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#1 Jeff Belanger

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 10:59 AM

Dear Ghostvillagers,

I first became interested in SPIRICOM back in 2005 when I was researching and writing my second book, Communicating With the Dead. For those who don’t know the history, here’s a quick overview. Back in the 1970s, a man named George W. Meek started the Metascience Foundation, Inc. The purpose was to bring together psychics, mediums, and scientists to try and answer some big questions. Meek and his group were intrigued with the idea of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). They figured if the spirits could record their voices then there must be a way to develop a machine to allow that conversation to happen in real-time for all to hear. The result was a project they called “SPIRICOM” for spirit communication.

Multiple versions of the machine were developed, but it was with their Mark IV that the group claimed to have success. The group believed their engineer and medium, Bill O’Neil, was using the Mark IV machine to have prolonged conversations with the spirit of a man named Dr. George Jeffries Mueller – a scientist who died May 31, 1967. SPIRICOM is rather simple in its design: a tone generator sending out 13 specific tones that are in the human vocal range, a radio transmitter, a radio receiver, an echo chamber, and output to a speaker or recording device. The belief is that the spirit of Doc Mueller could manipulate those tones to have his voice heard on our side of the spirit world. Imagine! Prolonged two-way conversations with those who passed on?

The SPIRICOM manual claims this to be one of the greatest human achievements ever. But they also say it’s just the beginning. Here’s one of the problems with SPIRICOM. It only worked for the living person Bill O’Neil (who has since passed on), and the spirit person Doc Mueller, and only when the machine was in one geographic location. After a few months of contact (and many hours of recording these sessions), the contact was lost and never reestablished with the Mark IV machine again.

It’s easy to be skeptical of the results and claim this “communication” was a fraud. But consider this: SPIRICOM was instrumental (God, forgive the pun) in boosting the Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) movement. ITC is not only alive and well today – it’s thriving like never before. Every time you watch a ghost hunter on television using a KII EMF meter to communicate – that’s ITC. There are many products out there for ITC, even iPhone apps! Plus there are people out there taking the old plans and building their own version. My friend, Bill Chappell, who also invented the Ovilus among several other ITC devices, has also rebuilt a version of SPIRICOM. I’ll be trying that device out at the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts next week – I can’t wait to see what happens. The folks at Metascience would truly be proud. This is exactly what they hoped would happen. They started a movement.

SPIRICOM is legendary, and we’re going to explore it a little deeper this month on Ghostvillage.com. If you’ve built your own version, I’d love to hear from you!

Supernaturally yours,

Jeff Belanger
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com
Have you read these books?
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#2 CaveRat2

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 12:11 PM

At best the concept is wishful thinking, at worst an outright fraud.

With that antagonizing introduction I will explain. As an electronics designer I am familiar with how electronic devices work. As a researcher I am also quite familiar with the pareidolia effect whereby any random sounds can be interpreted as intelligence in the absence of actual voice. The generation of a series of frequencies is simply a means to create this background noise to allow the mind something to work with to create that supposed intelligence. When one factors in the harmonics generated by intermixing these fundamental frequencies one can see that the potential for false positives is endless.

I will say that communication with spirits might be possible, if in fact such spirits desire communication. But it will not be through most of the devices used in ITC work currently. Any device which generates a signal will be suspect of the paraeidolia effect. so that leaves out any device that either creates such signals or uses a positive feedback loop. That leaves only passive devices such as amplification used in recording EVPs. (Not the EVP recorder that creates white noise either!)

While never building a spiricom, I have built Frank's Box and also done extensive research to the point of isolating not just the sounds it tuned in, but also the station where that sound originated. It too is nothing but pareidolia. In fact my unit successfully tuned in snippets from Rush Limbaugh. (Now THERE is a spirit voice to contend with!)

