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An Introduction to the Mysteries of 
Ground Radio

by Gerry Vassilatos

GROUND Radio is a subject which has remained on the periphery of engineering discussions for decades. It has maintained its elusive and mysterious poise because of fundamental anomalies observed when its methods are utilized, anomalies which manifest when signals are both transmitted and received directly through the ground. The inability to adequately address the associated anomalies has produced a remarkable impasse among conventional engineers. Many highly qualified such persons are quite sure that the Ground Radio phenomenon is adequately explained through classic theoretical propagation models. Experimental findings however, have brought to our attention several anomalous features of this form of Radio propagation.

Only an extensive and deliberated exploration of Ground Radio will prove our several discoveries in the art. Rudimentary and inexpensive in requirement, experiments with Ground Radio provide an endless source of anomalies. Experimental investigations of these methods may begin with as little equipment as a shortwave receiver, a copper pipe, and a length of wire. The rest remains in the strangely lost art of interpretation. The accurate interpretation of the findings derived through such experimentation requires familiarity with the pertinent bibliography. We hope that the reader is encouraged to duplicate and surpass these methods, as those who do so will not be without their due reward. The discovery of new and unfamiliar phenomena can be yours...when you take the first step.

TELLURIC CURRENTS

The metaphysical earth currents were both observed and described in great detail by Fr. Athanasius Kircher. His writings preserve an ancient knowledge which concerned itself wholly with the vitality of the earth. The metaphysical telluric currents were known to permeate the world, the energies which mediating vitality. Maps of telluric currents were the prized possessions of geomancers, permitting the knowledge of vitality control on earth. It is said that wars were fought by the selective elimination or exaltation of specific veinworks in the telluric circulatory system. The science of Geomancy thus formed the mysterious historical backdrop against which a wide variety of natural observations were subsequently made.

With time, the experiential appreciation for the metaphysical earth energies was systematically lost. The more qualified scientific observers replaced their sensitive experience of telluric energies with a merely superficial observation of geoelectric currents. This schism has provoked the controversial thesis upon which our present discussion is therefore based. While some will be defiantly confident that experiential telluric energies are resolved into geoelectrical currents, we remain just as adamant in our absolute conviction that the experiential telluric energies precede and define the observed geoelectric patterns. This schism has not, and will never be resolved. So long as there are those who insist on observing the superficialities of natural phenomenon, completely obsessed with the kinematics of otherwise experience-filled phenomena, there will be a scientific conflict.

The filtration of highly selected portions of natural phenomena characterizes contemporary quantitative science. Until the scientific community becomes willing to admit the greater part of their experience, all considerations of natural phenomena will remain for them a blank wall of intensities and numerical values. Ancient Science connected its pursuants with an experience, one gained through direct physiological contact with the telluric currents themselves. It is in the active contact with these ground-derived currents alone that we recognize the true and fundamental continuum in which our world is set, an expansive experience by which we access and learn the ancient arcanum.

The discovery that various signal species could be both transmitted and received directly through grounded terminals, forms the fascinating subject matter of a largely forgotten historical record. In this regards, we find a technical bibliography replete with remarkable instances of early successful experimentation in the art of drawing power and signals directly from the ground. Completely ignoring the fact that a large bibliography of anomalies had been compiled by research predecessors, engineers of the time developed communications systems which relied entirely on electrical currents. As a carrier of code and voice, electricity was "reliable". But with increasing engineering emphasis on electricity and electrical technology, the subject of geomantic energies was driven into forgetfulness. Thereafter, those who confused geomantic energy with electrostatic effects were the cause of the numerous controversies by which Late Victorian Science is characterized; endless confusions in terms and identifications.

