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Spiritcom, Psychophone, "Franks Box"

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#16 Ghost_hunter_1954


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Posted 01 August 2007 - 10:21 PM

Hello All,

While I do not disagree with the problem with franks box, I do disagree that an analog cassetterecorder will not pick up stray radio signals rather easily, just drive up to any radio station tower and you will see what I am talking about. I am a ham operator of 20 years + and own several radio transmitters which cover a wide range of frequencies. Any of these transmitters can be picked up on an analog cassette recorder regardless of what frequency I am transmitting on (AM, FM, or even fast scan television). All analog recording devices incorporate an amplification circuit which can easily act as a mini radio receiver, though the amplifier is only designed to amplify the signal coming from the microphone, any stray signals can easily "infect" the circuit with extra noise which will get amplified along with the microphone signal. Obviously the quality of the recorder will make a big difference as to whether it will pick up radio signals easily or not, cheaper recorders have less buffer circuits which will most likely pick up stray signals if the signal is strong enough. You may be out in the field recording EVP and know that you are no where near a radio tower, but that does not mean a strong radio signal can not bounce your way. At certain times of the year I am able to communicate with people in places like North Carolina and Virginia from Pennsylvania where I live using very little power due to a phenomenon called ducting which carries my radio signal quite a bit of distance. This phenomenon can happen at any time and easily send a stray transmission your way when you are least expecting...

If you are receiving intelligent responses to your questions via an EVP session, I personally consider that a scientific result, but if you are receiving random words not based on any logic, it may be a stray radio signal. Just remember there are tons of radio transmitters all around you and not just the broadcast stations that you can pick up on your AM or FM radio, they are a very small percentage of the total radio transmissions happening around you all the time.

Also keep in mind that most recorders use an "Automatic Level Control" to keep the audio at a constant level. When you are standing in total silence, this ALC will turn itself up to maximum since there is no noise. This is considered "gain", increasing the gain is increasing the amplification process by ten fold and also increasing your chances of picking up a stray radio signal by 10 fold.

Digital is a different animal, and though its not impossible for them to get infected with stray radio signals as they also incorporate amplification circuits, its going to be less likely.

Read part 15 of the FCC rules :-)

One of the best quotes I have seen in awhile

"Electronics doesn't pick and choose who it works for, it either does or it doesn't work." ~ ghost_hunter_1954

In your case I have to agree. Near a tower you get what is called the Proximity effect, which in essence, means the signal is of sufficient magnetude to overmodulate the input of the recorder. When this occurs, the input transistor or chip in the mic preamp acts as a diode junction, effectively demodulating the audio from the RF carrier. If the house you are investigating is adjacent to a broadcast tower, you may as well leave your recorders at home, as you will never know for sure if you have interference or EVP. My earlier statement was based on the location not being adjacent to a high powered transmitter. We use RF field strength meters prior to our investigation to determine if the RF is at too high a level. This can also, strangely enough, cause "voices" to come out of the tub in a bathroom. When the water reaches a certain level in the tub, a resonant tank circuit exists, and the radio program comes right out of the tub! This has also occured with fillings in people's teeth, and other cavity forming proceedures performed on the body. When someone says they hear voices in their head, they very well could be!
“It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.”Michio Kaku

#17 Ghost_hunter_1954


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Posted 01 August 2007 - 10:25 PM

I know Frank myself and used to talk to him (online) daily back in the day...I didn't think much of the box then, don't think much of it now. Too much room for error and personal interpretation (ie: electrical current nearby, weather, and what not affect the box - or at least that's my theory)


What is fascinating is he orginally created the box to communicate with extraterrestrials.
“It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.”Michio Kaku

#18 wipsi


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Posted 09 August 2007 - 05:45 PM

I have been hearing and reading a lot about something called Frank's Box or what Chris Moon has named 'Telephone to the dead.' It is proposed that this device allows one to communicate with the dead in real-time. More information about the device and the schematics can be found at:


So, here are my thoughts on this topic....

How can we be sure that what is being heard is nothing more than random radio brodcasts that people are then interpreting as messages from the dead via a the process of pareidolia and/or apophenia?

Seems as if some controlled scientific methodology needs to be applied to this 'box' in order to even begin to consider what might be happening.

I also agree with the possibility of taking random 'noise'/'words' and combining them into 'messages.' This is one of the reasons people have been experimenting with such things as the EVP maker. Also, EVP researchers have long thought that introducing white noise into the setting would give a background source of 'material' that the 'spirits' could remodulate in order to form words.

In regards to the random words/noise/text idea.....Baruss published an article recently in the Journal of Scientific Exploration (2007, Vol. 21 #1) where they used a random text generator and a random yes/no generator while conducting ITC/EVP research. There was nothing found at all with the text generator and maybe something significant with the yes/no generator.

