Gravity and Antigravity
Feb 2001, last revised Oct 2019
Part 2 of 2
5. Levitation and technology
6. Human levitation
7. Theosophical writings
5. Levitation and technology
Myths and megaliths
The megalithic structures found at many sites around the world have generated endless controversy as to how they were built. Conventional archaeologists, who dismiss the possibility of highly advanced civilizations in the remote past, insist that they were built solely with the use of primitive tools and brute force. Some of the structures, or parts of them, could have been built in this way. However, a number of engineers have stated that some features would be difficult if not impossible to duplicate today, even using the most advanced technology. The sheer weight and size of some of the stone blocks have prompted several researchers to wonder whether the ancient builders had mastered some form of levitation technology.*
*The acoustic and magnetic levitation techniques currently under development by mainstream scientists create a physical lifting force stronger than the force of gravity and do not modify gravity or generate an antigravitational force.
The pre-Incan fortresses at Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman in the Peruvian Andes consist of cyclopean walls constructed from tight-fitting polygonal stone blocks, some weighing 120 tonnes or more. The blocks used at Ollantaytambo were somehow transported from a quarry located on another mountaintop 11 km away, the descent from which was impeded by a river canyon with 305-metre vertical rock walls. The ruins of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia include blocks weighing around 100 tonnes, which were transported from quarries 50 km away.1 According to the local Aymara Indians, the complex was built at the ‘beginning of time’ by the founder-god Viracocha and his followers, who caused the stones to be ‘carried through the air to the sound of a trumpet’. An alternative theme is that they created a ‘heavenly fire’ that consumed the stones and enabled large blocks to be lifted by hand ‘as if they were cork’. According to a Mayan legend, the temple complex of Uxmal in the Yucatan Peninsula was built by a race of dwarfs who were able to move heavy rocks into place by whistling.2
Legends of occult power being employed to lift and transport stone blocks are in fact universal. For example, according to tradition, the megalithic city of Nan Madol on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei was built by the god-kings Olosopa and Olosipa, who used magic spells to make the huge stones ‘fly through the air like birds’.3 Legends about the huge stone statues or moai on Easter Island, many of which are as high as a three-storey building, tell how magicians or priests used mana, or mind power, to make them ‘walk’, or float through the air.4
According to early Greek historians, the walls of the ancient city of Thebes were built by Amphion, a son of Jupiter, who moved the large stones ‘to the music of his harp’ while his ‘songs drew even stones and beasts after him’. Another version claims that when he played ‘loud and clear on his golden lyre, rock twice as large followed in his footsteps’. The 10th-century Arab historian Mas’di wrote that, to build the pyramids, the ancient Egyptians inserted papyri inscribed with certain characters beneath the stone blocks; they were then struck by an instrument, producing a sound which caused them to rise into the air and travel for a distance of over 86 metres.5
The achievements of the ancient Egyptian builders have caused even some fairly orthodox investigators to wonder whether levitation might have been employed.6 For instance the roof of the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid, 200 feet up, consists of huge granite beams weighing up to 70 tonnes. What’s more, the major temples on the Giza plateau – the two next to the Sphinx and those besides the Second and Third Pyramids – contain colossal limestone blocks weighing between 50 and 200 tonnes and placed on top of one another. The largest are 9 metres long, 3.6 metres wide and 3.6 metres high. There are only a few cranes in the world today capable of lifting objects weighing 200 tonnes or more.7
The largest blocks used in any known man-made structure are found in the cyclopean U-shaped wall around the foundation platform of the Roman Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek in Lebanon.8 In the western wall, at a height of 10 metres, there are three colossal limestone blocks known as the Trilithon, measuring 19.1, 19.3 and 19.6 metres long, 4.34 metres high and 3.65 metres deep, and weighing around 800 tonnes each. The stones fit together perfectly and not even a knife blade can be pushed between them. The course of stones beneath the Trilithon contains seven mammoth stones weighing about 450 tonnes each.
Fig. 5.1 The massive Trilithon at Baalbek.9
(The silhouetted two-storey house has been inserted for scale.)
Fig. 5.2 Other views of the Trilithon.
At the quarry, about a kilometre away, there are three monoliths even larger than those in the Trilithon.10 One of them, known as the ‘Stone of the Pregnant Woman’ or ‘Stone of the South’, weighs about 1000 tonnes; the lower part of its base is still attached to the bedrock. Another weighs 1240 tonnes, while the largest one measures around 19.6 by 6 by 5.5 metres and weighs an estimated 1650 tonnes. It was discovered in 2014, and lies next to the ‘Stone of the South’ but at a lower level. It is the biggest known ancient cut stone on the planet.
