included this new page as there are now constant rumours concerning propulsions systems and laser weaponry which are supposedly being experimented
with and fitted to the latest of "Black Project" aircraft, (the Lockheed X-22A being one in question- see Latest Updates-Page 3)
I have gathered together a few articles which I reproduce below to which I thank the appropriate authors.
Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’
Janes Defense Weekly, 2002-07-29
Boeing, the world's largest aircraft manufacturer, has admitted that it is working on experimental anti-gravity projects that could overturn a
century of conventional aerospace propulsion technology if the science that underpins them - science that senior Boeing officials describe as
"valid" - can be engineered into hardware.
As part of the effort, which is being run out of Boeing's Phantom Works advanced research and development facility in Seattle, the company is trying
to solicit the services of a Russian scientist who claims he has developed 'high-' and 'low-power' anti-gravity devices in Russia and Finland. The
approach, however, has been thwarted by Russian officialdom.
The Boeing drive to develop a collaborative relationship with the scientist in question, Dr Evgeny Podkletnov, has its own internal project name:
'GRASP' - Gravity Research for Advanced Space Propulsion.
A briefing document on GRASP obtained by Jane's Defence Weekly sets out what Boeing believes to be at stake. "If gravity modification is real," it
says, "it will alter the entire aerospace business." The report was written by Jamie Childress, principal investigator for Boeing's propellentless
propulsion work at the Phantom Works in Seattle.
GRASP's objective is to explore propellentless propulsion (the aerospace world's more formal term for anti-gravity), determine the validity of
Podkletnov's work and "examine possible uses for such a technology". Applications, the company says, could include space launch systems, artificial
gravity on spacecraft, aircraft propulsion and 'fuelless' electricity generation - so-called 'free energy'.
But it is also apparent that Podkletnov's work could be engineered into a radical form of weapon system. The GRASP paper focuses on Podkletnov's
claims that his high-power experiments, using a device called an 'impulse gravity generator', are capable of producing a beam of 'gravity-like'
energy that can exert an instantaneous force of 1,000g on any object - enough, in principle, to vaporise it, especially if the object is moving at
Podkletnov maintains that a laboratory installation in Russia has already demonstrated the 4in (10.16cm) wide beam's ability to repel objects a
kilometre away and that it exhibits negligible power loss at distances of up to 200km (JDW 24 July). Such a device, observers say, could be adapted
for use as an anti-satellite weapon or a ballistic missile shield.
The GRASP paper details the beam's reported characteristics: that it is immune to electromagnetic shielding, that it can penetrate any intermediate
barriers (objects placed between the generator and the target), that it propagates at very high speed ("possibly light speed or greater") and that
the total force is proportional to target mass - that its effect, in other words, is exactly the same as gravity's.
Podkletnov's claims first surfaced in 1992 when he published a paper detailing his low-power experiments into gravity-shielding using
superconductors, materials that lose their electrical resistance at low temperatures. The original experiments were conducted at the University of
Technology in Tampere, Finland, before moving to Russia. Podkletnov, who has a PhD in materials science from Tampere and the University of Chemical
Technology in Moscow, declared that any object placed above his rapidly spinning superconducting apparatus lost up to 2% of its weight. Although he
was vilified by traditionalists who claimed that gravity-shielding was impossible under the known laws of physics, the US National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) went on to attempt a replication of his work in the mid-1990s.
Because NASA lacked Podkletnov's unique formula for the 30cm yttrium-barium copper oxide (YBCO) superconducting ceramic discs - a formula the Russian
maintains is critical to the experiment's success - the attempt failed. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama will shortly conduct a second
set of experiments, this time using apparatus built to Podkletnov's specifications.
In August 2001, Podkletnov published a paper revealing his experimental high-power work and it is this that forms the focus of the GRASP report.
Boeing wants to build its own impulse gravity generator at Seattle but admits that it lacks vital knowledge in the area of the YBCO emitter -
Podkletnov's special superconducting apparatus - which forms the heart of the generator.
