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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 11
     V E R I C O M M / MindNet         "Quid veritas est?"


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Editor: Mike Coyle 

Contributing Editors: Walter Bowart
                      Harlan Girard

Assistant Editor: Rick Lawler


Effects of 6-10 Hz ELF on Brain Waves

David S. Walonick

Minneapolis, MN May, 1990

   There is evidence that ELF magnetic waves can affect brain
waves. These set of experiments were designed to study the
effects of ELF rotating magnetic fields on the brain.
   The specific ELF frequencies I was interested in studying are
6-10 Hertz. These frequencies are the same as those produced by
the human brain in the theta and alpha states. Generally,
specific brain wave frequency ranges can be associated with mood
or thought patterns. Frequencies below 8 Hertz are considered
theta waves. While these seem to be some of the least understood
frequencies, they also seem to be associated with creative,
insightful thought. When an artist or scientist has the "aha"
experience, there's a good chance he or she is in theta. Alpha
frequencies are from 8 to 12 Hertz and are commonly associated
with relaxed, meditative states. Most people are in an alpha
state during the short time immediately before they fall asleep.
Alpha waves are strongest during that twilight state when we're
half asleep and half awake. Beta frequencies (above 12 Hertz)
coincide with our most "awake" analytical thinking. If you are
solving a math problem, you're brain is working at beta
frequencies. Most of our waking hours as adults are spent in the
beta state.
   A question of importance is: "If we can electronically shift
the brain wave frequencies to alpha or theta, will a person's
moods or thought patterns change to those commonly associated
with those frequencies?". In other words, if we can
electronically  move a person's brain waves to the alpha
frequencies, will they become more relaxed? Will their state of
consciousness change to coincide with their brain waves, even if
those brain waves were electronically induced? These are
important questions with far reaching implications.
   When I began these experiments, I was well aware of the
possible ethical implications involved in ELF research. For
example, if I were carrying an ELF transmitter operating at alpha
frequencies, would the people around me be affected as well?
Would they unconsciously gravitate toward me because they'd
become more relaxed as they moved closer to me? Would they like
me more because they felt "good" when they were around me? What
if a salesman were carrying an ELF transmitter? Would people be
influenced to buy something because they were more relaxed around
the salesman? Could entire populations be influenced to be
comfortable with ideas they would normally reject? These, and
many others, are serious ethical considerations involved with ELF
research. They cannot be taken lightly.
   I decided to undertake this research with full knowledge of
the ethical implications. While there is the potential for
misuse, a desire for knowledge and understanding are part of
being human, and the potential benefits to humanity are great.
What if we could treat depression, insomnia, anxiety, stress and
tension with ELF magnetic fields? What if we could increase
intelligence or improve learning? As in any scientific endeavor,
there are both positive and negative potential uses for any
discovery. One only need look at the development of atomic energy
to understand the benefits/misuse dichotomy. It is my personal
belief that the potential benefits to humanity justify the
   I began by collecting all the available research on ELF
fields. Lana Harris, a secondary research specialist, did an
excellent job in acquiring virtually all the available research
in this area. In addition to a multitude of published journal
articles, several military and NASA research reports were
ordered. A review of the research showed that most studies had
been performed to determine the effects of 50-60 Hertz high
voltage power-line fields. Since these are the frequencies of
most of the world's electrical power distribution systems, the
importance of understanding the effects on plant and animal life
are evident. To a much lesser degree, a few researchers had
concentrated on lower power and lower frequencies (the focus of
this study).

   The equipment required for this research was easily
attainable, with the notable exception of a stable frequency
counter with .01 Hertz resolution. Accurate frequency
measurements were essential for this research, so I designed and
built a digital frequency counter capable of measuring frequency
to the hundredth of a Hertz (plus or minus .005 Hertz). A 100 KHz
crystal Colpitt's oscillator (calibrated with WWV) was used as a
time base and divided by ten to the seventh power to attain the
desired resolution.
   Other equipment used is: a Biosone II Brainwave Monitor and
Myosone 404 EMG Monitor (Bio-Logic Devices, Inc., 81 Plymouth
Rd., Plainview, NY 11803); a Model 3011 Digital Display Function
Generator (BK Precision Dynascan Corp., 6460 West Cortland St.,
Chicago, IL 60635); and IBM PC compatible computer with a clock
speed of 7.16 MHz (the faster the clock speed the better); a
SAC-12 A to D signal acquisition board (Qua Tech, Inc., 478 E.
Exchange St., Akron, OH 44308); a Codas II video board and
software release 3 (Dataq Instruments, Inc., 825 Sweitzer Ave.,
Akron OH 44311); a Fluke 77 digital multimeter (John Fluke Mfg.
Co., Inc., PO Box C9090, Everett, WA 98260); and StatPac Gold
statistical analysis software (Walonick Associates, Inc., 6500
Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55423).
   The transducer was a 24" diameter hand-wound coil, consisting
of 1000' of #25 magnetic wire. The coil had a DC resistance of
32.4 ohms. It was mounted on a 26" square piece of bakalite board
for stability. Two dowels were mounted with plastic ties onto the
board so they extended 24" from opposite sides of the board and
the entire apparatus was secured by two microphone stands.

