"Lost Science" by Gerry Vassilatos
Limited permission granted to use this material in other presentations.
ISBN 0-932813-75-5 © 1999
For the enthralled onlookers who reported the mysterious and luminary "aeroships" during the 1890's, cavernous space seemed to be opening new secrets and potentials for humanity. The whole nation watched the night skies for signs of strange crafts, ships "from an unknown world". Aeroship sightings swept the country long before the press could reach and contaminate the more susceptible with the furor of panic and mass hysteria. It was the only such mass event in recent time in which unidentified flying objects were sighted, not by media-precipitation, but through direct and continual experience.
The townsfolk and farmland residents of the yet agrarian American Society were bewildered with the source of these sightings. Here was experiential contact, but contact with whom ... or what? The first aeroships were ghostlike in appearance. Though fixed in their outward cylindrical form, they often appeared semi-transparent and vague in detail. Their silence was another feature, which positively enthralled those who accidentally beheld their serene aerial passage.
Gossamer fabrications, their solid geometric shapes gradually acquired other mystifying attributes. Like a vision, which forms from mist and slowly clarifies to sharpness with time, the aeroships "became" identifiable as some bizarre craft for transportation. Colored lights, flashing lights, searchlight beacons, turbines, sounds ... the sounds came after a sizable population saw the objects, and ... vaguely "human personages".
Those who looked into the stars were the fortunate recipients of a new and fast coming dawn, where dream symbols were actively weaving the future. A new revelation was suddenly permeating the American mind. Books and gazettes were flooded with tales of aerial abductions. Townspeople shared what aerial visions they nightly saw. Local newspapers were astir with the reports. All thoughts turned away from the earth and focused on the stars, looking for signs of the strange crafts and their whereabouts. The "mysterious visitors" who made their nightly, silent aerial courses across Midwestern wheat fields seemed vaguely linked with a lost time and a forgotten world. There was something dreamlike in their nature. Dreamlike, yet solid.
Were they the embodiments of some inventor's mad schemes, or were they phantasms of the collective symbolic world? Sighted over California, New Mexico, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, Omaha, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Delaware, New York, the early sightings of aeroships signaled a new movement in the sea of dreams. Soon, human art would join that movement, producing physical crafts, which mimicked the first "aerial ghost-ships".
Their movements seemingly had no boundaries or limits. German immigrants had seen these "demonic engines" in their homeland, from 1860 until the 1880's. Why had they seemingly pursued them across the Atlantic? Who were they and why were they demanding attention? What did these voyagers signify? Traveling over the houses of those who would see them, the ships could be described with greater accuracy. All of them were "cigar shaped" measuring some one hundred feet long or more. Better details were seen than those in which the aeroships "soared overhead at six hundred feet". There were mystery ships, which came close to the ground, multiple witnesses of high credibility simultaneously seeing the ships land.
Whereas early sightings (1890-1892) were dreamlike and attractively benign, most persons were increasingly frightened by their appearance during the "mid-season" (1893-1896). The strange designs somehow seemed "hostile", though no hostile activities were ever associated with them. People were gradually sensing an insidious "invasion" of their world. Fearing that hordes of nameless, faceless armies would descend and do harm to thousands, ranchers took note and armed themselves.
All too numerous first aeroship sightings remained in the files of the paranormal, involving mysterious personages of truly unknown origins, languages, and abilities. Fears seemed confirmed when some aeroship shadowy "visitors" were seen during night flaps. Gradually clarifying from shadow to light, these mystery beings were observed by a great number of people. Standing amid intensely brilliant "search lights", strange figures were seen examining their craft. Certain of these strange figures spoke bizarre languages, hybrids of familiar dialects. In one case, the design seemed "oriental" in design. The aerial visitors seemed human, but their clothing was totally otherworldly and, somehow, futuristic. They certainly "looked different". Their languages were certainly no identifiable tongue. They came close enough to engage a contact.
Running toward the figures often resulted in their "immediate" withdrawal and ascent. They seemed able to de-materialize and appear overhead in seconds! Intent on remaining elusive, ordinary people were convinced that something supernatural was happening. The "mystery visitors" maintained a curious and dreamy separation from the humanity, which they were stimulating. "They" seemed frightened of meeting and engaging people, as if power would be lost through the contact.
Late season aeroship encounters (1895-1899) changed dramatically. Some farmers and mechanics tried running near the ships, describing them as "canoe shaped crafts". They were often flooded within with a "greenish or bluish" light. Under the large housing, there were multiple portholes from which downward looking faces peered excitedly. In several cases there were turbine-like wheels, whose slow turning effected rapidly ascending retreats.
In one case, the mystery night visitors hoisted cattle away, strung by the neck with what appeared to be a wire rope. The red aeroship flew off toward the distant hills. Several of the "later mystery aeroships" were actually engaged in friendly conversation, dirigible hovering in plain sight. Aeroships now became "aerialists", the mystery seemingly solved.
For most, it became obvious that "inventors" were behind the entire phenomenon from start to finish. German inventors! Dirigibles began appearing everywhere. The names Autzerlitz, Eddelman, Tillman, Dolbear, Nixon, and Schoetler seemed to answer the question, which frightened German Americans had asked. But these individuals had also seen the early ghostships, an anomaly which could not find a reasonable answer.
Nevertheless, most people were completely assured that the entire history of aeroships was an elaborate confusion of observations ... secret societies, hoaxes, publicity stunts, and the like. Certainly a few of these last sightings were indeed the result of secret earthly aerial "clubs". Designers and financiers together undertook the early construction of dirigibles. There were several reports of such an enterprise. The device was huge, used hydrogen gas for lift, and sported several advanced osmium-filament searchlights for nighttime travel.
The inventor, a Mr. Wilson by name, came out to meet with intrigued townspeople. Sharing with them in a friendly conversation the secrets of his developments, he explained that his point of origin was a "little peaceful town in Iowa". Yes, he was an American, born in Goshen, New York. An electrical system employing "highly condensed" electricity provided propulsive force for the craft. Mr. Wilson added that he had undertaken the construction of five other flying machines such as the one, which he flew.
Before leaving, he asked the sheriff, to give his regards to the local itinerant judge whom he knew by name. Asking only buckets of water "for his engine", he entered the craft. Lifting out of view to the many cheers of those who watched, he passed into history never again heard. Dirigibles and other such flying crafts were already becoming a Patent registry revolution; Patent 565805 to Charles Abbott Smith (1896), and Patent 580941 to Henry Heintz (1897), being two typical examples.
Researchers who have investigated the all too numerous mystery airship sightings observe that modes of aerial travel very swiftly became an international obsession among all too numerous youthful engineers. Thereafter, the world beheld a new era of experimental daring, as aerialists played their soaring games before the skyward looking eyes of wonderstruck admirers. Lovely designs appeared, first on drawing boards, and then in the skies.
Cylindrical balloons were wrapped in netting or canvas, and firmly fixed to a "well aerated" gondola, slung underneath. Some of these designs were truly compact and efficient. Engines, propellers, and rudders were all controlled by levers and wheels. The problems of aerial maneuverability were solved by a brilliant little man, a physio-type perfect for the aerial arena. Alberto Santos-Dumont, the aerialist playboy, incorporated his own private dirigible design ... for engaging young belles along the shores of the Seine.
Descending from the clouds with his butler-assistant, he brought champagne and succulent delicacies for an occasional "chance meeting". Permission duly granted by governess attendants, butler was exchanged for belle, as the marvelous Monsieur Dumont flew away with his jewel. Never was the fairy tale more complete. The socially accepted aerialist was never refused. To refuse Santos-Dumont was to refuse an honor of the very "highest" sort. Wealthy, eligible, poised, and proper, the silk scarfed bandit of the Parisian skies made his daily appearance over and about the lovely Champs Elysees. Soaring aloft with his more adventuresome feminine admirers, he toured the Parisian skies. No one of these swooning mademoiselles could thereafter claim never to have been literally "swept off her feet" by a man. After a specified time, he easily settled his craft down again with the great skill and panache of an artistic lover. The damsels safely returned to their enthralled and permissive governesses, belle was sadly exchanged for butler. Hands were lightly kissed, a flower exchanged perhaps.
His timing was always impeccably precise. The "wrist-watch", which his friend Cartier first designed for his exclusive aerial use, had already become the rage of Paris. Aerial crafts, strange glass-covered instruments, flying goggles, wristwatches, drooping moustache, and special flying suits ... the short little serious-faced man cut a comic, but somehow dramatic figure. Imbued with a sense of the visionary future, women flocked to him. In truth, he remains an historic figure of bizarre aerial gallantry.
Alberto Santos-Dumont justifiably received the most public acclaim in the early days of aerial transportation, a master of the art. His performances greatly endeared aerial transportation to the public as a science, art, and sport. In one exhibition, he successfully maneuvered around and through the Eiffel Tower. Photographs of the event are startling. The art of dirigible flying was perfected in him, the strange little flying man for whom dreamers owe a strong gratitude. Vive Santos-Dumont!
A never-ending armada of aerialists, hoping in part to mimic Dumont, covered the aeroship mystery for most bewildered people of the day with their grand public displays. Forgotten were the phantom-like apparitions of vague form, mysteriously floating like visions across the worldwide skies. Despite the historical closed chapter on aeroships, a single mysterious note of the most exquisitely haunting variety followed the development and deployment of dirigibles.
The story focuses upon an elderly German gentleman, Dellschau by name. An early and forgotten researcher of aerial phenomena, he maintained records of all the aeroship sightings after 1850. The poor man clung to his precious notebooks until his passing at the remarkable age of 92. These books were later noticed at an aviation exhibition by an inquiring researcher (Navarro). The books are covered with drawings of dirigibles and other clippings, all from the middle 1800's. Among the numerous and rare newspaper clippings were bizarre designs for airships. Far too massive for realistic flight, they may have been attempts to sublimate the apparitions.
There are indications that Mr. Dellschau was a member of a secret society, which, on further study of the arcane German dialect in which he wrote, had every aspect of a Jules Verne novel. According to the researcher who examined the notebooks, a group of sixty researchers and developers formed the core of this early Aero Club. The translation infers that aerial ships were tested and flown by the secret group in Germany during the 1850's, and afterward in California.
This anomalous report would explain all the previous sightings, both in Germany and in America, were it not for more important details. On close examination, there were significant inconsistencies with the claims and the designs themselves. The designs each seemed more like rockets, their actual balloon sections being far too small to realistically lift the indicated weight. There are those who would believe Dellschau's descriptions of "NB gas", the "weight nullifying gas", belong to a yet unknown lifting agent. Possibly obtained in the distillation of rare minerals, or in some electrical process, these bizarre explanations would be plausible for many who are aware of similar past discoveries.
Nevertheless, there is another explanation, which, having a more macabre fascination seems to be closest to the reality of both aeroship sightings and Dellschau himself. A reclusive visionary, he wrote in the manner of a mystic possessed by a great and awesome secret. The more extraordinary explanation for both European and American sightings seems to be found in recognizing that the sightings "followed" Dellschau himself wherever he traveled. May it never be said that dreams and visions, suffusing sufficiently empowered human beings, cannot spatially materialize.
The "mystery aeroship" sightings yet remain as true materializations of dream and reality, myth and engineering, archetype and design. Space-projected dream fragments have a curious way of moving through the stimulating revolutions, which they materialize. With the expression of the aeroships now in material form, all thoughts of apparitional aeroships were dispatched to the world of dreams and dreamers.
Designers and builders undertook mighty works toward these more material ends, fabricating the grandest, most elaborate renditions of dirigibles. They were one latest wonder in a Century, which produced so very many wonders. But those who watched the skies for passing dirigibles made of wood, canvas, glass, tin, and gas were suddenly taken aback. For there, there above the clouds where dirigibles puttered along, new aerial manifestation began appearing.
Dreamy in appearance when first sighted, earth-bound watchers were almost afraid to report them for fear of public ridicule. The apparitions which thousands began seeing and reporting were called "ghost rockets". These cloudlike apparitions were cylindrical with tapered ends. They sprouted prodigious quantities of smoke, while traveling straight across the sky at velocities, which seemed fantastic. Like the first aeroship apparitions, these ghost-rockets were absolutely ill defined and silent.
These crafts, if dirigibles, seemed totally advanced to those who beheld them. Wingless, rudderless, and silent; these devices defied all inventive reason. The ghost-rockets were seen in every nation. Their gradual "acquisition of details" is now a matter of the indelible historic record. Portholes, fins, wings, humans, each appeared in graded successions. In the same developmental manner as was experienced with mystery aeroships, human stimulations determined to build what they sensed. The dream sea, surging, suffused the world-mind with a new quest.
It was no wonder when the idea of space flight seized the imagination of all whose parents previously beheld the silent armadas of mystery aeroships. Edgar Rice Burroughs lived through the days when mystery aeroships were making their inexplicable journeys through both the night sky and the mind of society. A true visionary of his day, he thrilled readers with his Mars Adventure series.
John Carter, his central theme hero, was the earthman that was mystically "translated" to Mars after accidentally walking through a certain "forgotten cavern" of the Arizona deserts. The interplanetary gateway, an artifact of archaic magick, was indeed the most gloriously advanced means for travel among the distant planets. The beauty of this mythic dream portrays the archetypes well, as magickal doorways into other worlds consistently flood the symbolic lexicon of fables and legends the world over.
The Mars Series exposed young readers to the possibilities of interplanetary travel and contact with other civilizations. The extremely sublime dream-forms portrayed and represent by Edgar Rice Burroughs required another thirty years for their realization. Legendary experiments dealing with inter-dimensional travel continued to haunt American scientific society throughout the remainder of their Twentieth Century, mostly among privateers and natural philosophers. Among the works of several independent researchers it is said that these wonders were approached and actually achieved. In the inability to immediately realize the "gateway" symbol in material form, a mythic theme more capable of bridging gaps from existing technology toward possible new ones was forged. John Carter's mystery caverns and their magickal technology was forgotten. The modified dream quest, the image and frame of desire in the early Twentieth Century, became Rocketry.
Space was opened, a portal pouring forth its dream floods. The great rush of activities focused all technological attention on rockets and their potential. Rockets into space! Even the heroic tales shifted their focus for the new theme. Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon appeared, embracing their young readers with a fresh new dream whose power derived from more mechanically accessible sources.
Rockets were not being developed by academicians. Too many physical laws taught them to be "impractical and futile". American academicians had difficulty with accepting the rocket as a viable propulsive mode for travel. But these "laws and restrictions" did not stop young enthusiasts bent on making history. Rockets were being made and tested by numerous rocket clubs in Europe. Experience taught that rockets (whether strapped on to sleds, trains, cars, boats, planes, or human rocketeers) were too unstable and dangerous to be taken seriously. Rockets were indeed unpredictable.
Films of the early rocket era reveal the often-frightening scenarios of explosions, flying wheels, spinning sleds, and burning coveralls. Solid fuel rockets were too uncontrollable. Once ignited, there was "no turning back". One rocket train experiment was heavy enough not to flyaway, but its acceleration was so extreme that the passengers simply blacked out after ten seconds' travel time. Some way had to be found by which rocket thrust could be "throttled".
Here, in America, science writers were busy upbraiding the designs of one Robert Goddard, a high school physics teacher who had been developing liquid chemical rocket engines of superlative power and performance. Goddard's liquid fuel rockets demonstrated the critical control feature so obviously missing in solid rockets. This was achieved through valves, which could be applied or shutdown as thrust was desired. Numerous articles appeared in Scientific American, refuting the very ability of rockets to operate in vacuum ... in space. The writers of such outrageously non-scientific articles each offered their "reasons" why Goddard's scheme would fail. Such pen and ink assaults "proved" that rockets would not work in vacuum. It was said that rocket engines would self-extinguish in vacuum.
