About "The Space Brothers"

Long-time Townsend Brown inquirer Jan Lundquist – aka 'Rose' in The Before Times – has her own substantial archive to share with readers and visitors to this site. This forum is dedicated to the wealth of material she has compiled: her research, her findings, and her speculations.
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About "The Space Brothers"

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Someone brought up the question, recently of what Bahnson might have meant when he said it was the "Space Brothers" who told him to find Townsend Brown.

Sorry to harsh your woo, ET folks, but it is more likely that he was referring to the immensely powerful Dulles Brothers, Secretary of State, John Foster, and his brother Allen, Director of the CIA, than to little green men from Mars.

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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

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Someone brought up the question, recently of what Bahnson might have meant when he said it was the "Space Brothers" who told him to find Townsend Brown.

Sorry to harsh your woo, ET folks, but it is more likely that he was referring to the immensely powerful Dulles Brothers, Secretary of State, John Foster, and his brother Allen, Director of the CIA, than to little green men from Mars.
Hmm. Is there any other context that we know of in which the Dulles Brothers were ever called "the Space Brothers"? When we think of say the man that Dulles Airport is named after ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Foster_Dulles ), in all his list of interests and achievements, is it really Space that comes to mind first?

Other the other hand, the term "Space Brothers" is very well established in 1950s Contactee literature (deriving from the older "White Brotherhood", in widespread Theosophical usage since Helena Blavatsky's era, the 1870s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_White_Brotherhood), and was used by multiple groups to describe trance channel entities - or, cult leaders pretending to trance channel. Either way, the kind of people who used the phrase "Space Brothers" in 1950s were almost exclusively of some alternate spiritual orientation.

I would be happy to be proved wrong, if someone could point me to any other documented historical use of this phrase to refer to the Dulles boys and not to mediums, or claimed mediums, associated with Theosophical/Contactee groups.

We know - if we accept Linda's word - that Townsend had an Adamski "scout ship" model, which to me shows a link of some kind between Townsend and Adamski, or Adamski's circle. We don't yet know how (through which social circles) exactly that connection formed, yet it must be there.

Many of Townsend's known friends - or people who became attracted to Townsend's ideas - seem to have alternative spirituality links, of the kind which would be called "New Age" from the 1970s on. Thinking of people like EL Kitselman and his Scientology/Dianetics roots. Linda recalling the "Russian Bank" card game and its fans, who seemed to enjoy the game for training precognitive intuition. And then thinking about how certain factions within the CIA either became or remained interested in Scientology up through the "Star Gate" remote viewing era of the 1970s. And thinking about, for example, the Tolstoy-Tibet connection during WW2. Is it too far to assume that right at the formation of the CIA - in the generation prior to the Baby Boomers, who kept much more quiet about their off-the-books beliefs - there may have been factions within that ex-OSS scene with a strong ESP interest, and connections to organized alternative spiritual groups? Up to the 1930s, the upper-class British and American culture and society scene from which the "Oh So Social" recruited was riddled with magical and Theosophical orgs; it seems it would have been hard to avoid them.

We know, or I thought we knew, that Townsend Brown had some link to Wilbert Smith. Smith had his own "Space Brothers" who he called the "Boys Topside" (I'd need to Google to remember who the specific medium was that channelled Smith's "Boys", but I believe we know her name). I've read Smith's "channelled" essay on physics allegedly from the "Boys", and I can certainly believe that it was produced in some kind of trance state, because it doesn't make any actual physical sense.

The "Borderland Sciences Research Foundation" (Meade Layne and Riley Crabb), who were early movers on quoting Townsend Brown in New Age contexts, had "Space Brothers" of their own (medium Andrew Probert's "Inner Circle"), and Riley Crabb was in a Theosophical and/or Huna group in Hawaii, I think during the time Townsend was there.

Was Agnew Bahnson also a friend of some medium or Contactee who claimed to have or to be "Space Brothers"? The "Brothers" in this case wouldn't even have to be actual metaphysical entities, just a chatty medium who'd heard Townsend's name from somewhere in the esoteric scene (that Townsend seemed to swim in as easily as he did the Navy contracting scene). I don't know if it's documented, but I would find that easy to believe. Particularly because - like Roger Babson - Bahnson was not an academic, and so whatever it was that was drawing him to research "gravity" and to trust Townsend Brown's unusual approach to it was not the mainstream view of physics. People involved with esoteric/metaphysical groups, on the other hand, often found themselves drawn to unusual interpretations of physics that would help explain unusual phenomena. Bahnson fits that profile of a seeker after esoteric knowledge, so I'd be very unsurprised if he was hanging out in esoteric circles of some kind as well as playing with electrical equipment.

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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

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Nate, I haven't found any connection from Bahnson to any of the Theosopy/Channeling/Adamski crowd.

In fact, the only UFO in his book, The Stars are too High, was built and piloted entirely by humans. There was not a single NHI in the book, nor any reference to them.

Keeping in mind the facts on the ground at the time, I believe Bahnson was being intentionally misleading with his use of the term, Space Brothers.

Secretary of State, John Foster most certainly wanted to use the fruits of orbital reconnaissance to inform State department actions in dealings with the USSR, but the US would not have had them, had not Allen Dulles' obtained funding for the first secret satellites that were built for the CIA by the NRO.

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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

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Delete NRO, substitute NRL.
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

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Just started digging...

Amazing what interesting stars fall from the sky when you shake other trees than "The Google" algorithm 8)

https://yandex.com/search/?text=%22Spac ... 2&lr=20993

DuckDuckGo is another goto browser
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

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Hi David. Yes, the quality of Google search results has declined dramatically since about 2019, when there were internal shakeups at Google and the departure of a key search architect. ( https://www.wheresyoured.at/the-men-who-killed-google/ )

However, just because you have some full-text hits, doesn't mean that you have a proven answer to our question here.

https://unhypnotize.com/community/threa ... own.93867/
March 22, 2013
Having just finished a careful rereading of George Adamski’s 1961 book "Flying Saucers Farewell", I feel ready to enter the 'Lady of Light Forum', which is dedicated to Linda Brown’s issues, particularly her attempts to understand and evaluate (if not also validate) the work and intentions of her enigmatic father, Thomas Townsend Brown (TTB).
Interesting. I knew Linda was active on multiple other (and more "woo") forums than Cosmic Token et al during the Between Times, but "Lady of Light" is not one I have visited. It's good to see her words here, still preserved.
It appears to me, in reading early editions of Linda Brown’s memoirs, that TTB was in contact with the space brothers as early as 1928
Well. If by "space brothers" we mean "unexplained inner promptings that lead to odd ideas", then sure. I don't think Townsend was in physical contact with either physical interplanetary travellers, or 1950s-era UFO contactees, in 1928.