I am sure this post will cause some controversy, but I am prepared to take it further. I have at my disposal an electronics lab capable of doing complex analysis of any device claimed to be able to perform such communication. I have made this offer to do such studies on any device anyone claims has this ability in the past. So far, no takers.....

Thus I will weigh in, very strong on the side of the skeptics.

#3 ArtooD2

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 12:33 PM

So,CaveRat, what I understand you are saying is that based on your extensive electronics experience, with today's popular technology, SPIRICOM is a hoax. I would somewhat agree with you but what I am really interested in what would work. Do you have any insights into what technology would work? Have you done any experiments with this technology? Like you, I am a bit of a skeptic, however, I have an open mind and would like to see if there is something out there that would allow for REAL spirit communication. Your thoughts on what would work?

Thanks.

ArtooD2

#4 CaveRat2

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:40 AM

Regarding what would work, I would say the device must be entirely passive. By that it must introduce nothing into the stream of its own source. A high gain, low noise amplifier would be an example of such a device. Of course t also must be well shielded and probably se a balanced low impedence input to minimize the possibility of stray RF interference. Although if the test were done in a controlled environment such as inside a Faraday cage that requirement might be waived.

For communication I would consider the methods of using a recorder as a starting point, but with some modifications. Instead of the recorder I would use the amplifier connected to headphones for real time interaction. The recorder becomes secondary, in this method. Of course you would want an audio log of the experiment so I would break out a second audio line output from the amplifier that allows everything heard over the headphones to be recorded. But the primary chain remains the mic, amplifier, and headphones.

Regarding mics, you may also want to try inductive pickups, ESF or EMF sensors, or other dynamic devices. This remains open to conjecture since we don't really know what method a spirit might use to communicate. I believe this is the area currently needing the most research and the area that is preventing reliable communication.

A secondary method might be the transmission of the signal for us to speak to them. For that we may need to rely on something other than audio. We could use a similar amplifier and microphone driving an EM Field generator to convert our voice to an EM Field. This is another area needing work and possibly the answer to reliable communication.

Just a couple hypothetical experiments one might try to communicate, of course there are no guarrentees! That's why it's called research. But the approach does minimize the likelyhood of false positives if something does try to communicate.

All of these concepts share one fact; they in no way create any noise which might cause the pareidolia effect. In fact the emphasis is to keep extraneous noise to the minimum thus allowing even the faintest sounds to be heard clearly. The common ITC approach of creating a lot of noise actually hinders communication because if a spirit were to try to communicate how would it be heard over all the garbage? It would be like you trying to talk to your neighbor at a football game with everybody yelling and screaming. Much easier to talk when everyone is quiet!

#5 OMPRDave

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:14 AM

The one point you made, Jim, that keeps resounding to me and always has with this type of ITC is the simple fact of actual sound waves/pressure capable of being interpreted by a microphone versus using sound waves to "feed" a spirit what it needs to communicate.

One argument I've encountered in various forums is that spirits do not have vocal chords and would need sound supplied to them to be able to create a "voice" that can be recorded or even heard with the ears. That's putting a huge assumption on something that we have no scientific way to study in the first place.

Now, as skeptical as I am of SPIRICOM, I have watched countless live feeds of teams using devices such as the OVILUS that use a prepackaged synthesized vocabulary to supply the "voice" for any possible spirit willing to communicate through it. Frank's Box falls into the same trap, using radio frequency scanning to supply the "voice". one would really have to run on faith that a spirit, willing to try and communicate, would have to understand the inner-workings/design of the machine, have precognition enough to know what radio station is coming through at exactly the right instant, or know how to manipulate the EM field perfectly to match the word designated for that specified EMF level to get the right word out.

With SPIRICOM the synthesized voice is still present, but at least remains constant (I would hope) throughout the session. Still, there is the possibility that the real "voice" is nothing more than a stray RF signal or cell phone transmission that bleeds through the loop, and from what I've read that was just about how the original SPIRICOM was debunked in the first place, with William O'Neill using shortwave radio to dupe George Meek into thinking he was communicating with a deceased doctor.

