Black technology

CNN has a brief article about the military’s secret technology research, termed “black technology”. According to the article, Boeing’s working on anti-gravity stuff.

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

Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer says it is working on anti-gravity propulsion, which could revolutionize conventional aviation.

If the science underpinning the program can be made into reality, it will be the biggest thing to hit the aviation industry since the Wright Brothers.

“GRASP,” or Gravity Research for Advanced Space Propulsion, was only recently reported in Jane’s Defence Weekly, but the U.S. military may have had the technology for years.

The National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), based in Nevada, say that mysterious U.S. military craft using this kind of technology have been skirting the skies since the 1980s.

They’ve been holding out on us. We could have had the flying cars by now. I wonder what else they’re working on? My money’s on Death Rays!

Dang. If it wasn’t on CNN I would have said it was just a lot of hooey. Anti-gravity propulsion! Any physics types on Qt3 who can give a brief explanation on how this might actually work?

I vaguely remember something from a couple years back about using super-conductor technology or some such to reduce an item’s apparent weight. Anybody remember this?

  • Alan

A russian scientist said he found a “gravity shielding” effect through using superconductors. No one has been able to reproduce the results, and it has all the hallmarks of junk science.

They build little contraptions out of balsa and foil that float when a current is passed through them. Other than that I don’t know about anything. It would be super cool if this is true, though.

ALL THE WORLD WILL TREMBLE BEFORE OUR GHOSTLY FLEET OF BALSA TRIANGLES, A WAR MACHINE LIKE NO OTHER!

Heh. Hey, Denny already posted about the little model airplanes we’re making that will fly around and bomb stuff.

I remember reading a story about spinning superconducting disks. A single disk reduced apparent weight by something like 1%, but if you put two on top of each other the effect stacked and you got 2% reduction. Whether the article was true and, even if it was, whether it has anything to do with this CNN stuff, I have no clue. But I want my goddamn Battlestar Galactica flying motorcycle, and I want it now.

I’d settle for the Cyclone Ride Armor from Robotech: The New Generation.

Who wouldn’t want a motorcycle that doubled as powered body armor and possessed an arsenal that could wipe out a small 3rd world nation?

IMO antigravity is totally bogus if it is based on nothing more than that Russian scientist’s experiment. While it has been some years, and my memory may be faulty, I seem to recall looking at the paper he wrote on it, and as I recall it didn’t even mention half a dozen obvious issues that might have produced that awesome 1% “gravity shielding” effect, including effects of electromagnetic induction from nearby equipment and even of simple ferromagnetism on the very light superconducting masses or on the scale itself, which had to be very awkwardly positioned in a system spinning through a high gauss magnetic field in order to measure the effect in the first place.

Without much more significant results, peer-reproducible experiments which rule out obvious forms of error, and theory to back it up, I can’t imagine why anyone would waste their time on this stuff.

“During the Reagan administration it was the height of black technology spending, Clinton scaled back but it is deemed to rise again under Bush,” says Cook.

WTF, this isn’t even English…

Those things don’t work because of anti-gravity - they don’t operate in a perfect vacuum, which indicates more mundane explanations for why they work.

Mind you, I’ve seen an UFO like the Mexico City one close up and hovering - so you never know…

Man, I thought this was one of those revisionist afro-centric articles…

Read Nick Cook’s The Hunt for Zero Point, very interesting. The guy is no kook, he’s a Jane’s Defense Group writer and knows his stuff. The book gets a little freaker as it goes on, but in the end… well he doesn’t find crap for the most part, but it sure felt like he got near.

One of more central themes is that, just like the reactions in this thread, to quantify gravity-defeating or -lessening technology as “anti-gravity” is surely the death knell of said project; people will criticize and villify it to the point where no one associated with it can do anything useful, so they hide it a variety of synonyms and euphemisms while they quitely go about their research.

Usually the research is not ‘black’ but not really open either, though if folks poke around they can usually find out (he describes one such directed-energy weapon project) about it and see it if you have the credentials… one day a discovery is made, voila, and the project disappears. Poof. It never existed. Welcome to the ‘black’ world.

