Hypnosis: Are There Witnesses Out There?

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: Hypnosis: Are There Witnesses Out There?

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) ( on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 12:17 am:

Forgive my departure from modesty, but I was trained and functioned as our department's forensic hypnotist for 15 years, recognized in the superior and municipal courts as an expert. As such, I have an understandable faith in its (responsible) use in potentially recovering stored data from the subconscious of witnesses. While any info gained must, to be credible, be corroborated by other evidence, when such corroborative evidence doesn't exist, the info gained could still yield investigative leads.

In theory, and in practice, information stored in the subconscious does not erode over time. I have placed men and women under hypnosis that were able to dredge up detailed memories they didn't know they still had, from 40 or more years before. There was one man in his seventies that recounted in long-forgotten detail his high school prom, with a smile on his face.

There has been a plethora of potential witnesses to aspects of Zodiac's crimes, from Kathleen Johns to Michael Mageau to Brian Hartnell, to the young women who saw the man in a car at LB the day of the killings, to unknowing witnesses at Lake Berryessa who may have driven by when Z's car was parked behind Hartnell's Karmann Ghia.

Taking the last example first, I have no idea if there were any names recorded by Napa Sheriff of people that were at the lake that day that may have had occasion to pass by the victim's car when the killer had his car parked behind it. It's not necessary that the witness make a conscious effort to look at a license plate, for example, because items viewed even in peripheral vision are often recorded in the subconscious, and retrievable under hypnosis.

We're all seeking new leads, new information, to break the impasse of progress on Zodiac. As all seasoned investigators, professional and amateur, can attest, within the very files of the cases, already at our disposal, lies the solution. And the solution may well be sitting dormant in the brain of an unwitting witness, just waiting for the opportunity to emerge.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 11:09 am:

Bill, I would be happy to drive any of these people to you, if that would help. How about Matt B., the guy that saw the man who was bothering Darlene on many occasions,but can't remember the car the man drove? He would like to help.I would also like to go under, to see what I may have forgotten about the hood, and black poncho like cape with a z logo on it ,that was left in my car late Sept or early Oct 69 in Napa. I am sure Pam H. would like to under also! I am glad you are back also!!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 11:39 am:

Sandy, you are forgetting Carl.

Bill, the witnesses to the Stine murder, now in their late 40s, are apparently very uncooperative. However, the three possible Lake Berryessa witnesses might be a way to go.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (aca9c7d0.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, October 06, 2001 - 06:28 pm:

You are totally correct! I have studied hypnosis and the functionality of the subconscious mind for many years and I have placed many under hypnosis and have had excellent results in recovering information; but many have raised a skeptical brow more than once.I just chalk it up to ignorance.Kathy Johns would be a good study as would Darlenes sister Christine.If anything could come together it would, no doubt, be productive.
Karen, Darlenes old babysitter would be interesting.She was in a session only once and it was not helpful,as it was speculated that the conductor was somewhat 'gruff' and this may have exerted subliminal pressure on her subconscious,thus interfering with the crucial points relative to her being a witness to the 'stranger' and his car,etc.The "name" she was asked to recall in session may not be of importance as it could have been an alias or just a nick name that was not 'real' in any related form,but of interest,nevertheless,to the Z case.She is in Fairfield.
The PD could bring these people together,but it is very doubtful if they will.

By Zoe Glass (Zoe_Glass) (max1-15.evansinet.com - on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 10:45 am:

Yea sure if we were still in the 60's. Current trends allow expert witness to testify of false memories, as it should be to offset the hocus-pocus decree of any hypnotist.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-3.linkline.com - on Saturday, October 13, 2001 - 02:18 pm:

I attended a hypnosis session last evening and the client was taken back to ages 3 and 8 and was able to recall,in detail,events that had escaped her conscious mind long ago.The problem was identified within one hour -something that would have taken many sessions of non-hypnotic counseling to accomplish(I know as I have been counseling for many years).
It just reminded me that if a witness is properly brought under and guided correctly in the session info can come forth.Law enforcement has not made full use of this marvelous tool.
The same holds true for Reverse Speech as developed by John David Oates.See his site and others at:reversespeech.com.
I have taken the tape course and read his book and other research and have tested his System and find that it does have validity.
Allens interviews should be evaluated' by Oates or one of his advanced students.I plan to have Davis' recorded sessions tested.The problem is that none of the recorded are even remotely connected to Zodiac,but Allens are and, therefore,should be tested by an Expert in this wonderful System of analysis.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Friday, March 01, 2002 - 12:39 pm:

I finally sent a video tape of a parole hearing of my suspect Bruce Davis to have it analyzed utilizing the Reverse Speech methology by Oates.Please see his web site at:reverse speech.com and the other sites.You will find it a very interesting subject.I think this should be done thoughtfully before one comments as it spans some 20 years of research-no shoot from the hip stuff!This is not the ol' play the recording backwards or reverse masking of a rock song!
I have done the course and read the books and it is an amazing discovery.Oates has been on all the major talk shows worldwide being interviewed concerning his discoveries on Reverse Speech.The CIA,and other Agencies are researching his system of voice analysis.His discoveries are far reaching.
I have asked others to at least,for fun,if nothing else,to have their suspects voice analyzed using Reverse Speech.
The first Reversal that was found by an associate(he resides on the East coast and had no idea what he would find-I simply sent him the tape and requested that he use RS;he has the recorder,etc.,and I didn't want to do it for obvious reasons)was in a reply my suspect made to a question by a Board member.The member says 'Did you know that the people you were driving over to Hinmans house(Gary Hinman was later murdered by some of these 'passengers' and was found 7/31/69)were going to rob him'?The Reversal reads '"Zodiac -thrill us'.Davis' reply was 'I had no reason to believe they would.'The Reversal from this portion was 'Zodiac-here I am.'!My reviewer was very surprised,but it is there!
This is all that has been analyzed for now,but more Reversals will be checked when my associate can return home.I hope that Allens tapes can be analyzed and other suspects-it is only a point of interest,I know,but certain bits of information can be revealed.One example.Oates was called in by the police to do an analysis of an interview that was conducted by a murder suspect.He firmly denied killing his business partner.The police had no weapon or solid evidence,just a strong suspicion.Oates listened to the taped interview.In a reversal it could be heard that the murder 'weapon was in a corner of an old airplane hangar.'The authorities went to the hangar and in a corner of the building, buried ,was a gun.The ballistics matched and the former partners finger prints were found on the gun.Confronted with this evidence the man confessed!There was other information left on the recording that fit into the crime and its solution also.Reverse Speech-check it out.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-32.al.us.prserv.net - on Saturday, March 02, 2002 - 01:05 am:

Howard, I've heard John David Oates on Art Bell's radio show a few times. His work is genuinely interesting, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say about the Davis tape.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc039c1.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, March 02, 2002 - 08:03 am:

I've fooled around with reverse speech myself, and was totally blown away by the results! Mind you, my ear is nowhere near as trained as the professionals, but even then, I was surprised to hear, in many cases, very clear English when I played something in reverse. The broadcast pieces on Allen, et. al. are probably too brief to be of any use, but entire interviews are another matter entirely.

The thing about reverse speech is that, unless you are aware of such a thing, your subconscious speaks about all sorts of things (awareness, and good speechwriters, apparently cut down on reversals). It tends to speak metaphorically, and cannot lie. More accurately, I suspect your subconscious will tell what it believes to be the truth. In any case, it is a very useful, but not widely known, tool, and I'm surprised that none of the experts have tried this with known Z suspects yet (that we know of, besides Davis).

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-mtc-tf062.proxy.aol.com - on Saturday, March 02, 2002 - 11:23 am:

Keep in mind as well that the Beatles (Manson & Davis were their ultimate fans) were experimenting with this and can clearly be heard using this on some of their albums.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-52.al.us.prserv.net - on Saturday, March 02, 2002 - 03:13 pm:

That's true, Sylvie...they recorded some killer songs using this technique(my favorite is "Rain").

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - on Saturday, March 02, 2002 - 04:15 pm:

Det. Baker: Thanks for the information on hypnosis. I've never seen or participated in a session; since I'm ignorant of its use in forensics, I am also therefore somewhat skeptical. Would you mind providing some examples of what you were able to "retrieve" using this technique? Have you been able, for example to get people to recall liscence plates, which were then corroborated in other ways? Thanks for a very interesting suggestion.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc08b33.ipt.aol.com - on Monday, March 04, 2002 - 01:06 am:

Sylvie: what you're referring to is "backmasking," which was first used by the Beatles. Basically, a "secret message" (ooh, ahh) was recorded forwards, then played in reverse while the album was being recorded forwards. It sounds like gibberish when played forwards, therefore one must wind the turntable backwards by hand to hear the "secret message." That way, the fools who did so too many times eventually ruined the turntables and records as well (great way to boost sales!). The same thing happened with scratching when it came out; a cousin of mine tried it with some of my albums, and only succeeded in ruining them. I was not happy about that...

Reverse speech is completely different. It sounds like normal speech when heard forwards, but, when played in reverse, often you will hear something completely different and in English. It's something that the subconscious does naturally, and, in fact, David Oates discovered that children learn how to speak in reverse before they learn how to speak as we do (ie, "normally"). Reversals have been found in children as young as four months.

Some songs, however, do have natural reversals and are not backmasked. One of the best known is Queen's "Another one bites the dust." In reverse, it says "decide to smoke marijuana" (that, and other examples of music reversals can be found at Music Reversals. "Stairway to Heaven" is another famous one, where the words "sad Satan" and other similar things are heard, which has led some to believe that it's a Satanic song, which is not necessarily true.

The subconscious tends to communicate metaphorically (although it can also be very straightforward), and the thoughts/moods/circumstances of the person must be taken into account. For instance, when "Stairway to Heaven" was written by Jimmy Page, he was living at "Boleskine," a farmhouse on the shores of Loch Ness once owned by Aleister Crowley. Apparently, Boleskine was built on the site of "a church that burned to the ground with the congregation in it." The full story can be found at Stairway to Where?.

