12 - I'm cold." This makes it easier to find that EVP later. Have others listen. EVP vary greatly in quality. Some are very clear while others are very hard to hear or understand. For low-quality EVP especially, understanding or interpreting what the EVP is saying is a very subjective thing. So have others listen to the EVP and ask them to tell you they think it is saying. Important: Don't tell them what you think it is saying before you have them listen to it as this can influence their opinions. If other people think it is saying something different than what you hear, note that in your log, too. Be honest. As with all aspects of paranormal research, honesty is of prime importance. Do not fake EVP to impress or scare your friends. Be honest about what you are hearing. Try to be as objective as possible. Eliminate the possibilities that the sound was just the dog barking or the neighbor yelling. You want good quality data. Keep trying. You may not get EVP the first time you try it... or the first five times you try it. The strange thing is, some people are luckier (if it is luck) at getting EVP than others, using the exact same equipment. So keep trying. Researchers have noted that the more you experiment with EVP, the more EVP you'll get and with greater frequency. Persistence often pays off. Work at night. One reason ghost researchers often seek EVP at night is not only for the spooky ambiance, it also quieter. Leaving the room option. as i stated above, ask questions, but another method is to start recording, state your name, place and time, and then set the recorder down and leave the room or area. After some time 15 or 20 minutes to an hour come back and listen to what your recorder has captured. The disadvantage to this method is that you aren't present to hear and discount any ambient noises. Set it down. Even if you stay in the room with your recorder, it's best to set the recorder and Page | 25
microphone down on something a chair or table to eliminate the possible noise of your hands on the devices, you would be amazed at how much noise is created by handling your recorder. Editing software. Aside from the software that came with your recorder for listening to your recordings, you also can use audio editing software such as Audacity (it's free!) to better analyze the EVP. The software lets you boost low volume, eliminate some background noise, and other tasks. Most helpful, it will allow you to cut out the specific EVP sections of the recording, duplicate them and save them separately. Share your EVP. If you've captured what you consider good quality EVP, consider sharing them.
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