Since the experiences I describe in the Who Came Calling? pages, I have quite often made recordings in hopes of finding more EVP, and I have had some good success, but so far no voices of the stout and unassailably real nature that we can hear in, for instance, the excellent overview documentary, Calling Earth by Daniel Drasin. Nevertheless, since I know it’s only me doing these experiments, and since several of my friends can also hear some of the loud whispers the way I hear them, I am firmly persuaded that my EVP are real.
This is my effort to get some of my own materials organized for interested people to check out. I am going to (try to) avoid pointing to the many, many very quiet and hard to make out but still real-
I am going to go slowly in hopes of anticipating skeptical questions and to explain some features of the recordings that most of my readers will not be familiar with. Please feel free to skip over or speed read through this stuff. When the material generates questions in your mind, though, you may find answers here in the opening parts.
So let’s do like the big boys do and first establish a base line. I made a recording on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 – indeed this morning as I write – to demonstrate how whispers sound in an ordinary and expected way, and also to give us an audio file that ought to be free of EVP since I was not meditating beforehand or asking the LBL (life between lives) world in any way to join me. I made this recording just as I have made almost all of my EVP efforts, in my living room. It was mid-
This is my usual meditation spot, facing my late wife Doris’s masterpiece above a gas fireplace:
From here that/this morning I recorded a 1m50s audio that began after I laid the white audio recorder down on the pillow. You can listen to it a first time by using the player on the right. >>>>> As you listen to it, you can study its spectrogram —
I will be showing enlarged portions of this spectrogram in a moment, but for now I would remind my readers that they can enlarge their view of this webpage easily to see more detail.
Why use a spectrogram rather that the more commonly seen waveform? Here is the waveform view of the same recording:
Obviously, we get much more information in the spectrogram, and, specifically, we see sound activity present that doesn’t show up at all (for practical purposes) on the waveform. For instance, my three whispers show at about 41, 49, and 58 seconds —
The height above baseline corresponds to the frequency spread of the sound, ranging from 0 to 8 kHz. Intensity ranges from (strong) dark red to lighter, then purple and blue. The white areas indicate the most intensity or volume. The lower band is the right stereo microphone and is closer to where I sit by about an inch and a half. Thus the first whisper is clearly a little more intense in the lower band than it is in the upper band.
I show and demonstrate these whispers because most of the EVP I record is whispers. Some are quite loud and some are as soft as the one on the right above. I mean to restrict myself to the more obvious whispers in this presentation. Anyway, it is naturally a bit tricky to figure out just what is being whispered. It’s easy when, as above, you know in advance. Regardless of that difficulty, when it comes to the audio EVP I will show/play for you here, consider that even though the whispers may be ambiguous as to actual verbal content, THERE SHOULD BE NOTHING THERE AT ALL. And finally, the whispers we will be listening to will show up as strongly on the spectrogram as the one on the left or in most cases more strong, more obvious.
As for listening to these audio clips, on what and how you play them is very important. For instance, the human ear is more sensitive to soft than to loud sounds. Merely cranking up the volume may make it harder to understand what’s there. Just as important is the fact that our ears adjust to a louder volume by turning down their sensitivity to low sounds. Since in practice most of the pretty obvious whispers I get in my EVP follow immediately upon the much louder sound of my own voice in my meditations, this fact usually makes it easy to miss them altogether. The solution is to find a way to start your listening right AFTER my voice. It also helps to stop listening before the louder sound of my next musing comes in.
Certainly the treble/base settings can make a difference (I generally leave them at the same level) but the speakers or earphones/earbuds you use will make a greater one; indeed, they will likely make all the difference. To test your speakers, headphones or earbuds, you can listen for the two car doors to close and the car engine to start up during the quiet period after the whispering —
The three markers show the points where those three events can be heard (barely on my equipment), at 4s, 9s, and 13s approximately. >>>>>It was not easy for me to hear these sounds on the audio recording even though they had been quite obvious to my ears as I sat there – as revealed by my comments at 1m23s. Notice the selection of just this portion of the whisper demo available in the audio player to the right.
OK, now for the real deal !
