Electrogravitic Propulsion

(for those who missed out on both the 1953 announcement and its significance)

anti-gravity                            a controllable force that can be made to act against the force of gravity.  [layman definition].   The antithesis of gravity; a hypothetical force by which a body of positive mass would repel a body of negative mass.  [scientific definition]. Also, called antigravity.

Biefeld-Brown Effect             the force placed on an object, positively charged on one edge and negatively charged on the opposite edge, in the direction of the positive charge.  An electrogravitic effect.

dielectric                                 a material that is electrically non-conductive.  Examples are: glass, plastic and Plexiglass.

electrogravitic                        a technology developed by T. Townsend Brown in the 1920s anddemonstrated to create an anti-gravity, propulsive force.  Electrogravitic is a concatenation of electricity + gravity.

ion                                           an electrically charged atom or atoms.  Electrons carry a negative charge.  Ions become positively charged as a result of a loss of electrons from an atom.  Ions become negatively charged as a result of a gain of electrons.

levitation                                the raising or rising of a body in air by supernatural means.  [standard definition]   Electrogravitics is not supernatural.

“Levitator”                              Name used by T. Townsend Brown for his electrogravitic, aluminum discs.  Brown also referred to them as an “experimental triarcuate ballistic electrode.” 11,12


What is “anti-gravity” technology?  From a layman’s viewpoint, this technology might simply mean a drone that anyone can buy at Walmart or Target that has four electric motors and propellers and carries a small camera.  We’re not talking about that kind of anti-gravity.  This article deals with a type of technology that has no moving parts, does not use a fuel, is silent and that goes back to the 1920s. T. Townsend Brown was an American inventor whose research into odd electrical effects led him to believe he had discovered a connection between strong electric fields and gravity, a type of anti-gravity effect.  For most of his life he attempted to develop devices based on his ideas, trying to promote them for use by industry and the military. He came up with the name “Biefeld-Brown Effect” for the phenomenon he and Professor Paul Alfred Biefeld discovered and called the field of study electrogravitics.  You will not find a definition for that in the dictionary.

T. Townsend Brown [1]

Brown called his devices “levitators,” but there was nothing supernatural about them.  In the mid-1920s Brown discovered that electric charge and gravitational mass are coupled.  He worked on this premise for years continually refining his experiments. Following World War II, Brown continued his work on a self-financed basis to demonstrate his theory.

The Science

Brown and Biefeld’s basic theory was that if two metallic discs, separated by a dielectric (an electrically non-conducting material) with one disc positively charged and the other negatively charged, the discs would move in the direction of the positive disc.  Brown tested a multitude of disc designs and diameters.  

Brown displaying a 3-foot “Levitator” Disc [2]

One version had two 1.5-feet, aluminum discs separated by a Plexiglas dielectric.  Around the leading edge of the disc was a fine wire.  The fine wire was charged positively and the aluminum body was charged negatively by feed wires.  The theory was that the wire electrodes ionized the air forming a cloud of positive ions in the area of the leading wire and a cloud of negative ions around the aluminum body. [3]

Dr. Paul LaViolette surmises that there are two possibilities as to how the disc generates its propulsive force:  (1) The ion clouds produce electrostatic fields that act on charges on the disc’s main body and the leading edge of the device; or (2) An electrostatic thrust may result from the negative and positive ions forming a gravity hill and a gravity well (respectively). [4]

Theory (2) is that this creates a gravity potential.  That is, a gravity “hill” was created at the back of the aluminum body and a gravity “well” was created in front of the device.  An analogy would be a surfer riding a surfboard with the wave behind the surfer.  The entire device would then move in the direction of the gravity well.  That is, the driving force would be in the direction of the positive cloud. 

LaViolette’s gravity hill and gravity well [5]

The Experiment

In 1950 Brown created a test device to demonstrate his theory of electrogravitics.  Brown developed a series or versions of aluminum discs varying in diameter from 18 inches up to 36 inches, depending on the test performed.    Brown built a central support column with a six-feet long horizontal beam.  The beam could be rotated a full 360°.  To each end of the beam, he attached a tethered disc.  The tethers were each seven feet long.  A high voltage source provided the electrical power through lead wires.  See the diagram of the test rig below.

Double flying disc test rig [6]

In the experiment, Brown used a high voltage power source (“HV Source”) on the order of 50,000 volts.  The discs, being tethered to the rig, would move around in a, more or less, uncontrolled state.  When the discs were electrified with 50 Watts of power, the discs would move around fully extended to about a 20-feet diameter circle and travel about 12 miles per hour.

Then in 1953 he finally and successfully demonstrated his new technology to several US Navy admirals in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  At that point, his work was assigned the name Project Winterhaven. [7]   His theories and concepts were then immediately classified and taken out of the “White” and put into the “Black.” He then dropped out of public notice. 

