Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Spricom and the importance of checking "facts".

In the 1970s, there were a series of developments in Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) that were very formative in the creation of what is now a very vibrant community of ITC and Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) experimenters who do experimental work with spirit communication in the field and often in dedicated laboratories at home or makeshift facilities in the field.

The state of the field is such that I have personally heard and captured many hundreds if not thousands of inexplicable EVPs and ITC voice captures on tape recorders, inductive audio devices, video audio tracks and radios.

These voices are often in found replying to queries and statements made by the researcher and which provide significant evidence that there seems to be *something* which, I feel, is intelligent, interested in what we are doing and which even has emotions often expressed in humor, annoyance and even anger at times.

In the 1970s, none of this type of work had been really going on for long. EVP was known to occur and had been discussed since the 19th century, but the contacts and evidence provided by the spirit world were infrequent. Friedrich J├╝rgensen had been doing regular spirit contact work in Europe since the late 1950s and others were beginning to report spirit contact as the other side built bridges to our world with increasing frequency and even urgency, as if it was extremely important that the word of life after death and survival needed to get out to as many people as possible and as soon as possible. This feeling or urgency seems to persist even today.

During a convalescence from surgery this December, I began to research the beginnings of ITC and EVP. Mentioned over and over again, I ran into descriptions of the Spiricom and it's very strange and offbeat development. I kept an open mind as I examined the story of it's construction and took note that precious little in terms of the actual device construction or schematics were available to people who could construct a device to duplicate the result sets obtained.

Stranger yet, was the story and personal details of it's construction by two unlikely characters who were both as controversial as they were pioneers. I have long been a person who resides in the middle world, open to new ideas but seeking scientific confirmation of ideas and phenomena. I'm willing to tread this ground as long as the basis for my reasoned explorations holds water. However, I do find it odd when details of past experiments, often cited as a sort of Holy Grail, are difficult to check out or confirm.

The photo at the top of this article is of a Department of the Army publication, TM 11-660 TO 16-1-224 "Introduction to Electronics", a often cited publication purportedly written by Dr. George Mueller, who purportedly was the contact on the other side who began to converse with one William (Bill) O'neil who was a self-taught electronics engineer and friend/compatriot of a Dr. George Meek, a classically educated scientist who had turned towards life-after-death research at the end of his career in a bid to prove that human survival occurred despite biological death.

I will not rehash the details of this story, since adequate resources exist to provide you with the story, including writings in Dr. Meek's words and books on the subject (Google/etc...). The point of this article is to point out my own observations and concrete attempts to validate the critical elements of the Spiricom story and history.

Returning to the Dept. of the Army manual. This manual was purportedly written by Dr. Mueller in 1947. Cited in the story of the Spiricom are conversations in which Dr. Mueller relates in his conversations with Bill O'neil from appearances  in his home via full-blown direct view manifestations, that there would be found useful information regarding the construction of the Spiricom, a means of evolving communications means via electronic methods rather than depending on mediums for subjective and often, colored or altered meanings that did not adequately get the intended message across.

In one of these conversations, Dr. Mueller directs Bill O'neil to look at pages 66 and 67 of the Department of the Army manual to learn about what man had done and what man could do with electronics. It was a very specific request. And given that the man was purported to be the author, it was something easily checked out.

I personally set out to find the manual on my own as a result. Reading everything I could get on the Spiricom and references noted regarding the books and materials I could find, I finally found the actual guide number, TM 11-660 TO 16-1-224, and found that it had been noted as residing in an archive in Wisconsin. I searched the library for this archive and was getting nowhere when I ran into a bookstore that had an original copy of the "Introduction to Electronics" army guide for all of $10. I ordered the book and had it in my hands in under a week. I may very well have snagged the only available copy for some time and it was quite odd that I would find this lone copy just as I needed it. Fortune does smile on those who persist in looking!

What was striking to me was that, nowhere in the guide, is Dr. Mueller's name mentioned as an author. Perhaps this is normal for army guides. But unless more information is forthcoming, I think that the references to this guide as being an authentic production of Dr. Mueller is premature (Please correct me or show me evidence of his authorship if you know where it can be found - I am interested in confirming Mueller's authorship or lack thereof conclusively).