Oh hey, and scrolling down, Linda herself says exactly this!
Are you asking my impression that Dad was in contact with " the Brothers" as early as in the twenties. I am not sure that he would have called the " Entities " by that name but he very particularly felt that somehow another intelligence was interacting with him through his dreams. Mother even spoke of that when I asked her about some of her first dates with Dad.... that he had told her that he was experiencing dreams and a flow of information that he could not explain.
This sort of thing has happened to a lot of people, in my opinion. Certainly Townsend was "tuned in to an unusual frequency" in his scientific thinking; it's what makes it so difficult to evaluate his ideas. They'll read as perfectly normal and sane and practical and then next sentence, casually, wham, something very, very left-field like "gravitational isotopes".


Moving on to the second hit, the book "A Critical Appraisal of George Adamski", no actual mention here of any direct Contactee link to Bahnson before Townsend Brown.

https://archive.org/stream/ACriticalApp ... s_djvu.txt
13 DECEMBER 1952 AND AFTER...

The account of Adamski's contact published in the Phoenix Gazette started to circulate, sometimes supplemented by the alleged events of December 13. It was used here and there by local newspapers, and then finally rewritten completely by Clara Little John.

Mrs Walton C. John, a widow about 62 years old at the time who was better known to her friends as "Clara," was the editor and publisher of a Washington (D.C.) publication entitled The Little Listening Post, which dealt with a variety of esoteric and strange items including flying saucers.

Around 1955 she came into contact with Thomas Townsend Brown, an American physicist who discovered what is called the Biefeld-Brown effect and who conducted personal research on antigravity. Maybe it was she who gave him the idea to use the Venusian scout ship design as a prototype for the antigravity machine he was working on The Thomas Townsend Brown "saucer." with Agnew Bahnson. Some ill-informed UFO researchers have said the reverse, that Adamski had copied the Townsend-Brown model. Actually, Adamski's pictures are older. [1)
We know about the Clara John connection. This chain of events is certainly the most plausible - the part about Townsend being inspired by Adamski I mean - except that as Linda says in 2013 on Lady of Light, above:
The little model disc that I remember playing with as a child Dad always called the Adamski Scout Ship.... ( you can see pictures of it in the oil bath test unit....I wasn't supposed to play with it... the year was 1953 though and it was neat..... I am not sure when the photo of that same ship was produced and honestly I can not tell you which came first... the chicken or the egg. I have always suspected that when Adamski mentioned meeting those who encouraged him to get a high powered telescope and to study one section of the sky carefully..... that one of those men was Dad... Unable to prove that yet.
If Linda is correct and Townsend had a model of the Adamski ship in 1953, then Townsend could not have been introduced to Adamski in 1955 through Clara John, but must have had his own connection, maybe as early as 1952.

This is one of those odd "date glitches" as Jan points out with Jacques Cornillon - where it feels like we can't see all of the moving parts in the cup-and-ball show, and that there was a "public performance" versus a "private reality" to some of these connections between both intelligence and UFO-believer factions (which sometimes overlapped) as they scrambled to understand and respond to both the UFO phenomenon, and much more prosaic but even more worrying international science and political and military issues (the Cold War, ICBMs, space reconnaissance, etc).

Remember that even the pioneers of chemical-rocket space exploration were deeply intertwined with some very startlingly "woo" philosophies, eg, Russian Cosmism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_cosmism), which mixed materialist "transhumanism" with spiritualist/Theosophical ideas. I believe there was also an American counterpart to this mix of prosaic military space science and "out there" weirdness.

My feeling is that Townsend was really, truly, a believer in the UFO phenomenon, he wasn't just putting that part on for show. He had weird ideas and he deliberately sought out people who also had weird ideas and not just as a "cover". Some of those other people with weird ideas were very highly ranked in the emerging post-WW2 American military-industrial complex. Townsend also had day jobs for these same military-industrial people involving very real, very prosaic, and very classified military electronics technology. He was able to juggle these multiple interests and not let one obscure the other. I think he was smart enough to be able to use the weird stuff as cover for his real secret stuff - but also, he was sincerely weird as well.

The Rense link (2004) comes closest to the actual Bahnson "Space Brothers" date priority question we're asking:

https://rense.com/general48/tm_feb.htm
So, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Bill Hamilton, a well known UFO researcher, contends that Bahnson had extensive correspondence with Adamski, and so modeled his anti-gravity device after Adamski's 'scout ship.'
I presume this Bill Hamilton is William F Hamilton III, author of "Cosmic Top Secret" (2002). I haven't read any of Hamilton's writings (and ugh, he has a foreword by John Lear, so that's enough to make me not want to read him), but "Bahnson had extensive correspondence with Adamski" (before meeting Townsend) is the same guess as I have. However, it wasn't Bahnson that designed the Bahnson discs but Townsend Brown. I suppose I need to (ugh) read Hamilton's book to see what he actually claims, and not what this reviewer thinks he claims.

Here's the core question:

Jan thinks that Bahnson didn't know Adamski (or any other Contactee) before he met Townsend, and instead was given Townsend's name by the Dulles brothers. This would imply that Bahnson was extremely politically connected and perhaps read-in to some extremely secret space projects.

I think that Bahnson probably did know Adamsi or some other Contactee before 1955 (perhaps in the years 1952-1954), and that when he said the "space brothers" pointed him to Townsend Brown (and I forget now which source this quote comes from) he meant this Adamski-shaped connection.

Both ideas are somewhat plausible but we don't (yet) have much documented support for either of them.

Wait, here's Linda herself (on that same Lady of Light page) explaining the source of the quote:
Of course I meant that I do not know if Adamski and my Dad ever met.... I do know that Adamski visited the Bahnson Lab just a few weeks after Dad left in 1958.... that is mentioned in the Bahnson Lab notes that were offered to me a couple of years ago. Agnew Bahnson spends half a page also lamenting the fact that " The Brothers" hadn't been in contact for awhile and he missed them.

He also told J. Frank King.... his brother in law that the " Brothers" had told him to find Townsend Brown.... that he was the man that he needed for his project. I believe that Stan Deyo ( a film maker from Australia has J. Frank King on film saying that exact same thing.... that he had been " missioned" to find Townsend Brown and bring him in to help with the research. I haven't seen it for a very long time but I believe that the film was called " The Cosmic Conspiracy". Now if I press Post will it actually do that? Linda
So it's the Bahnson lab notebook. I'll look around for it, it's around somewhere.

Ok, here's the copy I have. 55 handwritten pages of Notebooks 1, 2 and 3, from 1957 to 1959. Many pages appear to be missing so I'm not sure if this is the full known version and if it contains the quote that Linda is referencing. But here it is:

https://archive.org/details/townsend-br ... -notebooks

Yes, Deyo had at least one video (a VHS, back in the day) called The Cosmic Conspiracy as well as his late 1970s book of the same name. It is very likely that that video contains a J Frank King clip also. But I'd have to subject myself to multiple minutes of Deyo's conspiracy preaching to find it.

Edit: Okay, I've found one hit. Page 1 of notebook 2.
2-001.JPG
LABORATORY NOTEBOOK No. 2
MAY 1 1958

Tonight 9:58 p.m. I have been meditating the A.C. or R.F. exploitation, possibly with the help of the Brothers. I have missed them for several weeks.

