His thoughts now turned toward the future, his future. While applying for colleges, he busied himself with meditations on gravitation. He wondered if he had not, in fact, discovered one great and mysteriously hidden gravity secret. Such a secret could be cultivated into a world revolution. Such a secret could reach toward the stars. Summoned by a pilot of the future, his engines could lift an entire crew into the deep reaches of other worlds. He was sure that his system would successfully lift a spaceship through the heavy mantle of gravity out to the sapphire edge of space.
Thomas Townsend Brown entered the California Institute of Technology in 1922. He was a brilliant seventeen year old. With deliberate intentions, he tried desperately to gain the attention of certain notable professors on staff. Robert Millikan was one for whom he held great admiration. He believed that sharing his experimental observations with Millikan would be fruitful. By this time he had developed a substantial base of observations through his home research to inspire others who were “far more capable than himself’ of studying his new electric force effect.
Passionate dreamers can never contain their minds. Dreamers seem as impulsive as the energies with which they are involved. Tom simply wished for the development of that space-drive engine so that humanity could explore the great, unfathomable depths of radiant black space. Had he known the ill manner in which Millikan behaved toward the great Nikola Tesla, he would ever have wasted his time or heart’s hope.
Millikan scoffed at Tesla when the latter claimed to have discovered cosmic rays. When a few others corroborated some of these claims, which Tesla made, Millikan would not yield. In fact, academe to the bitter end, he made several refutations of the notion altogether. When at last he could not maintain his stubborn ground, he himself yielded, claiming to have discovered “new cosmic rays” of his own.
Therefore, when Tom was rejected by Millikan and several other staff members, he was crushed. The biography of heralded academes usually indicates that, when their dreams were rejected by their superiors, they yielded under pressure. After such a period of ruthless “hazing”, they refuted and recanted all their deepest hearts dreams. “Cleansed” of their obstructive romanticism, they find a sudden and peculiar affection being extended toward them once again. Occupying the remainder of their lives mocking other dreamers, they successfully perform highly profiled technical minutiae, and ending in highly honored vacuousness.
For Tom Brown such rejection was difficult to bear. Not one academe, including the illustrious Robert Millikan, accepted Tom’s ideas or research work. The anomalous new electric force was, for them, nonsense. The phenomenon had no place in the accepted academic lexicon. He would not yield the romanticism. In this he saw the life of true and noble science. Without passion there is nothing. The small town boy dreamed the world of science. It was his whole life and esteem. The famed persons, the romantic ideals of science and its glory … all of these formed his heart. Things did not go well for him in California after these crushing rejections.
In this first collision with rigid academia, Tom received a precious guidance. What he had was real. He knew it. Why would they not know it? Were they afraid of truth, or just unworthy of its secrets? Exposed to the cold, he now knew where to find the warmth. He would never again give his honor toward those who would not take the time to listen to or learn of his secret. Observing and feeling that frigidity of response from academicians would trigger his ever-cautious reflexes. He soon learned that the “rejection” pattern was strangely predominant in places where he would least expect it: in universities and research laboratories.
Tom Brown himself managed to remain insulated from the poison of this contagious academic illness long enough to make legendary advancements in research, taking gradual strength from the first brush against the glacier, he suddenly realized what had occurred. Perhaps Millikan was too busy having lunch those first few times. The others were probably steered by Millikan’s opinion of young Brown, preferring the security of their poise to a casual conversation with young students of great promise.
Whatever the case, Tom knew beyond all doubt that his discovery would shake the foundations of science itself. With his simple little garage experiment, he introduced enough imbalance into the accepted lexicon to repel the greatest physicists. Tom witnessed this curiously annoying, but amusing response among those whose prejudices could not simply accept scientific truth. Tom joyously transferred (1923) to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Closer to the warmth of home, he no longer felt that greatness was identified with great publicity. He continued his research at higher levels of perfection with funds of his own. Tom, no longer in need of any attention or honor, gradually “opened up” to his physics professor after the latter learned of his private research. Describing his home laboratory experiments and the phenomenon, which he had proven beyond all doubt, Dr. Paul Biefield was greatly intrigued. And encouraging. Tom’s quiet dignity and confidence said everything, which Dr. Biefield needed to see. Serious, sober, sincere. The description of this strange effect greatly aroused curiosity. He wished to see the effect for himself. There was a reason.
Dr. Biefield was once a classmate of Albert Einstein in Switzerland, remaining a close colleague and friend throughout the years. It was obvious to Dr. Biefield that Tom’s electro-motional effect was something profound. The phenomenon could not find conventional explanation because no conventional expression had been provided for its manifestation. The effect was a gravitational one. Dr. Biefield and Tom both discussed how the momentary blurring of electric and gravitational forces might have provoked an electrogravitic effect. With this discussion came a long-standing friendship, which would forever change the life of Thomas Townsend Brown.
Dr. Biefield now contended on behalf of Tom’s discovery, maintaining that he be encouraged to bring his work to the professional research facilities which the College could provide. Tom was deeply touched, the warmth cautiously returning toward the academic world once more.
- ENDLESS LIGHT: Dr. Thomas Henry Moray
- DEADLY SOUND: Vladimir Gavreau