Completely passive audio ITC should be the standard for providing any reliable data (EVPs) to support intelligent spirit communication (or even residual hauntings, for that matter). As R2, I am also a skeptic willing to remain open minded to new technology. Unfortunately it seems that a few folks who understand electrical engineering and how to construct machines that play into using common and natural environmental factors (RF signals and EM field to speech technology) to "support" ITC and spirit communication. These machines play into the beliefs of the less skeptical researchers and believers who can be less technically savvy or refuse to err on the side of common sense because they offer "evidence" at the drop of a hat, the quick flip of a radio station, or a slight change in an EM field caused by too many other electrical devices being used near it.

My two cents.
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#6 OMPRDave

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:33 AM

They are also notoriously known for separating the layman researcher from his hard earned cash, too, which makes me even more critical of just what the creation of some of these devices really was; to explore spirit communication and ITC or to make money off of a field of study that has absolutely no evidence to support them.

Sorry for the addendum - the editor locked me out.

Edited by OMPRDave, 22 February 2011 - 12:33 AM.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#7 CaveRat2

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:38 AM

Dave, I follow your line of reasoning regarding spirits lacking an ability to create speech since they lack the "hardware" needed. However proponents of that theory also need to explain how a spirit is able to manipulate the device to assemble the frequencies into meaningful speech. Consider too that in many cases these spirits have no technical training along these lines since it is alleged in some cases the spirits may be 100 or more years passed.

If one wants to use this as starting point then I would propose a better way that actually might in theory satisfy both sides. That would be the use of a digital speech synthesizer chip such as the old SP0256 series. These generate phonemes internally based on the address selected. The chip then assembles these phonemes into words or phrases easily understood by listeners. If we assume a spirit can manipulate a Spiricom to assemble frequencies then it would by nature be just as easy for that spirit to manipulate the address of a speech synthesizer. And a synthesizer chip generates nothing unless addressed so the possibility of noise / pareidolia becomes non-existant since there is no sound present except that generated by the chip. This data can also be logged to validate the sound corresponds to the addressed phoneme.

Though this is a simple concept, it has never produced any evidence of success. Several including myself have built test devices and made them available for spirits to attempt communication. No sound has ever been generated, nor results obtained.

By now you may be comparing this to an Ovilus operating in its phoneme mode. In fact it is similar except that here there is no EMF sensor that would pick up stray RF and other stuff in the air. Thus the reason it is not subject to the false positives of the Ovilus. But before saying that is the reason why it hasn't worked consider a comparison not to the Ovilus but to a Spiricom. Spiricom has no EMF sensor either, yet the believers claim spirts can interact with it directly through its circuitry. I would propose that if a spirit can interact and control a Spiricom it could also interact with a speech chip since both utilize electrical impulses and circuitry in their respective operation.

#8 OMPRDave

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:05 PM

That was always my major sticking point...even the knowledge to possibly manipulate any device, based on technical know-how, would be quite useless if one were to suddenly find themselves lacking a physical body. I'm sure that would add an entire new learning curve to things.

Edited by OMPRDave, 22 February 2011 - 06:05 PM.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#9 Oniix

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:52 PM

Interesting!

Having said that, what's to say then, that it would also negate the ability of "spirits/ghosts" to then also drain batteries, turn off equipment. Not to mention move say, well... anything since there is now physical form.

Would it not be true then, if we're saying that spirits could not manipulate these tools, then how could they manipulate well, anything?

I don't know personally, hence I ask the question.

No need to reply.... ah look at that, it's March.

:kitty:

#10 CaveRat2

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:40 PM

Some of the claims I also have problems with. Draining batteries for example. I use a power module on investigations which allows me to monitor battery drain in real time. I have drained a lot of batteries, but always along the expected time period based on anp-hour ratings.

