One of the inspirations for some of the weird stuff in Trinity was the extraordinary story of the Russian psychic, Nina Kulagina, who became very famous in the Soviet Union and well beyond for the spooky demonstrations of her talents in telekinesis–or as it’s sometimes known, ‘mind over matter’ –the ability to move objects solely by concentrating on them. Feted by the Soviet secret services, paraded as an example of Soviet superiority in ‘out-there’ research, Nina was a real character—a Red Army tank driver who became a soldier at the age of 14, she said she first realised her mind-power came originally from great anger, but its full potential could only be achieved through restraint and meditation. Back in civilian life, she was quickly spotted by the secret services, and more than 40 scientists, including two Nobel prizewinners, studied her, while weird black and white films of her demonstrations popped up all over the world. It was one of those films that I saw many years ago at school, as part of a documentary on Cold War rivalry(for the Americans, spooked by the apparent success of Soviet psychic research, quickly instituted their own research project, dubbed the Stargate project–later immortalised in the film, ‘Men who Stare at Goats’!)
I’ve long forgotten most of what the documentary said; but those few jerky scenes of Nina staring at a frog, and apparently stopping its heart then restarting it, simply, apparently, by the power of her mind, always stayed with me, and has now resurfaced in my book. You can see films of her abilities now on You Tube–check it out!