Monday, October 18, 2004

This article reflects what I heard from Cliff Will, Matt Visser and Bill Unruh at GR 17.

"Anti-Gravity shield rises again, and the zero-point fringe - News and Comment
Skeptical Inquirer,  Nov-Dec, 2002  by Robert L. Park

The following items are from Robert L. Park's weekly electronic newsletter "What's New" (American Physical Society, Washington, D.C., and University of Maryland).

August 2, 2002:

Anti-Gravity: A Gravity Shield Would Be Very Nice, But. ... Never has an idea with no prospect for success so captivated corporate research managers who either never studied or never understood the most basic laws of physics. Both Boeing in the U.S. and BAE Systems, the British aerospace giant, are trying to make the Podkletnov gravity shield work. BAE has already been at it for two years (WN 31 Mar 00), with no success. When NASA couldn't make the Podkletnov shield work, they invested another million dollars (WN 22 Jan 99). When it still didn't work, they decided the tests were "inconclusive" and sank another million into it (WN 12 Oct 01). I have identified seven warning signs of bad science at The Podkletnov gravity shield fits all seven. So why would Boeing choose to spend millions to test a ridiculous claim by an obscure Russian physicist that has failed every test and is a physical impossibility to begin with? Okay, so the Pentagon is paying for it. But there's also this goofy book by Nick Cook, who writes for Jane's Defense Weekly."

Podkletnov's and Ning Li's claims may well be wrong. Park may be right. I do not know. My own theory based on controlling dark energy does not depend on their work.

""Book Review: The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook. If this book is about controlling gravity, what's with the "zero point"? The confusion is natural; both lie within the province of fringe scientists who haven't a clue of where the real world stops and the fantasy world of Atlantis and UFOs begins."

Park is either really covering up or he is really ignorant of the relevant physics here. I don't care how big a shot he is at APS. Physics is a big field and no one person is competent in all parts of physics. Park does not appear to understand the cosmological constant problem that zero point energy directly gravitates or anti-gravitates depending on several factors. He also does not point out that dark energy anti-gravitates and is ~ 73% of all the stuff in the universe with w = -1 with small error, hence it is zero point energy. The problem is why is it so small. I have solved this problem I think. On the other hand when Park writes that there are a lot of "fringe scientists who haven't a clue of where the real world stops and the fantasy world of Atlantis and UFOs begins" he is correct. I know a lot of them. Park thinks I am one of them. Park's intelligence is sloppy and inaccurate on that. He has not done his homework and depends only on distorted rumors as was shown when he met my brother at UMD a few years ago. Park is using a half truth to discredit all work on UFOs as part of the old coverup now falling apart from within the ranks of the USG Intelligence Community. It is true that Himmler's Occult Nazis in the SS Ahnenerbe promoted the "Atlantis" myth as part of their pseudo-science of Aryan racial superiority and that their ancestor the Thule Society promoted the "VRIL" that is now "zero point energy" in some fringe quarters. It is also true that Podkletnov's father, in the Soviet Army in 1945, got the plans of the Nazi Bell Machine that is the Daddy of Podkletnov's current device according to Nick Cook's book.

"Cook is not a scientist of any sort; in his world, these guys are the insiders. Don't look for them in the pages of Phys Rev; they're not a bunch of pointy-headed academics. They are part of the black world of really important top secret stuff like--well, electrogravitics. So who exactly fed Nick Cook this enormous pile of horse manure? If you're a regular reader of WN, you've already met them all."

Park is essentially correct on this one. I told Nick this in my two recent meetings with him in London. However, the truth here is "Grey" not quite as white as Park paints it and not quite as black as say Nick paints it. ;-)

Fringe: Where Everything Is Secret, and Nothing Is Impossible. When Cook set out on his search for "the biggest secret since the atom bomb," he went straight to the Integrity Research Institute (IRI), in Washington, D.C., where you can buy books and videos with titles like "Holistic Physics and Consciousness" (WN 5 Mar 99). IRI is really Tom Valone, a former patent examiner who lost his job in the fallout from the Conference on Free Energy (WN 21 May 99). He had recruited Paul LaViolette,"

Hmm! That name rings a bell. I think I just heard it in another context. I need to check that ... Aha here it is just received a few minutes ago. Synchronicity strikes again. I will conceal the identity of the author who is actually a well credentialled physicist:

"You may contact Paul LaViolette at :

and he wil be able to send you his original work based on his 1985 *prediction* of the Pioneer anomaly, work that was published in refereed journals. Paul's approach is very different. It is based on his work on sub-quantum kinetics."

"who claims the B-2 uses anti-gravity, reverse engineered from a crashed flying saucer. He was also fired (WN 18 Aug 00). They sent Cook to the Institute for Advanced Study. Not the one at Princeton; the one at Austin, Texas. It consists of Harold Puthoff, who wants to extract energy from the zero point of the vacuum. He used to run the CIA's "remote viewing" program, which was inspired by Mind Reach, a book he wrote with Russell Targ (WN 11 Mar 94). Finally, Cook sought advice from Charles Platt, founder of CryoCare, a company that keeps human heads bobbing in liquid nitrogen until scientists can figure out how to restart them (WN 21 Jul 00).

August 9:

Anti-Gravity: Was This the Lightweight Story of the Year? The Eastside Journal in Bellevue, Washington, quotes a Boeing spokesman as saying the company is not funding any anti-gravity research (WN 2 Aug 02), nor is it attempting to duplicate Podkletnov's results. Ha! Nick Cook warned us they would say that. He would say it's just disinformation, part of the massive government coverup.

August 16:

Cook Book: Fresh Air Offers a Recipe for Stale Baloney. Two weeks ago, WN dumped as much cold water as one page can hold on the anti-gravity nonsense stirred up by Nick Cook's goofy book, The Hunt for Zero Point. We braced for sensational stories in the National Enquirer and on Art Bell, but where does Cook turn up? Gasp, on National Public Radio's Fresh Air. "I am not a scientist," Nick Cook admits in a brilliant understatement, "but I enlisted some help." So who did he enlist? "There are scientists working right on the cutting edge. ... Dr. Hal Puthoff is pioneering this whole zero-point energy field. ..." Well, there's a name we know. One of the first scientists to vouch for spoon-bender Uri Geller, Puthoff headed the CIA's remote-viewing program, and is said to have sent his own mind to explore the surface of the planet Mercury (WN 11 Mar 94). Guest host Barbara Bogaev, who also is not a scientist, asks how anti-gravity machines work? They all spin, Nick Cook explains. "Some theories say if you spin this zero-point energy field that exists all around us, some weird and magical things start popping out, one of which is an anti-gravitational effect." There you have it--an authoritative explanation on NPR."

Park is right about this one. I told Nick Cook the same thing.

Robert L. Park is director of the Washington office of the American Physical Society, a physics professor at the University of Maryland, and author of Voodoo Science.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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