She Moved Things With Her Mind
The Psychic Powers of Nina Kulagina
Copyright Ulysses Ronquillo
Kulagina was only 14 when the Nazis began the siege of Leningrad. Like many Leningrad children she had to become a soldier, and along with her father, brother and sister, she joined the Red Army and was sent into the thick of the action. The conditions during the 900 day siege were appalling. Winter temperature sometimes reached forty degrees below zero, bread rations were about four ounces a day, the water and the electricity were cut off, and the city was devastated by bombs and artillery fire.
Nina served on the front line in Tank T-34 as a radio operator, and distinguished herself enough to become senior sergeant. But the fighting came to an end for her when she was seriously injured by artillery fire. Fortunately, she managed to recover and later settled down, married and had a son.
Powers of the Mind
Nina claimed that she was always aware of her ‘psychic powers’. There are stories that she could mentally see things inside people’s pockets, and when she met sick people she could identify the disease they were suffering from, an image of the illness appearing in her mind. On one occasion when Kulagina was in a particularly angry mood, she was walking towards a cupboard in her apartment when a jug in the cupboard suddenly moved to the edge of the shelf, fell and smashed to pieces on the floor. After that, changes began to take place in her apartment. Lights went on and off; objects became animated and seemed somehow to be attracted to her. It was in effect a type of poltergeist activity, except that Kulagina was convinced the psychic power was coming from her and discovered that, if she tried, she could control it.
In 1964, while in hospital recovering from a nervous breakdown, Nina spent a lot of time sewing. According to published accounts doctors were amazed when they saw that she was able to reach into her sewing basket and choose any colour of thread she needed without looking at it. Local parapsychologists were contacted and the following year, when she had fully recovered, she agreed to take part in various experiments. Kulagina was tested and it was found that she could apparently ‘see’ colours with her fingertips, bringing to mind Rosa Kuleshova, a school teacher from the Ural Mountains, who also claimed to possess this talent.
There are also instances where Kulagina apparently displayed extraordinary healing powers. She could, it was said, make wounds heal up simply by holding her hand above them. She was also tested by Russian scientists for psychokinesis and the results were apparently so remarkable that, in order to keep her real identity secret, she was obliged for many years to use the pseudonym of Nelya Mikhailova. What these remarkable results were, however, has never been exactly stated.
One of the first scientists to take an interest in Kulagina was Biologist Edward Naumov. In an early test, the details of which are as usual sketchy, he scattered a box of matches on a bench; Nina held her hands over them, trembling with the strain. Suddenly, all the matches moved together to the edge of the bench, then fell one by one to the floor.
Psychic Powers on Film
Another of the American investigators, Gaither Pratt, of the University of Virginia, stated that the objects which Kulagina could move varied widely in material, shape and weight, and when they moved they generally progressed in a slow, steady fashion. Only occasionally did the objects which Kulagina ‘controlled’ move in fits and starts. It is reported that a number of precautions were taken to make sure that Kulagina wasn’t using a concealed magnet or threads, and films were taken of the experiments which seem to confirm that no known force could explain the movements. Unfortunately, it is not known how thoroughly Kulagina was checked before the experiment.
Dr. Zdenek Rejdak, a prominent Czech scientist connected with a Prague Military Institute, tested Kulagina personally and reported the results for some reason in Czech Pravda, a far from scientific publication:
I visited the Kulagina family the evening of 26 February, 1968. Mr. Blazek, an editor friend was with me, also a physician, Dr. J.S. Zverev, and Dr. Sergeyev. Her husband, an engineer, was also present. Dr. Zverev gave Mrs. Kulagina a very thorough physical examination. Tests with special instruments failed to show any indication whatever of magnets or any other concealed object. ‘We checked the table thoroughly and also asked Mrs. Kulagina frequently to change position at the table. We passed a compass around her body and the chair and table with negative results. I asked her to wash her hands. After concentrating, she turned the compass needle more than ten times, then the entire compass and its case, a matchbox and some twenty matches at once. I placed a cigarette in front of her. She moved that too, at a glance. I shredded it afterwards and there was nothing inside it. In between each set of tests, she was again physically examined by the doctor.
