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For Sasha, a Soviet Exorcist?

Times Staff Writer

The story had the elements of a Hollywood movie about the supernatural.

According to a report Wednesday in the national daily Izvestia, a young boy identified only as Sasha K. has been startling relatives and neighbors in his hometown of Yenakievo in the Ukraine. Fires break out in his presence; objects fly about; light bulbs explode. On one occasion, a refrigerator turned upside down.

Neighbors panicked. The boy’s father had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. The police were called.

Everyone that the authorities questioned reported that strange things happened when the boy was around. There was mention of a poltergeist--a ghost that is supposed to be responsible for noisy disturbances.

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When fire broke out in the boy’s home, he was brought to Moscow and given a thorough physical examination, but nothing out of the ordinary was found. Yet, scientists here were said to have taken the stories seriously. One witness said a shoe flew off his foot and out a window when the boy walked into the room.

Finally, Izvestia said, a Dr. Adriankin, identified as a physicist, looked into the evidence and announced: “It is clearly a case of a poltergeist.”

Adriankin theorized that Sasha projects some kind of mysterious energy that can hypnotize people, leaving them momentarily dazed and unable to remember exactly what had happened in his presence.

According to Izvestia, Adriankin also said the boy is able to project a kind of electrical energy that ignites gases in the air, causing fires. He speculated that because of increasing air pollution and the resultant increase in the amount of gases in the atmosphere, more such cases could come to light.

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