Feeling Antigravity's Pull Can NASA stop the apple from falling on Newton's
By Adam Rogers
"Don't call it antigravity research," Ron Koczor pleads. He's
a physicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.,
and he's talking about a project he's been working on for almost a decade.
"Call it 'gravity modification.' 'Gravity anomalies.' Anything but
antigravity. That's a red flag."
When people find out that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
has researchers working on sci-fi stuff like antigravity—or rather,
"gravity modification"—the red flags do indeed start waving.
Reputable scientists like Koczor earn polite disdain from colleagues (or
worse, from funders of research). But truth's truth: NASA has been studying
the manipulation of gravity for at least 10 years, as have nongovernment
NASA began its work after a Russian physicist named Evgeny Podkletnov
published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Physica C in 1992. Podkletnov
claimed that a device built around a superconductor and a magnet could
shield an object from gravity. The trick, he said, was to make a superconducting
disc about a foot in diameter, chill it, levitate it over magnets—a
nifty property of superconductors is that they repel magnetic fields—and
set it revolving like a compact disc. Podkletnov said an object placed
above that contraption lost 0.3 percent of its weight. The object itself
didn't change. Rather, gravity's effect on it lessened.
If that effect could be harnessed and strengthened, the aerospace industry
would be upended. Vessels bound for space wouldn't have to ride atop massive,
barely controlled explosions. All the energy human beings expend moving
things around, from cargo to cars, could be reduced or eliminated. And
post-Einsteinian physics would have to be rewritten to explain what the
hell was going on. Podkletnov called the effect "gravitational force
shielding," and even in the absence of a good theory to explain the
phenomenon, other researchers took notice. "Because his experiment
and results were published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal, that
gave it a level of credibility," Koczor says.
After Podkletnov published his article, it took NASA until 1999 to figure
out how to make a large, thin superconducting disc. Ceramic high-temperature
superconductors are brittle as cheap china, and the discs kept shattering.
Once they solved that problem, NASA paid Columbus, Ohio-based SCI Engineered
Materials $650,000 to build the entire apparatus. But Podkletnov had called
for a disc with two layers, one superconducting and one not, and SCI didn't
solve that engineering challenge until last year. Then they hit another
roadblock. The disc wouldn't spin. SCI engineers stuck a rotor through
the disc's center to turn it mechanically, but Podkletnov specified 5,000
revolutions per minute. SCI's device barely pulls 30 rpm.
Why not just ask Podkletnov how to build the thing? SCI brought him over
to consult a couple of years ago, to little avail. "His excuse basically
was that he was a ceramics physicist, not an electrical or mechanical
engineer, and other people built the device for him," Koczor says.
"Draw your own conclusions. All I know is, if I were a principal
investigator on something like this, I would know the size and thread-depth
of every screw in the damn thing. But you know, the Europeans and the
Russians, they're different. They're much more, 'this is your job and
this is my job.' So it's plausible that he didn't know the details."
It might not matter. SCI's contract is ending, and Koczor's budget to
explore "way-out physics" is spent. He hasn't got the money
to actually test the device even if it did meet Podkletnov's specs.
But researchers outside NASA are working on the problem, too. This summer
Nick Cook, a writer for Jane's Defence Weekly, reported that aerospace
giant Boeing was pursuing antigravity research. Boeing denied it. "We
are aware of Podkletnov's work on 'anti-gravity' devices and would be
interested in seeing further development work being done," said a
company statement. "However, Boeing is not funding any activities
in this area at this time." Note Boeing's use of the Clintonian present
tense. They never contacted Jane's to ask for a correction, Cook says.
Meanwhile, British aerospace company BAE Systems says it's keeping an
eye on the research, and that it had once funded its own antigravity project,
Unfortunately, Cook strains his own credibility somewhat. A couple of
weeks after his Jane's piece appeared, Cook's book on antigravity research,
The Hunt for Zero Point, came out. In it, he claims that the Nazis built
an antigravity device during World War II. Its absence from present-day
science, Cook says, implies a vast "black" world of secret antigravity
aircraft that might explain the UFOs people see over Area 51. He's a careful
investigative reporter, but once you start talking about UFOs and Nazi
antigravity you're not far from hidden tunnels under the White House full
of lizard-men disguised as Freemasons.
Even without Nazis, there are plenty of reasons to doubt Podkletnov. My
e-mails to the account listed on his recent articles (not peer-reviewed)
went unanswered. Even more problematic, I can't find the institution he
lists as his affiliation in Moscow. "Eugene always expressed his
worries that others could copy his work, although as far as I know he
never applied for a patent," Giovanni Modanese, a collaborator of
Podkletnov's at the University of Bolzano in Italy, wrote in an e-mail
(using a Western version of Podkletnov's first name). "Nonetheless,
at the scientific level if one wants a confirmation by others and a successful
replication, one must give all the necessary elements." Well, yeah.
