Konstantin Raudive’s EVP and Radio ITC Recording Methods
by Tim Woolworth, 2011
Dr. Konstantin Raudive (1909-1974) was the first ITC researcher to apply diligence to ITC – Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) through ceaseless documentation and analysis of all of the voices he recorded during his EVP sessions.
Prior to his career in parapsychology, Raudive was a respected psychologist who learned from great C.G. Jung. He had a long career as a psychologist who taught in Latvia and Sweden.
Raudive had a penchant for languages. Born in Latvia, he spoke fluent Latvian and Russian. His affinity for languages served him well as was evidenced in his book “Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead,” (1971) which required interpretation of EVP’s he received in the French, German, Latvian, Russian, and Swedish languages.
His foray into the world of EVP began after reading Friedrich Jurgenson’s book “Voices From Space.” Jurgenson is now famous as being the man who first recorded EVP’s. He did this while attempting to capture birdsongs. Jurgenson, more importantly, posited to the public that these voices were not from living beings, but they were actually the voices of the dead.
Raudive was fascinated that Jurgenson claimed to have recorded the voices of dead family members and well known people from the (then) recent past such as Hitler and Goring. After reading his book in 1964, Raudive contacted Jurgenson to learn more. Upon their first meeting in April 1965, Jurgenson played recordings he had made for Raudive which Raudive admits he had problems hearing and understanding because he was unfamiliar with the rhythm of the recordings. The same night, Jurgenson plugged a microphone into a recorder and Raudive took part in his first EVP recording session and he clearly heard the word “nonsense” in response to the statement that inhabitants of the world of spirit were living a carefree life. This session resulted in peaking Konstantin Raudive’s interest in the paranormal. Raudive and Jurgenson collaborated together in recording sessions until June 1965 with results that were described as tenuous at best. On the night of June10th, 1965, they recorded results that were unparalleled at the time by using what later became known as “radio voices.” The results of that night included the words “Friedrich! Friedrich!” and the sentence that cemented Raudive’s foray into EVP: “Do you know Margaret, Konstantin?” Prior to this session, a very close friend of Konstantin’s, Margaret Petrautzki, had died from severe illness. Raudive knew that he needed to investigate this further in a more controlled environment away from Jurgenson while using his own equipment. If he could reproduce the results, then there may be something to recording the “voices from space.”
As history has shown us, there was something more to be discovered. Raudive went back to his home in Germany and began documenting his sessions. Over the course of the next three years, Dr. Raudive collected over 72,000 distinct voices recorded during his sessions. For “Breakthrough,” he carefully analyzed 25,000 of those voices. He also had verification from over 400 independent listeners who not only heard the EVP’s, but they also partook in the sessions in which they were recorded. These independent listeners had skills that were quite varied. A good portion of the independent listeners were personal friends. But, to prove to the world that something was there, he invited prominent physicists, electronic engineers, parapsychologists, and other professionals to partake in sessions that are well documented.
After the publication of “Breakthrough” (which was first published in Germany in 1968, its publication in English did not happen until 1971), a German newspaper reporter from Cologne came to one of Raudive’s sessions and was amazed at the voices that came through, but the newspaper he represented found the story too sensational to run. A different reporter was invited and he was amazed that the voices of German poet Goethe and Hitler came through. The story was run in the October 19th, 1969, issue of Bild un Sonntag.
Raudive’s claims were spectacular and, as with all forms of the paranormal, circumspect to the scientific community despite the scientists who conducted experiments with Raudive. He was ultimately put to the test in a controlled experiment after the publication of his book. He was invited to conduct his experiments at Pye Records recording studio. Pye Records had a long list of recording artists at that time and their British studio provided a pristine recording environment for EVP experimentation. Dr. Raudive accepted the challenge and conducted an 18 minute experiment with the audio engineers. During the session, it was impossible for outside voices to be present within the sound-proofed walls of the studio. The engineers heard nothing while the session was being recorded. Upon playback, they were astonished to find that in addition to Raudive’s voice, over 200 other disincarnate voices were heard during the 18 minute session. Despite this remarkable evidence, Raudive and his recordings are still dismissed by the skeptic community.
The voices that he recorded are well documented in “Breakthrough.” He collates them together by topic and provides the setting, the original language(s) that the communication occurred in, and the translation. I will not go in to depth about the actual content of the recordings because they are too vast to document here.
Since this website is about radio-based instrumental transcommunication, you may be asking yourself how Konstantin Raudive’s recordings of EVP’s have added to radio ITC. The answer to this is found in how Raudive conducted his sessions. Most people assume that he had a basic microphone – recorder set-up when in fact he had numerous methods of recording that yielded results, many of which involved radio.