The only names, on page II are Edward F. Witsell, a "Major General" and cited as "The Adjunct General". The other name immediately opposite his is Omar N. Bradley, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. No other names are mentioned. Unless further proof of Dr. Mueller's involvement with the publication are offered, I'd say it is up in the air as to proof of the claim. It looks like I may well have one of the few actual remaining copies of this manual so I will be pleased to scan the relevant pages for interested parties if desired.

Also striking to me is the mention of pages 66 and 67 of the guide by Mueller as containing his text about the future of electronics and mankind. This "proof" is often cited on many ITC sites and I decided to check it out. I found that the cited information passed on from Dr. Mueller was actually on pages 42 and 43 of this slim guide. The text reads:

"By 1895, the people of the world felt that their men of science were due for a long-deserved rest. It was the popular belief of the time that everything of importance had already been discovered and that the great inventions had already been contrived. With justifiable pride the scientific achievements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were considered the ultimate in all that could possibly be accomplished in the universe. The predictions of the era were that future generations would have to be content with making minor refinements and rearrangements to the established order of science. 
 
    Within the past fifty years, the events which have transpired prove how erroneous were these predictions. Even before the celebration which marked the arrival of the twentieth century, Pierre and Marie Curie had announced a discovery which was to have far-reaching effects and was to change the theories on the structure of matter. The Curies, working in France, had discovered radioactivity and had manufactured a radio-active element, radium, from pitchblende. The subsequent developments of the twentieth century continued  to prove how mistaken were the predictions prior to 1900.

    Today, men are eagerly searching for the undiscovered in electronic research. Men are at work exploring the known and unknown portions of the frequency spectrum-from sound waves to supersonics-from the lower radio frequencies-through the infra-red, the visible, and the ultraviolet regions-up into the area of the X-rays and gamma rays, those minute wavelength radiations associated with radioactive elements. Men are reaching even into the spectrum heights of those fabulous cosmic rays. Out of this work, new techniques and instruments of electronic wizardry will emerge, but only after seemingly impossible problems have been solved. These solutions will require the careful thought and patient work of many people, whose findings will be correlated with other efforts, verified by experiments and aided now and then by sparks of genius to reconcile the irrational and so accomplish the impossible. 

    As a conclusion, a salute is given to all men of electronics and a greeting is extended to newcomers in the field. Through their zeal, new magic will be created from electrons in motion and electromagnetic waves in space. Through their initiative and industry, future accomplishments will be achieved to challenge those of Oersted, Faraday, Franklin, Bell, DeForest, and the other masters of earlier years."

My copy of this book matched this text, found at http://www.worlditc.org/h_07_meek_transcript_spiri.htm that is a transcript of Spiricom work and history. The guide is a primer for raw amateurs in the electronics field who need a brief overview of the state of the art and potentials for the field as it existed in 1947.

There is one problem however. The book I have is shown as having been published in July of 1949. It is possible that the booklet was actually published in 1947, edited down by about twenty pages and then republished in 1949. So this question remains. Encouraging to me was the exact match of the "Conclusion" section of the guide in my possession which matched the spirit of the purported contact as related by O'neil.

The WorldITC site does not specify if it's source copy of this text is from 1947 or 1949. So this fact needs to be cleared up in order to substantiate more of the story.

Still, copies of these guides might likely have found their way around and been in greater number in the 1970s. Such a guide may well have been in O'neil's library. So while interesting, it is not "evidence" of the paranormal, but only confirmation of possible ownership of the same guide. Who knows? O'neil was an eccentric and very isolated character. I've encountered brilliant scientists in my own field and many are often slightly "off" in their own way, so eccentricity and odd behaviors sort of go with the territory.

More disturbing to me has been the finding that Bill O'neil was an accomplished ventriloquist in addition to his many other talents. The tapes he made of his Spiricom contacts that I have seen, with photos of him working the gear, were made with him facing the gear and not actually filmed or photographed with his face visible as the speech occurred. Again, not strange in our business, but given the talents of the man, something to consider.

