Frequently Asked Questions
About Instrumental Transcommunication
Question: What is EVP/ITC?
Answer: Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is the term traditionally used to describe anomalous, intelligible speech recorded in or produced by electronic devices, and for which no currently understood physical explanations can account. EVP initially involved audio wire or tape recorders, but in later years, virtually any recording medium has become a vehicle for phenomena. Digital voice recorders are the device of choice for traditional EVP experimentation (Transform EVP). The term, Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC), came into being to describe these expanded modes of communication which included audio visual technology. Other acronyms used in the literature include Electronic Disturbance Phenomena (EDP) and Trans-Dimensional Communication (TDC).
Question: Who is causing EVP messages?
Answer: The policy of the ATransC is that the experimental evidence must determine what is believed or hypothesized. At this time, the Survival Hypothesis best accounts for the experimental evidence. It is important to note that the description of the Survival Hypothesis maintained on this website is possibly unique to this association, and may not be described the same by other organizations.
Question: How are EVP messages formed?
Answer: There is considerable speculation about this question and much of the past and present research is designed to provide a definite answer. The short answer that appears to be emerging from the research is that there is mind-to-mind communication between the communicating entity and the experimenter. The experimenter functions as a medium for this exchange in much the same way that mental mediums bring messages to the physical. The message itself, is then thought to be telekinetically impressed into the recording media. It is apparent that the experimenter is normally unaware of his or her part in this transfer of information. A more complete discussion of this is here
Question: How can you tell if an EVP is genuine?
Answer: It is easy enough to tell if an EVP is true phenomena because they usually have characteristics that set them apart. Not all examples have all of the unusual characteristics and it is ultimately a judgment call; however, if there is any doubt, it is important to error on the conservative side and set the example aside as "uncertain." There is a good list of common characteristics in the EVP White Paper.
Some of the characteristics we look for is whether or not the voice box or fundamental frequency (Formant 0) is missing or fragmented in the transform type of EVP (voice formed by changing available noise). The utterances tend to be spoken in odd ways as available sound energy is pressed into service to form the words. We see that EVP are energy limited so that the last of an utterance is often gabled. Since the voice is not formed in a biological system, we expect to see uncharacteristic relationships of frequency, pace and amplitude.
If you ask a loved one to say hello and you record "Hello" after that, then you probably have an EVP.
Synthesized voice EVP using only allophones or phonemes is a little different because the voice is formed in a controlled condition that begins only with voice fragments. Words can accidently form in the output, but it is unlikely they will be meaningful.
The problem with EVP is knowing who is talking. Some entities are jokesters and will tell you anything. It is a lot like listening to a conversation in another room of a public building. You have trouble hearing and understanding the words and you really do not know who is talking. Do they know what they are talking about? Are they telling stories to one another?
You would not want to rely on what is said in an EVP by itself. Is the comment appropriate for the circumstance and the person you think is speaking? Were you trying to contact that person? Is the information positive or helpful? These are people you are speaking with and if a loved one would not tell you to go rob a bank in life, they certainly would not tell you to do so in the etheric.
You must use discernment with EVP messages just as you must when talking to people in the flesh.
Question: What should I do in preparation for experimenting with EVP?
Answer: The short answer is that you need only turn on the recorder to record an EVP.
The long answer is that we recommend that you prepare yourself by learning to focus your attention on the subject at hand. You need not meditate, but it would be good if you learned to relax a few minutes, steady your breathing and think about what you are about to do, as opposed to something like whether or not you have time to make a recording before dinner, or if you remembered to let the dog out.
We like to see people speaking out loud as if you are speaking to someone in the room. Ask for protection and that only the highest good come to you, your family and your home. Ask that a friend on the Other Side stand by you and protect your communication channel from any negative influences. Then make your recording, confident that you are standing in the white light of protection. This is not a prayer to divinity or to ward off evil. EVP is communication with a part of reality that responds very quickly to intention. The idea is to state your intention to be safe and in control while asking for cooperation from those who are willing, and able to help you communicate. Do not approach this step with fear or worship. Be confident and clear in your intention.
