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Doctor, I see the auras!

Regular experiment of Harry Houdini Award was conducted on Sunday, on the 3th of Jule. This time organizers decided not to be limited to a demonstration of "supernatural powers" of the applicants in terms of pure experiment. They invited scientists, who read a lecture to find out why these abilities did not bring results.

All Quiet on the supernatural front

There were two test persons. Small, handsome woman Inna Mardar said she could see the human aura and featuring on it one person from another. "I have always been strange - she said. – I’ve worked as lawyer for a long time, but I started having health problems, I experienced clinical death. "There" was all so, as they say: the tunnel, the bright light. I met a woman, she touched my forehead and said, "Go, do good deeds." According to Mardar, her life has changed since then. She quited job, moved to Moscow and dedicated all attention and time to her "abilities". In addition she received assistant as a "spirit" that talks to her.

The second participant, an ordinary-looking guy Alexey Ryazanov, told the audience about no less than a touching story. "Witchcraft and extrasensorics are two different things. You can develop in yourself skills named "seeing beyond", while the gift of witchcraft is inherited. I had it since my childhood. There was such a story: a week before I went to kindergarten, a guard had hung him,self there. When my parents came to pick me up the first day, I stood and looked towards the corner. "What is it?" - Asked me. "There is a man with a rope," - I said, even though there was no man, of course".

To my question about Karlsson’s syndrome Ryazanov said that children were generally more sensitive to subtle matters than adults.


Both applicants were persuaded that the gift would help them to recognize a man among women. Inna Mardar trusted her ability to see the aura. While Alexey Ryazanov relied on "amplifiers" of witch's gift - special cards (not Tarot cards, because Tarot cards are black magic) and amulet-knife with a handle of roe’s leg. Before starting the test, they conducted a "test drive" in the open-label experiment - the abilities were in place.

According to regulations, the participants had at least 7 times out of 10 to determine where was a man among five screens (he was standing behind one, the others were hiding women). Probability to show such a result by chance is approximately 0.00086. To exclude the possibility of intentional or unintentional clues the lot was took place to distribute women and man behind screens. A person who knew where was the man left the room during the experiment. In addition, all screens have been previously sprayed with the perfumes of three types – to make it impossible to determine by smell the sex of a person hiding behind the screen, and the applicants put on noise canceling headphones during the tests.


As a result, Inna Mardar gave incorrect answers four times and dropped out of the game. Alexey Ryazanov remained a little longer – he gave correct answer during the second attempt, but his successes ended after.

As usual, the applicants explained their failures. Inna Mardar said it had been an exam for her, which she failed. So, it’s necessary to practice more, she came to the conclusion. Alexey Ryazanov admitted that he had come to the test being affected by cold, and it influenced his abilities. But he is ready to challenge the unknown again as soon he recovers.

What was it?

Harry Houdini Award holds public experiments for the third time, offering people who found themselves in supernatural abilities to demonstrate them in terms of pure experiment. "The applications that come to us, consist of the same cognitive distortions in humans, which could lead them to conclusion that they have some kind of paranormal gift," - Stanislav Nikolsky, a member of the organizing committee, said. To make the experiment not an "exemplary flogging" but educational campaign, the organizers will invite scientists, who talk about the assumed supernatural phenomenon from the point of view of science.


For example, there was talk on auras this time. While applicants competed with the theory of probability, guests could "take a picture of their auras" by special instrument. In addition to a color photo with the shape and color of the "aura" everyone received an explanation of the operator of this machine: one is a very creative person, the other should not trust intuition, the third has a very strong connection with other worlds. "Is it like what you see?" - I ask the psychic Inna. - "Yes, such colored balls."

Indeed, the balls were very different in the photos - unequal forms, in different shades and color intensity. Is it time to think about energy flows emanating from each person?


The lecturers from the academic world dispelled the illusions. There were former military doctor, journalist and blogger today Alexey Vodovozov and physicist, head of research department of the magazine "Popular Mechanics" Dmitry Mamontov.

"There are scales with butyrometer. They measure the percentage of body fat. These scales are relatives to the device, which "photographed aura” today.

This is about using galvanic skin effect in both instruments. It’s easy to explain different result. It depends on the force pushing the instrument and electrical conductivity of the body (it is reduced if there is less water in the tissues or on the skin surface). For example, your palms are sweating – we have one type of aura in photo. But if you wipe properly, it will be the other. And we must understand that it has nothing to do with the biofield.

Aura’s photo is an attraction, measuring the percentage of fat in your biomass by electrical resistance of various tissues. It is the science”, - Alexey Vodovozov said.

Medicine knows cases when a person was able to see rainbow halo around people and objects with the naked eye, the lecturers noted. But it's actually a troubling sign. Such effects can talk not about paranormal abilities, but the development of highly progressive glaucoma.


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