Sunday, October 10, 2010

N.A.P.S. Reviews the New DAS - RT - EVP

Investigators of parapsychology who specialize in the third wing, namely that of the "Survival Hypothesis," have recently been given a new research toy to play with, and it is already making a significant splash. I'm speaking of DAS Distribution's latest EVP recording device - called an RT-EVP. Gary Galka, president of DAS, heads up a company long known for making devices specifically designed for paranormal research, such as the MEL meter and the Static Pod. I use all of these devices in my own investigations. This article is a brief overview of the device and my personal (though very initial) review, having used it in the field now on several recent occasions.

"The first thing I reach for when going on an investigaton is my RT-EVP.  It is undeniable that by far, the best opportunity for technical, "hard" evidence on a paranormal investigation is an audio recording - electronic voice phenomena.  The RT-EVP is the best at recording audio of this kind - so that's why I reach for it first.  As a law enforcement officer in my day job, I'm used to high quality equipment.  When I go into paranormal investigator mode it's much the same, a no-brainer: you bring the best device to get the best evidence."
         -N.A.P.S. Founder & Lead Investigator Mike Chapman, Deputy Sheriff 

Parapsychological research is divided into three main domains: namely, extrasensory perception (ESP and related areas); psychokinesis - mind-over-matter (such as the Israeli psychic of the 1970's, Uri Geller, supposedly making spoons bend merely by using his mind); and the survival hypothesis, spoken of above. The survival hypothesis is parapsychology-speak for "life-after-death." There are, of course, many other categories of abnormal experiences that people report, such as cryptozoology (strange, unknown animals such as the Loch Ness monster, Big-Foot, and werewolves) and UFOlogy, the study of aliens and UFO's, just to name a couple. Those other categories of as yet unproven and strange phenomena have been relegated to the field of paranormal research, which is quite different from parapsychology. I won't go into the differences in this article (I'll save that for later), but for now just know that parapsychology - as a science - does not assume paranormal causal processes to any of these phenomena. The role of parapsychology is to research, investigate, and document the experiences of these "anomalies" from a scientific research approach, which includes a healthy dose of skepticism (to put it mildly).

The important thing is to remember the three domains of parapsychology as listed above. For purposes of this article, we will focus upon a part of the third domain, that of life after death, and look at one of the tools we use in attempting to document experiences of voices, noises and other auditory phenomena that people claim to hear. That brings us to the interesting and intriguing phenomenon of certain devices, such as tape recorders (both analog and digital), televisions, radios, record players and many other audio type devices - capturing audio anomalies, which many claim to be "ghosts" or spirits. This is a separate and distinct category of phenomena from one claiming to hear a ghost or spirit speak directly into one's ears. This has specifically to do with devices - machines. Because this has only begun to happen relatively recently since the age of the invention and widespread distribution of such auditory type devices (who does NOT own a voice recorder, TV, answering machine, radio, or some kind of music playing device?), these occurrences are called Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, for short. The reader should also be aware of another relevant acronym: ITC, which is Instrumental Trans-Communication, where communication is made through any sort of instrument or device. EVP should be seen as a subset of ITC. (For details visit the website of Association TransCommunication at

Up until recently, researchers and ghost hunters would take their favorite recording device and go out into the field to do an investigation, and simply turn their recorders on in an attempt to capture ghostly voices or noises. This process also involves asking short, probative questions and then pausing to allow for any response. The problem, of course, is that the investigator would then have to wait until later when he or she could sit down and listen to the tape playback, to discover if any responses were present. This process did not allow any conversational type of investigation and research to occur. A question such as, "Is there anyone here?" answered by a voice on the tape replying "Yes" could not be followed up by a quick "Are you alone, or are there others with you?" for example. That is, until now. 

With the advent of the RT-EVP, the investigator has the real-time, almost instant capability to hear any feedback or response, due to the device's ability to have ongoing delayed recorded playbacks of hearing one's own questions, then listening for any response. The time of this delay can be preset from off altogether, to anywhere from 1 second up to 60 seconds. I set mine to a delay of around 20 seconds, which allows me ample time to ask a question, then have time for a response before I hear my own question on the playback. I aim to allow about 15 seconds for any response. In addition to this feature, it also allows for either a quiet, no white noise nor radio sweep setting, or can be used to also play white noise or FM frequency sweeps to do what was talked about earlier, and that is to allow the spirit (or ghost) to take advantage of the frequencies in order to help it communicate.

I recently tried both, in such locations as the Natchez City Cemetery, King's Tavern, and The Old Adams County Jail. My own preference is having a quiet recording session using the RT-EVP, and then using a Zoom H2 recorder taping a CD player with external speaker playing a white noise CD, such as rain falling, in another session. I also use the H2 when using a spirit box or ITC sweep device. I also own a Panasonic DR60, which I use.  So, I use several techniques in various "sessions" (usually around 5 to 8 minutes each) in the EVP portion of my investigations. However, by far the bulk of my EVP work is now with the RT-EVP.  I am convinced that the device is absolutely amazing, and can be used very effectively in recording EVP. It should not be a stand alone device, but should be used in conjunction with other audio, photo, video, EMF, RF, Ion, Temperature and other scientific means (as well as trigger objects and era cues) while investigating these sites. The device has a wide range of settings that gives the investigator many options and uses.
The RT-EVP, which stands for Real-Time Electronic Voice Phenomena, at a cost of around $275.00 is not an inexpensive tool, but one that any serious investigator or team will definitely have in his tool bag.

Update: 12/14/2010:  The RT-EVP has definitely been effective in capturing excellent EVP.  We plan to add several more to our equipment inventory during 2011.  This device, as well as a Panasonic DR60, are our two most successful devices for capturing EVP.  For actual (real) EVP examples using this device click here, then scroll down to audio samples: Old Adams County Jail investigation.

To read a new (3/15/2011) article about the DAS's MEL 8704 EMF Meter - to read this latest post click here.

Natchez Ghosts: The Devil's Punchbowl is the official blog of N.A.P.S. - the Natchez Area Paranormal Society, Natchez, Mississippi.

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