While it’s not possible to prove or disprove it, there’s definitely enough around to say that’s probably where some projects go.

Anyway, Cook goes into a lot of stuff, some of it is very compelling, others is not - he doesn’t seem to realize that Hal Puthoff (sp) was an ESP/remote viewing (maybe he did and I just blocked it out) nutcase whose research methods were crucified by skeptics twenty years ago. Unfortunately Puthoff is one of bigger sources in the book.

Overall though, I recommend it. Just came out in paperback a few weeks ago.

— Alan

Most UFOs which are seen by whackos in the Nevada desert and elsewhere which are not imagined or natural phenomena are probably tests of just this type of vehicle. Silent, able to hover, and fast. I mean seriously if you have a vertical take off and landing setup using silent anti-grav you can do the rest with conventional blah stuff.

Saw my UFO :-) in North Wales of all places - right next to an RAF airbase. Hmmm.

I wasn’t even drunk - and my wife saw it too. It was so close we could see surface details and lights. It rotated with a slight wobble - and when it moved, it was very, very fast. And, no, it wasn’t venus, or a weather balloon. This thing was big.

So do you think this UFO was man-made?

I’ve never seen a UFO or a ghost or anything. The world doesn’t show me its secrets.

UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object. So, just because you didn’t know what it was, doesn’t make it an Alien Invasion!

If there was any new and exotic technology or scientific breakthrough that was successful to the point of actually capable of propelling a vehicle I think it is hugely improbable that it could be kept secret for any significant length of time.

For example, I can’t believe that a government or industry antigravity or gravity-manipulation system could have been developed without the entire world knowing about it by now.

These days very little science occurs in a vacuum because some lone researcher or small project team makes a breakthrough on its own. However, it does happen. Even granting the possibility that some Faraday or Tesla off by himself somewhere made that breakthrough, though, the engineering effort to transform new science into working technology that could for example propel a vehicle is gigantic and I think impossible in this day and age to conceal for long.

I think that first of all most of the “black program” documenters are just fringe wackos. Janes does not impress me. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was also a lot of deliberate disinformation spread about top-secret and trade-secret research programs – just look at the silliness surrounding Kamen’s “Ginger” project. Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was despite all objections a certain level of military and industry interest in possible new exotic technologys and fringe-science breakthroughs, and that relatively low level of interest in mere possible may often be misinterpreted by enthusiasts as an active R&D program. For example, it would have been foolish for people not to investigate Pons and Fleischman’s claims, but if some Navy research lab, or Mitre, or SRI or whomever does check the claims, that doesn’t mean there is really an active cold fusion program.

I don’t think anyone knew about the Military’s “Pain Beam” technology until they unvieled it. Frankly, I wouldn’t be suprised if the military has some really crazy future tech nearing completion that everyone but the personnel working on them doesn’t know of.

It happens all the time. Lots of things are kept secret, hidden away, and tucked in a corner. The fact that you don’t hear about them is exactly the point.

I think that first of all most of the “black program” documenters are just fringe wackos. Janes does not impress me. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was also a lot of deliberate disinformation spread about top-secret and trade-secret research programs – just look at the silliness surrounding Kamen’s “Ginger” project. Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was despite all objections a certain level of military and industry interest in possible new exotic technologys and fringe-science breakthroughs, and that relatively low level of interest in mere possible may often be misinterpreted by enthusiasts as an active R&D program. For example, it would have been foolish for people not to investigate Pons and Fleischman’s claims, but if some Navy research lab, or Mitre, or SRI or whomever does check the claims, that doesn’t mean there is really an active cold fusion program.

Another underlying theme of the book is that there is a concerted disinformation campaign. Finding out the truth from the disinformation, as Cook already knows and writes about, is very hard. Thanks for making in-depth criticisms on a book you haven’t read, though.

I think you are incorrect about Kamen’s “Ginger” - the disinformation was not spread by he or his people, but by the media and whatever gross speculations people like you and me publicly made.

— Alan

I think the gross speculation started when he claimed it would revolutionize the world. People just took the next logical step and made guesses on what kind of shit we didn’t have that would be really neato-keen.

I lay the blame squarely at his feet for turning on the current to the speculation machine.