EVP Transmutation

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Electronic Voice Phenomena Transmutation is a term I came up with for something that I have experienced multiple times. I’ve searched the Google and spoken to other researchers but have been unable to locate any information related to this anomaly. I have also had difficulty finding others that have even experienced this.

The purpose of this article is not to get into what an EVP is, whether or not they are actually the voices of the dead, RF bleed-over or even inter-dimensional non-human entities. Where the voices that are recorded come from is another topic. This article is simply to discuss and define an unusual form of electronic voice phenomena that, at this time, has no known explanation.

The two most common methods of capturing “spirit voices” are digital voice recorders and the spirit box.  However, EVP Transmutation has never occurred with anything I have recorded using a spirit box. Looking into the reasons why may help explain what is actually taking place with these audio files.

One possibility may be that we don’t scrutinize spirit box communication as deeply as we do digital recorder EVP’s. What you hear on a spirit box is, for the most part, much clearer than the average EVP. It’s possible that the transmutation occurs to assist us when dealing with a message that is very difficult to decipher or that someone feels should to be altered in some way.

The devices themselves could be relative. What is picked up on a spirit box is generally captured on camcorder audio while an EVP resides within the voice recorder itself. The spirit box doesn’t record the voices, it simply amplifies them and makes them audible to us. If you don’t record the session using a separate device, it is lost forever.

Making the research of EVP Transmutation even more difficult is that once it does take place, many times you no longer have the original file to use for comparison. Well technically you still have the original file, it’s just that it has been altered and the original original file is gone forever (unless it still exists on the digital voice recorder).

After I record audio files I transfer them to a computer. From there I go through all the files wearing headphones and will either find EVP’s or I won’t. If I don’t, I delete the file for good. If I do, I crop it down and save it as a shorter file. Afterwards, at some point, the original files on the voice recorder are deleted to make room for future recordings.

At this point there are up to three copies of the file. The full length recording on the digital voice recorder, the full length file copied to the computer and the cropped file on the computer containing the possible EVP.

The interesting thing is that even having multiple copies of the same files in different locations doesn’t prevent EVP Transmutation because when it occurs it can impact all copies of the file except for the original file on the device itself (if it still exists). I will be providing an example of this later in the article.

The first time I experienced this was an audio file I recorded at the Historic Columbian Cemetery in North Portland in 2011. I was recording audio at the grave site of a woman named Mary Alt White who passed away in 1954. Whenever I visit this cemetery I always make a point to stop and say hello to Mary. I had always been drawn to her grave for some reason. Hers is one of very few with a photo on the marker. What really got my attention was how sharp she looked. Mostly it was the hat.

The cemetery is unfortunately located in the loudest spot possible. Interstate 5 runs north/south past the cemetery and Columbia Boulevard runs east/west at the entrance. To top it off a regularly used train track runs through them both. Regardless, I was there and decided to ask Mary where she got her hat.

I was surprised when reviewing the audio to hear a very faint female voice after I asked this question. Unfortunately no matter how hard I tried I simply could not make out the response due to the background noise and the extremely low volume of the voice. I listened to the file probably 100 times in a loop. Over and over and over again I listened and all I could tell was that there was a woman’s voice buried in all that noise.

This really bothered me and I thought about it a lot because I felt a connection to Mary and she was apparently kind enough to speak to me but the response was inaudible. Several weeks later while going through my files I clicked on it again and her response was right there. Still quiet but the word jumped right out at me.

Kurt: “Can you say something real loud for me, tell me where you got that hat?”

Response: “Something.”

I found it odd that a file would suddenly just become clear after beating my head over it but didn’t give it much thought and was just glad I finally knew what she had said. Mind you nothing else had changed. Same computer, same software, same headphones, same location. The only thing different was the sudden clarity of the response.

The next time I experienced EVP Transmutation was after investigating Edmonson’s Drapery in Portland. This building used to be a funeral home many years ago and the basement was one of the most negative spaces I have ever encountered. I captured multiple EVP’s, including one that changed over time.

I had listened to the file many times and eventually posted it to my Soundcloud page. I was listening to it one day and realized that it had been added to. I had cut the file off about a second after the voice ended and now I realized that it was suddenly longer and continued past the point where I had ended the file. Unfortunately since I now viewed the EVP as useless to me because it was missing the end of the voice response, I removed and deleted it. Definitely a mistake on my part.

One of the most recent instances is the most difficult to understand. I had done a short EVP session in my basement late one night because I had been feeling the presence of a child around me. I recorded approximately 5 one-minute files and upon reviewing them I had one file with a child responding to a question. I was unable to tell exactly what he was saying but I could definitely hear three syllables. It was either 3 one-syllable words or 1 three-syllable word but it was unmistakably a child.

I had two copies of the file on my computer. The full ~1 minute file and one where I had cropped it down to the part with the child’s voice. I uploaded the shorter file to a web site asking for assistance in helping to figure out what the child was saying and went to bed.

At this point there were a grand total of 4 copies of the same file. The original still on the voice recorder, the same file copied to my PC, a shorter version of just the voice portion (also on my PC), and the same shorter version copied to a web server.

The next day I checked the web site and saw a response that said he heard a man saying something about being out of control. I found this odd since the file was of a child and was very brief (3 syllables). I listened to the file on the web site and it was a man who appears to be saying something to the effect of “Yes you’re out of control” or “I guess you’re out of control.” Either way, it was not a child and it was much more than three syllables.

I checked the two files on my computer and both of them were now the above audio of a man. I checked the digital audio recorder itself which still contained the original file and it was still a child saying 3 syllables.

Here comes the fun part. I still have the file of the child and can listen to it over and over again. Once I post it online it becomes the file of the man posted above. Once that happens, the file of the child on my PC that I uploaded also changes to the file of the man above. Only the original file from the digital recorder remains as a child.

The file has been uploaded twice to Soundcloud.com and once to a paranormal forum and all 3 times the file changed to the file above and at the same time also changed the file that is still on my PC. If I don’t upload the file to a web server it remains as a child. Because of this I cannot supply the original file of the child speaking as an online file.

I have had EVP Transmutation occur on different computers and with multiple software programs (Audition, WavePad and Audacity). I have also had it appear to remove an EVP. I have shared EVP’s with people only to have them tell me they don’t hear anything. I listen again and the voice is no longer present.

So what is an EVP Transmutation and why is it so uncommon?

Right now I can only define it as an digital audio file that over time (minutes, hours, days or weeks) appears to be modified to either become longer, clearer, removed or changed completely. This modification occurs without any apparent human intervention and at this time seems to only affect audio recordings not consisting of disembodied voices or voices generated through a spirit box. It is only affecting voices that were not heard audibly at the time they were imprinted to a digital recording device. Once this takes place, all copies except for the original file still on the digital recording device are also affected.

If anyone else has or does in the future experience an EVP Transmutation of a recorded digital file, please bring it to my attention as there are software applications that will analyze changes made to a file. At this time I have no way to proactively test or research this because of the completely random nature in which these seem to occur. I simply have to wait until it happens again (if it ever happens again) and work with the circumstances surrounding that specific incident. Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

Update: I did hear recently of one woman in Germany that had EVP’s altered that had been copied to a CD.