Testing Natasha

Can a seventeen-year-old girl truly "see" inside a person's body? Ray Hyman and colleagues conducted tests to search for the truth inside The Girl with X-Ray Eyes.
Ray Hyman

Our assignment might seem straightforward. A seventeen-year-old Russian girl, Natasha Demkina, says she can look at people and "see" the status of their internal organs. The Discovery Channel asked Richard Wiseman, Andrew Skolnick, and me to test her claim for their television program, The Girl with X-ray Eyes. You might think that testing Natasha's claims would be routine. The test of a psychic claim, however, is rarely cut-and-dried. Most such claims do have much in common. Each also offers unique challenges. We had to conduct the test of Natasha's claim to fit the constraints of a television program. We had only a month to devise a protocol that would be acceptable to all parties. After everyone agreed to the procedure, we had less than a week to locate a testing site in New York City and to find seven willing and suitable test subjects.

Testing Natasha


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