Among the carnival of ill-informed academic statements we find that singular "proof' which taught that rockets could not long travel through vacuum ... not having "anything against which to push". No doubt, this onslaught came just as Goddard was about to receive a sizable research grant! With monies of his own, Dr. Goddard developed guidance systems, fuel pumps, nozzle-coolant systems, directional stabilizers, and every fundamental component, which appears in modern liquid chemical rockets. Government agencies were now thoroughly convinced that rocketry was an impractical scheme.
But the dream traveled among honest dreamers. It settled on a European rocket club, which enjoyed their Sunday afternoon lectures. Theirs was a celebration of rockets, space dreams, beer, song, and pretty girls. This club gained prominence in accomplishments, which sounded across their land. Their fame was very unfortunately discovered by their own now-fascist government. Despite an overwhelmingly enthusiastic endorsement from one Charles Lindbergh, the U.S. Government failed to deliver Goddard's grant. Interest in his complete patent collection went elsewhere: to Nazi Germany, to be exact.
Back in Zanesville, Ohio, a young dreamer was looking up into the night sky. The very thought of space travel and of visiting other near worlds thrilled the mind of young Thomas Townsend Brown. Tom studied existing rocket engines and rocket engine performance. These revealed great new possibilities for getting into space. In his mind and hands, a far better dream would be weave itself. It would be one, which would challenge every fundamental doctrine of science.
He simply wanted to build a rocket engine. A new kind of engine. A small, compact engine which could use very little chemical fuel, and deliver gravity defying thrust. In order to begin this quest, he first took to the library to see what was known about rocket engines. The physics and chemistry texts, which he consulted, were not encouraging. Dead laws, walls, boundaries, restrictions, and limits were encountered at every turn of a page! They were the same writings used to turn Dr. Goddard's funding requests down.
Tom did not believe that Nature was not ironclad, certainly never limited by "restrictions". Books were not the face of Nature; books were descriptions of small pieces of Nature. It sure was funny how whenever Nature showed a new thing, the books were rewritten and taught again as ironclad truth! Despite his every search through the physics books, it seemed that conventional avenues of pursuit were walled in by laws, which said "no" to his rocketeer dream.
The avid young mind was never satisfied with these academic "limits, bounds, and laws". This disappointing wall of resistance from which the young fifteen year old could not turn caused him to move into a new line of thought. Putting the heavy and disappointing texts away, his mind clearly embraced the numerous possibilities inspired by the very thought of space travel. There just had to be some better way to launch out into space! And he would find it.
Tom Brown's mind raced. If chemicals could not supply enough thrust, then new fuels and systems could be developed. Potent propulsion systems might be discovered by combining numerous ideas together. There must be a way. Nothing would stop him. Zarkov's spaceship was surrounded by a ring of rockets, spouting electrical ignitions and mysterious applications. Maybe electricity held a secret, yet untapped.
Why did rockets work? Rockets worked because they arranged for the controlled explosion of their fuels. The explosion was shaped and directed by a temperature resistant "reaction chamber" in a single direction. The action of these escaping gases produced the reaction of the rocket mass. Newton was right in this case. The key to a rocket's thrust was the mass of the flame per second and its speed. The mass of a flame was a nothingness, so where did the thrust come from? It came from the velocity of the flame.
A small mass per second was multiplied by the high rate of explosive escape. This product gave the reactive momentum. Chemical explosions gave thrusts, which were dependent on their "burn" temperature. The flame speeds could be measured against the speed of sound by several factors. Chemists of the day called this the "fugitive pressure", that is, the explosive pressure.
Tom stopped reading and thought. Could there be another means for reaching higher thrusts with a smaller unit? What could make a flame get even hotter? The hotter the flame, the higher the thrust. The higher the thrust, the smaller and more compact an engine could be. What flame gave the very highest gas velocities? What was "hotter" than the very hottest chemical flame? The local drugstore had a neon sign in the window. This was always a fascination to Tom. Growing up, he spent time looking into its buzzing glass tubes to watch the red feathery gas which filled the sign with light. Now when he looked into the tube, he suddenly realized something of great importance in his study of rockets. Was the glowing neon a gas whose "velocity" was faster than a chemical rocket? Was the answer to his quest always right in front of his face?
An electrical rocket, of course! Electricity, lightning! These were things whose velocities were close to that of light itself! The highest velocities could be achieved through electricity. Now, here was something to really dig into. How fast would a gas move in an electrical field? It would have to be much faster than any chemical explosion could ever yield. Now he had a direction. Rather than having the texts guide his vision, his new vision would guide the use of texts.
Every book, which mentioned electrical discharges, gave unbelievable velocities for the glowing gases. Sir William Crookes described these molecular "mean free paths", the free space through which ions could accelerate in the applied electrical fields. Their velocities were enormous, far more than chemical explosions could produce. It was known that a very small spark could produce tremendous pressures (Riess). Such velocities should explode ordinary neon tubes, he thought. Why did this not happen?
Neon signs were low-pressure gas discharge tubes. The constant electrical current, which passed through them "pinched" the gas into a tightly constricted glowing thread, pulling it away from the tube walls. Tubes operated with constant electrical currents never exploded. But neon tubes were known to crack when the electrical current was applied in a sudden impulse. This released a tremendously explosive thrust ... and at such low pressures! This meant that the velocities had to be incredibly rapid, since there was practically no gas inside the tube.
Tom studied on. There were cases when lightning exploded massive objects in which a small amount of air was trapped at normal pressures. Such phenomena taught that electrical discharge in impulses could be coupled with gases at normal pressures to produce tremendous thrust. Furthermore, there were tradesmen who employed this principle daily, when welding metals together. The local welder coupled high current impulses with various gases to weld metals together. He was told that handheld welding apparatus often gave quite a "kick" in certain applications. In addition, there were times when very massive metal objects were thrown clear of the brilliant arc, propelled at high speed by intense arc pressure.
Well then, he had all the information he needed. Several problems would present themselves, but that was the "fun" of engineering. Intense thrust was being developed in the welder's arc, and intense heat. Any rocket reaction chamber, which employed electrical arcs, would have to be made from new materials. The problem was not impossible to solve. Ceramics might be the choice over metals however strange that seemed at the time. This was new territory, and Tom was designing something new.
According to the mathematical tables, which researchers had provided in texts, the velocities of gas molecules in electrical arcs increased with voltage. Higher voltage meant higher velocity components. The "thickness" and "brightness" of the arc depended on gas density and current. All three factors would produce an enormous thrust when properly arranged. These thrusts would do better than compare with those produced by chemical rockets. In a given volume of system space, an electric arc propulsion unit would deliver several more times the thrust of any chemical propulsion unit. This was a staggering thought. If this was true, why had no professional designer ever tried to build an electrical rocket?
Such an electro-engine could be small, compact, and efficient, exceeding the effectiveness of any chemical rocket. Such an engine could travel to the stars. This scheme could be produced with commonly available items. Local shops could supply the gases and arc electrodes. Such a powerful rocket would not be difficult to construct in a shop. The arc-flame of the small electrically powered spacecraft would be white ... and small. It would offer aspects of control not dreamed by even Goddard.
That night he dreamed of space travel. Each story seemed closer to becoming real. He would build such an engine. He would both test it and fly it. He would produce an engine that would change the way the world thought of its upper space boundaries forever. Forever.
His next thoughts were to devise the controllers for his magickal compact rocket engine. Electricity could be impulsed or continuously applied. Thrust levels could be controlled by "valving" both the electrical currents and gas volumes. Volumes of electricity could be raised or reduced by rheostats. Valves could control the gas "fuel" flow. Also, if normal pressure gases produced fabulous thrusts, and high-pressure gases continued to show thrust increase, what would liquid gases provide?
Liquid gases, preferably of a heavy molecular mass, would provide the very highest thrust levels. The scheme seemed perfect. It was based on sound thinking. Were there any "weak links" in his thinking? He examined every possible flaw, finding none. His tiny little engine might lift a ship effortlessly into the liquid black depths of sparkling space.
This strong response to a wall of textbook criticisms was one of many manifesting their presence across the world. Empirical researchers were already defying textbook restrictions on natural dynamics, producing phenomena, which were anomalous by textbook declarations. Tom had a design. His goal was now to develop variations of the system. The goal was to produce the very greatest thrust in the smallest system volume.
First in his awareness was the need to develop electrical power. What compact system could provide the same currents as the welder's heavy arc transformers? No engine could have that much mass and fly aloft. Was there a way to store heavy currents and release them in bursts to provide an equivalent arc welding current? Yes. He would couple small high voltage induction coils to mica capacitors and let the arc explosively burn across a spark gap.
Gas would be injected into the arc space where it would literally explode into electrical plasma, being accelerated out of the reactive area. A more continuous acceleration along the arc channel would provide the most "complete" thrust. Small garage bench experiments with heavy battery discharges proved the spark's ability to "shoot" little pieces of tinfoil across the table. Here was a tiny demonstration of the effect, which he sought.
The one problem which yet bothered his aesthetic sense, dealt with the actual power source for the engine. In chemical rockets, the fuels provide both the reactive explosion and the gaseous mass simultaneously. This was their simple beauty and essential advantage. An electrical rocket, a plasma rocket, relied on electrical sources, which the gases did not produce. The ideal situation would require a gas, or gaseous mixture, which could produce electrical current for him. Was there such a mixture, which he could find?
Here was no impasse. Here was an opportunity. The young dreamer was a fine student. He juggled the variables. Chemical rockets had most of their thrust coefficient on the mass side of the equation, producing heavy showers of molecules at high temperatures. Plasma rockets had most of their thrust coefficients on the velocity side of the equation. When considered from their volume and total unit mass, the preference seemed to fall toward the electrical rocket principle again.
As the increased need for thrust in chemical rockets increased, their total mass increased. With electrical rockets, the power generator reached a "fixed" unit mass. At a certain point in the size ratios, the electrical rocket would win out in terms of efficiency. The thrust equation swung back and forth toward each system in an intriguing way!
He now thought only of reaction velocities. How fast did electrically charged molecules actually travel? Much faster than the molecules impelled by chemical reactions. But, what would be the very highest achievable velocity when using the plasma rocket principle? It would be the velocity of light. No data table even given by J.J. Thomson gave values that high. Molecular velocities in chemical explosions ranged to about 3 kilometers per second, while those in explosive electrical discharges could range up to 3000 kilometers per second.
If high enough electrical velocities could be obtained, would mass cease being a necessary part of the thrust equation? Would a craft, which powerfully discharges an electrical impulse just, lift itself on its own field? Now this made him think beyond the ordinary concept of rocketry. And here is where our story really begins.
Tom began gathering information in order to embellish his thoughts in this avenue. The information came in the many "collections" left by Victorian electrical experimenters. Were there yet other unthought "electrical" means by which to propel ships through the air and space? Why stop at using electrically fired chemicals or gases? Could electricity indeed propel a craft by some strange interaction between fields?
Tom had seen high voltage static machines in operation. Surmounted by bent metal pinwheels, these produced violet flames while propelling the wheels around at rapid rates. Here was a real "electrical thrust". Could pure electrical discharge be used to make a ship move without any other propulsive mass?
The real moment, where dream and reality were about to merge came in school. Tom witnessed a very high vacuum electrical discharge tube in operation during a physics class demonstration. Very high voltage impulses of direct current were applied to the X-Ray tube. The heavy wire lines connecting the tube to the induction coil were loose enough to move. Whenever the electricity was applied to the tube, Tom noticed that both wires "jumped" up. In addition, each time a spark suddenly discharged to the tube, the wires "jumped". What was this? When the wires moved did the tube also move? He asked the instructor to do it again.
Tom was not looking at the tube at all. He was focusing his attentions on the free mass, on the wires. The wires jumped each time the impulse was applied to the tube. The sudden jump ceased after he current continued. When the current was removed suddenly, he also noticed a slight wire-jump. This latter jump was not as strong as the initial one, but it was there nonetheless. For an instant, his mind soared out toward black radiant space. Was this exactly what he had been thinking about, right there in front of class?
The electrical discharge inside this very high vacuum tube was pure ... a discharge of pure cathode rays. This was pure electricity without any gas molecules to contaminate its progress. The cathode rays were traveling at the very highest velocity to which any particle could be accelerated in such a short space. And here, outside the tube, was a propulsion effect. It was happening exactly where he thought it would be found, in direct line with the free vacuum discharge.
Tom thought deeply on this idea. If electrical discharges of this kind could be made to impulse into free space from a special "gun", then the entire projecting system would move "upon" the extending electrical field. The reaction would be a combined thrust produced, not by mass explosions, but by a charge explosion into free space. The reaction would be a propulsive reaction based on electrical field interactions. Cathode rays held the key ... the key to space travel!
So ... the jumping effect only worked when impulses were first applied. Was the motion simply magnetic in action? Texts said they were, but only an experiment would solve the noise in his head. He was desperate to try this out for himself, at home in his shop. He needed an induction coil of some strength. This was easy. Truck ignition coils were plentiful. Complete with vibrating interruptive switches, these units could produce quite a spark for any young experimenter. He also needed a high vacuum discharge tube, an X-Ray tube.
There might be many reasons for the "jumping wire" phenomenon, which he observed. Applied wire current might be straightening out because of magnetic field lines. But, how could these be strong enough to move the heavy wires, being small. The high voltage wires of the induction coil were barely conducting current at all. In fact, within the X-Ray tube, there was practically no current!
Maybe this was some little-known electrostatic effect; something, which happened when, wires were charged against a dielectric. Vacuum was a dielectric. Maybe the effect happened with greater power in more perfect vacuum. Maybe the effect was a simple electric rocket effect in which light, ultraviolet, X-Rays, or some unknown particles were flying in the opposite direction. Maybe the wires jumped because the tube was propelled for an instant by reactive particles flying from the wire to the air as invisible sparklets.
There were more thoughts on which his mind took defined paths. Like the invisible cathode rays shooting along invisible lines, young Tom's thoughts soared through space all around the experiment he had seen the day before. The glorious power in these new thoughts lifted him to such a height of inspiration that it was difficult for him to do anything else. Just imagine! A rocket effect in metal conductors! Would the whole unit, tube, spark coil, and wires, move through space? So many possibilities. So many thoughts. There was only one way to find out for sure.
Electrical discharge tubes could be obtained commercially in various forms, being the popular science art forms of the century's turn. Geissler Tubes were low-pressure gas tubes of sparkling beauty. These could be ordered and obtained from hardware stores. These bulbous glassmaker's wonders were curiously bent and coiled, containing various phosphorescent chemicals. High voltage electric streams produced brilliant colorations in these; a true wonder to watch.
Another variety of the Geissler Tube was truly marvelous to see in the dark. These tubes were the miniature electrical "textbooks" of a more elegant age. These tubes were often used as curious centerpieces, the variety being truly Victorian and exquisite in design. Specially treated flowers were poised on a single wire electrode. Each flower was treated with special phosphorescent chemicals. When voltage was applied the flowers glowed in haunting reds, violets, blues, yellows, and oranges. The stems and leaves sparkled with the most wonderful green, extending their thorny sparks to the blue-gray glass tube walls.