Basically, backmasking is something that is done intentionally using some gizmo to make it work. Reverse speech occurs naturally, and is communicated via the words that we use in forward speech. They are two entirely different phenomena.

BTW, do you want to know if OJ did it? Listen to his own words at O.J. Simpson Reversals.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-17-225.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, March 04, 2002 - 10:34 am:

Ed: Allow me to appear once again in my much beloved gadfly role, and suggest that there is no need to "fool around" with this amazing discovery, Reverse Speech . For a mere $4500, Mr. Oates will train and certify you as an expert in the field.

I continue to be astounded at what some at this site are willing to accept. Oddball and I recently had an intense and interesting discussion on the role of peer review with respect to Dr. Krantz. I don't happen to buy Dr. Krantz's views, and not the least of his challengess was a lack of peer review. But at least Dr. Krantz put his information out there and garnered serious support from independent sources of all kinds. Mr. Oates, on the other hand, has not even pretended to garner any objective support. I can find not one supporter or adherent of his work who is not also a licensee, associate or ex-ife of Oates himself. This is not a research technique or a scientific principle: it is a business. Try this link for an alternative view,

Critique of Reverse Speech

An excerpt follows:

"Let's leave aside the fact that Oates, at his website, tells us nothing of his academic background, if he has any. . . . Let's put to one side the obvious: that when you listen to the gibberish resulting from playing a tape backwards, you will inevitably hear all kinds of familiar sounds. . . . Let's ignore the other gibberish here, the counterfeit quality of the pseudo-scientific sounding short explanations at the Reverse Speech site as to how the method works.

" . . . let's just read the following inspiring message from Mr Oates: "I am about to present to you a set of Keys that will unlock the mind, lay the human soul bare, and open up a doorway to the infinite...a reliable and concise method to access, hear and alter the blueprints of Mankind and to gain conscious control of our evolution, possibly for the very first time..." . . . It also, he says, "describes the state of the human soul and our relationship with God."

" . . . Now, if Mr Oates had said, "I have found some indications that there may be a correlation between some previously-unnoticed sounds found in a reversed recording of human speech and unconscious states of mind", some researchers might listen. I doubt there's even that much to it, but they might look to see, just in case. But when he claims his method "describes our relationship with God" anyone with any experience in the world will instantly detect a tone, a manner, an approach, characteristic of the would-be cult leader, or at least a con artist working with silly, fuzzy New Age hyperbole.

"Let's look at the small print on the site: "Reverse speech (TradeMark sign) and its associated technologies have been developed solely by...David John Oates who claims all ownership rights pertaining to these techniques. These rights include, but are not limited to, ownership of the trademark Reverse Speech, all intellectual property rights for theories and analysis techniques of reverse speech..." etc. I wonder if Carl Jung or Adler or Freud or Aristotle, for that matter, copyrighted and trademarked their analysis techniques? Can one own an analysis technique? It's probably important to you to own it if your analysis technique represents a commodity that you are selling. "...it is strongly suggested that you purchase a copy of David Oates' book: 'Reverse Speech: Voices from the Unconscious:'. Please visit our Products Section." Conveniently click right there for the Products Section, where you find seminars, tapes, etc etc etc. Things for sale. Lots and lots of things for sale. "

Oh, and as for the "they persecuted Gallileo, too" argument: I have read Gallileo, I have worked with Gallileo's proofs, and have duplicated them in the lab. Oates is no Galileo.

Best wishes.

Peter ("Berryessa Melody") H.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Monday, March 04, 2002 - 10:52 am:

There is enough interview time on Allen for Reversals-no problem.It would be a very interesting probe.This goes for the other suspects also and includes Grants terse comments on his involvement in the Z case.I hope you guys can get an analysis done.
The really fascinating thing is that the suspect ,many times ,will 'tell',in a Reversal,where the crime weapon is hidden or where a car used in a crime is secreted and many other types of clues that the police can actually work on.
Oates is a genius,albeit a humble one, and his discovery will eventually be used in a wide array of therapy,crime detection and its vast potential will assist companies and governments in numerous ways.
Your interest and open-mindedness in a full spectrum of knowledge- and in detail, ,Ed, is highly commendale and I applaud it!

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc04521.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 02:01 am:

Peter: I, too, am amazed, but at those who choose to keep their minds closed about the universe around them instead of entertaining the possibility that there might be another amazing discovery out there that may revolutionize their lives. However, whatever Oates' claims about God and the soul are, that's not particularly relevant to the phenomenon of Reverse Speech. It's there. I mickey moused my own walkman so it can play backwards as well as forwards, I recorded various things, played them in reverse, and I heard very clear English with my own ears. Oates may be no Galileo, but his claims are definitely reproducible in the lab (or at home). If he made a claim about reverse speech and it was not reproducible by anyone (such as the entire cold fusion fiasco), then I'd have my doubts.

Now, one quote from that site states:

". . . Let's put to one side the obvious: that when you listen to the gibberish resulting from playing a tape backwards, you will inevitably hear all kinds of familiar sounds. . .

Isn't it also amazing that four-month-old children, who have not yet learned how to speak intelligibly forwards, can, in reverse, make sounds that are intelligible English??? If it just coincidentally happens that intelligible English words can be heard in a recording played in reverse of a baby's gibberish, then it better d*mn well work in forward speech. But it doesn't, it's all gibberish, and there are no intelligible sounds that can be heard until they are much older than four months. There is obviously something more at work than a coincidental combination of sounds that appears to be like English.

Scientists may claim to be, but in practice are not particularly interested in new discoveries these days, until something happens that forces them to believe. Wegener proposed continental drift in the early 20th century, and was laughed at until it was proven in the 1960's. There was, of course, Galileo, and many, many others, who were laughed at by their own generation but were vindicated in later years. Today, there are ruins in the Bimini-Bahamas area, but few, if any, archaeologists have bothered to look at them. An apparent "city" was discovered in 2300 feet of water off the coast of Cuba last year, but no interest by scientists (or mass media, for that matter). And the list goes on. So, I'm not too interested in nor surprised that "legitimate" scientists et. al. aren't interested in Oates' discoveries. It'll come back to bite them in the *ss in a few decades, not to worry.

In the meantime, as far as reverse speech being a business, so what? If you weren't aware of it, any "institution of higher learning" (you probably wouldn't like what I refer to them as) is a business also, pure and simple. I recognized that the moment I set foot on campus and started forking out big $$$ for textbooks that I couldn't resell once the new edition came out. As far as that remark goes,

"I wonder if Carl Jung or Adler or Freud or Aristotle, for that matter, copyrighted and trademarked their analysis techniques? Can one own an analysis technique? It's probably important to you to own it if your analysis technique represents a commodity that you are selling."

it's totally irrelevant. Jung's etc analysis techniques are for sale at any university, and probably for far more than the $4,500 that Oates charges. They're for sale in a package called a "major," and it's something you pay someone else to teach you. At the end of four (or more) years, you get a pretty piece of paper (identical to everyone else graduating with you) that, for all intents and purposes, says that you jumped through all the hoops they made you jump through, and now you are "an expert in the field" and certified to practice whatever you learned. In other words, it's exactly what Oates offers (except you get to wear the cap and gown at college, have a commencement speaker or two, etc).

So, what's the problem? I don't see any... and I like to keep an open mind...

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-19-64.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 01:17 pm:

Ed: I like to keep an open mind, too. A large part of that exercise is a healthy skepticism that does not accept uncritically claims such as Oates's, which have the inherent earmarks of ... how shall I put this ... fraud.

For example., the claims of revealing the nature of our relationship with God is such obvious hyperbole that it must be dismissed, even on Oates's own evidence. I listened to a number of his sound samples, and such gems as Nicole Brown's sister's comment of "sexy woogie" to O.J. is particularly enlightening in that regard.

These samples also make Oates's basic technique painfully obvious. You will note that the reverse speech phrases derived from any particular sample of speech are only a fraction of the length of the normal speech from which they are taken. Why is that? Oates's reverse speech samples make it clear that this is because none of the reversed samples are continuous sequences, but fragments of recognizable syllables taken out of much longer strings. In any sample of any length, there are bound to be segments of 15 seconds or so which when reversed contain enough discernible sounds to select a few out and string them back together into two or three English words. This can be done with any speech, such as random readings from the phone book, foreign languages or baby babble.

Yes, it would be amazing to learn that a four-month old could speak backwards. That's a big if. Have you heard any of these baby tapes? How long are the baby talk samples that the intelligible reverse speech comes from?

So Oates's results can be duplicated in the lab, can they? Can you refer me to the replicable experiment that shows that?

AS for all higher education being a business such as Oates's: Freud, Aristotle, Gallileo, all of them put their ideas out there and fought long and hard for acceptance of rationally derived proofs against ignorance and bigotry that was institutionally opposed to rational scientific inquiry. In this instance, we have the opposite. It is Oates that resorts to mysticism and completely unproven assertions in defiance, not furtherance, of rational proof.

BTW, I spent 7 years of formal education getting basic traning in my fairly mindane field, and 20 years developing some level of expertise. I have to be somewhat skeptical about a guy who offers me the key to the universe in a couple of weekend seminars, know what I mean?

Having said all that, something just occurred to me: if Oates's main assertion is correct, doesn't it stand to reason that it should apply to writing as well? That's similar to the basic premise of handwriting analysis, isn't it, that the personality controls writing style unconsciously? Doesn't stand to reason that there are subconscious messages in Z's writing samples, which are certainly long enough to provide reverse speech, if they were spoken. So why not speak them. Record them spoken out loud, run them through Oates's methodology, and see what you get. What do you think?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (proxy-dover.mednet.af.mil - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 01:43 pm:

I'd like to see how these "reverse speech" theories bear on the aphasias.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc02147.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 03:32 pm:

Douglas: good question. I don't know if Oates has done any research into that...

