Why Lifters Work

by Bill Meikle


                    I  had to take a  long bus ride the other day  and I bought  the 'SuperHero' Issue of Wired (july '03)  and  there was a great article on "Lifters". These are flying devices powered by electricity  and
a mysterious effect  that um, makes them fly.  I spent the morning at  AmericanAntigravity.com  reading
about their experiments and checking out the web page and videos(the WinMedia9 movies didn't work for me,even on my XP box...) but the thing flies and really it's unclear why. Apparently  someone in Europe flew a pet mouse around the room using lifter technology... The culture of weird science that has grown at this site is awsome, people making lifters (the first was made by a guy at NASA),posting videos of them,  and this wired article can only help... 

              If you haven't read the article, the author goes to NASA and does the first test that came to my mind, They try it in a vacuum. If it works in a vacuum, we're into magic new forces, but it doesn't seem to work.

         So in truth we're not dealing with anti-gravity here, the thing pushes against air or atmosphere to fly...  For me that's the difference between sound and light...one uses air to vibrate in, and one doesn't...
the explanation offered is 'ion wind'...

               Since I'm not really smart enough to know what ion wind means, let me offer my own guesses...
I think what a lifter's doing is essentially vibrating upwards. I think the geometries that will work best are
the ones that are most resonant.

     Think of a wine glass that an opera singer breaks...what she does is sing it's structural frequency... This won't break it, just make it ring in sympathy. If she stops singing you will hear that note ringing in the room...coming from the wine glass...
      So to get our lifter to fly the first thing we have to do is tune it up using electricy. Since we're actually getting a mechanical vibration together I guess it could be done with a mechanical system too...a car engine.

    To break the wine glass our opera singer must worry it... worrying is done by singing a note the same, but a tiny bit sharp or flat... out of phase...
    But even that isn't all it takes. Most sharp or flat notes will create a huge beat frequency in the cycles,
like a bike rider losing his balance, but most of these eccentric orbits die out and come back into phase...
the bike rider doesn't fall...

    We need chaos theory here. We need sensitive dependence on initial conditions, causing self-amplifitory
behavior. Eccentric orbits that get out of control...

      This is what happens when your dryer, which has been in a well behaved spin cycle, suddenly goes
insane and starts hopping across the room.

       This is what happens when the bike rider wobbles one way, then another way, then each wobble gets
bigger and bigger until he falls...

      We have created an eccentric orbit, which self-amplifies...

       Weird things happen with resonance...like the bridges that fell when the wind got them vibrating, or when soldiers marching got them vibrating...  Nicolas Tesla got a whole block of New York City vibrating
with a barbers hand-held massage machine about a hundred years ago...
       But I'm mixing metaphors here. When Tesla got the block vibrating it was using the cycle to store energy, and just adding a little each time. Like pushing your kid on a really big swing, you don't have to push hard, you just have to time it right to amplify the cycle... no chaos. Chaos is when the amplification
takes on a life of it's own.   

       What we're interested in here, is essentially, getting the chaotic dryer that's hopping around the room, to hop upwards. To fly. 

       (As I read this back I see that I am suggesting that the reason the capacitor jumps in the initial 'Bernsfield Brown'  effect has more to do with it's shape than anything else....and dryers should be shaped like pyramids...)

      While I don't have a background in Physics, I do have a background in music, and resonance has always fascinated me....

     Buckminister Fuller had great ideas on triangles and regeneration. He'd point to the percussionist in
a symphony  who plays a triangle, and use it as an example of resonance. It's a very efficient geometry to
put a material in to circulate energy. Car engines should probably be shaped like pyramis..
If he was alive today Bucky'd point
to these lifters (like triangular pieces of a geodesic dome) for the same reasons he pointed to the triangle in the orch I believe...

     I don't really 'Get' Bucky, I'm not sure anyone does but here are a few things. He talked about making a geodesic dome that could fly... He said that if a massive dome was made it would float in the sky.  I think he even said that people could live up there...
     Why would a huge dome float, when the one downtown doesn't?

