NASA had had a few Breakthrough Propulsion Physics workshops in America and this was to be the international equivalent: one of the first independent workshops ever held on propulsion.
Indeed, it had attracted an impressive audience of physicists from the British government, a NASA marshal, various astrophysicists from the French Laboratoire D’Astrophysics Marseilles and the French Laboratory of Gravitation, Relativity and Cosmology, professors from American and European universities, and some fifteen representatives of private industry.
This was just a seed meeting, not a true scientific conference, mainly to start the ball rolling - a precursor to the international conference to be held December 2001.
there was an unmistakable air of expectancy around the room, tacit
acknowledgment that each person present was perched on the very
frontier of scientific knowledge and might even be witness to the
dawning of a new age. Graham Ennis, the conference organizer, had
lured representatives from most of the major British newspapers and
science magazines by dangling before them the prediction that in
five years’ time we’d be building our own small rockets with WARP
drives to keep satellites in their correct positions.
A young British government physicist called Richard Obousy had stumbled across Hal’s Zero Point Field papers during his university studies, and been thunderstruck by their implications, so much so that they’d influenced the course of his own career.1
And now he was faced with
the prospect of both meeting the great man and preceding him on the
podium with a small introductory talk on manipulating the vacuum - a warm-up act to the day’s main attraction.
Looking for new sources of
energy wasn’t just necessary to power spaceships. It was also vital
to power earth and maintain it intact for the next generation.
At a NASA congress in Albuquerque, New Mexico, they’d been exploring the possibility of a spaceship creating its own wormhole, much as Carl Sagan had imagined in Contact.3
of private companies, including Lockheed Martin, were enthusiastic
and had lent their support. This could have all sorts of practical
everyday applications on earth. Imagine, for instance, if you could
turn off gravity and levitate patients. You could make bedsores a
thing of the past.
You’d need to decouple from gravity, reduce inertia or generate enough energy from the vacuum to overcome both. The US Air Force had first recommended that Forward do his study to measure the Casimir force, the quantum force between two metal plates caused by partially shielding the space between them from zero-point fluctuations in the vacuum and so unbalancing the zero-point energy radiations.
Forward, an expert in
gravitational theory, was given the assignment by the Propulsion
Directorate of the Phillips Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base,
which has the task of launching research into twenty-first-century
However, Casimir forces are unimaginably small - a pressure of just one hundred-millionth of an atmosphere on plates held a thousandth of a millimeter apart.5
Bernie Haisch and Daniel Cole published a paper theorizing that if you built a vacuum engine of an enormous number of such colliding plates, each would generate heat when they finally come into contact and give you power. The problem is that each plate creates, at most, a half of a microwatt’s worth of energy - ‘not much to write home about’, said Puthoff.6
You’d need tiny systems running at a very high rate for it to work
on any level.
working in quantum electrodynamics had already shown that these
vacuum fluctuations could be controlled once you manipulated the
spontaneous emission rates of atoms. It was Puthoff ’s view that
electrons get their energy to whiz around the nucleus of an atom
without slowing down because they are tapping quantum fluctuations
of empty space. If we could manipulate that field, he said, we could
destabilize atoms and extract the power from them.8
There were other ideas, such as the spectacular conversion of sound into light waves, or sonoluminescence, where water, bombarded with intense sound waves, creates air bubbles which rapidly contract and collapse in a flash of light. The theory in some quarters was that this phenomenon was caused by zero-point energy inside the bubbles, which, once the bubbles shrank, converted into light.
But Puthoff had already tried
all these ideas in turn and felt they held little promise.
Another idea was downshifting the more energetic
high-frequency parts of zero-point energy through the use of
specially created antennae.
Suppose you ignore quantum theory and look upon this as a problem of general relativity. Instead of invoking Niels Bohr, you invoke Albert Einstein. What if you tried modifying the space-time metric? If you use the curved space-time of Einstein, you treat the vacuum as a medium that could be polarized. You do a little ‘vacuum engineering,’ as Nobel prize laureate Tsung-Dao Lee called it.11
Under this interpretation, the bending of a light ray, say, near a massive body, is caused by a variation in the refractive index of the vacuum near that mass. The propagation of light defines the space-time metric. What you might be able to do is decrease the refractive index of the Zero Point Field, which would then increase the speed of light. If you modify space-time to an extreme degree, the speed of light is greatly increased.
Mass then decreases and energy-bond
strength increases -
features that theoretically would make interstellar travel possible.
Another possible type of metric engineering, which also requires using Casimir forces, is traveling through wormholes - ‘cosmic subways’12, as Hal referred to them, which connect you to distant parts of the universe, as was imagined in Contact.
Hal coughed to clear his throat, his characteristic tic.
take twenty years to do it, he replied laconically. Or it might take
that same amount of time just to decide that it was not possible to
get to it. You probably weren’t looking at major space travel in his
lifetime, although he still held out hope of extracting energy for
earthbound fuel before he died.
different parts of the world, many of Puthoff ’s old colleagues,
also now in their sixties, were working away without fanfare on more
earthbound activities that were every bit as revolutionary, all
predicated on the idea that all communication in the universe exists
as a pulsating frequency and The Field provides the basis for
everything to communicate with everything else.