Peter: Actually, I've considered that. I don't know if it would work or not, but since two different people singing the same song will have the same or similar reversals, why not someone's regular writing?

As far as being reproducible in the lab, that was figurative. I did it at home, therefore, it can be reproduced in the lab. I should have been a little more clear.

As far as chilren speaking in reverse as young as four months, I suggest you peruse the reversespeech.com website, there are several examples. But what, only one or two words at a time in reverse? When children first learn to speak forwards, they can only speak one or two words at a time anyway. So what?

You wrote:

You will note that the reverse speech phrases derived from any particular sample of speech are only a fraction of the length of the normal speech from which they are taken. Why is that? Oates's reverse speech samples make it clear that this is because none of the reversed samples are continuous sequences, but fragments of recognizable syllables taken out of much longer strings. In any sample of any length, there are bound to be segments of 15 seconds or so which when reversed contain enough discernible sounds to select a few out and string them back together into two or three English words.

It is true that sometimes only one or two or three words are discernible among the gibberish, but there are also strings of many, many words. Did you check out the Music Reversals links? If not, I suggest you do and listen to the examples posted there; there are complete sentences to be found among those reversals. One of the reversals from "Stairway to Heaven" (scroll to the bottom of the page) is:

Its my sweet Satan. The one whose little path would make me sad whose power is fake (indeterminate gibberish) There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.

Twenty-nine words. Hardly "two or three English words". Listen carefully, that's exactly what is being said. It is not backmasked. Those are not random syllables that just happen to sound just like English words, but a bunch of syllables that are communicating something intelligibly. If they were random, I hardly think that 29 words would or could be formed and actually make some sort of sense.

Some years back, I recorded a wannabe televangelist, some self-proclaimed prophet of God (one who I really don't like and who is obviously a false prophet), and listened to his words in reverse. I clearly heard him say something like (I don't have the tape at hand, sorry) "I warned you, I warned you, yes, that's what I said, yes, I warned you." Fifteen intelligible words in an intelligible sentence. Hardly "two or three English words", but considering it's anecdotal, I'm sure you'd take it with a grain of salt. But listen to the "Stairway to Heaven" reversals and then try to tell me that they're random syllables that just happen to make up an intelligible sentence.

In any case, you'll continue to believe whatever you choose to believe, and so will I.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td033.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 04:02 pm:

Peter wrote, "Doesn't (it) stand to reason that there are subconscious messages in Z's writing samples, which are certainly long enough to provide reverse speech, if they were spoken. So why not speak them. Record them spoken out loud, run them through Oates's methodology, and see what you get. What do you think?"

Honestly, that sounds like a brilliant plan! Seriously! Why go through the friggin' effort to apply Reverse Speech techniques to suspects when we can, uhm, get all the info we need right from the horse's mouth? Perhaps the key does lie within one of Zodiac's missives. There can't possibly be a reason not to conduct this "research" just exactly as Peter has described, and it's something that practically anyone can do at home.

Peter, for what it is worth, there is no error in your logic in this regard. $4,500.00 dollars for what, exactly? I haven't visited Oates' site, but for that amount of money I was able to attend university for a semester or more. Times that amount by 14 and you'll roughly see what I forked out for a college education. Then again, that "piece of paper" I received at graduation will have paid for itself multiple times by the time I reach forty, which is in five years.

BTW, how do you trademark or copyright a "natural phenomenon"? I think there is plenty of room for skepticism here. However, I'm willing to stand corrected if proven wrong. Let's hear some sound clips of Zodiac's missives being read aloud, recorded, and played backwards, just as Peter has suggested. After all, why fool with the suspects? If Reverse Speech really works, there is bound to be clues toward Zodiac's identity within these sound bites, right?


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (209.philadelphia02rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 04:33 pm:

There's a nifty little program out there called "Goldwave" that's available on a trial basis for no charge (do a search on Goldwave and you should hit it right away). With it you can do reversals, slowdowns and a whole host of tricks on any of the supported file formats, WAV included.

I have a WAV file on Philadelphia Flyers long-time announcer Gene Hart excitedly shouting, "The Flyers have won the Stanley Cup!" When reversed, then slowed down about 20 percent, this becomes "F*ck you master!" http://home.att.net/~mignarda/hartrev.wav.

Funny how these things always seem to allude either to God or Satan.

One of the reasons people believe they hear articulated sounds in reversed speech is that the human brain tends to form ready associations based on data that it has already encoded and on hand. Since there are a limited number of sounds in human speech I think it stands to reason that most sound patterns are going to be interpreted as valid words. That's my take on it at least. I'd have to see some really hard, non-anecdotal evidence to be convinced otherwise.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 07:48 pm:

Sir Issac Newton said"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries it has been owning more to patient attention,than to any other talent." and Lemierre said"It is a profound mistake to think that everything has been discovered;as well as think the horizon the boundry of the world."
I think that there needs to be some "patient[time] attention" to any subject before hard opinion can be formed and made.I have spent a lot of time researching and using Reverse Speech and it is real and it works consistently.ED is correct.Spend more time in "patient attention" than spouting opinions based on a few minutes of cursory mental fly bys.
That is one thing,among many things, I appreciate about Ed -he reads a wide variety of material,thinks and continues to research with an open mind and then comes to a conclusion.Even then he will review periodically,to see if there is some validation to be found.This is the spirit of true research.A mind is like a parachute it's no good unless it's open!

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-ta053.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 08:11 pm:

I've taken a couple of Z's missives and, while rolling video, I read them aloud and recorded them onto the DV's audio track. Then, I captured the video onto my hard drive using some editing software. This way, when I put the clip of me reading the letters onto the editing timeline, I am able to "scrub" forward and backward through the audio/video at any rate I choose. I haven't heard anything unusual, sounds like gibberish to me, but I'll continue to listen, for now.

BTW, Douglas wrote, "Since there are a limited number of sounds in human speech I think it stands to reason that most sound patterns are going to be interpreted as valid words."

I can verify that. I've often heard what I thought to be words or phrases while using the very video editing software that I mentioned above. To be honest with you, I never really thought anything of it, and I've heard some pretty strange things. Just because something is not easily explained doesn't necessarily mean that it is some sort of unknown, inexplicable phenomena. I don't know, perhaps if I doled out $4500.00 someone could prove me wrong?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-ta053.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 08:24 pm:

Howard wrote, "A mind is like a parachute it's no good unless it's open!"

That is, unless you're doing a HALO jump from 30,000 feet and have just exited the aircraft!

That's the funny thing about open-mindedness; there is a fine line between it an self-deceit. There are people who positively swear that David Blane is something other than a very good street magician, but it should be rather obvious that it is all an illusion. Right?

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc344a0.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 12:01 am:

Is that the guy Art Bell has spoken of before? The guy who can allegedly "levitate"? The only pic of him provided on artbell.com is rather poor, he's about 6" to 12" off the ground, and you can only see part of him (what do you reckon that the hidden leg is standing on something???)...

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-82.linkline.com - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 01:18 am:

In context,I said that one must study,think and then go back over the material over a period of time and then form considered opinions,but even then one must review periodically and continue looking at the particular subject from every conceivable angle,which can sometimes take years.
Life is too long to follow that which is an error.Open minded ,but with the CONDITIONS I laid down.Patient attention,not foolish blind acceptance.As a researcher with some 42 years experience (I stared researching when I was 19)I would never teach open mindiness without the added mental proviso.Please read my statement in context.I even used Ed as a model of what a good reseacher is all about.It is not about taking a $4,500 course(which is for those who plan to use Reverse Speech Analysis in their therapeutic /investigative work),but getting the tape player,his book and listening to the whole series of tapes and interviews Oates has done on news programs,as I did over a long period of time and testing the system from all angles,etc.
Also,Oates has numerous students ,many of them from professional backgrounds (at times entering the instruction with a great deal of doubt-but putting it to the ol'acid test) that are quite advanced,and much can be learned from them.
A friend of mine was quite doubtful about the whole system,but was open minded enough to give it a serious look.She gave me a recording of her ex husband leaving several messages on her voice mail.I did the reversals and with full clarity you could easily hear his reversals which many times did not jibe with his professions on the tape.These all proved to be what he actually thought ,as it was revealed in time.Needless to say ,she believes in the system.She is in the legal profession and needed cold hard proof that it worked.There were many sessions and she was very impressed.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-19-60.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 11:05 am:

Howard: The key to the universe for the price of just the tapes and books, not even a $4500 tuition charge? If its this easy, what are we to conclude from the fact that it hasn't even caught on in the pop culture, much less in the ivory towers. Cold fusion, est, psychocybernetics and pet rocks have done better than Oates. As for patient attention, Sir Isaac was referring to his own methods of discovery and proof, not what was required for the rest of the world to accept them. His discoveries did not require the patient attantion of his contemporaries to confirm his theories; his own patient attention developed the empirical proofs that could be easily verified and confirmed by empirical experiment. Oates has provided none of that, demonstrating that he did not develop his products through patient attention. Now we are to exercise patient attention on his behalf to prove for ourselves what he cannot? Its not up to you or me to develop the proof; that's Oates's job, and I defy anyone to show where he has done it. Case in point: the much-vaunted (by Oates) solving of a murder by discerning the location of the murder weapon in the basement from the killers speech. What who when where how and why, please. What murder. When. Who was the victim. Who was the killer. What law enforcement agency. Add most important, what independent corroboration is there? News reports? I don't think so, and not one of Oates's own accounts, or any of anyone quoting him, provides this information.

Ed: I will take your silence on my comments concerning the Oates's basic methodology and lack of replicable experiments as confirmation of my analysis on those questions. (1) The basic method is to pull out a few recognizable individual syllables from a long reversal string and recombine them into words. (2) there is no replicable experiment to demonstrate that two independent researchers will get the same result from a given speech sample. Conclusion: intelligible reverse speech is in the ear of the beholder. I am with Douglas on this one. For the most part:

Douglas: Two questions:

1. How does the 8-syllable quote on the Stanley cup turn into a four-syllable phrase on reversal?

2. How does the second consonant in the forward quote (f) become the first sound of the reversal?

(And don't tell me that "cup" backwards actually comes out f*c).

