PK IN THE SOVIET UNION
Montague Ullman, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center Director, Department of Psychiatry, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York
Reports of interesting psychokinetic effects taking place in the Soviet Union have reached an American audience in a number of ways. There have been popular sources, i.e., the book by Ostrander and Schroeder (1) and one by Ebon (2); English translations of scientific or popular reports appearing in the Journal of Parapsychic (3); attendance by Western observers at conferences in Moscow and Prague, and finally, reports based on direct personal observation. I think it is important for American parapsychologists to take note of these developments and become as knowledgeable as possible concerning the phenomena reported, the technology involved, and the theoretical concepts that have been developed to account for the observations. What follows is a somewhat limited attempt to cover this ground, limited both by this writer's lack of expertise in the physics of energy exchange as invoked by Soviet investigators and also because his own opportunity for personal observation occurred on only one occasion and with only one of the two major current experimental subjects. A comparison is offered of the alleged psychokinetic effects produced by Mrs. Kulagina and Mrs. Vinogradova. The theoretical explanations are summarized along with brief mention of some of the ancillary issues involved.
47-year-old housewife and grandmother
Younger, late 30s
Married, child psychologist
More forward, assertive and exhibitionistic
Variety of Effects
a) Movement of an inanimate object on a horizontal surface
2. Influence upon magnetic needle
3. Influence upon photographic material in absence of light, radiation,, chemical or mechanical forces
4. Evocation of crystal luminescence of a luminopher. Production of "cold light" on a photographic emulsion and a change in the spectrum of visible light absorbed in the liquid crystal
5. Influence upon biological systems at a distance without any known means of action
1. Telekinesis: Movements of objects on a flat surface
3. Precognitive ability
Pulse increases to 150-240
Pain in upper spine and back of neck
Weight loss of 0.7-2 Kg.
Raised blood sugar
At Onset of Activated State:
Taste of iron or copper in mouth
During Activated State:
Occasional vertigo and vomiting
Following Activated State:
Loss of weight occurs within 1 hour after attempt
Sensation felt in solar plexus and forehead
Phenomena are mood dependent (her mood and mood of spectators)
Less stress experienced when alone
Responds best in friendly atmosphere of mutual trust
More energy required in less supportive atmosphere
Sensitive to audience
Mechanical Aspects of Witnessed Psychokinetic Effects
Size and shape more important than nature of substance
Weight and dimensions important. From a few grams to 380 gms.
Moving a vertical cylinder easier than horizontal cylinder
No change in shape of soft objects occurs during movement
Direction object moves depends on her will (initially object moved away from her, later move toward her)
Rotational and vertical movements occur
One object out of many can be made to move
Best working distance: 0.5 meters from object
Distance limits: sitting 1 meter from edge of table with object 1 meter away from edge
Direction determined by will
Can slide up to 3.0 gms and can roll objects of up to 100 gms.
Enhanced by autogenic training
Works up to a distance of two feet
Direction determined by will
Electrical field generated in vicinity of object
No effect on object in a vacuum
Electrostatic screening has no effect
No influence on electroscope
Effect better with object under a dielectric cover
No sparks observed
Electricity in atmosphere has adverse effect.
Unsuccessful during storms
Best temp. 8
Objects become charged
Ability to move objects can be transferred to others
Effects considered to be electrostatic but can still move object even though she herself is grounded
Sparks occasionally emerge from fingertips up to distance of 2 cm.
Prefers working on starry nights with full moon
Can perform during thunderstorm
Kirlian effect - flares become more concentrated and scattered
Red blotches occur during PK
Shifts in electrical activity of acupuncture points
Adamenko, Inyushin and Sergeyev appear to be the leading theoreticians in response to the psychokinetic effects under study.
Adamenko is pursuing experiments to ascertain the role of electrostatic effects charging the surface of an object and causing movement. The resultant movement correlates with hand motion as well as the dynamics of the skin's electrical resistance. The Vinogradova phenomena cannot be explained completely on an electrostatic basis since the effect is better when she is grounded. Both Inyushin and Sergeyev have been developing theories based on the existence of a new form of energy, a form of biological energy referred to as bioplasma. They considered PK as analogous to a surface that is accidentally charged by lightning with the movement occurring as a result of the interaction of the object's electrostatic charge and electromagnetic field with the human operator's field. This biological energy is under conscious direction. The movement of the object can be started, stopped, changed in direction and the object can be made to rotate. Sergeyev has-recorded 10,000 volts/cm in the vicinity of the object with no indication of an electrical field in the space between Mrs. Kulagina and the table. He has also developed instrumentation which registers changes in the bioplasmic field up to a distance of 3 meters. According to Sergeyev bioplasmic energy is maximally concentrated in the head region. He attributes PK to a polarization of the bioplasma in a laser-like fashion, referring to this as a biolaser effect. The biolaser acts as a material force upon the object.