As a result, Boeing recently approached Podkletnov directly, but promptly fell foul of Russian technology transfer controls. George Muellner, the
outgoing head of the Boeing Phantom Works, confirmed that attempts by Boeing to work with Podkletnov had been blocked by Moscow, which is seeking to
stem the exodus of Russian high-technology to the West. Muellner is convinced, however, that the science underpinning Podkletnov's work is real.
"The physical principles - and Podkletnov's device is not the only one - appear to be valid," he said. He confirmed that Boeing had conducted tests
on a number of other anti-gravity devices, some of which were detailed in JDW 24 July.
"There is basic science there. They're not breaking the laws of physics. The issue is whether the science can be engineered into something
workable," Muellner said.
The GRASP briefing document reveals that BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin have also contacted Podkletnov "and have some activity in this area". It is
also possible, Boeing admits, that "classified activities in gravity modification may exist". The paper points out that Podkletnov is strongly
anti-military and will only provide assistance if the research is carried out in the 'white world' of open development.
GRASP concludes that a "positive result from experiments would give Boeing a substantial advantage in the aerospace industry".
Steps to the Stars (First things First)
Later in 1997, the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program will host an invitation-only workshop. At the gathering, scientists will examine relevant
emerging physics. They will also brainstorm a list of next-step research tasks, says NASA's Millis.
To be surveyed are a host of theories, physical evidence and anomalous effects that have recently emerged but have not yet been rigorously
"There have been recent theories published in peer-reviewed literature suggesting new connections between inertia, gravity and electromagnetism.
There's even a theory for a 'warp drive,' but physicists aren't even sure if such breakthroughs are possible," Millis says.
"If the workshop successfully demonstrates that promising and affordable approaches exist," he continues. "funding may be granted to begin
conducting the step-by-step research that may eventually lead to the breakthroughs."
In other words, while you're reaching for the stars, don't forget to stoop for a little reality.
If you want to get anywhere fast in this old universe, there arc three technologies required for 21 st century space missions. "These technologies
are propulsion, propulsion and propulsion," points out Robert Frisbee, manager of advanced propulsion technology at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL) in Pasadena, California.
Moreover, physics today is teeming with conjecture showing us that scientists clearly don't know everything. Frisbee says that the physics community
is rife with people studying time machines, wormholes and warp drives by looking at Albert Einstein's equations and putting them through the
"These are things we used to think of as solely the province of science fiction," with work now being done by reputable physicists, publishing in
peer-reviewed journals, the JPL scientist says.
A member of the breakthrough propulsion physics product definition team, Frisbee underscores the fact that studying such topics as faster-than-light
travel, leaping across space and time via wormhole, anti-gravity and other research tracks, is a high risk activity.
"But in terms of trying to get us out of our existing paradigm, this type of work is very important. The payoff could totally revolutionize the way
we look at nature, in the same way that relativity and quantum mechanics changed the way we looked at the universe almost a hundred years ago,"
Coupled to his optimism, Frisbee tags a note of warning. "You have to be careful of situations where you get into 'pathological science.' That is
when you ate trying to treasure some tiny, tiny effect, but where wishful thinking gives you the answer and not the actual experiment," he
What are the odds of discovering some radical, new form of physics'?
"Chances are very high we won't find anything," says Franklin Mead, Jr.. senior scientist in the propulsion sciences division of the Air Force's
Phillips Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, California. "But there's also that very small chance of stumbling on something that will have a very
large payoff. It's important to look for that needle in the haystack...that diamond in the rough that hasn't been found. But it's very difficult to
succeed," Mead says.
Also a member of NASA's breakthrough propulsion physics product definition team, Mead has funded a variety of advanced propulsion ideas over the
years. From anti-proton propulsion, space warps, beamed energy and fusion rockets to space tethers and faster- than-light travel- all have received
top billing on Mead's research list at one time or another.
"You have to keep looking...you need to turn over every rock," Mead says. Furthermore, as new materials become available, these ideas, and others,
deserve second looks from time to time, he stresses.