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-15.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 11:54 am:


OK, I got Goldwave and ran "the flyers have won the Stanley cup". It comes out, not surprisingly:
"Puck yell nats uth naw res rialfa". Now I suppose "Puck yell nats uth" could suggest "F*ck you, master", but the "ll" gets in the way, the "ts" has to be reversed and "uth" has to delete the 'th" and the remaining "u" has to be heard as a soft "er". By far the better interpretation is that "Stanley Cup" = "Puck yell nats" . Now that makes sense. "Puck yell" is obviously a cheer heard at a hockey game, and "nats" a recognition that the game was for the national title, or "nats" as such a title is known in many sports. Of course, the problem here is that "Stanley Cup" is not an original phrase, and there is perfectly objective reason to use it in the context of the Fliers winning it, so how much it can reveal of the speaker's subconscious is hard to say. The Jungian interpretation is of course that "Stanley Cup" is part of the collective unconscious of the game and its adherents, and always deserves a puck yell. Especially at the Nats.

Wow, Douglas, thanks. With the free shareware download of Goldwave, you saved me $4500 plus the price of the book, the original soundtrack album, the T-shirt and the Beanie Baby.

I can't wait to record Z's letters.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 12:03 pm:

Peter--The first couple of syllables actually got cut out. I did a clumsy job snipping it. So far as the disparities in sounds are concerned, I explain that by the proposal that the result I got was based on my own mental associations--your results may or may not vary. My point was that when presented with something that sounds like jibberish, our brains will try to associate the gibberish with something they already have encoded.

To give an example of this, consider my surname, Oswell (the English version of Oswald). I'm not given to slurred speech or any other kind of speech impediment, and when I meet people and tell them my name, I'm sure I pronounce it clearly. Somehow, in the vast majority of the cases, they always hear it as Oswald. In fact, I might as well change my name; that's how persistent a misunderstanding it is. I'm sure the reason is that, while Oswell is very uncommon, Oswald is quite well known, not least because of the Kennedy assassination. So even though the word Oswell comes into the ear, the brain is hearing Oswald; it's the first association that's hit on.

Similarity, with these reverals, I think the brain hears the first cogent association it lights upon. Different brains; different associations.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-15.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 12:12 pm:

I concur. I compared my own recording to your sample and got the same result. "Puck yell nats uth", which is of course easy to mutate into the other. Which is exactly what the mind does all the time, as you suggest: it tries very hard to make something recognizable out of vaguely familiar images. Especially, as is the case in every single one of Oates's samples, the result is spelled out before the listener hears the sample. Its the basis of any number of visual and mental illusions. "The brain hears the first cogent association it lights upon" is a precise, pithy and complete explanation of the phenomenon of what we think we hear in "reverse speech". Well done.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td074.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 12:56 pm:

Yeah, I think that is him. Blane is a young guy, is from New York, and started out as a street magician. No doubt about it, he's very talented. However, it is all illusory; he possesses none of the metaphysical qualities than some believe he does. That is why he nearly got himself killed when he froze himself in a block of ice for something like 3 days. Since that incident, he has reverted back to his ol' dog and pony show.

With all do respect, I simply cannot see how Oates is able to get around the very points that Peter has already mentioned. The anecdotal stories are cool and all, but where is the empirical data that can be observed time after time with the same result? Where has Oates ever shown that his results were obtained using the tried and true scientific method? How many independent researchers have verified his results? Has Oates ever submitted his work before a group of peers? Has he ever been acknowledged by a scientific journal?

Look, I'm not trying to be deliberately antagonistic. But can you honestly tell me that these aren't valid questions? Does it seem like I am the type of person who accepts things blindly? I'm not trying to make light of the situation, I really have been listening to some of Z's missives in reverse. After all, why not? However, if I do find something interesting in one of them, instead of trying to convince other people that what I heard is really there, I am going to give the data to my business partner and see if he comes to the same conclusion. If he does, then I'll submit it to someone else and so on. That is the nature of true science, is it not?

I've listened to Oates on Art Bell's show before, but here is the thing that strikes me as being odd: Oates would play a sound bite and then ask Art Bell if he heard what was being said in reverse. In almost every instance, Oates has to "guide" or "coach" Mr. Bell into the conclusion. Other times, Mr. Oates simply tells Mr. Bell and his listening audience what it is that they are supposed to be listening for. Not exactly what I would consider independent verification.

I respect both you and Ed, Howard, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't draw my own conclusions on certain things. The fact is, Reverse Speech does possess all the characteristics of fraud. Sorry, but that is my gut-instinct on the matter. And furthermore, Oates has done nothing to sway me in any other direction, which is very odd, since the burden of proof rests with him.


By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc0805b.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 01:05 pm:

Actually, Peter, I did address your comments by pointing out to you the major 29 word reversal from "Stairway to Heaven." Did you even bother to listen to it???

Granted, many of Oates' examples are two, three or four words in length, but I'd like to hear your explanation as to how something that is not backmasked can just happen to sound like an intelligible 29 word long sentence instead of two or three words and other gibberish mixed in?

Yes, sometimes two different people hear two slightly different things in reversed examples. Like the "Another one bites the dust" example: Some hear "decide to smoke marijuana" while others hear "it's fun to smoke marijuana." Much as Douglas has reported that many people hear his surname as "Oswald" (I never did, btw... I heard "Oswell" the very first time. Just goes to show that most people don't really pay attention, that's all).

Let me list the reversals that you've apparently not bothered to listen to that are more than just a few words in length:

From a 1920's BBC jingle: "This is not a noose. No, its really not." (9 words)

From an early 1980's Carpenter's song: "That's not the way and video sends the message." (9 words)

From "Jesus Christ, Superstar": "He's the saviour, loves me, he's the one." (8 words)

From an Ozzy Osbourne song: "But all this time I'm just another human." (8 words)

From Jewell: "You're glamorous and you live with a nazi." (8 words)

From Bonnie Raitt: "Oh I love her and love her while they grab our butt and whip us." (15 words; the last few are not too clear, but the rest certainly is)

Now, if we were to assume that our mind will attempt to form recognizable words from gibberish, and this is all reverse speech really is, then:

1) How is it possible to have such long strings of recognizable, intelligible words that actually mean something? And

2) If this were true (which I do not believe), then when we hear someone speaking in a foreign language, we should expect to hear intelligible, recognizable English words among what sounds to us like gibberish. Yet, we do not. Therefore, why should we expect to hear English when listening to reversals at all??? Doesn't make sense.

So, while you might not agree with Oates' methodology, I've tried it (have you even bothered to yet? Mickey mousing a walkman with an auto reverse feature is quite easy), and have heard reversals, and sometimes it's very clear English. Oates is on to something, there can be no doubt about it, but whether all of his lofty claims about the soul etc have merit or not, I can't say. I can say that the phenomenon of reverse speech does exist, however.

And as far as that crime being solved through reverse speech, I had not heard of it before Howard mentioned it. Just because it wasn't in the paper or whatever, so what? Many crimes are not reported in the papers, and their solutions, if there are any, are even more rarely reported. And when they are aided by psychics, for instance, how often is that reported??? So if reverse speech were used, I wouldn't be surprised that it wasn't publicized. The media is well known for suppressing news stories (you should check out Sonoma State University's annual list of the 25 most important under-reported stories. It might surprise you to find out that the media has a very peculiar agenda...).

I tried a few of Z's letters last night, and nothing much recognizable so far, although the word "Vallejo" (in reverse) appears to be a near perfect reversal for "in Vallejo." I'll have to try more and listen more carefully...

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc26bc4.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 02:30 pm:

Scott: you bring up a good point, however, is it any different than attempting to read someone else's barely legible writing and not being able to make anything out, then having someone else tell you what it says and then you suddenly realize that's it?

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb084.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 10:08 pm:

Ed, yes, I do believe that it is somewhat different. If I give the illegible writing to a host of different people, then the ones who are able to read it will report the exact same information. Can the same be said for Oates' Reverse Speech samples without knowing the solution beforehand? If so, I've yet to see or hear of any independent researchers who've come forward with the same conclusions derived from the exact same data. It's this lack of independent verification that makes Oates' work very suspect.


By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-121.al.us.prserv.net - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 10:57 pm:

Scott: True enough, Oates did prompt Art Bell on a few occasions, but there were other instances in which I immediately understood what was being said on the tapes. Obviously, I can't say with any certainty that Oates is the genuine article--but I can't say he's a fraud, either. As I posted previously, I think the reverse speech phenomenon is interesting, and--like Ed--my mind is open.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc35e7d.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 11:31 pm:

There may be problems with Oates and his work, but I'm not yet ready to dismiss his discovery out of hand. The examples he has on his site, plus what I've discovered on my own, tell me that he might be on to something big...

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-53.linkline.com - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 01:18 am:

You've restored my faith in the human mind!

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p210.as1.clonmel1.eircom.net - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 09:54 am:

There is an interview with Allen out there that would be interesting to experiment on.While being asked about suspicions that he was the Zodiac,he replied;-"They haven't arrested me b because they can't prove a thing.I'm NOT the dam* Zodiac.If I die that'll, that'll cure it for me or if if Zodiac himself confesses"!
Tom and R.Graysmith were interviewed on the same tape.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-40-100.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 09:58 am:

Ed and Howard: Yes, I listened to a number of the clips, including "Stairway". There are several problems with using Oates's samples, not the least of which is that they can't be downloaded and independently tested. He cleverly put two icons next to each sampl. One to play and one to download, ostensibly,but guess what? They both only play the clip, so the "reversal" provided can't be tested to see if it really matches with the original. In addition, a number of phrases ("the path") are just phonetic palindromes. That aside, two factors remain: one is that none of the music clips are spontaneous speech: they are composed, electronically recorded, and manipulated. Any reverse words in them cannot be considered to say anything about anyones subconscious, only that a lot of english words sound like other ones in reverse. Second, none of them are as clear as Oates pretends. Secomnd, any match to the supposed interpretation relies on at the very least the power of suggestion, and many of the clips rely on obvious electronic manipulation. The supposed 29 word "Stairway" string contains a lot more gibberish than the supposed transcription admits, and very few of the syllables are actually discernible. If it weren't for the suggestive power of reading the transcript first, a good deal less than half of the string is even suggestive, much less recognizable, even in Oaters's version.

