THE AFTERLIFE FILES
THE AFTERLIFE FILES
Part scientific expedition, part cutting-edge TV docu-series, THE AFTERLIFE FILES seeks to solve the greatest mystery of all time.
Part scientific expedition, part cutting-edge TV docu-series, THE AFTERLIFE FILES seeks to solve the greatest mystery of all time. Read more
About this project
THE AFTERLIFE FILES is a TV docu-series that will feature a cast of opposites -- dogged paranormal investigators, mainstream scientists, families mourning lost loved ones and others -- collaborating on the greatest feat of scientific detective work ever undertaken. Picking up on leads generated by recent cutting-edge research, they will seek nothing less than an answer to the most fundamental question of the human condition:
Do we survive death with our personalities intact, and if so, can hard science prove it?
And, depending on how the pilot and twelve half-hour episodes of this series unfold, the world could be transformed.
Have we got your attention?
“World Death Rate Holding Steady at 100 Percent.”
When the satirical newspaper The Onion ran this headline, it captured two universal qualities of the human condition:
- All of us, and every person we know and love, are going to die.
- Being human, we each have our own way of dealing with the grim reality that our lives will end.
Some of us, like the editors at The Onion or Woody Allen (in his early, funny movies) use humor to deal with death. Others take comfort in religious belief, or simply push the thought of death aside for another day.
But whether you approach it with humor, faith or forgetfulness, one fact remains: Death is the one unchangeable reality that every one of us has in common. It binds us together. And all of us – even the faithful and true disbelievers – wonder what’s really going to happen to us when we die.
THANKS FOR BRIGHTENING UP MY DAY. SO WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?
There’s an alleged “paranormal” phenomenon that people have been talking about for years – and chances are you’ve seen it depicted on the news, in movies or on TV shows about ghost-hunters. It’s called the Electronic Voice Phenomena, or “EVP.” It refers to recordings that people have captured that many believe contain the voices or images of people that have died -- in other words, electronic evidence of an afterlife.
Proponents of EVP claim they get
these paranormal recordings by following a straightforward procedure. The
simplest method involves running a voice recorder in quiet surroundings for two to three minutes. Then, they'll play back the
recordings through a computer to see if they've received sounds that weren't
heard when the equipment was being run.
Sometimes, these EVP investigators say, their recordings contain the voices of deceased loved ones that call out to them by name and refer to recent events. Researchers working in so-called haunted locations have reported EVPs that make statements or respond to specific questions.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE MAKING THESE CLAIMS ABOUT EVP?
involved in EVP research stand apart from those of us who may be casually
interested in “psychic phenomena.” Most
started out as complete skeptics. So they're not willing to just take the
word of mediums who claim they can talk with the dead, or even the Bible or religious teachings.
Yet, some of these investigators have come to believe that EVP is objective evidence that our personalities live on in another dimension after physical death.
In fact, some have claimed we’re on the verge of establishing a regular communication channel between dimensions – even though, as in the early days of radio, the technology we're using is at a primitive stage of development.
RECORDED TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE DEAD? YEAH, RIGHT. IT’S PROBABLY JUST WISHFUL THINKING BY PEOPLE FINDING MEANING IN A LOT OF NOISE.
That’s certainly possible, and even been proved with certain recordings alleged to be EVPs. All of us have had the experience of seeing “faces”
in clouds. Most of us have also been guilty
of hearing what we want to hear out of what others would consider plain
noise. (You married people will
especially know what we're talking about.)
It’s also possible that alleged EVP voices are simply pieces of TV or radio transmissions that have been inadvertently picked up on recording equipment and misinterpreted as messages from the Great Beyond.
But some of these alleged communications are crystal-clear. They’re recognizable as the voices of real people who have died and make reference to real people and events in real time. You can see and hear some examples in our video at the top of this page.
SO WHAT’S GOING ON?
Great question. Vague recordings or fuzzy pictures are one thing. But voices or pictures that really sound or look like specific individuals -- and seem to respond to real-time questions or events -- are another.*
Something has to be going on. The question is what, and that's a mission for science.
* Want more examples of "EVP voices?" Watch raw footage of the recording session conducted by the producer in making the Kickstarter video (56 seconds):
COULD IT BE FRAUD?
You bet. Some claimed EVPs are just too clear to be examples of wishful thinking. So maybe someone faked them.
