# Saw this on www.cnn.com

kauai_diver

## Main Question or Discussion Point

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/09/05/wow.tech.black.world/index.html

I find it interesting that anti-gravity is being discussed more and more, and by big name corporations like Boeing no less. There is less stigma attached to anything "anti gravity", like there was several years ago.

My general belief is that someday I think we will overcome gravity, as well as understand it :) Some very smart people still say overcoming gravity would be akin to inventing a perpetual motion machine. I personally dont believe in perpetual motion, but I still think some form of gravity control will exist hopefully in my lifetime.

I just thought it was interesting, and wondering if anyone else read this article who might have some opinions.

Related Other Physics Topics News on Phys.org
russ_watters
Mentor
"Anti-gravity" is a meaningless term. Anything that exherts a force opposite to gravity could be considered anti-gravity.

And popular media is a woefully bad source for science news.

Imagine
IMHO, more oriented toward $$than physics. This is gravity. LURCH Science Advisor Originally posted by russ_watters "Anti-gravity" is a meaningless term. Anything that exherts a force opposite to gravity could be considered anti-gravity. Maybe true for many folks, but I don't think Boeing has anything nearly so vague in their vocabulary. They've already got plenty of stuff that "exherts a force opposite to gravity", but they don't call any of it "antigravity". I must say I for one would be very suprised if they discover true antigravity within the next 100yrs, but it would take a lot longer if they weren't looking. BTW, do you think it would be worth our while to try to come up with a working definition for the term? Just for use amongst ourselves, I mean. Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Originally posted by LURCH Maybe true for many folks, but I don't think Boeing has anything nearly so vague in their vocabulary. They've already got plenty of stuff that "exherts a force opposite to gravity", but they don't call any of it "antigravity". I must say I for one would be very suprised if they discover true antigravity within the next 100yrs, but it would take a lot longer if they weren't looking. BTW, do you think it would be worth our while to try to come up with a working definition for the term? Just for use amongst ourselves, I mean. I have seen some big names associated with this subject; in particular a couple of ex-astronauts. In spite of the popular scientific opinion, I am starting to think that a black projects break through has been made indeed. The claims for this only seem to grow in intensity and credibility. Anti gravity is meaningless. Gravity is the curvature of spacetime...if you uncurve space time and curve it opposite, you are just making more gravity. Otherwise, as stated, just about anything that opposes gravity is anti-gravity. LURCH Science Advisor Originally posted by Brad_Ad23 Anti gravity is meaningless. Gravity is the curvature of spacetime...if you uncurve space time and curve it opposite, you are just making more gravity. Otherwise, as stated, just about anything that opposes gravity is anti-gravity. Yet negative energy is predicted to be "gravitationally repulsive". To use a Flatland-style annalogy, GR shows us a picture of 3-D space as a flat 2-D surface which can be bent in a third direction (downward) by the presence of mass. AFAIK, this model is never used to portrey an upward curvature, like something pushing up from beneath the flat surface, but it is not hard to see that this is an inherent possibility of the model. Just as objects with posssitive downward force can bend the fabric downward, so too objects with negative downward force (possitive bouyancy) could push up like bubbles beneath the surface. This would create a curvature of spacetime from the center of which normal (negatively bouyant) matter would be repelled. For me, this has always been my understanding of "anti-gravity", curving spacetime in the opposite direction from normal gravity. This is what I picture happeneing around negative energy (and negative matter, if it exists). Negative energy is as impossible as anti-gravity, which it would produce. Let me ask you, have you been able to physically construct a system with negative volume? No? What about walk a negative distance? Didn't think so. [note: Thermodynamics would forbid negative energy from existing in any useful form (modified to include quantum fluctuation energy)unless it was global]. russ_watters Mentor Originally posted by LURCH Maybe true for many folks, but I don't think Boeing has anything nearly so vague in their vocabulary. They've already got plenty of stuff that "exherts a force opposite to gravity", but they don't call any of it "antigravity". Which is exactly my point. Its meaningless. And I highly doubt anyone from Boeing would ever use that term in an official capacity. I question the validity of the report from a purely factual standpoint - there is a reason there aren't any specifc quotes from people at Boeing. They don't exist. Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Originally posted by russ_watters Which is exactly my point. Its meaningless. And I highly doubt anyone from Boeing would ever use that term in an official capacity. I question the validity of the report from a purely factual standpoint - there is a reason there aren't any specifc quotes from people at Boeing. They don't exist. Anti-gravity propulsion comes ‘out of the closet’ By Nick Cook, JDW Aerospace Consultant, London Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, has admitted it is working on experimental anti-gravity projects that could overturn a century of conventional aerospace propulsion technology if the science underpinning them can be engineered into hardware. As part of the effort, which is being run out of Boeing’s Phantom Works advanced research and development facility in Seattle, the company is trying to solicit the services of a Russian scientist who claims he has developed anti-gravity devices. So far, however, Boeing has fallen foul of Russian technology transfer controls (Moscow wants to stem the exodus of Russian high technology to the West). --- Janes Defense Weekly Which I assume [but do not assert] goes with this: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5071 Another earlier reference: http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/anti_grav_010909.html [Broken] Last edited by a moderator: The US has black projects ? *GASP* We don't REALLY spend 500 bucks on a toilet seat? *GAPE* Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Originally posted by Brad_Ad23 Anti gravity is meaningless. Gravity is the curvature of spacetime...if you uncurve space time and curve it opposite, you are just making more gravity. Otherwise, as stated, just about anything that opposes gravity is anti-gravity. The repulsive force between two bodies would vary strictly as a function of mass. Not just any force would meet this requirement. Also, what is spacetime? Welcome to bad science behind closed doors. Also known as a big freaking waste of taxpayers dollars. Proper science is nigh impossible without peer review and big money does not mean big breakthroughs. For evidence of this see why most big companies have severely slashed or removed their R&D departments. I wouldn't for a second believe that because NASA or any other government agency is researching something that it gives it any credibility. When you have billions of dollars of other people's money to spend you can throw some are really stupid stuff that may pay off big time. I'm suprised that they aren't researching alchemy as well. It's too bad that politicians quickly forget how science and engineering differ. The science behind nearly every modern technology (especially the ones militaries use) are found in peer review "real science". These scientific principles are used by engineers to make these technologies. The engineering work can be done in secret. Build all the secret planes you want, but the fact that planes can fly remains part of everybody's science. The fact that rockets push remains part of peer review science. Of course you could try to make something that flies based on what some obscure russian scientist says he found. A phenomenon that couldn't be repeated in the years NASA has been trying. But of course that's what most people with sense call a waste of time and money. Last edited: Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Originally posted by Joy Division Of course you could try to make something that flies based on what some obscure russian scientist says he found. A phenomenon that couldn't be repeated in the years NASA has been trying. Even though I can easily buy into your argument, here's the rub. If it did work, do you think they would tell us? Answer: Not if they could avoid it. This is true beyond any doubt. Stealth technology was kept secret for nearly 30 years. The military air advantage of an anti-gravity drive is potentially absolute. So, my question to you is this: If we had an anti-gravity drive of some sort, why would the public be told about it? Wouldn't we keep this thing Top Secret as long as possible? Next, going with your position on this, do you feel that scientists and corporations are duping congress with smoke and mirrors, and pseudoscience, and knowingly having their way with them, or do you think this is just bad science run amok? Last edited: Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Originally posted by russ_watters "Anti-gravity" is a meaningless term. Anything that exherts a force opposite to gravity could be considered anti-gravity. And popular media is a woefully bad source for science news. Perhaps the term "antigravity" is used as a smoke screen for a revolutionary but more earthly innovation. I am suspicious that we have some sort of electric propulsion used in blimps [buoyant or nearly buoyant air ships]. Maybe this is more the nature of the truth of the claim? Imagine Bonjour, "The earth is flat and you could fall when reaching its limits." "The sun, and other astral objects, spins around the earth." "Light is propagating via ether fluctuations." "Speeds are stricly and linearly additive, V' = Vrel + V" From an historical point of view, these precedings where invalidated with some few-$$\$ profound toughs and anti-demonstrated with experiments. Money is not warrant to "good" thoughs but could help to experiments.