As for Oates solving unreported crimes: the fact that they are not reported in the press is not the basic problem: it is just an additional factor that is not helpful to Oates. The problem is that OATES doesn't provide any details of these supposed incidents. That is the classic earmark of a deliberately concocted urban myth: no identity of the individuals involved.

None of your arguments answers the basic question: why has this not been empirically tested. There is plenty of speech recognition software out tere that can objectively iodentify and transcribe what is being said without the influence of the power of suggestion or the opther psychological phenomena that Douglas has quite accurately observed. Even them, there is the whol realm of interpretation of "metaphor" and the meaning of the identified words. Oates, my friends, has a very long row to hoe, and he hasn't even started.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-40-100.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 10:31 am:

Just for grins, I recorded the quote Lapumo provided and reversed it with Goldwave. Anyone who wants the clip, please email me. By the way, it contains a phrase that sounds very much like . . . well . . . I don't want to suggest an analysis. Let's see if you hear what I hear.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc2fd23.ipt.aol.com - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 12:07 pm:

Pepter: One thing you may consider is that Oates is Australian and lives in Australia. Maybe the crime was reported by the media there, but never made it here because of the obvious media bias against anything newsworthy from other countries that don't directly affect us. It's been a long time since I've perused his entire site, perhaps it's reported there somewhere; the first I heard of it is when Howard mentioned it on March 1st.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-112.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 01:37 pm:

Right, Howard, but that doesn't answer the questio: why doesn't OATES give us the information?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 02:26 pm:

We have the inventor on earth.I suggest you contact him as I did in the past.First, of all you need to read his book to get started.You are going about this in a very unprofessional manner.Is this how you do research?I hope not!Start with the book.If you just want to argue then let it go.There is a tape set too.Contact Oates and and other practioners of Reverse Speech in the field -there are tons from all professions.You just don't go to a web site for gods sake and make opinions on research that took some 20 years to develop!That is only a rudimentary introduction for those that may have an interset in the subject;it is not the course.You know very well many forensic methodologies are OPINION based on experience.Document examination is just one example.You don't,based on Oates' 20 years of research,read from a letter written by someone else ,record it and check for Reversals, as I have seen mentioned as posts.The analysis is done by recording with the tape system Oates prescribes and then analysis of that persons voice ,using Oates' system, is then utilized.I don't know where some have gotten the idea to read Zodiacs letters into a recorder and then check for Reversals!It would be that persons voice that would contain any Reversals not Zodiacs!He tells people to test the system over a long period of time but, of course,if one is serious about the method then take the course.That's life.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc073.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, March 08, 2002 - 01:14 am:

Okay, if Oates' method is so valuable, tell me of a single person who has benefitted from this "discovery," that is, other than Oates? How many felony crimes has it helped solve? How about misdemeanor crimes?

More importantly, why is everyone so reluctant to answer the questions already posed? Where is the empirical evidence? Why can't one of Z's letters be recorded and Reverse Speech applied? How can something which possesses absolutely zero empirical data have "laws" applied to it (Howard said: "I don't know where some have gotten the idea to read Zodiacs letters into a recorder and then check for Reversals!It would be that persons voice that would contain any Reversals not Zodiacs!")?

BTW, is it really closed-minded of me, or anyone, to ask for empirical evidence before coming to a decision? This isn't, or at least shouldn't be, a topic which requires a leap of faith; it's not as if we were discussing the existence of God or something. If we were, then sure, to each their own. But we're not; Reverse Speech is supposed to be within the realm of science, right? If I swore up and down that my next door neighbor was the Anti-Christ, wouldn't you want some validation before believing me? Would you write me off as insane? Or, would you believe me despite the fact that it cannot be independently verified? If you didn't believe me, would I be justified in calling you closed-minded?

Like I said, this is not a matter of faith. Us "Oates doubters" are being labeled as "closed-minded" because our doubts are based on lack of empirical evidence to the contrary. On the other hand, those who support Oates do so without a single shred of evidence which can be verified independently. What's wrong with this picture?

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-212.bos.east.verizon.net - on Friday, March 08, 2002 - 09:19 am:

Right on, Scott.

Howard: You have given precisely the answer I would expect from Oates: buy my book, buy my tapes, wear my t-shirt. I understand that web sites are often only advertising for the real deal, but it seems to me that the most effective advertising would be something like: "On march 14 1988, Mr. Oates was contacted by the East Wallaby Constable's office and asked to analyze a tape of an interview given by Billybong Crockshot of New South Wales. Crockshot was the prime suspect in the 1978 murder of Alice Springs. Using reverse Speech analysis, Oates discovered the phrase 'buried the buggerin knoif in the sou'west corner o' me bloody cellar'. Police confirmed that the phrase could be plainly heard, and on the basis of this evidence, executed a warrant on Crockshot's house, and found a blood-stained Bowie knife under a pile of dirt in the southwest corner of the cellar. The blood matched Alice's, and Crockshot was convicted of her murder. Crockshot's shrimp is on the barbie now: he's doing life at Yatala". If Oates could provide such details, he would, and I wouldn't have to chase him or pay him a cent, which I do not intend to do. He doesn't provide details about a single one of his supposed achievements because he can't.

As for reading: the voice and dialect may make some difference but it can't be significant. I read Douglas's Stanley cup quote, reversed it, and it sounds just like his reverse version of the original (minus the crowd noise). My interpretation of what I heard in both sample is different from Doug's but I hear the same thing in both. The words are the words, forward or backward. This is even confirmed by the two different recordngs of "stairway" that Oates has on his site. First, they are essentially what I am proposing for the Z letters: they are voice recordings of written lyrics. If there is no value in someone reading Z's letters, then there is similarly no value in the supposed reversals from the "Stairway" recording. Second, the two "Stairway" reversals are essentially similar (although neither of them sound like what is claimed, but that is beside the present point) even they are recorded by different voices. So much for one person's voice determining different reversals from another's.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc24f78.ipt.aol.com - on Friday, March 08, 2002 - 09:58 am:

Scott: I've said it before, I tried it on my own without spending $4500 on Oates' materials. I mickey moused a walkman with an auto-reverse feature, so that it can play the same side of a tape in both directions. I recorded a few different people, listened in reverse, and heard very clear, intelligible English words and even complete sentences. That convinced me that Oates is on to something. That was empirical enough for me. How about you?

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldc11.dialup.mindspring.com - on Friday, March 08, 2002 - 06:35 pm:

This is kind of an X-Files type of thing where Mulder proposes off-the-wall theories of crimes which, in the end, usually turn out to be at least somewhat correct. But Scully always turns the bright light of science on his theories and demands scientific, empirical evidence which he often can't provide. This does not necessarily stop his theories from being right. Of course, at the end of the show, Scully appears to have been closed-minded for the whole episode, and we are left asking "Why didn't you believe him when he said your baby is an alien?!!!" But she is right to demand proof. And life does not imitate the X-Files. On a side note, I saw an episode the other day in which Scully recalls how Mulder often referred to Occam's Razor as "Occam's Principle of Limited Imagination". But all the same, sanity has to have a threshold, and I think we'd need a telescope to see it from here! All I know is, reverse speech has nothing to do with the Zodiac case, and can/has never/will never shed any light on anything remotely connected to the case.
Unless Zodiac was an alien....but hey, that's gettin' a bit off topic, isn't it?


By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38ldc11.dialup.mindspring.com - on Friday, March 08, 2002 - 06:40 pm:

Are there any Bigfoot films with sound? Maybe backwards it says, "We should have put more styling gel on that suit." Oh, I'm sorry. Is this the wrong thread for this message?

By Peter H (Peter_H) (dialup- - on Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 08:58 am:


Ed: I don't think that's emprical enough for John Edward or Miss cleo, let alone Scott or me. Try it out on Bookworm, and I bet you've got a convert. Empirical proof does not depend on whether one observer percieves something to his own satisfaction, but whether the result is predictable and objectively identifiable. Sure you percieve all kinds of things in reversed speech: it sounds enough like forward speech to suggest all kinds of things, as Douglas has observed. We perceive all kinds of things in forward speech that arent there. Try ythe game of "telephone" some time. Same principle: you don;t quite hear something, and the mind fills in what it didn't hear. Happens in eyewitness testimony all the time: people see explosions before they occur, weapons that aren't there, all kinds of details. "Deer Lodge Montana" is a perfect example. As for what any one person hears in a reverse sample: you run the same sample -- forward and reversed -- through some speech recognition software and see what you get. Then, even if you get something identifiable out of a reversal, that is a far cry from demonstrating that it has any meaning in connection with the passage it was taken from. That requires a separate, objective and predictable proof. It also raises the folowing question: if you can get identifiable speecyh from a jury-rigged walkman (or as anyone can with Goldwave), what does you need Oates for? You get the recognizable speech from a conventional device, and you analyze it with normal psychological methods. All Oates does is to manipulate vaguely familiar sounds into more familiar sounds, skew them to a result that has something to do with the forward version (e.g. Stanley Cup = "puck yell nats", and voila, crime solved.

This also doesn't answer the question of why no one can even identify (much less corroborate) the what who when where how and why of one single instance of Oates's supposed accomplishments.