   All twenty-two subjects were friends or acquaintances of the
author. There was no remuneration to participants. The excitement
or novelty of participating in a brain wave research experiment
seemed to provide sufficient reward in and of itself.
   Subjects were sent a pre-experiment letter briefly describing
the intent of the experiment and what they could expect. They
were asked not to use any drugs or alcohol for 24 hours before
their appointment, and not to wear any metal jewelry. (It was
thought that metal jewelry might distort the magnetic field, thus
creating uncontrolled inconsistencies between subjects.)
   Upon arrival at the laboratory, participants were given a
short orientation to the procedure and any questions they had
were answered. They were hooked up to the EEG monitor (frontal to
occipital, midline) and then allowed to listen to a relaxation
tape for five minutes. The purpose of the relaxation tape was to
establish a "relaxation level" baseline and to relieve some of
the anxiety associated with the experiment. At the end of five
minutes, the headphones were removed and the subject was told
they were at a relaxation level of 5 on a scale from zero to ten
(0 being very tense and 10 being very relaxed). This was the
baseline they were to use for reporting their relaxation level
following each ELF exposure. Subjects were told that they could
choose to stop the experiment at any time.
   Each ELF exposure consisted of a ten second, sine-wave
transmission separated from one another by 45 - 60 seconds of no
exposure. The voltage fed to the coil was 3.1 VAC (RMS). The coil
was positioned 18" in front of the subjects head.
   The outputs from the ELF transmitter (function generator) and
the brain wave monitor were fed directly into the computer A to D
board, allowing both to be displayed on the computer monitor (and
recorded on disk) simultaneously. The sampling rate of the A to D
converter was set at 2000 samples per second for the entire
experiment. This was sufficient to visually detect differences of
.1 Hertz between the ELF and brain wave frequencies. Subjects
were not told when a transmission was beginning. However, at the
end of each transmission, they were asked to "report". This was
their current relaxation level based on the zero to ten scale.
They also reported any feelings they had experienced and these
were recorded verbatim.
   Twenty-one frequencies were presented to each subject (from 6
to 10 Hertz in increments of .2 Hertz. For half the subjects,
these frequencies were randomly selected. For the other subjects,
they began at 10 Hertz and were decreased by .2 Hertz with each
transmission. Subjects were not told the order of frequencies
that would be presented to them.
   Post acquisition software was used to visually examine the
coherence (frequencies) and synchronously (phase relationship)
between the transmitted ELF and prominent brain waves.