"Negative energy, repulsive gravitation, space-time uncurvature, ..."

IMHO, don't over tax-pay to bring some "good" thoughs since money corrupt human brain and these "leaping ideas" shall, most of the time, be brough from uncomformal unfunded brain.

russ_watters
Mentor
I.S. I read the article, but notice - even in the section you quoted there isn't a reference to any person, paper, press release, or otherwise from Boeing. Plus what the opening paragraph says is far different from the supporting paragraph. You can't start a "project" using a technology until you have the technology - and they don't even have the science that comes before the technology.

It just sounds to me like they are investigating a claim by a Russian scientist. There is nothing more to it than that and it is surprising that JDW would phrase it in such a tabloid manner (I'd expect that more from CNN).

I recommend a book for you guys who are interested in black projects: "Skunk Works" by Ben Rich (head of the Lockheed Skunk Works during the development of the Stealth Fighter). Stealth was the blackest project there has ever been - blacker even than the Manhattan Project. But *ALL* projects with new science/technology progress in roughly the same way and stealth was no exception:

1. SCIENCE: A Lockheed mathematician/physicist read a Russian paper on EM radiation and realized that the equations in it could be used to calculate the radar cross section of simple objects.

2. TECHNOLOGY: They built a few test models showing the concept worked.

3. ENGINEERING: They took the test model design and turned it into a flyable aircraft (no small feat).

This anti-gravity "project" is not yet even at step one.

The repulsive force between two bodies would vary strictly as a function of mass. Not just any force would meet this requirement.
Piece of cake. Any supporting force on any object does exactly that (magnet, string, bolts, etc). Hell, that definition makes your SHOES anti-gravity devices.

Maybe I should issue a challenge: Construct a definition for "anti-gravity" that would exclude your shoes (p.s. my shoes have the maglev option attached).
Welcome to bad science behind closed doors. Also known as a big freaking waste of taxpayers dollars.
Agreed, Joy. My guess would be a guy on Boeing's board read an article in Pseudoscience News (doesn't exist but it should) about anti-gravity and wanted in on the action. So he assigned this "project" to his advanced projects division. The guys assigned the project must be PISSED.

Ironically, "Skunk Works" has a chapter about business and how other companies (Boeing is listed) have tried unsuccessfully to copy Lockheed's model for an advanced projects division. This would be part of the reason why.
So, my question to you is this: If we had an anti-gravity drive of some sort, why would the public be told about it? Wouldn't we keep this thing Top Secret as long as possible?
I.S. Clearly no, yes. But didn't you just post a link to an article about it...? If there was a real project, this thread wouldn't exist because it WOULD be secret - secret enough not to tell JDW that it existed.
Perhaps the term "antigravity" is used as a smoke screen for a revolutionary but more earthly innovation.
Certainly possible. I (and others) have long maintained that flying saucers are a perfect cover story for real projects. The myths persist largely because they are exploited - and they HAVE been used with great success. Flying saucers helped protect the security of the stealth project for example.

Imagine, your point is well taken, but there are two problems - the first two examples not only predate science itself, but they were known by educated people to be wrong even without the benefit of science to help them learn why. And the second two though useful at the time (and to some extent even now) DO fit with observations depending on their usage. And where they don't fit has been known for quite a long time.

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Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Originally posted by russ_watters
I.S. I read the article, but notice - even in the section you quoted there isn't a reference to any person, paper, press release, or otherwise from Boeing. Plus what the opening paragraph says is far different from the supporting paragraph. You can't start a "project" using a technology until you have the technology - and they don't even have the science that comes before the technology

I agree. My only point was that this is not just coming from CNN. Also, no one needs to cite the reputation of JDW.

It just sounds to me like they are investigating a claim by a Russian scientist. There is nothing more to it than that and it is surprising that JDW would phrase it in such a tabloid manner (I'd expect that more from CNN).
How do you conclude this? It sounds like you are drawing conclusions without any evidence? I think JDW deserves a litte more credit than that. They are considered THE reference for aircraft technology.

I recommend a book for you guys who are interested in black projects: "Skunk Works" by Ben Rich (head of the Lockheed Skunk Works during the development of the Stealth Fighter). Stealth was the blackest project there has ever been - blacker even than the Manhattan Project. But *ALL* projects with new science/technology progress in roughly the same way and stealth was no exception:

1. SCIENCE: A Lockheed mathematician/physicist read a Russian paper on EM radiation and realized that the equations in it could be used to calculate the radar cross section of simple objects.

2. TECHNOLOGY: They built a few test models showing the concept worked.

3. ENGINEERING: They took the test model design and turned it into a flyable aircraft (no small feat).
An when did we first hear about Echo I? 35 years later. As soon as the original Russian work was realized and tested, the whole thing was made Top Secret.

This anti-gravity "project" is not yet even at step one.
If we had it how would you know? The whole point of classified projects is that people aren't supposed to know that the technology exists.

Piece of cake. Object with constant mass you can attach a force from any number of places to do exactly that (magnet, string, bolts, etc). Hell, that definition makes your SHOES anti-gravity devices.
What do you mean? What force goes strickly as a function of mass - independent of the material used? This is really a no brainer.

Agreed, Joy. My guess would be a guy on Boeing's board read an article in Pseudoscience News (doesn't exist but it should) about anti-gravity and wanted in on the action. So he assigned this "project" to his advanced projects division. The guys assigned the project must be PISSED.
You make a lot of assumptions in your arguments.

