The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
The Girl With X-Ray Eyes
imageNatasha Demkina, a young girl living in Saransk, Russia, began to receive a lot of media attention around the middle of last month. It started with an article in Pravda, which hailed her as the 'Girl with X-ray vision'. You see, Natasha possesses the unusual ability to peer through human flesh and spot diseases and injuries that are lurking unseen within people's bodies. Or, at least, this is what Pravda claimed. It didn't take long for more newspapers to catch onto the story. The British Sun has been the most relentless about pursuing it. They've actually flown Natasha to London and are now parading her around like some kind of weird curiosity. Does Natasha really have x-ray eyes? Well, I doubt it. But I'm sure The Sun is going to milk this for all it's worth.
Health/Medicine
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 03, 2004
By just picking out the person who wasn't ill, the healthy guy, Natasha proved enough. I know what's going on here, how can she see an appendix that is'nt there anymore and doesn't hurt anymore, the metal plate does not have any colors, how could she notice? And the sunglasses covering the eyes of the patients.... what kind of test is this? x-ray? wake up people she sees the patient, there illness, what the patient feels and not a stone cold condition. She is a very nice human being with a special gift.
Posted by Irene  in  Netherlands  on  Mon Jan 03, 2005  at  09:57 AM
Irene, you have an interesting point of view on things. What is your schooling and profession?
Posted by bobo  on  Mon Jan 03, 2005  at  12:28 PM
Whatever gift Irene thinks Natasha Demkina has is not the gift that Natasha claims to have. Based on Irene's comments, she doesn't appear to have a clue what Natasha claims to be able to do. Natasha has claimed she can see metal screws and other small metal devices that were surgially implanted in people years before. And she claims she can see the marks of bone fractures that healed 30 years before! Obviously, not being able to "see" that a large section of someone's skull is missing and that the hole is covered by a large metal plate, is difficult to explain away. Some people, I know, don't need to explain anything. They prefer to cling to belief and to reject all evidence to the contrary.
Posted by aaskolnick  in  Amherst  on  Mon Jan 03, 2005  at  03:45 PM
I think it is said Natasha faild the test. Maybe she should do a similar test again...with more "ill" people to choose from. So that if she chooses the right people the possibility that it is change is very very low...

However...I think she has proved more than enough...And even IF she isn't able to get everything right under the conditions the scientist put her...her gift is still one to examine...because with her own method her readings are absolutely accurate. And so they would be very practical. And if it isn't paranormal but it works...then why not use it...ore are the billionindustries afraid that they will ceize to exist...I think that is one of the most likely reasons they don't want her gift to be recocnized...and it would be an " attack" on the thinking of almost every scientist and many other people.

I don't think believing in paranormal gifts has realy to do with your schooling...only in the way how open minded your schooling was...
Barbara Brennan holds a Master degree in Atmospheric Physics and worked years for Nasa. Besides that she holds a Doctorate of Philosophy and Theology. And she also believes you can see into the body. She can do it hereself and teaches it to others. Isn't it wonderful.
Posted by Marlon  on  Mon Jan 03, 2005  at  07:05 PM
Oh, this is just too funny! Citing "Dr." Barbara Brennan to provide credibility for such absurd claims is too silly for words! Barbara Brennan's "Doctorate of Philosophy" is no more credible than are her psychic claims. Brennan says she earned her Ph.D. from "Greenwich University." Greenwich University (not to be confused with the respected University of Greenwich) is listed on the State of Oregon's Web site of diploma mills as never having been accredited. Using a degree from this school is illegal in Oregon:

http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/unaccredited.html

The State of Michigan also doesn't recognize degrees from this "university":

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Non-accreditedSchools_78090_7.pdf

Greenwich University operated under a charter from the territorial government of Norfolk Island from June 1998 until Dec. 2, 2002, when the Australian Federal Government overrode the charter; the school now appears to be defunct.

http://www.dest.gov.au/highered/quality/greenwich.htm

Likewise, Brennan's own school, the "Barbara Brennan School of Healing" in Boca Raton, Florida, offers "bachelor degrees" even though it is NOT an accredited school!

