The Perennial Flaw
Following the release of the second
‘White Noise’ film this month, PSI’s Dave Wood takes a look at the
problem that has dogged electro voice phenomena (EVP) research from at
least the 1960s to the present day.
Most paranormal researchers are now familiar with the idea of ‘image
recognition’ or ‘pareidolia’. This idea that ambiguous visual
information is rescrambled by the brain and interpreted in a way
meaningful to the observer is common, applied to everything from seeing
the Virgin Mary on a piece of popcorn to seeing a face inside an orb.
However the less applied idea is that this interpretation of unusual
information can apply equally well to our interpretation of noises and
voices. Most of us know this on a basic level, from the interpretation
of normal ‘creaks’ as footsteps to a wailing fox interpreted as a
At some point most electro voice phenomena research involves the
necessary step of having impartial people verify whether the voice
you’ve caught is really a voice. Typically the researcher tells his
colleagues what the voice ‘says’ and asks if he or she agrees – often
This unscientific method was employed by Raudive and continues to be
surprisingly widespread today. And just what’s wrong with that, you
Many EVP ‘voices’ seem fairly indistinct, hence the need for
verification in the first place. Telling someone what you have heard
breaks a cardinal rule of impartial verification. If faced with a noise
one doesn’t understand, one is bound to make sense of it in terms of
what we’ve been told.
The answer is simple enough, play your EVP ‘voice’ to as many detached
people as possible and let them make up their own mind. When all EVP
researchers begin to do this and present their ‘failures’ as well as
their ‘successes’ we might start to get to the bottom of the phenomena.
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