Popular term for the electronic voice phenomenon first reported
by Raymond Bayless, but rediscovered by Friedrich
Jürgenson in 1959. Voices, apparently from deceased individuals,
are found to be electronically impressed on tape recordings
made on standard apparatus (sometimes enhanced by a simple
diode circuit). The voices are also apparent on the white
noise of certain radio bands. The suggestion that they are
communications from the dead is based on many thousands of
experimental recordings made by Jürgenson and later Konstantin
Raudive, and later replicated by various parapsychologists,
including Hans Bender.
Konstantin Raudive (19091974), a Latvian psychologist,
conducted joint experiments with Jürgenson between 1964 and
1969 after reading a reference to the paranormal voice phenomenon
in Jürgensons book. Subsequently the two men had
some differences of opinion and conducted their further researches
Raudives researches were very extensive and included collection
and study of over 100,000 recordings. After the publicity
given to his book Unhörbares Wird Hörbar, translated into English
in an enlarged edition as Breakthrough An Amazing
Experiment in Electronic Communication (1971), the phenomenon
became generally known and discussed as Raudive voices.
The book was translated by Peter Bander, a British psychologist
who subsequently appeared on a number of television and
radio programs to discuss the subject. His own book reviewed
replication experiments in Britain and the Irish Republic, the
attitudes of religious authorities, the experiments carried out
by the electronic experts, and the alternative theories to explain
Bender, working at Freiburg University in Germany, suggested
that electronic impulses might be transmitted by the
subconscious mind and impressed on tapes, rather like psychic
photographs. However, there is some evidence tending to suggest
that the communications are mainly from dead individuals.
A later development of Raudives researches into paranormal
voices were his investigation of a budgerigar (a bird)
named Putzi, owned by Editha von Damaros in Germany. In
March 1972, von Damaros wrote to Raudive stating that a few
weeks after the death of her daughter Barbara at the age of
fourteen, her pet budgerigar started giving extraordinary messages
suggestive of spirit communications; one of these advised
contacting the Latvian doctor. Raudive made a careful investigation
of the budgerigar and took a number of recordings. It
concluded that possibly the bird was being used as an energy
field for the direct transmission of paranormal voices.
This investigation has led to some confusion, since Jürgensons
original researches into paranormal voices on tape recordings
were stimulated by attempts to record bird song.
Bird voices, however, remain a quite separate phenomenon
from Raudive Voices.
Bander, Peter. Carry On Talking How Dead are the Voices
London Colin Smythe, 1972. Reprinted as Voices from the
Tapes. New York Drake Publishers, 1973.
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
Jürgenson, Friedrich. Rösterna från Rymden (Voices From
Space). Sweden, 1964. German edition as Sprechfunk mit Verstorbenen.
Freiburg i. Br. Herman Bauer, 1967.