Plausible Deniability


I just discovered some early podcasts I created from 2007 – almost exactly five years ago. The podcast was called mpgEVP, which stood for Maryland Paranormal Group, and you can figure out what the EVP part is all about. Of course, I had to give a listen, if for no other reason than to hear how different I sounded. They were very funny, because it was plain to recognize the tone of someone trying to sound like someone else. I must have decided to go with a deeper voice – one without my Baltimore accent. What a poser!

But even more than the obvious surface differences, I found myself saying things I no longer believe to be true. I fully admitted that EVP voices were almost impossible to assign to any particular deceased person, but then time after time, that’s exactly what I did. “This must have been my aunt,” I said as a lead-in to a credible EVP sample. I listened in great horror, because there was nothing about that spirit voice to suggest my dear sweet auntie was speaking. It could just as easily have been Mussolini.

The comedy of errors continued to be even more embarrassing the longer I listened. I heard myself referring to hundreds of recorded EVP, when the number is clearly in the thousands just five years later. I was willing to assume so much from those hundreds – assumptions I think the thousands have proven to be incorrect. As I listened, I realized that there are only so many mistakes I am happy to own up to, because there were so many that made me cringe.

Well, they weren’t really that bad, I suppose – I’ve heard worse from people who have a paranormal television career, but they do not reflect attitudes or beliefs I still embrace. I try to base everything on evidence of some kind, and I try not to make stupid assumptions just because they are convenient or add to the narrative in a more interesting way. And obviously, that could not have been my M.O. at the time I recorded those podcasts. That was perhaps the most distressing part of all.

Thankfully, the truth is that we all grow. We all learn a little more with each step down the road, and we all find ourselves pushing back against the crazy ideas we used to welcome so stridently. I am a different person now, I suppose. I have a lot of investigations under my belt, and I am a full-time EVP researcher now. Since those early MPG broadcasts, I have written two books, given lectures, done a number of radio interviews, and created almost 35 new podcasts under the auspices of The Voices Podcast. And I am proud of this later podcast, as I am of all my endeavors dealing with both EVP research and the paranormal in general.

But it makes me think a bit. I expect there will be things I’ve said or written currently that will one day make me want to hide my head in the sand again. Fortunately, that will not prevent me from saying them though. The paranormal field is in constant flux as new ideas surface and either stand the test of time or give way to better incarnations. We’re constantly learning and discovering ways in which newer methods and more efficient technologies reveal different results yielding more current and better-informed conclusions.

I hope it always goes this way, because if we stay stagnant for long, we’ll stop learning new things – we’ll stop discovering. I’m not really embarrassed by those ancient podcasts of mine – they remind me that I’ve grown, and that’s always a good thing. I will just have to be content knowing that at least I was out there looking and searching – putting myself in a position to grow. It makes me wonder what will be next. I can only hope the future will not cause me to refute too much of what I find myself saying now – in such a public way.

Of course, I’m also very pleased that those podcasts from mpgEVP are no longer available. I just hope everyone who downloaded them has long since thrown them away so that I have the only remaining copies. Plausible deniability is a beautiful thing.

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