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Thomas Townsend Brown and his flying discs
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May 5, 1991
From the November, 1958 FATE magazine.
Two diagrams are available for this article which are listed on
KeelyNet under the title BRNGIF2.ZIP in the F) Pictures directory.
Townsend Brown and his Anti-Gravity Discs
by Gaston Burridge
Thomas Townsend Brown has been flying strange metal saucer-like
discs of his own secret design and make for more than 30 years -
some big ones too, up to 30 inches in diameter!
Mostly, Brown has flown his discs in good old common air. The discs
are tethered to a mast or pole and the thin, double-saucer-like
things fly a circle around and around the mast in free flight.
Only a slight hum is audible as they fly. In the dark they glow
with an eerie lavender light, revealing their motive power which is
a kind of electricity.
Many scientists and engineers have watched these discs fly. Under
their breath, and sometimes out loud, most of them have said the
force which makes Brown's discoids spin is one which every high-
school physics student knows about - "Electric Wind" - and not a new
principle Brown has discovered at all!
One engineer told me, "The whole thing is so screwball I don't want
to even talk about it!" Another said, "The device is only about
one-tenth of one percent efficient." Both these statements have
since been proved incorrect! Most other engineers object to the
lack of mathematical substantiation presented by Brown. To
engineers and scientists one equation is worth a thousand words!
But even an equation is of little use unless it has values assigned
to at least some of its main parts. When these were not
forthcoming, from a technical point of view, it appeared Brown was
walking on straw legs.
Then recently Brown went to France. Under what was virtually a
French Government sponsored program of research, Air-France
successfully flew some of the Brown discs in a HIGH VACUUM!
And that took all the "electric wind" out of the previously
dissenting sails1 These tests were of a highly secret nature and,
because of this, and, because they were made in a foreign nation,
their results REMAIN CLASSIFIED.
One by one, U.S. engineering and scientific heads are beginning to
show above the storm cellars. It is now quietly admitted that
perhaps Brown may have something after all!
One thing he DOES have which he has not had before is a sponsor!
Perhaps that is the reason for the heads showing from the cellars.
There is nothing quite like having financial backing.
What do Brown's inventions mean? Another kind, type, or arrangement
of high-speed flight, both within our own atmosphere and in the
space beyond it!
How will it compare as a motive force with the rocket motors and the
jet engines of today? Of course, we cannot say yet but there is
nothing to indicate Brown's method will not compete most favorably
with them. Brown's method has definite "anti-gravitic potentials'
which their rockets or jets do not have. Because of present patent
situations many details of the Brown system must be by-passed here,
but it seems they represent no small item in the total picture of
Since 1923 Brown and his family have spent nearly $250,000 of their
own funds on experiments and research into the mysteries of that
strangest of strange electrical phenomenon, the "Biefeld-Brown
Effect". Electrical literature contains few writings on this
subject, mostly because Brown has maintained a tight grip on the
information and has not seen fit to write on the matter
scientifically or otherwise. No one else has seemed inclined to
research the matter. What is more American scientific journals are
open to few ideas that DO NOT ORIGINATE with men CONNECTED WITH
LARGE UNIVERSITY or COMMERCIAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES!
I first heard of Townsend Brown and his Biefeld-Brown Effect from
Mr. Arlin C. Hauser. Hauser is a designer and builder of fine
technical instruments in Pasadena who doesn't hold an idea at arms-
length because it is "new". Hauser furnished me a copy of a
monograph titled, "A SIMPLIFIED EXPLANATION OF THE APPLICATION OF
THE BIEFELD-BROWN EFFECT TO THE SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEMS OF SPACE
NAVIGATION". This monograph was published by Dr. Mason Rose,
president of the University for Social Research, Los Angeles, but
was actually written, I learned later, by Mr. Bradford Shank, a
nuclear scientist, formally of Los Alamos, now engaged in
engineering work for a Los Angeles aircraft valve manufacturer.
Some of the information set forth in this monograph rang a bell way
back in my memory.
Between 1919 and 1925 I was "errand boy" in a laboratory conducting
experiments with high potential, high frequency alternating
currents. We were playing with a million volts at 750,000 cycles
per second! A new type of electrical condenser had been built and
was to be tested. It was hooked into the circuit but was not
"bolted down" - it was heavy.
The director stood at the switchboard; the rest of us at a
respectful distance away. The switch was thrown. There was a hum,
a bursting flash of green and purple light, a loud bang, a violent
lurch and twist of the new condenser and that piece of apparatus lay
a smoking ruin! The director said, "Gentlemen, our baby has grown
It is this movement manifest in an electrical condenser which is the
essence of the Biefeld-Brown Effect. This movement makes the Effect
highly interesting as an anti-gravitic force!
The Biefeld-Brown Effect says an electrical condenser, when charged,
will MOVE TORWARD its positive pole and remain so positioned UNTIL
DISCHARGED, if free to do so, regardless of WHICH POLE or WHICH SIDE
of the dielectric is made positive.