"We're really not spending much money on advanced concepts. When you talk about dollars going into this area that could have such a great impact on
space travel, on propulsion and on the future of our world in space...the investment is minuscule," Mead says.
Walk into Whitt Brantley's office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and you will spot a picture of his idol adorning one wall: Albert Einstein.
Brantley, chief of the advanced concepts office at the center, has good reason to go eye to eye with Einstein. NASA-sponsored experiments will soon
delve into, what one scientist tags, "gravity force shielding commonly called antigravity.
But Brantley fends off any claim that NASA is looking into anti-gravity. Instead, gravity manipulation, modification or shielding are more apropos
terms, he says.
NASA is working with theorist Ning Li of the University of Alabama at Huntsville Equipment and test mater ials arc being prepped for a set of
experiments that could, if successful, lead to new knowledge about gravity fields. If Li's ideas work, modifying and controlling gravity may be the
Researchers in 1992 at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland first claimed to observe a gravity force shielding effect. Leading the work,
Russian scientist Eugene Podkletnov discovered that objects suspended over a rapidly spinning disc of superconducting ceramic material weighed less
than normal-as if the object was somehow being shielded from the full force of gravity. More importantly, the faster the superconductor spun, the less
an object over the superconducting material appeared to weigh.
Placed above the disc were nonconducting and non-magnetic objects made of wood, quartz or glass. The superconducting disc itself a material that
forfeits its electrical resistance at very low temperatures-was suspended by a magnetic field produced by three electric coils. All the hardware was
held within the confines of a super- cold container of liquid helium.
Several head-scratching scientists believe they are eyeing a side effect of Einstein's general theory of relativity rapidly spinning objects can
Some scientists assert that they're producing a "gravitomagnetic field." But some publications have already declared the effect as
Whether or not the phenomenon is real, measurable and then controllable is yet to be determined. Whatever the case, many months of tedious painstaking
work is ahead, Brantley cautions.
"We've got open minds," Brantley says. "It's sort of like playing the lottery. The only way to guarantee you won't win a lottery is not buy a
ticket. We would sure feel foolish if we didn't study this, then have someone say later on: 'It was found 100 years ago, but the idiots didn't
recognize it. "
If the effect is real, the implications could be staggering, both for near-term and far-future space travel ala Star Trek. "In the far-term, if you
could manipulate gravity fields, you could put a strong field in front of you and a weak field behind you. That would mean you could literally fall
forward with propellant-less propulsion," Brantley envisions.
NASA chief: Daniel Goldin, puts on a "who knows?" shrug-of-the- shoulders stance when asked about the space agency inquiring into the effect. As
long as NASA scientists don't spend too much money, and the work and findings are peer-reviewed, he's supportive.
Goldin tells Final Frontier: "Continued work to discern the true physics behind the effect is clearly needed. The NASA and Ning Li look-see will be
in full swing early this year."
"Whatever the results of the experiments, they will become part of the breakthrough propulsion physics program." says Millis of the Lewis Research
Center. The first order of business is to identify what is really going on. Then Millis and his group will determine if they can harness the effect
for a propulsion force.
While not discounting the phenomenon, Millis says: "This is not the only egg in the basket. We want to look at all the possibilities, weighing all
the divergent and competing approaches."
If Millis has his way, stand by for the corrected 20/20 view of the future.
The vision: A space enterprise far more capable than today's for reaching more destinations faster and with greater autonomy nothing short of human
travel to the stars.
NASA Research Team
Gravity of the situation - Above, while firmly attached to Earth, NASA scientists at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama experiment with
gravity shielding-known in common terms as anti-gravity. From left are Tony Robertson, Neil Tyson, Whitt Brantley David Noever, Jerald Oakly, Ronald
Koczor and Ning Li, the theoretical physicist behind the work.
