Nina Kulagina: Famed Soviet-Era Psychokinesis Subject

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Anonymous

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#1
A young Russian girl, Ninel Kulagina, repeatedly astonished scientists with her ability to move solid objects without touching them even when they were enclosed in glass cases.

I've seen film of this happening, though it was quite along time ago, and my memory could be playing tricks with me.
 

gattino

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#2
Usually only seen briefly in montages on paranormal documentaries, here's the original american tv report on Nina Kulagina...the Soviet "telekinetic"

 

humanoidlord

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#3
Usually only seen briefly in montages on paranormal documentaries, here's the original american tv report on Nina Kulagina...the Soviet "telekinetic"

hmmm, did james randi ever talk about this woman?, was she ever debunked?
 

gattino

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I have no specific information but everyone and everything has been "debunked" in the sense of someone somewhere declaring it/them a fake and saying they know how it must have really happened. From some of the comments beneath the youtube video the favoured claim in her case seems to be that if you squint you can make out almost invisible string or some such. I've no idea how much credence you'd choose to give that.

If you mean debunked in some kind of official way by a body of historians and scientists, not that I'm aware of..but then I'm not sure such a body exists..
 

gattino

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The only mentions of her on the Psi Encylopedia are in passing under various broader articles. The references either state she was filmed many times doing it, or else state her doing it remained the subject of controversy. A typical reference is "In the 1960s, Russian psychic Nina Kulagina was filmed moving objects without physical contact on many occasions,73 although this did not lay to rest accusations that she used sleight of hand. "

Wikipedia chooses to emphasise "Kulagina was suspected of utilizing hidden magnets and threads to perform her feats.[3] She was caught cheating on more than one occasion, according to British authors Joel Levy[4] and Mike Dash[5] and American science writer Martin Gardner.[6] In 1987, Kulagina sued and won a partial victory in a defamation case brought against a Soviet government magazine that had accused her of fraud.[7] "
 

EnolaGaia

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This 2004 exposé of Soviet / Russian magicians by Yuri Gorny:

http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/11730_mystery.html

... summarizes Kulagina as follows.

Another human phenomenon-Ninel Kulagina. Originally from St Petersburg, she became famous for her "tricks" of telekinesis. She used powerful magnets in her performances and thin threads, all of which remained unnoticed for the audience. At times, her trick appeared to be quite elaborate. For instance, she asked to cover several matches with a glass. To everybody's surprise, the matches continued to move. What the audience did not know was the fact that each one of those matches had a needle inside. Each one of them in turn was influenced by a powerful magnet inserted either in her shoes or underneath her clothes.
 

EnolaGaia

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#7
hmmm, did james randi ever talk about this woman? ...
Oh, yes ... Here's the Kulagina entry in Randi's Encyclopedia of Claims ...

Kulagina, Nina
(1925-1990) This Russian psychic made a handsome career of reading while blindfolded, using the standard methods. She was also famous for making a compass needle move, and moving small objects like matchboxes, using a very fine nylon thread.

In 1978, the USSR Academy of Sciences was so convinced of her powers that they declared her genuine, in spite of the simple and obvious solutions for her conjuring tricks.

When the newspaper Pravda declared her to be a trickster, she sued the editors and won, largely on the basis of testimony given by Soviet parapsychologists.

In films made in the 1950s by the parapsychologists, Kulagina can be seen standing with her back to a wall while experimenters place very large letters, numbers, and shapes on the wall. She holds her right hand up to her eyes for a while, then announces what is on the cards. See dermo-optical perception for an explanation of the trick.
SOURCE: https://web.randi.org/k---encyclopedia-of-claims.html
 

kamalktk

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#8
In 1987, Kulagina sued and won a partial victory in a defamation case brought against a Soviet government magazine that had accused her of fraud.[7] "
Her partial victory against the Soviet government magazine sounds very interesting.
 

humanoidlord

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#9
well, i think this one is solved, you can even see a suspicious object glued to the table, when the man lifts it
 

AlchoPwn

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#10
The USSR was actually quite wed to the idea of psychic powers for ideological reasons. They wanted a purely materialist worldview, but in the areas where science didn't seem to make much traction, or in propagandizing the flake community, the notion of a purely human source for the supernatural, and the promise of science to follow was ideologically in keeping with the party line.
 
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