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November 4, 2016
Document Release Date: 
January 9, 2014
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Publication Date: 
September 29, 1973
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PDF icon CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010086-1.pdf452.34 KB
.;) P W Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2014/01/09: CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010086-1 er, b d4) II16 tr14, ifek:611ii Advances in quake prediction Shift in world climate End of longest space mission se ?-e. ia Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2014/01/09: CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010086-1 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2014/01/09: CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010086-1 Science focuses on 5 Mankind Research Unlimited Light radiating from a fingertip. William A. Tiller corona discharge. Miller: Radiation 202 Richard A. Miller is gas emission. a 'light of life' Kirlian photography, controversial and poorly understood, nevertheless could become a valuable diagnostic tool by Lisa J. Shawver "It May be a discovery as important as Einstein's theory or it may be noth- ing." "Medicine, dentistry, criminology, geol- ogy, agriculture, archaeology, forensic medicine might all benefit from the breakthrough." "It may be a long time before we understand the phenomenon revealed but the promise is rich . . . we may learn much about the invisible bio- energy of organisms." "The subject is unworthy of serious investigation." "It is a new frontier for investigation." This wide range of comment con- cerns a novel photographic process now stirring controversy among American scientists. Kirlian photography, invented in 1939 by Russian researchers Semyon and Valentina Kirlian and introduced to the United States three years ago, produces startling photographs of pul- sating, multicolored lights streaming from the human body and from plants. Psychologists, psychiatrists, biologists and physicists, as well as investigators of psychic phenomena, are looking into Kirlian photography (also known as radiation-field photography) as a new way of observing energy fields associ- ated with living organisms. Unusual experiments are being per- formed throughout the United States and Russia with remarkable claims be- ing made?many based on little infor- mation and attained under loosely con- trolled experimental conditions. How- ever, reputable American scientists are now attempting to improve testing con- ditions to better evaluate the phenom- cm involved. The subject poses frustrating pitfalls for anyone attempting an objective, in- dependent evaluation. Little of the re- search has been published in the tradi- tional scientific literature. Only a rela- tively small number of scientists have firsthand knowledge of it. Those who are experimenting often seem to dis- agree on even the most basic points. And a certain amount of verbal gobble- dygook ?by some of those who have described experiments or presented ?theories has made it difficult to sort out the legitimate scientific aspects from more metaphysical matters. Neverthe- less, there seems to be enough to the subject to merit same serious attention. The Kirlians report that their elec- trophotographs show certain points on the human body radiating light flares more forcibly than the areas around them and that these points correspond exactly to the 741 acupuncture points mapped out by the ancient Chinese. It is also reported that they have pro- duced photographs showing that a plant is diseased before the physical symp- toms of the disease appear. Soviet investigator Victor Adamenko, who has worked with the Kirlians for many years, claims that he has been, able to cut off as much as 10 percent of a leaf and still produce a photograph that shows light emanating not only from the portion of the leaf remaining but also from the missing section. Adamenko suggests there are so many energy sources in a leaf that cutting a small section away does not significantly reduce the ability of the leaf to main- tain its energy pattern. American scien- tists have been unable to obtain the same result. science news, vol. 104 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2014/01/09: CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010086-1 _ Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2014/01/09 : CIA-R-DP79-00999A000200010086-1 t ? --4:C rrs.'44 - ? ?-?'?. ; *VP ?.9 Kirlian photo- graph of leaf taken with a prolonged elec- trical pulse. Milner and Smart In the United States, material scien- tist William A. Tiller of Stanford Uni- versity and medical psychologist Thelma Moss of the University of California in Los Angeles have produced photo- graphs of freshly plucked leaves reveal- ing light patterns surrounding the leaves that become distorted if the leaves are mutilated and gradually disappear as the leaves die. They speculate that this emanation may be a direct measure of the life processes occurring within a living organism. Repeated experiments suggest that light emanations around fingertips vary with the emotional, physiological and psychic state of the person being photo- graphed. Moss has photographed the fingertips .of a medical student btfore, during and after the consumption of 17 ounces of bourbon. The emanations around his fingertips became increasing- ly brighter and rosier after each con- secutive drink until he became "all lit up" and, shortly thereafter, ill. This experiment has been repeated by Tiller and psychiatrist Gerald G. Jampolsky of the Child Center in