And that’s what this scientific expedition/docu-series is all about. We’ll get to the bottom of this mystery by building the most airtight experiments ever devised to test EVP. Designed with the help of mainstream scientists who don't believe in the paranormal, these procedures will screen out fraud, random radio or television transmissions, or any other ordinary explanations for such phenomena.
If there are people concocting
these results, we’ll expose them.
If well-meaning people are misinterpreting ordinary sounds or images as communications
from the dead, we’ll show that, too.
I’VE SEEN TV SHOWS ABOUT “GHOST HUNTERS,” AND THEY USE RECORDERS TO GET EVP VOICES IN HAUNTED HOUSES. SO HASN’T EVERYTHING ABOUT EVP ALREADY BEEN DONE?
We’ve got nothing against shows about people searching for ghosts in haunted houses. In fact, we love them. It can be entertaining to watch a bunch of high-strung people running around in the dark with fancy equipment. But even the people involved with those shows will admit that their “investigations” fall short of the more formal, hard science approach that is at the heart of THE AFTERLIFE FILES.
SO WHAT MAKES YOUR PROJECT SO DIFFERENT?
The science. The science. The science. And the people.
The beauty of EVP, if there's
anything to it, is that it could be concrete evidence of life after death.
You don't have to take the word of a medium who's telling you what he or she is
hearing from the "Other Side" at a séance.
It’s a direct observation -- as straightforward as measuring an electric charge, or observing a blood cell through a microscope.
Now, if you had direct evidence that we somehow survive physical death with our personalities intact, you’d think that would be pretty big news, right? After all, it would mean that the biggest mystery of the human condition would be solved.
So why haven’t we seen weeks of breathless, back-to-back coverage of this story on CNN, Fox and the web?
Up to this point, EVP has been the province of well-meaning amateurs, those fun ghost hunting shows on cable TV, or the occasional scientific professional who doesn't have the funding to mount a truly convincing study. No one has yet tested the claims of EVP proponents under absolutely impregnable, controlled conditions that would convince even the most die-hard skeptic or cynic.
OK. GO ON…
Well, if you insist. We’re seeking Kickstarter backing to conduct the most rigorous, far-reaching investigation of EVP ever attempted – and to film every step along the way. The support we get from our backers will be used to fund two components: The Investigation and the Show.
- THE INVESTIGATION: SCIENTISTS, EQUIPMENT & FACILITIES
Scientists: We’ll apply about 50% of the funds we raise to recruit high-profile, respected scientists to run a tightly-controlled series of experiments to test whether EVP is a genuine phenomenon. They’ll include electrical engineers, audio engineers, voice & image forensic specialists and other experts who ordinarily wouldn't be caught dead (if you'll pardon the expression) being involved with anything considered "paranormal." But we’re confident that some decent consulting fees, along with assurances of the absolute integrity of the study, will get these professionals to set their embarrassment aside.
Equipment and Facilities: Our Kickstarter-raised budget will also give our experts access to the most cutting-edge recording and computing devices available, along with soundproof lab facilities that will shield the equipment from TV, radio or other transmissions that could otherwise generate misleading results.
- THE SHOW
Backers of THE AFTERLIFE FILES will be funding not only the most profound series of experiments ever undertaken, but also a reality TV series that will document the entire process over the course of a pilot and twelve half-hour episodes.We’ll also be going off the “reservation” from time to time to focus on related stories and personalities.
We’ll watch every step of the
process as people from radically different backgrounds tackle the biggest
mystery of human history. We don’t expect them to always get along.
In fact, we expect a lot of clashes along the way. But they’ll have to
find a way to work together.
. . . And WHAT IF?**
What if -- with all of these
controls and involvement of high profile scientists in place -- we end up getting
voices or images of specific people that
respond to real-time questions and events?
Arguably, it would be one of the greatest discoveries of all time. It could transform the world, and how we see ourselves.
** For more on the “What If?” question, click below (1:02 minutes):
YOU BEING A BIT DRAMATIC?
When you’re filming people with strong personalities and diametrically opposed viewpoints, there’s bound to be plenty of conflict and drama. But let yourself imagine -- for just a second: What if life after death were a scientifically-proven and universally accepted fact, like, say, gravity, electromagnetism or other invisible forces of nature?
Would evil dictators and criminals who manipulate
others through threats and force be able to continue controlling people
who have lost their fear of death?
How would such a discovery affect religion, and the
ways we treat each other?
