The Russian Psychic Nina
By James Donahue
While her so-called psychokinetic
powers are still highlighted as the greatest of her “psychic” abilities, Nina Kulagina appears to have been a
most gifted healer and “seer” with abilities that rivaled the late clairvoyant Edgar Cayce.
There are stories that
Kulagina could mentally see things inside people’s pockets and could see an image of a person’s illness the moment
she saw them. There appears to be little or no documentation as to her ever utilizing her abilities to identify disease, even
though researchers discovered that she not only had Casey’s ability to have visions of medical cures but could heal
by simply laying her hands on the patient. All available reports emerging from behind the old Iron Curtain days focus on the
woman’s strange ability to move objects with her mind.
Her story emerged from
behind the old iron curtain in the midst of the cold war. What was seen were black and white films showing her moving objects
on a table without touching them. The Soviets maintained that the images were made under controlled conditions and that her
psychokinetic abilities were authentic.
The images caused excitement
among world psychic researchers who used Kulagina’s story as evidence for the existence of psychic phenomena. Skeptics
suggested that the images were part of a Russian propaganda campaign to show that they were leading the world in the development
of right-brain and psychic functioning.
most publicized experiments was the day she appeared to use her mind to change the heartbeat of a frog suspended in a solution.
This event occurred in a Leningrad laboratory on March 10, 1970, as a number of scientists were present to make observations.
It was said that she focused on the heart and used her energy to make the heart beat faster, then slower. With extreme mental
effort, she stopped the heartbeat altogether.
Over the years, scientists
from around the world came to Russia to
observe and document Kulagina’s ability to move small objects across a table. As far as we can tell, none of them tested
her healing abilities, which would have seemed far more extraordinary if they were true.
All of the publicity
and the gathering by scientists to study her abilities took their toll. Kulagina said that to manifest the effect . . . and
especially to conduct telekinesis . . . she had to use so much mental concentration she was left with after-effects that included
a sharp pain in her spine, blurring of her eyesight, and extreme exhaustion. After a while it appeared to have affected her
In 1964 she suffered
a nervous breakdown. It was said that while in a hospital, recovering from this, she spent much of her time sewing. From published
reports, it is stated that doctors noticed she was able to reach into her sewing basket and choose any color of thread she
needed without looking at it. When tested, it was found that she appeared to be able to “see” colors with her
That Kulagina joined the Russian army when she was only 14, distinguished herself as a radio operator in
a tank during the Nazi siege of Leningrad, and survived the
war may be testimony in itself as to her psychic ability to “dodge the bullets” and personally be in safe zones
in the midst of battle. She wasn’t invincible, however. In the heat of battle she was seriously injured by artillery
fire. She recovered, married after the war, and became the mother of one son.
Physicist V. F. Shvetz
said he observed Kulagina mentally projecting the letters A and O on photographic paper. She also was capable of transferring
an outline of a picture she was looking at to the photographic paper.
Some stories noted that
unexplained burn marks sometimes appeared on her hands, and that once her clothes caught fire while demonstrating her abilities.
While appearing on a televised show, it was said she caused a bright red patch to appear on the arm of a European journalist.
While the publicity surrounding
Kulagina brought world fame, it also brought extreme criticism from people who accused her of fakery, and had a profound effect
on her overall health. Doctors who studied her said she sometimes would emerge from the “experiments” having lost
several pounds, an irregular heart beat, her energy so drained she could hardly move he4r body. They said it was as if she
was converting the matter of her own body into the energy needed to mentally move objects.
Eventually she developed
high blood sugar, her endocrine system was disturbed, she lost the sensation of taste, couldn’t coordinate her movements,
became dizzy and complained of pains in her arms and legs.
After she suffered a
near fatal heart attack in the late 1970s, doctors recommended that Kulagina reduce her psychic activity. They said she continued
laboratory experiments, however, until her death in 1990 at the age of only 64.
At her funeral the Soviets
praised Kulagina as a “hero of Leningrad” because
of her war record. Others lauded her for the sacrifices she made in allowing scientists and doctors to examine and test her
psychic abilities in their quest for an “unknown and elusive energy.” Her willingness to participate in these
experiments ruined her health and obviously hastened her death.