This movement does not disregard the time-honored "law" which
indicates every action carries within it an equal reaction. The
reaction, as in gravitation, is present BUT NOT OBVIOUS. The
reaction is a finite but vanishingly small movement of all the other
matter in the Universe. But the nearest masses are affected first
The Effect was first observed when the condenser plates were charged
with a DIRECT CURRENT. But the experience noted above, which was
observed subsequently during other experiments, indicates something
of the same phenomenon is present when condensers are charged with
ALTERNATING current also - but probably not as effectively or as
While these alternating current condenser MOVEMENTS were noted at
the time, especially when the condensers were initially charged
after a long and complete discharge, those directing the research
then believed the movements were due to resonances set up within the
apparatus by the 60-cycle feed currents. Thus, this phenomenon,
though noted, was never investigated by the group to which I was
This electrical condenser movement is believed to have been first
perceived and examined by Dr. Paul Alfred Biefeld, professor of
physics and astronomy, Denison University, Granville, Ohio, sometime
However, search of the Denison University's own published scientific
records does not indicate Dr. Biefeld wrote anything regarding this
discovery while there. Dr. Lawrence Biefeld, a son of Dr. Paul
Alfred Biefeld, writes me that he does not recall his father ever
having mentioned discovering such an effect! However, Mr. Bradford
Shank who has been intimately associated with several phases of the
Townsend Brown Foundation and its work for several years relates
that Dr. Biefeld did originate the initial research into the Effect
itself and also directed Townsend Brown, then a student at Denision
University, in Brown's early interest in the matter.
Although the Effect may have been recognized first by Dr. Biefeld, a
greater part of the development research and ALL the practical
application of it has been carried on by Brown - mostly at his own
expense, over a period of more than 30 years.
Apparently the Effect was named by someone else writing a report on
the subject. But had it not been for Townsend Brown's long interest
and research this Effect might remain unrecorded and unexploited
Evidence indicates the entire Universe, from the greatest systems of
stars and their planets down to the smallest atom and its parts -
hydrogen - operates on only three basic forces - electricity,
magnetism and gravitation. These three forces may be entirely
separate and different or they may be only different phases of the
same force, a Universal force we have not yet distinguished as such.
Regardless of this, we know the relationship between electricity and
magnetism and we know this relationship is brought about and
maintained by the very simple COIL OF WIRE!
It is quite possible, through the Biefeld-Brown Effect, we have come
upon the relationship between electricity and gravitation, a
relationship being brought about and maintained through the very
simple electrical condenser!
If each of these three forces is considered separately, we find
little of practical value in any of them! It is only through
combinations of two, and perhaps more, that we begin to use them.
Aside from the researches into the Biefeld-Brown Effect carried on
by Mr. Brown science has done practically nothing toward developing
the relationship between electricity and gravitation.
Most scientists today will admit a weak COUPLING EFFECT DOES EXIST
BETWEEN GRAVITATION AND ELECTRICITY but any practical use of this
coupling effect they deny!
Standing almost alone in this belief Mr. Brown has maintained his
position regarding the matter stubbornly, faithfully, and devotedly.
If a simple, two-plate electrical condenser (FIGURE 1) is suspended
by a cord in such a way as to allow it complete freedom to to move
in any direction, except downward of course, and this condenser is
charged with the proper amount and pressure of direct electric
current the instrument will swing TOWARD the side holding the
If this same condenser is discharged, the positive and negative
wires switched and connected oppositely, when recharged the
condenser will swing in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION.
If the condenser is placed upon one side of a balanced beam (FIGURE
2) with enough weight opposite it to continue the balance and if the
positive pole is pointed up, when the condenser is charged the
weight on the opposite side of the beam will fall and the entire
condenser WILL RISE!
This shows that some of the "weight" of the condenser has been
relieved. If the positive pole now is reversed, when the condenser
is again charged the weight on the opposite end of the beam WILL BE
LIFTED! This illustrates gravitic affect.
This is the Biefeld-Brown Effect. As far is now known it is the
only method of affecting the gravitational field electrically!
However, apparently there are several other research programs now
under way attempting to establish an electro-gravitic relationship.
One of the mysteries of this Effect is that it APPEARS TO BE
AFFECTED BY TIME! Time does not do away with the Effect completely,
but it does appear to minimize it temporarily. This was noted first
by Brown during experiments located in a closed room.
He watched his discs through a telescope from outside the room.
Brown observed that after a time the discs did not swing quite so
far as initially, in either direction, with the same electric
charge. I understood from Mr. Shank that this point was discussed
with Albert Einstein but what Mr. Einstein had to say remains
unknown to me.
The phenomenon might be accounted for by subtle atomic structural
breakdowns in the dielectric material, or in the plate material, or
both. After a time, following a complete discharge, these
breakdowns mend themselves.
The intensity with which the Biefeld-Brown Effect may act is
determined by five factors. Ultimate intensity cannot possibly be
obtained by a combined use of all five factors - each in their
separate ultimates! A compromise must be made. This is not as
grave a disadvantage as it might seem at first, for it will allow an
almost endless arrangement of factors in any given disc or ship.