Marlon thinks it's wonderful. I think it's:

Bogus: adj. Counterfeit or fake [From English "bogus," a device for making counterfeit money.]
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Mon Jan 03, 2005  at  10:55 PM
well i think she's lieing but that's my opinin.

ps.like i allways say opinin's are like asshole's.
Posted by psofan89  in  texsa  on  Tue Jan 04, 2005  at  04:04 AM
Dear Bobo, I don't think its a matter of education to discuss this matter, but for the record I work in the department of Pathology and do research in the field of Alzheimer's disease for almost 24 years now. For those who need prove of everything, look in Pubmed for "otteholler" or try this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed
But back to this issue, it's anyway import to discuss matters like these, like it's important to discuss everything "professional" doctor's do as well. I've seen good docs and bad docs, I've seen amzing wonders after surgery and amazing failures too. Some people reject everything in a person when not 100% evidence is given. That's a quote even doctor's cannot give. Natasha has everything to become a good docter, I hope she won't forget her special gift during her medicin study, since this study is so very theoretical.
Posted by Irene Otte  in  Netherlands  on  Tue Jan 04, 2005  at  12:29 PM
Dear Aaskolnick,

I have to admid that I don't know what kind of University "Greenwich University" is. But if there are two states that don't recognize this University as real, and the rest does the univerisity can't be to bad, can it??

And I know that Brennan her school is not an University. But I know it is fully licensed! It is collage and in November, 2002 the Florida Commission for Independent Education granted BBSH approval to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Brennan Healing Science.

http://www.barbarabrennan.com/bbsh/BACHELOR/BSdegreeInfo.html

I can understand if you don't find her psychic claims very credible. However, I think that if you would investigate her work more you will find her claims become more and more credible. I don't need her to prove that psychic vision etc. realy excist, because I have my own experiences with it.

Have a nice day

Marlon
Posted by Marlon  on  Tue Jan 04, 2005  at  04:09 PM
Marlon,

I provided you with authoritative sources of information about that bogus school. You can't continue claiming ignorance in your defense of Barbara Brennan's bogus academic credentials. And please, her school is NOT accredited. The state of Florida can't accredit any school of higher education. Accreditation has to come from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, one of the six regional accreditation bodies in the U.S. And the Barbara Brennan School of Healing is NOT accredited.

The "BS degree" Barbara Brennan's school offers is as worthles as her own "Ph.D." from the unaccredited and defunct Greenwich University and her "D.Th." from Holos University, yet another unaccredited "diploma mill."

Is there a relationship between bogus degrees and bogus claims of psychic powers? Only a fool would not see the connection. People who would deceive others about their credentials would likely deceive others about the work they do.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Tue Jan 04, 2005  at  04:57 PM
Dear aaskolnick

Barbara Brennan holds a Master Degree in atmospheric physics. That is one thing. I do not know much about her other grades.

However, I Do know that her teachings are very usefull. I know that energy healing excist and work. I know that high sense perception is something real, because of my own experiences with it. I also know people with the same experiences.

At her school the studens must have a few high sense perception skills and healing skills before they are permitted to the next year (4 years). Why should a studend give his money away to something that is not real. If he doesn't have the skills he must have, he will know it himeself. However, she has over 1000 student and every year there are people graduating.

But...you don't have to believe it. I believe it...I know it...and I believe you will know it. If it is not know, that another time... There asre skeps that have made a turn of 180 degrees.

Byebye,
Marlon
Posted by Marlon  on  Tue Jan 04, 2005  at  05:43 PM
Marlon asks, "Why should a student give his money away to something that is not real."

Marlon, if you would inform yourself by going to either of the two government Web sites I cited, you would see that each year THOUSANDS of students give their money away for "Ph.D.s" and other degrees that are "not real."

Some don't realize that the "degrees" they are buying are bogus. Others don't care -- their intent is to "earn" academic credentials that will fool the uninformed.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Tue Jan 04, 2005  at  07:05 PM
Hi aaskolnick,

You said, "Some don't realize that the "degrees" they are buying are bogus. Others don't care -- their intent is to "earn" academic credentials that will fool the uninformed."

I believe that the people you discribe excist.

However, I was talking about Barbara her own healing school. If you don't start feeling better during her programm, and if you don't start seeing and feeling the aura, and it's anatomy etc like she discripes it why should you then give your money to it...

I don't have the disire to prove to you the aura excists...I don't have the desire to defend her school...I only hope to help people by broading their vision, and I intent to do that with love. Because if I don't do something with love, that part that doesn't love is a part of a problem and not a solution.

Love and blessings,
Marlon
Posted by Marlon  on  Wed Jan 05, 2005  at  04:28 PM
My Marlon, you continue to refuse to see what's put right in front of you! Not only is Barbara's "Ph.D." and her "D.Th" degrees bogus -- the "B.S." degree she sells to her own students is just as bogus!

