Project Magnet - a '50s Canadian anti- gravity rese
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From the July 1957 MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED.
Spacehips that Conquer Gravity
by Michael Gladych
It will fly at the speed of light
making a round-trip to Venus in about 30 minutes!
The spherical craft squatting on a concrete strip emitted a faint
hum. A ghostly glow surrounded its shell. The strange craft rose
and hovered momentarily while its landing gear retracted. Then the
hum increased and the craft shot eastward and vanished beyond the
horizon before the witnessing scientists could click their stop
Jet-powered missle? No. Made weightless and propelled by its anti-
gravity engine the round ship was a research vehicle able to travel
at almost the speed of light - 600,000,000 miles per HOUR.
How soon will such a revolutionary craft take to the skies?
Since 1953 the Canadian government's PROJECT MAGNET has been working
on a GRAVITY-DEFYING VEHICLE powered by ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCES.
AT LEAST 14 UNITED STATES UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER RESEARCH CENTERS
ARE HARD AT WORK CRACKING THE GRAVITY BARRIER. Convair on the West
coast, Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Co. of Baltimore, MD., Bell Aircraft
Co. of Buffalo, NY and Sperry GYROSCOPE Co. of Great Neck, NY.
maintain teams of researchers and engineers prying into Nature's
most jealously guarded secret - GRAVITY.
"Aviation is on the threshold of amazing new concepts,"
said the late Lawrence D. Bell, level-headed builder
of the Bell rocket research planes. "We are already
working with nuclear fuels and equpment to CANCEL OUT
GRAVITY instead of fighting it."
Even before the famous apple fell on Isaac Newton's head, men were
trying to solve the gravity problem. But from the simple pre-
historic lever to the most intricate modern machinery, the best we
could do was to win a temporary victory.
"What goes up must come down," said the biggest scientific brains,
helpless before the mysterious gravity pull. Newton and other great
physicists formulated the gravity laws, measured gravity pull and
passed their findings to posterity.
But their gravity "laws" had SEVERAL EXCEPTIONS that bothered
inquiring minds. Take the strange behaviour of liquids, for
Move your fingertip slowly toward the surface of water and watch the
water JUMP UP to hug your finger. Or put a soda straw into the
water and see the water level inside creep ABOVE the outside level
in defiance of the earth's gravity pull.
To get an even more striking contradiction of the gravity laws,
drape a towel over the edge of a basin half-filled with water.
After a time the water will climb UP the towel and over the side.
These and other strange anti-gravity tricks were considered freaks
of MOLECULAR ATTRACTION - phenomena QUITE APART FROM GRAVITY - UNTIL
Albert Einstein came up with his Theory of Relativity.
Einstein said that molecular attraction IS REALLY NO DIFFERENT from
the gravity pull of the planets and stars. He theorized that this
attraction works on the same principle as electromagnetism.
A molecule, a planet or a star all have gravitational fields just as
magnets or electromagnets have their magnetic fields. To illustrate
the similarity, Einstein said that a gravitational field would
attract and bend light rays JUST AS A MAGNETIC FIELD BENDS CATHODE
RAYS in your TV picture tube.
Dr. Stanley Deser and Dr. Richard Arnowitt of the Princeton
Institute for Advanced Study have recently discovered new sub-
nuclear particles of the atom. Bombarded by powerful electro-
magnetic accelerators such as the Cosmotron and Betatron, atomic
structure yielded strange particles which may be the answer to the
gravitational field problem.
"Until recently, gravitation could be only observed but not
experimented on in a controlled fashion," Drs. Deser and Arnowitt
wrote in their scientific paper. "But the NEW PARTICLES of the atom
which have been linked with the gravitational field can now be
examined and worked with at will."
The new discovery means that before long we shall be able to switch
gravity on and off as we do electricity and electromagnetism. The
next logical step is a master of engineering.
Let's take an ordinary FLYWHEEL SUSPENDED ON ROLLER BEARINGS and
coupled with a POWERFUL ELECTRIC GENERATOR. One side of that wheel
would be "under fire" of our de-gravitational apparatus. The
particles responsible for the gravitational attraction would be
NEUTRALIZED, a portion of the wheel would be made WEIGHTLESS.
But once out of the anti-gravity field, the same part of the wheel
would gain weight and be pulled down by earth's gravity, thus giving
us a powerful ROTATING MOTOR.
Another idea for an anti-gravity device comes from Dr. George
Rideout, president of the Gravity Research Foundation of New Boston,
"To make a gravity motor," said Dr. Rideout, "we need a
DIFFERENTIAL OF GRAVITY FORCES and the way we can get
it is through a GRAVITY INSULATOR or ABSORBER." To see
how this device might work, let's turn to gravity's twin
brother - electromagnetism.
For years we've had trouble with watches that get magnetized. You
made a phone call or tinkered with your car's generator and presto -
the delicate balance wheel of your watch, exposed to an
electromagnetic field, became a little magnet. Now your watch was
no longer a reliable timepiece.
To protect a watch from magnetic influence, we put the inner works
in a soft iron casing that absorbs the magnetic force and shields
the balance wheel. In other words within the soft iron casing we
have a SPACE FREE from the outside magnetic pull - we have a
DIFFERENTIAL OF MAGNETIC FORCES.