By Oddball (Oddball) (slip-32-103-46-235.al.us.prserv.net - on Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 01:04 pm:

For what it's worth, here's a piece of good old-fashioned, deep-fried, down-home, cornpone wisdom: Sometimes, people feel differently about things than you do. It's their right. You might disagree with them bitterly, but throttling an argument to death isn't going to change anything.
I don't believe that Howard or Ed or anyone else has implied that Oates's analysis would solve the Zodiac case. No one thinks this is going to be the last word--just that it might be interesting to run the Davis tape by Oates. If you don't find reverse speech particularly interesting or convincing, you have every right to disagree with us--but this doesn't obligate you to keep arguing about it.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb081.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 01:16 am:

Ed, you wrote,

"I recorded a few different people, listened in reverse, and heard very clear, intelligible English words and even complete sentences. That convinced me that Oates is on to something. That was empirical enough for me. How about you?"

Actually Ed, no it is not. I don't doubt that clear, intelligible English words or complete sentences can be heard in Reverse Speech. In fact, it almost seems likely that one would find such instances. However, I can't see, or find, any evidence that such "words," "phrases," or "sentences" have anything to do with the subconscious mind. Where is the evidence that such a link exists? Finding intelligible words and/or phrases in something playing backward isn't, in and of itself, very remarkable. Providing proof that these words/phrases are somehow linked to the subconscious, however, is extremely remarkable; especially if it can be verified independently. Therein lies the fault of Oates' claims: No such evidence exists, his claims can't be verified independently, and no such link between Reverse Speech and the subconscious mind has ever been found.

BTW, I'm not trying to argue here. For those of you who believe that Oates is truly onto something, hey, that's fine by me. But please don't try to represent Oates' claims as being scientifically truthful or sound, because the fact of the matter is that they aren't even close.


By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-18-96.bos.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 06:00 pm:

"The analysis is done by recording with the tape system Oates prescribes and then analysis of that persons voice ,using Oates' system, is then utilized"

"I mickey moused a walkman with an auto-reverse feature, so that it can play the same side of a tape in both directions. I recorded a few different people, listened in reverse, and heard very clear, intelligible English words and even complete sentences. "

take your pick?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-102.linkline.com - on Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 10:24 pm:

I have posted before that I believe that a HOLISTIC approach to truth/lie detection is the answer.Dr.Wm.Bates'(the late Head of the Eye and Ear Infirmitory in New York) discovery using an Othamoloscope to observe movement in the pupil relative to yes or no questions ,is an excellent form of lie detection.He claimed publically and in print,that he was never wrong in his analysis.He was a genius in his field.
Then Dr.B.J. Palmer took the polygraph along with Dr.Otto Scherenbeck ,an eletrical engineer, and developed the electroencephoneromentemograph(long name but describes the highly sensitive instrument)which was grounded and shielded in a special booth lined with copper/lead.They discovered ,after thousands of hours of work and exprimentation,that when someone was tested for lie detection in the booth-which effectively warded off the legions of various frequencies,etc.;they got accurate consistent results over a period of many years.Law enforcement from that area brought suspects and were satisfied with the results.The world never learned of this.Dr.Keeler ,the inventor of the polygraph, did the same thing, as he and Palmer knew each other.Keeler found the reason for the mixed results-external wave frequencies,and he got excellent results.He could not convince his students and practicioners (big news!)in the field and for obvious reasons -the portability issue was a big problem!I was very surprised when an old poly expert contacted me and he knew all about what I have posted here.I had been telling another poly guy about the shielded booth experiments of Palmer and his associate and Keelers booth,etc.and he didn't even know about it and the 'old timer' had to inform him!He told me it was too impractical and that they could easily travel to the court house or police station and 'test suspects with ease' and the thought of some grounded and shielded booth was a bit too much!That's the way of life in many cases.It's easier to ridicule,doubt, cajole,etc., as they did ,than to do hard core,sacrificial, thoughtful research with an open experimental mind exploring pioneering concepts than being a materialistic hard core skeptic developing nothing of value for the human race.I have read the life stories of many of the inventors,innovators and pioneers and most had a hard time convincing the damned skeptics.It takes amny long years in many cases.It is sad.Dr.Brian Greens book Elegant Universe ,which is about the String Theory (a fabulous concept)is a valid work and I believe more discoveries will bring the Unified Field Theory into much clearer focus and that String research will do much for our understanding of the universe.It takes many years to bring a concept to acceptance to general acceptance.Read Edison;it took tremendous struggle to bring the electric light to the world- with the skeptics yelling and screeming all the way to a well lighted world!People just don't really research-they like to doubt-much easier than spending time studying.I think that Oates' concepts would be an excellent ADJUNCT to all of the aforementioned methods that need to be brought together along with Voice Sress Analysis.It is only a dream,but I believe it would take lie detection to greater heights.Sorry for the lenght of the post.I am a researcher and just had to get his off my chest.Watch holistic medicine.The skeptics have cried and moaned,but it will be accepted in the future.I am friends with many M.D.s and they see it coming and many practice holistic or alternative medicine with great success.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (192.philadelphia01rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 04:13 am:

I'm inclined to think that the results of reverse speech will tell you more about the psychology of the listener than the speaker.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 10:39 am:

Really good remark.Let's include posters to.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 11:37 am:

Howard, I'm surprised this isn't used as a diagnostic tool in psychiatry.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 12:03 pm:

I also note that in researching the history of hypnosis,it took many years for it to progress and be 'accepted'(I know doctors.M.D.s, and dentists that use it successfully in their practices-great pain blocker and no side effects)in medicine and law enforcement.There was a great deal of skeptism and opposition by "orthodox" thinkers,down through the years,but we now know they were wrong(big shock)and the progressive innovators were correct.Detective Baker,for example,has used hypnosis in his investigations.Just like medicine and many other professions,including Document examination and finger print analysis,the skill of the practioner is vital for a good result,but it is no excuse to reject these and many other analtical based professions.Reverse Speech Analysis is 'new'-only some 20 years old,and it will take many more years of research and funding(which has been a problem-just like many discoveries in the past)to prove to the world it has a reason for existence and that it can benefit the human race in multiple ways.Let that process go on and let the innovators and pioneers do their work and the others can focus on more comfortable non- creative,orthodox lines of methodologies- some of which are correct and/or partially useful to humans and this is fine.It's better that way.Don't try and be what you are not.We all have our place in life.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb064.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 01:49 pm:

Howard, you wrote,

"It's easier to ridicule,doubt, cajole,etc., as they did ,than to do hard core,sacrificial, thoughtful research with an open experimental mind exploring pioneering concepts than being a materialistic hard core skeptic developing nothing of value for the human race."

Howard, it pains me to hear you talk like that, seriously. You may label me as a "skeptic" or "doubter" if you wish, because that is certainly my position with regard to Reverse Speech. However, to say that I am taking the easier route by purposefully ridiculing Oates' work is 100% wrong! You see, I'm the kind of person whose mind is open to anything, Howard. I do not claim to know all there is to know, nor do I cast aside or trash someones theory simply because I am too "lazy" to do any research myself. However, Howard, it is not my responsibility to validate somebody else's theory.

It seems that skeptics, such as Peter and myself, are being labeled as "closed-minded" simply because we are able to navigate ourselves through the fog that Oates' has used to blind so many others. Ever heard of Magnetic Levitation, Howard? I had heard of it long before NASA ever produced a working model of the theory. Even though I could only understand the very basics of the concept, I accepted the theory as possible because proponents of the theory continued to have their ideas validated by the scientific community. Now, lo and behold, Magnetic Levitation is here and will eventually revolutionize the concept of air and space travel. Do you know what the difference is between Magnetic Levitation and Reverse Speech? Unlike the former, there is absolutely no empirical evidence that Reverse Speech exists and is linked to the subconscious mind.

What's worse is Oates' presentation of the subject. He spends ALL of his time searching for sound bites and absolutely zero time devoted to the significance of his findings. He claimes that Reverse Speech is the "gateway to the subconscious" and yet he possesses not a single shred of evidence that demonstrates that such a link exists. Howard, don't act as though you are somehow more enlightened than me just because you want to believe Oates' claims and I don't. That is absolutely ridiculous. Furthermore, I've known about Reverse Speech for several years and have even conducted experimentaion with it, as I've noted in previous posts. BTW, Howard, exactly what has Oates' done that is even remotely "useful to humans"?

My opinions of Oates' are not based on a passing knowledge of his theory. Like I said, I first encountered Reverse Speech several years ago. I was interested in it for a brief period; that is until I realized what a joke it was, then I discarded the theory completely. And you know what, I'm still waiting for Oates, or anyone, to prove me wrong. If you have really researched Reverse Speech as much as you say you have, I'm surprised that you haven't come to the same conclusion. In fact, Howard, why don't you tell us what it is that you have discovered while researching Reverse Speech that has made you so sure of its value to humanity? By all means, enlighten me.

The funny thing is, every time I check in on Oates' advancements, I see that he is still performing the same ol' dog and pony show and hasn't progressed an inch. You may think that us doubters are closed-minded, Howard, but I too have a word for those who believe Oates' claims: gullible.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 01:58 pm:

I'll laugh at Oates until he comes up with some proof. Then I'll stop laughing. That's how the system functions. It's worked just fine for centuries.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td043.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 02:44 pm:

Keep laughing, Doug, because Oates will never provide any proof as long as he continues searching for sound bites instead of trying to demonstrate the psychological significance of those that he already possesses. Let's not pretend as though all theories become hard science with the passing of time, because that is certainly not the case.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (53.philadelphia04rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 03:02 pm:

True, Scott. For every valid theory that gets scoffed at there are thousands of bogus ideas. The only way to avoid being taken is to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism. The veracity of the true theories will be borne out in the end.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-46.bos.east.verizon.net - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 03:03 pm:

I am not laughing. I can't, because I am holding my breath waiting for the answer to my question on the details of a single one of Oates's claimed achievements, preferably the Weapon In The Basement story.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td043.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 03:48 pm:

Doug, you wrote, "The veracity of the true theories will be borne out in the end."


