Video Summary of BBC Horizon Programme ‘The Hunt for Gravity Control’

And now for something a little different. Trev, one of the great commenters on this blog, asked me a little while ago about anti-gravity in a comment on a piece I’d put up about UFOs. Way back in 2016 the BBC’s Horizon science programme had an edition, ‘The Hunt for Gravity Control’, which dealt with the hunt by British, American and Russian scientists to create an anti-gravity device. This began in Britain with the aerospace scientist Ron Evans at BAE, who started Project Greenglow. At the same time the Americans had a similar project, NASA’s Advanced Propulsion physics Programme, under the direction of Marc Millis. This aimed to discover alternative methods of space propulsion to rockets. A Russian scientist, Eugene Podkletnov, believed he had also discovered a method of creating anti-gravity through the use of superconductors and a spinning disc. However, this has not been replicated, and one of the scientists interviewed on the programme dismisses Podkletnov’s claims as ‘crap’. A Black physicist, who I don’t think is named in the clip, explains why scientists believe anti-gravity is impossible: it would need an object with negative mass, which instead of creating a kind of hole in spacetime would produce a type of mound around it instead.

There has, however, been a breakthrough of sorts. At the end, Dr. Evans is shown a device which uses quantum physics to detect bodies as small as that of a human through the tiny gravitational attraction they cause, at a distance of a meter. This gives Evans hope that one day, humans may be able to master gravity.

The full documentary’s about 50 minutes or so long. It was repeated a few months ago on BBC 4, and I think it might be available on BBC iplayer. The narrator’s Peter Capaldi, who was the last Dr. Who before Jodie Whitaker took over.

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3 Responses to “Video Summary of BBC Horizon Programme ‘The Hunt for Gravity Control’”

  1. trev Says:

    Thanks, I will watch it later 😊

    There was a maverick scientist in America, a bit unconventional to say the least, the archetypal ‘Mad Scientist’, who was setting up his own lab and conducting some very bizarre experiments with levitation, and I think he disappeared and went on the run (possibly to Canada?), claiming that the FBI were after him, and I’m trying to remember his name…. John Hutchison?

    • beastrabban Says:

      I remember John Hutchinson! I used to have his book about the ‘Hutchinson Effect’ he claimed to have discovered. From what I can remember, he had a room full of old electronic equipment, including pieces from vintage aircraft. He claimed that when he set it all going it had a weird poltergeist effect. He was touring UFO groups with a film that purported to show this in action. Apparently, one of the phenomena it showed was yogurt falling upwards. The sceptics at ‘Magonia’ had a look at it, and weren’t impressed. They thought that piece of footage just looked like ordinary film of a yogurt pot held upside down, and then turned around. I don’t know what happened to him afterwards.

      • trev Says:

        Yes that’s him. There was some b&w grainy footage of a steel bar bending and levitating, and claims of balls of plasma flying around the room but behaving in a seemingly intelligent manner. His lab was in his apartment and when he switched on all his gizmos it supposedly caused next door’s cutlery to levitate and all the neighbour’s garage doors opened and closed as if of their own accord. Weird stuff. He was either a crank/hoaxster or was really on to something spooky that put the spooks on his trail.

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