While both of these varieties were beautiful phosphorescent display tubes, what Tom wanted was something, which matched that which he witnessed in class: a "hard vacuum" tube. The higher the vacuum, the stronger the effect. He was now sure of this. The effect did not occur in Geissler tubes or neon lights. As dangerous as it sounds (and it is EXTREMELY dangerous!), young Brown obtained a small "Coolidge-type" X-Ray tube.
It must be understood that, during this time period, small X-Ray bulbs were not considered as dangerous as they are. One could order and obtain both Geissler tubes from hardware stores and small X-Ray tubes from local pharmacies. Tom was fortunate, using a small capacity induction coil to activate the tube. This was bad enough, but at higher voltages, the effects would have been deadly.
His first experiment would be to try the wire-jump effect for himself ... at home. He duplicated the arrangement, which he first saw in his school. Applying the high voltage suddenly, the wires jumped. He was amazed, but not satisfied. He had already thought through much of the possible reasons why this might not be what he wanted it to be. Now he wanted to see whether the whole tube moved, wires and all. If it did, just the slightest amount, a new world would be born. A new technology, a new science, and a new transportation potential for humanity.
He allowed the tube a certain degree of friction-free movement on the shop table. The impulse was applied. Wires jumped ... and the tube jiggled. In an absolutely incredible manner, the phenomenon seemed to be gaining strength. He was in a sweat now. He knew the next step already. Preparing for this, his mind reeled. It was going to happen. He knew it! The next experiment would clarify both the phenomenon and his future. He expected to see propulsive motion.
The tube had to be suspended in a free-swinging manner. Hung in a small pendulum arrangement, the electrically impulsed tube clearly moved in a single direction. He was fascinated, thrilled, awestruck. Unable to contain himself, he yelled, laughed aloud. Dancing around the garage bench, he was the lone dancer in a victory, which signaled the birth of an age.
When he finally composed himself, he began thinking with much greater relief than he had during the last several weeks. For here, here was a real mystery indeed. The tube was demonstrating real translation through a fixed distance, without ANY visible reactants. He counted X-Rays out of the puzzle; they had no mass at all. There was no mistake, no "unknown combination of known forces" here. No. His intuitive skills were sharp. What he was seeing was some kind of new field reaction. It involved the longitudinal extension of electricity through a space. Somehow this was the key to releasing the propulsive effects of electricity. Here was propulsion with no mass at all!
The tube was now mounted on the end of a thin wooden rod, counterbalanced, and suspended from a strong ceiling position. Once again, as before, he electrically impulsed the tube. The wonderstruck teenager saw a dream before his very eyes, as the tube began to rotate the entire suspension rod! Each time he impulsed the tube with a sudden jolt, the tube gained speed. The power was cumulative. Each successive jolt drove the rig around with increasing speed.
The tube always moved in a specific direction, always with the electropositive side forward. The new phenomenon inherently contradicted all existing electrical theory in too many ways. He focused his thoughts on the dielectric nature of the vacuum. After all, the vacuum was a special kind of dielectric. It provided an expansion space for the force lines along the charge flow ... a longitudinal expansion. Perhaps the appearance of X-Rays was exactly what Nikola Tesla suggested so many years before. Perhaps X-Rays were the particulate release of pure electricity, even more fundamental than electrons.
The vacuum tube was acting as a "release valve" for some forgotten feature of the electric force, without which no propulsive effect would result. If the instantaneous charging of the plates inside the tube produced expansive force lines to the environment, the effect should have preferential directions with respect to geography. He examined this possibility by noting the strength of each impulse and its propulsive result with respect to compass directions. No difference in the motional effect could be seen despite direction. The whole tube always moved, electropositive plate forward, regardless of compass direction.
The phenomenon circumvented Newton's third law in some mysterious manner. Perhaps the release of high voltage electrical impulses in hard vacuum tubes broke the laws, which bind objects together. Did electrical impulses somehow disrupt the natural order in some way? Could electrical impulses in vacuum tube "expanders" be modifying gravity itself? In the mind of Thomas Brown, an entirely different way to propel a spaceship through the deep was now being designed.
The phenomenon, which he had just demonstrated to his own satisfaction, had no conventional equal. It was far from the engine with which he had begun. Nevertheless, he was by no means disappointed. On the contrary, what he discovered greatly outstripped each of his initial proposals for a compact rocket engine. The phenomenon brought him into a truly alien realm of technology.
There were simply no previous examples or analogies on which to base his theoretics. The closest to these effects were those fleeting recollections made by an elusive Nikola Tesla. When discussing electrical impulse, Tesla spoke of "special reactive forces". At the time in which Tesla made these remarks he was not at liberty to discuss the phenomenon or the technologies, which he had developed.
Certain facts now presented themselves to young Thomas Brown. First, his engine needed no reactant nozzles at all. There was no mass in this thrust. All he needed to supply was a steady barrage of high voltage direct current impulses. Current was not even required here. This made the requirements even more simple and elegant. A manifold of high vacuum tubes could be coupled together to form multiple reactions and far greater thrust. Perhaps he could redesign the tubes to better focus and release the longitudinal thrust. There were new thoughts and new technologies to develop - original technologies. The dream space rocket engine was his now.
The young and pensive high school physics student had pushed back an insurmountable wall of conventional objections and academic restrictions, imagination providing the final thrust. His thrilling observations became the heart of a revolution in electrical science; one which seized the world of physics in its day. We have not heard of the phenomena associated or the conditions of initial observation only because theoreticians now consider it "impossible".
His thoughts now turned toward the future, his future. While applying for colleges, he busied himself with meditations on gravitation. He wondered if he had not, in fact, discovered one great and mysteriously hidden gravity secret. Such a secret could be cultivated into a world revolution. Such a secret could reach toward the stars. Summoned by a pilot of the future, his engines could lift an entire crew into the deep reaches of other worlds. He was sure that his system would successfully lift a spaceship through the heavy mantle of gravity out to the sapphire edge of space.
Thomas Townsend Brown entered the California Institute of Technology in 1922. He was a brilliant seventeen year old. With deliberate intentions, he tried desperately to gain the attention of certain notable professors on staff. Robert Millikan was one for whom he held great admiration. He believed that sharing his experimental observations with Millikan would be fruitful. By this time he had developed a substantial base of observations through his home research to inspire others who were "far more capable than himself' of studying his new electric force effect.
Passionate dreamers can never contain their minds. Dreamers seem as impulsive as the energies with which they are involved. Tom simply wished for the development of that space-drive engine so that humanity could explore the great, unfathomable depths of radiant black space. Had he known the ill manner in which Millikan behaved toward the great Nikola Tesla, he would ever have wasted his time or heart's hope.
Millikan scoffed at Tesla when the latter claimed to have discovered cosmic rays. When a few others corroborated some of these claims, which Tesla made, Millikan would not yield. In fact, academe to the bitter end, he made several refutations of the notion altogether. When at last he could not maintain his stubborn ground, he himself yielded, claiming to have discovered "new cosmic rays" of his own.
Therefore, when Tom was rejected by Millikan and several other staff members, he was crushed. The biography of heralded academes usually indicates that, when their dreams were rejected by their superiors, they yielded under pressure. After such a period of ruthless "hazing", they refuted and recanted all their deepest hearts dreams. "Cleansed" of their obstructive romanticism, they find a sudden and peculiar affection being extended toward them once again. Occupying the remainder of their lives mocking other dreamers, they successfully perform highly profiled technical minutiae, and ending in highly honored vacuousness.
For Tom Brown such rejection was difficult to bear. Not one academe, including the illustrious Robert Millikan, accepted Tom's ideas or research work. The anomalous new electric force was, for them, nonsense. The phenomenon had no place in the accepted academic lexicon. He would not yield the romanticism. In this he saw the life of true and noble science. Without passion there is nothing. The small town boy dreamed the world of science. It was his whole life and esteem. The famed persons, the romantic ideals of science and its glory ... all of these formed his heart. Things did not go well for him in California after these crushing rejections.
In this first collision with rigid academia, Tom received a precious guidance. What he had was real. He knew it. Why would they not know it? Were they afraid of truth, or just unworthy of its secrets? Exposed to the cold, he now knew where to find the warmth. He would never again give his honor toward those who would not take the time to listen to or learn of his secret. Observing and feeling that frigidity of response from academicians would trigger his ever-cautious reflexes. He soon learned that the "rejection" pattern was strangely predominant in places where he would least expect it: in universities and research laboratories.
Tom Brown himself managed to remain insulated from the poison of this contagious academic illness long enough to make legendary advancements in research, taking gradual strength from the first brush against the glacier, he suddenly realized what had occurred. Perhaps Millikan was too busy having lunch those first few times. The others were probably steered by Millikan's opinion of young Brown, preferring the security of their poise to a casual conversation with young students of great promise.
Whatever the case, Tom knew beyond all doubt that his discovery would shake the foundations of science itself. With his simple little garage experiment, he introduced enough imbalance into the accepted lexicon to repel the greatest physicists. Tom witnessed this curiously annoying, but amusing response among those whose prejudices could not simply accept scientific truth. Tom joyously transferred (1923) to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Closer to the warmth of home, he no longer felt that greatness was identified with great publicity. He continued his research at higher levels of perfection with funds of his own. Tom, no longer in need of any attention or honor, gradually "opened up" to his physics professor after the latter learned of his private research. Describing his home laboratory experiments and the phenomenon, which he had proven beyond all doubt, Dr. Paul Biefield was greatly intrigued. And encouraging. Tom's quiet dignity and confidence said everything, which Dr. Biefield needed to see. Serious, sober, sincere. The description of this strange effect greatly aroused curiosity. He wished to see the effect for himself. There was a reason.
Dr. Biefield was once a classmate of Albert Einstein in Switzerland, remaining a close colleague and friend throughout the years. It was obvious to Dr. Biefield that Tom's electro-motional effect was something profound. The phenomenon could not find conventional explanation because no conventional expression had been provided for its manifestation. The effect was a gravitational one. Dr. Biefield and Tom both discussed how the momentary blurring of electric and gravitational forces might have provoked an electrogravitic effect. With this discussion came a long-standing friendship, which would forever change the life of Thomas Townsend Brown.
Dr. Biefield now contended on behalf of Tom's discovery, maintaining that he be encouraged to bring his work to the professional research facilities which the College could provide. Tom was deeply touched, the warmth cautiously returning toward the academic world once more.
Dr. Biefield believed that the "distinct gap" between electricity and gravitation, which academia had fixed for so long, was apparently violated in Brown's small tabletop experiment. Further research evidenced consistencies in similar effects, which had been observed in isolated incidents since the turn of the century. The motional force effect was observed through the use of different electrical apparatus. These observations were chronicled throughout the years in several different journals.
Edward S. Farrow (November 1911) wrote an extensive report on his own findings concerning gravity reduction. He observed that ignition coils, attached to aerial wires and plates, lost weight. When placed on accurate, nonmetallic scales and "fired", the entire apparatus lost one-sixth of its weight. Mr. Farrow performed these demonstrations willingly and openly, allowing every portion of his experiment to be dismantled. Furthermore, he encouraged others to attempt reproducing the result. Although with weaker force, the effect was observed in these instances. The difference for the strength of his demonstration had to do with a specially developed a rapidly rotating "spark wheel" which he kept enclosed. Mr. Farrow believed that his apparatus was nullifying the local gravity field, which he termed the "vertical component". He considered gravitation to be a special electrical effect, which acted within neutral matter. At about this same time, a small antigravitational device was independently developed in Paris. In this, a highly charged mica disc spun at high rate and levitated when electrostatically charged (Ducretet). Dr. Francis Nipher (March 1918) conducted extensive research on a modified Cavendish Experiment. In the classical reproduction of the experiment, he arranged for the gravitational attraction of free-swinging masses to a large fixed mass. Dr. Nipher's modification included the electrification of the fixed mass. When the fixed mass was highly charged by an electrostatic machine and shielded in a cage, the free-swinging masses yielded unexpected and inexplicable motional effects.
The free-swinging masses first showed reductions in their gravitational attraction when the fixed mass was slightly charged. At a certain charged stage, the free-swinging masses were not attracted at all. Beyond a critical charge limit, Dr. Nipher showed the complete reversal of gravitational attractions. Therefore, shielded electrostatic fields were demonstrably effecting gravitational modifications in controlled experiments, Dr. Nipher considering that electrostatic force and gravitation were absolutely linked. Dr. Nipher's reports were thorough and extensive, forming a real research base on which to perform further research.
George S. Piggot (July 1920) designed, built, and utilized a fantastically potent electrostatic machine with which he observed powerful electrogravitic effects. The device was heavily encased and "dried out" with high-pressure carbon dioxide gas. With this dramatically dehumified static generator, Mr. Piggot observed a strange electro-gravitational effect. It was first seen, the result of accidental occurrences while performing unrelated electrical experiments.
Mr. Piggot was able to suspend heavy silver beads (112 inch in diameter) and other materials in the air space between a charged sphere and a concave ground plate when his generator was fully charged at 500,000 electrostatic volts. The levitational feat was only observed when the charged sphere was electropositive.
The Piggot effect was clearly not a purely electrical phenomenon. If it were, then the presence of the grounded plate would have destroyed the effect. The very instant in which a discharged passed to ground, every suspended object would have come crashing down. But, without the ground counterpoise, the levitational effect was not observed. Mr. Piggot believed that he was modifying the local gravitational field in some inexplicable manner, the effect being the result of interaction between the static field generator and some other agency the ground.
Piggot further stated that heated metal marbles fell further away from the field center than cold ones. These suspended marbles remained in the flotation space for at least 1.25 seconds even after the static generator ceased rotating. The marbles fell very slowly after the field was completely removed; a noticeable departure from normal gravitational behavior.
Mr. Piggot stated that suspended objects were surrounded by a radiant "black belt". The surrounding space was filled with the ephemeral electric blue lumination common with very powerful electrostatic machines. Many academicians explained such phenomena away. Employing electro-induction theories, it was stated that the effects were "simple outcomes of highly charged conditions in conductive media". The suspension of matter in Piggot's experiment was explained by academes to be the simple result of charge attraction and gravitational balance. Accordingly, charged metal balls would achieve their own balancing positions as long as the field was operating.
Piggot stated that tiny blue spots could be seen running all over the suspended metal marbles, evidence of electrical discharging into the air. This being the case, no net attractive charge could ever develop, simply leaking away with every second into the surrounding air. Considering that the intense field was "grounded" to a concave electrode plate, no consistent charge condition could develop in such a space. Obvious similarities are noted when considering all these cases, the electrogravitic action being stimulated by intense electrostatic fields. Effects developed by Piggot were entirely similar to those observed by Nikola Tesla, who employed high voltage electrostatic impulses.
The Piggot device certainly discharged its tremendous charge in a rapid staccato-like fashion to the ground plate. The rate of this disruptive unidirectional field would be determined by considering the parameters of the sphere and the concave ground plate. Judging from the actual capacities involved, and the sizable free air space, certainly it was a very rapid impulse rate.
Nikola Tesla observed and described the action of such staccato electrostatic impulses on matter in Colorado Springs; particularly on the levitation of dust particles. He later described a heavier than air ship, which he said, was entirely driven by electrical energies, lacking propellers or jets. There are those legendary reports by those who claimed to have seen this device in operation, which have surfaced. An elderly gentleman, the son of a local rancher, described what his father claimed to have seen one night several miles from Tesla's experimental station in Colorado Springs.