When the subject of long-distance communications was compelled to shift thematic emphasis away from the vitalistic foundations, it lost touch with an energy which did not cease exerting strong influences on the developing electrical technology of the time period. Only a few, now legendary researchers, continued the geomantic tradition. From the very first moment in which ground connections were established in a telegraphic signalling line, inventors and operators of electrical systems noticed anomalous energetic behaviors in the ground. The very first attempts at long distance telegraphy involved the burial of highly insulated double lines (Morse and Vail). Upon first closure of the telegraph key, the signalling components became so thoroughly suffused with charge that the exchange of signals became an impossibility.

In truth, the art of wired and wireless communication began in a reawakened appreciation of geomancy and geomantic energies. This remarkable reminder came about with the replacement of the original 2-wire telegraph line (Reusser, 1794) by the 1-wire method (Aldini, 1803), the latter requiring far less wire and several ground plate terminations. The telegraph stations of Morse used grounded plates, a means by which engineers imagined the "necessary return current...through the ground". Wired code on a single overhead wire was thus "matched" by an opposed ground return of charge, a condition which fulfilled the prevalent model of electrical closure.

GEOMANTIC INCURSIVES

As none of these researchers actually measured the elusive "ground current", many engaged an imaginative freeplay in the artistic description of the same. Several patent drawings reveal a curiously geomantic flair, the meandering "return currents" flowing over land and stream to their terminals. Here we find remarkable evidence that these inventors were in fact engaging in a form of geomantic vision, describing an entirely different and more agile energy species than electrical current (Farmer, Ader, Frow). Toward the peak successful operation of telegraph and telephone systems, the proper placement of terminal plates was an absolute requirement. As this art demanded special ability, the first telegraph linesmen used the methods familiar to dowsers. The very placement of ground plates, poles, and junction boxes was, for these linesmen, completely predicated on the strong presence of upwelling energies from the earth. Empirical evidence proved these methods superior to "resistance surveying" in the placement of station plates and other components.

Telegraph lines so constructed were possessed of a noumenous and suffusive quality. Natural geomancers had provided the means. Here was evidence that another energetic stratum was governing the development and limiting the establishment of long-distance electrical communications systems. The subjective experience of linesmen was ample indication that such a mysterious energy stratum was indeed present and active. Thus, the invasive energy demonstrated its ability to enforce certain restrictions on the establishment and operation of Telegraphy and Telephonic systems. The communications technology, which engineers imagined to be completely independent of natural agency, was being subverted by an everpresent geomantic influence.

Besides the obvious geomantic incursions, those which influenced the decisions of workmen and designers, the energetic presence made itself known in several other ways. Power literally appeared "from the ground" in many stations, a condition which Alfred Vail reported (1839). He found it necessary to progressively remove batteries from the first long-distance telegraph line, reporting this remarkable manifestation of energy to his elder partner, Samuel Morse. Lines operated on an energy which exceeded the battery supply, and ground-connective communications systems were especially prone to bizarre energy manifestations.

Hoping to save the finance of excessive wire line, many telegraph systems implemented the discovery that code could easily "pass through water". To this end, engineers experimented with the use of widely separated groundplates, ameans which proved strangely successful. Experiments with ground-conduction established telegraphic contact through an isthmus (Morse, 1842), through streams (Vail, 1843), wide rivers (Lindsay, 1843), canals (Highton, 1852), across a bay (Meucci, 1846), through the earth (Stubblefield, 1872), and between distant islands (Preece, 1880). An accidental discovery proved that one longline system continued operating with great strength of signal, despite the fact that the line had been literally broken in several places. The realization that code signals could actually enter and traverse the ground for several hundred yards, and then reenter a grounded line, triggered a new revolution.

