The Forgotten Genius of Townsend Brown And His Flying Saucer Technology

Townsend in labby Gaston Burridge (1958)

Townsend-Brown-4-postThomas Townsend Brown has been flying strange metal saucer-like discs of his own secret design and make for more than 30 years – some big ones too, up to 30 inches in diameter!

Mostly, Brown has flown his discs in good old common air. The discs are tethered to a mast or pole and the thin, double-saucer-like things fly a circle around and around the mast in free flight.

Only a slight hum is audible as they fly. In the dark they glow with an eerie lavender light, revealing their motive power which is a kind of electricity.

Many scientists and engineers have watched these discs fly. Under their breath, and sometimes out loud, most of them have said the force which makes Brown’s discoids spin is one which every high-school physics student knows about – “Electric Wind” – and not a new principle Brown has discovered at all!

One engineer told me, “The whole thing is so screwball I don’t want to even talk about it!” Another said, “The device is only about one-tenth of one percent efficient.” Both these statements have since been proved incorrect! Most other engineers object to the lack of mathematical substantiation presented by Brown. To engineers and scientists one equation is worth a thousand words! But even an equation is of little use unless it has values assigned to at least some of its main parts. When these were not forthcoming, from a technical point of view, it appeared Brown was walking on straw legs.

Then recently Brown went to France. Under what was virtually a French Government sponsored program of research, Air-France successfully flew some of the Brown discs in a HIGH VACUUM!

And that took all the “electric wind” out of the previously dissenting sails. These tests were of a highly secret nature and, because of this, and, because they were made in a foreign nation, their results REMAIN CLASSIFIED.

One by one, U.S. engineering and scientific heads are beginning to show above the storm cellars. It is now quietly admitted that perhaps Brown may have something after all!

One thing he DOES have which he has not had before is a sponsor! Perhaps that is the reason for the heads showing from the cellars. There is nothing quite like having financial backing.

What do Brown’s inventions mean? Another kind, type, or arrangement of high-speed flight, both within our own atmosphere and in the space beyond it!

How will it compare as a motive force with the rocket motors and the jet engines of today? Of course, we cannot say yet but there is nothing to indicate Brown’s method will not compete most favorably with them. Brown’s method has definite “anti-gravitic potentials’ which their rockets or jets do not have. Because of present patent situations many details of the Brown system must be by-passed here, but it seems they represent no small item in the total picture of space flight.

Biefeld Brown Effect DiagramSince 1923 Brown and his family have spent nearly $250,000 of their own funds on experiments and research into the mysteries of that strangest of strange electrical phenomenon, the “Biefeld-Brown Effect”. Electrical literature contains few writings on this subject, mostly because Brown has maintained a tight grip on the information and has not seen fit to write on the matter scientifically or otherwise. No one else has seemed inclined to research the matter. What is more American scientific journals are open to few ideas that DO NOT ORIGINATE with men CONNECTED WITH LARGE UNIVERSITY or COMMERCIAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES!

I first heard of Townsend Brown and his Biefeld-Brown Effect from Mr. Arlin C. Hauser. Hauser is a designer and builder of fine technical instruments in Pasadena who doesn’t hold an idea at arms-length because it is “new”. Hauser furnished me a copy of a monograph titled, “A SIMPLIFIED EXPLANATION OF THE APPLICATION OF THE BIEFELD-BROWN EFFECT TO THE SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEMS OF SPACE NAVIGATION”. This monograph was published by Dr. Mason Rose, president of the University for Social Research, Los Angeles, but was actually written, I learned later, by Mr. Bradford Shank, a nuclear scientist, formally of Los Alamos, now engaged in engineering work for a Los Angeles aircraft valve manufacturer.

Some of the information set forth in this monograph rang a bell way back in my memory.

Between 1919 and 1925 I was “errand boy” in a laboratory conducting experiments with high potential, high frequency alternating currents. We were playing with a million volts at 750,000 cycles per second! A new type of electrical condenser had been built and was to be tested. It was hooked into the circuit but was not “bolted down” – it was heavy.

The director stood at the switchboard; the rest of us at a respectful distance away. The switch was thrown. There was a hum, a bursting flash of green and purple light, a loud bang, a violent lurch and twist of the new condenser and that piece of apparatus lay a smoking ruin! The director said, “Gentlemen, our baby has grown up!”

It is this movement manifest in an electrical condenser which is the essence of the Biefeld-Brown Effect. This movement makes the Effect highly interesting as an anti-gravitic force!

Townsend in lab twoThe Biefeld-Brown Effect says an electrical condenser, when charged, will MOVE TOWARD its positive pole and remain so positioned UNTIL DISCHARGED, if free to do so, regardless of WHICH POLE or WHICH SIDE of the dielectric is made positive.