The latest concept as written to Willis [Varg?] today, cc to T.T.B. with a request that he prepare a historical sequence and after experimental investigating for Dave [Grigge?] who will look at our work as a layman Sunday, deals with the expanded field gradient producing a thrust of the entire rig because of differential space charges akin to the Coulomb force between two oppositely charged objects (conductive preferably)....
While Bahnson *might* have used the term in various ways, in this particular instance, it seems fairly clear to me that by "the Brothers", Bahnson is not referring to any human beings but to his personal subjective sense of mental entities interacting creatively with his mind during meditation. It also seems that this is an experience he had had before on a regular basis, and that he could sometimes feel such a presence and sometimes not. This seems to me to be the same sense that Theosophical and UFO Contactee believers would also use the term "Brothers" with a capital B.

Of course Linda in 2013 perhaps has more ambiguity about this than I do:
While I am on this particular thread I wanted to note that I have some of the Bahnson labnotes ( written by Agnew himself) and there are MANY instances where he mentions meetings with " The Brothers".
I wish I had access to those missing pages, because I can only find the one reference.
Now of course we all know that he knew George Adamski well and when George mentioned " the Brothers" he was pushing the idea of fellows from Venus and beyond but it is not so clear to me that Bahnson had the same meaning attached to his words.

He uses the phrase also " The boys Topside" which I think is a decidedly Naval Term and oddly is the same phrase that the Canadian Wibert Smith used when he began his project investigating UFO propulsion systems in the fifties. I need to also note that the little dots that I have here put my Dad and Dr. Sarbacher meeting on the same day that Smith died..(I have his daybook with the meeting in his own writing)..

I have not been able to prove it yet but I believe that they were honoring their old friend and associate......The note about there being a project in existance in the fifties that was "more secret than the bomb" was never meant to see the light of day.....but somehow was leaked. It makes an interesting study of what was going on both " Topside" and below during the fifties. And Agnew Bahnson was right in the middle of things.

For those of you who are new to this story just google Sarbacher Wibert Smith and take your pick of things that will come up regarding flying saucers and secret projects.
It's possible that Linda here is sharing Jan's idea that Bahnson's "Brothers" might have been humans.

However, I believe it's been documented elsewhere (I don't have the source on me a the moment) that Wilbert Smith's "Boys Topside" were trance-channelled (and/or planchette or automatic-writing) entities. (The metaphor in the name is very clear and obvious to me: The "boys" are spiritual or extradimensional entities, they are "above" our physical world as we are "under" theirs. They live in a completely different physical condition: "air" to our "water". Perhaps Linda thinks of "Topside" as implying "the top-ranked members of human society giving orders to the workers below", but that is not at all how I can read that phrase. The people using it were, after all, already in the human social elite.)

And in the notebook entry of 1958 that I quoted, I believe it is very clear that Bahnson's "Brothers" to him in that moment were not human beings, and were not physical spacemen from Venus either, but mental entities, perhaps imaginary.

Still, that 1950s historical moment is confusing because there were highly-ranked military and civilian leaders who were also consulting with trance entities via mediums. So we can't cleanly distinguish "top secret military/diplomatic projects" from "esoteric/imaginary beliefs". They're all intertwined. It's not "either-or" but "also-and".

Could the Dulles Brothers have acquired, in some contexts and as a very complicated in-joke understandable only to people walking in both Contactee and secret military worlds, the nickname of "the Space Brothers"? It's possible. If evidence of such a joke existing can be surfaced (for example, in more of the Bahnson lab notebook pages, or more statements by Bahnson), I'd love to see it.

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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

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natecull wrote: Sat Apr 27, 2024 3:13 am just because you have some full-text hits, doesn't mean that you have a proven answer to our question here.
Nate, as a duly sworn and deputized professional librarian, I would have to turn in my staff washroom key and smash my secret decoder ring if I ever assumed such an anathema to my profession! :oops:

My life's mission is to "help people find what they're looking for..." I wouldn't dare presume to tell researchers what they want, only assist them to locate what they need. You alone have gleaned FAR more from these links than I have up to this point. Just doing my part to provide more interesting, shiny needles from perhaps new (or previously hidden) haystacks.
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

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I wouldn't dare presume to tell researchers what they want, only assist them to locate what they need. You alone have gleaned FAR more from these links than I have up to this point.
It does help, when one is searching, to already be a little familiar with the material.

Let me just say, though, that I'm surprised that even Yandex (which I would have expected to be a lot more unfiltered than Google) doesn't give many hits to the key textual query here, which is "Agnew Bahnson" "Space Brothers":

https://yandex.com/search/?text=%22Spac ... 2&lr=20993

Precisely eight hits from the entire Internet. Two of which are the same book, a third is a second book, two others are single forum threads. Bing returns the same book hits, but not the forum. DuckDuckGo returns none. Google actually returns the most hits.

So let's put the Space Brothers as a search term aside for the moment. Looking at the relationship between Agnew Hunter Bahnson, Jr and George Rideout of the Gravity Research Foundation, the "History of the Institute of Field Physics (1955-1959)" by Dean Rickles - posted on the official University of North Carolina website, so presumably authoritative (though not necessarily correct) - tells us:

https://physics.unc.edu/home/department ... ection-ii/
Babson had established the Gravity Research Foundation (GRF) in Salem, and had established an essay competition (governed by George Rideout) “for the best two thousand-word essays on the possibilities of discovering some partial insulator, reflector or absorber of gravity waves” ([2], p. 344)! DeWitt won first prize in this competition (in 1953) with an essay dismissing the whole idea; or, as he put it: “[E]ssentially giving them hell for such a stupid – the way it had been phrased in those early years” [1]. DeWitt wrote the essay in a single evening: “… the quickest $1000 I ever earned!” (ibid). 3 Given that the essay led to the original exchange between Rideout and Bahnson over Bryce 4, it seems that this single night’s work might, in fact, have earned him rather more than $1000!

...

Agnew Bahnson was a close friend of George Rideout, the president of Babson’s GRF, and the one who had initially suggested the idea of a GRF to Babson.
That last line, with its multiple commas, is a little tricky: the sentence is actually saying that *Rideout* was the one who suggested the GRF to Babson.

https://www.gravityresearchfoundation.org/historic
The meeting that organized the Foundation was held on January 19, 1949. The first awards for the best essays submitted on Gravity were made on December 1, 1949... He consulted his close associate, George M. Rideout, then President of Babson Reports, how best to proceed to encourage the study of gravity. After some consideration, George Rideout advised him to start a Foundation and to solicit ideas by offering awards for the best ideas submitted. Roger Babson accepted the advice and the Gravity Research Foundation was formed.
However, this still gets us no closer to the question of how and when exactly did Bahnson become "a close friend" of Rideout?

