- MAX: There are scientists in Finland who say that they've
detected antigravity over the surface of a spinning superconducting disc.
- X-Files episode, March 1997
- The cameo appearance in the TV sci-fi series of the "gravity
shielding" experiments of the Finland-based Russian scientist Yevgeny
Podkletnov summed up the reaction of the physics world to his work: it
belonged in the realm of fantasy.
- But not everyone sneered. The military wing of the hi-tech
conglomerate BAe Systems took the Podkletnov experiment so seriously that
it has launched an anti-gravity research programme, Project Greenglow (www.greenglow.co.uk).
If the technology could be made to work it would make existing forms
of transport obsolete.
- BAe last week confirmed that the project, led by the
mathematician Ron Evans, existed but would give no further details. Like
many of the few scientists around the world exploring gravity shields and
gravity beams, Dr Evans is believed to be fearful of ridicule. The cold
fusion debacle, when scientists' claims to have created a solution to the
world's energy problems in a lab flask were discredited, casts a long shadow.
- Dr Evans, at BAe's stealth and electronic warfare department
at Warton, Lancashire, is understood to be working with scientists at Lancaster
University. There is a sparse website, www.greenglow.co.uk, which describes
the project as "a speculative research programme - the beginning of
an adventure which other enthusiastic scientists from academia, government
and industry might like to join, particularly those who believe that the
gravitational field is not restricted to passivity."
- In 1996 Dr Podkletnov claimed to have discovered a way
to shield objects from gravity by placing them over a superconducting disc
which, in turn, rotated above powerful electromagnets.
- His findings were to be published in a British physics
journal, but news leaked out and, after press stories that scientists had
made an anti-gravity device, he was booed by peers who accused him of breaking
the laws of physics.He withdrew his paper and went into a huff. The unversity
that had sponsored him, in Tampere, Finland, withdrew its support, and
he has returned to Russia.
- But the notion of a machine that could gently lift objects
- people, freighters, spacecraft - with a hum of electricity gripped some
people. A few serious scientists and engineers have been trying to reproduce
Dr Podkletnov's results.
- This month he slipped into Britain to give a lecture
at Sheffield University, where he claimed that the latest Russian gravity
shielding experiments had made objects 5% lighter, compared with 2% in
the Finnish study.
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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