This past fall during the Tewksbury Library Tuesday night paranormal lectures that I frequented regularly. I was introduced to a legendary EVP recorder the, “Panasonic RR-DR60”. The exact date was October 14, 2014 and the speakers that night where Mike Sullivan & Karen Mossey (authors of, “Spooky Creepy New England”). Karen and Mike did a fine presentation regarding EVP’s that night but one thing stuck with me. It was a tiny little recorder that Karen had brought along with her and was by her side during the presentation. Just before they began to wrap up the lecture Karen held up the recorder and made mention that this particular recorder was one of the best recorders to use for capturing EVP’s. She pointed out that she had purchased hers back in 1998 for a mere $20 and now they are fetching anywhere between $300 & $700 on EBay! Me being a paranormal investigator I had to know more about this recorder and the legend surrounding it.
When I got home I started my research that night on the, “Panasonic RR-DR60”. I found article after article on this model of recorder. This recorder was responsible for gathering multiple EVP’s during investigations when other recorders on hand gathered nothing! Bottom line I needed to get my hands on one pronto and see what all the hype is about. Well Karen Mossey was correct these recorders were no longer $20! You could not touch one of these for under $300 on Ebay. The legend of the recorder was in full effect and my hopes of finding one cheaply were crushed. I recall reading that one lucky person found two of them for $4 each at a yard sale. I thought to myself, I don’t go to many yard sales and even if I did what were the odds of finding a recorder of this make and model? Then it hit me! Craig’s List could be an option on finding one out in the wild without a crazy mark up. I search State by State going down the Eastern Seaboard starting with my home State of Massachusetts. When I reached Florida, I hit pay dirt! There it was the legendary, “Panasonic RR-DR60” for sale in Ft. Meyers for $50.
I knew I had to act fast, as there was no telling how much longer this elusive jewel of the EVP world would last. I sent my first Email asking if the owner still had it for sale. His response Email was back quick to me, “Yes it is still for sale but it must be a local cash transaction only”. Again my hopes were dashed. I followed up with a sincere Email stating that I was not local. I even came clean with him on how I was a paranormal investigator out of Boston, MA. I explained to him about really wanting to get my hands on this model of recorder and how difficult they are to come by. I ended the Email with a link to my website asking him to check it out and get back to me. Well much to my surprise the next morning I was greeted with another Email from my new found Craig’s List pen pal. “Hey I checked you out last night on your website and you seem legit. The only way this is going to happen is if you send me cash. Once I get the cash I will send you the recorder” his reply said to me. I thought to myself, I can take a leap of faith for $50 and sent him the cash that same morning. If it he sends it, he sends it, “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and I will leave it at that. Seven days had passed; the Craig’s List ad for the Panasonic was no longer up and had been deleted by its owner (I wondered if I was scammed). Then on the eighth day while retrieving my daily mail I noticed a small package with a post mark from Ft. Meyers FL in my mailbox (It had arrived)!
Like a kid on Christmas morning I tore open the package and was holding the legendary recorder in my own hands. Once in my hands I could not help to realize that this thing was light and I mean really light. The packaging that housed it on its trip from Florida to Boston clearly out weighted it. None the less, I had done it and I now owned the legend for myself. I could not wait to try it out and my first though was going to my old paranormal stomping grounds the Tewksbury Hospital pauper cemetery. Granted I haven’t had a ton of good luck there during past investigations but I did manage to get a few EVP’s here and there in the past years I’ve gone thru there. To me it was local and if I was to capture something it would be there in the Tewksbury Hospital cemetery. I made my way out to the cemetery right after installing a fresh set of batteries in the recorder. I also grabbed my Trifield 100EX EMF meter for the mini investigation and EVP session I was going to hold there.
So my first session on the recorder was a memorable one but not in the way I had hoped. The recorder turned on and was set to go. I pushed record and spoke my usual rehearsed questions about ten or so in total and paused about 10 seconds in between questions. On play back I was completely taken back by what I had heard or to put it correctly what I could not hear. I could barely understand my own words spoken into the recorder! It sounded like I was under water with cotton stuffed in my mouth! Then there were strange noises in my periods of waiting for a response! I can tell you this they were not EVP’s! My best guess is that this was static noise (sound artifacts) generated from the recorder itself. Could it be that this is what is causing folks to THINK that they are capturing EVPs?
Once I left the cemetery that day I went back online and searched for recordings of EVPs that where obtained via the Panasonic. I have to say in my own opinion the ones that I heard that were posted on line I would grade below a “Class C”. Not that this, “Class A, B & C” grading system of EVPs is official but it’s the only thing we have right now to make my judgment with and to get my point across.
In the end, whether it’s the legendary Panasonic RR-DR60 or any other cheap recorder for that matter. We the paranormal investigator community need to be more truthful with our captures and ourselves. We need to help progress the field and raise the standard in the type of equipment we use especially if we want any type of collaboration within the scientific community.