Fig. 5.3 On the left, the ‘Stone of the South’, with the world’s largest megalith beside it. (hiddenincatours.com)
There are no traces of a roadbed leading from the quarry and no traces of any ramp. Nor are there any written records as to how the megalithic wall was built. According to local Arab legend, Baalbek’s first citadel was built before the Flood, and rebuilt afterwards by a race of giants. The Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon stated that Lebanon’s first city was Byblos, founded by the god Ouranus, who designed cyclopean structures and was able to make stones move as if they had a life of their own.
Among the Tibetans
Evidence that worldwide legends of acoustic levitation might have a basis in fact was provided by the Swedish engineer Henry Kjellson, who in the 1950s recorded the experiences of two separate western travellers who had allegedly witnessed demonstrations of sonic technology in Tibet.1 Since neither of the following accounts can be verified, sceptics assume that Kjellson probably made them up himself.
During a visit to a Tibetan monastery situated southwest of the capital Lhasa, the Swede Dr Jarl was taken to a meadow where there was a high cliff to the northwest. About 250 metres up the face of the cliff was an entrance to a cave, in front of which was a wide ledge where monks were building a stone wall. Embedded in the ground 250 metres from the foot of the cliff, was a large rock slab with a bowl-shaped depression in it. A block of stone, 1.5 metres long, 1 metre wide and 1 metre high, was manhandled into the depression. Monks with 19 musical instruments, consisting of 13 drums and 6 very long trumpets, were arranged in an arc of about 90 degrees, 63 metres from the bowl-stone. The drums, open at one end, were aimed at the stone block. Behind each instrument was a line of monks eight to ten deep. A monk in the middle of the arc started chanting and beating out a rhythm on a small drum, and then the other instruments joined in. After four minutes, the large stone block began to wobble and floated into the air rocking from side to side. All the instruments were trained constantly on the stone as it rose upwards at an accelerating rate and finally crashed onto the ledge. The monks continued to perform this feat at the rate of 5 or 6 stones per hour. The role of the 200 or so monks behind the instruments was unclear: one suggestion is that they used some form of coordinated psychokinesis to aid the flight of the stone.
Fig. 5.4 Dr Jarl’s sketch showing how Tibetan monks were able to raise stone blocks into the air using the power of sound.
The second case involved an Austrian named Linauer, who stated that while at a remote monastery in northern Tibet during the 1930s, he had witnessed the demonstration of two curious sound instruments which could induce weightlessness in stone blocks. The first was an extremely large gong, 3.5 metres in diameter, composed of a central circular area of very soft gold, followed by a ring of pure iron, and finally a ring of extremely hard brass. When struck, it produced an extremely low dumph which ceased almost immediately. The second instrument was also composed of three different metals; it had a half-oval shape like a mussel shell, and measured 2 metres long and 1 metre wide, with strings stretched longitudinally over its hollow surface. Linauer was told that it emitted an inaudible resonance wave when the gong was struck. The two devices were used in conjunction with a pair of large screens, positioned so as to form a triangular configuration with them. When the gong was struck with a large club to produce a series of brief, low-frequency sounds, a monk was able to lift a heavy stone block with just one hand. Linauer was informed that this was how their ancestors had built protective walls around Tibet, and that such devices could also disintegrate physical matter.
Keely and Leedskalnin
A man who appears to have gone a long way to unlocking the secrets of sound was John Ernst Worrell Keely of Philadelphia (1827-1898). He spent 50 years developing and refining a wide variety of devices that used ‘sympathetic vibratory force’ or ‘etheric force’ to levitate objects, spin large wheels, power engines and disintegrate rock. He performed many convincing demonstrations in his laboratory for scientists and other interested observers. He attempted to put his apparatus into commercial production, but this was hampered by the fact that it had to be tuned to the bodily vibrations of the operator and also to the surroundings.1
Fig. 5.5 John Keely.
Keely built several devices to manipulate gravity.2 One of them was the ‘sympathetic transmitter’, a copper globe about one foot (30 cm) in diameter, containing a Chladni plate and various metal tubes, whose position could be adjusted by means of a knob. The globe was held by a metal stand, around the base of which projected small metal rods a few inches long, of different sizes and lengths, which vibrated like tuning forks when twanged by the fingers. In one experiment, the transmitter was connected by a wire made of gold, platinum and silver to the top of a water-filled glass jar. When the right chord was sounded on the strings of a zither, metal balls, weighing 2 pounds (0.9 kg), rose from the bottom of the jar until they hit the metal cap, and remained there until a different note was played, which caused them to sink again. Witnesses relate how, after further experimentation, Keely was able to make heavy steel balls move in the air by simply playing on a kind of mouth organ. Using the same combination of transmitter, connecting cord and musical instrument, he was able to make a 3.6-kg model of an airship rise into the air, descend, or hover with a motion ‘as gentle as that of thistledown’. He was also able to lift extremely heavy weights by connecting them to vibratory appliances worn on his person; several people witnessed him levitate and move a 3-tonne cast-iron sphere in this way, and also make it heavier so that it sank into the ground as if into mud.