Dean Rickles probably is a fairly authoritative source, since he has written a recent history in this area (Covered with Deep Mist: The Development of Quantum Gravity (1916–1956). https://academic.oup.com/book/40408/cha ... m=fulltext

It's paywalled, of course. Rickles is a co-author with David Kaiser on a 2018 paper which IS available, and which I've read: "The Price of Gravity: Private Patronage and the Transformation of Gravitational Physics after World War II". https://web.mit.edu/dikaiser/www/HSNS4803_03_Kaiser.pdf But this still doesn't answer the question.

Rickles has conducted oral-history interviews with physicists, which makes him an even better source. The interviews, thankfully, are not paywalled. One in 2011 with Joshua Goldberg (who ran a relativity group at Wright-Patterson - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_N._Goldberg ) is interesting:

https://www.aip.org/history-programs/ni ... ries/34461
Goldberg: ... There were people, and I don’t know who — this is one of those hearsay things that nobody can verify, so I will say it, but it’s totally unverified — that some officer in the Air Force, thinking about the next big thing that the Air Force needed, was an anti-gravity device. And so they needed somebody to work on general relativity...
Salisbury: Wait, so let’s see. You began work at Wright-Patterson in ’56, and you were there until…?
Goldberg:’63.
Rickles: I wonder if the guy who mentioned they needed an anti-gravity machine was Agnew Bahnson, because he was in with the military.
Goldberg:That’s the one from the gravity prize?
Rickles: No, that’s Babson. Bahnson was the guy who started the Institute for Field Physics with Bryce and Cécile DeWitt in Chapel Hill, and he was in with the Glenn Martin company, so maybe he…
Goldberg: Oh, yeah, right. Now I remember that. You’re thinking he knew something about it?
Rickles: It’s possible, because that was his vision; we can get some anti-gravity devices, and he was in with the military so it’s possible.
Salisbury: Did you come in contact with him?
Goldberg: No. Well, Bahnson I came in contact with at the Chapel Hill meeting. He was kind of responsible for the Chapel Hill meeting. Well, not responsible for it, but I think he put up some of the money for it. I mean, the Air Force did, too.
Rickles: In fact, in the end it was entirely externally funded because Cécile got all this money from founder’s memberships.
Goldberg: No, it wasn’t all externally funded. The Air Force funded quite a bit of it.
Rickles: Oh, externally to Bahnson.
Goldberg: Oh, external to Bahnson.
Rickles: Not external to the Air… they put up $5,000.
Goldberg: That sounds about right. That was a lot of money in those days. Can you imagine, in those days you could do a weekend in New York $100. Try it for $1,000!
Salisbury: Was it already at the Chapel Hill conference that the Air Force provided funds for MATS for transport?
Goldberg: To bring some of the people from Europe, Lichnerowicz and Bondi. Gold was already in this country. Who else did they bring in? Laurent and what’s her name, Yvonne Foures.
The important assertion here being "Bahnson was in with the military". And again the question is: what, exactly, was Bahnson's military connection? I remember Linda and Jan discussing on one of the forums in the last 20 years the Air Force (and Navy) providing the money for the 1957 Chapel Hill conference, and guesses as to how much of that was Townsend's doing rather than Bahnson's.

Here's another freely available Rickles paper (2021!) outlining at least some of the shape of the problem of Bahnson's influence (and influences):

https://royalsoc.org.au/images/pdf/jour ... ickles.pdf
Journal & Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 154, part 2, 2021,
pp. 224–228. ISSN 0035-9173/21/020224-05
Behind the scenes of the 1957 Chapel Hill Conference on the role of gravitation in physics
Dean Rickles
Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney
One of these was Agnew Bahnson, owner of a North Carolinian air conditioning manufacturing company and an amateur engineer with an interest in gravity. He was also a pilot and, later, author of a science fiction novel, The Stars are too High (New York: Bantam, 1959), describing how
a group of brash engineers discover how to harness the power of gravity to build a flying saucer with which they dominate the world! Bahnson genuinely wanted to bring his dream to reality. He approached DeWitt with his vision, albeit tamed with an offer of a university affiliation, with his alma mater the University of North Carolina. DeWitt ignored it, reckoning Bahnson as just another of gravity’s many cranks. However, Bahnson was close friends with head of physics at the University of North Carolina, who was himself close friends with the influential physicist John Wheeler, himselfrecently converted to the study of gravitation (see Rickles, forthcoming B). Wheeler intervened, suggesting DeWitt give serious consideration to the offer, especially in the light of the serious lack of funding in he field of gravitational physics, as DeWitthimself admitted in his competition essay. Bahnson contacted DeWitt again, with lucrative terms including no administrative or teaching duties, and this time DeWitt bit. The result was an unlikely yet enormously fruitful partnership between an enthusiastic but untrained heir of an engineering plant and arguably the most formalistic, number crunching quantum gravity theorist around, that would transform the face of gravitational physics.
In fact, Bahnson continued to pursue his dream of anti-gravity (based on the idea of “electrogravitics:” achieving lift through strong electromagnetic fields) with a collaborator, T. T. Brown, while continuing to bankroll the Institute for Field Physics, with its firmly expressed dismissal
of such research. He would often rope in DeWitt himself, as well as other notable physicists such as Edward Teller, to assess his experimental work, only to be disheartened by their reactions each time. Despite his unscientific leanings, Bahnson was an incredibly active fundraiser, and kept donors fully informed of the institute’s activities through regular ‘memoranda’ (a wonderful resource for historians). His connections extended into aviation, computing, and the military, and he was able to pull in founders memberships from a great many sources, including IBM (which also provided computing time for some of the first gravitational simulations), General Dynamics, Glenn Martin, Sikorsky Helicopter, and more. The DeWitts (Bryce and his mathematical physicist wife Cecile) joined the fund raising efforts, securing substantial support from the NSF, the Air Force, the Navy, and beyond.
So again: why was Bahnson - just the heir to an air conditioning company - so extraordinarily connected? To which people and organizations? And in which order did those connections come?

Meanwhile, a small breakthrough: The Internet Archive now has a borrowable text of "The Stars Are Too High"! Apparently it has an added date of 2011, but I swear I've never been able to locate it until today.

https://archive.org/details/starsaretoohigh00bahn


Nate
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We'll find the time to show you, wonders never cease
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

Post by natecull »

A 2015 blog post (author unknown to me at the moment) provides part of the answer: Bahnson was connected through a 1936 road accident in the USSR (!), to a Harvard scholar involved in MIT Radar testing: David Tressel Griggs. Oh and who became Chief Scientist for the USAF (for 1951-1952).

Was this in Defying Gravity? If it was, I'd forgotten.

https://copaseticflow.blogspot.com/2015 ... r-and.html
Here's what I already knew:
Agnew Hunter Bahnson Jr., in a rather indirect manner, provided both the airplane and the test pilot used by MIT's Radiation Lab to test a new WWII technology, radar. In 1936, Bahnson, who was a resident of a Harvard dormitory, took one of his geophysicist dorm-mates, David Tressel Griggs on a hiking trip through the Caucasus Mountains. The Caucasus range connects the Black Sea with the Caspian Sea. Bahnson's and Grigg's hiking trip ended before it even began, however, when Agnew swerved off the road to miss a bicyclist and struck a tree[1]. Griggs narrowly missed losing both of his legs to amputation.

