X-ray vision is perhaps the one superman power I really had the least interest in. I mean to be able to fly would be awesome, invincibility and super speed would be superb, and X-ray vision... yea I guess that would be super awesome if I gambled or wanted to be a doctor or desired to beat the 3 card game but since I have no interest in any of those things, I think it would just be wasted on me. Look I'm not saying I’d turn it down if I could have that ability, just saying it wouldn't be my preferred mutant power.
And although X-ray vision seems like something straight out of a movie, there is a girl who supposedly has this ability in real life.
Born in 1987 in the Russian city of Saransk, Natasha Demnika discovered her unique ability when she was just about 10 years old. During that time, between 2003 and 2004, Natasha “scanned” her friends and relatives and presented them her observations.
“I have two sights. I can switch any minute without reason, should I want to see the state of health of a person,” Natasha reveals during one interview. “This switching makes no difficulty to me; I just need to think about it. I can see the full structure of the human body – how internal organs are positioned and how they function… afflicted organs produce a kind of radiation.”
Moreover, Natasha says that her x-ray sight only works in the daytime and, like some kind of plot twist, she cannot use her special ability to scan her own internal organs.
According to the media and to the people she scanned, her diagnoses appear to be sometimes more accurate than those made by medical professionals and doctors with the most advanced of equipment. Some people who have come to her even claim that Natasha was able to find illnesses and problems that they did not know they have in the first place.
Because of the local media covering this phenomenon for almost a year, Natasha has gotten the attention of various other media agencies around the world, most notably the Discovery Channel who sponsored a study that was conducted on Natasha to get to the bottom of how her ability to “scan” people really works.
Natasha and her mother claim that she can detect abnormalities in the body with 100 percent accuracy. All she needs is a few minutes to scan a person from head to toe.
In March 2004, the Discovery Channel, together with the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health (CSMMH) prepared a simple test to unlock the mystery of Natasha’s x-ray vision.
To make the test as simple as possible and non-invasive, Natasha only needed to scan seven volunteers; six of them with abnormalities or medical conditions while one was completely well and normal. During the test, Natasha was provided with a set of cards with instructions in both English and Russian where she should indicate the abnormalities she has spotted on which participant.
In order for the researchers to arrive at a conclusive result, Natasha had to identify at least four of the seven conditions. The following conditions each participant has been a removed appendix, metal staples in the chest left after a surgery, a removed lower section of the esophagus, a removed upper-left section of the lung, a metal plate covering a removed section of the skull, and an artificial hip joint.
While Natasha was able to identify some of the conditions correctly, her biggest blow was not being to identify the patient with a metal plate in his head and instead said the patient with the appendix removed had a piece of his skull missing.
The study yielded to unsatisfactory results because of several other variables. For one, Natasha claimed that she could detect each anomaly in just a few minutes, but the entire test took her four hours to make her diagnoses. Also, several protocol violations were discovered as Natasha arrived earlier than expected and she was able to interact with two of the volunteers at the facility. Natasha’s mother was also present in the testing room and Natasha’s friend, who was acting as interpreter, was found to have constantly been sending and receiving text messages during the course of the test.
However, Britain’s The Sun was also able to conduct their own study with one of their journalists volunteering. The journalist, Briony Warden, suffered fractures and injuries to her leg after a car accident that required reconstructive procedures and the use of metal plates.
Unlike the study conducted by Discovery, the results from The Sun came out conclusive that Natasha indeed had special abilities. Said Warden after the study, “She described my pelvis as asymmetrical and pointed to the right side with several fractures… then she said she saw traces of several metal pins and screws that dinted in the bone. Without seeing the scars, she could not know that a fortnight ago my leg was fastened with several pins and screws.”
Where is Natasha Now?
At the onset of discovering her daughter’s abilities, Tatyana Demkina, Natasha’s mother, tried to conceal it from the public but when word began to travel fast and far, their tiny apartment in Russia flooded with curious onlookers and “patients.”
Her father, Nikolai Demkin, narrates, “we’ve been hiding our daughter’s gift for a long time. But her uniqueness became public property, and after that our family was haunted by reporters. Local newspapers also wrote about her, and some articles brought us much sorrow.”
Allegedly, people or patients who wish to have their bodies scanned for any sickness or problems should be ready to shell out $13 to see Natasha. It may not be much, but in this part of Russia, it’s a lot of money to shell out by families whose income is extremely low.
Despite this, Natasha dreams of working in the medical field where she and her family believes that her abilities will be of much benefit and in 2004, she finished school and, in 2008 worked at the Moscow Center for Special Human Diagnostics.
Whether or not her x-ray eyes are real is still a matter of debate, at least in the scientific community – and whatever ability she has, it looks as if it will remain a mystery to us all, at least in this lifetime.