Keely was able to catalyze the vibratory force necessary to make objects move using a variety of musical instruments, including trumpets, horns, harmonicas, fiddles and zithers, and could even operate the equipment just by whistling. One sceptic, however, claimed that Keely did not play on an instrument to set up sympathetic vibration but to signal to a confederate in another part of the building when to turn on or off the compressed air that supposedly powered his ‘fraudulent’ devices!
A man who in more recent times claimed to know the secret of how the pyramids and other megalithic structures were built was Edward Leedskalnin.3 He lived in a place called Coral Castle, near Miami, Florida, which he built himself from giant blocks of coral weighing up to 30 tons. In 28 years, working alone, without the use of modern construction machinery, he quarried and erected a total of 1100 tons. He was very secretive and usually worked at night, and died in 1952 without divulging his construction techniques, despite visits from engineers and government officials. Some teenagers spying on him one evening claimed they saw him ‘float coral blocks through the air like hydrogen balloons’. Some people think that he had discovered a way of locally reversing the effects of gravity. From the remaining contents of Leedskalnin’s workshop and photographic evidence, engineer Chris Dunn suggested that he generated a radio signal that caused the coral to vibrate at its resonant frequency, and then used an electromagnetic field to flip the magnetic poles of the atoms so that they were repulsed by the earth’s magnetic field.
Fig. 5.6 The Nine-ton Gate at Coral Castle. Originally used as a turnstile, the 8-foot-tall gate is perfectly mounted and balanced so that a child can open it with the touch of a finger.4
Schauberger and nature’s levity
According to aeronautical experts, the flight of the simple bumble bee is a mystery that defies conventional laws of physics, as its wings do not flutter rapidly enough to create sufficient lift. The rhinoceros beetle should also be unable to fly as its body mass is completely out of proportion to its wing area. Some writers have suggested that levitational forces help to explain how birds and insects fly, and fishes swim.
Austrian scientist and inventor Viktor Schauberger (1885-1958) believed that, alongside gravity, a principle of levity operated in nature, governing all upward movement of energy, all uplift and upward growth. During his early life as a forester in the Alpine wilderness, he observed how large mountain trout could lie motionless in the strongest currents, except for an occasional slight movement of their tail-fins. If alarmed, they darted at lightning speed upstream, instead of allowing the current to carry them downstream. Trout and salmon are able to jump up high waterfalls (even as much as 60 m high) with little apparent effort. Schauberger would watch trout dance in a wild spinning movement at the bottom of a waterfall, and then come out of this spinning movement and float motionlessly upwards. He developed the idea that in addition to the gravitational movement of water from the spring down to the sea, there is a flow of ‘levitational’ energy in the opposite direction.
In one experiment Schauberger had 100 litres of hot water poured into a stream. Although it did not noticeably warm the water, a trout resting about 150 m downstream immediately became very agitated: it started to flail its tail, moving backwards all the time as it struggled to maintain its position. Finally it was swept downstream, and only returned much later. Schauberger concluded that the hot water had destroyed the upward flow of levitational energy. One moonlit winter night, he saw egg-shaped stones the size of a head rise to the surface of a deep pool, and concluded that the combined effect of the cold and the metalliferous composition of the stones (especially their silica content) was responsible for enhancing the levitational energies.
Schauberger was surprised to find that the tips of mosses on rocks in a shaded mountain stream point upstream, somehow resisting the pressure of the fast-flowing current. He regarded this as a reliable indicator of a stream’s state of health, because it showed that the downstream gravitational flow of matter and the upstream, levitational flow of energy were in balance. However, if through deforestation a stream is exposed to direct sunlight, the water becomes warmer and less dense, and the moss-tips point downstream. Pristine wilderness is nowadays hard to find, owing to the marauding hand of man.
Schauberger sought to develop energy-generating machines which, by the power of shape, form and motion alone, were able to mimic nature’s processes. Whereas today’s main energy technologies use outward-moving explosion, such as fuel-burning and atom-splitting, his machines operated on the basis of inward-spiralling movements, or implosion. He wrote: ‘If water or air is rotated into a twisting form of oscillation known as “colloidal”, a buildup of energy results, which with immense power, can cause levitation.’ Vortical motion, with rotational velocities of 15-20,000 revolutions per minute, accompanied by rapid cooling, created strong vacuum effects inside his machines. Some researchers think that the transmutation of matter into more ethereal states and the production of genuine levitational forces also occurred.