The first method was the microphone – recorder set-up. This method simply entails having a recorder with a microphone attached to it. Today, with the advent of the digital age, most recorders have a built in microphone so purchasing an external microphone is not necessary. In the analog age that Raudive was in, a device to convert sound to electrical energy was needed and the microphone allowed for Raudive to not only speak his questions, but also record the answers from the other side. So a session may have one mic for Raudive and another set on the table for the spirits to speak in to. The majority of Raudive’s sessions were conducted without questions or speaking on the part of the experimenter. Today with the stereo microphone capabilities of most digital recorders, a dual mic set-up is unnecessary. This setup with a microphone and recorder is the most common type of EVP session and Raudive set the standard for EVP protocols. He insisted upon documenting the people at the session and the date and time the session took place; he insisted upon limiting distractions and unnecessary conversation; he also recommended limiting recording times to under fifteen minutes due to the long hours it requires for playback examination. I find that it is not uncommon to spend over an hour examining every minute of recorded audio. Another fact that many people do not know is that the classifications of EVP (A, B, and C) were also created by Raudive to label his microphone – recorder sessions.
A second method was the use of a diode which subsequently became known as simply Diode Recording. The diode was simply a piece of germanium connected by a wire coiled two to three times. This was formerly known as a “cat’s whisker” because it allowed for frequency pick-up from a local broadcasting tower. It is a primitive form of radio receiver crystal, but it has seen a recent resurgence in the radio based ITC community under the name Raudive Detector Circuit. To properly use a cat’s whisker as a radio antennae and receiver, it needs to be in excess of three meters (about nine feet). Raudive’s Detector Circuit was only seven centimeters (about three inches) which was not long enough to pick up any broadcast. He connected this diode receiver into his recorder and recorded numerous voices. What made this form of recording most interesting is that the diode was short enough to only pick-up broadcasts from within the room in which it was placed. The voices that are picked up by this method were described as having an immediate impact while being remarkably clear without a microphone being present. These diodes were later made famous by George Meeks in his famous Spiricom device.
Raudive also experimented with what he dubbed Frequency Transmitting Recording. In this method, which was described as problematic at best, a frequency was added to a radio signal. He used 1000 Hz as a carrier signal which caused interference. A co-researcher of Raudive’s, physicist Alex Schneider, postulated that a tuned noise generator may be able to amplify the results of the voices received. Unfortunately, this was not developed by either of these researchers. Today, white noise is a common additive in between frequency steps in the highly prized ghost boxes used in instrumental transcommunication like Frank’s Boxes, Miniboxes, the P-SB7, and Joe’s Boxes. To date, there have not been any experiments carried out using frequency tuned modulation in ghost boxes as of yet.
Speaking of ghost boxes, Raudive’s use of radio is why he is so important to the radio-based ITC that is practiced today. He practiced the technique of finding an inter-frequency and recording it. An inter-frequency is simply a frequency that is in between two broadcast frequencies so only static is produced. The static output was then channeled into the input of the recording device.
Raudive had been told by Jurgenson that radio recordings required what was known as a “mediator” and that no communication could ensue without one. Today, a mediator is known in the radio based ITC community as a “Technician.” A technician is a voice which occurs in almost all ITC researchers recordings and can easily be recognized from session to session once it is known, although it is debated as to whether or not a technician needs to be present for communication to happen. For Raudive, his mediator did not appear until after six months of recording had occurred. After learning of his mediator, he successfully began recording radio voices. His technique involved slowly turning a dial on a radio receiver until his mediator’s voice exclaimed “Now” on an inter-frequency. I have experienced what I call the “Now guy” multiple times and have him on several recordings, so I know exactly what Raudive was referring to. He typically shows up for me a few seconds to a few minutes after a session begins and simply yells “Now” loud enough to drown out any other radio sound which may be occurring on a ghost box. But, this “Now guy” is not my technician, he just lets me know when they are starting their communications.
Raudive later modified this type of radio recording by placing his diode in between the radio output and the recorder input. Both Raudive and Schneider claimed that this clarified many of the voices.
The fifth and final method of recording was discovered by accident, and it is the method that is used by ghost box researchers around the globe today. He started a radio session and left his microphone on by mistake. Prior to this mistake, his radio sessions were recorded sans microphone. He was talking with another researcher and upon playback, he realized that meaningful responses were forthcoming from the other side via the radio. He then began conducting sessions were a microphone was placed in front of the radio speaker and another was used for speaking. This is the for runner to how myself and the majority of ghost box users conduct question and answer sessions with our radio-based instrumental transcommunication devices.
I should also note that Raudive continues his work today. After first reading “Breakthrough,” I asked for Konstantin by name three times during a session and was later greeted with the words “It’s Konstantin!” which is the only time I have heard his full name. He is typically referred to as Koste (long “o” and long “e” sound) or Raudive and will introduce himself with his heavy accent. Other researchers often report communications with Raudive. On Mark Macy’s website, www.worlditc.org, he has posted a phone call with Raudive in its entirety. Remarkably, this phone call occurred many years after Raudive’s death but the voice he has recorded is quite similar to the recordings I have of an entity claiming to be Raudive.
In all, Raudive is responsible for being the first person to thoroughly document his foray into EVP. As a result, he has given us various methods and protocols for recording EVP’s in addition to the EVP classification scale that is used by every paranormal researcher today. For radio-based instrumental transcommunication researchers, Raudive also introduced us to the idea of inter-frequency white noise and microphone recording. His feats were numerous. They were well documented by scientists and were proven in a controlled environment. Anybody who practices EVP or radio-based ITC owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Raudive for the knowledge he gave us all and I cannot recommend enough that you beg, borrow, cheat, or steal to get your hands on a copy of “Breakthrough” to see what types of communication he received.