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LETTER FROM HAROLD ASPDEN: Regarding Antigravity and Prof. Eric Laithwaite

By Harold Aspden

From: NEN, Vol. 5, No. 9, Jan. 1998, pp. 13-14.
New Energy News (NEN) copyright 1998 by Fusion Information Center, Inc.
COPYING NOT ALLOWED without written permission.

Regarding Antigravity and Prof. Eric Laithwaite

I read your E-Mail message dated December 2 inviting news having bearing on antigravity. Hence this message which I am copying to Hal Fox and James Cox.

I have seen in this morning's U.K. newspaper: THE TIMES (Thursday, December 4, 1997, page 25) the obituary of Professor Eric Laithwaite, who died on November 27, aged 76.

Having followed his research with interest and visited him a while ago to discuss his findings and witness his demonstration of the loss of weight of a 50 lb. flywheel that he lifted effortlessly I thought I should draw your attention to some comments that were included in his obituary.

The obituary reminds us that, as a recipient of many crank letters when he was Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Imperial college in London, there was: One which caught his eye: in it an amateur inventor described a wheeled device which apparently contravened Newton's Third Law of Motion - it moved without any power to the wheels or any thrust. Intrigued, Laithwaite invited the inventor, Alex Jones, to Imperial College. The device Jones brought was a simple gyroscope and it moved forward on Laithwaite's bench with ease. "Alex showed me something I could not explain, so I just had to investigate it. It was sheer curiosity ...."

The obituary goes on to explain then how Laithwaite's efforts to show the weight loss of the gyroscopic devices he built were met with 'utter hostility'. He retired from Imperial College in 1981 pretty much in disgrace. But he never lost his fascination for gyroscopes. "None of my critics could ever explain to me how a 50 lb spinning wheel loses weight," he said. He teamed up with Bill Dawson, a fellow electrical engineer and businessman and spent the last years of his life experimenting with a variety of complex gyroscopic rigs, finally proving to his satisfaction that they could produce "mass transfer" - a brand of new thrustless propulsion system. In 1993 he applied for a patent on a gyroscopic space-drive. In September 1996, however, two NASA scientists arrived at his Sussex University laboratory, and his life went full circle. They were looking for a new way of getting spacecraft into earth orbit, and headed straight for the world expert. "I showed them all the magic of magnetic levitation," said Laithwaite happily, "and they gave me a contract." He was working on Maglifter when he collapsed.

The obituary published in THE TIMES is quite lengthy. Its opening paragraph adds a little more detail to the latter project: At the age of 76, at a time when many emeritus professors have long since hung up their gowns, Eric Laithwaite was happily working, like a schoolboy with a Meccano set, on the biggest project of his life - a huge working model of a futuristic rocket launcher. America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration had commissioned him to develop a concept worthy of Ian Fleming's Dr. No - a five-mile long track to be tunneled up the inside of a 10,000 ft. mountain, hurtling a space capsule through the summit into Earth orbit. The power was not to come from conventional rockets but from the love of Laithwaite's lift- linear motors.

Readers of this message who are interested in anomalous levitation phenomena will feel added sadness to hear that this great pioneer, Eric Laithwaite, has passed away. No doubt NASA will pursue that project regardless of this loss. For my part as a remote observer, I am reminded of my own brief meetings with Alex Jones and with Eric Laithwaite and am more than curious about that comment about "mass transfer". I recall that Laithwaite told me of research funding received from Prince Charles and used to build a machine involving gyroscopic devices set in two adjacent compartments. These were to be screened from one another in a physical sense, but arranged to allow the transfer through the physical screen of something associated with the spin of one gyroscopic device that could be detected by its effect on the other device. Here, my mind was on the possibility of the aether developing its own spin and being shed as a kind of 'thunderball' which could be moved through the wall separating those two compartments. If that machine, when eventually built and tested, did in fact exhibit such a phenomenon, then one can but be curious and wish to know more. As to that loss of weight by the 50 lb flywheel I also recall the time when Professor Salter of Edinburgh University, an expert of gyroscopes, was offered funding by British Aerospace to stage demonstrations testing devices that purport to lose weight, but the event, though planned, was cancelled. Laithwaite, I heard, had refused to go to Scotland to prove something that could be demonstrated so easily in his own university base in the South of England. All one needed to see was Laithwaite standing on a large weighing machine and doing his flywheel lift while one read the weight recorded. It was only years later that a television documentary on Laithwaite's gyroscopic activity, which included participation by the Alex Jones, was screened here in U.K. and it did include that weighing machine demonstration which proved the weight loss.

Such interest as I have in these matters is merged with my own pursuits that I am recording on my own Web pages on Internet at and so I regret that I cannot add more to this note about Professor Laithwaite. Perhaps others will already have notified you of his death, but being here in U.K. it seemed appropriate for me to send you this message.

Harold Aspden

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Jan. 26, 1998.