Kentfield, Calif.; their results corroborate those of Moss. More puzzling are photographs taken of fingers of "faith healers"?persons who claim they can cure illness by touching others. Often the person being treated by a healer reports a "heat" sensation in the area of the body touched. Pictures taken by Moss show that the glow around the healer's fingers is smaller than before healing, while the patient's emanations increase in size and intensity after healing. "It should be emphasized," she says, "that this phenemonon does not demonstrate healing; it simply seems to reveal a transfer of energy from healer to pa- tient." This is but a small sample of Kirlian photography experiments going on in the United States, Russia, and to a lesser degree, in England and South America. The simplicity and inexpen- siveness of the Kirlian apparatus has encouraged experimentation by bona fide and amateur scientists alike. In general, the American photo- graphic *devices are modeled after the Russian ones but differ from one an- other in power source and experimental range of voltage and frequency used. In the simplest Kirlian device, the object to be photographed is placed on film between two metal plates to which voltage is applied. For taking pictures of a portion of the human body only one electrode (metal plate) RF PULSE GENERATOR ELECTRODES 50y. SPACE DIELECTRIC SHEET ( exposed photographic film) MECHANICAL CLAMP FILM (emulsion side to object) William A. Tille In typical simple Kirlian device, the object is placed between two electrodes. september 29, 1973 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2014/01/09: is needed since the body acts as a ground. In other cases, a transparent electrode is used, and the film is placed outside the apparatus in a camera. Often a Tesla coil is used with the device; it is plugged into an electrical outlet and in turn rigged to the metal plates. The Tesla coil multiplies the. voltage and the frequency of the elec- tric field. If the current is of high frequency, it travels over the surface of objects rather than through them and is thus safer to work with. The exposure time depends on the film speed and the strength of the discharge current. When the current is turned on, in a darkened room, rays of light are readily seen issuing from the ob- ject's edges. The light is recorded by the film. Radiation-field photography is not a new discovery. It dates as far back as Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the inventor of the Tesla coil. With the coil, he made photographs showing sparks emanating from various parts of his body. At the turn of the century, an American and a Czech physicist also experimented with electrography. Again in the 1930's, American physicists studied corona discharge. However, little attention was paid to these photo- graphs until the Kirlians accidently re- discovered the process. Most earlier scientists felt that they were dealing purely with a corona discharge; the Kirlians were the first to consider the patterns of illuminescences as "life activities." "In living things," the Kirlians wrote, "we see the signals of the inner state of the organism reflected in the bright- ness, dimness and color of the flares. The inner life activities of the human being are written in these 'light' hiero- 203 CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010086-1 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved write these hieroglyphs. n to read - - them we're going to need71S1p." American interest in radiation pho- tography was triggered three years ago by the appearance of the book "Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain" by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroe- der. Several American scientists (among them Tiller; Moss; lawyer and inventor Kendall L. Johnson; psychiatrist Mon- tague Ullman, director of the Mai- monidies Mental Health Center in Brooklyn; and psychiatrist Stanley Krippner, director of the Maimonidies Dream Laboratory) found the accounts of Russian psychic research interesting enough to visit the Soviet Union and observe at firsthand what was going on. While there, they were given sche- matic diagrams of the Kirlian apparatus but were not allowed to actually see one in operation. Upon their return to the United States, several such devices were built. Also leading to the interest in radia- tion photography is the current sym- pathy in some quarters toward subjects outside the areas of traditional science. The discovery of the apparent validity of ancient practices such as meditation and acupuncture has opened many minds to new ideas and broadened the perspectives of scientific research. But as to .the exact nature of the phenome- non taking place in Kirlian photography there is little agreement among scien- tists. Some ardent proponents of Kirlian photography feel that the emanations are none other than what ancient theosophical 'teachings call the "astral body," "energy body" or "aura" that surrounds the physical body. A Russian physicist and investigator of Kirlian photography, Viktor In- yushin, explains the phenomenon in vitalistic terms. He believes the photo- graphs reveal the "bioplasma body" of an organism?a previously overlooked state of matter made up of electrons and other subatomic particles that sur- round and intepenetrate living orga- nisms. He states that it has specific spatial organization, is polarized and determines the form of the organism it penetrates. He associates bioplasmic energy with psychokinesis, acupuncture and similar phenomena still unex- plained. Jane H. Hu, electrophysiologist and director of research and education