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A Comprehensive Study Into the Effectiveness...

by Sandman

A comprehensive study into the effectiveness of analog recorders as compared to digital recorders in the pursuit of paranormal anomalies.

The pursuit of paranormal science is perhaps one of the most interesting fields of study under scientific scrutiny today. However, that would certainly depend upon which scientific circles the topic were being bantered back and fourth in. To say that this is not mainstream science would be a cataclysmic understatement to say the least.

Many consider this field to be nothing more than pure flights of fancy while others consider the scientific methods used by many researchers to be lacking in proper scientific procedure and control guidelines. This may be true of a certain percentage of individuals within the realm of paranormal study but I feel that you would be able to find this in nearly all fields of scientific study.

It has often been my experience that such judgments are commonly made by those who have little or no experience in the study and more often than not it is just easier to cast a broad cover of negativity upon the entire field. A scientific mind should be open to consider what might be out there rather than simply closing one’s eyes in disagreement!

With that having been said we can now move onto our stated objective. The paranormal occurrence that captures the attention of many researchers working in this area would be that of the Electronic Voice Phenomenon simply known as an evp. For those of you not familiar with this term...put evp is the end result of an electronic process that can record the "voice" of a spirit.

There are two types of recording devices commonly used in this practice and that is to be our focus. Before we proceed into the more in-depth side of this study it may prove helpful to your understanding if the basic facts of how an evp occurs were laid out in simple terms. For this we need to start with the human body and the electrical impulses moving within it. The field contained in the human body may be of extremely low output but without it our frail bodies would cease to function.

Have you ever asked yourself what changes occur to the body when we die? The change that we need to concern ourselves with is the electrical field moving through us. Does it simply cease to exist at the point of death? Of course not...the field leaves the body. This is the spirit and in this form it is subject to brief periods of communication through various electronic means.

Any type of electronic recording device that employees a magnetic field is capable of this. The way in which this happens is not all that difficult to understand (but it does require an open mind). It is a fact that a random electrical source can effect a magnetic recorder. The common effect is static or an audio pop...but consider this...what if the electrical field coming into contact with the recorder possessed intelligence?

Then instead of random static the effect may come through in the form of a spoken word. This form of communication is very brief though. Many people have often wondered why an evp is generally only a few short seconds in duration. There is a simple answer to this question. In order for the spirit to be heard it becomes necessary for them to come into contact with the recording device that contains a magnetic field. As you are aware...magnetic fields greatly effect an electrical field.

It is generally believed that if the spirit were to remain within the field for a prolonged amount of time that it would cause certain disturbances and mental degradation of their cognitive functions. Here is a practical example that I present to illustrate the effect. Consider the magnetic field to be an open flame.

What would happen to your hand if you were to pass it quickly through the flame...nothing. You would be fine. What would happen if you did not remove your hand? I believe that a magnetic field would have a similar effect upon a spirit. This may be a loose comparison but it does present the point. With a basic understanding of how an evp occurs we can now move onto the two basic types of recorders used to study them. We shall begin with the analog recorder. This device utilizes a thin Mylar film that is passed through a recording head with magnetic properties. The Mylar film has a very specific content that allows for the reproduction of sound.

Contained upon the Mylar film is a finely powered rust known as gamma-ferric oxide which contains an uncounted number of magnetic needle shaped particles that are generally five millionths of an inch thick by twenty-five millionths of an inch long. The needle shaped particles along the tapes surface have all been oriented lengthwise either in a positive or negative position. The amount of positive as compared to negative particles on a blank tape is nearly fifty percent. The particles on the tape have a set coercivity...this refers to their resistance to change.

Once these particles are exposed to a magnetic field strong enough to overcome their coercivity they will remain is the same position until another field rearranges them. In simpler terms they will hold the same position until they are recorded over a second time or the tape has been erased. Each position of a particle represents a fragment of sound. This sound is determined by how the particles have been arranged after being exposed to the magnetic field generated from the recording head. With that in mind we will now examine the recording properties of a digital recorder.

The magnetic principal of a digital recorder is similar to that of an analog recorder but that is where the similarities end. A digital recorder represents sound waves in digital code through a process called linear pulse code modulation in concert with a quantizing circuit that selects binary code that most closely represents the sound being recorded.

At this point in the digital recording process sound values are estimated and rounded off to accommodate the parameters of the binary code input. Put simply this means that a digital recorder can not reproduce the audio waveform in the same fashion as an analog recorder. Having this built-in shortcoming truly limits your success of recording a successful evp. While both of these devises are useful tools in determining a paranormal event…there is little question as to which is the more useful.


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