As an EVP taper myself, I rarely tape with cameras focused on me, so this can be understood, but I am not a ventriloquist and what surprised me is how Dr. Meeks, O'neil's sponsor and friend who cited so many of these tapes and contacts of O'neils, could defend this evidence given the history of O'neil. I know some videos of the contacts exist, but have not seen them and am aware others of a skeptical stance did not walk away convinced of the contacts. Until I see these, I'll suspend judgment but do think that these issues make the story much harder to confirm or defend against the skeptical community.

Less discussed is the manner of Bill O'neils final end, supposedly (yet to confirm this) in an insane asylum. O'neil reportedly displayed many mediumistic tendencies and was often visited by spirits. It may or may not make a difference that he ended his life in an asylum since this may not have been the case at the time of his work with Meek matters, but the difficulty of getting this information and only finding oblique references to it seems to point to an embarrassment to discuss the nature of his passing amongst proponents of ITC and the Spiricom story itself. It is known that more than a few people who do end up in asylums do possess mediumistic skills and may be overwhelmed or driven to insanity by their "condition".

Again, I am speaking from a personal perspective and without benefit of concrete information, so for the purpose of this article, I leave this door open to either conclusion and hope for the best when the evidence does present itself later.

I have studied the Spiricom technical guide in some detail and managed to construct the multi-tone generation scheme using software and a PC to do the same thing these gentlemen said they were doing with their gear. It is much easier to do this work these days and one does have to realize that the conditions for doing original research in this field, which was nearly blasphemy in the scientific circles of their day, necessitated suspension of beliefs and going out on a very long limb to push the state of the art. Such is always the case for discovery of new vistas and territories.

The cited frequences of

131, 141, 151, 241, 272, 282, 292, 302, 415, 443, 515, 653 and 701 cps (cycles per second)

in the Spiricom technical guide are fairly easy to reproduce. I used the NCH Tone Generator tool to create my own rendition of the multi-frequency tone and it is a unique and haunting thing to hear. I can share my version of it in MP3 format for those who are interested. In stereo, it seems to oscillate and is something I am in the process of testing in variations to see what it might offer in terms of better sound to provide as original sound energy for a spirit to modulate favorably. Dr. Meek purportedly used musical theory to derive these frequencies and I'd like to find out why (and if) these frequencies matter so much. One does note that many EVPs often have a unique musical intonation similar to the Meek/O'neil tones. Still, the first tests in my own lab will be to see if ITC communication can be had at these frequencies and if we get good results over and above what I currently use, with white noise and radio static which gives us great results.

My examination of the written evidence and detailed story about Spiricom in "The Ghost of 29 Megacycles" by John G. Fuller, reveal to me a tendency to believe first and ask critical questions later with regard to the potential evidence. I do believe that both men, O'neil and Meek, were in contact with otherworldly forces and that these did indeed drive them to push the technical limits, but I believe that the approach was haphazard and without sufficient technical caution and firm controls. Meek certainly did try, but my read of the story to date was the sense that Meek was driven by a deadline and urgency relating to what he saw as a very definite time limit on how much time he had to pursue the phenomena. Getting to the end of one's life and make you feel the pressure to perform or get results.

The fact that O'neil constantly worked alone and without supervision or oversight in controlled circumstances was heavily noted by Fuller in his book on the topic and left me convinced that Fuller saw the same issues as I did with the approach and events as Spiricom evolved.

Fuller also noted the enthusiasm and rush that Meek was in to grab the evidence and certify it for the world as "proof" when it was clear in hindsight that this would not pass the demands of a then skeptical and often harsh and even violent scientific community as well as religious community bent on preserving the status quo for their own purposes. Indeed, O'neil found himself facing threats made at times by some who clearly were threatened by these developments.

Turning back to the Spiricom itself, I'm surprised that such a device did not find itself heavily documented and blueprinted. Only block diagrams showing the larger components and how the system worked in over-view were published. It is sad that the detailed specifications never made it to print for other labs to replicate and test. Still, enough exists from the original guides to work from and to build modern equivalents to test these results. You can find interesting modern equivalents on Youtube and Google with relative ease. I will be testing my own versions of the device over the course of 2011 in my own program to evaluate the system fairly and in a more controlled manner than its origins. I think that any work of this sort demands that kind of rigor.