See the Techniques section for more information.
Question: Don’t those on the Other Side have to be near for me to record their voices?
Answer: People in the etheric seem to be better able to communicate in locations that have had long-time human occupancy, the expression of strong emotion (love, fear, anything that is strongly felt), and a "place" to contain it such as a building or a landmark. These places seem to have accumulated energy of the type that is useful to support trans-etheric influences. That is why they become known as haunted---not so much because there are resident ghosts, but because etheric entities can more easily make their presence known when they visit.
With that said, we know that people can also establish a place in which there they can accumulate this energy. This is usually accomplished by meditation and communicating over a period of time, and in effect, getting those on the Other Side used to communicating with you. In this way, they learn to communicate wherever the experimenter is. That is why we recommend that you begin by using the same room and time of day.
Anyone may record a voice anywhere; however you can increase your chances by following the hints described above. See the Techniques section for more information.
Question: Why was I unable to contact a loved one?
Answer: We do not know all of the reasons why someone communicates or does not. None of the reasons we know of say anything bad about the person in the etheric or the loved one attempting to make contact. When a person "goes on" to a new venue of learning, they have much more difficulty "checking in" with us in in the physical. If you read the Survival Hypothesis, you will see that we think it is natural for all of us to eventually enter into a new lifetime in some other venue for learning.
When people firsts transitions, they are usually able to communicate with us because there is a lot of energy from emotions that helps the transfer of information across the veil. They are also still familiar with the physical and are apparently more able to project their attention into the physical. Once they have been across for a while, they do seem to have more difficulty, but they also have more experience over there that may help.
If they were very sick in the last days, then communication may be limited for a time while they learn to be "well."
When attempting contact with a specific person, be clear in your mind about how you feel doing so. If you are fearful, then it is best that you do not use EVP. Develop a clear image of the person by reviewing your memory. Have a strong and focused desire and follow a routine of attempts in the same location and time. Speak to them as if they are in the room.
Question: How can I know, and convince others, that the entities speaking in an EVP I record aren't demons?
Answer: That is a good question. First, if a person is offended by EVP on religious grounds, then you are probably not going to convince them. Even some people who believe in all sorts of New Age phenomena, become defensive when you try to tell them that the existence of EVP might mean that there is such a thing as survival of the Self after physical death. As such, we avoid discussing EVP with people who might be offended.
It could be said that the first contacts across the veil were made by “dead people” reaching out to us. That is how most contacts are initiated today, and we believe that a lot of the instances of a ghost in someone’s home are actually a loved one trying to say hello. We like to point out that people around the world have been studying EVP for over fifty years, and to our knowledge, none of them have been harmed. Yes, there is the occasional angry person who yells at us, even cusses, but we can experience the same thing with people still in the flesh.
If you look at the messages people record, it is difficult to attribute anything sinister about them. If the communicators were demons, then would they be able to be so consistently loving and supportive, as we see in some cases? Look at the Big Circle or read Children Together on the Other Side. If the communicators are really demons, then your religious leaders need to rethink what a demon is, because many people are learning to continue their relationship with loved ones who are now on the Other Side. This is an important form of grief management.
Some of the communicators may be nature spirits that have never “lived” in the physical. You could call these “Angels” or “guides” if you wish, but we have come to realize that none of the communicators fit the description of “demons.” On the other hand, people generally maintain their personalities when they cross over. If they were jerks here, they may still be jerks there. The communicators in EVP are just people being themselves.
We try to explain to people that EVP is potentially a very important tool for studying the relationship of the physical to the etheric aspect of reality. There simply are no other tools providing objective information that are as reliable or readily available to researchers. When Association members conduct an EVP recording session, they are also conducting an experiment that, added to all of the other experiments, help us understand the nature of reality. Many members do not tell their coworkers, friends and neighbors that they work with EVP. The idea of talking to "dead people" and getting answers in recorders is simply too far past the "boggle point" for some, and in some communities, it is best to stay quiet about it. You will have to make such judgments yourself, for your own circumstances.
Question: I am hearing music in the noise coming from my box fan. How is this possible?
