This Russian woman’s psychic powers ignited a paranormal arms race between the U.S. and the USSR.
“And anyway, it would be even better to know not simply what the enemy was planning but what he was thinking, and to be able to alter that thinking, or to destroy remotely without expensive weaponry. Even though enthusiasm about these capabilities remained tempered, the possibilities for psychic warfare seemed endless.”
The freshly removed frog’s heart was sitting in a solution that could keep it beating for up to an hour, and scientists were measuring beats per minute through electrodes they’d hooked up to the amphibian’s tiny ticker.
According to the Soviet doctors monitoring her, Kulagina’s own heart rate increased dramatically during the seven minutes it took her to mentally stop the frog’s heart. It had taken her 20 minutes to prepare for the exercise.
She tried to elevate the heart rate of a human physician in the room who was skeptical of her powers. Both were hooked up to EKG machines. Within a couple minutes, analysts noted that the physician’s heart was beating at a “dangerous” rate, and the experiment was terminated.