Saturday, February 23, 2019

Anomalous Aerospace Phenomena; and "anti-gravity"

Anomalous Aerospace Phenomena

A conference organised by the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU) will be held between 15-17 March 2019, in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. The SCU's Facebook page, advises that attendees will include individuals from the Army Redstone Arsenal, NASA/Marshall Flight Center, local defense contractors, university professors with an interest in the subject, and members of the SCU. The conference's topic is "Anomalous Aerospace Phenomena" (AAP.)

One of the talks will concern the November 2004, USS Nimitz encounters. One of the interesting features of these incidents, is the reported ability of AAP, while being tracked on radar, to descend from 80,000 feet to near sea level, in under one second. Now, the physics of something able to do this, is to say the least, intriguing.

"Anti- gravity"

Over the years, there has been much talk about the possibility of manipulating gravity, to achieve interesting dynamics in terms of moving around in Earth's atmosphere.

This post will explore the story of a group of people who worked, by coincidence, in Huntsville, Alabama, conducting scientific research into this area. Many sites regarding the topic of "anti-gravity" refer only to popular science magazine articles for their source of information. The main such article appeared in the October 2000 issue of "Popular Mechanics" magazine, by Jim Wilson. Wilson's article opens with:

"Several highly respected physicists say it might be possible to construct a force-field machine that acts on all matter in a way that is similar to gravity. Strictly speaking, it wouldn't be an antigravity machine. But by exerting an attractive or repulsive force on all matter, it would be the functional equivalent of the impossible machine."

Popular Mechanics was invited to Ning Li's Huntsville, Alabama laboratory to view a 12 inch diameter high-temperature superconducting disc (HTSD.)  Wilson continues:

Dr Ning Li is in the centre, Larry Smalley (UAH) on the right

"Prospects for the Alabama HTSD are attracting serious attention because this particular disc was fabricated by Ning Li, one of the world's leading scientists. In the 1980's Li predicted that if a time-varying magnetic field were applied to superconductor ions trapped in a lattice structure, the ions would absorb enormous amounts of energy. Confined in the lattice, the ions would begin to rapidly spin causing each to generate a minuscule gravitational field."

"Using about one kilowatt of electricity, Li says her device could potentially produce a force-field that would effectively neutralize gravity above a 1 ft dia. disc region extending from the surface of the planet to outer space."

In the final part of the article, Wilson writes

"Although Li's theory has passed through the scientific quality-control process called peer review and the HTSD has been constructed, important technical unknowns remain. This summer Li left UAH. She and several  colleagues  are striking out on their own to commercialize devices based on her theory and a proprietary HTSD fabrication technique. Li's next step is to rise the several million dollars needed to build the induction motor that individually spins the ions in the HTSD."


The story began with the publication of a paper titled "Effects of a gravitomagnetic field on pure superconductors" by N. Li, and D G Torr, in the journal Physical Review D, volume 43, number 2, dated 15 January 1991.

Both Li and Torr were working at the Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

In this paper they "...demonstrated that, in the case of a superconductor, an external magnetic field will induce an internal gravitomagnetic field..."

At the end of the paper there is a note that "This work was supported by the Alabama EPSCoR program." This is the then named Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. The aim of the program is to provide funds to stimulate research. A search of the current website for a mention of Dr Ning Li, was unsuccessful.


The following year, a second paper by N Li and D G Torr, titled "Gravitational effects on the magnetic attenuation of superconductors" was published in Physical Review B, volume 46, number 9, dated 1 September 1992.

In it, they found:

"...that when gravitational effects are taken into account, the two historical independent traditional hallmarks  of ideal superconductors - perfect conductivity...and perfect diamagnetism characterized by zero permeability...are actually related to each other in terms of a theoretical...model developed in this paper. Our result suggests a possible importance of gravitational effects in understanding superconductivity."


Yet another joint paper appeared in 1993, titled "Gravitoelectrical electric coupling via superconductivity" in Foundations of Physics Letters, volume 6 number 4. This third paper showed:

"...that the coherent alignment of lattice ion spins will generate a detectable gravitomagnetic field, and in the presence of a time-dependent applied magnetic vector potential field, a detectable gravioelectric field..."


Following the publication of the above three papers; on 1 January 1994, Mark Kowitt, of BDM Federal Inc., authored a paper titled "Gravitomagentism and magnetic permeability in superconductors," which appeared in  Physical Review B, volume 49, number 1. This paper was  critical of the work published by Ni and Torr.

The critique included that their estimate of:

"...the magnitude of graviomagnetic effects in grossly overestimated, because the authors have misinterpreted the meaning of the magnetic permeability."

It goes on to say that:

"The authors have also proposed flawed models of the microscopic dynamics of superconductors to support their error."