   Examination of the computer data revealed substantial
differences between subjects. Some subjects showed lock-on
(entrainment) over a wide frequency range, while other subjects
showed no lock-on whatsoever. In general, lock-on occurred most
frequently from 8.6 to 10 Hertz and less frequently below 8.6
   One subject displayed lock-on for all frequencies from 7.4 to
10 Hertz. Two subjects displayed no lock-on over the entire
frequency range. While I did not test a sufficient number of
subjects to be statistically significant, I suspect that
susceptibility to ELF entrainment follows the normal
(bell-shaped) curve. At this time, I do not have any hypothesis
that would allow us to predict who is susceptible and who is not.
   Several interesting observations were readily apparent.
Lock-on generally occurred very rapidly...within a quarter of a
second in most cases. If lock-on did not occur at a specific
frequency in the first second, it didn't at all.
   When the brain did lock on, the amplitude of the brain waves
increased to nearly double their normal size. This is typical for
naturally (non-ELF) produced alpha patterns.
   The brain locked on to higher frequencies (9-10 Hertz) more
readily, and maintained the lock-on for the entire duration of
the transmission. As the frequency was lowered (below 8.6 Hertz),
lock-on for most subjects occurred in bursts, rather than being
continuous. For example, there might be immediate lock-on for two
seconds; then the brain would "fight" the ELF frequency for a
quarter of a second, and then lock-on again for another few
seconds, etc.. I use the word "fight" because it looked like the
brain was fighting the ELF to maintain its own frequency. The
"fight" was characterized by low amplitude beta frequencies in
the 15-20 Hertz range. These may, of course, have simply been
analytical type thoughts, but they were not observed when the
frequency was in the 9-10 Hertz range. This "fight" became more
frequent as the frequency was lowered, until no lock-on was
observed at all.
   None of the subjects were able to consciously detect the
presence of the ELF field. One female subject was able to detect
whenever the field started or ended, but could not accurately say
when if it was on or off at any given time. In other words, she
was able to detect the change in the magnetic field, but not the
presence or absence of the magnetic field itself. She thought she
felt it because it aggravated her sinuses.
   When lock-on occurred, the brain waves lagged behind the
transmitted ELF. This appeared to have been the "reaction time"
of the brain to the ELF waves (approximately 60-80 milliseconds).
More accurate experimentation is needed to explore this
   Subjects verbatim reports were quite revealing. (Keep in mind
that none of the subjects actually said they felt the ELFs.) The
most common verbatim reports occurred between 8.6 and 9.6 Hertz.
Common statements were subtle "tingling" sensations in the
fingers, arms, legs, teeth, and roof of the mouth. Two subjects
reported a "metallic" feeling in their mouth. One subject
reported a "tightness" in the chest and another subject reported
a "tightness" in the stomach. Several subjects also reported
sensations when the ELF frequency was between 6 and 7 Hertz. The
verbatim responses in this range were "ringing" in the ears,
"flushed" face, "fatigued", "tightening" in the chest and
"increasing" pulse.
   Lock-on occurred at lower frequencies more often when the
transmitted frequencies were progressively lowered, rather than
randomly presented. It would seem that the brain prefers a
gradual lowering of frequency rather than a sudden or abrupt
change in frequency. This may have been due to the extremely
short duration of each transmission (10 seconds). It may be that
this effect would disappear if longer transmission times were
   There was no significant correlation between subjects reported
level of relaxation and the ELF frequency or the occurrence of
lock-on. Again, this may have been due to the extremely short
duration of each transmission.

   It is clear from these experiments that brain waves do in fact
lock on to artificially produced ELFs in the 6 - 10 Hertz range.
It is equally clear that the 10 second transmission was not
sufficient to alter subjects moods to any consistent degree.

   Since my original experiment, I have continued to study the
interaction of ELF's and brain waves. These mini-experiments were
conducted more informally than my original experiment and the
observations are based on only one or two subjects. They should
be considered only observations until confirmed by additional
   1. A sine wave produces lock-on more readily than a square
wave or a triangle wave. A sign wave output produces a rotating
magnetic field where there is a gradual build up, collapse and
reversal of the field intensity. A square wave output produces a
pulsed alternating magnetic field where the build-up, collapse
and reversal of the magnetic field is more abrupt.
   2. The brain is sensitive to a wide range of intensities. I
have observed lock-on with power settings down to one half of a
   3. Psychics and "sensitives" are neither more or less prone to
lock-on than anyone else. I have tested two well-known psychics
and a Kahuna from Hawaii. While all three subjects produced more
alpha that usual, it was not related to the ELF generator and
they did not show unusual lock-on. It is interesting to note,
that the woman who could "feel" when the field switched off and
on (in my first experiment) was one of these psychics.
   4. Extended exposure to ELF's does alter moods, but the effect
is subtle. I was not able to duplicate the "dramatic
psychoactive" effect that Robert Beck has reported. Low
frequencies (below 8 Hz) seem to produce a general agitation or
uneasiness, while higher frequencies (8.6-10 Hz) produce a
general feeling of relaxation. These are not profound effects
like drug induced mood changes. The subject is not aware of any
change in his consciousness or mood. From his perspective,
nothing has changed. However, an outside observer can detect
subtle changes (e.g. body movement). I have confirmed this by
monitoring muscle activity with an EMG monitor.
   5. I have exposed myself to ELFs for one and two hour
durations and have found that the frequencies from 8.6 to 9.8
Hertz to be sleep inducing; however, it is impossible to
eliminate the placebo effect from experiments I performed on
   6. I built and distributed several portable ELF generators for
testing. I have received many reports that indicate that falling
asleep with the ELF generator operating is probably not a good
idea. People don't feel rested when they sleep with the ELF
generator on. My personal experience supports this. ELF's may
inhibit dreaming which is necessary for normal brain functioning.
   7. I have found three definite beneficial uses for the ELF
generator: a) for relaxation, b) to eliminate jet lag, and c) the
elimination of seizures in a dog.

