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How a Soviet Circus Clown Tried to Prove That Dogs Can Be Psychic

Ever heard of “biological radio communications”? That's the term Soviet scientist Bernard Bernardovich Kazhinskiy used for what we call telepathy. He studied the famed animal trainer and circus performer Vladimir L. Durov, who had an uncanny ability to communicate with dogs. Durov claimed to send thoughts to the dogs from his own mind.

Over the course of about two years, Durov and Kazhinskiy would conduct close to 1,300 experiments testing telepathic commands on dogs. This line of research would come to have more importance than most investigations of psychic phenomena: In the decades that followed, it would lead into a Cold War battle to obtain unconventional weapons, during which both sides tried to enhance military parapsychological capabilities and, most famously, America experimented with “men who stared at goats” in order to try to stop their hearts. As Kazhinskiy noted in his 1962 report on his work, the U.S. would eventually become quite interested in telepathy, but “it appears that the main reason… is that the results might be of great military significance.”

An article at Atlas Obscura tells about Kazhinskiy's research on Durov's animal telepathy. Although any dog owner will tell you that dogs are much better at reading minds than humans are at sending telepathic signals.    


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