Since 1997, Benveniste and his
DigiBio colleagues have filed three patents on diverse applications.
For Benveniste the biologist, the applications, naturally enough,
were medical. He believed his discovery could open the way for an
entirely new digital biology and medicine, which would replace the
current clumsy hit-and-miss method of taking drugs.
It’s known that latex particles sensitized to a certain antibody
will cluster in the presence of E. coli K1. By recording the signal
for E. coli, another bacteria and also control substances, and then
applying them to the latex particles, Benveniste found that the E.
coli produced the largest clusters of any of the frequencies. Before
long, his team’s record for detecting the E. coli signal became
It also may mean that when we are ill, we may not need to take drugs. We could get rid of unwanted parasites or bacteria just by playing an unfriendly frequency. We could use electromagnetic means of detecting dangerous microorganisms in our agriculture or use them to find out whether foods have been genetically modified.
If we could come up with the right frequencies, we wouldn’t have to
use dangerous pesticides but could just kill bugs with
electromagnetic signals. You wouldn’t even have to do all this
detection work in person. Virtually all the test samples could be
emailed and carried out remotely.
Single neuron cells with just a few synapses
were capable of learning memories instantly.
The discovery of the presence of quantum resonance in
living things and the ability of the Zero Point Field to encode
information and provide instantaneous communication represented no
less than the Rosetta Stone of human consciousness, he said.15 All
the different strands he’d been investigating for thirty years were
finally beginning to come together.
That same year, Pribram received the Dagmar and Václav Havel prize for bringing
together the sciences and humanities.
Peter Milonni at Los Alamos’s NASA facilities had speculated that if the fathers of quantum theory had used classical physics with the Zero Point Field, the scientific community would have been far more satisfied with the result than they were by the many unanswerables of quantum physics.18
There are those who believe quantum theory
will one day be replaced by a modified classical theory which takes
into account the Zero Point Field. The work of these scientists may
take the word ‘quantum’ out of quantum physics and create a unified
physics of the world, large and small.
As young scientists with promising credentials, each had begun his career holding certain tenets sacred - the ideas and received wisdom of their peers:
Each of them had chanced upon an anomaly in this thinking and had the courage and the independence to pursue that line of inquiry.
One by one, the zero point age through painstaking experiment and trial and error, each had eventually come to the position that every one of these tenets - bedrocks of physics and biology - were probably wrong:
Every day in their laboratories, these scientists caught a tiny glimmer of the possibilities suggested by their discoveries.
found that we were something far more impressive than evolutionary
happenstance or genetic survival machines. Their work suggested a
decentralized but unified intelligence that was far grander and more
exquisite than Darwin or Newton had imagined, a process that was not
random or chaotic, but intelligent and purposeful. They’d discovered
that in the dynamic flow of life, order triumphed.
The work of these scientists suggested that this was a capacity neither abnormal nor rare, but present in every human being. Their work hinted at human abilities beyond what we’d ever dreamed possible.
We were far more than we realized. If we could understand this potential scientifically, we might then learn how to systematically tap into it. This would vastly improve every area of our lives, from communication and self-knowledge to our interaction with our material world. Science would no longer reduce us to our lowest common denominator.
It would help us take a final
evolutionary step in our own history by at last understanding
ourselves in all of our potential.
Far from destroying God, science for the first time was
proving his existence - by demonstrating that a higher, collective
consciousness was out there. There need no longer be two truths, the
truth of science and the truth of religion. There could be one
unified vision of the world.
We never were alone. We were
always part of a larger whole. We were and always had been at the
center of things. Things did not fall apart. The center did hold and
it was we who were doing the holding.
They knew and admired each other’s work and were acknowledged at these small gatherings of their peers.
Most of the scientists had been young men when they made their discoveries, and before they embarked on what turned out to be lifelong detours they had been highly respected, even revered. Now they were approaching retirement age, and among the wider scientific community most of their work still had never seen the light of day.
They were all Christopher
Columbus and nobody believed what they’d returned to tell. The bulk
of the scientific community ignored them, continuing to grip tightly
to the notion that the earth was flat.
Some, like Benveniste, had merely been
marginalized. For many years, Edgar Mitchell, now 71, depended on
lectures about his exploits in outer space to fund his research into
consciousness. Every so often Robert Jahn would submit a paper with
unimpeachable statistical evidence to an engineering journal, and
they would dismiss it out of hand. Not for the science, but for its
shattering implications about the current scientific world view.
Each carried on with the stubborn blinkered confidence of the true inventor. The old way was simply one more hot-air balloon. Resistance was the way it had always been in science. New ideas were always considered heretical. Their evidence might well change the world forever. There were many areas to be refined, other paths to go down.
Many might turn out to be detours or even dead ends, but the first tentative inquiries had been made.
It was a start, a first step, the way all real science started.