An Introduction to the Mysteries of Ground Radio

The concept that signals could acquire additional energy from an unacknowledged geomantic source was not readily received by the academic community. Some experimenters initiated dialogue on the possible gain of signals which had traversed the geomagnetic field (Prentice). These gains were not the simple result of “standing waves”, nor the result of Hall Effect intensifications provoked by launching signals across the geomagnetic field. The perplexing effect was noted across the entire radiofrequency spectrum, from VLF radiotelegraphic to shortwave radiotelephone services. Unlike the identical phenomena which took place in wired telegraph and telephone lines, these effects were taking place in complete absence of wire. But what dynamic agency was literally magnifying each relatively small initial signal?

With the installation of multiple Marconi Transatlantic Stations, it quickly became known that transoceanic VLF magnification phenomena were only obtained when signals were launched along highly specific “launch paths”. Conformity with these “launch paths” produced undistorted signals of unexpected great power and presence. VLF signals which were not applied to the special launchpaths, were simply lost in transit. The Marconi World Radio Circuit relied these very obvious environmental controls, but it was quite impossible for engineers to follow the exact pathways of these suboceanic signals. It was first thought that the phenomenon had much to do with the submarine ground itself. By assuming the existence of special highly conductive marine geostrata, it was imagined that a simple geological survey could codify the selection of Marconi Station sites.

But no such geological formula or pattern was ever found, to the great consternation of engineers and theoreticians alike. Directed along identical suboceanic geostrata, the very same VLF signals encountered unexpected and unexplained high signal resistivity; a frightful realization for those whose labor was expended in the building of several Marconi Stations. What was the strange “absorptive potential” by which a launched signal could simply be drawn across a specific launchpath? If not in the material strata of submarine geology, where then was this mysterious “absorptive potential” contained?

Several sites were quietly abandoned by the Marconi Company, the matter being privately considered for very obvious business reasons. The prospect of statistical failure in the “scientific” selection of VLF launchpaths displeased Marconi greatly. The use of dowsing methods would be very “bad for business” if the fact became known to the scientific community at large. These factors eventually drove Marconi deeper into a study of shortwave aerial phenomena. Other radio station engineers found it necessary to select station sites through “alternative” or “geomantic” means. This renewed awareness of geomantic energy, as well as the role of special points and pathways in effecting long distance communications, provoked a hostile and derisive reaction among conventional engineers.


The advent of shortwave radio systems however, produced intriguing anomalies, which found neither immediate theoretical models nor solutions. Unable to account for the divergent signal strengths noted between separate aerial or ground contacts, fact-finding empirical research was again engaged. The models which theoreticians developed postulated that a loosely linked “skywave” and “groundwave” were responsible for the anomalous reception effects. In this analysis of waveradio transmitters, a conduction wavesignal “through the ground” was selectively either neutralized or intensified by an aerial signal “through the sky” (Breit and Tuve).

With the newly discovered ionized atmospheric layer neatly providing “skipping” reflectivity for transmissions, the model was complete. Accordingly, the proper phasing of skipped skywaves and groundwaves produced resultant signals of unusual strength. Improper phasing produced received signals were weak or even absent. It was then easy to comprehend the varying nature of shortwave signals whenever encountered. One could find reasonable explanation for variable signal strengths throughout the day, month, and year. “Skipping” skywaves met with continuous groundwaves to produce all of the observed signal receptions. Phase shifting explained all of these variations. Or did it?

The use of very long, close-ground antennas was early implemented by those who sought the development of special aerial-ground hybrid antennas. The “double ground” aerial employed an elevated line with grounded ends. This format was limited by its orientation requirements, often acting as an excellent directional detector of distant stations. Extremely low aerials were developed and used in 1911 (Kiebitz), often extending to nearly 1000 feet in length and being poised to within a yard of ground level. In 1918, a similar system (A. Hall) placed 2700 feet of insulated cable along the ground surface, and claimed excellent reception characteristics.

The famed “Beverage Antenna” (patent 1,381,089), was the result of experiments with several thousand straight feet of wiring on tall insulating posts, a design which attracted the fortune-aimed attentions of RCA. Wishing to break the existing market on special beam aerials, this design formed the means by which Marconi monopolies on the “bent-L” aerials were broken. The receptive clarity of this design increased with proximity to ground. RCA could not infringe on the Rogers designs, or those of others, whose buried ground antennas produced better signal strength.

These horizon-hugging aerials provoked controversy because of their supposed necessary “management” of a mixed sky and ground wave complex. Experiment proved that increasing elevations of the Beverage Antenna resulted in a pure and noisy skywave signal, with the greatest signal intensities being derived with the line placed as close to ground surface as possible. In some cases, these ground-parallel aerials were poised on insulators 12 foot or less for best effect. Being the design which represents the theoretical midpoint, between the buried Rogers dipole and the Marconi “bent-L”, the Beverage Antenna reveals that ground currents and ground signals are indeed distinct in origin and species. These results helped to convince many that the proposed “nearzone-farzone” radio principles were absolutely mistaken. In fact, a special theory was developed to “explain” the superior operation of the Beverage Aerial. [All of these patents and articles are found in Vril Compendium Volumes 9 and 10].

A great many popular radio magazine articles were devoted to the unusual reception of signals through the ground alone (Volume 8, Vril Compendium). To the amateur experimenters of the time, it was all too apparent that the theoretical assessments lacked reality. Those who studied radio propagation phenomena for military applications could not account for the fact that far too powerful ground signals continued with increasing range from their sourcepoint. By comparison, their aerial signal counterparts were far too weakened by the journey. Experimenters found that the “skywave-groundwave” model did not explain the continued magnification of signals “received through the ground”. When compared to signals “received through the air”, the ground signals were persistently more powerful, and far less eroded by static.