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  • Anti-Gravity in the 1950s

    LaViolette_cover
    There are several reference books available on electrogravitics, also known as anti-gravity. Two of the best are Electrogravitics II by Thomas Valone, and Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion by Paul A. LaViolette. These books contain a wealth of information.

    Modern anti-gravity research began with Nikola Tesla’s shock discharge experiments in the 1890s. Tesla discovered, quite by accident, that under certain conditions a tangible force could felt several feet away from his discharge apparatus. The presence of this force was completely unexpected. Intrigued, he re-focused his experiments and determined that this force could be transmitted over distance, in a narrow beam and with only minimal losses. Tesla lacked sufficient funds to develop the technology further, and could only speculate on its possible applications.

    In later interviews, Tesla predicted a future in which electric airships traversed the skies for commerce and pleasure. The airships would be self-propelled or supported by energy beams from the ground. These ideas, widely reported in the popular press, provided an atmosphere of scientific credibility to fanciful visions of the Atlantean Vailx.

    Another prominent researcher was Thomas Townsend Brown of Zanesville, Ohio. Brown observed an unexpected force while experimenting with high voltage tubes. His first patent, granted in 1928, describes “…a method of controlling gravitation and deriving power therefrom, and to a method for producing linear force or motion. The method is fundamentally electrical.” (British patent 300,311 dated Nov. 15, 1928)

    U.S. Patent 1,974,483
    U.S. Patent 1,974,483

    The force that Brown discovered is called the Biefeld-Brown Effect, named after Brown and his mentor, a professor of Physics at Denison University. Brown’s research continued while serving as a Naval Radio Officer in the 1930s, and as an Allied Intelligence agent in the 1940s. Eventually, his results captured the attention of leading aerospace firms. Brown was largely responsible for the interest in gravitation control that flourished in the aerospace industry during the 1950s.

    One of the many fascinating points covered in the books by Valone and LaViolette is how open and publicly acknowledged anti-gravity research was in the 1950s. Several articles about research projects at U.S. aviation firms were published in the mid 1950s. The New York Herald Tribune reported in November 1955:

    Many in America’s aircraft and electronics industries are excited over the possibility of using its magnetic and gravitational fields as a medium of support for amazing “flying vehicles” which will not depend on the air for lift. Space ships capable of accelerating in a few seconds to speeds many thousands of miles an hour and making sudden changes of course at these speeds without subjecting their passengers to the so-called “G-forces” caused by gravity’s pull also are envisioned. These concepts are part of a new program to solve the secret of gravity and universal gravitation all ready in progress in many top scientific laboratories and long-established industrial firms of the nation.(p75)

    The Herald goes on to cite gravitational control research at General Dynamics, Glen L. Martin Co., Convair, Bell Aircraft, Lear Inc. and Sperry-Rand. Technical reports from this era have surfaced and support the existence of these research programs.

    In an effort to prepare the public for the appearance of new, unconventional flying vehicles, the U.S. Dept of Defense issued a press release on Oct. 15, 1955. Secretary of the Air Force Donald A. Quarles was quoted as follows:

    We are now entering a period of aviation technology in which aircraft of unusual configuration and flight characteristics will begin to appear…The Air Force and other Armed Services have under development several vertical-rising, high performance aircraft… Vertical-rising aircraft capable of transition to supersonic horizontal flight will be a new phenomena in our skies, and under certain conditions could give the illusion of the so-called flying saucer.(p73)

    John Searl's Levity Disc
    John Searl’s Levity Disc

    Within a few years, the commercial programs quietly shut down and official references disappeared from mainstream press. Copious amounts of dis-information began to appear, suggesting that flying disks were of interplanetary origin. Apparently it was decided that anti-gravity research should become a state secret, and that public sightings of advanced flying vehicles could be dismissed as fanciful tales of science fiction.

    Anti-gravity research continued in the form of highly classified programs by military contractors and secret labs in the U.S, Britain and Soviet Union. LaViolette presents evidence that the American B-2 Advanced Technology Bomber utilizes electrogravitic propulsion to extend its range. (During the Kosovo War in 1999, B2 bombers flew non-stop from their home base in Missouri to Kosovo and back.)

    Several different approaches to field-propulsion technology have been documented. I was amused to note that the direction of my own research, which diverged from Brown’s early work, has gone unreported. Government-funded programs are using more energy-intensive approaches such as flame-jet ionization and microwave phase conjugation. Meanwhile, a few private enterprises exist in isolation, flying literally “under the radar” with low altitude, all-electric airships.

    Links:

    U.S. Gravity Control Propulsion Research

    The Thomas Townsend Brown Family Website

    Defying Gravity: The Parallel Universe of T. Townsend Brown

    The Scientific Notebooks of Thomas Townsend Brown

    The Story Behind the John Searl Story