Hunter's father had taken out an insurance policy for the trip. Grigg's used his payment to purchase a Luscombe airplane. His injured legs made him ineligible for military duty. Still wanting to contribute in some way, Griggs piloted his plane for the test runs of the radar system being built at the MIT Radiation Labs. After the system became operational Griggs traveled with it to Europe and flew along on bombing runs that utilized the system. During one bombing run Griggs found himself hanging from the bottom of the plane after kicking open a blocked bomb bay door.

Here's What I Found out This Week
Grigg's did more than serve as a radar advisor. His wartime duties provided Griggs with a rather unique civilian privilege: clearance to fly over wartime Europe. Griggs made use of this privilege to shuttle scientists for the Alsos mission. The soldiers and scientists of the Alsos mission, (a predecessor to Operation Paperclip), captured and interrogated German A-bomb scientists. Samuel Goudsmit--one of the physicists who literally got the electron spin equations half right[2]--was the technical leader of the mission

Griggs would go on to lead his own scientific retrieval mission in Japan[4]. One of his cohorts on the mission was Karl Taylor Compton, brother of Arthur Compton of scattering fame, but who is better known around here for his water based Foucault Pendulum![3]

Here's what else I'd like to know
Why did Bahnson know Griggs at all? I've found evidence that he attended school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and that he knew about, (or should have known about), the Harvard society of Junior Fellows[5]. I haven't found any evidence yet though that Bahnson was ever a student at Harvard.

How close were Bahnson and Griggs after 1936? Bahnson mentions Griggs in reference to some of Bahnson's thoughts on anti-gravity. He seems to mention him as a bit of a bona-fides as he's asking Bryce and Cecile Morette-DeWitt to take the helm of the Institute for Field Physics which Bahnson helped get started at his alma-mater in North Carolina. Did Bahnson and Griggs sit around swapping gravity theories over brandies and cigars? Did Griggs feel that any of Bahnson's theories held any water? I don't know... yet.
Reference 4 (about Griggs' Japan mission) comes from this 1947 book, "Combat Scientists", which unfortunately is not viewable.
https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=8gQ1AAAAIAAJ

Reference 1, cited on this blog post, for the Bahnson/Griggs story is this 23 page, 1994 memoir:
David Tressel Griggs 1911—1974
A Biographical Memoir by Ivan A. Getting and John M. Christie.
https://www.nasonline.org/publications/ ... -david.pdf
David Griggs was born October 6, 1911, in Columbus, Ohio... It was natural for Dave to spend his first year of college (1928-29) at the George Washington University. His interests were in things mechanical and in physics. His next three years of undergraduate work were at Ohio State University (1929-32)... The next year (1933), he served as an assistant in the Geology Department at Harvard, and the following year he was appointed a junior fellow of the recently created Society of Fellows... Dave was reappointed after the first term of three years and served the following two years until he was called to support the war effort against Nazi Germany. Among his colleagues in the society were to be found many scholars who continued to distinguish themselves in later years: James Baker, renowned astronomer and optical designer; John Bardeen, twice Nobel prize winner in physics (transistors and theory of superconductivity); James Fisk, president of Bell Telephone Laboratories; Henry Guerlac, historian of science; Paul Samuelson, Nobel prize winner in economics; Stanislaw Ulam, mathematician and coinventor of the hydrogen bomb; Robert Woodward, chemist and Nobel prize winner (synthesis of quinine); Willard Van Quine, mathematical logician; Fred Skinner, psychologist; Garrett Birkhoff, mathematician; E. Bright Wilson, chemist; and others. ...
Dave Griggs and one of the authors (I.A.G.) were assigned to Leverett House. There were four suites on each floor, and Dave and I found ourselves neighbors... Another resident on "our floor" was Agnew Bahnson, a well-to-do (by our standards) student who owned a Buick roadster.
So yeah. What the heck was Agnew Bahnson (heir to a minor industrial air conditioning empire) doing at Harvard, in the company of such interesting people, if he wasn't attending there?
In the summer of 1936, Agnew and Dave set out to go mountain climbing in the Caucasus Mountains, a mountain chain linking the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea—a new range to climb and study. The trip is worth mentioning in this biography because it tells a lot about Dave and because the accompanying events had a profound impact on the rest of his life.

The road stretches straight ahead, a long ribbon of concrete, the artery of the North Hungarian plain. We are heading eastward to Bucharest,
Odessa, Tiflis, and the mysteries of the Caucasus. We stretch out to make up some of the time we have lost. The cyclist appears from nowhere,
immediately ahead of us. Bon (Agnew) swings the wheel quick as light for the bare chance that we can swerve enough to miss him. We almost miss
him and then I see the tree looming up. There is nothing more—all is quiet. Bon is no longer in the seat beside me. I see him stretched out in the middle of the road beside the car. Then I became conscious of a searing pain in my legs. They are caught between the seat and the radio as the body of the car telescoped. I can't even move my feet. Then I see the blood everywhere. No wonder I can't move them. My legs are like sacks of
flour. Those legs that served so well going up the Matterhorn only a few weeks ago—are they no longer mine? [6]


After many delays and hardships, Dave and Agnew were transported to Budapest. Agnew had brain concussions and hemorrhages from which he fully recovered. Dave had compound fractures in both legs, the left knee was dislocated, and he had serious lacerations on both elbows. The Budapest
surgeons recommended amputation. Dave would not acept the advice. He was moved to Vienna, where the same recommendations were repeated. Finally, his mother, Laura, brought him back to the United States on the Queen Mary. Dr. Smith-Peterson, at the Massachusetts General Hospital,
performed innumerable operations, and much time elapsed. Dave's indomitable spirit prevailed, and in a few years he was not only walking but skiing in the mountains he loved so much.
Reference 6 here is "Unpublished notes of David T. Griggs."
The automobile accident had another critical impact on Dave's career. Agnew's father had carried special insurance because of the hazardous nature of the contemplated trip to the Caucasus in the southern USSR. The insurance company awarded $15,000 to Dave as compensation for his
suffering. With this money he purchased a Luscumbe airplane and became a pilot. So while at first he could not climb his mountains, now he could fly around and over them. And it was this situation that brought Dave, as pilot and owner of the Luscumbe, into the war effort.
Bahnson and Griggs might well have had quite a deep connection because of this shared accident.