I begin with what seems to me to be as plain and unequivocal as any whisper I have ever heard. (But as we will see, that unequivocality is an impossible dream.) I made this recording on the morning of June 3, 2017 as I sat in a chair with my shirt off in sun in the patio of my house. I was sunning my eyes as well as my chest, hoping for good benefits from body-
In jumping quickly through this recording, however, I encountered a surprisingly loud whisper quite out of the blue. It comes at about 8m57 seconds and looks like this:
The other marks here are bird calls, mostly quiet over the passing car’s noise you can see from about 8.52 to 8.58. That heavy mark at about 8.57 is the whisper. You can see that it is even a little louder and more extensive than the loudest whisper in my control tape earlier. Here is a close up with green lines marking the start and finish of the whisper, which draws out its second syllable more than the first.
When I asked two friends if they both heard the word I did in this whisper, I was surprised to find that they did not AND the words they heard (different from each other) were accented on the first, not the second syllable. I could not see how it was remotely possible for them to get the syllable stress “wrong.” However, the one friend wears a hearing aid and explained to me that the difference between his hearing and my own might be due to his loss of hearing at the higher frequencies. So I used my Audacity softwear to boost the frequencies above 1kH by quite a bit, and he suddenly heard the second syllable as stressed. In the case of my other friend, who does not wear a hearing aid, but is coming on to 65, that might or might not be the case. We know that the higher frequencies go first. But he began hearing the second syllable as stressed and the word as what I heard after I isolated the second syllable from the first. This makes me think that the frequency range and sound intensity of the first syllable may have distorted how he heard the second one. In any case, I’m just giving fair warning here. If you do not hear a word accented on the second syllable, that may not be due to your audio equipment, but to your own hearing peculiarities.
I am placing a recording of the same section of my backyard recording as you can see in the spectrogram in the image just above, in the right margin >>>>> I hope you hear the same whispered word I did, but my experience is that it takes some getting used to with these whispers. If you hear the first syllable as more stressed than the second one, you may be able to adjust the higher frequencies to be louder by using your computer’s sound system. And you might ask some younger friends to listen. I’ll tell you what I heard at the bottom of this long page. You can get there by clicking this link. Use your back button or arrow to return here.
Now for a longer and much more complicated illustration. This includes a good number of whispers as loud as the one we were just looking at.
One caveat — this is a personal meditation that concerns my dealing with my grief in the aftermath of my wife’s death – at the time of the recording, that had been a year and four months earlier. I was in fact in a comfortable personal space regarding that death, but the comfort came from acknowledging to myself my own responsibility for her suffering in her later years. In this meditation I do that acknowledging to her in general terms (as in “I seek atonement” without specifying for what). As my sense of responsibility, in what I call my clumsy and obvious narcissism, extends to my children and indeed most of the people I came in contact with in my first 80 years, the children get a brief mention by name. There is nothing in here embarrassing to anyone other than myself. I was a controlling sort of husband to a brilliantly creative wife, and a distant father to my two children, who, like their mother, needed me far more often than I was there for them. It is to the enduring credit of all three of them, that I am very happy in my relationship with them at the present time.
All right. I made this recording from the sofa pictured at the top of this webpage with a Sony IC recorder. The 005 tag on the file name only indicates that I had recorded four other files that day, no doubt in some experimental modality that I no longer recall. Here is the spectrogram for the opening 15 seconds, audio to the side. >>>>>
As you listen to these opening seconds, please consider that there is no reason for there to be any sounds at all other than my six phrases. Compare this fifteen seconds with the first fifteen seconds of the whisper-
The sound at one second is me letting out a breath. That’s easy. But test yourself on the sounds that come between “Hello, Oma” and “It’s me.” (Audio to the right.) >>>>> Because of how our ears seem to adjust to louder sounds, it may happen that you don’t even notice them. They are rather similar to the opening light clickings. In the same way you may easily miss the loud whisper (but still a whisper) that shows right after I say, “It’s me.” I read this whisper different ways at different times. My current reading is, “Do you have paintings enough?” That would be a humorous reference to the fact that I am not just sitting before her great painting of her Yellow Mountain trip to the mainland (as people in Taiwan where we lived call China) but in a room whose walls are covered with her paintings and those of a teacher and a friend. In addition, I have spent a lot of time since her death sorting out and photographing about a hundred of about two hundred unmounted paintings she left behind in a coffer upstairs. (See this link.) And that’s not to mention another hundred or so that we have mounted or framed.
But the main thought here must be that THERE SHOULD BE NOTHING BUT BACKGROUND NOISE HERE and instead we get a whisper that is unmistakably a whisper, likely a woman’s voice, and likely saying words that you can make out some of at least. Where do they come from? Whom do they come from?
