ParaSETI: ET Contact via Subtle Energies
Part 2 of an article by Gavin Dingley examining whether signals from intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe have passed us by because our technology is not designed to detect a range of more subtle energy frequencies.
Townsend Brown & Electrogravitics
Thomas Townsend Brown is most remembered, if remembered at all, for his work in antigravity propulsion. Brown found a link between gravity and the force of electricity, based upon the humble electrical condenser or capacitor. While still to graduate from high school, he built a small device that reduced in weight when a high-voltage potential was applied across its terminals. This was the first in a long line of electrogravitic devices able to prove experimentally a unified field theory in which electromagnetism and gravity are shown to be linked.
Whilst studying at Caltech, Brown hypothesised the existence of a form of radiation quite different to the transverse electromagnetic wave. He called it "radiant energy" and thought that it was present throughout the Universe and was gravitational in nature, but as yet was invisible to instruments.
Brown's theory was soon picked up by the press and publicised in several local newspapers. He had already received a negative response from his lecturers over his work with high-voltage weight reduction, so this new line of enquiry was not received well. He was told that such a wave was impossible because it would require gravity to be bipolar -- to be able to repel as well as attract.
Brown did not receive any support for his research until he entered Dennison University where he met Dr Alfred Biefeld. Dr Biefeld was one of only a few who could claim to be one of Einstein's classmates back in Switzerland, and so was quite interested in the nature of gravity. In fact, when Brown had described to him his research into the weight reduction of high-voltage capacitors, Biefeld was more than happy to help the young physicist with his investigations.
Biefeld had already considered the possible gravitational effects of charged electrical capacitors after studying the work of the great Michael Faraday, the so-called Father of Electricity. It is a little-known fact that Faraday made the following profound statement as far back as the late Victorian age: "Electrical capacity is to gravity, as inductance is to magnetism". It is a well-known fact that when a current flows through a coil of wire, a magnetic field is generated around the same. In fact, the inductor (the technical name for a coil of wire) is able to store electrical energy within the magnetic field generated. Now, an electrical condenser or capacitor is made up from two sheets of metal separated by an insulator, known as the "dielectric". When an electrical potential is applied across the two plates, the molecules of the dielectric all align with the electric field.
If Faraday is correct, then the energy stored in a capacitor is in the form of a gravitational field, much like the magnetic field of an inductor.
Brown found that such an effect was only noticeable if the following conditions were met:
1) The K-factor of the dielectric (its ability to store energy) was high (in the order of 2,000 or more);
2) The density of the dielectric was high (in the order of 10 g/cm3 or more);
3) The applied voltage across the capacitor was high (in the 100,000 V range).
Brown also found that the force generated by charged capacitors was directed towards the positive plate; that is to say, weight reduction only occurs when the positive plate is upside with respect to the negative plate. If the negative plate is above, then the device increases in weight. Biefeld and Brown worked together in investigating what was later termed the "Biefeld-Brown effect" in the general study of electrogravitics.
In 1930, Brown entered the US Navy and became a member of staff at the Naval Research Laboratories (NRL) in Washington, DC. As he was pretty much left to do as he pleased, he carried on with research into the Biefeld-Brown effect. While investigating different substances for suitability as dielectric material, Brown discovered a curious phenomenon.
One of the characteristics of a dielectric is its resistivity -- how good an insulator it is. If resistivity is not high enough, then the dielectric is rendered inefficient. This is usually a fixed value, but Brown found that the resistivity of some materials would change over time. In a classified naval report entitled "Anomalous Behaviour of Massive High-K Dielectrics", Brown described how the resistivity of some materials would alter and even follow sidereal diurnal changes. He also noted that some materials would generate spontaneous radiofrequency bursts whose amplitude was a function of the material's mass and K-factor. Also, he found many granitic and basaltic rocks to be electrically polarised; that is, they behaved like electric cells or batteries. These rocks would have as much as 700 mV across them, the amplitude of which would also change in sympathy with solar sidereal cycles. Again, the rock's sensitivity to such changes depended upon its K-factor and mass. It was this latter relation that suggested the phenomenon is gravitational.
During 1937 in Pennsylvania, a Navy-sponsored monitoring station was in operation to record such changes in the electrical self-potential of these rocks. It was noted that there was a strong correlation with the cycles of the Moon, which added further support to the hypothesis that the effect is gravitational in nature. Again, another station was in operation in 1939 in Ohio, which recorded similar patterns to those found in Pennsylvania, and it was concluded that the effect must have had some common outside source. Both research stations were set up within sealed vaults, shielded to exclude any outside electromagnetic interference. Meanwhile, large granitic and basaltic rocks wired to sensitive pen-chart recorders monitored the self-potential variations. The Second World War paused any further investigation into the phenomenon until 1944.