However, they were certainly not convinced it was messages from the dead. Besides arguing a chance finding....they discussed the possibility that the experimenters may have actually affected the text/yes-no generators via psychokinesis. They referenced the work by the PEAR group and the Global Consciousness Project as support for their idea.

So, I don't think we can make any definite conclusions at this time....

#19 PhenomInvestigator


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Posted 25 December 2007 - 09:03 PM

I was a member of AES for many years in the 1970s and 80s when I worked in Washington, DC. We were the 'speaker' chapter it seemed. I was in broadcasting for about 20 years professionally and in research parapsychology for 40 years.

I concur with most of what has been said here regarding the seeming need for specific operators to be present for successful use of the various devices in the ITC community.

Regarding the Psycho Phone, let me shed some further light upon the term. It has been used in a variety of ways.

In the early 20th century, a company in Cleveland, Ohio manufactured what they called a "PsychoPhone". This was an innovation on the Edison phonograph. They marketed pre-recorded disks that one could play on this device as you slept. It was an early suggestion machine, if you like. The devices that have come on the antique and collectibles market in the past few years as 'psychophones' by that specific name are apparently of this genre. There is no evidence they were ever built to produce so-called 'spirit voices'.

Another use of the term has to do with physical mediums of the latter 19th and early 20th century. One well-known medium of this type was Jesse Shepard, later known under his nom-de-plume as Francis Grierson. Shepard was world-renowned as a pianist who produced some of the most dramatic concerts ever heard. He was a Spritualist and apparently a practicing medium. It is believed he and Thomas Edison actually met at one point in London prior to World War I. Edison was fascinated with the possibility that a machine could be created to speak with the dead. Apparently this meeting was part of his research.

According to Edisoniana, that machine was never built. However, a few years ago a medium with whom I work was contacted by an engineer who was trying to build such a device. He had read of these things and wanted to ask Edison technical questions. The questions were passed through the medium, who has no technical knowledge to speak of. She was successful in contacting Edison, who promptly provided the answers to the engineer's satisfaction. We don't know what became of him or his project, but we do know he was more than pleased with the answers. I have seen the questions and the responses - they appear to be coming from someone with a telecommunications engineering background and the responses make technical sense.

In an aside, whether you want to believe it or not, Edison commented that he had built a prototype but shut the project down when it nearly knocked him across the room. I put that out there in case there is someone with independent knowledge who has yet to speak up. This came straight from TE as he signed himself in the message.

Finally, Shepard's last book was called "Psychophone Messages". This rare and out-of-print book contains messages from great 18th and 19th century figures. It makes fascinating reading, especially considering the potential sources. As far as we can tell though, Shepard considered himself a form of 'psychophone' and therefore needed no such device.

Just a few comments to the subject re the 'Psychophone' history and perhaps some interesting points that may bear fruit in the future.
Anomalous Phenomena is Unexplained not ImpossiblePsi is Subtle not AbsoluteAnything is possible, it's all a matter of Probability---------------------

#20 john8750


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Posted 30 December 2007 - 05:18 AM

I have heard some EVP. The voice was not on the tape until played back. How do you think the voice could have been cross modulated on the tape, but not there when recording?
If a tape recorder used too close to a transmitter picked up anything, it would be the whole program. Not a few voices, and sometime a direct answer to a question.
Just a few thoughts.
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#21 AbbeyGal



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Posted 16 February 2008 - 04:48 PM

I've been doing a little more thinking about the spirit communication boxes after someone here mentioned that you could modify a Radio Shack radio to function as one. In the course of researching that, I came across Steve Hultay's Keyport Paranormal website. He's gotten quite a few clear responses to his questions. The thing that struck me, though, is the number of them that refer to him by his nickname, "Urkel". Now that's not something you hear on the radio every day.

That spurred me to cough up $25 and make my own Radio Shack hack. The results have been interesting. First of all, there are a lot of clear, correct yes or no answers to questions or someone saying "hi" right after I said hello. Of course, as often as those words are said over the air, that could be chalked up to coincidence. However, I have also been getting some clear non-yes-or-no responses that are correct answers to questions. Those do seem to go against against statistical probability. One every now and then could be just a coincidence, but I'm getting a fair number.

In one of my experiments, I tried teaching a ghost how to say a couple of phrases in Chinese. I live in an area where the Chinese community is very small and even around Chinese New Year, Chinese is just not something you ever hear on the airwaves. The results were surprisingly correct. On the first phrase, he got 3 of the 4 syllables fairly close, although one was a bit whimsical in how he chose to form the sound. On the second, 2 out of 2 we correct. I've posted this in the Evidence section.

My Chinese Experiments

One thing I would like to try is is to run the responses through a voice recognition program. Unfortunately, that may take awhile to get up to speed. My voice recognition program only has about a 60% accuracy rate with my own speech at this point. :-/

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