Tactical High Energy Laser(THEL)
21st Century Air Defense
Mobile Land Based Laser Cannon
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command is working on a new active defense weapon system concept to enhance protection for combat forces and
theater-level assets for the Force XXI Army. The mobile Tactical High Energy Laser, or THEL, weapon system would provide an innovative solution for
the acquisition and close-in engagement problems associated with “dumb munitions” — a primary concern because counter-battery fire may not be an
option in densely populated areas.
For several years, U.S. Army SMDC has pursued development of a mobile, tactical high energy laser concept that could provide new air and missile
defense capability. Numerous Department of Defense high energy laser development programs over the last 20 years have proven and demonstrated the beam
generation and beam pointing technologies that support the THEL concept. Force XXI advancements in the area of real-time situational awareness now
make it possible to capitalize on the prime attributes of a THEL in operational scenarios.
A THEL will be able to fire with speed-of-light flyout for close-in engagements where time lines are very short. Cost will run only a few thousand
dollars per kill or less, with a deep magazine to counter saturation attacks. Not only can a THEL weapon system destroy a target, but it can also
degrade, disrupt, or damage. This enhances operational flexibility and effectiveness against a wide variety of air threats. A THEL system would
enhance the effectiveness of the short- to medium-range air defense architecture.
The effectiveness of high energy lasers against short-range rockets was tested and demonstrated in the Nautilus program, an outgrowth of Project
Strong Safety, in collaboration with Israel. The program was conducted primarily at U.S. Army SMDC’s High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White
Sands Missile Range, N.M. Nautilus used only a fraction of the power of the HELSTF Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser to emulate the THEL weapon
The MIRACL is a megawatt-class, deuterium fluoride, chemical laser operating at HELSTF since the early 1980s. After a series of static and dynamic
tests, the program successfully destroyed a short-range rocket in flight on Feb. 9, 1996. This success triggered a joint THEL development effort with
THEL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator
In April 1996, the then Prime Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres, met with President Clinton and then Secretary of Defense Perry. During the meeting,
the U.S. made a commitment to assist Israel in the development of a THEL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator laser to be completed by the end of
1997, later extended to March 1998. This commitment, based on the success of the Nautilus program, is designed to help Israel defend its northern
cities from the threat posed by Katyusha and other short-range rockets.
In July 1996, a contract was awarded by U.S. Army SMDC to TRW, Inc., of Redondo Beach, Calif., for the design, development, and fabrication of the
THEL demonstrator which will be a transportable, tactical-sized, deuterium fluoride, chemical laser. The effort includes development and testing of
the laser/fluid supply assembly; the pointer/tracker; a command, control, communications and fire control system; modification of and interface with a
radar provided by Israel; and limited aspects of support equipment to demonstrate feasibility and support possible future field testing.
It will take about 21 months to design and build the system. Plans call for 12-18 months of field testing both in the U.S. and Israel. The THEL
demonstrator will provide the first opportunity to assess the utility of high energy lasers in an operational scenario.
If successful, the demonstrator may pave the way for future development of a THEL User Operational Evaluation System for use in U.S. peace
keeping/contingency operations. The U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School, at Fort Bliss, Texas, officially designated as the proponent for THEL by
the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, will develop a mission need statement and an operational requirements for the initial THEL
Evolving high energy laser, beam control, and digital battlefield information technologies promise to combine to form a highly effective THEL weapons
system for Force XXI air defense.
For more information, please contact:
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command
Public Affairs Office
P.O. Box 1500
Huntsville, AL 35807-3801
A THEL of a Good Shot
A tactical weapon system seemingly straight from the pages of a science fiction novel was successfully demonstrated earlier this week deep in the
American desert. Military scientists at White Sands Missile Base used a laser beam to track and destroy an incoming rocket. This tactical laser weapon
is being developed to help defend Israel against rocket attacks by Palestinian guerrillas. There is potential though that the same system could be
used to destroy enemy helicopters, planes and even satellites.
The weapons platform is known as THEL, for Tactical High Energy Laser. It is just one of several strategic and tactical anti-missile systems under
development in the USA.
During this most recent test, THEL was able to acquire, track and shoot down a Katyusha rocket, a Soviet weapon popular with Hezbollah guerrillas.