Tesla was seen standing on a platform, surrounded by a purplish corona, some thirty feet above the ground. The contrivance had a small coil aft, and was entirely covered underneath with a smooth surface of sheet copper. The platform was perhaps two feet in total depth, being crammed with components. Tesla strode over to the platform, stood before a control panel, and whisked aloft in a crown of white sparks. The excessive sparks subsided with increased distance form the ground, often arcing to metal fencing. Tesla went out of his way to avoid the numerous metallic ranch fencing beneath his aerial course.
What originally attracted the rancher out into the night air was a stallion who had become spirited by the strange buzzing craft. It was said the Tesla often delighted in soaring through the night air for hours each night. He was dressed in his characteristic garb, sans top hat. Tesla became enthralled with the operation of his flying platform, traveling to great distances. Tapping energy directly from his Magnifying Transmitter, the device had an unlimited range. Others had witnessed these strange midnight journeys across the ranchlands.
Dr. Biefeld was familiar with all of the experimental papers, and many of the legends. The growing electrogravitic effects bibliography provided ample reference material by which it was possible to focus in upon the effect which Tom Brown discovered ... the "Brown Effect".
Einstein utilized the concept of distorted space to explain the appearance of all forces. According to this theory, there should be various means by which to bridge each of the forces. Could this effect, which Tom Brown had discovered, not be the "bridge" between electrical force and gravitational force? Einstein said this bridge must exist. Now Tom had a good theoretical model with which to work. If gravitation was truly the result of a distorted space, then high voltage electric shock was somehow further modifying that distortion.
Through Dr. Biefeld's kind and generous support, Tom performed hundreds of experiments with various highly charged tubes and capacitors in stringent laboratory conditions. These experiments were intent on measuring the force exerted by high voltage charged tubes, capacitors, and solids in free space. Charged objects, rather than vacuum tubes, were suspended just as Brown had done in his smaller garage experiments. Professional laboratory instruments measuring every aspect of the motional effect and its epiphenomena, it was now possible to document and film the effect for all to see.
With the new instrumentation and enhanced laboratory access, several details in his strange electric force effect now became apparent. In 1924, he mounted two spheres of lead on a glass rod and suspended them by two strong insulating supports, forming a swing-like pendulum. When each sphere was oppositely and highly charged with sudden impulses of 120 Kilovolts the entire pendulum swung sideways to a maximum point ... and very slowly came back to rest. The electropositive sphere led the motion once again.
What Tom now saw was truly astonishing. The pendulum literally remained suspended in the space for a long time. There were two clearly observable phases in the whole action. The "excitation phase" took less than five seconds. The "relaxation phase" required thirty to eighty seconds, coming back to rest in a series of "fixed steps". Astounding! Here was visible proof that a distorted space had power over matter, constraining its movements as if it were solid matter. In fact, Tom now recognized something of his original thoughts concerning the vacuum tube rotor.
As a student so many years before, he had accurately sensed that cathodic expulsions were producing a thrust without mass. Now he understood that the "missing mass" surrounded the device. It was space itself, distorted by electrostatic means. In this condition, space behaved better than any chemical fuel rocket. Space was everywhere available! All one needed to do would be to distort or "warp" that space. Thrust would simply be the result of creating the distorted condition.
Completing university work in 1926, Tom Brown became a staff member of Swasey Observatory (Ohio). There he remained four years. During this time he was married. Maintaining his experimental passions, Tom continued his work on electro gravity while teaching and performing the sundry duties of instructor.
Research never far from his heart, he continued his work privately. His next amazing development came when he replaced his "classical" rod-connected double spheres with a more compact and commercial capacitor stack. This capacitor consisted of alternating layers of aluminum and paraffin-saturated cloth. Unlike conventional electrical capacitors, these aluminum foil layers did not interdigitate. Only the end metal plates were charged during the experiment. The entire stack was coated with asphalt and housed in Bakelite, the end terminals protruding as large binding posts.
He made several of these for continuous laboratory testing. When these capacitors were electrically impulsed, the space distortion effect spread throughout their interior. This spreading effect produced greater pendulum swings than he had ever seen. These capacitors absorbed the applied impulse for a much longer time. They also required a much longer recovery time before reaching their "rest point". These devices stayed suspended longer during and after their electrifications. Tom Brown observed persistent space distortion with this apparatus. Five minutes were required before these capacitors reached complete relaxation.
The space distortion effect was now clarifying itself. It actually blended both the Coulomb electric force law and Newton's gravitational force law in a most curious manner. He measured the tantalizing variables, which were required to produce maximum movements. He found that longer impulse durations required longer relaxation times. Greater dielectric mass in the capacitors amplified the thrusts. Increased voltages amplified the thrust. He also verified that electrical current had nothing to do with the distortion of space at all. Tom estimated the current in these gravitator cells at 3.7 microamps: virtually a "zero" value. It was the electrostatic impulse, which effected the space "warp".
His analysis of the actual effect was quite simple. The high voltage impulse was directed through the body of the entire capacitor stack much like a shock-front, from the electropositive end to the negative end. The dielectric material in which the plates were cast was mildly electro-conductive. The spacewarping effect spreading faster than electrical currents, riding the electrostatic shockfront through the capacitor. The result was a space, which remained distorted for nearly one minute. The entire capacitor mass evidenced the subsequent motional effect in that region of distorted space.
Tom Brown saw the manner in which space distortion effects could actually move matter. The idea that a strong electrostatic shockwave could actually "warp" space was penetrating. Clearly, the space warp effect suffused the entire capacitor, continuing to collapse rigid space for several seconds. In some cases, with the right dielectric mixture, the collapse continued for several minutes.
During this time, any matter in or near the collapsing space was drawn into and through the collapsing warp. The warp had peculiar boundaries, extending around the capacitor to some extent. In this collapsing space, matter was moved. Here was the "missing momentum" which was evidenced as a thrust. These improvements were so totally different and new, that he renamed the components. He called them "cellular gravitators".
Gravitator effectiveness was related to voltage impulse. Like a saturation, rippling through the gravitator, the high voltage produced a continuously distorted space. It was a saturating shock wave effect, which continuously expanded throughout the mass of the gravitator for a good long while after the impulse had ceased. A prolonged space distortion dragged the gravitator. The space distorting wave front reached a maximum state until total saturation was achieved. Once the gravitator had absorbed the distortion, it stopped accelerating.
No amount of additionally applied voltage had any motional effect on the gravitator after this point. There was a defined reliance on dielectric substance. Space dynamically interacted in the dielectric with the electrostatic shock. This is exactly what he had understood when first examining his X-Ray tube apparatus. The effect was indeed entirely reliant on the nature of the dielectric. The dielectric substance provided the "release mechanism" for the space warping effect.
Eventually Tom Brown developed a simple mathematical relationship, which accurately described the successive actions taking place in the gravitator. He then undertook the improvement of gravitators by first formulating a new dielectric "mash" of litharge (lead oxide) and Bakelite. Multiple aluminum plates were set into molds, the dielectric matter being melted and poured in over them. The whole assembly was coated with asphalt and housed in Bakelite. These units could be mass-produced and operated with greater efficiency than his early models. Once cooled, the improved dielectric block was electrified with impulses of specific duration. These gravitators successfully produced a remarkably strong kinetic drive.
Hundreds of these gravitators were now produced for experiments and demonstrations. Gravitators developed terrific and continuous thrusts while the impulse was being absorbed. Placed on opposed ends of a balanced insulator, they formed a rotor. Equipped with slip-ring commutators, they spun with remarkable power when electrified. These results were photographed. The blurred image of the gravitators and their out-bowing support wires is an unprecedented wonder to see.
Tom utilized several gravitators "in tandem". Together, these maintained the drive effect. "Active" gravitators provided thrust while the "spent" gravitators relaxed. It was possible to configure a gravitator cadence in order to produce a constant thrust. Similar to a multiple piston engine, a continuous thrust of great force was demonstrated. The attainment of his original dream had been in part realized for earth-bound service. He now had truly unique electrogravitic engines. The large impulse gravitators succeeded in driving model vehicles around his laboratory. Tom built large model trains and cars, outfitted with multiple gravitators. These powerful models operated on wheels. When properly impulsed in sequence, the gravitator provided continuous thrust, each pulling quite a load across the room.
Dr. Brown designed, built, and tested special linear motors for maritime applications. His ship models worked well in water, mass not being an objectional feature in ships. Large model ship engines demonstrated a terrific drive effect through water. In addition, Tom discovered that distorted spaces also produced "ripple free" water movements, a fringe benefit of using gravitator drive. He calculated that larger multi-ton gravitators could silently drive ships across the seas with minimal electrical power requirements.
In addition, such drive engines could more efficiently use fuel, since the space warp eliminated all seawater drag. The entire engine, along with specified parts of the hull, was enveloped in the spacewarp. Thrust was produced throughout the interior of the gravitator as designed. But at stronger intensities and with specific space-shaping designs, the space warp could be projected outside of the engines so that even the seawater moved with the ship. In this case, the ship simply slid through a frictionless water environment. The thrust effect flowed along with the ship's motion.
Whether in water or free space, the general thrust effect was curious when closely examined. It relied on the distortion of space, not the medium in which motion was produced. Everything in the distorted space moved along with that distortion. These devices worked with great effectiveness on land and sea. The thrust of these gravitators contended with other engine designs. He hoped to develop drives for airplanes and, eventually, his originally dream. Spaceships!
Next came a series of "rotary gravitators". Mounted on long axles, these massive cylinders were so configured to continually saturate, move, and relax with every applied electrostatic cycle. Dr. Brown described the kinetic efficiency of these space warping "self-excited" motors. The thrust provided by these rotary units vastly exceeded the electrostatic impulse power required to initiate and maintain their rotation. These motors developed one million times the kinetic force of the stimulating electrical input.
They were "self-exciting" because they relied on the collapse of space itself to move their mass forward.
Critics again, playing the old conventional electric game, insisted that his motional effects were the result of "electric wind". He submerged each of his designs in large tanks of oil, only to find that the gravitators worked with increased power! The oil, acting as dielectric, actually magnified the space warp effect beyond the gravitator volume.
When all such tests on his primary engines were completed, it was decided that he obtain an American Patent. Trundling off all of his meticulously prepared applications to the Registry, his hopes "ran high". Unfortunately, his claim was immediately rejected. The official cause of rejection had to do with "improper terminology".
The inability or purposeful unwillingness to recognize world-shattering technology makes its strongest stand at the United States Patent Office. The screening process, which discerns and separates "dangerous" technologies from "consumer" technologies, is very much in place. Those familiar faces who are seen searching the daily flood of patent applications, report back to nameless superiors. The paper chase does so at the behest of the old established money. Inventors of the early Twentieth Century learned all too late that the world markets which exist beyond American shores are far more interested in revolutionary technology than those here having agendas of their own.
Those old elites who coerce national policies and declarations of war to protect their foreign investments do not waste time destroying new technologies, which potentially usurp their pedestals of power. Nevertheless, inventors take note both foreign investors and markets are far more ready and able to implement every new developments, which emerge from the sea of dreams.
No doubt the experimental results of Dr. Brown were sufficient evidence that a revolution had indeed arrived; one, which certain highly stabilized dynasties did not wish to see, proliferated. Disappointed but undaunted, he applied in England for a patent. Was it not curious that there, he was immediately granted patent 300.311 on 15 November 1928!
In this wonderful disclosure, he recounts his original Coolidge X-Ray tube experiment. Each of his experimental arrangements is preserved in developmental stages. This patent is a true "textbook" on electro-gravity, Dr. Brown openly stating that electrified dielectrics moved as whole units through space without measurable reaction. He also indicates that, in this condition, Newton's Third Law of motion is apparently violated. He was granted an American patent thereafter for his rotary "electrostatic motor" in 1930 (1.974.483).
While working with the gravitator, Dr. Brown discovered that its behavior as a pendulum varied literally "with the phases of the moon". In addition, there were startling effects, which the sun evidently impressed on the gravitator during its charge-discharge cycles. Whether solar or lunar, it was clear that natural gravitational field conditions were observably affecting local space conditions right before his eyes. The peak maxima and minima of the gravitator varied so much during full moon phases, that he was able to chart the performance against the celestial activities with great precision. After acquiring so much data, he was able to predict what celestial conditions were occurring without visually sighting them. This is when the military became intrigued with his work. A new phase of Dr. Brown's career here began.
Remember that gravitators, as pendulums, do not behave as ordinary masses. The mass of a gravitator is modified by the electrostatic impulse, forcing a new interaction with gravitation. The gravitator rises during the electrostatic excitation pulse, doing so rather rapidly and discontinuously. When carefully observed, the "rise" phase consists of several "graded steps". Once through this "stepped rise", the gravitator manifests a "tension" while held in its maximum position. The gravitator appears to be in a fluidic channel while suspended at an angle. In this levitated position, the gravitator "bobs" several times. After the shockwave has saturated its dielectric thoroughly, the gravitator begins its lengthy "fall" back to the rest point. Here, more than during the rise phase, one most clearly observes the "rest steps" which last for several minutes.
The discovery identified the number and position of spatially disposed "rest steps" with the positions of sun and moon. In more refined optical examinations, one could even discern the effect of certain planetary configurations on the gravitator. These fixed space "slots" became the most intriguing discovery since his original observation of the electrogravitic interaction.
In order to test the electrogravitic hypothesis, he was forced to go into "extreme" locations. He discovered that the celestial space warping effect appeared without loss of strength even in very deep caverns. Here was an effect, which was decidedly not reducible to electrostatic effects alone. No, this was very obviously an electrogravitic effect. The only measurable and penetrating "force" in the cavern was gravitation. Enclosed on all sides by solid walls of conductive rock, the cave effectively formed a Faraday Cage. No net electrostatic field could be determined that far down. The combination of solar and lunar warped spaces was evidently "bathing" the earth.
Terrestrial space, being thus bathed in transient space warps, was constantly changing its "symmetry". It was not homogeneous. Along with this change in space symmetries, there were constant variations in gravitational potential in every locale. The effects could not be detected by inertial instruments alone. It could only be detected in electrostatically activated instruments. There, an interaction was taking place; one in which gravity and electrostatic charge produced strongly observed motional effects. On retrospect, Dr. Brown discovered that several professional observers had measured these "anomalies" and discounted them. Using special string torsion equipment, highly charged, their instruments gave "perplexing" and inconsistent results. In 1930 he was employed in the Naval Research Laboratory. Between the years 1931 and 1933 his research in dielectrics became classified information. New effects were now observed in electrical systems. Immobile capacitors evidenced fluctuations in field strength throughout the day. He first observed that all charged capacitors revealed fluctuations, which varied with both solar and lunar cycles. Relative space gravitational effects registered with strength in both capacitor pendulums and immobile capacitors. Extremely basic instrumentation were thus capable of delivering celestial information to observers, the electrostatic fluctuations evidencing sudden "events" of unknown significance. Critics claimed that these events were simple "internal noise" effects. Brown relocated to a bunker-like concrete test facility and immersed his instruments in refrigerants. The instruments worked with greater strength and finer precision. The signals were actually amplified. Silence is golden.
These were the first recorded instances where gravitational "waves" had been scientifically determined with great accuracy. These experiments were first performed in very heavily shielded ground level buildings. The Naval Research Laboratory funded his research between 1937 and 1939, establishing underground gravity wave measurement stations in caverns and mineshafts. These experimental stations, in Ohio and Pennsylvania, remained highly classified for years.
This information on gravity waves was considered by Brown as proof of Einstein's predictions concerning gravitational waves. The work was presumably classified because of the possible implementation of the sensors in warfare. In his underground stations, Brown measured daily changes in sun and moon. Despite the extreme depth of his apparatus, the signals continued manifesting in their strength. The results of this work yet remains classified, though Brown published certain of these on his own after the World War.
