Sceptics Divided
Things You Can Do When You’re Dead

SPR Conference in Wales

I’ve just booked for the Society for Psychical Research’s annual do, which this year is being held at Swansea University. One of the speakers is neuropsychologist Peter Fenwick, who is always good value on the subject of near-death experiences. (The title of his talk mentions ‘End of Life Experiences’ and ‘Cardiac Arrest OBEs’, which are perhaps more exact terms, given that a near-death experience these days can simply mean an accident, or a narrow escape from one.) The last talk I heard Fenwick give was about deathbed visions, followed by one on terminal lucidity – which I wrote about here.

Other topics include electronic voice phenomena and precognitive dreams.

I wish I could go to conferences more often, but they are quite costly when you include accommodation, meals and travel. I tell myself one can get just as good information from the speakers’ books and articles – for a fraction of the cost. (I never bothered with lectures much at university, and it didn’t make any difference.) But there is something special about a group meeting. One picks up nuances that would otherwise get missed, and it’s good to meet the speakers and other people.

Would be glad to meet up with any of Paranormalia’s readers who might be going. I possess a little blogging camera, and with luck will be able to cobble together a little video afterwards.

Full event details here. Registration closes Tuesday August 27.


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I read the link you provided about your father hearing music as he lay dying, and apropos of that wanted to share an unusual experience I had recently.

A little background: I am a hospice volunteer, and one of my recent clients was a lovely 93-year-old woman, Eileen.

More background: Every weekday morning my husband and I are awakened when the radio turns on to the classical music station.

So, on a recent morning I awakened to some very unusual choral music. It was extremely beautiful, but rather eerie.....a sustained harmony the likes of which I had never heard. I was intensely interested and lay there anticipating the host announcing the composer and piece. However, when the piece was over, there was silence. Confused, I opened my eyes and noticed it was actually too dark to be quite morning. Then I remembered it was Saturday and the radio had not come on at all! It was all very strange; nothing like that has ever happened to me before.

I learned later that my beloved hospice patient had slipped from consciousness that Saturday and died that night. I am left wondering if that was not a "Good-bye."

Very interesting - thanks for sharing :)

Wish it was in Cardiff!

Here is Rachel Browning's SPR submission on EVP.

Without evidence of discarnate communication, or any evidence of who or what is initiating the garble, EVP's leave me cold I fear to say. :(

'EVP's leave me cold I fear to say.' The SPR took against it some years ago, in the same way that it used to be generally sceptical about physical phenomena in its early days. It will be interesting to see what line the speakers take.

Kestrel, nice story.

The Od,

Class C and B EVPs are a waste as evidence but what about DVR (direct radio voice) and Class A Examples? There were experiments carried out that can virtually rule out fraud and pareidolia. I think there is a lot of public misinformation on EVP but if you dig deeply into the subject you may come away with some of the most convincing evidence for life after death. This is a good place to start. Watch this documentary on EVP and ITC:

It is well worth the watch

Just a quick comment re EVP...

I've heard tons over the years, and only one where it was immediately obvious what was being said. That was recorded by former NAS technical officer, Mike Rogers (at a haunting in Barking) on a Walkman type cassette recorder - new tape fresh out of the wrapper, in my presence. The voice was aping my questions - in a cod Indian accent - and did the same when someone else was speaking.

Having said that, over the last thirty or so years (as a musician and engineer), I've worked with hundreds of bits of audio gear at inummerable gigs and studio sessions in all over the UK. I've only once had radio interference on a peice of gear - at a gig in Oxford in 1980 - A guitar of mine used to pick up stray signals and we heard the local police during a soundcheck - through a 100 watt guitar stack and a 2000 watt PA :) I shielded the inside of the guitar in question, and it's never happened since.

Never happened once with a tape machine - or any digital recording setup. So I find the blanket 'interference' a bit lame, TBH.

Mind you - digital audio does tend to modulate the human voice (if someone is speaking very quietly - just above the noise floor) to sound like a typical 'EVP'. I've had lots of those with the current Psi project I'm working on - all accounted as normal - except one. And it was impossible to tell what was being 'said'.

I'll give the doco a look though!

Wish I could be there. I'll be just home from the IANDS conference outside Washington, DC. Wales would be nicer!


Not ignoring you. Posted a lengthy response never showed up.

Technology, meh.

@Steve Hume

With material time seemingly of the essence, I leave the analysis of EVP to the experts and find my time is much better suited to evidential spirit communications.

'Posted a lengthy response never showed up.'

Sorry, Typepad does this if the comment is too long. Another time if that happens try dividing it into two or more posts - it should work.

Or don't type it in directly - use word etc to cut and paste.

Robert - thanks for the heads up re the SPR conference. Prompted me to join the SPR and book in for next Saturday. I'll look out for you to say hello.

Great, see you there!

Robert, I live in the States and would love to see you make a presentation here. Please post if/when you expect to be here.

Only just discovered you were at the conference, hope you enjoyed the presentation!

Hi Dean, thanks, it would be great to get the States and I'm sure it will happen one day - but no plans just yet :)

Hi Rachel, I did enjoy it, and thought it was one of the more interesting talks. I was the one asking awkward questions, btw :), but I do think it's worth investigating. I think many more of us have an idea of what EVP is about than have actually experienced it close up.

Hi Robert

I'm glad you asked the questions you did, most people have similar thoughts and don't speak out. It's important that we address the weak points of any potential evidence as well as the positives. I'm all in favor of open discussion, it's why I dare to raise my head above the parapet!

You may be interested to know that I'll be posting a video of my presentation on the website. It'll give listeners a chance to replay the clips, something I didn't have time to do on the day.

Hello again

Here's the link to the video presentation, it's a little shorter than the on the day but it does contain all of the clips;

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