at the Acupuncture Institute and Research Center in Washington, says she is "very interested" in Kirlian photography. "It is direct evidence that shows the energy circulation in the body that coincides with the theories behind acupuncture and meridians. Whether or not this is an electrical or nonelectrical energy we do not know." Other investigators are attempting to 204 for Release 2014/01/09: CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010086-1 point of traditional Western scit...?,g. Tiller says there is a "specific physi- cal explanation called the streamer phe- nomenon of corona discharge that can account for all the observations made to date." Electrons, emitted from the object, move to the positively charged plate. By collison, they ionize the air mole- cules. When the density of positive ions is great enough, they attract the elec- trons back to the positive ion cloud, producing recombination events that lead to the emitting of radiation. Nitro- gen recombination gives rise to the emission of light in the blue and ultra- violet range. The light patterns thus produced, vary with the distribution of the electrical field which is in turn influenced by the physiological state of the person being photographed. The physiological state is governed by the emotional state. But he adds that al- though there is a physical explanation this does not mean that some unknown type of energy may not be intimately involved. Richard Miller, a physicist and direc- tor of research at the department of paraphysics and parapsychology at the Experimental College in Seattle, is not convinced air ionization is the main process involved in Kirlian photog- raphy. He thinks the radiations are related to the normal discharge of gases from living organisms. With photospectrometry, Miller and his colleagues have looked at the emis- sion lines coming off the human body and have identified them as gases related to the phenomenon of pheromones (gases that contain communication sig- nals, like odors). "Much human emo- tional interaction could depend on the exchange of pheromones," says Miller. "Of course, this goes on at a subliminal level?below the level of conscious awareness." "Gas emissions are functions of the emotional state and are potential clues to what goes on inside the head, and may lead to accurate measure of human responses and health state. The Kirlian process gives us a handle to measure these states," concludes Miller. Both he and Tiller agree that careful experimentation under well-controlled conditions is needed to evaluate the significance of the phenomenon. Says Tiller: "We have not been sufficiently careful experimentally in the past." Though scientists do not clearly un- derstand the phenomenon taking place in Kirlian photography, many are ex- cited about its applications. "Whatever it is," Moss says, "I'm interested in it because it reveals enor- mous differences in energy states in individuals and thus may have practical applications for treating disea?es, alco- holics, for psychotherapy and for study- the discovery of Kirlian photography to be "as important as the invention of the X-ray machine. X-rays show what goes on inside the human body, Kirlian photography reveals what goes on out- side the body." Jampolsky is planning to take photo- graphs of ,fingertips of children to see if he can determine when a child is daydreaming or actually concentrating on his books. He is also planning to do some work with dying patients to find how long emanations continue after death and if the photographs will reveal when a patient makes the un- conscious decision to stop living. "Kri- lian studies of persons in a hypnotic state show that unconscious decisions do affect the aura," he says. Researchers James Hickman and Larry Amos of Sonoma State College in New Mexico are planning to take photographs of fingertips of normal and abnormal persons at a nearby mental hospital. Preliminary studies with Kir- lian photography, Hickman says, indi- cate that it is possible to detect emo- tid'hal disturbances. Says Moss: "At this moment in time, it is impossible to draw any conclusions about this research, except one. What- ever these pictures reveal?corona dis- charge or bioplasma?the changes which have been observed to occur in organic materials demonstrate that a most interesting, still undeciphered story is being told. And there lies the chal- lenge." 0 . . . earthquakes lieve that the number of 'false alarms' in predicting earthquakes may well be small." The elaborate theory may not be precisely accurate, but, says one seis- mologist, "even if it is wrong it is valu- able. It gives us something to measure." One factor in prediction will cer- tainly be the amount of available in- strumentation, particularly if there is to be a practical prediction network covering most of the seismically haz- ardous areas in the United States, to say nothing of other countries. The only area now instrumented for any appreciable number of precursors, says Scholz, is Garm, which is equipped ?to monitor pressure-wave velocity, local seismicity, crustal uplifting and electri- cal resistivity. Among the most important tech- niques now being developed to help catch quakes napping, according to Eaton, are ways of directly measuring the general level of stress deep in the rock. One approach, called pressure packing, has already been used at the Rangeley oil field in Colorado. A layer of a plastic material is placed around a hollow sleeve which is then inserted science news, vol. 104 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2014/01/09: CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010086-1