After the War, Brown set up yet another station, but this time on the West Coast in California. He found that the patterns did not match those recorded on the East Coast; however, he did give a possible explanation as to why. He suggested that due to the radiofrequency voltages found in less complex dielectric materials such as titanium dioxide, the detected energy was at these high frequencies and that basaltic and granitic rocks somehow converted the energy into a DC potential. This process is well known in electronics and is called "rectification", and so the internal structure of these rocks could naturally perform this same process. Now the rocks used in the East Coast investigations were different to those used in California (i.e., from different deposits), so Brown concluded that different rocks are tuned into different bands of this radiofrequency energy. As different frequency bands would fluctuate differently, then it follows that the variations in the self-potential of two different rock deposits would also be different.
From 1950 onwards, Brown concentrated his efforts towards developing the Biefeld-Brown effect so that it could be employed in aviation. It was not until 1970 that Brown returned to investigating petrovoltaics, until his death in 1985.
From these investigations, it is clear that the phenomenon is gravitational in nature and that it manifests as high-frequency electricity. Brown concluded that the energy is in fact the radiant energy he had hypothesised while still at Caltech. This energy is high-frequency gravitational radiation which is being constantly emitted from astronomical objects in outer space. While simple high-K dielectric materials would pick up the radiation and convert it directly into electrical energy, more complex dielectrics such as granitic and basaltic rock would convert the energy into DC electricity. Not only this, but these rocks are in fact tuned to only a portion of the total radiated energy present throughout the Universe. This means that your average lump of basalt is a natural gravity-wave AM receiver, tuned into only a few specific "radio stations"!
It appears that Brown never analysed these high-frequency signals to see if any of them were of ETI origin. However, in 1953 he filed a patent that describes a system for intelligent communication via modulated gravitational radiation. In the patent, Brown describes how to convert a normal, high-power radio transmitter into a gravity-wave transmitter, based upon the principles of electrogravitics. The modification is made only to the antenna system, the actual electronics remaining unchanged. A large coil of wire has its base connected to the output of the high-power transmitter so that the radiofrequency energy is end-fed. The other end of the coil has a spherical, electrically conducting, high-density body connected. This spherical body acts as an isotropic capacitor, and so forms a tuned circuit with the coil. In operation, the dense spherical body becomes electrified (but not leaking energy through corona discharge) with high-voltage, high-frequency electricity. The high voltage and mass of the isotropic capacity result in an electrogravitic action; thus gravitational waves of the same frequency as the end-fed energy from the transmitter are emitted from the dense, isotropically capacitive body.
Brown suggests that the spherical body be constructed from lead, as this is both dense in mass and a conductor of electricity. Also, so as to avoid electromagnetic radiation, the whole assembly should be enclosed inside a large vault; for example, within a mountain. A similar set-up is employed so as to receive the transmission, where the receiving antenna is again replaced with this same assembly. Interestingly, this system is very similar to that employed by Tesla at Colorado Springs -- the same system that allegedly received signals from an ETI.
Much of Brown's work is under wraps by the US government, held within the Wright Patterson Air Force Base technical library. However, family members still have his notes and are in the process of making them available to the public.
Hodowanec's gravity-wave detector
Working unaware of, but parallel to, Thomas Townsend Brown was Gregory Hodowanec. While developing a new, sensitive weighing balance, Hodowanec noticed slight variations in the reference weights he was using. Assuming that the problem was with the circuitry he had designed, he went about trying to counteract these anomalous variations. After some "stab in the dark" experimentation, Hodowanec found that the humble capacitor in the right part of the circuit counteracted these unusual variations. But the question remained: how could a capacitor be able to generate the signal to nullify these apparent variations in standard reference weights?
On further investigation, Hodowanec found that his weighing system was not at fault, nor were the reference weights. What he did find, however, was that the Earth's gravitational field is not stable but fluctuating, sometimes at quite a rapid rate. The weighing system he had developed was so sensitive that it picked up these variations as changing values in the reference weights. He concluded that somehow the humble capacitor was able to pick up these gravitational variations and convert them into an electrical signal.
