This blog has been created to inform the public about the UFO subject. It also contains peripheral phenomena. Created by Aileen Garoutte, previously Director of The UFO Contact Center International.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Today is Easter Sunday. What better day to write about Thomas Edison's "spirit telephone" he had started to build when he died? However that was not the end because on the other side he continued building with the help of other scientists. Here is the story:

Christopher Moon was a guest on Coast to Coast AM a month ago. This is the write up about him and the Ghost Telephone.

Electronic Spirit CommunicationParanormal investigator Christopher Moon, the founder of Haunted Times Magazine, discussed 'Frank's Box,' also known as the telephone to the dead. The box, composed of used parts from various electronic devices, was originally housed in an old hollowed-out computer tower, said Moon, who has used the apparatus at a number of haunted sites, such as the Lizzie Borden House (now a B & B!) and the Mason House Inn.

Frank's Box allows for two-way communication with the other side, in a way that is more interactive than typical EVP, Moon explained. Two recordings were played on the show. He claimed he was able to communicate with Thomas Edison's co-workers (Edison never finished the spirit contact machine he was said to be working on).


The Telephone to the Dead™ is a highly sensitive piece of equipment that gives us the ability to achieve two-way contact with entities on other frequencies and dimensions. While we are able to conduct tremendous research with spirit scientists and spirit technicians that we fully trust for information, we also deal with a wide variety of other entities that may or may not be trustworthy. During field investigations we often speak to spirits that were involved in the history or crime associated with that site. This is, of course, a tremendous benefit to any research being done at the time. When we perform our Ghost Hunter University® events around the world, we use the device to teach our students about e.v.p. and trans-communication. There are times that these entities will come through the device claiming to be deceased family members of one of our attendees. These entities will pass on messages directly through, sometimes in their human voice, to the student. Sometimes the message will have to be translated by a trained Haunted Times Magazine staff member or affiliate. On other occasions, an HTM staff member or affiliate may be asked to use the device to attempt to make direct contact with an attendee’s deceased relative/friend/spirit guide etc. and translate messages that come through for a private event or convention demonstration. While we would like to say that all entities are friendly and honest, this simply is not the case. The translator will pass on the messages that are sent through the device, but in no way does Haunted Times Magazine© accept any responsibility for the messages conveyed. In these settings we do not have the time to interrogate the entities to verify their identities or intentions, and can only be used for entertainment purposes. While we are happy to be able to scientifically prove that our lives do not end when our earthly bodies die, we ask everyone to exercise caution. Remember that communicating with spirits is the equivalent of a dark alley; you don’t know who you are talking to until they come into the light.

By Wainwright Evans
Fate Magazine
April 1963

Men have dreamed of inventing a machine that will be a medium, a machine to receive messages that are evidential, verifiable - from the Other side. With such an instrument we could quickly obtain proof for all to see - proof of survival, proof of spirit, proof of the continuity of life and death.

This mechanical medium has not yet been perfected but I can report to you on three successful experiments with prototype devices. If the work is continued in the spirit of those who have initiated the study - Edison, Steinmitz, Wright, Gardner, Vandermuelen, and now Dyne - surely, one day success must be ours.

Thomas A. Edison was the first modern man of science to attempt the invention of a mechanical medium. Mr. Edison's dream of a mechanical medium first came to my attention in 1921 when I interviewed him about another matter. Edison was far from sure it would work, but he thought it might. Judging by the alleged communications that have come through from him by way of various mediums since his death in 1931, he still thinks so.

On the occasion of this interview in 1921 I had a long talk with William A. Meadowcroft, Edison's close friend and private secretary.

Mr. Meadowcroft explained Edison's views on survival after death. Edison, he said, believed that survival of the personality, if there is such a thing, must be in some degree physical.

This physical survival might, Edison thought, take the form of a group of "entities" - very small, ultra-microscopic units of matter, each of them individually conscious, and cooperating as a unit, much as the cells of the body cooperate in our life here. Meadowcroft used the word "electrons." Thus, according to Edison's theory, what survived death would be an electronic replica, so to speak, of the body as it was in life - a sort of electronic ghost, made up of an aggregation of the "entities," or "electrons."

This collective entity, Edison reasoned, would be able to put forth physical energy, and could presumably manifest its presence through a mechanism if one sufficiently senstive were available. Therefore, he set himself the problem of designing something that would respond to the wispy physical impulses such a very attenuated organism might provide.