The best combination of these then may be chosen and applied to a
wide variety of practical conditions which will surely arise in
everyday aeronautical or astronautical flight.
1) PROXIMITY OF PLATES
The first factor regulating the intensity of the Effect is
controlled by the closeness at which the condenser's plates can
be set. If the charging pressure - or voltage - is high then
the plates will have to be farther apart than for lower voltages
-using the same dielectric. If it is necessary to charge the
condenser quickly a higher voltage is needed than if more time
can be taken. Hence, the closer the condenser plates the
greated the Effect gained - other circumstances remaining the
2) DIELECTRIC CONSTANT
The second factor is the ability of the material chosen as a
dielectric to store electrical energy. There are many kinds of
dielectrics: glass, mica, rubber, paper, bakelite, air,
ceramics, and many of the plastics. A dielectric is any
material which opposes the flow of an electric current and at
the same time is capable of storing the electrical energy as an
The action resembles the squeezing of a soft rubber ball. The
muscles in your hand represent the electric voltage. They
squeeze the ball's sides together. The sides remain squeezed
until your muscles release their pressure, then the sides jump
back into their original shape.
A dielectric will absorb an electric charge until its capacity
has been reached. Then it will either hold that charge as long
as the charging force is present, or it will rupture and the
pressure will leak away, or if the accumulated pressure becomes
greater than the charging pressure it will discharge itself back
into the charging circuit! This last can raise the devil!
Some dielectrics are capable of absorbing a great quantity of
electrical energy if that energy is applied slowly at moderate
pressure, but they break down if called upon to act quickly.
Other dielectrics, like lead-free glass, can be charged and
discharged thousands of times a second at high pressures. The
measure of a dielectric's ability is called the "K" of the
material. The higher the K, the greater is the Biefeld-Brown
A third factor in creating intensity of the Effect is the AREA
of the dielectric's charging plates. The discs are used
edgewise, and the greater their area, the greater the Effect
A fourth factor has to do with the VOLTAGE, or pressure used to
charge the condenser's plates. The higher the voltage, the
greater the Effect.
Also, the higher the voltage the shorter the time required to
charge a given condenser size. But the voltage must not be so
high as to puncture the dielectric, the condenser is
permanently, or temporarily ruined - depending upon its ability
to "heal" itself. Solid dielectrics cannot heal themselves.
Fluids heal themselves almost as soon as punctured. (the reason
for using OIL filled capacitors...Vangard)
5) MASS (SURFACE AREA)
The fifth and last factor is the MASS ofthe dielectric. The
greater the mass, the larger the Effect.
These points all are important. They make it clear that by a not
too complicated electrical arrangement which allows the changing of
many positive pole positions at will an astronautical vehicle could
Since a circle contains the greatest number of square units of
surface for a given dimension (a torus has even greater surface
area...Vangard), it seems obvious that a shallow, disc-shaped
vehicle could use this type of energy field to greatest advantage.
It would be charged differently than the models because it could
carry its own charging equipment on board.
The input energy of some models tested in California quite some time
ago (they do not represent present experimental attainments) was
about 50 watts, or the requirements of a small light bulb.
The weight of these units was about 1200 grams, or around 42 ounces,
or near two and 6/10 pounds. The efficiency of propulsion was 2%.
Unless scientific findings are discounted, we must assume the
voltage of atmospheric electricity rises as the distance from the
earth's surface increases.
At low altitudes we sometimes record an increase of 100 volts for
EVERY THREE FEET IN ELEVATION. But this increase RISES WITH
ALTITUDE. It is believed that in that ionosphere a potential of 100
volts may occur within only four inches!
Even though a discoid-shaped vehicle could be relatively thin,
compared to its diameter, still it would be many times four inches
thick. Hence, it would be subjected to tremendous differentials of
external electric pressure over its extreme dimensions.
How will this affect the Biefeld-Brown Effect - or any electrically
propelled vehicle? Some say, not at all. Others see it as a
Anti-gravity devices apparently are being experimented with from a
number of directions. Once any one of them becomes practical a
whole new horizon will unfold before mankind.
At the present time (1958) some 19 patent applications, covering the
Biefeld-Brown Effect and its various applied forms, are being worked
on. A new laboratory is also being built. Will Mr. Brown be the
first Earthman to build and fly a FLYING SAUCER?
The Law of Equilibrium includes Density. All things Rise or
Fall to their own Density. This density can consist of energy
in many forms, electric, magnetic, tachyon, etc.
Note the remark regarding the higher voltage potentials in the
upper atmosphere. Both the Brown disc and the Searle disc rely
on very high voltage potentials to provide lift. The question
is whether the electricity seeks its own upper atmosphere level
or does it cause some kind of stress in some other type of
energy to cause repulsion from the Earth surface or ATTRACTION
TO A LAYER EQUIVALENT TO ITS OWN.
If you have comments or other information relating to such topics
as this paper covers, please upload to KeelyNet or send to the
Vangard Sciences address as listed on the first page.
Thank you for your consideration, interest and support.
Jerry W. Decker.........Ron Barker...........Chuck Henderson
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