You asked why any student would throw their money away in a bogus degree program. I told you: some are too foolish to realize the degrees are bogus; others know, but they wish to deceive others by claiming to have academic credentials without actually earning them.

Such deceptive conduct doesn't bother you, although it clearly should.

So please don't keep claiming to be such an enlightened and spiritual person. Enlightened and spiritual people don't deceive or mislead others and they don't condone others who make a business by deceiving or misleading others.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Wed Jan 05, 2005  at  04:51 PM
Hi hi,

You only focus on that "degrees" wich aren't recognized in some states. I admit that!!! And about her bachelor degree that isn't recognized... I couldn't find that on one of the sites but... I'm not talking about recordnizion anymore.

I am talking about what I have learned from Brennan and my own experiences with her teaching. And because of that experiences with it I respect her and her school.

I think I am spiritual because I try to be fair to myself with everything, sometimes I succeed in this, sometimes not... and I think being fair to yourself it the core of a spiritual life. Enlightened is something different but I think that in essence I am enlightened just like everyone else. I remember more and more...

And...now I am defending meself in kind of a way and I that wasn't what I wanted to do...

I want to be happy... rather than having the "right" on my side.

Have a nice evening,
Marlon
Posted by Marlon  on  Wed Jan 05, 2005  at  05:44 PM
Well, that's the difference between us: you believe things that make you "happy" and I believe things that are "right" and factually true. If believing in ghosts and psychics make you happy, to you they're real. For me, they're delusions that some people turn to for comfort.

You've shown a willingness to dismiss facts that don't support your comforting beliefs -- such as the fact that people who proudly display bogus degrees, and in turn sell bogus degress to others, are not ethical people.

It's not so important what you or I believe. What is important is what you and I are able to prove with credible evidence. And the evidence you cited to defend your belief in Natasha Demkina's "X-ray vision" does not stand up to reasoned scrutiny.

Citing Barbara Brennan as an example of a real honest psychic only showed that you don't understand the difference between truth and fiction. Honest people don't use bogus degrees. That's a fact.

You say "being fair to yourself is the core to spiritual life." I say that is bilge. Being fair to others and to the truth is the core to spiritual life.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Thu Jan 06, 2005  at  10:35 AM
"Being fair to others and to the truth is the core to spiritual
life."

You said is beautifully!
Posted by marlon  on  Thu Jan 06, 2005  at  04:05 PM
she's russian for christ's sake!!! they would do absolutely anything for a roll of toilet paper. make that dirty vodka chugger pay for lying to the world. give rocky balboa a call and tell him "the russian" wants a rematch.
Posted by true believer  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  02:44 PM
true, false, whatever.....all i have to say is that i pity people who can only see the world in black and white.
what really kills me about these scientists is the condesention and sarcasm that laces every word leaving their mouths on these matters.
just because you cant get your narrow mind around it doesnt mean its not true.
from the documentary its clear that she has helped people, whether it is a divine gift or intuition or just dumb luck, and that is what counts.
this world is cold enough....maybe some people just want something beyond that to believe in.
Posted by Stephanie  in  dublin  on  Mon Feb 14, 2005  at  07:11 PM
oh and one more thing.....i have to laugh at all these scientists who believe in whats "right" and "factually true".
how many theories of days gone by that scientists thought were "right" and "factually true" has since been proved very much WRONG. the world is changing all the time and could it not be even remotely possible that our brains are too?? maybe some people can do things that others cant?? but in your worlds of statistics and clinicalism you cant expand your minds enough to even consider that. but thats your choice. instead you make comments which are dripping with disdain and clearly look down on those who choose to disagree with you.

for me the issue isnt whether she has a gift or not, it simply highlights the narrow-mindedness of many people.

its a pity really....but to each their own.
Posted by Stephanie  on  Mon Feb 14, 2005  at  07:17 PM
Wow Stephanie,

Of all the responses on this subject I find your response the most beautiful...without any doubt! "true, false, whatever.....all i have to say is that i pity people who can only see the world in black and white." I couldn't say it any better!

Wow!!