Sergeyev also claims that microbioenergetic emissions (bioplasma) can act as carriers of information.
The Russian investigations are moving in several directions in an effort to develop material explanations for the psychokinetic effects observed. These involve concentrated studies of the characteristics of the electrical field between object and person, the characteristics of electrical fields about the body, the study of bioplasma through detection devices, electroencephalography and Kirlian photography. The observers are by no means in accord concerning the nature of the forces at play, although all are in agreement that a physical energy is at work.
The Soviet work points up the possible relevance of Kirlian photography for parapsychological research. The work further suggests that gross PK effects are not as rare as formerly believed, and that qualitatively different kinds of forces may be operative with different subjects. At any rate at this point in time more information is being distilled out of the fact that two subjects are under study at the same time. Their different personalities and life style may have a bearing on the different circumstances and kind of phenomena that each is associated with.
A fringe benefit has been the development of cordial professional relationships with Soviet scientists interested in parapsychology.
Additional Note: The current issue of the Parapsychological Review (4) carries a report by Benson Herbert which represents the first series of controlled studies of Mrs. Kulagina by a Western observer. He satisfied himself that the effects were genuine and that they could not be accounted for by other physical explanations. He brought with him apparatus to both test the PK effect and measure any electrostatic influence. He described two new effects, one electrical (prolonged ionization of a saline solution used in a hydrometer) and the other physiological (the production of intense beat and an area of redness and swelling of the skin after his arm had been held by Mrs. Kulagina. Herbert was also able to arrive at a measurement of the force involved in the movement of the objects he employed.
1. Ostrander, S. and Schroeder, L. Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1970.
2. Ebon, M. Psychic Discoveries by the Russians. Bergenfield, New Jersey: New American Library, 1971.
3. Rejdak, Z. Telekinesis or Fraud? J1. of Paraphysics. 2:3, 1968. p. 68.
Rejdak, Z. The Kulagina Cine Films: Introductory Notes. J. Paraphysics. 3:3, 1969, p. 64.
Herbert B. Notes on the Kulagina Films. J. of Paraphysics. 3:3, 1969. p. 67.
The Kulagina Cine Films - Further Notes. J. Paraphysics. 3:4, 1969. p. 100.
Kulagina Cine Film 'B': Report by B. Herbert. J. Paraphysics, 4:1, 1970, p. 16.
Kulagina Cine Film 'A' - Report by B. Herbert. J. Paraphysics. 4:3, 1970, p. 89.
Adamenko, V. Electrodynamics of Living Systems. J. Paraphysics. 4:4, 1970, p. 113.
Kulagina Cine Films: Summary by G. Herbert. J. Paraphysics. 4:5, 1970, p. 160.
Sergeyev, G.A. KNS Phenomenon. Symposium of Psychotronics. Sept. 25, 1970, Prague, Czechoslovakia. P. 47.
Iniushin, V.M. Bio-Plasma and Interaction of Organisms. Symposium of Psychotronics. Sept. 25, 1970, Prague, Czechoslovakia. P. 50.
Kulagin, V.V. Nina S. Kulagina. Symposium of Psychotronics. Sept. 25, 1970, Prague, Czechoslovakia. P. 54.
Adamenko, V.G. Seminar on Biological Plasmas. Symposium of Psychotronics, J. of Paraphysics. 5:4, 1971. P. 106.
Adamenko, V.G.; Kirlian, V.H. and S.D.; Sergeyev, G.A.; Shushkev, G.D.; Gryaznukhin, E.G.; Kulagin, V.V.; Roman, A.S.; Iniushin, V.; and Musalevskaya, N.I. Problems in Bioenergetics: Alma-Ata, U.S.S.R. J. Paraphysics. 6:1, 1972. Pps. 12-25.
Tiller, W.A. The Psychokinetic Phenomena of Alla Vinogradova. J. Paraphysics. 6:2, 1972. p. 77.
Herbert, B. Electrical PK. J. Paraphysics. 6:4, 1972. p. 166.
Parapsychology in U.S.S.R. 1972. Part One: Selected Soviet Contributions. J. Paraphysics. 6:5, 1972. Pps. 180-208.
Sergeyev, G.A. Detection of PK by Semi-Conductors. J. Paraphysics. 7:2, 1973. p. 70.
4. Herbert, B. Spring in Leningrad: Kulagina Revisited. Parapsychol. Rev., 4:4, Jul.-Aug., 1973.