Thereafter, combined wired and wireless links formed the greater portion of telegraph exchanges across the miles of North American countryside. Ground plates launched code signals into predetermined land tracts and waterways, signals being conveyed along specific subterranean routes. Signals passed "into and through the ground" to each next ground plate of a series. When reentering the next groundplate, signals continued through the overhead lines to their appointed destinations. Stations received very strong signals in this method, signals with great clarity and force. Here were the early beginnings of the conduction wireless methods, and relied on the mysterious nature of ground conduction and ground energy for their successful operation. It was clear to linesmen and operators that the signal energy could not possibly be maintained over such long ground and water conduction paths without amplification. Some external agency was somehow augmenting and modifying the applied signal impulses. The anomalous functioning of these largescale regional signalling systems proved again that the geomantic agency was literally wending its way through the line networks. Not every such line operated in this manner, the geomantic currents selecting very specific paths for its operation. This topographic selectivity hailed attention back to the maps once treasured by geomancers. The augmentation of applied electrical energy was obvious. These specially placed telegraph and telephone lines operated for years without batteries at all. Station operators took this phenomenon for granted. Despite the "long dead and corroded Edison Cells", telegraph station operators continued the powerful exchange of "fat blue and sparking" signals for decades (Lehr).

Other researchers corroborated the fact that usable amounts of current could actually be derived from the ground, currents whose powerful displays permitted the elimination of battery cups and generators. The failure of all reductive electrical models to satisfactorily address these energetic characteristics became especially evident with the development of the "earth batteries", an outgrowth of these telegraphic observations (Bain, 1849). These simple material composites, made to be buried in earth, produced currents not explained through electrolytic action. Small buried earth batteries developed sufficient power to charge storage batteries. They were also employed to provide telegraphic (Bryan, Cerpaux, Dieckmann, Jacques, Bear), and later telephonic systems (Stubblefield, Strong, Brown, Tomkins, Lockwood) with uninterrupted operating power. Neither decomposing nor failing with months of buried use, the mysterious earth batteries contain an essential mystery which electrodynamic models cannot adequately explain.

Those who doubt these facts may attempt the simplest of experiments. Place two identical copper rods into the ground however distant your skepticism demands. The ground can be dry. Connect a galvanometer to each rod by means of thin wire. An anomalous positive reading results. This simple fact illustrates the concepts taught by Nathan Stubblefield, who stated that earth batteries do not generate electricity: they intercept and receive ground flowing telluric currents. If you wish to find strong telluric currents by this means, place one of your two ground rods into a tree root. The galvanometer should be wired close to this base. The other rod is wired and can be placed in sequentially different spots. Readings can literally "pin" the meter, holding it there for weeks.

Telluric incursives continued to "interrupt" all electrical communications methods which employed the ground as a medium of exchange. These incursives revealed aspects of the geomantic nature as each new technology was connected to the ground. The mere appearance of additional power was greatly outperformed when, just prior to the advent of Telephony, a shortlived revolution swept the Telegraphic World. Certain telegraph companies replaced all of their electromagnetic systems with the Chemical, or "Automatic Telegraph" of Alexander Bain (1849). The Chemical Telegraph regime utilized the electrosensitivity of special chemical papers to register incoming signals. Code impulses made their dark blue marks on the rolling strip of sensitive paper, the task of decoding having thus been made "automatic". Because of the low power requirements typical to their method, the Automatic Telegraph lines were successfully operated across much greater distances than their electromagnetic counterparts.

From the very first, some such Chemical Telegraph systems operated on ground power alone. Not only did these systems produce strong signal markings in complete absence of batteries, but partly coherent signals spontaneously appeared in absence of operators as well! The mystifying appearance of fragmentary sentences and geometric patterns was continually observed in idle Chemical Telegraph receivers, a phenomenon which has been discussed in a former treatise (Vril Compendium Vol. 3). Perceptive investigators clearly perceived that incursions of geomantic energy were dynamically modifying and augmenting every ground application of electrical energy. Such anomalous energy manifestations, which often revealed a perplexing time-periodicity, found no plausible explanation among the theoreticians.