As to the exact nature of the device, Mr. Meadowcroft would give no information, nor did Mr. Edison during his lifetime ever reveal any of its details. However, rumors that Edison had blueprinted his "telephone between worlds" persisted for years after his death.

Finally in 1941 Edison came through the New York medium Mary Olson during a sitting for J. Gilbert Wright the General Electric researcher who discovered the widely used silicone "putty." Mr. wright, now deceased, was a psychic researcher for 40 years and was well-known as an associate of the late Charles Steinmetz.

During the seance the purported Edison said, casually, "I think it might interest you to see the blueprint of the device I was working on before I came over here."

Wright and his associate Harry C. Gardner, eagerly asked where the drawing could be found. Edison said, "You might try Ralph Fascht of 165 Pinehurst Ave., New York, (The name "Fascht" was spelled out incorrectly. It was "Fash." Fash had been dead for some time, a fact apparently unknown to Edison.) Bill Gunther of Consolidated Edison; his office is in the Empire State Building, or perhaps, best of all, Edith Ellis, 152 W. 58th St."

The two men were struck by the great precision of the directions - and Gardner telphoned Edith Ellis for an appointment. Mrs. Ellis was a play and scenario writer, and a non-professional medium.

Mrs. Ellis knew about the Edison drawing. She said the blueprint had been lost, but that a tracing was in the possession of a Commander Synne, in Brooklyn. She gave Gardner a letter of introduction to Wynne. Wynne presented Gardner with the drawing. "So," commented Mr. wright, "Gardner and I came into possession of possibly the only drawing of Edison's idea extant."

Commander Wynne explained that shortly after Edison's death in 1931, he, together with Fash, Gunther, and Edith Ellis, formed a "society for Etheric Research," and tried out the Edison device: but they could not make it work.

Here's how it was supposed to work: The aluminum wall of the trumpet and the wire of the aerial that hangs down in the middle, form the opposite poles of a battery. The potassium permanganate acts as a strong oxidizing agent, and functions between the two poles as what physicists call an electrolyte. In other words, an electric current is generated; and this current amplifies the supposed etheric waves directed by spirits against the aerial.

Although the Edison device was discovered to have been a failure, the search for it did bring together the two researchers. Wright and Gardner, who ultimately successfully tested a mechanical medium.

The two men first met when the late Charles Steinmetz came through the medium Arthur Ford and advised Gardner to get in touch with Wright. Through Arthur Ford, Steinmetz gave Gardner precise instructions on how to find Wright. Gardner was to go for a walk on the campus at Ephrata, the spiritist center; Wright would be there. The two never had met; but, seeing a stranger, Gardner walked up and introduced himself; sure enough it was Wright.

Gardner explained that Steinmetz wanted them to cooperate on the mechanical medium, with Wright furnishing the chemical know-how and Gardner the mechanical and electrical know-how.

Gardner went on to explain that he had built a "sound box" 14 inches long and 7 inches wide and high. It was lined with sound proof material. It had a small hole in one side and contained a microphone which connected with a loud speaker that could be placed at a distance from the box, even in the next room.

The idea was that the sound box could be placed close to a medium in a dark room. Ectoplasm projected from the solar plexus of the medium would, so the theory went, form an ectoplasmic larynx inside the box, going in through the hole. Through the ectoplasmic larynx, spirits would speak into the microphone; and from the loudspeaker would come the spirit voices, loud and clear, it was hoped, instead of the often hard-to-hear sounds that issue from the trumpet in common use in seances.

In short, here was a compromise on Edison's idea for a purely mechanical medium. Instead of substituting a mechanism for the human medium, thus putting the human medium out of the picture, this merely provided the human medium with a substitute for the usual trumpet. Since it could be used in the light, and even in the next room, it would of course make trickery in the dark less likely; and the purported spirit voices presumably easier to hear.

The very day following their meeting, Edison came through to the two men at another sitting. At this time Edison gave the men a plan to use Wright's famous silicone material as a lining in the box portion of Gardner's mechanical medium.

At a later sitting Steinmetz came through and instructed Wright to add finely reduced iron to the putty-like substance in order to make it magnetic without sacrificing its acoustic properties or the ability to take and hold a static charge.