We can’t deny this will be one of the most ambitious journeys of discovery ever attempted. But if we actually find something, it may well Kick-Start all of us into the most positive era of human history.
Now isn’t that something worth investing a few dollars into through Kickstarter?
HEY, I’M ALL FOR TRANSFORMING THE WORLD. THAT’S WHAT I’M ABOUT. SO I’M IN. BUT JUST IN CASE I HAVE SOME FRIENDS WHO WANT TO CONTRIBUTE, ARE YOU OFFERING ANY SWAG?
An acronym that stands for Souvenirs, Wearables, And Gifts. Swag generally refers to such items that are given to attendees at a trade show, promotional event or awards ceremony, especially in the entertainment or music industry. THE URBAN DICTIONARY
Yes, we know you’re a truly giving, selfless individual, a veritable saint. We’re happy to have you on our team. But we also have plenty of more down-to-earth who team up with us on this adventure:
WHAT’S YOUR KICKSTARTER GOAL AND DEADLINE?
Our production budget for THE AFTERLIFE FILES is $500,000:
About 50% will be allocated to
hiring the scientists and obtaining the state-of-the-art recording devices, lab
facilities and other equipment needed to conduct an investigation of
unparalleled scope and integrity.
- The other 50% will be applied to production costs for THE AFTERLIFE FILES series, from video equipment and editing facilities to hiring the producers, directors, editors and other technical personnel needed to create a high quality weekly series for television or Internet distribution.
We have a 40-day deadline to reach our $500,000 goal, or until March 9, 2015. Under Kickstarter rules, if we don't reach our goal by the deadline, the project will not go forward and no pledges will be redeemed. That’s why we’re looking to our backers to give us as much support as they can as soon as they can -- and to bring their friends, family, co-workers and even new acquaintances aboard!
We’ve chosen to not “take meetings” with studios and production companies that would impose their own vision on what we’re seeking to accomplish. Instead, we’ve done everything up to now on a shoestring and are looking to our Kickstarter backers to help us mount the kind of investigation and production that this subject matter deserves.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
You can help us by making this project go viral:
- Join us in this endeavor by backing us at whatever level you feel is appropriate. We’ve got plenty of rewards available at all levels to make it fun.
Send the link to this page to every friend, family member or acquaintance that
might find this project the least bit interesting. Send it to people you know who don’t
believe in this kind of thing…You may be very surprised!
- If you’re on Facebook,
LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine or other forms of
social media, post our link there and do everything you can to spread the
- Talk this project up at work or at the gym. If you belong to a religious congregation, club, association or any other group with a mailing or email list, you can use those connections to spread the word.
And you need to do these things today. Otherwise it won't get done.
We have only 40 short days to get this project funded.
WHO’S BEHIND YOUR PROJECT?
Nancy Williams, Nancy Williams Productions:
Producer Nancy Williams brings decades of experience as a journalist, television news reporter and producer to the table. A multi Emmy winning reporter and producer, Nancy is the President of Nancy Williams Productions, a TV, web and video media company based in Los Angeles. Nancy began her career as a television reporter, and later news anchor, for KPNX TV, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona. She would later work as a nationally-syndicated TV news producer and reporter for Time Warner in Los Angeles and as a reporter for KTTV Fox Television in Los Angeles. Skilled in all aspects of the production process from concept formation and writing to pre-production, directing, editing and post-production, Nancy works for a variety of high-profile clients and is known, among many other things, for her expertise on healthcare and medical issues.
Todd Moster, Vitruvian Productions:
A trial attorney and well known executive recruiter in the legal profession, Todd Moster has also written for television, including a History Channel series. The President of Vitruvian Productions, Inc., Todd produced a short documentary on EVP that emerged from many years of research on the subject.
Risks and challenges
This project has been conceived as a Kickstarter endeavor from Day One. So by design, we don't have specific distributors, directors or on-air talent attached to this project at this time. If our fundraising goal is reached, however, we will immediately begin the process of hiring the scientific and entertainment industry professionals required to get the project within budget and with maximum quality.
Needless to say, there will always be many variables in play in any production, such as the availability of participants and production personnel, the acquisition or construction of required equipment, location releases, and other unexpected developments. We will have a veteran production team in place, however, that will have the full capability to deal with all challenges, produce one of the most compelling pieces of television ever made, and ensure effective distribution of the series on television or the web.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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