Marlon
Posted by Marlon  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  08:23 AM
I saw the programme on Natasha Demkina which was shown on Channel 4 in the UK last night. I was interested in it both because of its topic and the probability problem it posed, as I am a professional Statistician myself.
The problem of the chance of Natasha correctly matching a given number of people with their correct diagnoses if she were guessing is a classic known as the 'matching problem'. For those who want a reference, Feller's An Intro. to Probability and its Applications, Chapter IV will give you the full gory details, but the essential result is on page 107. I got out my calculator and found that the chance of Natasha passing (5 or more correct) if she were guessing would be about 1 in 230, whereas the chance of her guessing 4 or more if she were guessing would be about 1 in 55. It is true that conventionally, that if a result could have occurred less frequently than 1 in 20 times by chance, Statisticians consider that there is something of interest in the data. CSIOP evidently set a higher standard of evidence than that usually required because of the implications if the claims of Nayasha are true.
Watching the programme, I was sympathetic towards Natasha, as I am sure most people were, and I noted that the investigators were in no way abusive to her. I was struck both by professional physicians in Russia at all becoming convinced of her gift (though not all have been), but I wondered about her hesitancy in the test situation and her inability to diagnose the metal plate. My personal opinion, for what it is worth, is that if Natasha has a special gift (the idea of which I am not opposed to on principle), it may be best for her to use it discreetly. It may be that such gifts do not lend themselves to this kind of investigation, and that Providence has so disposed things that deception, belief and scepticism will always be possible in this world, for to have it otherwise would fail to respect our free will adequately, and undermine the value of this world as the arena of our soul-making, which necessarily involves the coooperation of our free will.
Good luck to Natasha, whatever she does.
Posted by Miland Joshi  in  Lancaster, UK  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  09:19 AM
Actually, Stephanie, narrow-minded and closed-minded people are those who refuse to examine evidence that contradicts their beliefs. Their need to believe is stronger than their desire to know the truth. Scientists who are willing to examine the evidence presented by so-called psychics are certainly not narrow-minded or closed-minded. In the past, I've asked dozens of believers in the supernatural what evidence would change their minds about their beliefs. Every single one of them just stared blankly at me and quickly changed the subject. None of them wanted to answer, because they didn't want to admit no evidence could ever change their minds. Their minds are made up and closed solid. Compare that with what my colleagues and I did: We said to Natasha, match five or more subjects correctly and you will change our minds about your abilities. We examined the evidence. The evidence did not support Natasha's claims. Our minds are open. I'm not so sure about yours, considering your open distain for facts and truth.
Posted by askolnick  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  10:16 AM
I agree with most of Miland's comments. His statistical analysis is sound (unlike the miscalculations repeatedly posted earlier in this thread). I would only question his last speculation that "such gifts may not lend themselves to investigation." Such a philosophy ruled the Dark Age, when people were enslaved by superstitious beliefs that they were told were beyond critical examination. No area of the universe or anything in it should be beyond examination. That certainly includes people who charge others large amounts of money to perform "miracles."
Posted by askolnick  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  10:30 AM
In response to Miland's and askolnick, I would say that in order for ME to change MY mind, she would've had to "match five or more subjects" on two seperate occasions. 1 in 230 is a long shot, but long shots come through sometimes. People get lucky and I won't accept a supernatural explanation for something that could be reasonably explained as a chance occurance. People win the lottery (1 in 45 million, I think) but I wouldn't credit the winner with any skill or special "gift", I just think they got lucky. Now excuse me, I have to go buy my winning lottery ticket now (I've got a system) wink
Posted by JoeSixpack  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  11:01 AM
JoeSixpack is right to say that Natasha's scoring 5 or more matches correctly only once would not have been sufficient to prove she posesses supernatural powers. That's why we described our test as only a preliminary examination and agreed that if she scored 5 or more matches correctly, we would conclude further testing would be warranted. But she didn't score sufficiently high enough to warrant further study. In addition, our other observations led us to conclude that Natasha has no special vision, but is only performing "cold readings" -- a technique that is commonly used by astrologers, palm readers, and other fortune tellers to convince clients they have special powers to see what cannot be seen.
Posted by askolnick  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  11:27 AM
The so-called "high standard of evidence" in this case is clearly warranted. The girl claimed that she can see clearly into people. She spent FOUR HOURS examining the people, which would have given her ample time to pick up cues as to what is wrong with them. After that much time, even 100% accuracy wouldn't have impressed me.

If she, as is claimed, can see clearly into people, then for the simple features she was looking for, she should have been 100% correct after looking for a few minutes. It's like if I claim that I can identify coins in glasses of water. If I could clearly see the coins then I'd be able to give a 100% correct answer in seconds. If it takes me four hours to look at the coins, and even then I only get 4 out of 7 correct.

The test showed that she achieved results much greater than would be achieved by random guessing. But, this is not just a black and white situation where either she's guessing randomly, or she is truly able to use x-ray vision. Alternative explanations include that she, after six years, has grown adept at guessing people's health conditions by observing their external appearance, movements, etc. This would be a good explanation of a higher than expected, but not perfect diagnosis. And, I would quote her FOUR HOUR examination of the subjects, and continual communication with others (e.g. by cell phone) as evidence that this is what she is doing.