Detailed reports of his experiments with a variety of designs are generally lacking, but his efforts seem to have met with at least partial success. During the second world war, he was forced to work for the Nazis, and developed small ‘flying saucers’. One of the scientists involved was reported as saying that at the first attempt to run one of the models, it shot upwards unexpectedly, trailing a blue-green then silver-coloured glow, and was wrecked against the ceiling of the hangar. At the end of the war Schauberger’s research was investigated by the Americans and Russians, but as far as the public record is concerned, none of his models were developed further. More recently there has been a resurgence of interest in his revolutionary ideas.1
Fig. 5.7 Two prototypes of Schauberger’s flying saucer, about 65 cm in diameter.
ReferencesMyths and megaliths
- Paul LaViolette, Genesis of the Cosmos: The ancient science of continuous creation, Rochester, VE: Bear and Company, 2004, p. 343; Ian Lawton and Chris Ogilvie-Herald, Giza: The truth, London: Virgin, 1999, p. 201; Lost civilizations of the Andes, davidpratt.info.
- Andrew Collins, Gods of Eden: Egypt’s lost legacy and the genesis of civilisation, London: Headline, 1998, pp. 58-62.
- Graham Hancock and Santha Faiia, Heaven’s Mirror: Quest for the lost civilization, London: Michael Joseph, 1998, p. 235.
- Easter Island: land of mystery, section 5, davidpratt.info.
- Gods of Eden, pp. 35-7, 62-3.
- Giza: The truth, pp. 198-210.
- Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock, Keeper of Genesis, London: Heinemann, 1996, pp. 28-9.
- Andrew Collins, ‘Baalbek, Lebanon’s sacred fortress’, andrewcollins.com/page/articles/baalbek.htm; Gods of Eden, pp. 63-4; David Hatcher Childress, Lost Cities of Atlantis, Ancient Europe & the Mediterranean, Stelle, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1996, pp. 31-6, 48-50; Christian and Barbara Joy O’Brien, The Shining Ones, Kemble, Cirencester: Dianthus Publishing, 2001, pp. 265-82; Graham Hancock, Magicians of the Gods: The forgotten wisdom of earth’s lost civilisation, London: Coronet, 2015, pp. 249-87.
- The Shining Ones, p. 269.
Among the Tibetans
- Collins, Gods of Eden, pp. 66-72.
Keely and Leedskalnin
- H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1977 (1888), 1:554-66.
- Theo Paijmans, Free Energy Pioneer: John Worrell Keely, Lilburn, GA: IllumiNet Press, 1998, pp. 58, 144, 200, 207-12; Clara Bloomfield Moore, Keely and his Discoveries: Aerial navigation, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1893, Mokelumne Hill, CA: Health Research, 1971, pp. 106, 122-3; Dale Pond, Universal Laws Never Before Revealed: Keely’s secrets, Santa Fe, NM: Message Company, 1996, pp. 54-60, 214-17, 232-4, 257 (svpvril.com); Dan A. Davidson, Energy: Breakthroughs to new free energy devices, Greenville, TE: RIVAS, 1990, pp. 12-13.
- Christopher Dunn, The Giza Power Plant: Technologies of ancient Egypt, Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Co, 1988, pp. 109-19; Frank Joseph, ‘Mysteries of Coral Castle’, Fate, 1998, parascope.com/en/articles/coralCastle.htm; Kathy Doore, ‘The enigma of Coral Castle: a geomantic wonder’, rense.com.
Schauberger and nature’s levity
- Callum Coats, Living Energies: An exposition of concepts related to the theories of Viktor Schauberger, Bath: Gateway Books, 1996; Olaf Alexandersson, Living Water: Viktor Schauberger and the secrets of natural energy, Bath: Gateway Books, 1996; John Davidson, The Secret of the Creative Vacuum, Saffron Walden, Essex: Daniel Company, 1989, pp. 246-62; Nick Cook, The Hunt for Zero Point, London: Arrow, 2002, pp. 296-328; schauberger.co.uk.
6. Human levitation
There are reports of over 200 Christian saints levitating – usually involuntarily – during religious raptures, and some cases are supported by an impressive amount of eyewitness testimony.1 For instance, the 16th-century mystic St Teresa of Avila was observed on many occasions, typically when deep in prayer, to rise anywhere from a few feet to as high as the ceiling of the room. When she felt an ‘attack’ coming on she would beg the sisters in her convent to hold her down, though they were not always successful. Once while receiving Holy Communion from the Bishop of Avila, she felt her knees begin to leave the floor so she clutched onto the grille. But after receiving the sacrament, she let go and rose into the air.