As soon as it was completed, the new instrument was tried out with the medium Margaret Lewis. Miss Lewis sat in a cabinet with the box in front of her on a small table. The loudspeaker was on a platform in full view and in full light. Spirit voices came through loud and clear, that of Steinmetz among them. Wright was positive it was Steinmetz' voice.

The next step, Mr. Wright commented, should be to have the medium sit in full light behind the desk that holds the sound box, also in full light.

But it was never done. From then on, the experiments slowed virtually to a halt. At that time Wright was 66 years old, and there were no laboratory facilities for further study.

In the course of their research, Wright and Gardner learned that they were not the first to successfully demonstrate a mechanical medium. A Belgian boy, or perhaps his ghost, had preceeded them by many years.

The boy was Henri E. G. B. Vandermeulen. After his death, July 31, 1929, the boy, according to the Belgian patent documents, conceived the "Vandermeulen Signalling Device" and imparted the detailed plans to his father by Ouija board. The father completed the model the following December. The patent was dated, January 1, 1931, the year of Edison's death.

Briefly, the device consists of two glass prisms, one of them coated with resin. The prisms are wired to an electric bell, and to a dry cell which rings the bell when the circuit is closed. A very light wire triangle hangs delicately poised close to one of the wires. Says the document, "The entities which desire to communicate must cause the bell to operate by pushing the light triangle against the horizontal positive wire.... The purpose of the signaling device lies in informing persons who are busy otherwise, that an entity desires to make a communication... and if the person called has the required faculty of taking a message by Ouija or automatic writing, the latter may be received. If while a person is present the bell does not ring, it is because the entities do not wish to communicate. According to the recommendation by the inventor, the signaling device will not be placed on the market in its entirety. The device will have to be assembled by those who desire to possess it."

The device was used at sittings in Italy, allegedly with success. Mrs. Gwendolyn Hack, a medium, told Wright she experimented with it, near Florence in 1938. It "worked lustily."

A similar signal system is reported to be producing successful results for a present-day English researcher. In September, 1962, the Manchester, England Evening Chronicle reported on the current researchers of Mark Dyne, technical editor of one of Britain's largest electrical concerns.

After 12 years research he is convinced that he has achieved Morse code communications with spirits. "With a Morse buzzer and lamp," he said, "and with 'Positive' and 'Negative' panels of copper gauze wired into an amplifier, we set about detecting psycho-physical forces, or the movement of spiritual energy in the atmosphere. On the panels we got a series of tremors.

"The flashing lamp system spelled out, 'Good Luck' and the buzzer spelled, 'A new age has commenced.'"

Mr. Dyne is now completing a project which he hopes will establish "loudspeaker communication of spirit messages."

"Just as ordinary radio and TV signals are unseen vibrations theough the air, so I believe there are disturbances in the ether caused by the spirit world.

"All we have to do is to find the wave length and frequency and we shall be able to pick them up."

Dyne further believes that with a highly sensitive camera pointed in the right direction, and a radio receiver tuned to the correct wave length he will obtain both pictures of the dead and communications directly from them.

The search for mechanical communication with the Other Side also continues in the United States. I know a nationally famous electronics engineer, for instance, who takes the whole thing so seriously that he is now at work on a mechanical medium of his own. He is no crank; and he knows his electronics so well he can practically call them by name. Maybe he will put it over. He refuses to tell about it. "If it works out," he says, "I'll want to do a scientific paper on it."

There is a Department of Religion and Philosophy in a western university I know of, that is cautiously dipping its feet in the same waters, just to see how cold they are.

Is mechanical communication with the Spirit World a reasonable idea? Well, telekinesis, the purported ability of the mind to move material obejcts - that is to say the "power of mind over matter" - already has been demonstrated by the experiments of Rhine and others, to be at least a possiblity, and even a probability - though its existence has not yet been fully proved in the laboratory.

All of which suggests that the idea of a discarnate entity being able to operate a delicate electronic device is, at any rate, not to be regarded as a mere absurdity.

Now for an update: On Coast to Coast AM Christopher Moon spoke on the "spirit telephone" that works. With the help of Edison and his scientists on the Other Side they have been given instructions to tune up the phone. He said you can ask for anyone you want to speak to on the other side and they will come to the phone! Also said that spirits who want to get their 2 cents in will try to break in but they are soon evicted.

For all of you scientific type persons perhaps you can find the way to build one of these phones. Wouldn't that be wonderful to be able to speak to your love ones again? I know I would love it.

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