As for the mass of red noise that plays before, through and a little after I say, “I’m looking,” I propose just to leave it alone. Perhaps I moved the recorder in that time. Not likely, but whatever this sound is, it’s hard to get it to sound like words and why bother? We have words coming up again and in short order.
Between my saying “for atonement…” and “acknowledging…” comes a whisper voice print that is not easy to make out. My current reading is, “Not a problem,” but I have little confidence in that. However, it’s not the sound of me letting out my breath, so again we have the question, WHY IS ANYTHING THERE AT ALL?
And indeed we have more or less nothing at all from there on to about 54 seconds between where I say, “I seek atonement” and “I’ll turn on the timer.”
Once again we have the question of WHY IS THERE ANYTHING THERE AT ALL? But this time it is fairly easy to make out these large and moderately loud voice prints as whispers. In the right margin >>>>> I am putting a clip of only the whisper part (from about 54.8 to 59.0) so you can easily hear it without the ear-
I hear, and I well remember when I first heard, “You have it. You have it already. You have it.” It is beyond my means to give you a feeling for how meaningful and moving it was for me to hear this, and for how grateful I felt and still do feel. This is the longest, sustained whisper EVP I have recorded to date. Four seconds. It’s all I need.
My experience with this reminds me of Dr. Al Botkin’s work with PTSD vets and others as described in his book Induced After Death Communication. I highly recommend the book and his website that I link there. It is worth your time to think a little about people experiencing grief over the loss of loved ones as PTSD sufferers.
Right after I say, “I’ll turn on the timer,” and before you hear the four low clicks followed by a higher fifth one as I turn on the timer come two voice prints. The first one is fairly easy for me to hear as “forever” but the second only makes sense when I use my Audacity software and slow it down. Then it also sounds like “forever” to me. As that fits in well with the “You have it” whispers, I choose to hear them that way!
Following that and before I say, “For two minutes here,” a few whispers of a very light sound level occur and I will leave them alone in order to get to the louder whispers at the very end. For these require some careful attention. They are more conspicuous, perhaps louder, but certainly messier than what we find in the opening. Here is the spectrogram, annotated, for the first part of my talk at the end after we hear the timer go off:
Because there is so much sound going on, I have drawn in green lines that confine my speech and let us see the many apparent voice prints or clicks and brushings outside of them. One thing I notice is a pretty clear top-
Right after that first speech of mine in a while come the bright red vertical bars from 40.1 to 41.7. >>>>>If your wife called you Opa when she was alive on Earth, you would hear this as I do, as “That’s fine, Opa.” (Or “That’s good, Opa.”) Then after I say, “For your life,” the voice says, “Thank you.” See the 3.42.5-
The sound at 3.46.5 is not my voice, and I cannot identify it.
The audio from 3.48 to the end at 4.16 reveals a good many whispers of a less clear quality until we come to another loud part beginning at about 4.12. I give the spectrogram with my understanding of the whispers below:
These whispers are frustrating because, while it seems undeniable that they are whispers in human-
I am not very sure of the “You’re great” ( also to the right >>>>>) although at the moment it’s all that I can hear. The Goodbye I have heard from the very first, and it is one of the clearest pieces of EVP I have so far. As for the uncertain whisper part at the very end, I have no confidence in the readings I come up with, so I will avoid putting in an isolated clip of it. Of course, it can be found on the entire file provided earlier on this page.
Also strange, on a par with the fact that there is anything here at all other than my voice, is the fact that only a day ago (May 25, 2017 in the current chronology) did I notice the strange over voice saying “I agree” in a drawn-
What to make of the many, many weaker whispers that one begins to notice when paying close attention with good audio equipment is not a topic for this page, but I do want to say that stray and unrelated whispers and louder language are reported quite often in the EVP literature. If my reader has listened carefully to my whisper demo earlier on this page, she/he will very likely have noticed that whispers, while often hard to notice and hard to understand, really are there on the demo. So are the two car-
I would like to close by pointing to the many very conspicuous voice prints on this audio that have no ordinary, this-
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Notes: I easily heard the word “divine” on my first listen and on all subsequent listenings until I came back to it some hours later and, for a short while, heard “Goodbye.” Both words stress the last syllable and both have a long I sound in it. Now I am back to “divine,” but if I let myself, I can also hear it as “Goodbye.” I think these different readings by the same person ore not due to any indistinctness of the whisper so much as to the absence of verbal or other context.