In the conclusion to the paper, Kowitt writes that the fundamental error in the work of Li and Torrr results:

" an error of some 33 orders of magnitude in their calculation of the ratio of graviomagnetic field to the applied magnetic field...Finally, despite Li and Torr's claims, we must conclude that the graviomagnetic effect in superconductors remains undetectably small."


The journal, Physica C, volume 281, pp 260-267, carried an article titled "Static test for a gravitational force coupled to type II YBCO superconductors." It was authored by Ning Li, and several employees of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center named David Noever, Tony Robertson, Ron Koczor and Whitt Brantley. The article includes:

"...the maximum contribution to a change in gravity of a static superconductor in a constant magnetic field was measured as less than 2 parts in 10 to the 8th of the normal gravitational acceleration...the rotating version of this experiment will be reported in subsequent works."

"This result puts new limits on the strength and range of the proposed coupling between static superconductors and gravity."


I located a page on the 1998 website for the University of Alabama, at Huntsville, for the then named the Center for Space Plasma, Aeronomy and Astrophysics, which listed Dr Ning Li. The 24 April 1999 page shows her still there. Problems with using the Way back machine prevented me checking when she failed to be listed there. 


"Comments on "gravitoelectric-electric coupling in a superconductor" by Douglas G Torr and Ning Li" authored by Edward G Harris of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, appeared in Foundations of Physics Letters, volume 12, number 2. The abstract reads:

"Torr and Li claim to have shown that experimentally detectable gravitomagnetic and gravitoelectrical fields can be generated in a superconductor. We review their calculations and show that because of unrealistic assumptions the fields that they calculate are too large by many orders of magnitude."

The main article includes:

"In some articles published in the popular has been suggested that the research published by Li and Torr may explain the experimental results reported by Podkletnov and Nieminen...It is claimed that in these experiments the weight of a body suspended above a rotating superconductor was reduced by about 1%. It should be clear from my calculations that...are too small by some 20 orders of magnitude to account for such a reduction."

Also in 1999

Li is reported to have left the University of Alabama, at Huntsville and started up a private company named AC Gravity, LLC. The company address at that time, was given as 511 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, Alabama, with an email address of However, a search of the Secretary of State, Alabama business entity record system, failed to locate such a registered company today.



"The total project began with an air of optimism in that the necessary apparatus for the adopted objectives could be quickly and easily assembled. Not surprisingly, technological difficulties were encountered by all parties and it has proven impossible to complete the challenging experiments in the terms of the Cooperative Agreement...After the first year of effort under the Cooperative Agreement, limited activity continued at UAH for some months under a no-cost extension. It as much as not continuation funding was received, and MSFC discontinued efforts on its tasks of the cooperative scope, the envisioned final experiments and measurements could not be completed."


A document titled "Department of Defense Annual Report on Cooperative Agreements and Other Transactions Entered into During FY2001 Under 10USC 2371" indicates that Dr Li's company  received US Government funding in 2001. The entry reads:

Agreement number: DAA H01-01-9-R001
Type of agreement: Other Transaction for Prototype.
Title: Gravito-Electro Magnetic Superconductor experiment.
Awarding office: US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) AMSAM-AC-RD-BA
Awardee: AC Gravity, LLD.
Effective date: 25 Apr 2001.
Completion date: 25 Sep 2002.
US Government dollars: $448,970.
Non government dollars: $0
Dollars returned to government: $0.
Technical objective of the effort including the technical areas in which the program was conducted:

Approximately 10 years ago Dr Ning Li, then a research physicist at the University of Alabama, at Huntsville, began working on a theoretical model of forces generated by type II superconductors and the possibility of generating and controlling significant gravitational forces via this new theory. The basic idea of Dr Li's is that a superconducting disc will produce a significant gravitational field if a certain type of magnetic field is externally applied.

This Other Transaction will represent the first attempt to experimentally confirm some of the theoretical predictions of the theory. it is hoped that providing experimental confirmation of the theory to the scientific community will validate the theory and allow the securing of further funding to develop the practical approach of the theory.

Extent to which the cooperative agreement or other transaction has contributed to a broadening of the Technology and industrial base available for meeting Department of Defense needs

This Other Transaction will allow the principal researcher (Dr Li) to attempt experimental verification of a theoretical model of forces generated by type II superconductors and the possibility of generating and controlling significant gravitational forces via this new theory. If successful, the payoffs would be enormous, ie the ability to generate gravitational forces artificially would allow for new forms of propulsion, new ways of controlling missiles and gun launched munitions, the lowering of weight of heavy vehicles ( ie making a 70 ton tank appear to =weigh much less) and the potential of deflecting or countering the guidance systems of missiles which rely on inertial guidance ( like theatre or intercontinental ballistic missiles). If unsuccessful this area can be eliminated from further efforts and would put to rest the controversy surrounding these theories."