Peter, you wrote, "I am holding my breath waiting for the answer to my question on the details of a single one of Oates's claimed achievements . . ."

It's a good thing that you can't die from holding your breath! I'd love to hear the details of that particular story myself, but I haven't the time to sit around and hold my breath waiting. Being the open-minded guy that I am, this evening I'll be attending my first meeting with the members of Heaven's Gate 2 . . . I've always felt that catching a ride on a comet to visit God would be kinda fun. What kind of fool would I be to allow skepticism and lack of evidence to stand in the way of an opportunity like that?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (183.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 04:23 pm:

This Oates fellow reminds me of a fictitious character I created some years ago. Just to lighten things up, you can read about him at http://home.att.net/~mignarda/toole.pdf.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tb053.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 09:43 pm:

Doug, that certainly added some levity to the situation! That was a really funny story, thanks for sharing! Is that a work in progress? The reason I ask is because you call it a short novel but it seems, in its present form, to be a nice short story. BTW, excellent title and character names! Truly funny stuff!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (ont-cvx1-218.linkline.com - on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 11:37 pm:

You can believe and defend anything or anyone you wish and say anything you want about anybody and their work and I reserve the same right.You can infer I am "gullible "and my statements apply to whom they will.
Oates can best promote and defend his work.As far as what can Reverse speech be used for can be seen on his site-from corporate to investigative work.Disagree if you wish.
My main arguement,AGAIN, is that if someone has not THOUROUGHLY investigated someones work and ridicules that work ,is not engaged in true research -period.I am connected to cutting edge researchers worldwide, as this is my life, and they ALL agree with this principle whether they have an interest in Oates' work or not.I was startled that we had such posts saying 'I am holding my breath','I am laughing',etc.-quite immature to be sure and a slight to the spirit of investigation ,which I love and have devoted my life to.
Some years ago I was determined to formulate products that would be cold processed which was a radical departure from the industry.I was told there would be separation,etc. and that others had tried and failed,especially using natural ingredients;and besides,it just would not work from a chemical standpoint.Well,after some years of research and trial and error and an ulcer-literally,I did it.Since 1994 all of the products have passed all of the standard tests.The formulas were sent to five top chemists worldwide and all gave them a 100% rating.Do I say this to boast?No,(I think my record of posting on this fine site has shown that since the beginning)it is not permitted in my faith;I am only showing from my own experience all of the doubt,skeptism and ,yes,laughter I faced over a long period of time.You can see why I take someone elses' work that I think has merit so seriously.They can ignore it,but I don't understand why they attack it when they have not carefully tested it over a long period of time.Just ignore it for gods sake.Some even pick at the character of the developer,but they should focus on the work.Tom has,with great diligence and difficulty,developed the top site on the complicated Zodiac case.He has done more(this includes a prodigious cache of Z related documents) for the case than anyone,including many of the authorities.Some have focused on his personality,etc.,instead of his WORK and this is not acceptable as everyone has faults and weaknesses.
Lazy?Yes, some are intellectually slothful.This only applies to those whom it can reside.Zodiac research is a good example.Peter was all fired up about the possibilty of a dual letter written by Zodiac or an unnamed individual in '66.This was good,but when I asked him if he could help out and check with CA. authorities he bowed out-inspite of his professional abilities and know how.'You do the work and I will be the critic' as he has done for some time as we are all well aware.He is doing the same thing with Oates.That's my point Let him do some hard work and report it.This he refuses to do-he wants to "hold his breath "like a lazy child and let others do the work that he is very well capable of doing. All that I said about him stands.Our focus here is Zodiac even if we have different suspects and some varing views on certin aspects of the Z case.We are all working together for a sloution-let's keep that spirit.Good post Scott.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (158.philadelphia-18-19rs.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 02:06 am:

Thanks, Scott. Originally this was indeed a short story. In its present form it's the opening chapter of a social satire called "The Emasculation of Harry Toole," about an unfortunate, hyper-masculine salesman whose wife (a plastic surgeon) kidnaps his organ of engenderment, attaches it to herself, and sues him for custody. Back in 1994 I paid a professional editor $50 or so to tell me that it wasn't practical for marketing (not long enough; too many dirty words) so it's pretty much sat around gathering dust. But I still drag it out every now and then and have a good laugh. In literary terms, it's my "favorite child." The entire piece isn't anything like the first chapter, which is only a nightmare suffered by the protagonist. If you'd like to see a small sample of the rest, try http://home.att.net/~mignarda/toole2.pdf. If you've ever been divorced (I haven't) this should immediately strike a chord.

By Spencer (Spencer) (ac97ce12.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 04:26 am:


Nice work. You should seriously consider getting a second opinion. I'm sure that any number of publishing houses would appreciate your work. Send it out -- the only thing you have to lose is the paper and the postage.


By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 05:39 am:

Spencer, I did give it a try back in 1994, but the frustration involved got the better of me. It's very, very difficult to get someone interested, no matter what the quality of the work. In fact, when I wrote "Dr. Zodiac," I was motivated by the hope that I could take advantage of a unique situation to get a foot in the door and hopefully one day have better success at marketing my fiction. Being the eternal optimist (and dead-horse flogger) I haven't given up on either.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 05:45 am:

Howard, I think reverse speech could turn out to be an excellent diagnostic tool, but not in the way it seems to be intended. Rather than trying to find hidden meaning in the reversed text (which in the absence of any objective standard of proof is rather an absurd idea) it could be used as a kind of audio-Rohrschach. A lot could probably be discerned about a person's psychological makeup by analyzing what he interprets in a standardized segment or segments of reversed speech.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-92.bos.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 01:35 pm:

Howard writes:

"Oates can best promote and defend his work.As far as what can Reverse speech be used for can be seen on his site-from corporate to investigative work."

That illustrates the problem precisely, Howard. I assume that the site IS the best defense of his work, and there is no there there. There is no corporate or investigative work. There are vague, general and completely unsupported claims of such work, but there is absolutely no substance. None. If that is the best defense there is of Reverse Speech, then the only possible conclusion is that it is indefensible.

The difference between that and your work in cold processing is fundamental and conclusive. Oates does not and cannot claim that HE has sent his work to five authorities in anything: linguistics, audiotronics, psychological interpretation or any of the other specialties that his "work" implicates, and has had any kind of confirmation whatever.

It is not a matter of my not having tested it: the fact is NO ONE has tested it, not even Oates. How am I supposed to test, examne and confirm it if he hasn't? I don't have to test your cold process development: all I have to do is read the confirmation and the credentials of those providing that confirmation, or better yet see a product. Oates has been working on this for 20 years, and does not deliver one single sample of his product on his site. Einstein developed Special Relativity and produced the proof of e=mc2 in less time than that.

By Ed N (Ed_N) (acc3ace4.ipt.aol.com - on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 06:49 pm:

Peter: perhaps those who should be testing reverse speech have precisely the same attitude that you do: since they think it's a load of rubbish and since they've already made up their minds about it, they can't even be bothered to put it through any form of scientific testing whatsoever. Hmm... not a very scientific attitude, is it?

In any case, you've already made up your mind, and can believe whatever you want. I've tested his assertions to my satisfaction, and, despite his lofty claims (which I don't necessarily believe myself), the phenomenon exists and should be explored.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-17-160.bos.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 07:29 am:

Ed: That's not how the scientific method works. The proponent of an idea conducts his study, develops his data and proofs, and publishes. He doesn't just lay out his assertions and conclusions; he PROVES them. And he proves them in a way that can be confirmed experimentally by replication. Einstein didn't just lay out e=mc2 and declare that the speed of light is constant or that a clock accellerating along a closed curve would measure time differently from one at rest, and then say "There: now you can go test it." He laid out a complete mathematical proof, which has been tested and confirmed. Its not just the different time on the clock that is confirmed, but the theory of WHY the time is different. It is up to Oates to develop the experimental proofs. Then we can test them. All he sets out are a bunch of vague assertions as to what results his technology and method supposedly reaches. I have no doubt that running a verbal string through his methodology will spit out another verbal string and some kind of analysis at the other end. There was a great device circulating around the earlier half of the last century. Literally a black box that spit out a $20 bill after a $1 bill was inserted and a crank was turned. They sold for hundreds of dollars. Of course, it turned out that the box was loaded with a few 20's, which it spit out at the same time it sucked in the singles. The result was predictable, observable and confirmable for a few tries, enough to convince the buyer that it was changing ones into twenties. Anyone who looked inside the box of course could figure out how it worked. A genuine innovator opens the box. A scam artist just spits out 20's. There's no doubt in my mind which Oates is.

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td082.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 12:31 pm:

Peter, you wrote, "It is up to Oates to develop the experimental proofs."

That is absolutely, 100% correct. That is all that us "Oates doubters" have been asking for all along. Why does this seem to be such a difficult concept to understand?

As I said in an earlier post, the fact that strings of words can be found in an audio track playing in reverse is not that remarkable. It is the assertion that these words, phrases, and sentences can actually be linked to the subconscious mind of the speaker that is completely devoid of anything even remotely resembling empirical evidence. As I've said before, and will gladly restate for the record, please, somebody, anybody, show me where such evidence exists and I'll be happy to proclaim Oates a genius. I'm telling you, I have looked for the proof, and it simply isn't there.

By William Baker (Bill_Baker) (lsanca1-ar16-4-33-175-005.elnk.dsl.gtei.net - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 12:16 am:

At the risk of getting "flamed" by many of you that are head and shoulders above me in erudition and experiential wisdom (not to mention the "I" word: Intellect), and with all sincere and respectful deference to Howard and his introduction of Reverse Speech to this thread, my intent in opening this line of thought was limited to the suggested use of hypnosis as an investigative aid in the Zodiac cases.