Modanese says that the current version of the device, now called an "impulse
gravity generator," is simpler and could be built "by a big-science
team of people expert in superconductivity." A Boeing spokesperson
didn't respond to follow-up questions. So, either there's nothing going
on here, or it's an X-File.
And the science? Ten years is a long time to go without replication. Combine
that with Podkletnov's cagey behavior and it's enough to make even sci-fi
geeks like me lose hope. But like the core of any good conspiracy, antigravity
research has the ring of plausibility. One of the outstanding problems
in physics and cosmology today involves the existence of so-called dark
matter and dark energy. They're by far the main constituents of matter
in the universe, and nobody knows what they're made of—researchers
have only inferred their existence from gravitational effects. Coming
up with a new theory of how gravity works might explain that, though it'd
be a scientific revolution on a par with relativity. "Changing gravity
is in the cards," says Paul Schechter, an astronomer at MIT. "But
so far no one's been able to do better than Einstein." Still, Einstein
worked in a lowly patent office. Ron Koczor works for NASA.
Amazon.com Imagine the power, economic and military, that would
fall into the hands of the person who figured out how to bypass the ordinary
laws of physics, defy gravity, and travel near the speed of light.
Though it sometimes seems to fall in the realm of
science fiction more than pure science, aviation-technology journalist
Nick Cook's intriguing tale involves the long quest to develop antigravity
vehicles and the sometimes eccentric characters who have played a part
in it: Nazi rocket engineers, backyard inventors, NASA scientists, conspiracy
theorists, and UFO watchers among them. The last group figures, Cook explains,
because the ideal craft for "electrogravitic reaction" would take the
form of a disc, a design consideration seen in the shape of current stealth
aircraft. It could just be, the author suggests, that what witnesses have
taken to be flying saucers might instead be antigravity-aircraft prototypes,
though he cautions that "the subject is too complex ... to conform to
a single explanation."
And therein hangs a good part of this always interesting,
if admittedly speculative, story, which, regardless of the truth of the
matter (or, perhaps, antimatter), will appeal to techies and Trekkies
alike. --Gregory McNamee
Is this "stuff" real? Absolutely. What is it? No one has a clue. But
this excellent journalistic journey by Nick Cook deserves high marks and
Author "smarter than he lets on" Nick Cook deliberately goes over the
head/under the radar of the average reader. The author lays out the irrefutable
facts about secret Nazi technology that was kept hidden from the public.
German Luftwaffe Secret Technology was, for example, far more advanced
with nuclear reactors used for enriching uranium than is commonly known.
And US intelligence groups shipped thousands of tons of it home in 1945,
as did the Russians. It included countless patents, "weird science stuff"
but also the Nazi scientists/engineers who had fathered it; even ones
who should have gone to trial as war criminals.
If Germany produced better scientists it was because they were not restrained
by the narrow, dogmatic way math & engineering are taught in the USA.
Germany simply produced better scientist who were not blinded by existing
theories. For example--Werner Von Braun was developing an intercontinental
version of his V2 (the A10) that could bomb New York City. Contrast this
with America's ...Robert Goddard whose rocket failures blew up all the
time. It demonstrates a powerful point of this book; America has not produced
a vision of science that understands how to deal with this "weird stuff."
As Cook says there are two types of science; the stuff you learn in school
and then all this "weird stuff".
America cultivated a deadly cold war science/technology hidden from the
public with top-secret "black" projects. These "black" programs have become
a vast system that cleans up evidence even if it means eliminating people.
The public has no way of knowing what has been developed. Not only are
we in the dark, but also "they" actively create disinformation, UFOs/Philadelphia
Experiment, etc. to silence people. No one knowledgeable about these black
projects could leak information about them and live.
The point is that we don't know what to do with zero-point energy. We
split the atom and immediately made it a weapon, then dropped two devices
on Japanese civilians to impress Stalin. Next we employed it in nuclear
submarines to carry nuclear bombs all over the planet and further threaten
Physicists say zero-point energy makes nuclear energy look like "a child's
firecracker", so playing around with zero-point could create a planetary
nightmare. Debating whether or not some black project has developed anti-gravity
drive is simply asking the wrong question. Nick Cook elicits the right
questions and he showed me where to look to see this very obvious "black
hole" in our science.
A fringe of researchers (and their readers) have been aware of the existence
of the types of secretive projects Cook outlines in this book for a while
now. However, it is unique that an editor of Jane's Defense Weekly is
now owning up to the fact that for the past decade, he has been deeply
and personally involved in this field of research, and is indeed a "believer."
You probably will be too, after reading this book.
It turns out that the Nazi's had some success tapping into the Zero Point
Energy Field, and were well on the way to building a completely new type
of antigravity aircraft/infinite power supply/super weapon. At the end
of WWII, the Soviets and Americans managed to scoop up not only the scientists
involved in this research (many of whom were blatant Nazi sympathizers),
but also the devices they had been developing. These technologies have
since gone "deep black," that is to say, have been buried in
the deepest recesses of the military industrial complex and intelligence
apparatus. But it seems that this whole underworld may have become contaminated
by the Nazi thought-virus, and even to this day shares, to some degree,
the ideology and methodology of the Nazi Secret Service. This is a theme
that Cook brings up, but does not fully delve into. It is clear that he
is literally frightened by some of the truths he managed to uncover in
his decade-long quest for knowledge.