The 17th-century Franciscan monk St Joseph of Copertino began levitating during services and was often observed by whole congregations. Once while walking in the monastery grounds, he soared up into the branches of an olive tree and remained kneeling on a branch for half an hour, the thin stem hardly moving under his weight. Unable to glide down, after his ecstasy had passed, he had to wait for a ladder to be brought. For 35 years he was banned from all public services, but he levitated not only before the Pope and his fellow monks but also before Europe’s titled heads and the philosopher Leibnitz. The Spanish ambassador to the papal court watched him fly over the heads of a crowd to a statue of the Virgin Mary, where he briefly hovered. After giving his customary shriek, he flew back; the ambassador’s wife had to be revived with smelling salts. The duke of Brunswick hid himself in a stairway to observe one of Joseph’s levitations. After observing a second levitation, the duke renounced his Lutheran faith and became a Catholic. At Osimo, Joseph flew eight feet into the air to kiss a statue of Jesus then carried it off to his cell and floated about with it. He is also reported to have caught up another friar and carried him in the air around the room.
The annals of 19th-century spiritualism contain many references to human levitations, as well as to tables, chairs and other objects gaining or losing weight, levitating and moving without human contact.2 The most famous levitator of all was the medium Daniel Dunglas Home (pronounced: Hume). His first recorded levitation took place at a seance in August 1852. He was suddenly ‘taken up into the air ... He palpitated from head to foot with the contending emotions of joy and fear ... Again and again he was taken from the floor, and the third time he was carried to the ceiling of the apartment, with which his hands and feet came into gentle contact.’
He later became able to levitate at will, and believed he was lifted up by ‘spirits’. During a public career spanning 30 years, hundreds of people witnessed his levitations. The most famous incident was when in the company of Lord Adare, the Master of Lindsay, and a friend of theirs, he floated out of one window of a London house and in at another. The eminent English scientist Sir William Crookes saw him levitate on several occasions and verified that there was no trickery involved. On one occasion, Crookes’ wife, who was sitting beside Home, was raised off the ground in her chair.3
The magician Harry Kellar, who enjoyed showing audiences how mediums did their tricks, described how during a world tour in the 1870s he was watching a Zulu witch doctor go into a trance when suddenly ‘to my intense amazement, the recumbent body slowly arose from the ground and floated upward in the air to the height of about three feet, where for a while it floated, moving up and down’. In 1882 he challenged the medium William Eglinton to perform some feat which no conjuror could repeat. Eglinton then levitated, carrying Kellar, holding his foot, into the air – an achievement which Kellar had to admit he could not explain.4
The Italian medium Eusapia Palladino occasionally used to levitate and was also able to increase or decrease the weight of objects. Her paranormal powers were verified in investigations conducted by European scientists around the turn of the 20th century. After witnessing her demonstrations, the French astronomer Camille Flammarion stated that levitation should no longer be any more in question than the attraction of iron by a magnet.5
In the 1920s Brazilian medium Carlos Mirabelli performed stunning phenomena under test conditions. Full-form materializations of deceased individuals known to the witnesses appeared, who were able to converse with the investigators, and to touch and be touched. He was also able to levitate and remain floating for minutes at a time. In one instance, a chair with Mirabelli in it rose into the air until it was two metres above the floor, where it remained for two minutes.6 Levitations of mediums have frequently been reported since then in spiritualist journals but, as far as is known, no medium has been able to produce them in fraud-proof conditions.
Levitation is one of the Catholic Church’s criteria for demonic possession. In 1906 a 16-year-old schoolgirl from South Africa, Clara Germana Cele, who was allegedly possessed, levitated up to 5 feet off the ground, sometimes vertically and sometimes horizontally. She fell if sprinkled with holy water.7
In the mid-19th century, Louis Jacolliot, Chief Justice of Chandernagore, travelled all over India to learn more about wonder-working fakirs. He witnessed many extraordinary phenomena, which he tried to view in an objective and unprejudiced manner. In Varanasi (Benares) he met a fakir named Covindasamy, who performed various paranormal phenomena for him. On one occasion he crossed his arms on his chest and slowly levitated to a height of 10 to 12 inches, remaining in the air more than eight minutes.8 Another of his levitations is described by Jacolliot as follows:
Leaning upon [his] cane with one hand, the Fakir rose gradually about two feet from the ground. His legs were crossed beneath him, and he made no change in his position ...
For more than twenty minutes I tried to see how Covindasamy could thus fly in the face and eyes of all the known laws of gravity; it was entirely beyond my comprehension; the stick gave him no visible support, and there was no apparent contact between that and his body, except through his right hand.9
A similar display was reported by American journalist John Keel. While travelling in Sikkim in the 1950s, he met an old lama who demonstrated his ability to levitate.
