Why Lifters Work
by Bill Meikle
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
a mysterious effect that um, makes them fly. I spent the morning
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
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
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
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
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.
(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
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
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
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
ADDENDUM July 28 2003
Well Tim Ventura, the guy who runs the AmericanAntigravity.com web site,
and does many lifter experiments wrote me back:
Interesting article that you put online -- it seems like you've put a lot
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.
actually my opinions changed after just thinking about it for a few more
In the wired article he talks about the lifter under charge's wires starting
and I think 'resonance'.... and then he says the input electrics are changed
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
I still guess that the above ideas play a part. Not a big part, but a part?