Identifying his secret underground systems as "gravity wave detectors", Brown was forging new scientific and technological ground. Greatly appreciated by the military, he remained in their secure employ for several years.
During this period of time, Dr. Brown also discovered several remarkable characteristics of matter in which was indicated previously unrecognized gravitic interactions.
He found that gravitational distortions actually altered the electrical resistance of matter. He made his own large carbon resistors by coating long porcelain cylinders with lampblack. These were scored with a rotary cutter, the resultant resistor being a fine carbon "ribbon" measuring over 500 Megohms. With these it was possible to show remarkably strong electrogravitic effects. These signal devices outperformed the capacitor detectors in signal strength and overall response characteristics.
In this wonderful interaction, Dr. Brown perceived that gravitational fluctuations and carbon were intimately linked. He later dared to speculate that certain physiological states might be caused by space warp effects. These, acting on the carbon of the body, produced symptomatic effects of nausea and malaise. In other more neurologically sensitive individuals, such interactions might intensify into perceptual distortions and anxieties. It was the possible "organismic interaction" between physiological states, perceptual states, and gravitational warps which caused Naval researchers to study Dr. Brown's reports with now greater intent. The NRL had mysteriously pursued every aspect of perceptual science since this time period.
Experimenters developed highly complex equipment for measuring gravitational radiation during the 1960's. These large and highly funded academic installations, massive aluminum cylinders and ceramic strain gauges, never registered the definitive signals observed in Dr. Brown's elegantly simple apparatus. Since that time others have observed and confirmed Brown's findings (Hodowanec). The Brown gravity wave detectors represents a new astronomical tool which yet awaits academic implementation.
The increasing financial pressures of America's Great Depression forced Dr. Brown to leave the NRL, sign with the Naval Reserve, and join the Civilian Conservation Corps in Ohio. In 1939 Dr. Brown became a lieutenant in the Reserve and, after brief employment with the Glenn L. Martin Company, was directed toward the Bureau of Ships. There he worked on the magnetic and acoustic aspects of warships.
It was during this time that Dr. Brown was to embark on an adventure, which would alter the path of his life forever. Many of the details and facts have been pieced together in a patchwork of intrigues. Gleaned from several reputable science sources, the incident reached public awareness as the "Philadelphia Experiment". What sequence of events triggered the Naval Research Laboratories to investigate the possibility of optically "cloaking" vessels of war?
It all began when several Naval researchers were asked to investigate a peculiar phenomenon, which was plaguing a classified arc welding facility. This facility was classified because it protected a new Naval process for fabricating very durable armor plated hulls. The spot-welding process employed an incredibly intense, high amperage discharge. The process was similar to modern MIG welding, but was conducted on a titanic scale. Electrical power for this welding process was supplied by a massive capacitor bank charged to high voltage. Several steel plates could be thoroughly welded by this process, the metal seams absolutely interpenetrated at the weld points.
So intensely dangerous was this electrical discharge that personnel were restricted from the site when once the parts had been configured for the weld. Hazardous charge conditions being the least worrisome aspect of the process, X-Ray energies were released in the blinding blue-white arc. Applied by a heavily insulated mechanical arm, the arc was pressed to the plates by remote control, as power was stored in the capacitor bank. The safety signal being given, a lightning-like discharge absolutely rocked the facility. Radiation counters measured the intense release of X-Rays. The process was a new advance in Naval technology.
Neither the extreme electrical or radiation hazards obstructed deployment of the system to other Naval facilities. Safety precautions were at maximum levels. Workmen faced no hazard outside the welding chamber. But another group of strange phenomena began plaguing the facility. Phenomena, which had no reasonable explanation at all. Researchers examined the site, separately asked workmen to confirm the rumors they were hearing, and watched the process for themselves in the control booth.
What they saw was truly unprecedented. With the electrical blast came an equally intense "optical blackout". The sudden shock of the intense electric weld impulse was indeed producing a mysterious optical blackening of perceptual space, an effect that was thought to be ocular in nature. This peculiar "blackout" effect was believed to be a result of intense and complete retinal (rhodopsin) bleaching, a chemical response of the eye to intense "instantaneous" light impulse. This was the initial conventional answer. The more outrageous fact was that the effect permeated the control room, causing "retinal blackout" even when personnel were shielded by several protective walls.
Any effect, which could permeate walls and render personnel incapable of sensation in this manner, could be developed into a formidable weapon. The wall-permeating blackout was a neurological response, which paralyzed the whole physiology, rendering it incapable of response to outside stimuli. So it was thought at this point. The research was earning and acquiring new levels of military classification by the day. Here was a possibly radiated phenomenon, which temporarily neutralized neural sensation, transmission, and response.
The weapons experts knew that any electric radiance, which could be substituted for a nerve gas, would offer a new military advantage. An extraordinary means for deploying the effect, the horrid energy could be "beamed" to any site. If properly controlled, entire platoons could be rendered unconscious in a single "swiping flash". An unfortunate victim of such exposures was a certain William Shaver. Mr. Shaver worked as a Naval arc welder with much earlier and smaller hand-operated versions of this system. These systems employed intense impulses of low repetition frequency. After repeated exposures to this impulse energy, he began freely hallucinating. The result of neuronal damage, the centers of his will began shredding away.
This otherwise stable man ultimately lost his grips on reality, writing hundreds of pamphlets throughout his remaining years on the frightening topic of "beings from the underworld". It was subsequently discovered that exposure to sudden electrical impulses of intense potential and extremely low frequency produces a deadly nausea, in some cases even the neurological damage leading to eventual madness.
Careful examination of the effect before the NRL now proved perplexing. First, the "blackout effect" could be photographed as well as experienced. Therefore it was not a mere neurological response to some mysterious radiance. The blinding discharge was doing something to space itself. Researchers were now drawn into this project with a deep fascination. The "blackout" effect drew equally intense interest by Naval officials for obvious military reason. Careful study of research publications funded by NRL grants reveals an intense preoccupation with all such perception-related subjects.
But there were "other aspects" of the phenomenon which were chilling. Bizarre rumors were being shared by certain of the original weld-site workmen. Remember, these men were on the site throughout the period, which proceeded the project's classification. They were privy to certain other phenomena, which had no rational explanations.
Personnel hoisted hull materials and braced the pieces in composite arrangements for the discharge operation to commence. The warning alarm sounding, all workers and inspection teams promptly left the site, frequently dropping tools and other implements where they stood. Capacitor charging required several minutes. The switch thrown, a tremendous rocking explosion shook the site. The discharge produced the blackout effect, and when the room was declared officially "clear", workers returned to the chamber.
Workmen began noticing that tools and other weighty items, left on the floor or around the chamber, were somehow "misplaced" during the heavy arc discharge process. Imagining that these tools had been thrown into corners or possibly driven into walls by the room-rocking blasts, workers searched the entire welding facility. The tools and other materials could simply not be found (Puharich).
Now the mystery was intensifying to a degree, which demanded a complete study of the phenomenon from its first observation. Workmen were called in to report what they had seen, felt, and experienced. Repeated stories matched to such a degree that the "rumors" were now taken as "personal testimony". The entire proceedings were so highly classified that military agents were not even aware of the study. What workmen told examiners was that their tools and other site materials were "disappearing", and disappearing "for good".
Foremen had scolded and ridiculed them repeatedly about this loss of materials and tools until experiencing it for themselves. One fact was clear, when the alarm blew and the discharge exploded, objects disappeared. Where they went, none could say. High-speed films proved that the effect was real. Objects were placed on pedestals near the discharge arc. On discharge, the objects dematerialized. The films proved it. They were certainly not "thrust away" at high speeds, or even "impacted" into walls by the intense arc blast. At first again, the conventional answers came forth. The blackout effect was seen as a mystifying radiant energy, possibly a specific variety of X-Rays. These rays had power to both neutralize human neurological response and disintegrate matter in its immediate vicinity. Here was the possible "death ray" for which the military had long been searching. The Second World War was raging, a possible second "theater" was developing in the Pacific, and this sort of fundamental discovery was enormous in military potential. To end the war was the aim. The only aim.
If this effect could be developed into a weapon, it would be deployed instantly thereafter. A weapons program of this kind would require the nation's most eminent scientists, and levels of secrecy, which demanded the very highest stringency. Several Naval personnel were summoned for this study. Dr. Brown was requested to examine "the phenomenon". His knowledge of "dielectric stress" phenomena and the activities associated with arc discharges made him a perfect candidate. Keeping him "in the blind" concerning their ultimate hopes for this new discovery would not be easy. He "had a name" for being the dreamer.
When Dr. Brown reviewed the material, his conclusions were strikingly different from those, which others gave. While academes adamantly insisted that the observed dematerializations were the result of "irradiation" and subsequent vaporization, no such evidence for the "vaporizations" could ever be found. Careful analysis of weld-chamber atmospheres proved negative in these regards. No gasified metals were detected in the room air throughout the discharge event. Truly mystifying. The NRL had to know more.
Dr. Brown was sure he knew what was happening here. Despite the fact that he had never observed these effects, his intuition taught him well. Though in his early experimentation, he never experienced any of these blackout effects, but Sir William Crookes had seen this very thing. Within the action space of his now famed high vacuum tube, Sir William beheld a curious sight. There, suspended over the cathode, was a black space, which was actually radiant. The radiance extended beyond the tube walls in certain special instances. Sir William had no difficulty accepting the fact that this was a "space-permeating" blackness, a radiance having far greater significance than a mere physical phenomenon. Crookes believed this radiance was a spiritual gateway, a juncture between this world and another dimension.
In the blackout phenomenon Dr. Brown yet recognized the signs that space distortions were taking place. What was the upper limit in strength of these space distortions? What other bizarre anomalies would they manifest? His own small gravitators operated through high voltages now considered "small". When compared with those used in the new welding site, they were minuscule. Nevertheless, his experimentation proved the effects of small space warps. Material dragging was one such anomaly. In short, he believed that every anomalous inertial behavior could be traced to such space distortions. In studying the entire effect, no single part was unimportant. Dr. Brown knew that the massive hulls played their part. They were somehow "spreading out" the electrical field and giving it a specific shape. The electric arc, focused onto the hull by the mechanical applicator was the formidable field source. But something "extra" was occurring. Another realm of realities was entering the scene where arc discharges blasted through the welding chamber. He was the only one, perhaps with two others in the nation, who would propose that the phenomenon was the result of an interaction, which was "electrogravitic" in nature. These were electrogravitic phenomena.
Associates reviled his thoughts and rejected his analysis of the problem. But the military needed answers. If Dr. Brown could bring them closer to their weapons goal, his explanations would take precedent. Acquiring the complete attention and respect of very highest military specialists, he was asked to formally address their small and elite corps.
Dr. Brown very casually described what he strongly believed was happening, citing his own work and familiarity with such phenomena. While his own experimental apparatus never produced spatial distortions of this extreme intensity and focus, he nevertheless observed similar effects, which had power to move matter. Having no conventional electrical explanation, the only resolution was found in the Einsteinian proposals concerning electrical and gravitational force unity.
Einstein had already predicted that intense gravitational fields would produce optical blackouts. But his theory involved the huge masses of collapsing stars. Total blackout phenomena are theoretically achieved only when extremely dense matter is compressed or pinched in stars, producing black holes. Masses alone could not be whirled into producing the intense effect, which intense electrical impulses had seemingly achieved. But was it a true black hole effect, or something entirely distinct?
Einstein's work toward unifying electrical and gravitational fields through space geometries never found completion on paper. But the Naval experiment had proven the essential correctness of his thoughts on the topic. Perhaps tiny black hole phenomena might have been achieved in miniature when stimulated by intense electrical fields. This mystifying effect was the most intense electrogravitic interaction purposely, though accidentally, ever produced in technical history. The military assembly was absolutely in awe.
Dr. Brown continued to describe what was occurring in and around the arc channel. The channel itself was producing its own "hard" vacuum in stages. Though occurring in atmospheric pressure, the explosive force of the plasma arc had thrust all atmospheric gases out of the arc in its first few microseconds of formation. The full force of the blast was now occurring across a vacuum dielectric. The vacuum actually hindered the complete discharge of the capacitor bank for a few more microseconds, allowing the potential to build beyond those effects observed in weak lightning channels.
It was in a sudden avalanche that the entire discharge occurred across this vacuum space, warping space through an electrogravitic interaction. The interaction was directly related to the voltages, the dielectric volume, and the brevity of the impulse. The normal density of inertial space was being instantaneously pierced, the arc literally "punching a hole" through the continuum. The explosive vacuum arc set the stage for "uncommon" observations. Surrounding the intense electrical impulse, space itself was collapsing; space and everything within that space. The strange blackout effect would be expected if all available light was being bent into the arc channel. Incapable of escaping the distortion of space, the blackout effect spread outward. Provided the distortion was intense enough, a specific large volume of space would be "drawn" in toward the arc channel. The interaction took a few microseconds to effect. There was no escaping its presence.
More volumes of available light would vanish into that growing distortion until a maximum blackout volume manifested itself. Walls could not stop the effect because it was not a radiance, not a radiant electrical phenomenon. Space itself was literally being "warped" by the arc discharge. Dr. Brown cited instances when extremely intense lightning channels appeared "black" to witnesses. The phenomenon had also been photographed by professional researchers. Each had erroneously assumed the effect to be a bleaching action; one, which was both ocular and photochemical. No one recognized the real significance of what had been recorded on these photographic plates.
Only one researcher successfully glimpsed and accurately identified the possible cause of these blackout effects.
George Piggot mentioned the mysterious "black band" which appeared around his highly charged suspended metal marbles. Light seemed to disappear into these zones. But it was Nikola Tesla, whose forgotten and ignored testimony on the perceptual effects of high voltage electrical systems took first place. Tesla produced such intense electrical arcs that the same strange blackout effects were repeatedly observed. In the case of Tesla's famed Colorado Springs Experiments, the blackout effect produced a lingering state, which Tesla accurately described as a perceptual-spatial distortion.
Noted in his published diary, the results followed the intense activity of his Magnifying Transformer. Visual distortions, clarifications, black shadows, black streamers, black waves, lingered for hours all around his plateau laboratory, whereby he stated that:
"These phenomena are so striking that they cannot be satisfactorily explained by any plausible hypothesis, and I am led to believe that possibly the strong electrification of the air, which is often noted to an extraordinary degree, may be more or less responsible for their occurrence."
Dr. Brown suggested that space had been warped to a degree where all the available light had been completely refracted into the channel of distortion. No other force symmetry could have effected this manifestation. Furthermore, the blackout would produce various effects in "successive stages". At weak levels, one could maintain the blackout effect without noticing any effects on nearby matter. There would be an intensity at which significant "modifications" of matter would be noticed. These would include internal material strains and spontaneous electrical discharges. Provided the blackout effect was "slow enough", these material modifications could tear matter apart in an explosion of electrical brilliance.
With increasing arc intensities, a gradual series of space distorting effects would be expected. Dematerializations would follow light disappearances. Matter so significantly distorted, would follow the ever-extinguishing light into the arc. This would occur only if the discharge was "quick" enough to strain a given volume of mass. The tools, which had disappeared, were too short for such explosive displays to be observed.