In recent years Brown’s research has had an influence in the community of amateur experimenters who build “ionic propulsion lifters” powered by high voltage. There are claims that Brown was the first to discover anti-gravity, an idea popular with the unidentified flying objectcommunity and spawning many conspiracy theories.Brown’s work was not heard of again, at least for decades, and one wonders whether he collaborated with the US Navy or whether his patented work was simply taken over in a buyout by the US Navy while other secret, anti-gravity work was already progressing.

Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D., is a physicist and the author of Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion. [8] What has just been presented is one very small aspect of Dr. LaViolette’s ground-breaking book dealing with virtually all aspects of anti-gravity propulsion and is highly recommended for those seeking further details.

Dr. Paul A. LaViolette
Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion

Northrop Grumman B-2 “Spirit” Bomber

The reader, not unreasonably, may wonder, What does this all lead to?  The Biefeld-Brown Effect described above is alleged to be a secret technology incorporated into the propulsion system of Northrop Grumman’s B-2 “Spirit” bomber.

Northrop Grumman B-2 “Spirit” Bomber

Most civilians are generally aware of the B-2 “Stealth Bomber.”  And most assume that it is only an exotic and ”stealthy” bomber, but with traditional jet engines.  But, maybe, there’s more to this than meets the eye.  It is claimed that the B-2 is also propelled by electrogravitic systems based on the Biefield-Brown Effect.  T. Townsend Brown discovered that if a vehicle were positively charged at the nose of the vehicle and the aft end were charged negatively, there was a force exerted on the vehicle in the direction of the positive charge. The B-2 is believed to have a positive charge on the leading edges of the wings and a negative charge applied to the exhaust gases.  This would give the B-2 supplemental propulsive thrust.  See the diagram below.

Top view diagram of B-2 bomber [9]

It is reported by retired US Air Force Colonel Donald M. Ware that he was told by a three-star, US Air Force general that electrogravitic systems are operational on the 21 B-2 bombers. [10]

The Control Issue

One of the issues of using electrogravitic propulsion in a full-sized, man-rated, flying disc is one of control.  Brown’s discs were basically an electrical device called a capacitor.  A capacitor is used to store an electrical charge.  In general, they are two metal plates separated by a dielectric material. If you apply the Biefeld-Brown Effect to one very large, plate-shaped, capacitor (large enough to carry a pilot), you experience a force in the direction of the positive charges.  But you would have no real controlof where it went.  It would just fly around in an uncontrolled manner that no pilot would care to test drive. So, how would you add control to that human-carrying, plate capacitor?

What you would want to do is to be able to allocate the electrical power to a specific region of the plate capacitor.  If you want to head northeast, then you would want to be able to send power to that part of the flying disc that was on the northeast side.  But how would you do that?  If you split up one very large capacitor into smaller pieces like a pizza pie, you could get control.  The more pieces you have, the better control.  For example, if you split up the capacitor into, say, a dozen separate capacitors, each piece would be 30° of the pie (12 x 30°  = 360°).  Then, you could allocate most of the power to that 30° capacitor on the northeast side. That would give some degree of control. What if you want finer control? You could split the pizza into 48 sections.  Instead of twelve, 30° capacitors, there could be forty-eight, 7.5° capacitors (48 x 7.5° = 360°).  That would give the pilot a very fine degree of control.  How about even smaller pieces?  Well, at some point it becomes difficult to manufacture smaller and smaller capacitors for this type of application. 

As we shall see in a future article, perhaps there has been an application such as this in a real, man-rated, flying disc.  Stay tuned . . .


  1.  Keller, T. L., The Total Novice’s Guide To The Secret Space Program, 2FS Press, 2017, digital edition, “Pioneers of the Space Frontier.”
  2. Ibid.
  3. LaViolette, Ph.D., Paul A., Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, Bear & Company, 2008, pages 42-43.
  4. Ibid, pages 43-44.
  5. Ibid, page 44.  Used with permission.
  6. Ibid, page 42.  Used with permission.
  7. Ibid, page 54.
  8. LaViolette, Ph.D., Paul A., Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, Bear & Company, 2008.
  9. Ibid, page 146.  Used with permission.
  10. Personal communication between Richard Boylan and Col. Donald M. Ware (Ret.), September 20, 1997.
  11. LaViolette, Ph.D., Paul A., Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, Bear & Company, 2008, page 53.
  12. “Triarcuate,” is be a concatenation of the word “tri,” meaning “three” and the word “arcuate,” meaning  bent or curved.  “Ballistic” relates to a projectile in flight or acting under gravity.  “Electrode” is an electrical conductor.  This would seem logical except for the interpretation of “tri.” Apparently, that related to the three, curved surfaces of the upper part of each “Levitator” disc.

© 2018 T. L. Keller

T. L. Keller may be contacted at www.2FSPress.com