But to say that a spirit cannot manipulate a physical object is also unproven. My problem is the manner that the manipulation takes place. If we make an assumption that a spirit releases some form of energy for example. (Unproven, but go with it here for a minute!). This energy could easily cause a physical movement of nearby physical objects. After all a magnet for example can attract a piece of iron, why couldn't another form of energy affect other objects? Thus, in theory, a switch could be thrown, an object be moved, or even light or shadows possibly manipulated. This would require a simple single action and might in thoery be learned by any soirit wishing to do these manipulations

But my problem with manipulation comes when people either disregard common sense or cause effects then attribute them to spirits. Spiricom creates everything needed for pareidolia, so why would one not attribute its results to that phenomena? And to get back to the energy theory I discussed previously, consider it is one thing to move an object, it is quite another to cause a reaction that is so critical as would be required to tune a radio? It would be similar to rolling a ball across the floor. A simple push might set the ball rolling, but tuning a radio receiver would be like shoving the ball with the exact amount of force needed so it stopped precisely 56.483 meters from where it started. Communication would be like shoving it repeatedly and getting it to always stop this precisely after each shove. Unlikely at best. The degree of control required to pull this off is simply too great.

And one more problem, to communicate using this method the spirit would have to know where the ball was going to end up before shoving it each time so it could perform the next shove. No room for error either, one mistake and the entire message would be lost!

#11 Oniix

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 07:36 AM

"But my problem with manipulation comes when people either disregard common sense or cause effects then attribute them to spirits." ~ Caverat

There it is! That would be my problem as well.

#12 John Glendenning

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:31 PM

Regarding what would work, I would say the device must be entirely passive. By that it must introduce nothing into the stream of its own source. A high gain, low noise amplifier would be an example of such a device. Of course t also must be well shielded and probably se a balanced low impedence input to minimize the possibility of stray RF interference. Although if the test were done in a controlled environment such as inside a Faraday cage that requirement might be waived.

For communication I would consider the methods of using a recorder as a starting point, but with some modifications. Instead of the recorder I would use the amplifier connected to headphones for real time interaction. The recorder becomes secondary, in this method. Of course you would want an audio log of the experiment so I would break out a second audio line output from the amplifier that allows everything heard over the headphones to be recorded. But the primary chain remains the mic, amplifier, and headphones.

Regarding mics, you may also want to try inductive pickups, ESF or EMF sensors, or other dynamic devices. This remains open to conjecture since we don't really know what method a spirit might use to communicate. I believe this is the area currently needing the most research and the area that is preventing reliable communication.

A secondary method might be the transmission of the signal for us to speak to them. For that we may need to rely on something other than audio. We could use a similar amplifier and microphone driving an EM Field generator to convert our voice to an EM Field. This is another area needing work and possibly the answer to reliable communication.

Just a couple hypothetical experiments one might try to communicate, of course there are no guarrentees! That's why it's called research. But the approach does minimize the likelyhood of false positives if something does try to communicate.

All of these concepts share one fact; they in no way create any noise which might cause the pareidolia effect. In fact the emphasis is to keep extraneous noise to the minimum thus allowing even the faintest sounds to be heard clearly. The common ITC approach of creating a lot of noise actually hinders communication because if a spirit were to try to communicate how would it be heard over all the garbage? It would be like you trying to talk to your neighbor at a football game with everybody yelling and screaming. Much easier to talk when everyone is quiet!

ITC is a very intriguing topic, and Im happy to see so much effort into this area of research. and look forward in reviewing results from hypothetical experiments, or at least the conclusions of said experiment(s).
much appreciation for your efforts!

#13 PhenomInvestigator

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 03:16 PM

To refocus on Spiricomm itself. Most all of the exsiting films showing the device in use are sound recordings. The voice purportedly coming from the device in response to George Meek sounds very much like a throat mike. The style of speech is very mechanistic and also highly reminiscent of the type of speech one would have heard in the 1940s right after World War II. (At my age I clearly remember this unique stacatto method of speaking, a slightly watered-down verions of Jimmy Cagney's 'See here .. see here kid..' ) .