Dr. Brown confirmed that the welding arc, used in the Naval welding facility, had reached the theoretical intensity where nearby matter was being drawn into the arc at a rapid enough speed to vanish. Mere vaporization was a possible "escape route" for the materials, for the steel tools. But the problem was compounded by the absence of metal trace gases after the effect. If metal tools were vaporized, one would expect some trace of this in the site atmosphere after the event. But there were no detectable vaporization products in the chamber following the blackout. This inferred that, were the metals vaporized, they had been rapidly drawn into the space warp. No by-products. Complete dematerialization!
The films confirmed the suggestion. Materials enveloped in the expanding blackness completely vanished. The mystifying disappearance of the materials was thus, a space distortion effect. Equations were summoned in proof of these speculations. The vanishing of matter proceeded, from surfaces nearest the arc directly through the masses to their outer peripheries. The blackout proceeded as an enveloping wave; expanding to a limit, and then retracting. After the blackout wave, materials were "erased" from our space.
Summarizing his keynotes, Dr. Brown emphasized that the effect in question was clearly an electrogravitic one; where sufficiently intense electrical fields had inadvertently been focused to a degree, which collapsed space into a thready distortion. Concluding his talk, he added that his descriptions of electrogravitic interactions were the only ones in existence, seeing that his precious research in these avenues had been conducted amid a great deal of academic doubt and derision.
He would not have been surprised if this small cluster of military superiors and engineers rejected his approach to the problem. The group was spellbound. Never had anyone presented such a complete analysis of the phenomenon. The otherwise bizarre event found a most satisfactory explanation. Imagine, they had the very fabric of space in their grasp! What things could now be done?
Dr. Brown also predicted that spontaneous levitations and other gravitational anomalies would follow the event. Gravitometers could never accurately register the brevity of these impulses, being interpreted as "anomalies" and instrumental "failures". Military use of the effect would not hide itself from his own electrogravitic detectors. These detection systems would necessarily be as highly classified as the effect itself.
Little more than his description existed as bibliography. Questions and conversation followed his formal presentation. Space warps having the focus and intensity of the new Naval welding facility had never been encountered by human agencies. Data of events taking place within the arc channel simply did not exist. Unknowns filled the discussion. Where was the dissolved matter going? In what form was it going? The questions were endless. The technological potentials, just as endless. One could not be sure exactly what was occurring within the arc channel until closer examinations were made possible. This was dangerous work. Once matter entered into the warp, all discussion became theoretical.
The speed at which the blackout swept space and matter also determined the completeness of its effect. The timing of its manifestation was critical.
The "event" spread through space, a shockwave of deadly effect. Once within the "event horizon" one would be removed from local space correspondence. Annihilated.
How materials were being drawn into the arc channel was simply not known. The arc seemed to be a thready channel, but whether or not matter was reduced to a thready vapor while entering that channel was also an unknown. What if matter was being wholly transferred into another space? What space was it then? These considerations brought science fiction dreams to mind. Could objects be teleported by this means? Were there other worlds into which voyagers could go? One thing was clear: dense matter from "local space" was being "translated" to another space. Where "that space" was remained unknowable.
There was danger in these experiments. Once initiated, the effect could "grow" against all control factors. One simply did not know what would happen when once the process was triggered. Suppose the very act of initiating the disturbance created space "drafts"? How long before they would cease? Would they cease at all? Would a space warp, once started, ever stop drawing light and matter into its ever-growing event horizon? The frightening possibility that the blackout wave could become haphazard or uncontrolled was a possible threat. If the intensity of arc focus reached a critical unknown "universal constant", a complete local space collapse into another space could occur.
The space distortion "flashed" in its radiant and striated blackness, the rays reaching out in all directions. Those who had been in the control room were fortunate not to have been "drawn away" in the event horizon. This early discussion was rich in terms by which "black holes" are described. All agreed that careful examinations of the effect would only be possible with a modified welding system; one in which very precise adjustments of discharge power could be arranged. Only then would researchers be able to "grade" the effect, watching for the successive phases of phenomena manifesting near the explosive arc.
After he had concluded his presentation, the verbal display of congratulations was overwhelming. The shy and reserved man remained silently smiling amid the applause. But something troubled him about these proceedings. Even as he made his delivery, a strange heart-tug would not permit him to disclose the other and more deeply mysterious aspects of the spacewarp blackout phenomenon. He refused to discuss all the features of the spacewarp because of its possible use in weaponry. It was obvious that "they" were not intrigued with the phenomenon from its more spiritual viewpoint. This phenomenon represented something of far greater importance than even he was able to perceive. Without such knowledge, without such wisdom, the technological application of this technology would become the terrible weaponry of future wars.
True to form, military discussion continued into the night. The scientific applications of this effect would be endless. This new technology would improve their methods of warfare. Devastating. Such a device could eradicate every material in a specific circumference with no evidence that anything was once in existence! Better than an atomic bomb! They brimmed from ear to ear at the prospect. This accidental observation could be the "new power" which the world was awaiting.
Numerous phases of the effect could be used for various functions in warfare. Derivatives of the effect could be selected and deployed. By the time the night was over, whiskey and cigar smoke having thoroughly saturated the room, several schemes were proposed. First, it was determined that an experiment be conducted with the "blackout" effect. An attempt to "cloak" a selected region of ground space would be their first goal.
Once this experiment had proven its usefulness, then other selected portions of the space distorting effect would be used. More dramatic and complete destructions could therefore be deployed with each successive research success. Wonderful destructions. This first phase could not be designated by any explicit terminology. The "blackout effect" was itself a priority. The working title of this first project would necessarily be an elusive one. The removal of light being their goal, an oppositional term, one describing vivid color, would be used. The now infamous "Project Rainbow" was initiated.
The obvious preeminence of Dr. Brown's work on electrogravitic effects, together with his working knowledge of "space warps" made him the most reasonable advisor in the NRL's newly proposed "Project Rainbow". This period of Dr. Brown's biography remains shrouded in silence. By this time he had achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His presence during the early phases of the now infamous experiment have been confirmed. Thereafter, he seemingly vanished from the team. Why this occurred had everything to do with the nature of the man himself.
Brown was willing to speed the war effort, saving lives and bringing a swift conclusion to all the horrible suffering. After carefully considering all the experimental evidence, it was agreed that a sustained "black out", capable of suffusing a region of ground, could be achieved. But others would have to design the main parts of the apparatus. His mind firmly against the deployment of spacewarp technology as weapons, Dr. Brown would only provide the initial components for a cloaking device. Already his heart and mind were striving with him to depart from the work. Something in the official treatment of his analysis troubled him deeply. What were they really after? A weapon? Or were they really only interested, as he was, in the wonder of an invisibility apparatus? A new facility was established toward these ends. The weld site apparatus was modified for experimental research now. Heavy-duty switches, arc-discharge chambers, and precise control components were developed.
By carefully monitoring the arc discharges, with precise attention on intensity and discharge "speed", the effect could theoretically be safely maintained. But capacitor fired arcs proved to be unstable and intermittent in operation. Therefore, judging from the thesis, which Dr. Brown proposed, special generators would be needed to sustain the effects at highly controllable levels. The continuous generation of the warp was now sought.
A rotating high voltage machine could be mechanically governed, its momentum regulating the necessary high voltage for sustained periods of time. It was also recognized that, since a unidirectional electrical impulse produced the warp, then a reversed impulse could disrupt the warp. The suppression of any possible "runaway" reactions could be immediately switched and reversed on this principle. So, with these safety factors at their disposal, the research team strove into the unknown.
The pressure to achieve the goals of this project were unbearable. More important were the rapid calculations and visionary penetrations with which Dr. Brown viewed the true purpose of the Project. How far would the military go with this new power, which they were about to unleash? On whom would these most dreadful forces be unleashed? Had he played his part as a puppet in a much larger theater where only the malevolent were entertained? Suddenly he knew what they were going to do with the technology, and where the final outcome would lead. This Project, this Rainbow quest was not going to end with mere "protective" technology. The very term now came through to his conscience like a mocking lie. He knew what the next phase of research would demand. He could not give it. He would not participate. It would have to stop here and now.
In his tortured thoughts he saw the empty cities, emptied in a black flash. He saw the twisted, distorted faces when torment was summoned; the black flash slowly pulling them apart. He heard the cries, the screams of innocents enveloped in the black and not appearing once the inky blackness passed. He could not easily withdraw from the experiments now, though moral obligation impelled that movement. Any such declarations would be declared acts of cowardice, or even of treason. He was an officer with officer's duties and oaths to uphold. The war was on, and he was helping his own nation develop a power more loathsome and morally abhorrent than the atomic bomb itself. He had to leave now or forever live with his conscience. What was he to do? What we know of Dr. Brown's "official" disposition after this time period was that he was in a state of "complete nervous collapse". The extremity of his condition forced him out of the research project. His position in the Project now permanently "retired", his classification level "demoted", Dr. brown returned home to rest and wait out the time. There are those who accept the story of his "complete nervous collapse" without question. There are those who speculate on the true nature of his withdrawal. Had he sacrificed his own rank and prestige in order to block progress on a most horrid application of his technology? Was his "condition" the only logical recourse left to him in order to be prematurely "retired"? Had he obtained his purpose in this coverture?
His own integrity and moral fiber were intact, an admirable reward for so dubious a military venture. The decision made, his future would not be an easy one. It would be almost impossible to obtain work as a Naval consultant ever again. Credibility not harmed, he would have a difficult time with the outside engineering community if it was learned that he "failed under pressure". Furthermore, if the NRL wished to "pursue" him as they had done in the past with their other "defectors", he would stand no chance at all. Would they reach around him with a "ring of power", making him invisible?
Loved, respected, and highly appraised by all of his superiors and associates, the outcome was not nearly as bad as he feared it would be. He was treated with genuine kindness and respect. By now he was thinking about the NRL and what they were about to do. His departure did not stop the Project. They continued without him. New experts were brought in. Technicians and designers acquired the various Project tasks assigned them. Lacking the intuitive insight, which comes with inspiration, their assessments did not match those of Dr. Brown.
In this technology, the smallest error of judgment in theoretics, design, or operation could become a dangerous and lethal situation. A newly designed dynamo provided the initiating energy. This rotating machine generated a very high voltage field. Remember, Dr. Brown had discovered that the spacewarp required only an intensely high voltage. Current was not the required feature in the process. Also, the employment of suitable high dielectric strength capacitors, better than vacuum, would allow the emergence of blackout effects at much lower voltages. In addition, it was imperative that the blackout effect, which was a dangerous spacewarp, be "shaped" to specified geometries. One did not wish to be enveloped in that blackness.
Some stated that the optical blackout was not a desirable state in which to cloak any tactically vital object. Any enemy could see a blackout". Enemies could simply fire shells into the heart of a blackout to reach their mark. What was desired was a more subtle application of the spacewarp effect; something far more refined and controlled. It was then hypothetically proposed that complete blackness might not be the first optical distortion effect in the "sequence of effects" which Dr. Brown had described in his report.
Perhaps it might be possible to so "tune" the effect that, prior to "black optical states", a condition of transparency or invisibility might actually be achieved. The idea was to attempt bringing the space warp to an intensity in which any material objects surrounded by "the effect" would vanish. Vanish "from sight", but not from local space. Some superiors stated that they would be happy even if the spacewarp achieved "radar invisibility" for sustained intervals. Optical invisibility would then be an "extra treat". With this proposal, Project Rainbow found its true inspiration.
Years earlier in Hungary (1936), Stephen Pribil demonstrated an "invisibility system". His system utilized special heterodyned light beams to render objects transparent and even invisible. Under the beams produced by his special lamps, opaque objects gradually became transparent. The effect could be controlled, optical transparencies sustained at specific "intensities". Radio cabinets, exposed to his lamps, faded from view. Astounded witnesses saw through the cabinets, while the interiors stood out with amazing clarity. Metal parts, tubes, and chassis could be seen darkly shining through the wooden enclosures.
Allowed to thoroughly handle each part of his apparatus as well as the objects made transparent, it was also obvious that the system actually worked. He rendered transparent any object they wished by his extraordinary method. What became of Mr. Pribil, his device, and his theories remains a mystery. In what manner spaces are distorted by very ordinary energies remains part of the scientific record. Numerous instances in which these strange phenomena make themselves apparent have been noted. The sharp black edges which surround grounded iron materials and evergreen trees seem to be related to the more extreme electrogravitic phenomena in outward appearance at the very least.
The first series of Project Rainbow experiments was first performed with the aim of "cloaking" tanks and heavy gun installations, that phase of the experiment, which principally had stimulated the participation of Dr. Brown. The high voltage impulses would necessarily be applied to a ring of capacitors, which surrounded the object. It was critical that these capacitors be oriented in such a manner that the spacewarp would not engulf anyone within its perimeter.
In the first accidental observations, the arc discharge engulfed all surrounding space. With its singular axis and vertical disposition, the warp radiated from arc to periphery. The designers needed to find a way for the radiant warp to move in a confined zone. Any such system in which personnel were involved would necessarily contain a "safety zone". In this safety zone, one could observe and yet remain unaffected by the warp. Could an array of extremely high voltage capacitance actually bend space around a fixed perimeter? Safety from the warp was the item of concern.
Was there no shield from this potentially deadly effect? Were there no materials or field configurations, which could shape and "guide" the spacewarp away from human participants and, eventually, crewmembers? Could the effect be beamed to a site? How far could such a "beam" be projected? Already the deliberated weapons research phase was meshing with the Project. Technicians attempted redesigning the symmetry in which the warp, the "black flash", would expand into its surrounding space. The capacitor axes acted as the radiant points for the expanding warp.
The system was remarkably and ruggedly simple. It is unknown what impulse durations and repetition rates were actually employed when applying the high voltage to the capacitor ring, but their repetitive frequency most certainly were very low. As Dr. Brown had empirically discovered with his gravitators years before, large capacitor values required longer warp "saturation" times.
The capacitor "axes" were radially disposed at a great distance from a central point. From above the installation, the power cables formed radial lines out to the periphery of a circle. Each radial cable was connected to a terminal of a capacitor. There were many of these. The capacitor axes pointed "in line" with the radial cables. Their precise alignment was absolutely critical, since any deviation from this radial symmetry would bring disaster. The outer terminals of all the capacitors were joined by a single circular loop. Voltage was thus applied from center to periphery. These capacitors, electrified by the high voltage dynamo and its ancillary impulsing components, were collectively a very large capacitance.
With the capacitors themselves at that circumference, the spacewarp would expand as a sheath of specific "thickness". The thickness depended entirely on the capacitor thickness. Their dielectric material was a special composite, probably of barium titanate powders. This dielectric permitted the concentration of very high voltage electrical fields without leakage and subsequent field loss. This material also permitted the use of significantly diminished voltages and impulse rates. Each capacitor projected a warp. Warps meshed between capacitors. The cloaking effect would be induced as a "ring like wall" surrounding an interior space, a safety zone. Or so they hoped.
In this manner, any object placed in the center of the "cloaking ring" would be surrounded by an optically indistinct zone. According to the analysis, which technicians now provided, no blacking effect would be experienced within the ring, the warp being confined to a specified outer periphery. The system would provide a convenient wall, shrouding one's presence from any enemy's gaze. Questions now were directed toward the perceptual distortions, which the crew might experience. How one perceived the world "beyond the ring" would require another series of experiments.
The voltage output of newly designed dynamos was extreme. In fact, they operated more like electrostatic generators than current generators. Ratings of several million volts would not be a conservative estimate. The initial experiments apparently succeeded, the Project moving into its progressive developmental stages. Problems of communication through the warp cloak was going to be a problem. How would the crew remain in touch with superiors? In wartime, communications would be the necessary and critical item of concern.