With the introduction of Telephony, the use of simple buried terminal plates was soon replaced by a great number of special articulate ground components. Again requiring geomantic sensitivity for their proper ground placement and orientation, these remarkable interleaved and multivented forms literally launched and received signals along selective topographic directions (Taylor and Muirhead, Lugo, Smith). Besides those anomalous power observations in telegraphic and telephonic systems, anomalous observations were noted with the development of wireless communications. The relevant bibliography is filled with instances of geomantic power incursions in wireless systems. These incursions, clearly understood by early wireless pioneers as effects of the earth connection, made their impact on the engineering community.


GROUNDWAVE RADIO

The late part of the Nineteenth Century was a rich and productive time for the empirical researchers, those who explored the deep mysteries of ground conduction radio. Such investigation produced a new world of possibilities in the Wireless Arts. Experimenters found distinctive differences when varieties of geometric shapes were simply buried, a series of discoveries having no satisfactory conventional explanation. A great many highly specialized ground "antennas" were developed and patented during this time period, a technology which provoked both disbelief and criticism on numerous counts.

The very first vocal radio broadcast was engaged by Nathan B. Stubblefield (1872). Mr. Stubblefield employed special "earth cells" and long iron rods to transmit strong vocal signals "with great clarity". These signals traversed a mile or more of ground, a coordinated conduction wireless system providing telephone service for a hardworking farm community. The Stubblefield Radio Method represents an essential technological mystery. His "earth cells" never wore out, never produced heat in their telephonic components, and provided "signal ready" power at any given instant of the day. Being neither activated or assisted by additional battery power, the system was fully operational around the clock.

Later critics attempted the reduction of the Stubblefield Radio System to mere "subsoil conduction" mode of transmission, but remain completely unable to reproduce the performance to this day. Mr. Stubblefield repeatedly stated confidence in the fact that his Radio System was performing an act of modulation, not a transmission of signal power. The preexisting "electrical waves in the earth", he firmly stated, were the real energy carriers for his Wireless Telephone Exchange. The special "earth cells" were connective terminals, not power antennas; a means by which direct connection with the geomantic energy stratum was obtained.

In an entirely different regime of exploration, a regime having nothing whatsoever to do with waveradio energies, Dr. Nikola Tesla directed the construction of a massive radiating structure on the northshore of Long Island. His previous years of experience taught him the secrets concerning radiant energy and its effective propagation through the air and space (1892 to 1900). Understanding the means by which radiant energy may be more effectively beamed down through the ground, Dr. Tesla established the magnificent Wardenclyffe Station (1901). Tesla intended Wardenclyffe to be the first of a series, stations for the subterranean beam transmission of radiant energy. Propagation of very large diameter radiant energy beams had been found more effective for given power purposes, when conducted through solid rock. Tesla found that the earth was transparent to these penetrating straightline beams, and planned the use of deeply imbedded ground terminals in order to direct and launch his special radiant energy.

Dr. Tesla took special pains to establish the extensive underground conducting system in order "to get a grip of the earth". This most complex construction operation, necessarily executed long before the great tower was erected, took place below the Power Broadcast Station. Tesla stated that this was the most difficult part of his construction operation at Wardenclyffe, the drilling of long iron pipes having first been driven down to more than 300 feet into the foundation rock. At a depth of 120 feet, Tesla excavated several radiating shafts, long hallways whose internal walls were covered with pitch and surrounded with iron pipeworks. These shafts extended outward at this horizontal depth for several hundred feet in all directions, a formidable ground projector. Beneath the central chambers of this Magnifying Transmitter, the deeply embedded terminals actually formed the primary beaming structure; a bizarre conception which was literally rediscovered in legal documents provided by Mr. Leland Anderson, and has since been experimentally verified by Eric Dollard.

