An Introduction to the Mysteries of Ground Radio

Of the many energetic interactions occurring in and among spark discharges, Hertz chose but two for analysis (1887). Convention has agreeably restricted its considerations to the same, affirming that only two fields of influence make themselves manifest at close distances from a spark. The induction field, and the “radiowave field”. Induction field effects rapidly fall away with the inverse square of distance from a spark center. The “true radio energy” is that wave energy which loses intensity with the inverse distance from a spark center. This difference of intensity with distance from the spark center defines the radiofield. Radio texts described the “nearzone” (induction field) and the “farzone” (radiofield). Patent examiners used this model to eliminate all but the Marconi claims for wireless transmission of signals, a tragic reduction. Far more important demonstrations proved the superiority of geomantic radio principles. Certain highly qualified experimenters disagreed with the simplistic Hertzian view, and contradicted the views of a growing mainstream (Stubblefield, Tesla, Massey, Moray).

Some thought that the induction field was the source of the unusual ground signals, the electrostatic influence which induced electron oscillations in the rock immediately beneath transmitter towers. Much improved ground configurations were thought to provide additional power to these relatively weak induction oscillations. Large area copper screens or grids were pre-buried long before transmitting towers or aerials were erected. These conductive screens extended outward from the central transmitting axis for several hundred yards in some instances. Thus directly applied, ground currents were given enormous impulse, a possible reason for the strong and predominating reception of local stations in neighborhood receivers. Theoretically, these induction sources were incapable of propagating beyond one quarter of a wavelength from their tower centers. Deep VLF ground currents of 10 kilocycles were therefore not to be received beyond 15 kilometers from their source. The transmission of 3 megacycle signals would, according to these expectations, produce ground currents undetected beyond 250 feet from their source.

These “nearzone-farzone” models did not explain the true signal strength received through ground antennas. Why for example, could VLF signals be received from distances much further than 10,000 miles from their aerial gantries? Why were shortwave signals routinely received from distances surpassing 15,000 miles? Nevertheless, the ground antenna made such signal reception possible. One may yet demonstrate these dynamics with rudimentary ground rod antennas, a technique which will shortly be described. The “nearzone-farzone” model does not explain why VLF signals are only received along specific constrictive paths, a mystery which deepens when it is realized that such conductive ground paths are never found along strictly geodesic sections. Field distribution experiments show the meandering nature of VLF signals across regions of ground, a fact which correlates their much-amplified propagation with geomantic current paths.

There were, in addition, several remarkable reversals of these same theoretical expectations. Why, across certain locales, was it impossible to receive the powerful shortwave transmissions of a station some several hundred yards away in plain sight? “Radio blindspots” could not be explained on the basis of earth conductivity or geophysical characteristics alone. These glaring propagation discrepancies posed neither problem nor threat to the empirical researchers, who formulated their own naturally accurate models. The anomalous “blindspots” and “freak transmissions” which the routinely observed, were exceptions to the theoretical models. Such notable and unexplainable instances, while continuing to plague the modelmakers, provoked far too little academic interest (Hollingworth, Quack).

This experimental example offered a most startling clue to the mode of transmission actually responsible for the operation of buried antenna designs. The “skywave-groundwave” model presupposes that a singular radiosource will produce a singular radiating wave, half of the wave propagating through an aerial route, the other half being immersed in ground. Passage through the atmospheric route gathers static signatures and other distortions which are supposedly induced throughout the wavefront. This aerial noise is transferred and distributed throughout the advancing wavefront. Being absolutely tied to its aerial portion, the ground wave of any signal must therefore contain each acquired noise signature. The same holds true when the ground signal acquires static and distortions along its earthen propagation path. Then, the aerial portion receives new static signatures as a coequal distribution from the ground up. But all too many occasions prove the absolute contradiction of this model, and ground antennas provided the incontrovertible evidence.

Buried terminals gave the clearest proof that aerial signals and ground signals were of completely different origin, those of the ground having the most obvious source in a powerful autodynamic matrix. Aerial waves were so obviously dissolved and “digested” in transit from their distant sources, while ground currents often demonstrated anomalous intensification in transit. It was furthermore quite obvious that electrical currents were not responsible for the ground currents beyond the theoretical quarterwave limits. Signals received through the ground were clarified and strong, even when aerial sampling proved that there should be only a static “hiss”. Experiments have shown that the sometimes “wavering” behavior of ground received signals are the result of completely different origins, a dynamic response to completely distinct causes.

Added articulate dimensions made their appearance in a regime of improved ground antennas. Some designs employed chemical saturations to produce greatly clarified and intensified signals. The revolutionary approach began as a chemical treatment to existing ground terminals, a treatment giving superior empirical results. Chemically treated terminals brought a complete eradication of static. The chemical of choice for these “treatments” was copper sulfate, the watery solution being liberally poured upon the buried terminal until the soil became a slurry. Allowed to dry out, these terminals displayed their enormously improved outputs. In other such experimental arrangements, copper sulfate solution was placed in a large porous cup. Contact was made with the solution with a metal rod. This design completely eliminated common static and other crackling noises, a significant improvement which also provided new insight into the nature of ground signals themselves.

The performances of chemically treated ground antennas was not well comprehended, it being simply assumed that the earth-permeating solutions projected a conductive horizon beyond the antenna itself. Poured into the ground and allowed to dry in situ, such solutions were thought to extend a wonderfully articulate matrix of “fingerlets” beyond the metallic antenna framework. Crystalline, complex, and replete with dendritic projections, such arrangements became ‘woven into the earth”. How did such an underground crystalline complex manage to multiply signal conductivity, while depressing all of the expected levels of static? Ensheathing the metallic framework, the crystallized solution represented a non-conductive envelope. How conductive was the crystallized “matrix” at all? Electrically unresponsive in its dried crystalline form, any such copper sulfate sheath should have blocked the entrance of all purely electrical currents. What carrier was then delivering its obviously improved signals?