Stone Tape Theory

Sharon Hill

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#3
That post is from me. I'd be grateful for additional references to look at or when the Stone Tape was mentioned as a possible explanation. Also, if there have ever been any other geologists who weighed in on the idea, I'd love to hear about this. Please comment on the post or message/email me directly.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#4
Various spoofs considered here.

I'm sure we had another thread devoted to the theory. Probably the posts are all spread across the various cases, where the theory was raised. I seem to recall that the upper room of an old Welsh Inn was featured in a Nationwide* segment of the seventies that got people wondering and talking about the theory, perhaps to a greater extent than the Kneale play which gave it the name.

Sharon's study is excellent and raises the same questions in a more scientific framework. Even first-rate tape recordings don't play themselves back. I would live in a very haunted house if they did! :)

*A nightly evening show which coordinated the output of the BBC's regional stations via a bank of monitors behind the presenter. It was renowned for its glitches, its folksy tone and occasional presentiments of a possible internet.
 

Swifty

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#5
I remember watching a (UK) TV show years ago (late 80's, early 90's ?) that involved investigators who'd been loaned an old earthenware pot. They surmised that, because the pot had clearly been made on a potter's wheel, it could potentially play back sound in the same way that a vinyl LP does considering grooves were present on it created by the hands of the person who made it so they put it back on a modern turntable and used some kind of laser technology (laser I think?) to 'listen' to it .. obviously the process was a lot more complicated than that but they seemed to have been able to play back voices on presentation to the film crew on that show .. does this ring bells with anyone else ? ... it was part of a ghost documentary as I recall and also the first time I'd heard of stone tape theory.
 
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Ulalume

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#6
I remember watching a (UK) TV show years ago (late 80's, early 90's) that involved investigators who'd been loaned an old earthenware pot. They surmised that, because the pot had clearly been made on a potter's wheel, it could potentially play back sound in the same way that a vinyl LP does considering grooves were present on it created by the hands of the person who made it so they put it back on a modern turntable and used some kind of laser technology (laser I think?) to 'listen' to it .. obviously the process was a lot more complicated than that but they seemed to have been able to play back voices on presentation to the film crew on that show .. does this ring bells with anyone else ? ... it was part of a ghost documentary as I recall and also the first time I'd heard of stone tape theory.
Yes, I've seen that program, or one like it, but can't recall the name. Don't think it was a ghost program, though. It was strictly dealing with whether sound could be recorded in this way.
 

Swifty

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#7

blessmycottonsocks

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#8
I remember the Mythbuster attempt to recreate the pottery/record experiment. Think they used straw, rather than some sort of stylus to incise a groove around the pot, so I wasn't surprised that their experiment came to nothing.

Interesting, if more esoteric, suggestion here that the Stone Tape effect may be more to do with photons and magnetism:

http://supernaturalmagazine.com/art...more-to-do-with-light-magnetic-fields-and-the
 

Mythopoeika

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#9
That post is from me. I'd be grateful for additional references to look at or when the Stone Tape was mentioned as a possible explanation. Also, if there have ever been any other geologists who weighed in on the idea, I'd love to hear about this. Please comment on the post or message/email me directly.
I like your videos, Sharon. :)
 

Mythopoeika

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#10
I remember watching a (UK) TV show years ago (late 80's, early 90's ?) that involved investigators who'd been loaned an old earthenware pot. They surmised that, because the pot had clearly been made on a potter's wheel, it could potentially play back sound in the same way that a vinyl LP does considering grooves were present on it created by the hands of the person who made it so they put it back on a modern turntable and used some kind of laser technology (laser I think?) to 'listen' to it .. obviously the process was a lot more complicated than that but they seemed to have been able to play back voices on presentation to the film crew on that show .. does this ring bells with anyone else ? ... it was part of a ghost documentary as I recall and also the first time I'd heard of stone tape theory.
Mythbusters tried that and failed to get anything out of it, IIRC.

Edit: OK, I missed the post above that mentions Mythbusters...
 

JamesWhitehead

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#11
The earthenware recording theory was not, iirc, in any way supernatural, merely the idea that a stylus used on a pot could have reacted to local vibrations and voices.

I loved the idea that we might get to hear the voices of ancient potters. It is true to say that some very early recordings were issued on discs that seem rough as an old plate but the original sounds were captured on sensitive foil or wax and required processing, often electro-plating, to produce stampers etc. :(
 

ghughesarch

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#12
I remember watching a (UK) TV show years ago (late 80's, early 90's ?) that involved investigators who'd been loaned an old earthenware pot. They surmised that, because the pot had clearly been made on a potter's wheel, it could potentially play back sound in the same way that a vinyl LP does considering grooves were present on it created by the hands of the person who made it so they put it back on a modern turntable and used some kind of laser technology (laser I think?) to 'listen' to it .. obviously the process was a lot more complicated than that but they seemed to have been able to play back voices on presentation to the film crew on that show .. does this ring bells with anyone else ? ... it was part of a ghost documentary as I recall and also the first time I'd heard of stone tape theory.
pretty sure it was one of the Arthur C Clarke series.
Edit - here it is, from about 4.30
no voices though.
And the same idea (this time with the voice of Christ) made it into an episode of the X-Files too.
 
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#13
This is from the OP's link:

"Let’s be clear about one more term: “theory”. A “theory” in science is not a guess or a supposition. It is a well-tested model to describe how something in nature works – evolution, gravity, relativity, etc. Therefore, the STT isn’t a scientific theory, it’s speculation and the word “theory” is used to connote “guess”. The following questions remain unanswered:
How do things get recorded?
What gets recorded and what doesn’t?
How does it get preserved?
How does it get played back?
Therefore, we have an incomplete concept far from being a worthwhile explanation".