Answer: We cannot give you a definitive reason why you hear the music, only a hypothesis. The sound of a fan is often used by EVP experimenters to record the phenomenal utterances. We think the sound, as physical energy, is transfigured into voice in electronic equipment. So noise as from your fan is sometimes used for EVP, but it is like iron or that must be smelted and cast into some thing useful. By itself, it is just the raw material used to embody the voice.
We are not psychologists, but we know that the mind will attempt to organize chaotic input into familiar patters. The Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organization are one example of how psychologists have recognized this tendency. When a person hears sound that does not include meaningful information, it will seek to find something sensible in it.
This commonly shows up as hearing a distant radio program or conversation that cannot quite be made out and that cannot be recorded. This has a visual counterpart in that we will connect parts of otherwise unassociated images to see a familiar feature such as a face.
In EVP, we too often see people finding voices and meaningful messages when others only hear noise.
So it is natural for you to hear familiar sounds like music in such random noise as from a fan, but doing so is a natural physiological response and not paranormal.
Question: What is the difference in having a haunted house and just having entities?
Answer: Fair question. You may as well assume that you have etheric entities in your home at all times. During a recording session in her home, one Association member asked how many people were in the room with her. The EVP she found on that recording answered, "Twenty-three."
As a rule, a haunted location is haunted because:
There can be other reasons, but these are the most common.
As you can see from the above reasons, we are pretty sure that there is a requirement for a specific form of energy to enable a haunting. That is why we recommend that a person dedicate a location in the home for EVP. We feel that the energy associated with communication will accumulate to facilitate phenomena. If you have no reason to think that you have accumulated such energy, if you do not have a history of being a strong medium and if your home is relatively new with no tragic history, then there is probably not sufficient energy for haunting activity. Also, it is possible that you have unconsciously withheld permission for them to bother you.
With all of that said, you should look for influence in your life from the entities around you. Usually, it is more subtle than anything you would think of as a haunting. We feel pretty sure that all of us have what amounts to a team of friends on the Other Side that, in effect, helps us gain the experiences we set out to have when we entered this lifetime.
A haunting in your home is usually a cooperative effort between you and the entity. In some way, you have probably invited communication.
Even in a haunted location, the entity you may experience is not necessarily earthbound or stuck in that location. It could be a loved one who is taking advantage of the situation to say hello. Treat them with respect. Most important, there is no reason to fear the experience.
An Alternative View: Commentary from a skeptic
Answer: By James E. Alcock, PhD - Concluding comment from article, Electronic Voice Phenomena: Voices of the Dead?, at www.csicop.org/specialarticles/evp.html
“What the Raudive voices teach us is that intelligent people – for Raudive was no doubt an intelligent man - can come to believe fervently in phenomena which in all likelihood do not exist. There is a lesson in this for all of us, for we just as surely may be mistaken in some of our own deeply held convictions. This is why we must rely on science as the avenue to truth rather than personal experience or other people’s anecdotal reports. Science, with its reliance on data and its insistence on looking for sources of error and for alternative explanations, provides the best method that humans have produced for protecting against error and self-delusion. Electronic Voice Phenomena are the products of hope and expectation; the claims wither away under the light of scientific scrutiny.”
A different perspective:
What Dr. Alcock’s comments teach us is that intelligent people – for Alcock is no doubt an intelligent man - can come to believe fervently in explanations that, in all likelihood, are not supported by the evidence. There is a lesson in this for all of us, for we just as surely may be mistaken in some of our own deeply held convictions. This is why we must rely on science as the avenue to truth rather than personal experience or other people’s anecdotal reports. Science, with its reliance on data and its insistence on looking for sources of error and for alternative explanations, provides the best method that humans have produced for protecting against error and self-delusion. Electronic Voice Phenomena are the products of forces that are not currently explained using known physical principles, and are therefore discounted by scientists, even though they may not have the necessary training to make such judgments. Nevertheless, their claims that EVP are the product of hope and expectation wither away under the light of scientific scrutiny.
See also Victor Zammit's comments about Alcock's article here