(..MU metal is a modern alloy having excellent magnetic
A gravity absorber or shield would do the same for the anti-gravity
spaceship. The shielded interior would be free from the earth's
gravity attraction. The inner structure, equipment and crew would
be weightless in relation to the earth. Thus, we would have a
differential of gravity forces and our ship would take off instantly
like a super-balloon.
For ease of calculation, suppose we take our G-ship to the equator
where the rotational speed of the earth is about 1,000 mph. With
our anti-gravity shield completely shut, the G-ship would be hurled
into space just as a particle of mud shoots off a spinning tire. We
would scoot along a more or less straight line unless we had some
way of controlling direction and speed.
The weightlessness of the G-ship could be easily controlled by
letting some of the earth's gravity force act upon the ship's
interior. An arrangement of shutters like venetian blinds would do
the trick. To control our direction, we would need thrust. A
rocket would limit us to the amount of fuel, so let's try something
(..sounds suspiciously like Disney's movie, "Absent Minded
Professor" who invented a gravity shielding material termed
FLUBBER or more apropo, the "First Men in the Moon" which
showed a material called CAVORITE, named after the scientist
who discovered it, this substance was painted on window
shutters which when rolled up did not affect gravity, but
when unrolled, acted with a repellent effect tor
We could have an ion rocket proposed by Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger or
another similar nuclear rocket where sub-atomic particles are
accelerated by a powerful electromagnetic gun and ejected into
space. We could also utilize ELECTROMAGNETIC REPULSION.
We know that two LIKE MAGNETIC POLES REPEL EACH OTHER, just as under
certain conditions an electromagnetic field REPELS THE SO-CALLED
DIAMAGNETIC METALS. Take a flat aluminum ring, put it over a strong
electromagnet and switch on the current. The disk will fly off the
solenoid with quite a speed.
Starting with this principle of DIAMAGNETIC REPULSION, a group of
Canadian scientists of Project Magnet proposes to harness the
magnetic fields of the earth and other celestial bodies for
propulsion of the G-ship.
The earth's magnetic field is TOO WEAK TO REPEL or PROPEL a G-ship
made of ORDINARY METAL. However, current studies in the nature of
magnetism point to a possible solution. Scientists believe that the
answer lies in THE STRUCTURE OF ATOMS.
By RE-ARRANGING THE ATOMIC STRUCTURE we could GREATLY INCREASE THE
DIAMAGNETIC PROPERTIES of the G-ship and make it travel along the
magnetic lines of force like the aluminum ring shooting off the
According to Einstein's theories, there is no end to the
electromagnetic and gravitational fields of the planets and stars.
Those fields INTERTWINE in a MOST COMPLEX PATTERN but THEY ARE EVER
PRESENT. Proper selection of the fields and the controlled exposure
to their forces would let us navigate our G-ship in space as well as
within the earth's boundaries. And the use of electromagnetic
propulsion would eliminate the problem of fuel.
Now, let's take a closer look at the G-ship. Its spherical shape is
dictated by the internal pressurization necessary for high altitude
and space travel. From the viewpoint of engineering, a sphere is
ideal for coping with the pressure differential. Also, it gives the
maximum volume for its dimensions. An interior artificial gravity
ring would solve the problems of living in a weightless void.
The anti-gravity shield would completely conceal the crew and
passenger compartment. This would eliminate visual observation.
However, even our present radar and TV would give the crew excellent
Apart from the cabin, there would be an engine room for the anti-
gravity motor and the auxiliary power to run the electronic
apparatus. Since the ship would take off and land in the
atmosphere, there would be two problems to overcome - the heat
caused by air friction and the question of air drag of the spherical
To take the singe out of the friction heat, Canadian scientists
headed by Wilbur B. Smith contemplate an ingenious ELECTRO-MAGNETIC
device. Switched on before takeoff, the device would attract and
hold fast a large portion of air around the ship.
This captured "boundary cushion" would move with the ship.
Therefore the air friction would take place at a distance from the
ship's structure and the heat would be dissipated before it could
warm up the ship's anti-gravity shield. The mass of captive air
would be shaped into the most advantageous aerodynamic form. A
tear-drop for moderate speeds, a sharp-ended spindle for supersonics
and a concave, cup-like shape for aiding deceleration for landing.
Even for space travel, the stores and provisions would be small.
Once OUTSIDE the earth's atmosphere, the G-ship would be capable of
traveling at near the speed of light - roughly 600,000,000 miles per
At that speed, a 322,000,000 mile round-trip to Venue would TAKE
ABOUT 30 MINUTES!
Make no mistake about it, anti-gravity motors and G-ships are
coming. Remember, a year before the Wright brothers took off at
Kitty Hawk some of our top scientists "proved" that a heavier-than-
air craft could not possibly fly.
And in 1935 the British Air Ministry nixed Frank Whittle's jet
engine as "interesting but not practical."
But the best answer to the disbelievers is that some of these anti-
gravity ideas are already on the drawing boards of the United States
aircraft industry. With their brain power and technological know-
how, our engineers will soon send Newton's apple back up where it
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Jerry W. Decker.........Ron Barker...........Chuck Henderson
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