I.S. Clearly no, yes. But didn't you just post a link to an article about it...? If there was a real project, this thread wouldn't exist because it WOULD be secret - secret enough not to tell JDW that it existed. Certainly possible. I (and others) have long maintained that flying saucers are a perfect cover story for real projects. The myths persist largely because they are exploited - and they HAVE been used with great success. Flying saucers helped protect the security of the stealth project for example.
How long might this technology have existed? Rumors about classified projects almost always leak out. Also, the day always comes that classified technology becomes declassified. You seem to ignore this obvious scenario as a possibility. Finally, clearly many advanced projects have created UFO reports. This is well understood by anyone with an interest in the subject.

I'm not arguing that we have a true anti-gravity drive. There is obviously no evidence to support this notion. But the dimissals that I read sound more like pseudoscience that the original report.

LURCH
Negative energy is as impossible as anti-gravity, which it would produce. Let me ask you, have you been able to physically construct a system with negative volume? No? What about walk a negative distance? Didn't think so.

[note: Thermodynamics would forbid negative energy from existing in any useful form (modified to include quantum fluctuation energy)unless it was global].
But negative energy does exist.

Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
Even though I can easily buy into your argument, here's the rub. If it did work, do you think they would tell us? Answer: Not if they could avoid it. This is true beyond any doubt. Stealth technology was kept secret for nearly 30 years. The military air advantage of an anti-gravity drive is potentially absolute.

So, my question to you is this: If we had an anti-gravity drive of some sort, why would the public be told about it? Wouldn't we keep this thing Top Secret as long as possible?

Next, going with your position on this, do you feel that scientists and corporations are duping congress with smoke and mirrors, and pseudoscience, and knowingly having their way with them, or do you think this is just bad science run amok?
Well if they want to use it they would have to make it not a secret. To keep your technology a secret you have to not use it then you might as well not have it. There is no reason to keep something like anti gravity a secret. You gain no advantage by the enemy not knowing you have anti gravity craft. It's just like conventional aircraft, your enemies will know you have them but oftentimes it is still difficult to do anything about it.

Something like stealth technology is better off secret because it works better when then enemy doesn't know you have it. Something like anti gravity has too many commercial possibilites to be kept a secret after it is a working technology.

Also one must ask, who would they be keeping it secret from? The US is not enaged in a war where the extent of it's abilities need to be kept secret from the enemy. All this black op/secret project crap is precipitated from the second world war and cold war where there were real enemies with similar power that would use the same technology against allied forces if given the knowledge.

Now however you may have notice that most of this top secret stuff is already revealed in a matter of one or two years after it is fielded. Or even in the later stages of development. (See: land warrior system.) Other military conceptual technologies like some new nanotech concepts are revealed when still in vaporware dreams stages. If the army has been flying UFOs with anti gravity for 20 years why are they still building conventional aircraft? Again if you're not going to field a technology and use it, or reveal it as a deterent why would you even bother.

If antigravity has been found then why hasn't NASA found it as well? They're not like the military. They have very good reasons to reveal any new technologies for comercialization or just to validate that they are in fact a body that can do meaningful technological research and that the tax dollars in the space program are well spent.

To answer your last question I don't honestly think that a whole lot of people are trying to dupe congress out of their money. I just think that a lot of politicians really don't know how real technological progress comes about and misspend quite a bit of money.

P.S. Government conspiracy guys in black suits can I have my dog back now?

negative energy does not exist. We may assign it a negative value in our equations (such as gpe, but that is only because it acts in the opposite direction).

And you are probably waiting to say what about the Casmir effect or something of that nature. It does contain a negative energy of a type, BUT we can never break the symmetry and get anything meaningful out of it so for all intents, it is not real (hence it is virtual).

As for all this "oh well they probably have it, or something close to it" crap (because that is what it is), let me put this on you. The military may be well funded, but ideas tend to spread fast. Someone in the public domain would have stumbled across this already if it existed and the military had it. It just happens. Stealth technology while classified was well known to anyone who did research with radar. Consipiracies may be fun, but physics always wins the day.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
As for all this "oh well they probably have it, or something close to it" crap (because that is what it is), .
Who said this?

let me put this on you. The military may be well funded, but ideas tend to spread fast. Someone in the public domain would have stumbled across this already if it existed and the military had it. It just happens.
Can you tell me what someone was supposed to stumble onto? Since we have no idea what might produce something like antigravity, your prognostication and mystical powers amaze me. For all we know, the random discovery of such a thing could be a one in a billion.