In one filmed Moscow test, set up by a group of ‘well known physicists’, several non-magnetic objects including matches were placed inside a large Plexiglas cube. The cube was to prevent drafts of air, threads or wires; methods long favoured by sceptics as the means by which Kulagina performed her ‘tricks’. Her hands moved a few inches from the Plexiglas cover and the objects danced from side to side in the plastic container. In another filmed experiment, a ping-pong ball is seen levitating and hovering in the air for a few seconds, before falling back onto the table. In yet another she is shown both indoors and outside in a garden, where objects near her spin round or slide in different directions.
Unfortunately the films are so grainy and unclear that it is often difficult to see exactly what is happening, and again the background information to the experiment – location, precautions taken, personnel present etc – is not given. Where are the reports of these amazing psychic tests?
An additional and lesser known ability of Kulagina, though hardly less sensational, was noted by physicist Dr. V.F. Shvetz. He claimed that he observed Kulagina making the letters A or O appear on photo paper and that sometimes she could also transfer an outline of a picture she’d seen onto photo paper, recalling the ‘thoughtography’ talents of the controversial Ted Serios in America. Occasionally, unexplained burn marks appeared on Kulagina’s hands and there were reports that shocked scientists saw her clothes catch fire. Towards the end of her life Kulagina demonstrated this phenomenon on TV, causing a bright red patch to appear on the arm of a European journalist.
Testing the Psychic
Chairman of Theoretical Physics at Moscow University, Dr. Ya. Terletsky declared on 17 March, 1968, in Moscow Pravda: ‘Mrs. Kulagina displays a new and unknown form of energy.’ The Mendeleyev Institute of Metrology also studied Nina, and announced in Moscow Pravda (why not a science journal?) that she had moved aluminium pipes and matches under stringent test conditions, including surveillance on closed-circuit television. They could not explain how the objects had moved.
A Strange Mind Power Experiment
Satisfied that Kulagina had the ability to move inanimate objects, scientists were curious to know whether Nina’s abilities extended to cells, tissues, and organs. Sergeyev was one of the many scientists in attendance when Kulagina attempted to use her energy to stop the beating of a frog’s heart, floating in solution, and then re-activate it. She focused intently on the heart and summoned all her powers. First she made it beat faster – then slower, and, using intense will power, she stopped it. Apparently she could also disrupt human heart beats – on one occasion giving a hostile Leningrad psychiatrist a frightening first-hand experience of her power. Again, if these extraordinary experiments actually took place as indicated, there should be published accounts of the groundbreaking results, so where are they?
In one of the (silent) films shot of experiments with Kulagina in her Leningrad apartment she is seen seated at a large, round, white table, in front of a lace-curtain window. According to Russian scientists she had, on this occasion, already been physically examined by a medical doctor, who had x-rayed her to make sure there were no hidden magnets or anything else concealed on her person, nor any pieces of shrapnel lodged in her body from her war injury. She was found to be clean and the experiment begun.
The film crew, scientists – Naumov among them, and reporters, moved in for a close –up. Naumov placed a compass on a wristband, a vertical cigarette, a pen top, a small metal cylinder like a saltshaker, and a matchbox on the table in front of her. Kulagina began with the compass – apparently the easiest object to warm up on. She held her fingers parallel to the table about six inches above the compass and started moving her hands in a circular motion. For a while nothing happened . . . then the needle quivered and slowly began to rotate counter clockwise, then the whole compass, case and all, began to spin.
Many conjurers would not be too impressed with this performance, though there is apparentlyno proof that Kulagina was using trickery on this occasion.
The ‘Impossibility’ of Psychic abilities
At the same time as the Pravda article, it is claimed that a campaign of harassing phone calls began against Kulagina. It was thought unlikely that these were merely harmless crank calls – there were no telephone books in Russia at that time; to get somebody’s phone number involved lining up for hours at special address booths in the streets. Secondly, she was known to the public as Nelya Mikhailova, not by her real name of Nina Kulagina.