Could one use ordinary radio waves across the threshold of a spacewarp? Optical blackout would block all communications on both sides of the cloak wall. But transparency might allow specific radio frequencies through the wall. At sufficiently high radio frequencies and power levels, there would be no problems in this application of the warp. Special UHF antennas appeared throughout these experiments, reported as "Christmas tree-like" structures.
The Naval Research Laboratories now undertook the first deployment of the system for use on a much grander scale: to "cloak" and render a ship invisible. The chosen ship, USS Eldridge (DE 173), was now outfitted with the experimental system in two sections. The first was loaded on board. This included the dynamos and a modified capacitor ring assembly. The second section, presumably controlling devices and data readout systems, was located off shore. The moored ship was connected from ship to shore by a great system of very thick black cables.
The capacitor ring surrounded the ship's hull in the same symmetry as was used to surround grounded objects. Several pairs of wire loops were placed completely around the ship's hull. Between these loops, a great number of the specialized capacitors were placed in radial orientations. Since the capacitor "ring" assembly saturated the warp for such a long time, it would be possible to again lower the impulse rate. Continuous transparency could be arranged by employing a cadenced series of such assemblies.
It was vital that the electrical axes be absolutely radial with respect to the ship's deck, and that no unexpected diffraction effects be encountered by the expanding warp. Such diffractions would destroy the warp profile, bringing its deadly effects into the safety zone. Crewmembers would have to stay deep in the safety zone interior or risk being destroyed by the expanding warp.
The assembly produced an intense space distortion, which surrounded the ship. In unmanned tests, the effects appeared benign, invisibility actually having been achieved. It has been rumored that the aged Tesla was called from his secure Manhattan retreat to act as consultant to this project. The father of electrical impulse science and inventor of electrostatic impulse generators and transformers, his expertise added certain finishing touches to the massive equipment. In addition, his own experience with the blackout phenomenon added special credence to the project. No doubt, he himself was enthralled at the discovery and its amazing properties.
The development and proposal to deploy the system by the military did not rest well with Tesla however, his sharpened intuition recognizing their ultimate goals. It had been reported that Tesla left the Project abruptly after recognizing the potentially harmful effects on crewmembers and the natural environment. The safety of crewmembers or other military personnel who would be exposed to such an energetic effect would indeed be the critical factor.
Could human beings operate near such a powerful warp and remain completely unaffected? The early exposures of control room personnel produced mild and temporary cessation of conscious process. Physiologically, no reports of after-effects were ever mentioned in connection with the blackout. It was critical that the effect be closely monitored and isolated. When deployed on a battleship or aircraft carrier, the capacitor rings would produce an enormous warp volume. Required to bend space around the ship, the system would be taxed to its design limits. Until standardized, the system itself would continue to remain "in the design stage".
The "black out" state would not be engaged, it previously being determined to achieve a mild state of transparency. This cloaking system would provide a camouflage resembling a "blurry sea horizon". After tests with laboratory animals proved safe, a crew was selected. Once aboard the ship, crewmembers were asked to simply "go about their business as usual". Warned to stay well within the interior of the safety zone, it was stressed that they treat the hull as they would a deadly electrified fence. The crew was told that there might be possible "strange optical effects" when looking outside, but that this was part of the experiment. If they were successful, they would be "war heroes". The Navy would have obtained a new weapon for the war and they would be first to try it.
The systems were initiated. Power was applied. The ship acquired a "swimmy" appearance against the blue sky. Increased power brought the effect toward the theoretical mark. The ship becoming more blurry. Power to the system was raised a few more degrees, and to the amazement of all who watched, the blur became a foggy transparency. The ship could not distinctly be seen at all! The effect was sustained for a few minutes, and then removed gradually. All seemed well.
What the NRL did not know was what had happened in those few minutes. It was impossible for them to receive any distress calls, the entire crew having been incapacitated. There must have been a leakage effect somewhere in the hull, the "ill-formed" spacewarp moving into the safety zone. It has been thought that the excessive steel of the ship itself acted in some strange unca1culated manner to draw the warp effect into the ship. Furthermore, in the few seconds after the power was applied, many of the crewmembers attempted diving off the ship. They never made it to the warp edge, being saturated in the radiant warp field.
The experiment had horrible side effects. Each exposed crewmember was neurologically damaged beyond all hope of healing. Having become known as the "Philadelphia" experiment, it remains but one highly classified chapter in military science. What we know of this event has come through significant and credible sources. The disastrous results of this experiment were not easily forgotten. It has been "presumed" that the NRL relinquished these developments. Others offer more striking evidence that none of these systems have escaped continual examination.
Having subsequently lost his security clearance, and being retired from active service on a small pension had its advantages. By 1944, those who sought him found him working as a consultant on radar systems for Lockheed. Radar, the leading conventional postwar science responsible for saving lives and virtually winning the war, was a safe and moral place to land. Playing it "conventional" after the war meant earning a steady income. Nevertheless, but his dream of spaceflight continued weaving its lovely and intricate patterns through his mind. Dr. Brown was well aware of the horrid outcomes obtained in Project Rainbow. Though his moral obligations were fulfilled in these regards, he could not recall the Project without the deepest sadness. The designers were simply not equipped to properly engage the power and fabric of space in such a cavalier manner. His examination of their proposals revealed the numerous flaws in their configuration. It was amazing to him that no one had even considered the diffractive effect of the hulls when raising the warp. Yet, had he been actively involved in the Project, his superiors would have demanded complete cooperation in deploying the weapons aspect of the warp phenomenon.
There had been ramifications of the NRL experimental nightmare, which disturbed his own plans for the future. For a time he very well imagined that spacewarp drive was deadly. If used in the intensities demanded by his own calculations, the unshielded effects would do to a flight crew exactly what it did to the men of the USS Eldridge. For a time it seemed that spacewarp would kill voyagers if employed in aviation or space travel.
Patient study and intuitive vision finally brought forth a solution to the deadly problem. The answer was contained in considering the nature of dielectrics. Dielectrics of proper composition could guide the mobile spacewarp in a smooth and confined flow. Unlike the NRL, tests on these notions would require sufficient investigations prior to deployment. His crushing suspended thoughts on the wonderful vision of his childhood finally returned with renewed strength. Never would he reveal it to those in the NRL. He knew how to shape and isolate the warp with absolute safety.
The War was over. And his own war was over. Once again, the dream sea began surging in human minds. The skies deepened and people began seeing things, new things, in the deep blue outer reaches. A sudden wave of reports flooded the media with observations of "flying discs". Saucers. The vague and elusive forms traveled at speeds, which rivaled every known military aircraft. As with the mystery aeroships and ghost-rockets, these aerial sightings remained true to the archetypal pattern of manifestations. Their first appearances were vague and dreamy, cloudy and indistinct. With time, their forms seemed to solidify and acquire sharply detailed surface features.
Each dream manifestation in the historical series brought totally new behaviors to human attention. Saucers were no different. By their very shape and activity they comprised an utterly exotic and unexpected event. Lights, search beacons, colors, flashings, color changes, aerial caprices, right-angle turns, sudden disappearances, simultaneous radar visibility and visual invisibility ... the flying saucers exhibited their new behaviors as each previous aerial dream display had done.
Their appearance came on the tail of the war in Europe, pilots reporting strange "foo fighters" and mysterious "fireballs". While some investigators cited the development of special electrically activated robot aircraft in Nazi Germany, most could not explain the incredible variety of flying saucer sightings in every other part of the world.
Having ability to out-maneuver the best Allied bombers, these strangely animated objects were more than a public curiosity by this point in time. World national security being the principle theme of every government, flying saucers were military "objectives". Every aspect of these flying craft was carefully scrutinized. Who were they? Were they a private group of highly advanced engineers? A maverick or rogue community of technologists at war with the world of nations? Were they aliens? If aliens, then which planet? What were their motives? Why were they playing with military facilities in such a nonchalant and arrogant manner?
Memos, reports, flaps, and aerial skirmishes. News releases, press releases, cover stories, cover-ups. Diversions, debunkers. Files exist, files do not exist. Crafts retrieved, crafts shot down, crafts do not exist, bodies retrieved. Hangars, weather balloons, radar balloons ... the amusing charades yet continue. While flying saucers behaved in comic fashion, the Air Force was burning the sky down. Helpless. Powerless. While attempting to unravel the puzzle and appear in total control, the simultaneous juggling act of desperate data acquisition, cover-ups, and denials proved to be a far more entertaining theater than the saucers themselves.
The ridiculous spectacle of earthly power and dominion in the act of square dancing at high speed was a rich amusement of derision. The intended effect. The dramatic and focused concern of military agencies for these flying saucers betrayed a singular impotence. A demand for control. Power, the deception of control and dominations, was being mocked by a playful energy, which analysts yet do not recognize.
Nevertheless, the obvious superiority of flying saucer crafts, if they were indeed crafts, left military superiors at a total loss. How did they fly? How were they able to execute inertia-defying maneuvers without shearing to pieces? How were they able to accelerate complete out of visual contact in a millisecond without incinerating? What was their mode of propulsion? What was their metallurgy?
Every vaguely related terrestrial saucer technology was probed. Piecing through the Patent Registry, the military people were directed by experts to examine those propulsion devices, which, though deigned "impossible" by major aircraft corporations, nevertheless actually worked.
Neither the Air Force, however, nor the NRL communicated in a mutually cooperative manner. The "tradition" among military groups forbad this. Now, especially after the war, these "traditions" were strengthened beyond measure; seeing that each group was in possession of new and potentially domineering technologies gleaned from the war years.
Suddenly, the NRL was "interested" in Dr. Brown again! In 1949, against all principles of normal military security, Dr. Brown was brought into the NRL again. Living in Hawaii, his relaxed manner was noted; a defined and dramatic change from the days during the now-infamous Rainbow Project. Highly cloistered military engaged the dialogue. "Brown" was the closest they would ever get to solving a particular "problem" which they had.
Dr. Brown decided that a formal proposal be made for research funding in 1952. After several months of research, a small NRL group was convened. Dr. Brown spoke once more to NRL examiners. He imagined at first that their "problem" had something to do with the recent sightings of UFO phenomena. He mentioned that he could surprise them in these regards if they were patient enough.
He began his talk by attempting to prove that aerial flight with gravitator engines was the new high frontier. He named his experimental foray "Project Winterhaven". Hoping to lead the military gaze toward true space travel itself, he made his appeal to the NRL. Now done with the last war, he encouraged them to seek out some new technological venture. They smiled and listened on. The time was indeed ripe. The race for new spaceward investigations had captured every mind. The dream sea surging. Space flight was the obvious new challenge. Dr. Brown reminded and warned his colleagues of their former "negligence" with pre-war technology.
The Air Force was painfully aware of their ignorance concerning rocketry, until both V-I and V-2 packages began raining death and ruin upon England. Here again was their time, ripe for new technology, ripe for the experimental implementation of his astounding discoveries. Most of the NRL examiners agreed, almost laughing among themselves at an obvious "inside joke".
Now was the time. Now. Everything was moving spaceward now. Now was the time when space travel could really come to pass. He then mentioned his careful study of early European Rocket Club periodicals, which revealed forgotten fancies in both space travel and space engineering. Some designs and hypothetical plans were bizarre fantasies in mathematical form, but they had practical merit.
Taking their lead from Robert Goddard, the Europeans developed elaborate and elegant solutions to the real problems of rocket-driven space flight. As with so many wonderful scientific developments, the mathematical work on various aspects of space flight had all been published and forgotten during the War. He elucidated on these, highlighting the fact that while some were fanciful, most were inspirational, visionary, and instructive. Russian engineers designed a ground-boarded space cable car system. Some imagined "space carrousels" which could extend capture cables earthward, towing groundlings skyward. It was the mathematical precision, which most thoroughly engaged professional readers and students of these journals.
Certain of the more serious schemes, proposed independently by both Willy Ley and Arthur C. Clarke, considered the stepwise approach of moon landings and moon colonization. These topics provoked great interest and the writing of numerous notations. The methodic deployment of "clock orbit" stations would certainly establish the practical means for landing on the moon. Space islands, permitting short trips with long rest intervals, would be positioned at critical "L points". In such points the stations would be space stable. Fuel, rest, food, supplies. All of these requirements could be shuttled between successive L stations before embarking toward the lunar surface.
Such a system of "space stepping stones" would not necessitate the titanic and impractical rocket needed for a straight earth-to-moon voyage. They shifted as he went on, seemingly uninterested. When once the L stations were in their sequenced positions, only small escape velocity shuttles would be required for the lunar journey. When he mentioned his plan for a "sortie vehicle", one which could launch a spacecraft from ground to L station number one, he suddenly acquired their interest. He described his new engines. They listened intently to everything he said now.
The electro-impulsed gravity engines would operate in space at peak efficiency. Utilizing electrical power alone, the spacecraft designs required no liquid fuel. The gravitators needed an initial lift before achieving true free flight. Dr. Brown reported his development and successful testing of small ion thrust jets, the electric arc rockets that he designed in his youth. These would provide the necessary takeoff momentum. Coupled together, the system would gracefully propel a disc-shaped vehicle out to space.
Implementation of his ion thrusters alone would revolutionize the art of flying, ultimately permitting rapid deployment of small interplanetary crafts. He patented several of these ionic thrust engines (3.018.394, 3.022.430, 3.187.206) throughout the 1950's and early 1960's. These devices produced both thrust and electrical voltages of unheard strengths. They were early examples of MHD generators. Magneto-hydrodynamic generators produce remarkable volumes of electrical power directly from flame.
Photographs, which he presented to the group, looked less like his early "Flash Gordon" rocket forms, and more like the flying saucers, which had been recently reported on the worldwide scene. NRL examiners remained completely silent, while writing what they saw. There were those who came to inspect his experimental facility. His designs had taken on a distinctly otherworldly appearance; being large area, beautifully smooth surfaced "discoids". Convex metallic forms. Flying saucers, which actually flew. Their obvious link to the UFO rage of the early I 950's was a compelling aspect which attracted many curious academes and Air Force military advisors later. He had designed an overall shape, which combined all the features required for a "flying wing". The forward craft section was charged electropositive, tension being established with section aft, charged electronegative. The Brown warp thrust effect would move the entire craft forward when sufficient electrical impulses were delivered to the aerofoil. These saucer shaped designs were tethered to a central support rod, having perpendicular extensions of ten feet. On these were fixed two "discoid aerofoils", each some two feet in diameter.
Supplied with long electrical impulses of 50 Kilovolts electrostatic potential, the discs raced around the sixty-foot circumference, achieving an angular velocity of nearly twenty feet per second! These discs operated on pure spacewarp power. They were dragged along with the distorted space, which they electrically projected.
In quick steps, he had increased both the size and speed of these tethered discoid capacitors. The discs were now three feet in diameter, running around a fifty-foot course at higher speeds. Their movement was swift and silent, a military dream. These experiments had been classified by NRL examiners who had previously come to observe his progress. Classified, but not accepted ... a strange contradiction!
The NRL was interested, but something in their manner alerted Dr. Brown to some deeper motive. What really was it that brought them here? And why here and now? Could it be that their interest was in pursuing some other feature of his work? He nevertheless continued the dialogue. The discoidal aerofoil was to be equipped with several propulsion systems. Each would be engaged with each stage of the aerial ascent. Dr. Brown's ion rockets were designed to provide initial lift for his crafts, while generating enough electrical field strength to power the gravitator cluster.