       Well for the same reason a soap bubble floats.  The weight of the materials is somehow offset by their shape...?
       Until I looked at these lifters, I thought this was all about differences in pressure between the
outside-of-bubble world and the inside-of-bubble world...but now I see that it might have to do with resonance,harmonics and geometry too...

      Bucky called the gridwork of a geodesic dome it's frequency. I can see how he formulated an idea of 'partials' to the global sphere...a music of the spheres. hmmm, partials and harmonics...do you know what that is?
       Think of a guitar player tuning up.  You know when he plays the little high notes, the kind of 'bell tones'. Those are harmonics. From a single base note, musicians can get a harmonic cycle of tones... many instruments like brass are based on this very heavily... The notes of the harmonic cycle are best heard by getting a flexible plastic tube and whipping it around in the air. (I had one as a kid as a toy) You'll find that the faster you spin it, the note will 'leap' to a new note. This is a new partial of the fundamental, which is the lowest note. I spent years practicing the harmonic cycle from the lowest note on a saxophone... at the highest partials, the orbit is subject to chaotic leaps. (the sax squeaks) ...

      So now we hypothesize a harmonics of spheres? and that lifters geometry is resonating in phase with the sphere? and then wobbling away?  hmm...

        Just another thing about bucky.  From his book synergetics I remember extracting a mathematics of
co-resonance as a kid. Think about prime numbers. What they are is numbers that can't be divided by anything but one and themselves. What's the opposite of a prime? A number that can be divided by all numbers. So 60 is one because it can handle 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.  (360360 is an interesting one)

If you imagine the timeline as a bunch of sin waves, they would all meet at 60, or at least the first 5.
When you get into really huge numbers, and one of these meeting happens it's a kind of 'singularity'.
where for one beat all frequencies strobe together.

This is the math you would use to somehow calculate the size of your Lifter. The earth's resonant frequency  is the big number and all gliders have to be partials of that to fly.. Then worry it.

            I didn't really get what had been learned about the voltages and wattages put into them but I would
guess that a knowledge of music theory and geometry might help here as much as electricy...

ADDENDUM July 28 2003

Well Tim Ventura, the guy who runs the AmericanAntigravity.com web site, and does many lifter experiments wrote me back:

Dear Bill:

Interesting article that you put online -- it seems like you've put a lot of
thought into the subject. I would really recommend that you build one.....if
nothing else, I know that after I'd read about these things it took actually
building one and seeing it fly to really give me emotional closure
(otherwise the idea sticks in your head and bugs you ...)

Also, now that you've put some thought into your writing, it would be
interesting to see if your opinions actually change after building and
testing a Lifter. Also, it turns out that you can use the high-energy
power-supplies for a variety of pulsed energy projects, which might make
them even more enticing for related research.

Best wishes!

Tim Ventura

actually my opinions changed after just thinking about it for a few more hours...

In the wired article he talks about the lifter under charge's wires starting to vibrate
and I think 'resonance'.... and then he says the input electrics are changed somehow
stepped up or down (I forget) and I think 'turbulance'...

and the thing takes off, so I think it's kind of running on turbulance, but this is wrong.
If it's running on turbulance it wouldn't stay up in the air for a long time. As soon as the
new cycle takes over and the first one dies out, it would fall.

It may use a little turbulance to take off?

A friend Peter Lupini wrote me:

I read your article on lifters, but I am sorry to say that I am still
the mainstream scientist I guess. When you blast that much electricity
into the wires, they ionize the air and I think that causes a kind of
downward wind - I remember learning about the phenomenon a while ago. I
don't think it has anything to do with resonaces. But don't worry about
me - I can guarantee you that with my skeptical personality, I will
never be the one who discovers some totally new phenomenon! At least I
know myself...

I still guess that the above ideas play a part. Not a big part, but a part?