A question one immediately asks: Two elite students (at least one of them a genuine Harvard student) travelling in the USSR in 1936. Much like Peter Fleming around the same time. Like Fleming, did they potentially have something else going on than just mere sightseeing?
Dave Griggs's contributions to national defense in World War II were manifold: first at the MIT Radiation Laboratory and then as expert consultant to the Secretary of War... in 1940 the Army Air Corps had no planes to spare for experiments... "I then remembered my best friend, Dave Griggs, from the Society of Fellows. So Dave was cleared for access to radar and for ten dollars an hour flew his plane over Boston and Cambridge as a target for our tracking experiments."
Ivan A Getting is the "I" there.
Dave became immersed in the possible contributions of radar in air warfare, and in June 1941 took leave from Harvard to join the staff of the Radiation Laboratory... Because of Dave's special interest in aircraft, he was appointed program manager of the airborne version, which went into production as the AGL-1.... he transferred in July 1942 to Washington as an expert consultant to the Secretary of War—operating through a special office that had been established by Secretary Stimson under the leadership of Edward Bowles. Dave's assignment from Dr. Bowles was to do whatever was necessary to further the introduction and effect the most efficient use of radar in the war against the enemies of the United States... Dave
spent most of his time with the operational commands, at first with the Strategic Air Forces in Europe. While working directly with the commanders, such as General Pete Quesada, Jimmie Doolittle, and Tooey Spatz, he flew both training and combat missions introducing airborne bombing radar systems. .. in a later tactical mission over northern Italy, he was hit by a 20- millimeter shell from an enemy plane; and for this he received the Purple Heart Medal—though a noncombatant.
In the 1944-45 period, following the invasion of the continent, Dave turned his attention also to the Tactical Air Forces, particularly the IXth, and in that connection became involved in the overall tactical use of radar and electronic control of toss bombing as well as radar control of fighters using the Radiation Laboratory-developed microwave ground radars: the MEW and SCR-584... While he was in the European theater, Dave established
the role of critical communications link and personal emissary between the theater commanders, such as Doolittle, Vandenberg, Twining, Spatz, and the leaders back at home such as General Arnold, Secretary Stimson, Dr. Bowles, Assistant Secretary for Air Bob Lovett, Dr. Vannevar Bush (head of the Office of Scientific Research and Development [OSRD]), and others.. For his working contributions, President Truman, on April 15, 1946, presented Dave Griggs with the Medal for Merit— the highest award of the nation given to a civilian for service during a declared war.
In 1947 he was instrumental in setting up the RAND Corporation and became the first head of the Physics Department. As a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and as chief scientist of the Air Force (1951-52), he labored for a better understanding of the effects of nuclear
weapons, development of the hydrogen bomb, and establishment of underground testing of nuclear weapons.
The early 1950s were characterized by the great debate as to whether the United States should develop thermonuclear weapons.. Dave Griggs, while chief scientist of the Air Force, projected the official position of the Air Force in support of such a development, including the establishment of a second AEC laboratory, the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory at Livermore, California.
In 1948 he was induced by Professor Louis B. Slichter, director of the Institute of Geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles, to accept an appointment as professor of geophysics at the institute, a position he held, except for relatively short leaves of absence, until his death.
tldr: Yes, Agnew Hunter Bahnson Jr *was* very politically connected to secret military science projects, if we take Dave Griggs to be the connection. So that's one step towards the Dulles Brothers and away from the Space Brothers.

Agnew Jr's father (Agnew Hunter Bahnson Sr) was religious, a member of the Moravian church, as other Bahnson ancestors had been. I'm not sure exactly where Moravians fit on the American conservative vs liberal spectrum (the Quakers, for example, overlap with Spiritualism), but it feels doubtful that they would overlap very strongly with the post-Blavatskian Theosophies of 1950s California. In his lab notebook, Agnew Jr writes of attending church in January 1958.

And yet that one journal entry (May 1, 1958) about meditating "possibly with the help of the Brothers", which remains for me unambiguously post-Theosophical/Adamskian in its thought and wording.

Edit: Searching Bahnson, I see Stan Deyo (or someone claiming to be him) wandered into this forum back in the Before Times: August 18, 2008. It seems like he only made the one comment, talking about his relationship with Townsend Brown and with the Bahnson family. And of course, his strange claim to have been part of a saucer design group led by Edward Teller circa 1971.

viewtopic.php?p=17550#p17550

What frustrates me quite a lot, looking back at events like the 1957 Chapel Hill conference and academic histories (like Dean Rickles') of Bahnson's influence on it..... is how self-satisfied the physics academy of 2024 is for the "success" of quantum gravity. And yet, looking through the lens of practical results, quantum gravity (and the string theory that it birthed) feels more like a resounding failure. What exactly is there to be proud about, in gravity research today? What has actually been achieved?

Nate
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

Post by Jan Lundquist »

Nate,

I went off in a different direction in my search for a stronger link between the Space/Dulles Brothers and Bahnson. I found that the Dulles' were raised in a Calvinist protestant sect, and thought that might have been Bahnson's Moravian denomination, but apparently not. Moravaians seemed to be way more progressive, as they ordained women, and they were originally a Lutheran subset. Their roots can be traced to the Herrnhut Colony, ca 1725, and their great promoter was German Count Zizendorf:
He regarded the Moravians as the kernel of the Herrnhut colony, and now he deliberately informed the public that, so far from being a new sect, these Moravians were descendants of an ancient Church. They were, he declared, true heirs of the Church of the Brethren; and that Church, in days gone by, had been recognized by Luther, Calvin and others as a true Church of Christ. In doctrine that Church was as orthodox as the Lutheran; in discipline it was far superior. As long, therefore, as the Brethren were allowed to do so, they would maintain their old constitution and discipline; and yet, on the other hand, they would not be Dissenters. They were not Hussites; they were not Waldenses; they were not Fraticelli; they honoured the Augsburg Confession; they would still attend the Berthelsdorf Parish Church; and, desirous of cultivating fellowship with all true Christians, they announced their broad position in the sentence: “We acknowledge no public Church of God except where the pure Word of God is preached, and where the members live as holy children of God.” Thus Zinzendorf made his policy fairly clear. He wanted to preserve the Moravian Church inside the Lutheran Church!85
https://ccel.org/ccel/hutton/moravian/moravian.v.v.html

I doubt the Brethren and the Brothers were the same in Bahnson's mind, but I'm keeping all options open for now.
"Tonight 9:58 p.m. I have been meditating the A.C. or R.F. exploitation, possibly with the help of the Brothers. I have missed them for several weeks."
Here is what I read into that:

Bahnson wants to propose an experiment to "exploit" (enhance, maybe?) a feature of something that has come out of his lab. His thinks that this might best be done in space. NASA had not yet been formally created, at the time he was writing this, but he has been trying to contact a couple of the Shakers and Movers in the aborning space program, and keeps missing them.

It has occurred to me that though the Dulles brothers are the most well known, there was another set of brothers who might qualify as the Space Brothers. The Redman brothers were in Naval Communications and Naval intelligence in WWII. I haven't traced their later careers, but knowing that the Navy tried in 1946 and 1948, to get the USAF on board for a joint space program, I wonder if they had their fingers in those proposals. If they were sill influential in 1958, they may more be likely candidates than the Dulles'.



I too have trouble discerning name of the person he is going to ask for a layman's opinion, but think it looks like David Grigg. Thanks for the background on him. Damn interesting guy!

