David Fontana in Dialogue with Anabela Cardoso. Part I
David. Anabela, you are doing so much both to experiment with ITC and to publicise the importance of ITC. How did you first become interested in this work?
Anabela. I became interested after reading about the pioneering work of Raudive and Jurgenson, and reading the books on the subject by Hildegard Schaffer and by Maggy Harsch-Fischbach in collaboration with Theo Locher.
David. What appealed to you about all this?
Anabela. Firstly, it seemed to provide evidence of another world after death, and secondly it promised the tangibility of ITC work. That is, it seemed to offer the opportunity to get away from traditional mediumship, and to provide us with a technique for contacting the next world that is open to everyone.
David. So you decided to begin experimenting yourself?
Anabela. After a great deal of hesitation. I was a little bit frightened at first by the idea of eventually hearing voices from another world. There is also some literature that suggests all attempts to communicate with the next world may open the door to negative forces.
David. You mean so-called earthbound spirits?
Anabela. Yes. Some of the literature talks about possession by such spirits, and also possession by other evil psychic influences.
David. How did you overcome your fear?
Anabela. Through acts of will and of love. An act of will in the sense of a deep desire to find out the truth about life and death – a truth that has always interested me. And an act of love in the sense of a strong desire to communicate with family members who have died and who I miss very much.
David. How did your experiments start?
Anabela. I began with the classical method of EVP. That is, I recorded some background white noise, in this case the hiss on the radio when it is tuned between two stations. While doing this recording I asked questions aloud to whoever might be able to communicate with me, and I waited for a pre-determined lapse of time – say betweeen one and two minutes – after each question in order to allow a possible communicator to answer me and to be recorded on the tape. Jurgenson and Raudive both used this method. Then after about 10 minutes I stopped the tape, re-wound it and played it back. During this play-back, I began to hear answers to my questions.
David. You didn’t hear these answers during the actual recording?
Anabela. No. As is usual with this method, you hear nothing at all except the white noise during the recording. The voices responding to your questions only become evident on play-back.
David. How long do you have to experiment before you are likely to receive these voices?
Anabela. That depends. Each experimenter is different. In my case it took less than three months, experimenting twice a week for 10 or 15 minutes each time.
David. Three months seems very quick.
Anabela. That’s true. I know of people who have tried for over two years without results. But other people may receive voices after a very few attempts. There doesn’t seem to be any rule about this. Or if there is, it is unknown to us. But from our point of view, the essential rule is to have patience and commitment.
David. You certainly have both of these qualities Anabela! And your results are very impressive. Can you tell us briefly what you feel these results have achieved?
Anabela. Initially, I began to receive very clear EVP voices. As I’ve said, these began when I had been working with the tape recorder for less than three months.
David. What did the voices tell you?
Anabela. They answered questions of both a spiritual and a technical nature. I never asked personal questions. Then after less than another three months, I received a very exciting break-through. On day, while working for EVP (I had four radios each producing white noise simultaneously by this time) I suddenly heard a very loud voice coming directly from the loudspeaker of one of the radios. The question I had just asked was whether all the voices I received were coming from what we can call Timestream Station. And the answer I got from the radio said “we are listening to everything … we want to know about the world … we want to hear about your affairs … from now on we will count on you … we will offer to you what is just and fair … this is very difficult … another world”. Of course, the voice spoke in Portuguese, and this is just a translation. A few words of the words were in fact in Spanish. On a later occasion, the voice identified itself as that of Carlos de Almeida, of the Portuguese group of Timestream Station.
David. You say Carlos spoke in Spanish as well as in Portuguese?
Anabela. Yes. This is very important. The voices seem to use the various languages that you are able to speak. I am fluent in Spanish, English, French and of course Portuguese. I also speak some German and Italian. So I may have voices in all these languages.
David. How did the radio voices develop after this first experience?
Anabela. I started with two friends and after a few months continued alone. The voices spoke frequently, as they still do. They seemed to be working on improving communication. As the work progressed, the intelligibility of the speech improved, as did the length of the replies, thus allowing in many cases a comprehensive dialogue.
David. Are the voices always clear?
Anabela. No. Some are clearer than others. For example the voices of my family members are less clear, probably because they have had less practice at communicating than the other members of Timestream Station. It is apparent that the whole process of communication is still very difficult for those in the next world. Which is exactly what we might expect. I feel so grateful to them all for the energy and the dedication they are putting into this work.
But David, I’d like to ask you a question now. You are an eminent psychologist who has held full professorships in three universities. You have written many books which have been translated into 25 languages. It is very unusual for a scientist like you to be interested in psychical research. How did your interest start?
David. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t interested in psychical research, because like you it seems to me that psychical research may answer our questions about the nature of life and death, about the relationship between the mind and the brain, and of course about survival.
Anabela. So it was for this reason that you joined and eventually became President of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in Britain. You are still a Life Vice President of the Society, and Chair of the Society’s Survival Research Committee. So tell me a little about the SPR.
David. The SPR is the oldest scientific society for psychical research in the world. It was founded over 120 years ago by a group of leading scholars from the University of Cambridge. Many leading British, European and American scientists have been members, as have two past British Prime Ministers, Gladstone and Balfour. Twelve Nobel Prizewinners have been members, as have many famous writers and philosophers. Freud and Jung were both members.
Anabela. In its long history, has the SPR produced conclusive proof of the existence of psychic phenomena, and in particular of the reality of survival?
David. Like nearly all scientific societies, the SPR has no formal position on the nature of the phenomena it studies. It doesn’t hold corporate views. So each member comes to his or her own conclusions after studying the evidence. My personal conclusion leads me to answer yes to both parts of your question.
Anabela. What about ITC? Is the SPR interested? In the work that you and I are now doing together as collaborators, you have heard clear EVP and direct radio voices. These voices have even answered you in English.
David. That’s true. And these results are enormously impressive. I think the time is now right for all serious scientific bodies interested in psychical research to begin to study ITC. In the past there was doubt as to whether ITC voices might be stray radio signals, and also doubt as to what the voices were actually saying. But the subject has developed and moved on greatly in recent years, and in my view we can now safely eliminate natural explanations for the phenomena. And this being the case, we can start to ask whether the voices provide clear proof of survival and of the existence of other worlds. What are your feelings about this?
Anabela. Until and unless proven otherwise, the voices appear to give us direct evidence of survival and of these other worlds, and of the continuing existence of deceased relatives and friends. So I would have to say that yes, I do think ITC demonstrates survival – in fact that it provides us with some of the strongest evidence for survival obtained after more than a century of psychical research.
Can I finish David by thanking you very much for dialoguing with me, and for the work that we are doing together. I feel very optimistic about the future.