The Hollow Earth

Flying Saucers, Propulsion and Relativity

By: Dr. R. W. Bernard, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.


Solve the UFO propulsion problem and you open the whole universe to man: Here's a theory that may explain it.

For the past few years we have been visited by large numbers of foreign space craft. Actually these visits probably have been occurring for a long time; perhaps for what we call geological time periods. However, in 1947 or shortly before, the number of visits rose sharply. Since 1947 a great number of persons around the world have seen the famous flying saucers, or unidentified flying objects (UFO's).

Over the past few years, observers have watched the craft perform acrobatic maneuvers of an astonishing nature. Apparently most of the saucers do not depend on any propulsion familiar to our science or, at least, familiar to us until recently. Only a very few have been reported with propellers, and while some have reaction motors, either jets or pure rockets, many do not even have these. Indeed, the typical flying saucer floats above the earth with no visible means of support and then dashes off at a truly breathtaking speed to some other part of the globe.

The lack of any known propulsion system capable of such effects has led many persons to speculate that the owners of the saucers have been able to master the physics of gravitation. The propulsion system used must in some way apply what is popularly called anti-gravity. There is hardly any way, at least so far as both laymen and experts can see, how their ability to stay above the earth with neither jets, propellers or extensive lifting services can be explained. But a further, though closely related, enigma is the typical saucer motion. For not only has gravity been conquered, but inertia seems to have been conquered also.

Many reports - some of them apparently authentic - tell of UFOs suddenly appearing in the sky from nowhere and then disappearing, seemingly in an instant. Unless some optical trick is involved, the saucers must be capable of truly extraordinary acceleration. Typical of saucer reports, as they appear in the local presses throughout the world, is the object seen cruising along at a few hundred miles per hour and then, suddenly, seen to dash away at what must be thousands of miles per hour.

In addition to these extraordinary linear accelerations the saucers seem to outwit inertia in other respects. At very high speeds they appear to make perfect right right angle turns and even reversals of direction, without disastrous results to their structure or their crew - if these exist. At least two of my friends have told me of seeing flying saucers, moving through the sky at very high speeds, make instantaneous right angle turns.

Still another good trick they seem able to move through the atmosphere at rates of speed and at levels of air density which clearly are incompatible with any publicly known technology. As an object moves through the air the friction of the molecules striking its surface causes the material to heat. In our very fast jet interceptors cooling systems are necessary. We all know how meteors entering the earth's atmosphere, and nose cones of missiles re-entering the earth's atmosphere, heat to such a point that in many cases they disintegrate or burn up completely. Yet moving at comparable speeds in a denser atmosphere and do not seem to show these effects. To be sure, luminosity often appears about them - especially at night - and occasionally trails of smoke vapor appear, but the machine itself seems to survive. To missilemen this is most curious.

At stake, in all these maneuvers, is our understanding of the stubborn laws of inertia which govern our world. Newton first formulated these clearly in his double principle that an object at rest tends to remain at rest unless a force is applied, and if a force is applied it tends to take motion in the direction of the applied force and proportionally to it. These Newtonian laws of inertia still are the basis of much of our scientific world view. But combining them with the known molecular binding forces of matter, which are equally fixed in the order of nature - at least so we think - makes the saucer's behavior very difficult to explain.

When the flying saucers accelerate from 0 speed to many thousands of miles an hour in a few seconds, why isn't their internal machinery torn apart and any crew members squashed?

Anyone who has taken a curve at too high a speed knows the persistent tendency of his vehicle to continue along the original line of motion against the force of his tires and steering mechanism.

Similarly when a flying saucer makes a sudden turn, traveling many thousand miles an hour, why don't the molecules or crystals of its metallic structure literally tear apart - from the great strain imposed by the laws of inertia?

And finally, as the saucers rush through the atmosphere why don't the molecules of the atmosphere, striking against the saucer cause heat through friction and eventually burn the object up?

It is these very remarkable performances that have led many persons to believe the saucers are not real. Material objects cannot behave this way: The saucers must be moving light, optical illusion, mirage, defraction pattern, atmospheric lense or, to PFO's (Persons Farthest Out), ghosts or spirits.

The head of Air Force Intelligence remarked rather wistfully after the great Washington Airport sightings some years ago that he (i.e. the Air Force) did not have anything with infinite energy and no mass. Any person trained in non-relativistic physics believes it would be impossible for ponderable mass to behave as the UFO's behave.

However, the trouble with this argument seems very real, indeed. For saucers do exist: They have been photographed: They return firm radar images: And at close range they look very much like craft made of metal or transparent materials similar to plexiglass. Aside from their unusual tricks they seem to have all the characteristics of hard material objects which are designed, fabricated, manufactured, or what you will.