If she can truly see fine details inside a person, then we'd expect 100% accuracy. 4/7 just does not cut it, and suggests an alternative method of diagnosis other than random chance, and other than being able to clearly see into people. Even if experiments were repeated many times, obtaining a strongly statistically significant result, this would only show that she is doing "something", not that she has paranormal powers. To show that she has paranormal powers requires an experiment that can distinguish between paranormal powers and diagnosis by observation of the external characteristics of the subject.
Posted by Ross-c  in  London, UK  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  12:29 PM
Ross-c, these are excellent comments. That is exactly how the other investigators and I saw the problem and how we came to the conclusions we did.
Posted by askolnick  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  01:01 PM
askolnick, you let her examine the subjects for FOUR HOURS?!?!? And let her use her cell phone? Hell, I may have been able to do as well as she in that case. What were all the test conditions?
Posted by JoeSixpack  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  01:11 PM
Hihi,

You ("skepps") say that the " believers" are avoiding evidence etc. but in much cases (and also in this case) I notice that the "skepps" are avoiding things!

You only respond on the "lacks" in our stories. You don't see the story as a whole and don't look at our whole experience.

That's the problem with the whole world. A lot of times we are focused too much on details. Focussing on details is oke but not at te cost of our picture of the whole. In my opinion everything would change if we would concentrate more on the whole.

If we give then thousend reasons why we believe or know that the paranormal excist, you find that reason that is the "weakest" in your opinion.

I don't say that I know everything, but I have my own reasons to believe in the paranormal. I am sure it excists. But what is evidence for me isn't nessesary evidence for another person. That's oke...but you should know that reality is in my opinion experience. What is reality without experience? In my opinion reality as we know it doesn't excist without experience. It is the experience that is our reality. What makes my reality different that yours...it that what we experience.

That is one big different between my believe and the believe of most skepps. You only take something for real if many people are experiencing the same thing in ways wich you can accept! And if you don't like it what many people say they experience, you whipe it away.

Reality has everything to do with experience. In kind of a way everything you experience is reality.

We shouldn't focus so much on whats real and what's not. That realy depends on experience. We should focus on what works and what not! What do we want...what do we want achieve in live. Do we want to help the ill people. Maybe some aura readers can help us...who knows...and if one can't help us...maybe another...maybe they experience different things and call it one and the same. Maybe one sees after-images and another sees realy a subtile energy that is connected to our health. It is really a mather of experience...and as we become better aware of what we want to achieve in live, we start to focus on how to achieve it...if some kind of meditation, visialisation, an healing ore whatever can help you achieving your live goal, why not? You dont' have to believe that these things are real. They will become real for you when they start helping you in achieving what you want. They start to be real for you if you notice they work. You can do someting with it. And maybe you will realize that the experience of that other person and his discription of what he experienced wasn't so strange at all. (smile)
Posted by Marlon  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  06:02 PM
As stated by Marlon,

If we give then thousend reasons why we believe or know that the paranormal excist, you find that reason that is the "weakest" in your opinion.

You may BELIEVE all the new-age hogwash you like, but you KNOW nothing. Evidently not even the definitions of those two words. Just because you BELIEVE something and could give even 10 billion reasons WHY you believe it, doesn't make it fact. Your weakest point, if that's even the case, probably gets debunked first and most often because it's the most obvious and therefore quickest way to move towards making a point.

Reality doesn't equal experience, or vice-versa, as your experiences as interpreted by you are subject most likely to whatever "new-age" drugs your taking to promote your inner chakra-aura-healing abilities that week. What flavor was your kool-aid by the way? If what's evidence for us isn't evidence for you that's because you don't know the meaning / definition of the word evidence. What would be more correct to say would be that just because YOU think something is evidence doesn't necessarily make it such. Look up the definition.

Everything you experience is reality. Your a major fan of LSD aren't you? Obviously we don't believe something just because a lot of other people are experiencing it or we'd be on the other side of this argument, huh? Evidence which would result in proof would make us believe. What evidence does exist on this matter serves only to debunk the claims made.

Go back to the hippie-compound and tell them all about how we are so close-minded... maybe over the "Kool-aid" induced LSD trip tonight you can all come up with some more magic to cure us all of our inability to be more gullible.
Posted by Mark -N- Jen  in  Midwest USA  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  06:22 PM
Comments: Page 2 of 24 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.