So whoever was calling had to know her real name and her address. It seems likely that it had been well organised. But by whom? Was the KGB involved? Or, as is most likely, was the whole story concocted to increase the mystique surrounding Kulagina? Apparently, the calls finally got so out of hand that the scientists decided to hide Kulagina in the country outside Leningrad.
Some sceptics have claimed that Kulagina was only tested in her own apartment and in hotel rooms, but according to Pravda for example (unreliable to say the least) she was also tested by eminent Soviet scientists in controlled laboratory conditions. These scientists are quoted as more than once stating that after watching Nina in action that they had found ‘no hidden threads, magnets, or other gimmicks.’ This does not of course prove that Kulagina did not cheat, as stated earlier we have no information on how thorough the checks were.
There is, however, no direct evidence that Kulagina ever faked her abilities. Despite the lack of evidence for trickery. sceptics still believe Kulagina’s abilities to be entirely fraudulent or at least greatly exaggerated by Soviet authorities, probably to be used as propaganda in their Cold-War era psychological battles with the U.S. Indeed the lack of publication of the incredible experiments with Kulagina and other Russian psychics in scientific journals has persuaded some researchers that the experiments never occurred at all, at least as described in the popular press.
Exhaustion from Psychic Tests
According to popular accounts, Kulagina’s use of her psychic abilities apparently led to a strain on her health culminating, in the late seventies, in a near fatal heart attack. Her doctors recommended that she reduce her activity, though she kept up some lab work until she died in 1990, around the time of the death of the Soviet Union itself.
It is still believed by many in Russia that these experiments exhausted her, ruined her health, and probably hastened her death. At her funeral, Soviets praised Kulagina as a ‘hero of Leningrad’ after her bravery during the nine-hundred-day siege of World War II. But many also lauded her for sacrifices of a different kind to her country, allowing scientists and doctors to examine and test her ‘psychic abilities’ incessantly in their quest for an unknown and elusive energy. More down to earth researchers however, believe claims of Kulagina’s ‘psychic abilities’ to be entirely groundless.
Gris, Henry, and Dick, William. The New Soviet Psychic Discoveries. London, Souvenir Press, 1979.
Inglis, Brian. The Paranormal – An Encyclopedia of Psychic Phenomena, London. Granada publishing, 1985, p112.
Ostrander, Sheila, & Schroeder, Lynn. Psychic Discoveries – The Iron Curtain Lifted. London, Souvenir Press, 1997 (1971).
Spencer, John & Anne. The Poltergeist Phenomenon. London, Headline 1997, pp227-8.
From Weird People @ http://weird-people.com/psychic-nina-kulagina/
During the Cold War, a number of silent black-and-white films emerged and they showed Nina moving objects on a table. The setting of the films suggested that the psychokinesis experiments were done under conditions strictly controlled by Soviet authorities. During that time, it was reported that as many as 40 scientists, including two Nobel laureates, had examined the woman and deemed her psychic powers genuine.
One such film showed researchers break open an egg in a tank full of water. Kulagina was able to separate the egg yolk from the white and then move them to opposite ends of the tank. Sensors placed on her body showed she had elevated her body temperature and her heartbeat, as well as the intensity of her brainwaves and electromagnetic field.
Her most famous test happened in the 1970s, when scientists wanted to see if Kulagina had any powers over animate matter, such as living cells, tissue and organs. A frog’s heart was placed in saline solution and kept beating with the aid of two electrodes delivering a weak electrical current. The scientists present during the experiment said Kulagina first made the heart beat faster, then slower and—through an intense thought process—stopped it altogether.
Thankfully, she was unable to perform the same feat on a human heart. Kulagina said that any attempt to control certain parts of a human being ended badly for her, usually in the form of extreme physical discomfort.
- From Locklip (including images)@ http://locklip.com/nina-kulagina-the-woman-who-could-move-objects-with-her-mind/
For more information about psychokinesis see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/pk
For more information about psychic powers see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/psychic%20powers
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