I'd add What exactly is it that gets played back?

May I also suggest this definition be placed in the FT message board Ts & Cs to be read and agreed to by new joining members? Might give the true believers some idea of what we are and aren't.
 

Swifty

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#14
pretty sure it was one of the Arthur C Clarke series.
Edit - here it is, from about 4.30
no voices though.
And the same idea (this time with the voice of Christ) made it into an episode of the X-Files too.
That's it ! .. thank you.
 

Mythopoeika

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#15
This is from the OP's link:

"Let’s be clear about one more term: “theory”. A “theory” in science is not a guess or a supposition. It is a well-tested model to describe how something in nature works – evolution, gravity, relativity, etc. Therefore, the STT isn’t a scientific theory, it’s speculation and the word “theory” is used to connote “guess”. The following questions remain unanswered:
How do things get recorded?
What gets recorded and what doesn’t?
How does it get preserved?
How does it get played back?

Therefore, we have an incomplete concept far from being a worthwhile explanation".

I'd add What exactly is it that gets played back?

May I also suggest this definition be placed in the FT message board Ts & Cs to be read and agreed to by new joining members? Might give the true believers some idea of what we are and aren't.
Maybe it needs to be called the 'Stone Tape Conjecture'?
 

stu neville

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#16
That post is from me. I'd be grateful for additional references to look at or when the Stone Tape was mentioned as a possible explanation. Also, if there have ever been any other geologists who weighed in on the idea, I'd love to hear about this. Please comment on the post or message/email me directly.
Hi Sharon

This is a search result link which should bring up most of the Stone Tape mentions on the board since we started. Obviously a number relate to "The Stone Tape" by Nigel Kneale and the various adaptations thereof, but it also crops up in a number of different threads. Particularly interesting are the ones that link it in with Lethbridge. The link is here.

My own opinion has long been that, given the right conditions, stone (or brick) can record a "loop" of emotion or otherwise charged action, and then, again given the right conditions, can replay it ad infinitum. I don't however think it is a catch-all explanation for ghosts, which I rather think have a multitude of possible causes and just happen to manifest similarly (just as a multitude of viruses all manifest like the common cold.)
 

Swifty

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#17
Hi Sharon

This is a search result link which should bring up most of the Stone Tape mentions on the board since we started. Obviously a number relate to "The Stone Tape" by Nigel Kneale and the various adaptations thereof, but it also crops up in a number of different threads. Particularly interesting are the ones that link it in with Lethbridge. The link is here.

My own opinion has long been that, given the right conditions, stone (or brick) can record a "loop" of emotion or otherwise charged action, and then, again given the right conditions, can replay it ad infinitum. I don't however think it is a catch-all explanation for ghosts, which I rather think have a multitude of possible causes and just happen to manifest similarly (just as a multitude of viruses all manifest like the common cold.)
I seem to remember places, homes, houses etc that were situated either over or next to flowing water also being tied somehow into stone tape theory, that is, houses, tied in with stone tape theory, 'replaying' emotional situations as 'ghosts' very much like a magnetic cassette tape would. I was hoping to find the original source of that theory so will keep looking for this possible link between the supernatural and the natural online .. it's the one I've always felt makes the most sense as an explanation for ghosts for some reason, perhaps because it's the most comforting ? ..
 

stu neville

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#18
I seem to remember places, homes, houses etc that were situated either over or next to flowing water also being tied somehow into stone tape theory, that is, houses, tied in with stone tape theory, 'replaying' emotional situations as 'ghosts' very much like a magnetic cassette tape would. I was hoping to find the original source of that theory so will keep looking for this possible link between the supernatural and the natural online .. it's the one I've always felt makes the most sense as an explanation for ghosts for some reason, perhaps because it's the most comforting ? ..
Yep, that was Lethbridge (among others, but the great dowser was the main proponent.)
 

EnolaGaia

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#23
I remember watching a (UK) TV show years ago (late 80's, early 90's ?) that involved investigators who'd been loaned an old earthenware pot. They surmised that, because the pot had clearly been made on a potter's wheel, it could potentially play back sound in the same way that a vinyl LP does ...
The "Pottery Tape" variation on Stone Tape Theory is the subject of this other thread:

Top Of The Pots (Recovery Of Sounds Recorded In Ceramic Artifacts)
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...of-sounds-recorded-in-ceramic-artifacts.2840/
 
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#25
I'd dispute that a theory is "a well tested model." A theory is a TESTABLE hypothesis.
The hypothesis is a reasonable guess, usually based on observation, which requires testing. If it's not inherently testable, it's generally not regarded as scientific.

A theory is based on data, generally experimental data, is an explanation, and can be repeatedly tested.

The 'Stone Tale Theory' might really be called "The Stone Tape Hypothesis", but as it doesn't seem testable, it's not really even that. It's an idea.

The 'Stone Tape idea'. There.
 

EnolaGaia

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#26
I'd dispute that a theory is "a well tested model." A theory is a TESTABLE hypothesis.
... The 'Stone Tale Theory' might really be called "The Stone Tape Hypothesis", but as it doesn't seem testable, it's not really even that. It's an idea.
The 'Stone Tape idea'. There.
Agreed ... This is a good illustration of why some topics are "damned science" rather than "scientific" in the conventional / mainstream sense.
 
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