Within seconds after the rocket left its truck-mounted launcher, the directed-energy beam had locked onto the incoming threat. A brief but intense
laser pulse flashed out, incinerating components of the Katyusha and sending it tumbling into the desert floor.
Thel Test Facility
This is not the first time that a missile has met its demise at the end of a light beam. The THEL system stems from research done in the mid 1990's
on a project code-named Nautilus. This was again a joint Israeli-US effort aimed at evolving a tactical laser weapon and culminated in a successful
shoot-down in February 1996. That turning point resulted in a funding agreement between the two governments and the tendering of a contract to develop
battlefield anti-missile lasers.
America's TRW Corporation took up the challenge. Their $250 million THEL system is the climax of more than a decade of government and private
THEL is essentially a static system, mounted on top of a building rather than a vehicle. The business end looks something like a searchlight, which in
a way, it is. When an incoming rocket attack is detected by conventional radar, the THEL's tracking system is alerted. The laser will then start to
seek the threat and once it has acquired it, the fire management program will determine the optimum moment to engage. The subsequent burst of laser
energy is enough to burn out the rocket's propulsion system or compromise its structural integrity and aerodynamics. Hopefully the inbound ordnance
will then crash harmlessly to earth, well short of its intended destination.
Multiple targets can be engaged, the limit being set merely by the speed that the hardware can move to the beam.
THEL represents the first generation of laser missile defence and is fairly limited in its scope. Katyusha rockets are relatively simple threats to
deal with because they are 'dumb' weapons. Once fired, they have no manoeuvring capability and follow a ballistic trajectory. Estimating their
future path is therefore not a difficult spatial problem for a computer to solve. A cruise missile would be a much more demanding opponent.
From downing missiles moving at hundreds of kilometers an hour though, it would seem a relatively small step to tracking and zapping other enemy
threats such as helicopters and aircraft. These much bigger and slower vehicles would have little chance of evading the beam's fiery effect. This
application of the system is bound to be downplayed by both regimes because of its political incorrectness. Protocol IV of the Convention for
Conventional Weapons specifically forbids laser systems intended to blind human beings. Although THEL doesn't fall into this category, the protocol
also requires governments "to take all feasible precautions, including the training of their armed forces, to avoid permanent blinding through the
legitimate use of other laser systems." Obviously there is potential for the new weaponry to cause this sort of injury if specifically targeted at
Defence pundits expect that the THEL system will be delivered to Israel later this year if further trials are as successful. It is assumed that the
Israeli Defence Force will establish laser-topped bunkers along the country's northern border, aimed at knocking down the Katyushas that are
regularly fired over the frontier by Hezbollah units operating in southern Lebanon. Since Israel's recent pull-out from its 'security zone' there,
the proximity of the rocket threat has made the need for anti-missile defence even more urgent.
It is not expected that the THEL system will ever be utilised by the US military. Since it is an immobile platform for use against short-range
threats, there is little point in building the facilities in America.
Meanwhile, work on THEL's big brother is coming along fine. The US Air Force's Airborne Laser (ABL) program is proceeding, despite the usual "death
by a thousand budget cuts" treatment. The ABL is an integral part of the country's attempt to shield itself from rogue states and terrorist groups
using long-range ballistic missiles mounting nuclear or chemical warheads. The system involves a massive laser mounted in the fuselage of a Boeing 747
and firing through a revolving turret in the plane's nose. In times of crisis it would fly in the vicinity of an expected attack and destroy enemy
missiles very soon after their launch.
Another anti-missile program, Theatre High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) relies on its own missile to do the protective work. It is designed to
intercept ICBM threats and blow them up high in the atmosphere. THAAD employs no fancy energy weapons, it depends solely on its hypersonic impact to
kill its target. The tracking, acquisition and guidance problems this entails though are phenomenal. The concept has been compared to shooting one
bullet down with another. There have been two successful THAAD tests so far.
Boeing 747-ABL Laser System