He ... pressed one hand on top of his stick, a heavy branch about four feet long, frowned a little with effort, and then slowly lifted his legs up off the floor until he was sitting cross-legged in the air! There was nothing behind him or under him. His sole support was his stick, which he seemed to use to keep his balance. I was astounded.
The lama then conducted the rest of the conversation ‘sitting there in empty space’.10
In July 1916, P. Muller, a German veterinarian stationed in Turkey, attended a gathering of the Rufai dervishes. He described a large hall in which white-robed dervishes wearing tall black caps ‘moved in a circle with sideways steps and curious jerking motions’. About an hour into the ceremony, the music, dancing and cries of the dancers intensified, and suddenly one of them bounded into the middle of the circle. He stood still, with his arms upraised, palms facing the sky:
And now the incomprehensible happened ... [S]lowly the whole tense body of this man elevated itself about eighteen inches off the floor and remained there, floating in the air with the toes pointing down.
The ecstatic man remained suspended for about a minute.11
Tibetans speak of a power of fast-walking known as lung-gom. An eye-witness account was provided by Alexandra David-Neel, an early 20th-century explorer, journalist and Buddhist. While in northern Tibet, she saw a man approaching with an ‘unusual gait’ and ‘extraordinary swiftness’.
I could clearly see his perfectly calm impassive face and wide-open eyes with their gaze fixed on some invisible far-distant object situated somewhere high up in space. The man did not run. He seemed to lift himself from the ground, proceeding by leaps. It looked as if he had been endowed with the elasticity of a ball and rebounded each time his feet touched the ground. His steps had the regularity of a pendulum.12
The native American Indians apparently knew of a similar method of magical running. In the 1920s anthropologist Carobeth Laird reported on one of the last men to travel ‘the old way’: the tracks left by his feet were very faint and far apart, as if his feet had barely touched the ground.13
In 1936, Indian yogi Subbayah Pullavar levitated for four minutes in front of 150 witnesses (fig. 6.1).14 He was in a state of deep trance and, once back on the ground, his limbs were so rigid that they could not at first be bent. Only after he had been massaged for about five minutes and cold water had been poured over his head and down his throat did he return to normal. What makes this act of levitation look suspicious is the cloth-covered stick in contact with the ground, the abundant clothing, and the fact that no one saw the yogi levitate into the air. What happened was that a small tent was erected, the yogi went inside, and after a few minutes the tent was removed to reveal the yogi levitating horizontally, with one hand on the stick. After a few minutes, the tent was again erected around him, and then removed to reveal the yogi lying on the ground.
Fig. 6.1 Indian yogi Subbayah Pullavar. (gdurl.com/wa9R)
Countless street artists are able to produce the same levitation effect using a metal frame concealed beneath their clothing, connected via a ‘staff’ to a stable base hidden beneath a mat on the ground (fig. 6.2).15 An interesting detail, however, is that the Englishman who photographed Pullavar’s levitation reported that, at the end, he and his friend were able to see through the thin wall of the tent and observed how, after about a minute, the yogi, still suspended in the air, appeared to sway and then slowly descended to the ground, taking about five minutes to move the distance of three feet. Furthermore, the various photos show that the stick was not attached to a base plate and was not long enough to be buried deep in the ground, so it is unclear how it could have supported the man’s weight. A proper inspection could of course have quickly established whether any trickery was involved.
Fig. 6.2 A modern street artist.
In 1984 a German film crew filmed the levitation of an African witch-doctor, Nana Owaka, in Togo. After meditating for a full day, he placed dry leaves and twigs in a circle and sat in the middle.
Just as the sun was setting, Owaka started to stir. A villager lit the circle of twigs and flames shot up. Drums began beating wildly – then we were hardly able to believe our eyes as Owaka stood and rose straight upward! It was as if he were being lifted on a pillow of air. He simply hung as if suspended, with nothing above or below him.
After about a minute, Owaka fell back to earth. He was filmed from two angles, and no one who has examined the film has been able to detect any signs of trickery.16
Paranormal phenomena, including levitation, are sometimes reported in connection with UFO encounters. For instance, in 1954 a man who was coming back from the fields with his horse had to let go of the bridle as the animal was lifted several feet into the air when a dark, circular object flew fast over the trail they were following. In 1968 a French doctor saw two glowing discs in the sky merge into a single object, and during the sighting he was hit by a beam of light. A few days later he and his baby son each developed a strange, reddish, triangular mark on the abdomen, and this mark recurred in successive years. Strange paranormal phenomena began to take place, including poltergeist activity, unexplained disturbances in electrical circuits, meetings with a mysterious, nameless man, and on at least one occasion uncontrolled levitation.17
- Rodney Charles and Anna Jordan, Lighter than Air: Miracles of human flight from Christian saints to native American spirits, Fairfield, IO: Sunstar Publishing, 1995, pp. 155-80; Stuart Gordon, The Paranormal: An illustrated encyclopedia, London: Headline, 1992, p. 395; Brian Inglis, The Paranormal: An encyclopedia of psychic phenomena, London: Paladin, 1985, pp. 159-60; Richard S. Broughton, Parapsychology: The controversial science, New York: Ballantine Books, 1991, pp. 52-3.