   Shortly after completing my first experiments, my neighbor's
dog began to have seizures. Maynooth was a one year old, 190
pound Irish Wolfhound. His seizures were occurring four to five
times a week. A seizure by a 190 pound dog is not a small affair.
He would thrash around wildly with no awareness of his
surroundings. The seizures would last 10-30 minutes.
   My neighbors took Maynooth to the vet, who prescribed
phenobarbital to control the seizures. The drug was not effective
and Maynooth continued to have regular seizures.
   After discussing Maynooth's condition with my neighbor, we
decided to try a portable ELF generator that Maynooth could wear
to control his seizures. Seizures are accompanied by wild
fluctuations in brain wave activity. We hypothesized that a
portable ELF generator could control the seizures by stabilizing
Maynooth's brain waves. If we could get Maynooth's brain to
lock-on to an ELF frequency, we could in effect, eliminate the
   I constructed a portable ELF generator about the size of a
pack of cigarettes. The ELF generator was powered by a nine volt
battery and had two frequencies, selectable by a toggle switch
(10.0 Hz and 7.83 Hz). The 10 Hz frequency was chosen because
previous experiments had shown that lock-on was more likely to
occur at higher frequencies (i.e., closer to the prominent
frequency of the brain). The 7.83 Hz frequency was chosen
because it is the resonant frequency of the Earth and naturally
occurring low intensity magnetic radiation can be detected at
this frequency (Schumann, 1952).
   The schematic for the portable ELF generator is illustrated.
It is a twin-T oscillator followed by a high power 386
amplifier. The twin-T was chosen because of its high stability
and low distortion sign wave. Construction is straight forward
and the placement of parts is not critical. All parts are readily
available. The two 10K frequency adjustment pots should be 10-20
turn trim pots to allow precise frequency adjustment. The 10K
output level adjustment pot should be set so that the output
feeding the coil is less that 100 milliwatts to comply with FCC
regulations (I set Maynooth's to 10 milliwatts). The coil itself
is not critical and can be wound on any iron core. Use only an
alkaline or nickel-cadmium battery.
   Maynooth began wearing the generator in the spring of 1988.
We tried the 10 Hz frequency first. The results of the
experiment were astounding to say the least. Maynooth's seizures
stopped immediately when he began wearing the generator.
Furthermore, Maynooth was able to completely stop taking the
phenobarbital and the seizures have remained in remission.
   For the first three months, Maynooth wore the generator all
the time in a cloth pouch from his collar. After that, the
generator was only used at night and simply placed near his
sleeping area.
   Maynooth has had a total of three seizures following his first
use of the generator. Two of these could be traced to
malfunctions with the generator. The first was a broken wire from
the battery connector and the second was a dead battery. The
third seizure could not be explained by a hardware malfunction,
although Maynooth was only using the generator during the night
and the seizure occurred during the day. It should be noted,
however, that this seizure was mild in comparison to his prior
   Maynooth's owners were so convinced of the efficacy of the
ELF generator, that they asked me to make a spare generator in
case the one they had broke. Maynooth's vet (at the University
of Minnesota) showed curiosity in the generator, but not enough
to explore it further. They preferred to remain with a drug
treatment, even though it had proven to be ineffective.
Fortunately, Maynooth's owners had more sense.
   Maynooth still uses the ELF generator in his sleeping area at
night. The rechargeable battery is charged during the day so it
is fresh each night. (The battery lasts about 6-8 hours at a 10
milliwatt power setting).