From this discovery, Hodowanec went on to develop a gravitational detector that used modern electronic components. He knew that any induced effect on a capacitor would result in a displacement current; hence, the circuit he developed was a simple operational amplifier wired up as a current-to-voltage converter. This circuit was connected to the sensing capacitor, while its output was fed into a standard voltage amplifier which in turn drove a loudspeaker. The signals received by this simple circuit were described as being similar to whale song, but this evidence is inconclusive. But it does seem that some very strange, yet structured, audio signals were received by this comparatively simple device.
Hodowanec stated that his device received monopole gravity waves, different to the quadrapole waves described in Einstein's general theory of relativity. Also, while the gravity waves theorised by Einstein were limited to the speed of light, these monopole waves described by Hodowanec could reach any point in space in one Planck second (10-44 seconds). He also stated that electronic equipment had been receiving this gravitational radiation for a very long time, but it had been mistaken for 1/f noise (where the intensity is inversely proportional to the frequency over a spectrum of noise). It is similar to what you get when your radio is not tuned to a station, which is that rushing water type of sound. However, 1/f has a deeper sound, perhaps more resembling the crashing of sea waves. Technically, it is a spectrum of random frequencies which have equally random intensities, but in general the lower frequencies are higher in intensity than the higher frequencies. If you were to look at this with reference to white light (which is composed of all light frequencies in the visible spectrum), then you would perceive it as a soft pink light. For this reason, 1/f noise is often referred to as "pink noise".
Hodowanec also hypothesised that the Universe is filled with this radiation and that the detected isotropic microwave background radiation, thought to be the echo from the Big Bang (which does sound like 1/f noise), is actually gravity-wave emissions. He stated that the instruments that were picking up this signal were in fact receiving the gravitational radiation rather than the electromagnetic energy from the beginning of the Universe.
During his investigations with the device, Hodowanec found Auriga and Perseus in the Milky Way to be the source of many natural, yet unusual, audio signals. He stated that the general background noise is modulated by the passing of large astronomical bodies which cast a shadow over these emissions. This means that when such radiation is demodulated, what one would hear would be the movements of planets, stars and galaxies. Much of the high-frequency radiation is generated by astronomical processes such as stars going supernova, star quakes and even the tectonic movements within nearby planets.
However, it was not long before Hodowanec received signals of an unnatural origin while scanning the skies with his gravity-wave detector. One evening, for only eight minutes, Hodowanec received a train of equally spaced impulses that resembled the Morse code for the letter S. After determining the origin of these signals, he attempted to make contact using more conventional means (a Morse radio transmitter). To his surprise, he received on the gravity-wave detector a reply made up of random Morse code containing the letters E, I, T, M, A, N, R, K and S. During another transmission, Hodowanec transmitted a sequence which he received back as a copy with the letters G and D added. In the end, he was able to hold an almost coherent conversation with the ETI he had contacted. Interestingly, he found that only at certain locations could he establish contact with the ETI. Also, judging from several years' experience in Morse code, he found that the transmissions were not synthetic; the ETI was using a Morse key, and in fact there was more than one entity operating it!
It would seem, then, that there are many gravitational signals throughout the Universe. Many of them are natural and high in frequency. These signals become modulated by the movement of astronomical bodies such as stars, galaxies and even planets. But among these natural signals may be the transmissions of a host of extraterrestrial intelligences.
It is not clear whether the signals received by Brown and Hodowanec are gravitational in nature. Even Townsend Brown stated that the evidence pointed to this hypothesis, but the subject was still inconclusive in his own mind. There may be a host of energies and radiations that still remain undiscovered.
One that has had little attention is Dr Wilhelm Reich's "orgone energy". This appears to be the same energy that is known as prana, chi and the od or "odyllic force" discovered by Baron Karl von Reichenbach. Interestingly, when Reich had a device designed to detect the orgone, it was based upon the electrical capacitor! This energy is very closely related to living organic matter, and so has often been identified as the "vital force" -- the energy that distinguishes between animate and inanimate matter.
The well-known orgone researcher Trevor Constable conducted much research into the weather-altering effects of the orgone, and hypothesised (backed up with experimental evidence) that many UFOs are actually biological entities. He went on to suggest that the orgone could be manipulated and engineered, as it is based upon fundamental laws. If he is right, then a new branch of technology, based around the life force, could be developed. Such a technology is described as being "biodynamic" (although Constable looked further ahead and coined the term "etheric engineering"), and is the real meeting point between physics and biology: biophysics. Is it then possible to develop a communications system based upon the principles of biodynamics?
