Voice Transmissions With The Deceased

by Friedrich Juergenson

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The New Years Eve recording – “Mercy to the world, hallelujah!” – Bells ringing accompanied by choir – “That was Hitler, who’s not ashamed”

As it later turned out, this type of contact via microphone was only a temporary measure, with limited possibilities and highly depended on the physics of sound frequencies. That is why these flawless and extensive conversations could not be undertaken given the imperfect connection. It was also the reason why everything seemed so disconnected and sporadic. Nevertheless, these first attempts at communication represent an exceptionally interesting phenomenon, even if they cannot be compared to the connections that followed later.

I would like to briefly report on a further really interesting recording session that took place on New Years Eve. Around 11:00 pm, I placed a new tape onto the recorder hoping to receive a recording around midnight as we passed into the New Year. As usual the equipment was in the studio and the microphone was located in the living room, approximately three meters from the radio, which was transmitting the New Years program in a low volume.

I had posed a silent question to my unknown friends; I wanted to know who they were. Right at the beginning of the recording, immediately after I turned it on, someone called “Bismark!”. Then a female voice was audible and sang with melody in the same tone as the radio, “Only Germans…”

After a little while you can hear the same female voice reciting out of the distance the words, “Mercy to the world, hallelujah!”

58 Within the very soft, almost childlike voice, you could clearly hear the timbre of a very high soprano. The rest of the song was drowned out by our own voices. Our conversations were uninhibited, for no one except me, was thinking about the recording of “ghost voices” through the microphone. The children were happy and lively, and waited impatiently for the ringing of the midnight bells.

Suddenly, in a small break in our conversation, you can hear the voice of my deceased Pompeian friend Pasquale who called me warmly by my name. Pasquale was one of my faithful friends. He had died suddenly one month after my departure in August 1958.

On this New Year Eve I was addressed several times by my name by different unknown female voices. Then again the already mentioned soprano voice was audible and started to recite festively: “Federici…mercy will be, forgive us in your heart…” The rest of the words were lost in the medley of our voices.

As I examined the series of words the next day at the speed of 3¾ i.p.s. I heard the following surprising speech metamorphosis: “Keep us awake…today you can ask” a sleepy male voice murmured in German.
Shortly before midnight, the Swedish Broadcasting Company was broadcasting a organ concert, it was Brahms “Choral Variations”, the light female voice sounded again, and following the organ solo she started to sing with her own improvisation. The organ concert was broadcast from Sweden’s “Gamlakyrkan” (Old Church). A woman’s voice with a fine intonation and a warm vibrato became audible only during the playback of the tape.

59 Unfortunately our loud voices interfered and one could only pick out a few words and bits of single phrases. “Peace to the world…mercy, mercy…amen”, were the best understandable words, that were coming through between our squabble of words. The singing sounded like it came from a far distance.
Around midnight Stockholm’s old town churches began to ring their bells. It was a deafening drone because we lived in the middle of the old town diagonally across from the German church.

Suddenly, on the tape you can hear a strong male choir. It was a curious phenomenon because the choir used the sounds of the church bells as accompaniment to carry their tone.

We were greeting the New Year with loud calls of “Skol!” (Cheers!), and we were toasting with our champagne glasses. Outside the church bells were ringing in their own loud choir, the children were talking excitedly amongst themselves and in-between, at first inaudible to us, was a male choir with a very moving “Peace – peace!” We however were bringing loud “skols” on our friends and us for health and the New Year of 1960.

I went to the microphone to call “Skol!” to my anonymous friends, but before I lifted my glass a friendly female voice preceded me on the tape and said out loud in broken Swedish: “Federico was so sweet!”, which was followed immediately with my “Skol!” As it became calmer later in the night, a male voice began to speak. It was the voice of an older man that sounded broken, muffled and slightly hoarse. One can hear resignation and sadness in his monotonous tone. The whole conversation seemed like a monologue as if he were talking to himself in a half sleep.

“We lived in the deepest confusion…” began the voice in German, “…to oppress the people and to enslave them…the others withdrew, 60 not me… that’s why I’m…”

The words that followed were drowned out by our own voices. After a short pause, the man began to speak again. He added only one more sentence with a strange content, “We lived in a bad compote (fruit stew)”, then the voice broke off.

Right after that, the female voice that had said ”Federici is so sweet” became audible and called out mockingly a stretched “Heil!”

In the next moment she added excitedly: “…that was Hitler…he’s not ashamed…he was here…”

Though the woman spoke German, you could clearly recognize a Jewish accent, particularly that of a polish Jew.

Again her voice sounded, this was right before the tape came to an end: “That was Hitler…he sees you!” She called out loud and exited, then added with a change in her tone of voice, embarrassed: “I tell Hitler…he loves me!”

After this strange declaration the ‘Ghost Voice Recordings’ ended for the night.

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