Spiricom – Talking to Ghosts

In the late 60s and early 70s, a new craze was sweeping across Europe and the United States. We’re not talking about rock music, psychedelics – although they may have played a part – or bell bottom trousers. No, what we’re referring to were known as Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), recorded instances of the dead communicating with the living through electronic devices, and the famous Spiricom device.

A Brief History of Spiritual Communication

Earliest attempts at spiritual contact with the deceased using technology at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th involved photographers attempting to capture images of spirits. Thomas Edison even got in on the buzz, talking about the possibility of communicating with the dead if one had a sensitive enough device, in between bouts of manic laughter and sucking the life out of Nikolai Tesla, who also apparently inspired a device. However, it wasn’t until American photographer Attila Von Szalay started using reel-to-reel devices in 1956 that anyone achieved any notable success, after 15 years of his fruitless attempts using a 78 rpm record. He worked with Raymond Bayless, co-author of Phone Calls From The Dead, on a number of recordings that they made with a mic inside an insulated cabinet. The content of the recordings themselves was less interesting, with messages like “Hey, this is G!” and “Merry Christmas!” being left like it was an audio version of a bathroom wall in purgatory. Konstantin Raudive later made over 100,000 recordings in what he claimed were strict laboratory conditions, and believed the occasionally clear voices that he had taped could only have come from the other side. His claims were somewhat questionable, however, and some of the people he is said to have been communicating with included Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, who must have had only the nicest things to say to this progressive Latvian professor.

Spiricom – Speaking to the Dead, Live on Air

The “real” breakthrough came with the construction of the “Spiricom” by George W. Meek, an attempt to communicate directly with the dead on a two-way device. The device was made after séance sessions between a group of like-minded scientists known as The Metascience Foundation, some Philadelphia mediums – who are apparently better than the Long Island ones – and a few dead scientists, most notably Dr. W.F.G. Swann who gave them the technical and theoretical background necessary to build it. Early experiments were less than promising, and it wasn’t until electronics technician and self-proclaimed psychic William O’Neil entered the fray that things really began to happen.

O‘Neil made contact with a Dr. George J. Mueller, former NASA scientist and physicist who had been dead six years at the time, who gave instructions on how to further improve the machine, including a combination of 13 specific audio frequency tones that would serve as the optimum background noise for ghosts to communicate through. The room would be used as an echo chamber, and a cassette recorder was placed across the room to record every session. Mueller’s voice was robotic sounding, with a buzzing sound present behind him, and multiple spirits would sometimes be present in the conversation. O’Neil and Mueller communicated over the course of three years, recording almost 20 hours of dialog between the two.

spiricom schematics ghosts communication
A diagram of the Spiricom setup (Wojciech Drewniak)

Spiricom-plete Bullshit or Spiritual Breakthrough?

It’s quite difficult to have an in-depth investigation into the veracity of the claims and the recordings associated with the Spiricom device. Most of the people involved are dead, which ironically makes it harder to verify anything without the use of a Spiricom, and the recordings were made over 30 years ago. You can theoretically build your own if you are able to piece it together, with a modern twist and improved equipment, but that poses its own problems, and you should definitely be skeptical anytime someone starts talking about crystals as essential component devices.

Nobody has been able to replicate the success that O’Neil and company had with the device, allegedly because of O’Neil’s unique psychic ability. Until somebody other than a bunch of clowns with night-vision cameras making reality TV starts producing tangible results with EVP devices, in this Conspiracy Guy’s opinion, we’re just going to have to tentatively relegate the Spiricom to the “possibly bullshit” pile.

Featured Photo Credit: ITCVoices

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