If the saucers are real solid vehicles we must revise our ideas of nature in one of two respects. Either we must conclude that our knowledge of the rules which hold atoms and molecules together is incomplete, or we must revolutionize our concept of inertia. If both alternatives were beyond the reach of modern science there would be no reason to prefer one over the other.

But, in fact, there is a perfectly good way of explaining the saucers within modern physical theory. To do so, however, we must pass to the abstract heights of physics, in particular to Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Now, before you are too frightened, let it be said that the General Theory is not as complex and intricate as some persons think. Its reputation for difficulty arises from the fact that, to grasp it, a transvaluation in the way we feel about the world is necessary.

Newton's concept of inertia tells us that an object stays in its place unless some force is applied to it and when the force is applied the object moves with the force. Newton had rather mixed ideas of why inertia exists. At one point in his Principia it is almost inherent in matter. At another point inertial or centrifugal forces arise from something called absolute space. The persistence of matter in its state, according to Newton, comes from its relation to an absolute world of space more final than any material system we can think of.

This notion of Newton's was never satisfactory and in the last part of the l9th Century the Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach turned his critical mind to it. Mach, whom we all know for his Mach numbers of aerodynamics, was also a forerunner of the Vienna Circle which developed logical positivism. To him anything beyond observation - such as absolute space - was unreal. Hence he proposed that inertia was a reference to all the matter in the universe. By all the matter in the universe he meant all the fixed stars, or in our day, when we realize that the cosmos is made up of vast numbers of stars collected in vast numbers of galaxies, to all the galaxies. For Mach an object subject to the laws of inertia was relative to all the stars, or as we would say today, all the nebulae.

Yet Mach's principle, as Einstein called it, had a difficulty. It did not supply any physical link between the stars and an inertial system. Mach just substituted the universe for Newton's absolute pace as a system of coordinates in which objects existed and moved. He did not take us any further down the road to showing what inertia is, or why it works the way it does.

Perhaps we should say, rather, that he took us a little way and he took Albert Einstein a very long way.

In 1916 Einstein proposed his General Theory of Relativity. In effect it was a theory of universal gravitation and inertia. Einstein reduced the two forces to the same thing and expressed this in his famous Principle of Equivalence: gravitational and inertial forces are indistinguishable and equal. His illustration of this is a man in an elevator deep in space. The man is away from any large objects. If the elevator is moving uniformly at any constant speed, from a very small one to a very large one, the man will seem quite weightless. He will sense no motion nor any gravity. However, if the elevator speeds up, if it is pulled by its cosmic cable along the direction of the man's height at an increasing speed, the man will begin to feel as if gravity is acting upon him. When a certain acceleration is reached, equivalent in earth's measurements to 32 feet per second, the man will imagine that he is back on the earth and is being pulled down by the earth's gravity just the way he was before he left earth.

Actually, of course, he is not. His false impression is merely the result of inertia and the acceleration of his elevator. There is no gravitation or, more correctly we should say, there is no large object in his vicinity.

Thus Einstein illustrated the fact that inertia and gravity have exactly the same effects on the observer and cannot be distinguished on the basis of local observations. He went further. He sought to explain gravity and inertia in the same physical terms. While the weight of objects on a large celestial body like the earth is caused by the latter's gravitational attraction, the inertial behavior of objects is explained by the gravitational attraction of all matter everywhere.

To use a simple analogy, the pipe resting on the table in front of me remains where it is largely because all the stars and nebulae of the cosmos are pulling on it, and they are pulling on it in all conceivable directions. It is as if a million million million little wires were attached to the pipe symmetrically all around it and are pulling it equally at the same time in every direction. Similarly, as I throw my pencil across the room it goes in a straight line (aside from earth's gravity) because it it being pulled at every right angle to the direction of its flight by the totality of matter in the universe, by all the stars or nebulae.

Thus inertia in the familiar world is really gravitation but not the gravitation of the earth or of any single big body near us, but the gravitation of every particle in the universe; it is the sum effect of gigantic push, pull, or field depending on how you regard the still elusive gravitational mechanism.

But how, you ask, does this help us explain how flying saucers fly? If the owners of the saucers have been able to devise a revolutionary means of anti-gravity, say an electro-magnetic screen which they put around their craft, this will mean that as the earth's gravity is overcome the gravity-inertia of all the rest of the universe will be overcome also. If the gravitons or ultra particles or fields which account for the gravitation of the earth are screened out the gravitational effect of the rest of the universe will be screened out also. Thus the saucers, with their anti-gravity screen, will be able to fly above the earth and they will be able to ignore the laws of inertia. They will be literally floating in a little cup or envelope where neither gravity nor inertia play any role. If the creatures who have built and man the saucers have mastered gravity they must, according to Einstein, have overcome inertia, also.