I know nothing about Harvard residence halls, but if these are the requirements for Harvard Fellows that were in place, then, Bahnson would have had to be well into a Ph.D. program in order to be accepted.
To be eligible for a Junior Fellowship, a candidate must be at an early stage of their scholarly career. People of any nationality and interested in any field of study are accepted. Most Junior Fellows receive the Ph.D. just prior to the start of the fellowship. If still pursuing the Ph.D., Junior Fellows should be at the dissertation stage of their theses and be prepared to finish their degrees within a year of becoming fellows. If already a recipient of the degree, they should ideally not be much more than a year past the Ph.D. at the time the fellowship commences. Candidates may be renominated.

The number of Junior Fellows at any one time normally is limited to thirty-six, and usually twelve are chosen each year. The term of appointment is three years, and no extensions are granted. During the academic year, Junior Fellows are required to reside in Cambridge or close-by neighboring communities and to regularly attend all of the weekly lunches and dinners. Junior Fellows are expected to work full-time in the office or lab space provided to them by the University during term time. Junior Fellows are not subject to examination, are not required to make reports, receive no credit for courses, and may not be candidates for any degree other than the Ph.D. Those who are still pursuing the Ph.D. should have completed their routine training for advanced work and should be well along in the writing of their theses before becoming Fellows. They may complete the writing of their theses and proceed to such final or special examinations as the universities of their candidacies may require, and may be granted the degree of Ph.D.

Junior Fellows are selected for their resourcefulness, initiative, and intellectual curiosity, and because their work holds exceptional promise. They are free to devote their entire time to productive scholarship. They may undertake sustained projects of research or other original work, or they may devote their time to the acquisition of accessory disciplines, so as to prepare themselves for the investigation of problems lying between conventional fields. Because of this complete freedom of choice and action, it is important that candidates should have demonstrated their capacity for independent work.
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

Post by natecull »

Here is what I read into that:

Bahnson wants to propose an experiment to "exploit" (enhance, maybe?) a feature of something that has come out of his lab. His thinks that this might best be done in space. NASA had not yet been formally created, at the time he was writing this, but he has been trying to contact a couple of the Shakers and Movers in the aborning space program, and keeps missing them.
Ok, I can see how you would come to that conclusion from that text, yes. I read "exploitation" very differently: that Agnew is thinking deeply about a pure design problem (how to modify the rig from DC to AC, in the hope that "exploiting" AC will improve the efficiency, as Townsend has suggested in some of his documents; to me, that feels like a disappointment, I think he should have continued trying to work pure DC, and if that wasn't working then he was already out of ideas). And I then read the "possibly with the help of the Brothers" as "I feel like I just had a creative idea, perhaps it was given to me telepathically".

You're reading it, however, I think, as "the technology is now working, it's time to exploit the technology outside of my lab, possibly with the help of The Brothers [very human mentors in the political realm]" which yes, would certainly be a political problem and one in the Dulles kind of world.

They are two very different readings of the text but I can see how your reading could work.

It would be nice to have more samples of just what Linda was referring to when she said that the full notebooks (and presumably other documents) were full of references to "the Brothers". I assume these documents must exist somewhere, but I haven't seen them.

I too have trouble discerning name of the person he is going to ask for a layman's opinion, but think it looks like David Grigg.
Omg! In my rush of discovering David Griggs as a link from Bahnson to the highest levels of US military science (Radar, RAND, USAF Chief Scientist, Vannevar Bush, etc) I had completely forgotten that yes, he's also named right there in the notebook! And in that same quote.

If Bahnson was thinking of Griggs as a "layman", perhaps that means that Grigg hadn't seen the lab until May 1958.

I wonder if Griggs' reaction, when he saw the lab, was the same "nope! run away!" as Witten and the DeWitts? Or did he see anything there he liked? Because if he did, he was certainly in a position to make black-project-shaped classification things happen.
Notebook 2 p 009
May 6 1958

Last night I had a call from Dave Griggs in Wash. and talked to Edward Teller. He thinks the phenomenon is in the Coulomb [carrys? cargos?] If we can prove that it is not due to transport effects or Coulomb attraction to the environment, or that it requires an earth ground for movement, it may be quite interesting. He suggested that Bryce DeWitt come up to look at the experiments and he would talk to him Thursday in Chapel Hill. Bryce is here today. I expect to see Teller in Wash. on Saturday at 11:00 PM EDT at the Hotel Washington.
Sadly, we know what the result of DeWitt looking at the experiment was, and he did indeed think it was all Coulomb force.

Still, interesting that Edward Teller was involved, and then Stan Deyo believes that the group he made contact with circa 1971 was also led by Teller. Maybe Teller had a change of heart at some point (after seeing the Fan, perhaps?)

Nate
Last edited by natecull on Wed May 01, 2024 1:10 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

Post by natecull »

Hi David. I have received your private message, and no, I have no hard feelings toward you. I've been writing in this thread specifically with you (and Henry, our other new person) in mind, trying to summarize as best as I can what we currently believe to be true about Townsend Brown and his colleagues.

However, I don't have any comments toward the unfiltered raw search link that you posted other than what I've already written. I don't do "vague hints" of the "somewhere in here might be a lead but I'm not going to explain" type. We all experienced a lot of that style of writing back in the Before Times of this forum (the 2000s), and many of those vague hints did not lead anywhere or were red herrings.

If you have any specific and relevant documents, links, or theories you would like me to comment on, then please present them. I will reply honestly to the best of my ability.

Trying not to be too grumpy, but I am an old and grumpy person when it comes to the conspiracy theories that the Net is currently drowning in. I grew up with them and I'm doing my best to aspire to be better.

Best regards, Nate
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

Post by natecull »

On notebook page 1-062, 25 January 1957, Bahnson writes:
Let us assume that the curvature of "bending stresses" from the mass of the earth cannot be altered but that these "bending stresses" from the mass of a craft which interacts with the earth stresses to provide a gravitational pull, can be altered to where they no longer interact in this manner. The craft should theoretically become weightless and be thrown from the surface of the earth by its centrifugal force rotating. This possibility is presumably what Dr Fock of Russia has shown to be a true theoretical possibility and constitutes the foundation of the graviplane which Russia says they will announce in 1958. It appears most pressing that the De Witts get [Dyson's?] review of Fock's work and determine the possibility.
Fock's "graviplane" has long been a fascinating mystery to me. The references to it are very few - mostly just a few lines in aviation magazines of 1958 (see, eg one of the few Google hits: the UK Air Pictorial and Air Reserve Gazette, PDF page 10: https://web.archive.org/web/20240305111 ... 958_03.pdf "IT is reported that Russian technicians are working on an aircraft " not subject to the laws of gravity" for space flight. Name of the aeroplane is said to be " graviplane".)

