A 28 year old mystery
Copyright, Harold Aspden, 2000
If you have read the
previous Essay, ES2004,
then you may wonder how it is that the those of the science and technology
community have not already embraced the notion that Nature has been telling us
to research the mystery of the hidden forces that can develop rotation in
defiance of the accepted principles of mechanics.
Now, I did say that
long before I had ever heard of 'free energy' machines, other than by reference
to the historic heresy of 'perpetual motion', I was already, from my fundamental
theoretical studies of magnetism and my experimental Ph.D. degree research,
convinced that the omnipresent aether could shed energy and angular momentum.
This made me pay special attention to something reported in Electronics &
Power, the member's journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in
U.K. nearly three decades ago in October 1972.
It describes a machine of
very unusual construction that was demonstrated at the Institution of Electrical
Engineers in a lecture delivered by Professor Eric Laithwaite. It was a machine
involving magnetic induction and the motion of a roller (steel washer) moving
around the inside of a circular track which was part of the stator of the
Although it was not an intended feature of the demonstration,
and, indeed, it came as a surprise to Laithwaite himself, when the power feeding
the machine was switched off, that roller began to move faster for a period
before slowing down. Professor Laithwaite even doubted what he saw until, after
the lecture he asked his assistant if he too had seen anything unusual, and his
observation was confirmed. In the event, this so concerned Professor Laithwaite
that he wrote an article for Electronics & Power entitled
'Unexplained Phenomenon', duly published in the October 1972 issue at p.
Now, for the most part, members of scientific and technological
organizations, even those in academia, show little interest in what happens
outside their own specialist field, and there are few that 'specialize' in the
'unexplained' and the 'unnatural'. This may explain why only two Letters to the
Editor directed at the Laithwaite article appeared in the January, 1973 issue of
Electronics & Power. One was by someone who said:
"Professor Laithwaite's dissertation on an unexplained phenomenon
is highly entertaining, but surely he casts grave doubts on his own powers of
observation and verification of facts by reducing Gideon's redoubtable 300 men
to 200! Perhaps the stricture in his introduction that the supernatural does
not exist, has led to the exclusion of the bible from his shelves even for
reference....."So here we see how this anomalous behaviour of an
electrical machine can be trivialized, simply because the preamble to
Laithwaite's article implied that something unnatural had been observed which
needed scientific explanation without invoking the hand of God or the mystique
of a supernatural influence.
The other Letter to the Editor was the one I
wrote in which I stated:
"The observed phenomenon can, of course, be explained if the ether
rotating with the copper cylinder and the surrounding ether moved by the
counter-rotating washer are coupled by ether eddies, as illustrated in Fig.
8.3 of my book . When Prof. Laithwaite's machine was switched off, the
inertia of these coupled ethers evidently transferred angular momentum from
the cylinder to the washer via the ether coupling. This sounds weird.
specially as Prof. Laithwaite is having trouble reproducing the phenomenon.
But it is no more weird than the regularly observed phenomenon of thunder
balls. They certainly exist, they cannot yet be made to order and they too are
probably due to the phenomenon of ether rotation.
The experiment to
work on is that of Wilson . He found anomalous magnetic effects when
rotating an object at speed, but went off the scent when he had no success in
an experiment using relativity, in which he thought he was rotating the Earth
relative to his detector. A century ago, Gore  wrote of a demonstration:
"These experiments and the following ones produce a striking effect because
rotation appears to be produced without reaction of moving parts of the
apparatus upon any external or fixed body." Profs. Maxwell and Stokes put Gore
off his scent by guiding him to modify the experiment to avoid the
Maxwell contemplated electrical displacement in the vacuous
medium in empty space. Are there electrical effects when this medium rotates?
Recently, Ryan and Vonnegut  have demonstrated that an electrical arc can
be stabilised by rotating a surrounding cylindrical cage at low speed. Would
this work in a vacuum? Can ether be set in rotation by a central arc
discharge? Can lightning produce thunder balls? Can Prof. Laithwaite reproduce
 ASPDEN, H.: 'Physics without
Einstein' (Sabberton, Southampton, 1969), p. 180
 WILSON, H. A.:
'Rotations of bar magnets and conductors', Proc. Roy. Soc., 1923,
104A, p. 451
 GORE, G.: 'An experiment on the origin of the
Earth's Magnetic Field', Proc. Roy. Soc., 1875, 24, p.
 RYAN, R. T., and VONNEGUT, B.: 'Formation of a vortex by an
elevated electrical heat source', Nature (Phys. Sci.), 1971,
233, pp. 142-143
This Letter to the Editor was
published in Electronics & Power at p. 21 of the January, 1973 issue.
So, nearly 28 years ago, here was something published in the main journal
circulated to all members of the IEE in U.K. which pointed a way forward in the
onward exploration of what I refer to elsewhere as 'vacuum spin'. In my later
years I have come to see this 'unexplained phenomenon' as featuring in the
homopolar motor research of Bruce DePalma and the Swiss M-L Converter, both
rotary machines. I believe it also features in certain plasma discharge
experiments which are claimed to deliver excess energy. However, my message has
not been heeded.
Having presented above that Fig. 8.3 of my book
Physics without Einstein, I add here, as a kind of footnote, that the
book is now out-of-print, all 2000 copies printed having been sold long ago. But
I note that those sales were not helped by 'peer review'. Indeed, when the book
was sent to the Review Editor of The Philosophical Magazine he replied as
follows from his address at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge:
"I feel it is impossible to review a book which claims to provide
an alternative theory to Einstein's. If the author is right, the proper place
for an assessment is through discussion by scientific societies and in
scientific papers. We cannot undertake to provide reviews which give just
assessment of major claims in physics."
Signed by: Prof. Sir Nevill Mott, F.R.S., Reviews
At the time I wondered how anyone could ever get
the academic world to engage in discussion as to the pros and cons of reviving
belief in a real aether medium, without basing the case on a comprehensive
book-length dissertation, given the overwhelming popular belief in the doctrines
of Einstein's theory. Indeed, I still wonder and, although I have authored many
scientific papers since, I have now fallen back on the hope that the reality of
the aether will be revealed in its full glory when it shows its hand by
delivering 'free energy' as such machines proving this emerge on the commercial
If you wish now to see the next Essay in this 2000 series, which
reverts to a topic deep in the heartland of theoretical particle physics, then
September 2, 2000