- William Crookes, Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism, London: J. Burns, 1874, Pomeroy, WA: Health Research, n.d., pp. 9-19, 21-43, 88-91; H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1972 (1877), 1:202-4, 358-9.
- Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism, pp. 89-90; Gordon, The Paranormal, pp. 395-6; Inglis, The Paranormal, p. 161.
- Inglis, The Paranormal, pp. 161-2.
- Brian Inglis, Natural and Supernatural: A history of the paranormal, Bridport, Dorset: Prism Press, Lindfield, NSW: Unity Press, 1992, p. 425.
- Brian Inglis, Science and Parascience: A history of the paranormal, 1914-1939, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1984, p. 224; Stephen E. Braude, ‘Survival or super-psi?’, plus reply by Ian Stevenson, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 6:2, 1992, pp. 127-44, www.scientificexploration.org.
- Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, New York: Checkmark Books, 2nd ed., 2000, p. 221.
- Louis Jacolliot, Occult Science in India and Among the Ancients, NY: University Books, 1971, p. 257.
- Occult Science in India and Among the Ancients, pp. 237-8.
- Lighter than Air, pp. 64-5.
- Lighter than Air, p. 132.
- Alexandra David-Neel, With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet, London: Penguin Books, 1937, p. 186.
- Lighter than Air, pp. 98-9.
- ‘Can the laws of gravity be overcome?’, The Illustrated London News, 6 June 1936.
- ‘This street performer has mastered one of the greatest illusions’, 2014, io9.gizmodo.com; ‘Levitating man trick revealed’, 2015, youtube.com.
- D. Hatcher Childress (ed.), The Anti-Gravity Handbook, Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1993, p. 171.
- UFOs: the psychic dimension, section 6, davidpratt.info.
7. Theosophical writings
As mentioned in section 1, Kepler believed that the rotation of the sun generated its gravitational force. A disciple of Pythagoras and Plato, he believed in an ether of subtler matter and that stars and planets were animated by souls. He took the view that it was solar magnetism that held the planets in their orbits, and he conceived magnetism to be a form of vortical motion. More recent theosophical writers such as H.P. Blavatsky, W.Q. Judge and G. de Purucker have also highlighted the link between gravity and electromagnetism, the bipolar nature of gravity, and the etheric origin of force, as the following quotations show.
[A]ether is the source and cause ... of cohesive, chemical, thermal, electric, and magnetic forces ...1
[T]he Occultists ... consider all the forces of Nature as veritable, though supersensuous, states of Matter; and as possible objects of perception to Beings endowed with the requisite senses.2
[T]here is no gravitation in the Newtonian sense, but only magnetic attraction and repulsion; ... it is by their magnetism that the planets of the solar system have their motions regulated in their respective orbits by the still more powerful magnetism of the sun, not by their weight or gravitation.3
Occultists ... see in gravity only sympathy and antipathy, or attraction and repulsion, caused by physical polarity on our terrestrial plane, and by spiritual causes outside of its influence ...4
[The theosophical adepts] reject gravity as at present explained. They deny that the so-called ‘impact theory’* is the only one that is tenable in the gravitation hypothesis. They say that if all efforts made by the physicists to connect it with Ether, in order to explain electric and magnetic distance-action have hitherto proved complete failures, it is again due to the race ignorance of the ultimate states of matter in nature, foremost of all the real nature of the solar stuff. Believing but in the law of mutual magneto-electric attraction and repulsion, they agree with those who have come to the conclusion that ‘universal gravitation is a weak force,’ utterly incapable of accounting for even one small portion of the phenomena of motion.5
*The theory that gravity is caused by bombardment of material objects with tiny particles (see section 3).