In 1962, Silesian-born engineer L. George Lawrence, employed by the LA Space-Science Corporation to develop jam-proof missile components, decided to try using biological material in electronic sensors. His first line of enquiry led him to the work of Alexander Gurwitsch, one of the pioneers of vital force research. Gurwitsch showed that cells appear to affect each other during the process of mitosis, which led him to develop a theory in which cells communicate through what he called "mitogenic rays".
Lawrencealso reviewed the work of Cleve Backster, the polygraph specialist who studied the psycho-galvanic reaction of plants. Backster used polygraph-type equipment to monitor the physiological activity in plants and discovered some amazing effects. One of the most unusual is a plant's ability to detect the presence of a plant murderer! Lawrence used Backster's original circuit designs as a springboard for his own research into biological sensors. He discovered that such biological transducers are able to detect changes in a variety of different environmental parameters including magnetism, temperature and humidity.
While Backster used a pen-chart recorder to indicate reactions, Lawrence replaced this with a voltage-controlled audio oscillator whose pitch changed in sympathy with biological changes. Eventually he replaced Backster's galvanic response system with piezo-electrometers, which gave better stability with greater sensitivity. The first biodynamic transducers were simply vegetable samples wired up and held in a temperature-controlled bath.
With further advancements, Lawrence developed a sensor which consisted of two small quartz crystal wafers bonded together with specific organic materials. Whatever transducer was used, they were all sealed within a Faraday cage which in turn was held within a lensless telescope-type assembly complete with sighting apparatus. All investigations were conducted in what Lawrence referred to as "electromagnetic deep fringe" areas which were outside the influence of almost all electromagnetic fields so as to avoid false readings from external sources.
During one test, Lawrence pointed a newly developed biosensor at a tree some distance away, that he he had wired up to a remotely controlled battery circuit. When the switch was activated, a current would pass through the tree so as to electrically stimulate it. Meanwhile, the biosensor's output signal was monitored for dramatic changes. Sure enough, when the tree was stimulated, the biosensor's output changed. This indicated some form of mitogenic ray communication between the tree and biosensor. However, while having lunch, he left the biosensor pointing in some random direction. To his amazement, the audio output from the biosensor's circuit started to warble rapidly, indicating some mitogenic or biodynamic signal being picked up. After an intense investigation, Lawrence concluded that the signals had originated from outer space and were of intelligent origin.
Initially, he thought the signals were from Ursa Major, but on further investigation he found that they probably originated from the galactic equator. He also concluded that the signals were not aimed at Earth, but were an overspill of communication between companion civilisations. As for the signal coding, Lawrence was confident that they would not be in the form of a structured language. Instead, he felt that they would be graphic in nature, so he decoded them using digital spectrograms displayed on a standard 8-bit resolution grey-scale. These graphic signals were received using some of the most advanced biodynamic transducers, consisting of carefully manufactured synthetic biochemical substances.
There has been little success in tracing the elusive George Lawrence, mainly due to the fact that "George Lawrence" was a pseudonym employed by the author who reported this research in several electronics magazines in the mid-1970s. All that is known of this author is that he was employed by several government agencies that exercised strict security measures. This research into biodynamics was a spin-off of the work he had conducted while within their employment. However, it is worth mentioning that these agencies were mainly involved in NASA projects around the time of SETI.
There are many energies that lie undiscovered, yet already we are trying to find a unified field theory based on the few energies of which we are aware. There have been many discoveries in the past that could have brought us closer to the truth; however, mainstream science has ignored nearly all of them.
The human race has a great understanding and control over the force of electromagnetism. However, it is naive to think that this is the only method through which to communicate and that all other civilisations out there have developed technologically in this same direction. It must also be remembered that there are other dimensions parallel to our own. These, too, may be contacted, but not necessarily by looking upwards. We must first open our minds, then ask the question, "Is there anybody out there?"
Brown, T. Townsend, "Electrogravitational Communication System", US Patent No. 719,767, issued September 1956.
Cocconi, G. and P. Morrison, "Searching for Interstellar Communications", Nature 1959;184:844-846.
"Three Nations Seek 'Diabolical Ray'", New York Times, May 28, 1924.
Eisen, Jonathan (ed.), Suppressed Inventions and Other Discoveries, Auckland Institute of Technology Press, Auckland, 1994.
Tesla, Nikola, "Talking with the planets", Collier's Weekly, February 9, 1901
Vassilatos, Gerry, Lost Science, AUP, USA, 1999.
Copyright © 2000 Gavin Dingley
Sunningdale, Manningford Bruce, Near Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 6JL. United Kingdom. Telephone: +44 (0)1672 562808
Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 8, #1. PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia.
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