Fr. Josef Murgas (1906) produced a remarkable series of articulated monopole terminals. These coaxial coil monopoles were deeply drilled pipes, filled with mineral oil and activated by radioimpulses. With these designs, Fr. Murgas exchanged extremely powerful and static-free signals to great distances with very little applied power. The later proliferation of ground aerial designs included double grounded arches (Tesla, Collins, Ducretet, Musits, Pickard), underwater and underground coils (Jones), underground loops (Beakes), "bent-L" inversions (Appleby, Knoll), and underground channel-loops (Hanson). Of these buried ground systems, none were as prolific as those developed by James Harris Rogers (1913). Most properly categorized as buried dipoles, Rogers antennas rested across the subsurface horizon of the ground, and were relatively easy to establish.

Desirous of creating VLF and ELF transmission sites for oceangoing surface and submerged fleet vessels, ground antenna designers attracted the attentions of the NRL and other military research laboratories. In the effort to establish failsafe communications between command centers and distant fleet, ground surface, or submerged forces, military engineers explored both Rogers buried antennas and Murgas drilled monopoles. To the thrift-minded military engineers, the buried Rogers Antennas were more accessible than the more effective and world permeating Murgas designs. Placed into long plowed furrows, the various Rogers antennas provided clarified signals. Compared with the large overhead aerials of other designers, Rogers buried antennas performed in a remarkably constant and dependable manner. Producing strong signals, of both greatly depressed static and equivalent reduced distortion levels, the Rogers designs were prized by Naval Radio engineers.

Rogers buried antennas were buried dipoles, a method application to an old design. Because the Rogers Antenna series were buried dipoles, their performance theoretically completely depended upon their compass orientations. The polarization of transmitted or received signals necessitated that Rogers Antennas be properly placed in the ground with respect to compass bearings, a restriction nonexistent with the superior Murgas Monopoles. But Rogers Antennas were admirably suited to the developing Naval Radio hardware. Driven by sinewave generators, rather than Teslian aether pulses, the Rogers designs operated in the Hertzian wave mode adequately enough to win military support. Few military experts bothered to recall that these designs were all purloined from directly from the Tesla patents, a fact which the genteel Tesla never bothered to cite.

Periodically classified and declassified, the Rogers designs and their modifications have formed the core of the military VLF and ELF communications arsenal. But most of the researchers instinctively sought out those monopoles which Fr. Murgas developed, and which the military had overlooked. Throughout the early part of the Twentieth Century, a great variety of ground antennas made their sudden appearance in the commercial radio market. Experimenters everywhere were discovering that different shapes and materials were capable of providing extraordinarily strong radio transmissions and receptions when simply buried.


GROUND TERMINALS

Attempts of devising newer and more effective ground antenna designs provoked several intriguing explorations. The most amazing discoveries included those made with relatively small buried metal forms. Radio rules changed completely when buried antenna were employed, the complete elimination of Hertzian dimension restrictions being the first observation. Unlike their aerial counterparts, buried terminals were not bound by those exacting requirements of wavelength. One did not require lateral dimensions equal to the normal shortwave aerial yardage, the first feature recognized by radio amateurs.

It was indeed during this time period that the customary use of old iron radiators and large metal bedsprings, scrap metal surplus, became an experimental vogue with radio amateurs. These buried, highly articulated iron forms, provided powerful evidence that the ground antenna principle actually worked. In the classic models, the burial of any aerial structure represented immersion in a conductive medium. The burial of conductors in the ground was viewed as reduction to a uniform, neutral electrical gradient. This condition sufficiently neutralized all of the geometric differences within an isoelectric horizon. Electrodynamic theory stated that any buried metal composite, however "variegated" or "articulated" in form, would simply behave as a "lumped" resistance.

While the use of variegated antennas posed no threat to the existing paradigm, academicians considered the concept of buried variegated antennas a theoretical impossibility. Indeed, those who examined ground aerial patents found completely problematic the notion that highly variegated geometric structures could demonstrate differing degrees of transmissive or receptive advantage. Electrical engineers insisted that the net surface areas of these buried "articulate" forms alone determined their resultant excessive performance. In this consideration, material composition did not matter. Conductivity was the prime factor. Differing only in their various surface areas, the only theoretical differences among buried geometries, in addition to those of mere surface area, were thought to be factors of electrolytic corrosion. The more pitted the ground contact surface, the more likely a buried object would become better conductive to signals. The microsurficial increase of surface contact through corrosive pitting was called to explain the "additional gain".

