Monday, April 24, 2006

Lennon Speaks – Maybe – If You’re Willing to Pay

Reuters is letting us know that you may be able to hear John Lennon speak from beyond the grave, assuming you’re willing to give up ten bucks for the opportunity.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A controversial television seance airing on Monday will claim it has reached the spirit of John Lennon, but viewers will have to pay $9.95 to find out what the peace-loving Beatle has to say.
Basically, the program relies on the human behavior known as pareidolia and the honesty of an “EVP Specialist” – EVP being the supposed voices of the dead making themselves heard via radio, television signals, or recording media – who claims it’s “the real deal”.

The movies White Noise, The Sixth Sense, Poltergeist, and The Changeling all use the “phenomenon” in their stories when disembodied characters or ghosts speak through the static of a blank TV station or in the background of a tape recording. Alas, there are all kinds of perfectly mundane ways for radios, TVs, or even cheap microphones to pick up stray signals from mundane sources like CB radios, baby monitors, and other RF equipment, so hearing mysterious voices isn’t exactly astonishing. Furthermore, believers will interpret any garbled noise that sounds vaguely like a human voice as the one they’ve been hoping to hear.
Producer Paul Sharratt, who heads Starcast Productions and who calls himself a skeptic, said hearing the voice has made him a believer.
Sure. He also, according to the article, hopes “to lure an audience that now loves such prime-time network TV shows as Ghost Whisperer and Medium.” If a previous show organized by the same producers to contact Princess Diana is any indication, this new show should bring in several million dollars from the believers. In his shoes, I think I'd claim to be one, too.

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