Dr Konstantins Raudive (1909–1974) was a Latvian writer and intellectual, and husband of Zenta Maurina. Raudive was born in Latvia but studied extensively abroad, later becoming a student of Carl Jung.In exile following the Soviet re-conquest of Latvia in World War II, he taught at the University of Uppsala in Sweden.
Raudive studied parapsychology all his life, and was especially interested in the possibility of the afterlife. He and German parapsychologist Hans Bender investigated Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). He published a book on EVP, Breakthrough in 1971. Raudive was a scientist as well as a practising Roman Catholic.
In 1964, Raudive read Friedrich Jürgenson's book, Voices from Space, and was so impressed by it that he arranged to meet Jürgenson in 1965. He then worked with Jürgenson to make some EVP recordings, but their first efforts bore little fruit, although they believed that they could hear very weak, muddled voices. According to Raudive, however, one night, as he listened to one recording, he clearly heard a number of voices. When he played the tape over and over, he came to believe he understood all of them. He thought some of which were in German, some in Latvian, some in French. The last voice on the tape, according to Raudive, a woman's voice, said "Va dormir, Margarete" ("Go to sleep, Margaret").
Raudive later wrote (in his book Breakthrough):
"These words made a deep impression on me, as Margarete Petrautzki had died recently, and her illness and death had greatly affected me."
Raudive started researching such alleged voices on his own and spent much of the last ten years of his life exploring EVP. With the help of various electronics experts he recorded over 100,000 audiotapes, most of which were made under what he described as "strict laboratory conditions." He collaborated at times with Bender. Over 400 people were involved in his research, and all apparently heard the voices. This culminated in the 1968 publication of Unhörbares wird hörbar (“What is inaudible becomes audible”) (published in English in 1971 as Breakthrough).
Raudive developed several different approaches to recording EVP:
Microphone voices: one simply leaves the tape recorder running, with no one talking; he indicated that one can even disconnect the microphone.
Radio voices: one records the white noise from a radio that is not tuned to any station.
Diode voices: one records from what is essentially a crystal set not tuned to a station.
Raudive delineated a number of characteristics of the voices, (as laid out in Breakthrough):
1."The voice entities speak very rapidly, in a mixture of languages, sometimes as many as five or six in one sentence."
2."They speak in a definite rhythm, which seems forced on them."
3."The rhythmic mode imposes a shortened, telegram-style phrase or sentence."
4.Probably because of this, "… grammatical rules are frequently abandoned and neologisms abound."
Although not the first person to record EVP, Raudive is given a good deal of credit for being the first to bring Electronic Voice Phenomena to the attention of a larger audience. His book, The Inaudible Made Audible, was translated into English in 1971 and published by Colin Smythe, Ltd. under the title Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead.1 In the preface to Breakthrough, Smythe wrote that, before publishing the book, he wanted to be sure that the voice phenomenon was real. He did some test recordings and thought that he heard a voice, but he could not understand it. He asked Peter Bander, the editor of Breakthrough, to listen to the tape. After listening, Bander heard a woman’s voice say in German, “Why don’t you open the door?” Bander recognized it as his mother’s voice. Bander and his mother had done all of their correspondence by tape and her voice was unmistakable. The message also made sense, because during the previous week, Bander had insisted on keeping the door of his office closed and his colleagues had teased him for his seclusion. Bander knew that Smythe could not understand German and so asked others to write down phonetically what they heard. They all heard the same thing.
The voices became known as “Raudive Voices” after Breakthrough was published. However, Colin Smythe and Peter Bander became more aware of Friedrich Jürgenson’s role and continued activity in voice phenomena research. It was obvious to them that a less personal and more accurate name needed to be coined for the phenomena. Peter Bander used the term, “Electronic Voice Phenomena,” in the introduction to his book, Carry on Talking. Smythe said that their policy to use the term, “Electronic Voice Phenomenon,” in an official sense was first carried out in a determined fashion in an article written by Malcolm Hughes in The Spiritualist Gazette, in April of 1973.
In 1971, controlled EVP experiments were conducted with Raudive by the chief engineers of Pye Records, Ltd. Precautions were taken to prevent freak pick-ups of any kind. Controls within the experiment also excluded random high or low frequencies being received. Raudive was not allowed to touch the equipment and was al-lowed only to speak into a microphone. No one present heard anything but Raudive speaking while the recording was being made. However, when the recording was played back, over two hundred voices were found on the eighteen minutes of tape. Many of these messages were personal and very evidential to those who were there. In his book, Carry on Talking, published in 1972, Peter Bander said that there was so much excitement from those who were there that the experiments continued into the early hours of the morning. Carry on Talking was published in the United States as Voices From the Tapes: Recordings from the Other World.
In 1972, Belling and Lee, Ltd., at Enfield, England, conducted experiments with Raudive and the recording of the paranormal voices in their Radio Frequency Screened Laboratory. Peter Hale supervised the experiments. Peter, a physicist and electronics engineer, was considered the leading expert on electronic-suppression in Great Britain. The Belling and Lee lab was used to test the most sophisticated electronic equipment for British defense and was expressly designed to screen out electromagnetic transmissions. Before the experiment, Hale had expressed his opinion that Raudive’s voices originated from normal radio signals. The lab’s own recording equipment was used for the test and paranormal voices, that should not have been there, were recorded on factory fresh tape. Peter Hale said after the experiment, “I cannot explain what happened in normal physical terms.”