At orbital heights, the entire craft would achieve stable gravitator function, ion engines being disengaged. The ion rocket could be used for controlled re-entry after a space flight reached home. This plan not only sounded professionally impressive, its demonstration was impressive. Dr. Brown had succeeded in achieving the self-sustained flight of his aerofoil models without much NRL assistance. His frugal use of their recent funding was not wasted. They asked how he proposed to shield the crew from the possibly deadly aspects of the warp drive. And this is when he stopped sharing. For now he recognized their true motive for both reinstating his security clearance, funding his research, and for now being in his facility.
In his private researches, Dr. Brown discovered that dielectric material could be molded to any specification. Any geometry could be accommodated. In these secrets, he had encrypted his elegant solution to the problem of isolating space warps from crewmembers. The NRL experts desired this information. This is why they were there.
He attempted to engage and elude them now, to obtain his own information. The behavioral patterns and actions of one's opponents betray their intentions, acquisitions, and fund of knowledge. Dr. Brown watched them closer now. He demonstrated his devices repeatedly for them. Now, the NRL was drawing their examination to a close. Suddenly, after all they had heard and seen, none agreed that the effect was "truly electrogravitic" in nature. This was designed to "throw him off' the trail which he was pursuing.
Typically, NRL examiners accused Dr. Brown of "poor science", stating that his effect was produced by "nothing more" than a high voltage ionic wind emitted from the gravitator poles. The gravitators would therefore be useless in space environments. This decoy, this derision, was the commonly employed tactic of those who wish to conceal. In this case, the NRL wished to conceal the fact that they had already perfected the warp drive engines. Dr. Brown knew exactly what they were doing in his laboratory now. They were desperate. They needed a piece of information, which he alone had. What was it though?
The frail hearted would have been dejected, their morale destroyed. Believing the "rumor" of their own failure, in the mouth of military "experts", such individuals had been known to drop their work completely. The mind game. Nations turn in upon the wellsprings of their own creativity, secluding discovery to a cloistered elite. The power game. On behalf of whom? The old money. Who are they? The old families remain anonymous. The nouveau riche are pushed to the foreground.
The actions and behavior of the NRL told him everything he needed to know. One or two more surprises would give him a piece of information, which he now desired. He provoked them with an impromptu demonstration. It was a wonderful, but old experiment. He had performed this test the very day after he discovered the thrusting effect in his Zanesville garage as a child. In true scientific bravado, Dr. Brown completely submerged his gravitators in oil. The oil-submerged devices again outperformed their own atmospheric tests! He was enthralled at this last face-to-face "victory". This meant that, with increasing altitude, the gravitators would take an increasing role in overall thrust! He thanked them for their "original" objections.
For the meanwhile, his critics were silenced ... but not thrilled at the findings. This response was shockingly conspicuous. They had already seen such demonstrations elsewhere, had they? But, by whom? And when? It was clear that they had already reached this technological plateau. Quite obviously, these examiners were not "now" interested in his system, because they were never really interested in his system from the start. They had already taken the original project beyond the bounds which he was displaying for them, having developed superior thrusters of their own.
The examiners were there specifically to discover whether or not his system incorporated a "warp shield". It was simple. They knew that his knowledge of the Rainbow experiment was the leading theme. They knew his awareness of their failure. He knew the dangers of the warp. He knew their failure to shield from its deadly effect. Yet, here he was developing a spacewarp drive. No one with his expertise would undertake such an experiment. There would be no future in it at a certain point in the developmental stage. Hence, himself quite aware of the potential dangers of deploying a large-scale warp drive, he had to have solved the "shielding problem".
This was the very problem, which their "experts" had originally, and disastrously failed to produce in Philadelphia. Therefore, they had approached and "caressed" him for favors. Technological answers to a new project, one in which he would never playa part. It was also obvious that the internal functions of the NRL had become the property of post-war trusts. The chronological facts and behavior of NRL examiners yet remain part of the historical record.
The "successful" results of his NRL encounter further encouraged him to reach his originally envisioned goal of space flight. But he would do so on a non-military level. Numerous military personnel were now commandeering aircraft industries. Such individuals would be useless to him if co-opted by establishment concerns. In that case, their every endeavor would be marred and marked by a simple concern to resist new technology for the protection of investments.
He would take his system to privateers. Commercialization of spacecrafts would revolutionize the very manner in which citizens envisioned themselves. The gravitators would indeed work in space with far greater efficiency than they did in his earthbound lab experiments. The engines did not require the military excess common with ordinary rocketry.
It was so strikingly clear that Dr. Brown was not concerned at all with the rejections of NRL or military developers. Their own stealth had betrayed them. He knew there were crafts already being deployed in test facilities. He knew that the future of his technology had a future. The manner in which the NRL had first approached, inquired, acquired, and then rejected his work told all.
The commercialization of spacewarp systems was predicated on the practical simplicity and relative inexpensive of their development and industrial deployment. Dr. Brown was not going to be stopped this time in achieving his spaceward dream. It was not money he needed. His was the mind on which they had built. He had the dream and the knowledge. No one funded his work henceforth. The NRL maintained their cautious and cloistered distance. It was his own fortune, which was consumed in perfecting these experiments and making scientific history. But costly equipment and gigantic facilities were not the necessary resource. The dream was the only necessary resource.
When American investors failed to join his project, he answered queries made by foreign companies. Traveling abroad to Europe in 1955, where he believed more willing hearts and competitive minds were listening to new ideas, he began his presentations. He first demonstrated his system in England, but received no commitment of funding. Investors there were thoroughly embroiled in duties of the empire, unable to disentangle themselves from their first loyalties.
But, the National Aeronautic Society in France greatly desired to examine these designs for testing and development. His demonstrations captured them completely. Enthralled with the potential access to space flight, their enthusiastic plans for his technology took off at once. Calculated proposals indicated that larger disc aerofoils would become increasingly more efficient than the models. Upscaling the voltage supply required a new type of engine. While French engineers were temporarily obstructed by this impasse, he reintroduced his ideas about ion rockets. He developed his most famous and powerful MHD jet engine in France. The lightweight MHD power pack could be supported by the craft itself, removing the noisome connection to ground. In addition to his oil tank demonstrations, he successfully performed the gravitator experiments in Paris at the highest obtainable vacuum. These tests, made in 1955, proved conclusively that "ionic wind" activities were not the cause of thrust. In fact, not only was it impossible to detect any sort of ionic winds, but it was found that the gravitator became ever more powerful with increased vacuum.
The only liquid fuel would be the ionic "seed" materials with which to provide charge. Inert liquid gases, seeded with salts would provide the powerful fuel for his electric arc jet. In addition, permanent magnets would split the ionic jet into electropositive and electronegative charges of stupendous potential. This lightweight system would produce over three million volts, simultaneously supplying both initial thrust and gravitator action potential. Now the systems carried their own power supplies and could support sizable payloads.
A quick merger between rival factions of the National Aeronautic Society brought Brown's dreams down. Thoroughly disappointed and out of funds, Brown returned to the States in 1956. Nevertheless, he had reached toward his dreams with success. He had the system and the patents to prove it. In 1957, he was invited to work on antigravity designs with Agnew Bahnson, a wealthy businessman. Brown traveled to North Carolina to establish a privately funded antigravity research laboratory.
While Bahnson and King were intent on developing and patenting designs of their own, Brown was simply becoming a consultant. This disappointing poise caused him to refrain from sharing much of his technology with them. Nevertheless, he did attempt to urge them into considering his discoveries, and the superiority of his patents. There are films of some of the experiments in which an older Dr. Brown may be seen standing alongside Mr. Bahnson and Frank King. Smiling, warm, and friendly, he is seen demonstrating the Brown Effect on a small (but weighty) metal disc. A momentary impulse appears, and the disc noticeably rocks to and fro. It does not seem that they were at all intrigued with this prospect.
In a freak accident of the strangest kind, Bahnson was killed. His private plane ran directly into a high-tension line. The research lab continued for a time with Bahnson's associates, who patented several inefficient electric wind-lifted devices. During this latter period, Dr. Brown spoke with Frank King of certain theories, which he had apparently kept to himself for years. His experimental research had convinced him that inertial mass differed from gravitational mass. He taught that these differences could be elicited only when mass was electrified.
Positive charging at high potentials would increase inertial mass while decreasing gravitational mass. Negative charging at high potential would increase gravitational mass while decreasing inertial mass. Dr. Brown had proven this in a great number of strictly controlled demonstrations. The development of rocket planes emerged from the commercial drawing boards as the "best means" for reaching space. The corporate venture, co-opted by both established money and military entanglements, was destined for disappointment. In the typical "nationalization" policy, and on the very eve of its success, the X-IS venture was twisted out of designers' hands and placed entirely in military control. The obvious reasons for a military "first" assault on space need no further discussions. No commercial space ventures would be "permitted".
The remarkably effective super-guns of Dr. Gerald Bull were already proving that an inexpensive means for launching unmanned commercial payloads, satellites and scientific instruments, was available and ready to meet customer demands. How they pursued Dr. Bull, provoking him to seek investors elsewhere, is another matter of the historical record. Each of these dreams was methodically eradicated, not because they were "ineffectual", but because other powers and dominions demanded total control of space. It is amusing, and pathetic to recognize how ignorance best blinds those who promote it. The industrial-military complex now considers themselves in possession of the "only means for achieving space". Remember, however, Dr. Brown did not design an expensive and inaccessible system. Since that time, others received viable patents for devices, which demonstrate modifications of gravitation (Wallace).
Between the years 1958 and 1962, Brown acted as consultant in a number of corporate ventures. Years after being declined by the NRL, Tom Brown was yet considered "too knowledgeable to be left alone". Government investigators continually infiltrated his demonstrations and meetings with deliberate intent. The infiltrators each observed his experimental work, accurately reporting what they saw to their superiors.
He continually claimed that his electrogravitic drive system would power ships to the stars, representing his system to potential buyers and developers. It seemed that all had fallen victim to some mass lethargy with the exception of himself and a few other inventors. Investors, on the other hand, were simply incapable of entering sound business ventures any longer. They had not the zeal and adventure of their forefathers who made their financial principle on new technology. Those originators of dynasties placed money on the technology by which America's steely face was forged. These younger inheritors seemed intent only on amassing and securing their capital.
Brown retired, but privately continued his research for the remainder of his life. It seemed that his dream of flying off into space was going to fall to others. He therefore decided to serve the future best, by supplying an adequate fund of knowledge for future developers and dreamers. His later experimental work intended to prove the Unified Field Theory by showing that connections exist between electrical and gravitational forces.
Years before, he had discovered that electrified carbon resistances and dielectric masses emitted spurious noise signals. These noise signals were correlated with cosmic changes. Dr. Brown discovered that specific rocks, notably granites and basalts, manifested strangely "spontaneous voltages". Dr. Brown claimed that sudden gravitational fluctuations were being transformed into electrostatic charges when encountering special materials. They were named "petro-voltaic" charges, the phenomenon referred to as "petro-electricity".
These petro-voltaic charges could be measured, their outputs having sizable strengths. In very specific silicates, these outputs were significant. Here was evidence of a reaction process in which space transient warps were stimulating electrical generation! A large enough arrangement of the proper rock could be an eternal generator of gravito-electricity.
Dr. Brown recalled the work of Dr. Charles Brush, the American physical chemist who investigated gravitational phenomena during the Victorian Era. Dr. Brush claimed that certain rocks actually fell "slower" than other materials by a slight, but significant degree. On further examination, Dr. Brush found that these rocks were possessed of a peculiar "excess heat".
Dr. Brown obtained samples of these rocks, Lintz Basalts, finding that they indeed gave very high spontaneous voltages when instrumented. Wire contacts touched the materials on their surface, yielding several millivolts. The rocks could be sliced, and placed in multiple contacts to produce a net voltage, which was sizable. Rock batteries! Dr. Brown's petro-voltaic effect produced nearly one volt with larger specimens.
Rock voltages are strangely current free, increasing their output at 6 PM each evening and decreasing at 7 AM each day. The effective output increased with increasing elevation, but lost the smooth tracings which strip-recorders revealed for rock specimens measured on the ground. Others duplicated and corroborated these findings with surprising results (Hodowanec). When certain researchers traveled to the Andes to test Brown's claims, they received up to 1.8-volt surges from a single rock specimen! Brown discovered that increased graphite content in the rocks also increased the output voltage: a reminder of his findings with carbon resistors.
Voltages derived from rock specimens contained two electrical components. The first, a steady DC bias, contained a second superimposed fluctuating signal. This latter signal varied with solar-lunar conditions, positions, and configurations. Minute electrical bursts were correlated with distant gravitic pulse sources in space. He now discovered that other silica-rich rocks spontaneously produced these electrical charges.
This interaction of gravitic fluctuations with crystal lattices had other applications. With this phenomenon as his astrophysical tool, he was able to chart stellar effects, which normally required huge radio telescopes. Dr. Brown sighted pulsar action and supernova events long before they were formally announced by radio astronomers. Dr. Brown measured solar flares with these instruments, all of which were contained in deep vaults once again. The instruments were shielded from radioactive, thermal, and optical energies. The sensors continually registered these same signals, though maintained in the isolated environment.
The alliance of military and business communities have invested their monies and efforts on ordinary rocketry. The supposedly dependable military rocket systems were deployed with furious intent. Huge, dangerous, unwieldy, and flawed, they caused the military great concern in 1956. Sputnik rattled the smug military stronghold with deliberation. When called upon to launch the small grapefruit sized Vanguard satellite into orbit, each industrially mass-produced rocket failed.
Later in the decade, Dr. Gerald Bull would lose his original direction and become a formidable arms dealer. Had Dr. Bull patiently born the time out, he might have made a fortune in the business of privatized satellite launches. The military chose its single investment in rocketry, there planting their fortress of commitment. They did so on behalf of others, not on behalf of discovery. Space was to be a frontier only for governments and military units.
The outlandish deferment of the space travel dream has turned our nation inward. Inward and downward. National confusion and chaos is defined by its true origin and source. Social confusion and social derangements derive form the engineered deferment of dreams and expectations. National campaigns propagandize one issue, and then produce another. Often, these reversals are calculated against the younger generation, since the maintenance of dynastic fortunes requires the exertion of deliberate social controls with each new generation.
Nevertheless, discovery and technology are never at rest. They are now alive in little basement laboratories and garage research facilities. An armada of indefinite proportions, from which will emerge the surgings of the dream sea. New discoveries will come and make their forays into the world. Despite the established systemology, which methodically harvests and burns these discoveries, they will yet come. No one suppresses discovery. Discovery, with the apparitional manifestation, which appears in certain night skies, is THE relentless force. It destroys those who seek its harm.
Others will bear the technological crown away when nations seek and hunt to destroy providentially supplied knowledge. The nation, which resurrects Brown's research, will rule the air and space. Dreams are never destroyed. They permeate and haunt societies whose leaders have rejected their materialization with a special vengeance all their own. Providence is kind to the dreamer. Visions come to the devoted heart.
Dr. Thomas Townsend Brown loved warm and sunny climates, spending the remainder of his life in Umatillo, Florida. His scientific achievements remain legendary among those who honor and preserve his memory. Imaginative vision itself is the true spaceflight. I believe he recognized in his own dreams the true power, acceptance, and glory, which he rightly deserved in life. His wonderful childhood dream of the stars remains.
"The Hunt For Zero Point" by Nick Cook
This is a good read and provides many additional insights into the relationships between U.S. and German industries. It is a Must Read if you are into history or a teacher.
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