This movement does not disregard the time-honored “law” which indicates every action carries within it an equal reaction. The reaction, as in gravitation, is present BUT NOT OBVIOUS. The reaction is a finite but vanishingly small movement of all the other matter in the Universe. But the nearest masses are affected first and most!

The Effect was first observed when the condenser plates were charged with a DIRECT CURRENT. But the experience noted above, which was observed subsequently during other experiments, indicates something of the same phenomenon is present when condensers are charged with ALTERNATING current also – but probably not as effectively or as lastingly.

biefeld-brown-effect-4-postWhile these alternating current condenser MOVEMENTS were noted at the time, especially when the condensers were initially charged after a long and complete discharge, those directing the research then believed the movements were due to resonances set up within the apparatus by the 60-cycle feed currents. Thus, this phenomenon, though noted, was never investigated by the group to which I was attached.

This electrical condenser movement is believed to have been first perceived and examined by Dr. Paul Alfred Biefeld, professor of physics and astronomy, Denison University, Granville, Ohio, sometime before 1923.

However, search of the Denison University’s own published scientific records does not indicate Dr. Biefeld wrote anything regarding this discovery while there. Dr. Lawrence Biefeld, a son of Dr. Paul Alfred Biefeld, writes me that he does not recall his father ever having mentioned discovering such an effect! However, Mr. Bradford Shank who has been intimately associated with several phases of the Townsend Brown Foundation and its work for several years relates that Dr. Biefeld did originate the initial research into the Effect itself and also directed Townsend Brown, then a student at Denision University, in Brown’s early interest in the matter.

Biefeld Brown Effect Diagram twoAlthough the Effect may have been recognized first by Dr. Biefeld, a greater part of the development research and ALL the practical application of it has been carried on by Brown – mostly at his own expense, over a period of more than 30 years.

Apparently the Effect was named by someone else writing a report on the subject. But had it not been for Townsend Brown’s long interest and research this Effect might remain unrecorded and unexploited still!

Evidence indicates the entire Universe, from the greatest systems of stars and their planets down to the smallest atom and its parts – hydrogen – operates on only three basic forces – electricity, magnetism and gravitation. These three forces may be entirely separate and different or they may be only different phases of the same force, a Universal force we have not yet distinguished as such. Regardless of this, we know the relationship between electricity and magnetism and we know this relationship is brought about and maintained by the very simple COIL OF WIRE!

It is quite possible, through the Biefeld-Brown Effect, we have come upon the relationship between electricity and gravitation, a relationship being brought about and maintained through the very simple electrical condenser!

If each of these three forces is considered separately, we find little of practical value in any of them! It is only through combinations of two, and perhaps more, that we begin to use them.

Townsend-Brown-Notebook-notes-4-postAside from the researches into the Biefeld-Brown Effect carried on by Mr. Brown, science has done practically nothing toward developing the relationship between electricity and gravitation.

Most scientists today will admit a weak COUPLING EFFECT DOES EXIST BETWEEN GRAVITATION AND ELECTRICITY but any practical use of this coupling effect they deny!

Standing almost alone in this belief Mr. Brown has maintained his position regarding the matter stubbornly, faithfully, and devotedly.

If a simple, two-plate electrical condenser is suspended by a cord in such a way as to allow it complete freedom to to move in any direction, except downward of course, and this condenser is charged with the proper amount and pressure of direct electric current the instrument will swing TOWARD the side holding the POSITIVE CHARGE.

If this same condenser is discharged, the positive and negative wires switched and connected oppositely, when recharged the condenser will swing in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

If the condenser is placed upon one side of a balanced beam with enough weight opposite it to continue the balance and if the positive pole is pointed up, when the condenser is charged the weight on the opposite side of the beam will fall and the entire condenser WILL RISE!

gravitic effectThis shows that some of the “weight” of the condenser has been relieved. If the positive pole now is reversed, when the condenser is again charged the weight on the opposite end of the beam WILL BE LIFTED! This illustrates gravitic affect.

This is the Biefeld-Brown Effect. As far is now known it is the only method of affecting the gravitational field electrically! However, apparently there are several other research programs now under way attempting to establish an electro-gravitic relationship.

One of the mysteries of this Effect is that it APPEARS TO BE AFFECTED BY TIME! Time does not do brown effectaway with the Effect completely, but it does appear to minimize it temporarily. This was noted first by Brown during experiments located in a closed room.

He watched his discs through a telescope from outside the room. Brown observed that after a time the discs did not swing quite so far as initially, in either direction, with the same electric charge. I understood from Mr. Shank that this point was discussed with Albert Einstein but what Mr. Einstein had to say remains unknown to me.

