When the radio “talks” to you it’s possibly schizophrenia.
When you’re off your anti-psychotic medication, this is the amazing Frank’s Box.
Frank’s Box (also known as the Ghost Box) is a radio frequency device that is claimed to receive messages from deceased people, aliens, spirits, or the mythological entity (or non-entity) of your choice.
Inspired by Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), this device was invented by a fellow named Frank Sumption. The box has also been reinterpreted as the Telephone to the Dead by one Chris Loon Moon (who claims it was invented by Thomas Edison, and that Moon himself must “translate” any messages, for a fee…)
I have written extensively about EVPs, and this prompted an email from Sumption himself. On 7/9/08 he wrote:
I make those boxes. What you say about it/me is highly exagerated. I don’t even use it for the usual paranoraml BS, as in Ghost Hunting. I don’t buy the usual Hollywood/TAPS paranormal crap that’s mostly urban legend. ‘skeptic’ usually just means your mind is made up, and no other evidence is required, sought, or wanted. I don’t sell this shit, I don’t do ghost investigations, and don’t believe in hauntings. Something talks that is not radio broadcasts, often addresses people present by name, and sometimes cusses and swears.
The lengthy email rambled on:
Now the topper-I use the name “purple alien girl” cuz “they” claim I’m their long lost Purple Princess from some other planet.Â The only actual voice I heard in my headÂ was “Kiera(key-ra), it’s time to come home”, the name of the Princess. I think it’s no more unbelievable than the so called thought experiments of quatum physics.
IfÂ I had a Ph.d, maybe what I say would be accepted without question as well.
…and ended with an invitation to view his invention, should I ever be in the area.
I spent the holidays in Denver, Colorado, with Matthew Baxter of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society. This was the perfect opportunity toÂ meet with Sumption, and write about Frank’s Box for my columns. We arranged for a meeting at a local diner, and I lured along boyfriend bodyguard Baxter with the promise of pie…
Accompanied by his wife, the “Purple Princess” arrived in a purple-striped shirt, with a purple earring, and this was just the beginning of a shitload of crazy…
Sumption is shy and unassumingly insane, until he opens his mouth. He sat opposite us, wide-eyed and anxious, shifting his nervous gaze from me to Baxter; talking incessantly and barely touching the lunch that I so kindly bought for him.
He made a series of outrageous claims about his device: that he has acquired numerous “messages” from beyond the grave; that these random noises are personal messages for each listener, to be interpreted by the individual; that the gibberish is “evidence” that “life goes on” beyond death, and that he can hear his wife’s thoughts through the box…but that none of this is “paranormal” at all…
When Frank reeled off a list of “spirits with female German names” that contact him regularly, I threw down my bloody pen. The Purple Princess exists on a planet in his own head.
I realized the interview was a consultation, and the claims were symptoms…
Baxter asked, “Can I take a picture of the box?”
Sumption replied, “You can borrow it”.
But the real fun began when we took our leave of Sumption. An email arrived within two days.
So, any luck with the box? One of the biggest problems with this stuff is it seems not everyone can hear it, especially just starting out. It takes time to tune inÂ the ear, and maybe develop some intuition. The box is extremely complicated, and talking about it for a mere two hours just is not enough time, two years would be better.
So…it will take me two years to have the ‘experience’ to discredit the device? You know something’s dodgy when the inventor insists that only he understands how the device works, and no one else truly knows how to use it…
At any rate, I was busy and didn’t reply immediately. The panic set in for Sumption; he googled me and labeled me an egotistical “debunker”.
If you think the box doesn’t work, you will hear nothing but gibberish, then pat yourself on the back for being so much more intelligent than us ignorant boobs that think they hear something meaningful.
Sumption is opposed to testing the box using a scientific approach:
There is no objective hard physical truth or universe. We all create what we want to see, and everyone thinks their truth supersedes everyone else’s truth.
He fired a barrage of abusive, accusatory emails, and unleashed on me a torrent of ad hominem attacks via his EVP-ITC list – a Yahoo group filled with his sycophantic supporters.
This is why I’m writing this ad hominem attack on Sumption. Sometimes you have to call a spade a (paranoid schizophrenic transvestite) spade.
After my fill of antagonistic, contradictory and delusional emails from Sumption I replied simply:
“Frank, you’re a fucking nutjob.”
He responded with:
“Perhaps, but at least I’m honest.”
I overlooked his accusation and enjoyed the fact that he’d admitted he’s a “nutjob”.
Then I ceased contact with Sumption, and am now working on researching, testing and inspecting the device with a group of skeptics who have expertise in electrical engineering and related areas. I think we’re the first skeptics to have acquired a Frank’s Box.
But then I received a forwarded email today from a member of the cult of Frank’s Box:
I was wondering if the “I love yous” were something characteristic of just the entities I’m talking to (maybe even the same entity over and over again), or characteristic of most entities in general — like they have different priorities on what constitutes an important message once a person has died. Â For instance, my father I’m certain would’ve told me to move the trees I’d planted over the septic tank, but would’ve never said “I love you.” Â Maybe once he’s dead, everything looks different to him? Â (That’s providing I’m really talking to dead people, which I’m starting to wonder about.)
And then the gravity of this topic slapped me on the face like a good, hard bout of rough sex.
There are victims in this stupid story. There are people who are being told that their deceased loved ones can contact them through this broken radio. There are vulnerable, grieving people who are being abused and lied to about the way the world works. And yet Sumption and his minions have the gall to be self-righteous about their ludicrous, unfounded beliefs, and closed-minded to the critical evaluation of their outrageous claims.
Fuck you, Sumption, you fucking nutjob.