Extent to which the cooperative agreement or other transaction within the technology and industrial base new relationships and practises that support the national security of the USA:

The company AC Gravity Inc., owned by Dr Li is considered to be a non traditional contractor in that the company has not previously had any government grants or assistance instruments, such as grants or cooperative agreements. 

The potential of the cutting edge technology that is hoped to result form the confirmation of the experiment being conducted  under this effort of primary interest tot he government. The use of an other transaction  is viewed as an appropriate means of attracting this company in its initial endeavour to do business with the Government because it ease most of the 'red tape" that AC Gravity and other contractors associate with doing government business. The success of this experiment would be of enormous value to DOD weapon and weapons systems.


In a document titled "Review of Electrogravitics & Electrokinetics Propulsion" authored by Thomas F Valone, in 2015, there is a statement that "It is noted that Ning Li was the Chair of the 2003 Gravitational Wave Conference sponsored by the Mitre Corporation think tank in Virginia."  I found a reference by Dr Robert Baker which states "...with Ning Li as an honorary co-chair." 

In addition, I did locate one of the papers given at that conference, titled "Application of High Frequency Gravitational Waves to imaging" authored by Robert M L Baker. In the introduction, Baker writes:

"According to some pioneering analyses of Ning Li and David Torr (1), the speed of a gravitational wave is reduced in a superconductor. Their result is not controversial. Their article was peer reviewed by C A Lundqist, C M Will and Jeeva Anandan; and has had no opposing articles published since it appeared over a decade ago." 

Reference (1) is shown as the Li and Torr 1992 paper described above.

My comment:

The statement about no opposing articles fails to mention the opposing 1994 and 1999 papers cited above.

An aside - Robert Baker - 2008

In October 2008, the Mitre Corporation wrote a very detailed report for the Defense Intelligence Agency on the topic of "High Frequency Gravitational Waves." In part it stated:

"Our main conclusions are that the proposed applications of the science of HFGW are fundamentally wrong...we conclude that previous analyses of the Li-Baker detector concept is incorrect by many orders of magnitude...and that the following are infeasible in the foreseeable future...Vehicle propulsion by HFGW."

(Note: that the Li mentioned here, is not our Dr Ning Li.)

A second aside - Robert Baker - 2009

Dr Robert Baker, authored one of the 38 Defense Intelligence Reference Documents, prepared for the Defense Intelligence Agency under the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program contract. IT was titled "Gravity Wave Communications."

What happened to Dr Ning Li?

There have been various, and divergent pieces of information, as to what happened to her.

1. Working for the DoD as at 2004.

A 21 July 2004 email reportedly from Eugene Podkletnov to Timothy Ventura, included:

"All I can tell you is that Ning is all right, she is working for DoD and therefore is not permitted to discuss her work openly...she phoned me a couple of times this year and we had some brief exchanges of opinion on superconductors and their structure. Ning still has an apartment in Huntsville but I do not know where her lab is..."

2. Unknown as at 2008.

A purported email dated 8 February 2008 from Dr Robert Baker to "Mike," an Above Top Secret website user named "bigfatfurrytexan" stated:

"Dear Mike. I really appreciate your interest in High Frequency Gravitational Waves. I have not heard from Dr Ning Li for several years...At the time I was evaluating her work on HFGWs/superconductors for the US Army. According to them she never presented them with a final report on the $500,000 contract that they paid her. I have no idea where she is or what she is doing..."

In the CV on his website, Dr Robert Baker notes that he was "appointed to the Academic Review Committee on Gravitational Research with the U.S. Army (Redstone Arsenal) from 2001 to 2003."

3. Medical condition.

A purported February email from Dr Ronald J Koczor to "Mike," an Above Top Secret website user named "bigfatfurrytexan" states:

"Thanks for the note. But I'm afraid I can't help you much. I haven't seen Ning Li for almost 8 years. When she left UAH, she went to the Baltimore area for some medical reason...Someone told me she came back to Huntsville a few years later, but we never had any contact since we ended our work together in the mid 90's."


  1. Regarding Baker’s claim that ‘their result was NOT controversial’, the justification offered is far from sufficient. Passing peer review counts for something in terms of methods and theoretical intelligibility, but certainly does not indicate that the FINDINGS are not controversial. A lack of responses (if accurate) can mean any number of things. Very often, a paper advancing claims perceived as outlandish and, more significantly, unpromising by the relevant scientific community will simply be ignored. Given the obvious utility of the conclusion arrived at, widespread acceptance would likely have produced a flurry of publications, whereas silence (other than the dissenting publications) indicates a lack of interest, most likely due to a perception of fatal error.

  2. Just an update since I dont see it mentioned. She died this summer.


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