Since the electrical merits of buried materials were supposedly the simple result of surface area and the effectively moved electrical volume, the result of this inherent surface area, no special discovery was acknowledged among the authorities. But empirical determinations proved that different geometric shapes and (more unbelievably) different material composites, actually did effect an enhanced "launching" of radiosignals far in excess of their calculated surface area. Solid plates of calculated equivalent surface did not perform as magnificently as the buried radiators or bedsprings. he articulated exposure for potential conduction increasing to or from the surrounding ground.

But empirical research consistently overturned each of the theoretical contentions, proving by incontestable demonstration the superior signalling characteristics of articulate ground terminals. Anomalous signal strengths were both transmitted from and received through ground transmitting systems far in excess of intensities or topographic distances declared possible by theory. This was particularly true when the ground transmitting antennas were powered by spark-generated, asymmetric impulse currents. Signals were somehow being "collimated and constricted" within the ground proper. This constrictive action did not explain all of the observed signal intensities. Evidence had again suggested that the ground was "leaking" a non-electrical component up into both the electrical systems and their emerging signals.

In fact, several widely advertised and highly successful designs included the "Yale Ground Hog", the "Subtenna", the "Aeroliminator", and the "Subaerial". These few representatives demonstrated the superiority of ground antennas, a validity which literally emptied the stock rooms of each ground antenna distributor. Dr. F. L. Satterlee, an X-Ray specialist, developed several "tuned ground" radio receivers. Implemented by The Moon Radio Company, these radiosets placed their performance boasts on a remarkable "antenna-free" operation. The principle advantage of these ground antennas was their static-eliminating nature. The ease of their installation and maintenance combined great signalling efficiency. Several of the commercial units needed only to be connected with a cold water pipe, their powerful and "static-free" reception being unequalled by the more conventional "aerial receivers". Additionally, waveradio receivers produced by The Moon Radio Company operated during normally impossible meteorological and geophysical conditions; a condition well described by Nikola Tesla. A great many inventors continued producing truly amazing diversity in the "ground antenna" format. Throughout this time of amazing and anomalous discoveries, the empirical method led the way.


NATURAL AMPLIFIER
It had been clearly observed by a number of experimenters that the environment exerted strong and dynamic action on transmitter signals. It was long known that this mysterious energy species could actively charge ground-connected radio systems in absence of applied power, the early experiments of Loomis having established this principle (1862). This agency was very obviously possessed of an inherently superior articulate nature, being able to distinguish and energize buried material composites and varied geometric forms. In addition, the energetic ground agency seemed able to selectively seek out, constrict into, and intensify the incoming signal power of distant stations. There were obviously other influences which determined the nature of ground-traversing signals.

Experimenters realized that these effects differed with both the methods used in obtaining the spark energy, the manner in which disturbances were launched into the environment, the grounds into which signals were launched, and the specific directions along which they were launched. The spark applications of small experimental radiotransmitters produced signals of unexpected large volume at great distances, empirical evidence of an unexplained signal "amplifier" in the natural environment (Appleton and Barnett). VLF amplification effects had been empirically recognized among radio engineers on both sides of the Atlantic. In fact, the very first historical Transatlantic Signals of Marconi were problematic from every engineering standpoint. The calculated losses, theoretically expected of these signals, were far too great to account for his first claimed successes (1901). This was a fact which provoked many to doubt and criticize Marconiís claims in the venture. Later repeatable demonstrations of the VLF amplification effect evoked few suggested explanations from the engineering community.

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? Geological survey could codify the selection of Marconi Station sites.

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