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Confirmed by SBRG all previous archaeoacoustic surveys at Alatri (Italy)

Tags: archaeoacoustics, archaeo-acoustics, Alatri, polygonal walls, low frequencies, infrasound, SBRG, SB Research Group

At the end of August 2014 we undertook our final archaeoacoustical survey at the archaeological site of Alatri. After a year of research totaling three visits, we confirmed data previously collected using the acoustic survey digital recorder, and made some new discoveries.  Using a Resonance Variable Camera (RVC) developed by new SBRG archaeoacoustics researcher, Daniele Gullà.

We already had experience using this equipment, when undertaking research at the Hypogeum of Cividale del Friuli (here and here). The RVC recently received a quality certification for scientific use. In this study the RVC was used to graphically confirm the presence of very intense infrasound in the Acropolis at Alatri, which was also present inside the second walled circle in the town. This confirms the importance of acoustic data obtained using our ultra-sensitive microphones.

The Resonance Variable Camera is a special type of camera designed to see both infrared and ultraviolet bands with the aid of a computer. Using dedicated software, it is capable of making optically visible subsonic vibrations between 0.1Hz to 12Hz, frequencies that not usually perceived by the human eye. This equipment has been used in the military field.  In Alatri when viewed from the hill in front of the Acropolis the whole city vibrated in a subsonic way, in contrast to the surrounding mountains. The largest concentration of low-frequency vibrations were visible from inside the acropolis and inside the "navel", located to the north of the church which was built over the megalithic temple. Below are several images taken with different photographic equipment.

The first image shows Alatri taken from the hill opposite, the contrast was increased using resident software found inside our professional Olympus E-5 digital camera. Pay attention to the tree foliage on the bottom left of the picture.


 Fig. 1 – Picture of Alatri taken from the opposite hill using a digital camera


The second image was taken using an infrared digital camera the same and angle as the first. This time, the tree foliage is white because the leaves absorb infrared rays.


 Fig. 2 – The same shot as above, but using an infrared camera


The third image is the most interesting, it was taken with the Resonance Variable Camera (RVC) it consists of the standard deviation of thirty images taken from the same view.

In it the vibrant part of the hill, or rather the whole hill is colored red, so too is the tree foliage in the lower left corner, this is caused by the wind moving the leaves and branches. The surrounding hills appear black because they are not subject to the same vibration as Alatri hill.


 Fig. 3 – Alatri hill from the same point of view, but shot with the Resonance Variable Camera (RVC): The red color indicates a frequency of vibration which is approximately 9-10Hz, as can be seen from the reference scale positioned under the main image


This data is comparable to that taken by the ultra-sensitive microphones and recorded by two different Tascam digital recorders, produced by TEAC Japanese company. There is a large volume of infrasound frequency vibration that affects the whole Alatri hill in the range of 8-9Hz. In addition there is a frequency of around 32Hz, in the audible field band that we found in previous missions. This most likely represents a harmonic of the main vibration.



 Fig. 4 – Plots of the vibrations coming from underground taken at difference times inside Alatri Cathedral. The foundations of this church which was dedicated to St. Paul was made from the walls of the ancient pagan temple. In these graphs the frequency peaks of around 8-11Hz and 30-32Hz are visible


Thanks to the Resonance Variable Camera, we also observed other interesting phenomena at Alatri. For example, there are also other frequencies of vibration affecting the whole acropolis and in particular the cathedral. It seems that there is a simultaneous peak frequencies below 4Hz capable of generating fields of vibration in the air.



 Fig. 5 - View of Alatri in the blue-violet colour palette as taken by the Resonance Variable Camera. Indicated by the arrows the resonance field at 2 Hz formed above the acropolis and in particular over the Cathedral



The following are some audible examples of the vibrations from the basement and how they are perceived in the church built over the temple. It is better to listen to this sound with stereo headphones with a large component of bass frequencies. If you listen to this in such way the sound file (here) is good for relaxing promoting concentration and meditation. It has a frequency of 8Hz with some harmonic frequencies in multiples between 8hz up to 32Hz (i.e. frequencies tuned to the vibration of the planet Earth).

The following MP3 file contains frequencies in the infrasonic range between 8Hz and 20Hz (frequencies above 20Hz were cut), these frequencies were then transposed over 20Hz to bring them into the audible range (here).

This same "pulsing" sound was also bought into the visible range using the Resonance Variable Camera. This was captured in the area above the so-called “navel” of the Acropolis, which is deeply immersed in the rock hill on which the pagan temple was built. Part of this rock still protrudes to the north of church built below the blocks of the temple (video). This rock works as a transducer for the vibrations coming from  underground and submits them perfectly inside the Cathedral of Alatri. Interesting that the pulse vibration is not transmitted to the blocks of the original pagan temple, now basement of the church. Placed in the image below it is possible to see that the blocks of the ancient temple to the Resonance Variable Camera appear black, indicating the lack of vibration, as opposed to the underlying rock. This is due to the fact that the blocks are fitted together, but without a binder. This fact dampens the vibrations from underground and confirms the seismic character of this building that is still standing after thousands of years and many earthquakes.