The phenomenon might be accounted for by subtle atomic structural breakdowns in the dielectric material, or in the plate material, or both. After a time, following a complete discharge, these breakdowns mend themselves.

The intensity with which the Biefeld-Brown Effect may act is determined by five factors. Ultimate intensity cannot possibly be obtained by a combined use of all five factors – each in their separate ultimates! A compromise must be made. This is not as grave a disadvantage as it might seem at first, for it will allow an almost endless arrangement of factors in any given disc or ship.

The best combination of these then may be chosen and applied to a wide variety of practical conditions which will surely arise in everyday aeronautical or astronautical flight.


The first factor regulating the intensity of the Effect is controlled by the closeness at which the condenser’s plates can be set. If the charging pressure – or voltage – is high then the plates will have to be farther apart than for lower voltages -using the same dielectric. If it is necessary to charge the condenser quickly a higher voltage is needed than if more time can be taken. Hence, the closer the condenser plates the greater the Effect gained – other circumstances remaining the same.


The second factor is the ability of the material chosen as a dielectric to store electrical energy. There are many kinds of dielectrics: glass, mica, rubber, paper, bakelite, air, ceramics, and many of the plastics. A dielectric is any material which opposes the flow of an electric current and at the same time is capable of storing the electrical energy as an “elastic stress.”

The action resembles the squeezing of a soft rubber ball. The muscles in your hand represent the electric voltage. They squeeze the ball’s sides together. The sides remain squeezed until your muscles release their pressure, then the sides jump back into their original shape.

A dielectric will absorb an electric charge until its capacity has been reached. Then it will either hold that charge as long as the charging force is present, or it will rupture and the pressure will leak away, or if the accumulated pressure becomes greater than the charging pressure it will discharge itself back into the charging circuit! This last can raise the devil!

Some dielectrics are capable of absorbing a great quantity of electrical energy if that energy is applied slowly at moderate pressure, but they break down if called upon to act quickly. Other dielectrics, like lead-free glass, can be charged and discharged thousands of times a second at high pressures. The measure of a dielectric’s ability is called the “K” of the material. The higher the K, the greater is the Biefeld-Brown Effect.


A third factor in creating intensity of the Effect is the AREA of the dielectric’s charging plates. The discs are used edgewise, and the greater their area, the greater the Effect obtained.


A fourth factor has to do with the VOLTAGE, or pressure used to charge the condenser’s plates. The higher the voltage, the greater the Effect.

Also, the higher the voltage the shorter the time required to charge a given condenser size. But the voltage must not be so high as to puncture the dielectric, the condenser is permanently, or temporarily ruined – depending upon its ability to “heal” itself. Solid dielectrics cannot heal themselves. Fluids heal themselves almost as soon as punctured. (the reason for using OIL filled capacitors…Vangard)


The fifth and last factor is the MASS of the dielectric. The greater the mass, the larger the Effect. These points all are important. They make it clear that by a not too complicated electrical arrangement which allows the changing of many positive pole positions at will an astronautical vehicle could be controlled.

Since a circle contains the greatest number of square units of surface for a given dimension (a torus has even greater surface area…Vangard), it seems obvious that a shallow, disc-shaped vehicle could use this type of energy field to greatest advantage. It would be charged differently than the models because it could carry its own charging equipment on board.

The input energy of some models tested in California quite some time ago (they do not represent present experimental attainments) was about 50 watts, or the requirements of a small light bulb.

The weight of these units was about 1200 grams, or around 42 ounces, or near two and 6/10 pounds. The efficiency of propulsion was 2%.

Unless scientific findings are discounted, we must assume the voltage of atmospheric electricity rises as the distance from the earth’s surface increases.

At low altitudes we sometimes record an increase of 100 volts for EVERY THREE FEET IN ELEVATION. But this increase RISES WITH ALTITUDE. It is believed that in that ionosphere a potential of 100 volts may occur within only four inches!

Even though a discoid-shaped vehicle could be relatively thin, compared to its diameter, still it would be many times four inches thick. Hence, it would be subjected to tremendous differentials of external electric pressure over its extreme dimensions.

T Townsend Brown and Saucer 4 postHow will this affect the Biefeld-Brown Effect – or any electrically propelled vehicle? Some say, not at all. Others see it as a sizable barrier!

Anti-gravity devices apparently are being experimented with from a number of directions. Once any one of them becomes practical a whole new horizon will unfold before mankind.

At the present time (1958) some 19 patent applications, covering the Biefeld-Brown Effect and its various applied forms, are being worked on. A new laboratory is also being built. Will Mr. Brown be the first Earthman to build and fly a FLYING SAUCER?

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