The earth is a magnetic body ... It is charged with one form of electricity – let us call it positive – which it evolves continuously by spontaneous action, in its interior or centre of motion. Human bodies, in common with all other forms of matter, are charged with the opposite form of electricity – negative. That is to say, organic or inorganic bodies, if left to themselves will constantly and involuntarily charge themselves with, and evolve the form of electricity opposed to that of the earth itself. ... [T]here is an attraction between our planet and the organisms upon it, which holds them upon the surface of the ground. But the law of gravitation has been counteracted in many instances, by levitations of persons and inanimate objects ... [T]he action of our will ... can produce ... a change of this electrical polarity from negative to positive; the man’s relations with the earth-magnet would then have become repellent, and ‘gravity’ for him would have ceased to exist. It would then be as natural for him to rush into the air until the repellent force had exhausted itself, as, before, it had been for him to remain upon the ground. The altitude of his levitation would be measured by his ability, greater or less, to charge his body with positive electricity. This control over the physical forces once obtained, alteration of his levity or gravity would be as easy as breathing.6
Until gravitation is understood to be simply magnetic attraction and repulsion, and the part played by magnetism itself in the endless correlations of forces in the ether of space ... it is neither fair nor wise to deny the levitation of either fakir or table. Bodies oppositely electrified attract each other; similarly electrified, repulse each other. Admit, therefore, that any body having weight, whether man or inanimate object, can by any cause whatever, external or internal, be given the same polarity as the spot on which it stands, and what is to prevent its rising?7
Blavatsky says that the flight of birds and swimming of fishes, including the rapid sinking of whales, involve changes in polarity and gravity not yet admitted by science. Animals can do this instinctively, while humans can learn to do so by will.8
Gravitation, in the opinion of Occultism, depends entirely on electrical law, and not on weight or density.9
Levitation of the body in apparent defiance of gravitation is a thing to be done with ease when the process is completely mastered. It contravenes no law. Gravitation is only half of a law. The Oriental sage admits gravity, if one wishes to adopt the term; but the real term is attraction, the other half of the law being expressed by the word repulsion, and both being governed by the great laws of electrical force. Weight and stability depend on polarity, and when the polarity of an object is altered in respect to the earth immediately underneath it, then the object may rise. ... The human body ... will rise in the air unsupported, like a bird, when its polarity is thus changed.10
G. de Purucker:
Newton and the scientists who followed him are correct in stating that [gravitation] is a force operative throughout the universe affecting all matter, and that its functional activity may be expressed as the product of the masses of two or more bodies and varying in intensity inversely according to the square of the distance which separates body from body. But this statement of the so-called law of gravitation is merely descriptive of its operation and is in no wise explanatory of what it is in itself.11
[G]ravitation is ... one of the manifestations of the inherent activity of conscious cosmic electro-magnetism operating through and by the instrumentality of spiritual agents, spiritual beings ...12
[G]ravitation [is] vital cosmic magnetism: the outflow of cosmic vitality from the heart of the celestial bodies. ... It is this vital electricity or vital magnetism in the cosmic structure which attracts in all directions, thus uniting all things into the vast body corporate of the cosmos. Furthermore, some day it will be discovered that this cosmic magnetic vitality contains as powerful an element of repulsion as it does of attraction; and that behind all its phenomenal workings lie the comparably more potent principles of the inner universe which thus infallibly guide its activities everywhere.13
[Einstein’s] ideas with regard to the nature of gravitation as being a warping or distortion of space in the proximity of material bodies seem to be a mathematical pipe-dream. Furthermore, it is a logical incongruity to suppose that Space – an abstraction – can be ‘warped’ or ‘distorted,’ for we must constantly bear in mind that it is only material entities or things themselves which are subject to warping or distortion.14
Theosophy asserts that during the life-period of a planet or star, attractive forces do not remain constant. The first half of a planet’s life (the ‘descending arc’) is said to be characterized by the condensation of matter from a primordial, ethereal state, implying a strengthening of attractive and cohesive forces. It is followed by the reverse process of etherealization and spiritualization (the ‘ascending arc’), when attractive and cohesive forces weaken and matter becomes increasingly radioactive.15
- H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press (TUP), 1977 (1888), 1:508.
- The Secret Doctrine, 1:143fn.
- H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, TUP, 1972 (1877), 1:271.
- The Secret Doctrine, 1:513.
- H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1950-91, 5:152-3.
- Isis Unveiled, 1:xxiii-iv; see also 1:497-8.
- Blavatsky Collected Writings, 1:244.
- Blavatsky Collected Writings, 4:167-9.
- William Q. Judge, Echoes of the Orient, TUP, 2nd ed., 2009-10, 1:356.
- W.Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, TUP, 1973 (1893), p. 154.
- G. de Purucker, The Esoteric Tradition, TUP, 3rd ed., 2011, pp. 464-5.
- The Esoteric Tradition, 2nd ed., 1940, p. 445.
- The Esoteric Tradition, 3rd ed., p. 466.
- The Esoteric Tradition, 3rd ed., p. 465.
- The Secret Doctrine, 1:159, 2:68fn, 250, 308fn; The Esoteric Tradition, 3rd ed., pp. 161-3, 227-8, 402-3; G. de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, TUP, 1945, pp. 450-1; A.T. Barker (comp.), The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, TUP, 2nd ed., 1926, pp. 98-9.
Gravity and antigravity: Contents
Aetherometry and gravity: an introduction