 Fig. 6 - Above: image of the original blocks of pagan temple without cement positioned  to the north of the Acropolis. Below: the same image shot by the Resonance Variable Camera. The megalithic blocks appear black in colour because they do not transmit the vibrations coming from below the ground


 Fig. 7 - The graph (0.1-12Hz) of the low frequency (subsonic) peaks detectable in the navel area of the Acropolis



 Fig. 8 - Above: the Minor Gate of the Acropolis. Below: the sequence of images at the Minor Gate as taken by the Resonance Variable Camera. Clearly visible is the vibration found in this place, albeit to a lesser degree than at the “navel” of the Acropolis. Inside the gate the outline of a person can be seen sitting on the steps, they appear in a different color as they are vibrating at a different frequency


 Fig. 9 - The graph of the frequencies present at the Minor Gate which are slightly different to those found at the navel of the acropolis


From what we have seen, these subsonic vibrations do not create a problem for the recipient. Rather, as with other sacred places, it can be assumed there existence is precisely the reason why the Acropolis and the temple, were built in that location as opposed to the neighbouring hills. Anyone who undertakes prayer or meditation inside the church has the potential to feel the effect of these subsonic vibrations, whose influence could ultimately lead to altered states of consciousness, or mystical experiences (usually only experienced after many years of training as with Buddhist monks).

To test this claim, we proceeded to test the depth of meditation that can be reached in a short timeframe with a small number of volunteers, seated on the so-called "navel" of the Acropolis (or inside the church). This navel forms part of the rock located to the north of the Cathedral, on which the ancient pagan temple was originally located and later became St. Paul's Cathedral, the Cathedral of Alatri. Part of this rock protrudes from the walls of the church basement, part is located deeply within the hillside and as such superbly transmits the subsonic vibrations coming from below the ground.

The depth of relaxation reached by the volunteers was also examined using the Resonance Variable Camera (RVC). This is possible by measuring the subtle body vibration, which looks at the response of the vestibular organ (inner ear), responsible for regulating the balance of the human body, and spacial awareness. If the subject in question is stressed some imperceptible bodyvibrations of his body increase and can be immediately detected by the RVC camcorder. However, if the subject is relaxed its vibrations diminish to become imperceptible even to the equipment. This last state is reached only in a state of deep meditation or in the state of vigil prayer.

In the first image below, there is a volunteer sitting on the rock beginning to concentrate. The camera framing the subject immediately notes that they are vibrating at a higher frequency than the rock (according to the scale of reference, the blue-green color is indicative of a frequency of 5-6Hz). Of note is that this volunteer was already in a state of relaxation and low stress having spent several hours on the acropolis.



 Fig. 10 - The subject under examination starts from a state of relaxation having spent several hours on the acropolis


After few minutes of meditation, the subject begins to vibrate at a slower and slower frequency indicating a deep meditative state. After a few minutes of concentration whilst present on the rock, they vibrate at such a low frequency (less than one Hz) it becomes difficult for the camera to distinguish them from the rock.


 Fig. 11 - After a few minutes, the volunteer’s frequency of vibration is so low, it becomes indistinguishable from the rock when viewed through the Variable Resonance Imaging Camera


It is an experience that works in the best way in trained subjects for prayer or meditation, but also visible in younger subjects and certainly not trained as we also occurred to a 9 year old girl. In these last subject you can only get a state of relaxation very pronounced, but which surely acts as an anti-stress.


 Fig. 12 - The rock placed in the navel of the Acropolis leads volunteer subjects into a coherent state during meditation. The frequency average varies from person to person and is dependent on the length of time they are exposed to the vibration


The Resonance Variable Camera is an extraordinary device because it is able to provide an indication of the mental state of the subject by monitoring the vibrations from the vestibular apparatus, which is directly influenced by the mental state of the person in question.

But the use of the RVC technique has also shown how ancient places revered as sacred have an influence on the state of consciousness of those visiting them for prayer or meditation.



  Fig. 13 - Above: the image of Alatri Cathedral viewed from the inside. In the foreground is the researcher Daniele Gullà with the RVC at work. Below: the image of the vibrations from below the earth (red colour) taken with the RVC camera that affects the church. This image is the composite of many shots



 Fig. 14 - The entire church and the people sitting inside it seem to get into a state of harmonic resonance (somewhere between 0.1 Hz and 3 Hz) when concentrated in meditation or prayer



 Fig. 15 - Inside the church all psychophysiological data issued by the RVC software seems to confirm that states of aggression and stress are remarkably low. The volunteer subjects in meditation can easily achieve a deep state of concentration reaching a consistent theta wave state without interruption



 Fig. 16 - Outside the church on the opposite side of the Acropolis, the physicochemical parameters measured from the RVC equipment appear different, and the relaxing effect of the place seems more nuanced compared to inside the perimeter of the temple


In the appendix of this article,  our research was followed by a television crew (Sydonia Production), who are developing a format dedicated to the "Italian Mysterious Towns" on behalf of Focus TV due to be presented to public in the winter season 2014-15.  The filming was quite tiring as it took place during the night, as human activities have much less effect on the sensitive instruments.





 Fig. 17 – Some moments of the footage taken by the television crew during the surveys carried at night on the north side of the Acropolis


In the coming months, after the conclusion of data analysis, we will produce a scientific paper to be published in the international literature that summarize the phenomena reported in this extraordinary site.

Paolo Debertolis, Daniele Gullà - September 15, 2014


Previous articles on research Alatri here and here

We would like to thank Don Antonio Castagnacci for his availability to grant us the opportunity to make recordings, including inside the Basilica - Cathedral of St. Paul (Cathedral of Alatri) and for his help, also to his collaborator Mr. Sisto Macciocca.

A special thanks to the professionalism and the excellent cooperation shown throughout the duration of the shooting by Sydonia Production srl, in particular Daniela Pompei and the director and author of the program, Luca Trovellesi Cesana, and all the members of the group (Pietro Di Stefano, cameraman, DOP - Alessandro Marconi, cameraman - Matias Corvaro, production manager - Isaac Favazza, sound engineer) who produced the documentary about our research in Alatri.

We also thank in particular the independent researcher Ornello "Paolo" Tofani for the documentation and the extraordinary support provided for our research for more than a year. Without him, none of this would have been possible.


 Edited by Nina Earl


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