   Dr. Andrija Pucharich sells a watch that he claims will work a
shield for ambient high frequency ELF's (40-100 Hz). An important
feature of this watch would include shielding from 60 Hz power
   I had the opportunity to try one of his watches for a few
days. The owner was quite reluctant to part with it so I had to
run all tests over just one weekend.
   It is quite easy to monitor ambient 60 Hz radiation being
absorbed by your body. Simply touch the probe of any oscilloscope
and you can watch the 60 Hz wave. Your body is acting as an
antenna and the amplitude on the oscilloscope is an indication of
the amount of radiation you're absorbing. I found no difference
in the amplitude when I was wearing the watch or when it was
removed by a distance of four miles.
   I attempted to determine if there was any measurable magnetic
output from the watch. I used a large roll of magnetic wire as a
pickup coil and connected it to the input of an EEG monitor with
five microvolt sensitivity. The EEG voltage was fed directly to
the A to D board of the computer. The equipment was tested for
proper functioning by bringing a magnet in proximity to the
pickup coil. A weak magnet moving within six inches of the
pickup coil would drive the EEG monitor into saturation. The
watch was placed against the coil but I could not pick up any
magnetic fields from the watch. This surprised me because I was
using very sensitive equipment and the watch had to be producing
a magnetic field because it was using a battery. Anytime there is
a current flowing (even the small current required to power a
watch), there is always a magnetic field created. Either the
watch was cancelling it's own magnetic field or my equipment was
not sensitive enough to measure it. (It turned out to be the
   The final test was to hook myself up to the EEG monitor while
I was wearing the watch. The output was fed into the computer so
that I could do posthoc analysis. I wore the watch for 15 minutes
and recorded my brain waves. The incidence of beta and alpha
frequencies was not different from my "usual" brain waves. I
could not substantiate Puharich's claim that the watch would act
as a filter with a center frequency of 10 Hz. This particular
finding may not be accurate because my excitement with the
experiment may have inhibited the alpha centering that Puharich
refers to.
   Since I had told the person I borrowed it from that I'd take
good care of the watch, that precluded the idea of disassembling
it. I carried the watch with me in my backpack that weekend. As
luck would have it, the back cover of the watch fell off and I
got to examine the inside.
   It is a digital "over-the-counter" type watch. As far as I
could tell, the watch was normal in every way except that there
was a square sheet of copper (about 1 cm square), wrapped in
plastic packing tape inside the back cover. The tape was
obviously used to insulate the copper from the electronics of the
watch and the back cover. The watch could be pictorially
illustrated as follows:


   With the copper removed, my equipment could still not detect
the magnetic fluctuations produced by the watch. If the copper
sheet does do anything, my equipment was not sensitive enough to
measure it. This indicates that the amplitude of the magnetic
field produced by the watch was very low, probably around the
amplitude of the naturally occurring magnetic fluctuations of the
   I do not know whether Puharich's watch works. It did not
reduce the electromagnetic radiation that my body was absorbing,
nor did it alter my brain wave pattern in any way I could detect.
My current understanding of ELF's, electronics and magnetics does
not provide a theoretical foundation for the efficacy of the

   When I began my research, I was only interested in the effects
of ELF's on brain waves. I have since come to believe that ELF's
are only the tip of the iceberg.
   Electromagnetic radiation may be the most harmful pollutant in
our society. There is mounting statistical evidence that cancer
and other diseases can be triggered by electromagnetic waves.
   ELF pulse-modulated radio waves work at the cellular level.
Cancer and birth defects have been increasing in this country
since about 1950 (as television became popular). The average
resonant frequency of the body is around 82 MHz. It is no
coincidence that this is near the middle of the VHF TV band.
   Even low intensity 60 Hz fields are capable of causing DNA
damage and weakening the immune system. Cancer cells exposed to
60 Hz electromagnetic fields for 24 hours show a sixfold increase
in their growth rate.
   The evidence is becoming overwhelming that cellular functions
can be switched on and off through frequency specific
electromagnetic radiation that induces nuclear magnetic resonance
in the cell. We may find that many diseases can be caused or
cured by frequency specific radiation that is ELF pulse
   In our technological society, there are few places to go where
you will not be exposed to electromagnetic radiation. Television,
radio and microwave radiation are abundant in all metropolitan
areas. High voltage 60 Hz power lines crisscross the country.
Microwaves (one of the most dangerous) are becoming increasingly
common. The FCC has started to grant licences to use microwaves
for cellular phones.
   The powers that control the energy and communications
industries will stop at no end to prevent the public from
learning the truth. Their financial health depends on it. Since
the military is one of the largest producers of high power
electromagnetic radiation, it is not likely that we can count on
government intervention.
   We have probably reached a point where the only solution is in
the form of a portable shield device. ELF generators may be one
possible solution. My current research is in this area.


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