The key to the rather strange thing I have just said is to think how an atom or a molecule, or a group of them which make up an object will behave if no inertial influence can reach them. The pipe on my desk, now at the slightest touch of my finger, may fly across the room. Similarly, if I now throw my pencil across the room the slightest breeze will send it off at a right angle toward the other side of the room. In other words, we may assume that the atoms and matter in an inertia-free area will become almost totally free in their environment. They can move in one direction as easily as in another. They have no tendency to remain in the rigid envised position which inertia would ordinarily hold; they can fly away freely in any direction in which a slight force impels them.

I think this explains how the saucers can accelerate from zero to thousands of miles an hour and decelerate at the same rate, how they can engage in the dramatic maneuvers reported. Once a force, of whatever kind, impels them in a direction different from their line of movement, there is no tendency for their atoms and molecules to continue moving in their former direction, Thus, there is no strain upon the structure of the ship and the molecular binding forces of its material are not torn apart. Again, its occupants, if they can live in such an inertialess world, are not crushed in the slightest or even disturbed by the gyrations of the superstructure around them. Presumably they could sit quietly reading a book without knowing that their craft actually was doing the most remarkable acrobatics.

The concept of a gravity-inertia screen may also explain why the saucers do not burn up as they speed through the atmosphere. Consider a molecule or atom of gas as bumping along against other atoms in the atmosphere, subject to the laws of inertia as everything else is, but not causing very much damage or disturbance because it has little mass; a saucer rushes by and the molecule finds itself within the gravity-inertia screen. Suddenly this little air molecule is entirely free: It no longer carries kinetic punch; it can bump into anything without causing the slightest friction. In other words, it enters the screen like a bullet and strikes the saucer like a feather.

However, as the saucer rushes on, this molecule of air pops out the back of the screen in a very agitated state. It is now again in the inertial world and starts bumping into other highly agitated molecules. Its tiny little punch is magnified as a result of the friction which was not possible and this causes a release of energy - the luminosity seen about the saucers, especially at night.

At this point perhaps we should review what we have said and what we have not said.

In a sense, we have explained how the saucers fly but we have not explained how the gravity-inertia screen is generated. Sometimes when flying saucers are observed during the day through polaroid glasses, and some photographs of saucers, exhibit a kind of halo or corona about them. Of course, this well may be a physical token of the screen. However, the way it is produced is still a mystery, at least to this writer.

It is almost certain that in some way the field involves electricity and magnetism - for the effects of both have been noticed in connection with saucers. It is also likely that nuclear energy is used in the generation process, because increase in radioactivity background levels also accompany UFO flights. But of the exact mechanisms which produce the screen we know nothing. Research in this area is highly classified. The earth power which first develops the technique will have an immense military advantage. It may render not only aircraft, but ballistic missiles obsolete.

Let us consider what man's mastery of gravity and inertia may mean for his life on earth and his progress in space - if other races allow him to make any. In the first place, down here on earth the control of both gravity and inertia may well transform much of our economic system. We can think immediately of gravity-free airplanes plus the advantages of being able to control the inertia which governs (and hampers) so much of our lives.

If inertia can be controlled a five-year-old child can bounce an elephant upon its knee; the work of the world may be done with tiny amounts of energy - depending, of course on how much is needed to produce the gravity-inertia screen. We may be able to move mountains with only the quantity of electricity to light a house. The whole phenomena of friction may be within our range of manipulation; railroad trains may be able to rush down their tracks covered with an inertial screen driven by only fractional horse-power motors.

The idea of inertia-free flight opens up interesting possibilities for space travel. Given inertia-free flight, space may no longer be a barrier to solar-system travel.

Some astronomers and physicists, pointing to the enormous amounts of energy required to accelerate even a tiny payload near enough to the speed of light to make the journey to the nearest star in any reasonable period of time, have held the view that the only communication mankind will ever have with intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy is by radio.

The distances between stars are measured in light years and only a limited number of stars are within one-half the light year equivalent of four score and 10. Thus the necessity for approaching the optical velocity in interstellar travel becomes obvious. Yet, even to approach it under the old law of inertia is a difficult matter; some scientists believe it is impossible.

Dr. Frank Drake illustrates the problem by calculating that to deliver the Encyclopedia Brittanica to our nearest stellar neighbor would require such a huge rocket that its blast-off would incinerate the entire state of Florida.

Other scientists, of course, have believed that inter-stellar travel is possible, even under the limitations of an inertial world. The great German physicist, Professor Singer, once proposed an inter-stellar vehicle capable of sweeping up the hydrogen atoms in space in a gigantic net and converting them into fuel along the way.

But if we are able to develop a gravity-inertia screen we may be able to approach the optical velocity with very little energy actually required.

It also may mean that higher species, who long ago discovered the same technique, have voyaged back and forth between the stars quite regularly. This would, in turn increase the likelihood that our solar system is visited by races from other stars.

The End