Putting this all together, it remains my firm opinon that the most likley explanation for Spiricomm specifically is indeed fraud.

That said there are devices that are in use today in Europe and elsewhere that do exhibit a great deal of range. There is a device in use in Italy now for many years that produced distinct and apparently recognizable voices meaningful to random witnesses of the phenomena who are unknown to the device's operator. While it is easy to alledge fraud here as well, invoking methods not unlike fraudulent mediums and mentalists might use involving 'pre-work', the exact sequence of events and the people involved tend to suggest to the contrary.

For me the most likely explanation for this latter apparently non-fraudulent form of ITC is in fact a form of personal PK, wherein the operator or perhaps a sitter unconsciously produces the voices relying on the reception of anomalous information which seems to be a constant is all psi-cognition phenomena.
Anomalous Phenomena is Unexplained not ImpossiblePsi is Subtle not AbsoluteAnything is possible, it's all a matter of Probability---------------------

#14 CaveRat2

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:39 PM

....For me the most likely explanation for this latter apparently non-fraudulent form of ITC is in fact a form of personal PK, wherein the operator or perhaps a sitter unconsciously produces the voices relying on the reception of anomalous information which seems to be a constant is all psi-cognition phenomena.


A possibility some have considered. But for that to work some means must be demonstrated as to how this PK interacts with an electronic circuit. Most people approach this problem attempting to determine what type of energy or influence might cause such an action. But I feel there may be a better way.

Approach the problem from an electronics direction; that is what can influence a shielded electronic circuit. We actually have very good background on that, moreso than trying to speculate on some unknown energy source.

Consider a simple apparatus. Just an amplifier connected to a microphone. How could this pick up a voice? Obviously if someone or something sets air in motion as is done with speech. Might a spirit be able to manipulate air and form these patterns? Can't say yes or no with any certainty so this one we leave open as a possibility.

Might a spirit create an EM Field and interact with the electronics? Maybe, but if the system is well shielded then the answer becomes no. But if we are using an inductive pickup and get a voice then the possibility returns. And it could be verified if an EMF monitor was located with the inductive pickup. A spirit activating the pickup by an EM Field would also activate an EMF meter or monitor. So we can test this using redundancy.

What about visible light? Unless the electronics are outfitted with a photosensor the answer is no. Electronics operates in light or dark with immunity to the conditions. So we can say with certainty that if a spirit attempted communication using light it would fail using the stated equipment. Although appropriate sensors could be used. However these sensors would also be immune to EM Fields. Thus the point is made that we can control our equipment and set up for certain expected responses. This also eliminates other reactions. Based on those results we can determine certain facts regarding the source of anything detected.

Just a couple examples of where research might be better done approaching from the known side, the instruments used which we do understand the operation, rather than the completely speculative side of the paranormal.

#15 PhenomInvestigator

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:32 PM

There is emerging research that has tentatively demonstrated that something intelligent can manipulate electromagnetic fields and photons directly. This research is currently being extended. One goal is to determine if a human agent can do this in a controlled setting. Specifically, can the agent induce speech onto an audio tape. If this is found possible in controlled experiments, the next step is to try to evaluate where the signal injection is occurring.

Another interesting vector is to see if EM shielding affects the communications. The above mentioned research has already controlled for this condition. Even in the presence of shielding, the effects are still produced. This strongly suggests that the effect is being produced by some for of field or force currently unknown in Western science. The most likely candidate, to date, is Torsion.
If this force or a related force could be manipulate in controlled conditions to demonstrate on one hand that such effects can be created, we would have a strong case for this hypothesis.
Anomalous Phenomena is Unexplained not ImpossiblePsi is Subtle not AbsoluteAnything is possible, it's all a matter of Probability---------------------




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