Or as David Rickles reports it, in yet another variant of his historical research papers (not in "The Price of Gravity", presumably an excerpt from "Covered With Deep Mist": "Patronage of Gravitational Physics and the Relativity Community in the USA (1949-1959)", p102 of "The Renaissance of General Relativity in Context" (2020):

https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=U7w ... J&pg=PA102
The year 1957 was notable for another reason beyond the Chapel Hill conference (on the Chapel Hill conference see DeWitt and Rickles 2011): Sputnik was launched, much to the surprise of most Americans. This had a marked effect on the funding of scientific projects, especially those involving gravitation, since gravitation was linked to aviation and spaceflight. The Cold War element cannot be underestimated, and key gravitational players were behind the Iron Curtain. Vladimir Fock was in the USSR, Leopold Infeld was in Poland, Achilles Papapetrou was in East Berlin, and Leon Rosenfeld and Jules Geheniau were considered a security risk. There was some speculation that Fock had managed to develop a new "graviplane" flight technology (based on a "lift anomaly"). This was nonsense, and presumably propaganda. [45]
45. Bahnson, Memorandum No. 1, Feb 3, 1958, CDWA. The source of the story was American Aviation magazine, which appears to have been the mouthpiece of Gravity Rand Ltd - it is difficult to probe the origins of this curious venture (I suspect that Bahnson and T. T. Brown were involved in some way, especially since Brown established a company called "Rand International Limited) - see footnote 56.
56. This group [Gravity Rand], like the Gravity Research Group, was based in London (based at address: 66 Sloane Street, London, SW1 - now housing an exclusive estate agents): it seems obvious that they are one and the same company: Aviation Studies (International) Ltd. (It might be no coincidence that T. T. Brown formed a company known as "Rand International, Ltd", this just after a spell at a Bahnson-owned company, part of Bahnson Labs, known as "Whitehall-Rand Project" - it seems plausible that Bahnson was connected to Gravity Rand, though I have been unable to verify this.
It is interesting seeing an actual professional historian of science touching Townsend Brown's network of shell companies and friends-doing-promo-bits. I feel like we managed to ferret out a few more facts though - seems like Rickles didn't locate Ed Hull, for example, and has no knowledge of either the Bahnson lab notebooks or the Gray Barker files.

I don't know why Rickles thinks American Aviation magazine was "a mouthpiece for Gravity Rand" - the magazine was founded in 1937 by Wayne William Parrish ( https://hoover.archives.gov/research/ma ... ns/parrish ), from the same stable as the later Missiles & Rockets. Perhaps he just meant the specific article - which, yes, could have been from one of Townsend's friends, but not necessarily. Or perhaps he's confusing "American Aviation" with "Aviation Studies". If the latter, that's a very poor showing as a historian.

I've forgotten, was Gravity Rand Ed Hull? One of those London companies was Ed Hull, I'm sure.

Paul, is it worth getting in touch with David Rickles? You may have a few scraps of knowledge that he doesn't have. If, that is, he cares - it is likely that he doesn't. But he seems to be the only academic who is actively working in this sector of science history.

Anyway, what Rickles didn't mention (and perhaps didn't know) is that as we can see from the Notebook 1, Bahnson was thinking about Vladimir Fock in January 1957 - not February 1958. This is that Fock:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Fock
Vladimir Aleksandrovich Fock (or Fok; Russian: Влади́мир Алекса́ндрович Фок) (December 22, 1898 – December 27, 1974) was a Soviet physicist, who did foundational work on quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics.... In 1926, he derived the Klein–Gordon equation. He gave his name to Fock space, the Fock representation and Fock state, and developed the Hartree–Fock method in 1930. He made many subsequent scientific contributions during the rest of his life. Fock developed the electromagnetic methods for geophysical exploration in a book The theory of the study of the rocks resistance by the carottage method (1933), methods called well logging in modern literature.

Fock made significant contributions to general relativity theory, specifically for the many-body problems. Fock criticised on scientific grounds both Einstein's general principle of relativity, as being devoid of physical substance, and the equivalence principle, as interpreted as the equivalence of gravitation and acceleration, as having only a local validity.

In Leningrad, Fock created a scientific school in theoretical physics and raised the physics education in the USSR through his books. He wrote the first textbook on quantum mechanics Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics (1931, 1978) and a very influential monograph The Theory of Space, Time and Gravitation (1955).
Since the "graviplane" never surfaced again after 1958, it is likely that it was, after all, "propaganda". But I remain curious as to just what it was. What Fock thought he had, or what somebody else thought he thought he had. While it probably was yet another failed gravity idea, it surprises me that after all this time, nobody has even bothered to mention anything else about it other than it was a news headline. Why is Rickles so certain that Fock's idea was, in fact, "nonsense", without knowing anything about it? (The weird "centrifugal force" claim that Bahnson mentions - yes, that does sound like nonsense. Centrifugal force doesn't apply when you're not touching the ground.)

I think it's "Dyson" that Bahnson wanted to investigate Fock, but I can't be sure. Freeman Dyson, born in 1923, would have been 34, was in the USA, and just become, or just about to become, an American citizen. He doesn't seem to have been especially qualified in General Relativity however. The next year, 1958, he would work with Edward Teller on the TRIGA reactor. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson)

I imagine however that the DeWitts were as unimpressed with Fock as they were with Townsend Brown.

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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

Post by David Osielski »

natecull wrote: Wed May 01, 2024 12:03 am I've been writing in this thread specifically with you (and Henry, our other new person) in mind, trying to summarize as best as I can what we currently believe to be true about Townsend Brown and his colleagues

Aw shucks...Thanks!
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I don't do "vague hints" of the "somewhere in here might be a lead but I'm not going to explain" type...If you have any specific and relevant documents, links, or theories you would like me to comment on, then please present them
Understood. Make sense. :D
Trying not to be too grumpy, but I am an old and grumpy person when it comes to the conspiracy theories that the Net is currently drowning in
Don't want to unleash your inner Joe Pesci :mrgreen:
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Re: About "The Space Brothers"

Post by Jan Lundquist »

Nate, Rickles would probably find Townsend's letter to Hull very informative, though it may have been meant to be performative as well.

Your post inspires me to bring up a couple of the half-cooked dumplings that bubble away my perpetual wonder-pot where the questions with no answers live.

According to the history of German WWII "ufo" projects, linked in The Dreaded UFO Topic, they Germans had constructed more than one version of the so-called Nazi Bell (De Glocken), which were divided as post-war spoils, among the Americans, the Brits, and the French. The Scout Ship supposedly resembles that craft/device.

According to a "Twigsnapper" post, Bergier came to Washington in 1953, the year that Linda first saw the silver model of the scout ship. Are these events connected?

Strangely, in Linda's memory of events, it was only after the model appeared, that Townsend asked family friend and engineering draftsman Tommy (Of Tommy and Barbara, last name forgotten) to draw up large scale plans of it it. Why did he want them and what did he do with them?

The second dumpling is this, taken from published newspapers account of the founding of NICAP. According to Townsend, he hoped the organization would be able to raise enough money to put out a magazine called Space Flight.

https://www.newspapers.com/article/the- ... 143965037/

Curiously, that was the same year the British Interplanetary Association published the first edition of their venerable SpaceFlight magazine. Perhaps that is the magazine of which Rickles was thinking.


Jan
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