For all of the imperfections and human follies in the story of the Spiricom, one can sense an honest desire for spirit contact in these early probes. No one in that day and age, but a couple of characters like this could or would test the limits as these two men did. I feel that it does take such genius and a complete disregard for conventional approaches to push any new science. And this field we in ITC are working around is indeed a new type of science. Indeed, cross-pollination across multiple fields of science, often mired in over-specialization and territorial disputes and argumentation, is something routinely occurring now and benefiting all of us in many ways.

My feeling at this point is that there is much
more to study on the topic of the Spiricom. Dr Meek described the device as being an idea more than a solid design and would never be "finished" in the proper sense of the word. In this conclusion, I am inclined to agree with him. In such a fluid and obviously difficult endeavor, one can only build prototypes after constructing hypothesis and under some sort of controlled engineering and experimental framework. I give Dr. Meek credit for at least imposing some controls over the experiments in this regard.

I believe Spiricom should be classed as a continuing experiment and not a historical footnote in the ITC community. The fact it is given as much press in ITC literature as it has been given lends itself well to the notion that a lot of people believe that Meek and O'neil both were in touch with some force beyond our world.

I feel that it is sensible to create a "Spiricom-II" project and take a more focused and results-oriented approach over a longer period of time, perhaps many years in length, to fully explore the space and develop the technology to a reliable and truly effective two-way/real-time communication system as was envisioned by these men in the 1970s.

I am not well acquainted with the ITC community, but what I have seen of them is that there are serious and credentialed individuals who are working on various systems for communications with the various levels and dimensions we have been in contact with. My hope is that this article stimulates discussion and perhaps some interesting technical developments as a result. Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss more on the topic.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A favorite explanation of how the soul can continue to live after apparent "death"

Quote by EVP and ITC Pioneer George Meeks

The material world and our physical bodies are not the solid matter we think we see and touch. All matter, the chair you sit on, the building in which you find yourself at this moment, the "solid" foundation on which the building rests, consist almost entirely of empty space. This is why your vision can pass through "solid" glass several inches thick. This is why hundreds of radio and TV signals carrying speech, music and pictures are at this moment traveling right through the "solid" walls of your room and your "solid" body.

Only if you can comprehend the above concept can you begin to realize that it is possible to have two or more things occupying the same space at  the same time.

Your physical body is being experienced in our common everyday three-dimensional world of space and time. Your mind and soul are living in another space-time system which interpenetrates your physical body and occupies substantially the same space as your physical body.

Hence the "next world" is one in which your mind and soul already live and in which your mind and soul will continue to live.

When you shed your worn-out physical body you will be aware of the surroundings in which your mind and soul are living - the astral planes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Case Reviews and News

I suppose all of us go through highs and lows as a normal part of life. With the arrival of Winter, we generally go through our cases and begin reviewing the past year with GRI and this year is no different. Our cases are being reviewed and we're set to begin on-air reveals with our formal investigations along with plans for the upcoming year of investigations for 2011.

Spencer and I have both had personal challenges. Surgery for his wife and step son in November had Spencer unable to investigate much and we've had trouble hooking up. I began to feel badly over course of the year and was not sure what was going on until my own sudden surgery in December and my being out of action for six weeks. So we're stumbling along as a team, but we are still here and still in the game.

The plan for GRI is that we will be back in investigation mode in fine form by January and we'll do a test case to get back on our feet along with clearing the back-log of cases we need to do reveals for. In that spirit, I am well along with the case files and getting these out of the way along with equipment builds under way will see us doing new types of investigation work for 2011.

January 11th will see Jon at the John Edward event in Santa Rosa and we'll report on that evening event and happenings along the way.

We'll be revealing the P-30 investigation and the Lincoln investigation during January on Blogtalkradio and in-person. Watch for more on this here and on Facebook.

On February 4th, Jon will be a paranormal docent for the U.S.S. Hornet and will be leading a team through that haunted ship. It will be an amazing night and I (Jon) cannot wait for that investigation.

Merry Christmas to all in and outside of GRI and we'll be seeing you around!