I dare say that hypnosis, harkening back even to Franz Anton Mesmer, has been often praised and maligned, interchangeably and with arguable equanimity. However, setting aside the usual claims and misconceptions of mind control and manipulation, forensic hypnosis utilizes a very basic element of the human mind, that being the ability of the subconscious to record details not always readily accessible to conscious recall.

We have all experienced the frustration of being unable to dredge up a particular fact or name that is abundantly familiar to us, and no matter how hard we try (I seem to recall that the psych's call it the law of reverse affect), the farther removed it becomes. Once we relax and don't press it, the answer pops into our heads. Much like sitting in the classroom straining to remember a test answer, to no avail, only to have it come to us as we're finished and walking down the school corridor. And in the twilight zone of sleep (before and at the close), how obscure memories seem to surface.

Hypnosis offers the subject an opportunity to relax and focus effectively, without external interferences or distractions, to allow the previously stored info to emerge. As has often been said, and demonstrated, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The subsconscious, as I understand it (without a degree to back it up), is the protector of the mind and, as such, possesses the ability to retain all info that may conceivably, eventually be needed to save its host.

As I tried to point out in my opening post on this thread, the technique must be used responsibly, and with corroboration. Zoe alluded to false memories that have been evoked or elicited by irresponsible use of the tool. Sadly, its use in court was emasculated by the Shirley decision in a California ruling twenty-some years ago, a case that was precipitated by the irresponsible performance of a psychologist in the questioning, under hypnosis, of a crime witness,rendering the witness' testimony "irrevocably" tainted. [It should be noted that, in my opinion, most, if not all, police procedures that result in an increased incidence of convictions are summarily attacked by defendant advocates.] Obiwan admitted his skepticism and asked for examples of its success, to which I chose not to respond, feeling that he was baiting me for a debate on the legitimacy and reliability of the technique. I have no interest or necessity in defending the practice. I am merely proposing it as a possible means of revivification of dormant memories in a long-dormant series of murders.

I have used the technique in many cases, almost always on major crimes. I would have never, ever, done anything to compromise the integrity of an investigation, realizing the fragility of not only forensic hypnosis, but the criminal case as well. I had a reputation of being a hard-assed detective and supervisor when it came to homicides. That is nothing when compared to my stringent adherence to the practice of forensic hypnosis. As an aside, I was the VP of the Standards and Ethics committee of the International Society of Forensic and Investigative Hypnosis. I wan't blowing smoke when I said I was court-qualified as an expert: my experience AND integrity was at issue.

In summation, any witnesses that undergo hypnosis will probably be rendered ineligible to testify and, therefore, their statements can be used only as investigative aids. With a dormant series of killings, is an investigative boost such a bad thing?

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-40-197.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 04:10 am:

Thanks, Bill. In fact, i am a little surprised the rest of us haven't been flamed before this for getting so far afield without startiing an appropriate thread. Your take on hypnosis could be a valuable contribution to this investigation. Can you give us examples of how you would proceed, which subjects might offer recalled evidence, etc?

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 01:02 pm:

You are correct.It does depend on the mental sagacity and experience of the Conductor(how many Bill Bakers are there?) of the forensic hypnosis session.I have researched and tested hypnosis (with some remarkable results)since the early 60's and I have been criticized and praised by both 'professionals' and lay people alike.The same goes,as you posted,for the profession itself.I have seen operations done under hypnosis with no pain to the patient.My doctor friends tell me the healing time is cut in half and side effects are greatly reduced.There is no pain in child birth either.As a matter of fact,the mother,during delivery,is seen speaking with the doctor as though nothing was happening!Many discoveries can be applied to other areas of life and hypnosis is no different.Its use in recall is fantastic,but it will not be 'acceptable' in a court of law as you stated.The use of hypnosis as an investigative aid is excellent,but should be extended.Someone like Peter can not really accept hypnosis -according to his own criteria,as it has not been properly "tested" by orthodox methodology which takes years,millions and countless debates,etc.In the meantime history has shown, that in some cases, valuable time was lost in which the discovery,whatever it was,could have been accepted by others and used for the benefit of humanity.What I am saying is that in certain subjects, long drawn out orthodox testing should be done(of course),but in certain cases, subjects like hypnosis,can and are being employed,as you state, with success,before orthodoxy 'officially' tests and 'accepts'it.Should it be tested?Yes;but why not use it now?Many cases have been solved or contributed to using forensic hypnosis.I applaud your open mindedness and expertise in this contraversial field,but knowing your abilities-it does not surprise me!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 01:43 pm:

Not quite.Oates doesn't have the funds,but is trying to get his system validated.He has gotten very depressed and discouraged(with a personal set back as his 21 year old son passed away)as all innovators have experienced as they fought to get their discovery accepted by orthodoxy.There is independent testing done(like using insrumentation to check for reversals as they transpire and there has been success)all over the world and the media has reported on it.I have been surprised at all of the universal coverage and how many thousands of people are either studying RS and or are practicing it.Some are professionals like the one (quite a bio)I am going to be working with-he has his masters in psychology and teaches RS at the university of Oregon-yes,he has helped solve cases too!I will post his new and growing site soon-I think its www.catchthebadguys.com)others are not,as in all areas of research,including hypnosis,etc.They exchange research,ideas and discoveries and constantly recheck and test with little funds to aid their research.The same holds true for hypnosis which is underfunded.Don't say the orthodox organizations know its 'bunk' so won't fund it, as this means that they aren't being truly scientific(look at history and how readily they rejected new novel concepts-I have and it is shocking).It is up to the ones that have and control the money to grant funds-it isn't always the fault of the discoverer to get his art evaluated.and validated .How many in history had to get private funding through a wealthy benefactor to keep their research alive while orthodox sources wouldn't give a dime? Oates has encouraged anyone and everyone to investigate his discovery and like hypnosis, some reject(fine),some wait(thats OK) and others accept and use it.The organiztions that have the funds are the ones to blame as it costs millions to get 'official approval.'History repeats and only time will tell who was right and who was wrong-right,Wright brothers?I just know if Peter had been on the board that rejected funding for those two innovators he would have done a thumbs down too!

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 01:49 pm:

It is www.catchthebadguys.com.John Johnson,MA, will posting his bio,and other documents,etc., as it is a new site.He sent me his bio and a letter of recommendation from a lawyer recently.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-20-207.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 03:02 pm:

Howard, Howard, Howard:

You don't have to speak for me. It ain't what you don't know that's killing you: its what you know for sure that just ain't so. I do accept hypnosis, and as far as it goes, it has been scientifically tested. It is used in widely accepted conventional therapies and has been for decades. Believe me, the County of Santa Barbara would not have provided Det. Baker a budget for it, and he would not appear in court as an expert on it otherwise. It silly to pretend reverse speech is even close to being in the same class.

Same goes for your Mr. Johnston. He flatly misrepresents reverse speech in the second paragraph of his web site, in his claim that it "leads to admissible evidence". Not even his anonymous lawyer friend makes that contention. In this "alleged rape case" (c'mon, if it was a case at all, it was a rape case, not an "alleged rape case") he only says he used it in his summation, which is certainly NOT evidence. And why won't this officer of the court use his last name in this ringing endorsement? And why does Johnston's site suffer from the same deficiencies as Oates's? Not one single name, date or place on any of his claims. Not one. These guys do get tiresome. BTW: the University of Oregon never heard of the guy. If he teaches anything there, he must rent space. Oh, and you might remind Mr. Johnston when you see him: "in the mid 1960's" when Bill Gates supposedly said no one would ever need more than 640 kb of memory? Gates was 10 years old at the time.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (13.philadelphia06rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 03:22 pm:

In cases of desperation some police agencies have brought in psychics. Maybe understandable for developing suspects, but don't put me on a jury where they try to present it as evidence.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-19-53.bos.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 04:08 pm:

Doug: right again. Police agencies, maybe, but not the courts. And the key word is "desperation".

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (84.philadelphia06rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 04:24 pm:

Peter, not that such ideas haven't been tried out in the courts, sometimes to disastrous effect. Consider all the women who, under the tender care of certain unscrupulous psychiatrists, have resurrected hidden memories of being sexually abused by close relations. People have suffered on account of these things.

By Howard Davis (Howard) (dsl-gte-10407-2.linkline.com - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 06:43 pm:

Peter- three times-naw, let's go five-raised ya two-
Contact in regards to RS: Dr.Lee Ayer,Chair-Dept.of Criminology at University of So.Org. at:ayersl@sou.edu and Prof.J.E.McCellan,Dept. of Criminal Justice, Coos College at:jemcclellan@onebox.com.
Oh,so you will accept hypnosis even though it can not be admitted in a court of law?It's over 100 years old as a focus of study.Is a lie detector exam the final word?No.It has been around a long time though.RS is only about 20 years old-some comparison!Many professions,especially those requiring the OPINION of an "expert"-who constantly disagree with each other,will only make investigative stature in law,but this is fine.I said I believe in holistic forensics,but focused on lie detection,which needs to look into other methods of truth detection,etc.You're perfect for your profession (which most people can't stand and certainly isn't "scientific"and is filled with outright crooks-I know and stay away from, a ton of them!)you are distorting the real issue and original premise.No one said that RS is a validated (nor is document examination,etc.)art,but that it is new ,underfunded and will take time, as the other discoveries of the past have done, to prove its place ,in at least,as an investigative tool,just like hypnosis,etc.If it doesn't you won't be resposible either way so relax.You condemed it without real investigation(as is your habit)and have stated Oates(I know people that know him and say he is brutally honest and he spends counless hours researching his discovery-he's the real deal-right or wrong) is a crook,and that it is all false.Comparing the old twenty dollar bill machine to RS is very lawyer like and lacks intelligence(but not the ol' lawyer cunning).

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc023.proxy.aol.com - on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 07:42 pm:

I tell ya' what, folks; let's continue this debate in a new thread before Tom yanks the chain on the whole lot of us. We'll leave this thread for further discussion regarding hypnosis. I'll create a new thread under "General Zodiac Discussion."