Cook avoids tying his research to the UFO phenomenon, which is both good
and bad. Good, in that it will probably allow the book to appeal to a
much wider audience, and will allow the book a greater degree of credibility.
Bad, in that tying these two strands of research together, in an intelligent
manner, will most probably yield some truly incredible pieces of information
that, as cliche as it sounds, may change our civilization forever. Cook
does seem to acknowledge the reality of the UFO situation in the epilogue,
however, and it seems safe to assume that this is an area of research
he has looked into and found to be a valid, if misunderstood, phenomenon.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. While it is certain to stretch
the imagination of many people, it will also go a long way to validating
this field of inquiry. Hopefully, this will allow more reasonable and
intelligent investigative journalists to enter into the fold. Who knows
what they will find there...
The Hunt for Zero Point
Author searches for origins of anti-gravity research
by Nick Cook
Book Review of "The Hunt for Zero Point" by Nick Cook, Published
A decade ago, the Editor of Jane's Defence Weekly Aerospace, Nick Cook,
arrived back at his desk from lunch to find a grainy, photo-copied article
from 1956 lying by his word processor.
Headlined, "The G-Engines are Coming", the article-featuring
a futuristic, illustration of a wingless aircraft and peppered with quotes
from heavyweight US aerospace gurus -- claims that the era of anti-gravity
flying machines was not far off. The concept of anti-gravity goes against
all the accepted theories of
Physics, including those of Einstein.
Cook was intrigued but, for a journalist with one of the world's most
respected factual publications, dabbling in what appeared to be SC-if
was not exactly a great career move.
But, as he explains, "Here were quotes from the leading engineers
time, working for the leading aircraft builders. It was amazing that they
all concurred. These American aircraft manufacturers would not spend millions
of dollars on science fiction."
More revealing was not what other publications went on to say--Cook
researched high and low-- but what they didn't say. It was almost as if
the idea of anti-gravity---- technology which would cancel out the weight
of an object or be transformed into engines capable from producing energy
from "nothing"---- had never been mentioned.
What unfolded for Nick Cook, however, and what he reveals in "The
Hunt for Zero Point" was a 10 year intercontinental search for the
truth. A work of investigative journalism, his book reads like a thriller.
"There were times when I thought I was a little crazy, so I had to
reminding myself of the facts."
And at every turn, every dead-end, something, --- or someone --- would
appear and lead him back on the trail.
The most startling finding surrounded the origins of anti-gravity research
in Nazi Germany.
As the Reich crumbled towards the end of the war, the Nazis stepped up
their search for the ultimate weapon.
"This was not, as everyone imagined, the holy grail of the nuclear
although research into this was ongoing ---- but something even more
outlandish, the search for an anti-gravity machine.
"The great irony was, because Einstein was a Jew, the Nazis would
adhere to the Einstein theories."
"It was 'Jewish Science', and it was avoidance of this that set them
Deep in the Polish countryside, in about the remotest place you could
find in Europe, Cook visited miles of underground installations, built
Nazis to protect their scientists working on "The Bell", a flying-saucer-like
craft that harnessed Zero Point energy: matter leading
to the unleashing of anti-gravity.
It was, he says , as if time had stood still. It was like being transported
back into 1944."
As the Allies combed Germany and the occupied countries --- searching
any technology left in the wake of the retreating Nazis --- they discovered
all manner of advances which were spirited back to the USA. These, in
no small measure, lead to America's economic ascendancy in the
"Along with this technology went maybe thousands of Nazi scientists
under huge secrecy to continue Nazi projects in the US." It is evident,
too, that the Nazis' methods of concealment were transferred along with
the scientists and the science, creating a "black world" of
American technology research which Cook found virtually impossible to
In 1956, leading technologists claimed anti-gravity was not far away,
they fell strangely silent. In the '60s and '70s, arts of the US fell
prey to UFO fever. But were they UFOs or anti-gravity craft, the UFO myth
propagated to hide the truth?
In the '80s came the Stealth bomber, a quantum leap in aircraft design.
And in 2001, Nick Cook's book has been met with a huge response from contacts
throughout the US aero-space industry. One contact, an engineer for a
major US aircraft manufacturer, e-mailed him to say that he'd seen just
such a UFO, as he left the office one day --- flying out of the air force
base adjacent to his plant.
As Nick Cook says: "he ought to be able to tell the difference."
Review by Mike Orton, CPhys., MInstP.,DCT(Batt)., MSRP., PGCE(Wales)
40 years in computing from Stretch to the networked Pentium, 35 years
as a Health Physicist.
I.T. Training, & I.T. Security Consultant