Stealth technology while classified was well known to anyone who did research with radar. Conspiracies may be fun, but physics always wins the day.
Actually, all references to the technology were classified. I am also quite sure that anyone who claimed that such a craft was possible was labeled a nutcase. Also, if there are no secrets, then why do 55 year old government documents get released only after the reviewers black out 5 - 90% of all the text? Clearly the government has secrets worth protecting that are at least this old.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Originally posted by Joy Division
Well if they want to use it they would have to make it not a secret. To keep your technology a secret you have to not use it then you might as well not have it. There is no reason to keep something like anti gravity a secret. You gain no advantage by the enemy not knowing you have anti gravity craft. It's just like conventional aircraft, your enemies will know you have them but oftentimes it is still difficult to do anything about it.
This would all depend on how useful the technology might be. If we are given some kind of absolute advantage, then we would want to keep it secret indefinitely. Use the weapon in a stealthy mode, and credit the hit to something else like a B2 bomber. In war, the rarest of all commodities is the truth.

Something like stealth technology is better off secret because it works better when then enemy doesn't know you have it. Something like anti gravity has too many commercial possibilites to be kept a secret after it is a working technology.
This all depends on who you are and what your motives may be. Everyone knows about the stealth planes – which still are very secret and are used very effectively.

Also one must ask, who would they be keeping it secret from? The US is not enaged in a war where the extent of it's abilities need to be kept secret from the enemy. All this black op/secret project crap is precipitated from the second world war and cold war where there were real enemies with similar power that would use the same technology against allied forces if given the knowledge.
You don't understand the military industrial complex. If you don't have an enemy, you make one up. This is how one gets funding. See Eisenhower's final address to the nation. Also, we are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars here. Can you really underestimate the power of this much money? Not to mention that this translates into jobs.

Now however you may have notice that most of this top secret stuff is already revealed in a matter of one or two years after it is fielded. Or even in the later stages of development. (See: land warrior system.) Other military conceptual technologies like some new nanotech concepts are revealed when still in vaporware dreams stages. If the army has been flying UFOs with anti gravity for 20 years why are they still building conventional aircraft? Again if you're not going to field a technology and use it, or reveal it as a deterent why would you even bother.
Absolutely not true. My dad saw things in Korea that only came into the public view 30 years later. I learned about similar things from guys in Vietnam – LASAR guidance systems for example - and I have heard unconfirmed reports of weapons used in the Gulf I and II conflicts. Also, the SR71 was stealthy for 30 years before the public knew about this. This does not mean that I think we have a functional anti-gravity drive. We are really arguing about the nature of black projects [and those that predate the term "black"].

If antigravity has been found then why hasn't NASA found it as well? They're not like the military. They have very good reasons to reveal any new technologies for comercialization or just to validate that they are in fact a body that can do meaningful technological research and that the tax dollars in the space program are well spent.
I really think this ignores the implications of such a technology. I think you underestimate the National Security interests in having such an advantage; assuming that you would actually have an advantage - maybe anti-gravity drives are real lemons! If this was of tremendous advantage, the commercial value would not even rate as an afterthought.

To answer your last question I don't honestly think that a whole lot of people are trying to dupe congress out of their money. I just think that a lot of politicians really don't know how real technological progress comes about and misspend quite a bit of money.
I can understand that...not to mention the political value of pork projects for jobs [= votes].

Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
Who said this?

Can you tell me what someone was supposed to stumble onto? Since we have no idea what might produce something like antigravity, your prognostication and mystical powers amaze me. For all we know, the random discovery of such a thing could be a one in a billion.

Actually, all references to the technology were classified. I am also quite sure that anyone who claimed that such a craft was possible was labeled a nutcase. Also, if there are no secrets, then why do 55 year old government documents get released only after the reviewers black out 5 - 90% of all the text? Clearly the government has secrets worth protecting that are at least this old.
1)I might have misread an earlier post of yours. But the case still applies to those who read and don't post.

2)People rarely stumble into things in science. Its the long, continual work that progresses towards something new. It is not purely trial and error.

3)The technology sure, but not the science. It is simple science to make stealth. Technology is often not so simple, for it is the real world application of the science.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1)I might have misread an earlier post of yours. But the case still applies to those who read and don't post.

2)People rarely stumble into things in science. Its the long, continual work that progresses towards something new. It is not purely trial and error.

3)The technology sure, but not the science. It is simple science to make stealth. Technology is often not so simple, for it is the real world application of the science.
Really we agree for the most part. I am virtually certain this will not turn out to be a true anti-gravity drive - whatever that is. However, since we don't know what such a thing might be, I don't see how one can debunk this story either. I still tend to expect that anti-gravity is just a cover for something real but less exotic.

On the other hand, this claim does not come from only one source. Other examples of this - from apparently credible sources - can be found. I have been hearing about this from ex military people for about 15 years now.

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