Saturday, October 22, 2011

David Roundtree Interview about The Probe Part 2

By Martha Hazzard-Decker

Author’s note – This author made several attempts to contact Andy Coppock to obtain his view regarding his modifications on the inductive probe. Coppock did not respond.

Just what is the Probe? Does it fall under the realm of Instrumental Transcommunication devices (EVP & ITC)? This is a question that can be debated probably all day long between ITC paranormal users and those investigating paranormal possibilities but in a more definitive and scientific manner. Part one of this interview was with author and ITC researcher April Slaughter. She believes the Probe works and contact can be made with the other side. In Part two one of the four Probe testers, David Roundtree explains his thoughts about working with the Probe and if he thinks it works.

Slaughter had stated that there are other inductive probes out there and she didn’t want individuals to see photos of the Probe Andy Coppock gave her for fear that it could be mistaken with the common inductive probe. If you google Andy Coppock a vast array of information can be found about him and his device. However, there are not as many videos found showing Coppock using his Probe. It seems, according to quite a few comments on websites, that there used to be quite a few videos posted. There are numerous skeptics posting comments about how voice is coming from the device on these websites along with a few believers.

David Roundtree has researched paranormal phenomena for about 25 years using a scientific point of view and is the director of Scientific Paranormal Investigative Research Information and Technology (S.P.I.R.I.T). Roundtree is also the co-director of New Jersey Paranormal Research Group along with several other groups, including those involving engineering. His primary research is studying electronic voice phenomena (EVP), environmental alterations present during possible paranormal activity and searching for the source. He has former law enforcement background and approaches paranormal investigations using his forensic training in conducting a search for possible reasons causing activity.

Roundtree stated, “there isn’t a shred of evidence and no scientific explanation,” for voices coming through on the Probe. He explained that if an individual understands how the inductive probe works then they would understand how, “far fetched,” obtaining any EVP sounds. There are numerous inductive probes listed for sale on eBay. They come in a variety of sizes and prices. They are designed to work with tone test sets to identify and trace wires within a group with out damaging insulation. Using the inductive Probe is similar to using RF band radio and expecting it to, “magically pick up scanning words,” according to Rountree. He did say that using proper methods, “communication may be possible.”


Roundtree said that EVP is possible, especially when using a dynamic microphone, but they are rare. In about 25 years of research Roundtree said he has about 25 recordings he would classify as an EVP. He described the use of Shack Hacks, ghost boxes and the Ovilus as entertainment and not actual professional, scientific tools. The Shack Hack is a radio which randomly scans AM and FM stations. Their speed of scanning can be adjusted by the user or maker of the modifications. The Franks Box operates with an AM chip and works the same as the Shack Hack, going up and down the AM band. According to Roundtree, without an RF spectrum analysis three is no way to figure where the words are coming from using the Shack Hack or a ghost box.

“The Ovilus is a hoot and is sold for entertainment and not scientific.” . Tools like the Ovilus have a large amount of words programmed into their controls and when listening to it phonetically often words will make sense to the listener. There are 10,000 words programmed into a word memory chip that is triggered by environmental changes decided by the builder, according to Roundtree. When it comes to individuals claiming they heard their name mentions, Roundtree stated there are over 1,100 common names programmed into the vocabulary. This would stand to reason that should one be in a large group with the Ovilus running someone in the group might hear their name called out. “Any item sold as a phone app for $1.99 is designed to use when you get together with friends and you want to spook someone. It’s designed like an oracle.” Remember the old eightball nearly everyone had as a child? You would ask it a question then turn it over to reveal the answer to your question with a response of yes or no.

The Probe used by Coppock has been used by Roundtree and others for years, but as a tool for work and not the paranormal. It’s used to trace out wiring. It’s used by moving down pins till you find the wire you’re looking for and it does pick up EMF, but the quality of the speaker is very poor said Rountree. He explained they have a cheap speaker and it would not be possible to hear a human quality voice coming from it.

Roundtree stated he has seen videos of it in use and the voices allegedly coming from the Probe do fall into the human harmonic spectral range. Roundtree said it is hard to ask him to believe it is coming from the Probe and to “buy into the myth.” Roundtree said, “the voice is not coming from the wand (Probe) because of the quality.” Roundtree does not know how Coppock is doing the voice with the Probe. He explained that anyone can do the sound analysis using files such as Audacity.  These programs can take apart the acoustic quality and will show that the voice Coppock said is coming from the Probe is definitely human and is “coming from somewhere.” Roundtree said, “The Probe is getting interesting files but there is no scientific value to claim.”

The “ITC community has it wrong and there is fraud,” according to Roundtree.  He said the key is in knowing EMF and EVP, how it works and how sounds are broadcast and received back. You can’t take one or two pieces of equipment to decide if it’s communication because that should take 10-12 pieces of equipment, according to Rountree.

Roundtree believes one has a better chance of getting a good EVP by using a good quality recorder and a headset. One that he recommends is the ZOOM. He said a dynamic microphone and good headset should be used with recorders so one can hear in real time. “There is no button on them that says normal or paranormal.”

What does Rountree do before he classifies a sound as an EVP? He will send the sound clip to five random  people he knows without telling them what he thinks it says and let them decide. If they say they hear what he heard, then he classifies it as an EVP.

Roundtree is the author of “Paranormal Technology: Understanding the Science of Ghost Hunting.”  You can find a link for his book and additional information on his website Spin Investigations. This is Roundtree’s first book to provide a scientific method to ghost hunting. It includes in-depth explanations, techniques, experiments and answers.

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