Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Chunk of Chapters and a Hunk of Speculation

You will find a run of new chapters over at THE GOOD-BYE Man covering the next ten years of Linda's life.  Although it was during this span of time that Townsend's career seemed to go dark, I think there is much that we can deduce about it from known facts.

While Townsend  continued his association with Dr. Sarbacher and his work in the lab in Washington, D.C., he also signed a consulting contract with Sud Ouest, a French aerospace firm. Townsend set up a Gravitor-type research project in their facilities and initiated the follow-up work to be conducted in his absence. Jacques Cornillion, the firm's representative in the United States, kept Townsend abreast of the  progress they made, reporting  that successive demonstrations were given to ever more important people, all the way up through the French military and to the cabinet level of government. Based on reported test results, it seems highly likely indicate that the Biefield-Brown effect was shown to occur in a vacuum, an outcome which bode extremely well for the future of space propulsion technology.

After 2 short trips to France, Townsend returned home and then left again fo parts unknownand was gone for the remainder of 1956 and into the early winter of 1957, during which time, the Naval Research Lab was actively planning and building its own satellite program, a program which would be supported by tracking radar located in radio frequency "quiet spots" around the world. My large chunk of conjecture is that Townsend was actively involved in this project.

From the Navy's own historical summary

Between 1955 and 1959, NRL conducted the first American satellite program called Vanguard. The program was initiated to represent the United States in the International Geophysical Year (IGY). IGY was a cooperative international scientific effort…. The nation's leaders in science decided to participate in the IGY by placing an artificial satellite in orbit. Following this decision, a competition was held to determine which U.S. government agency would build and launch the satellite. The plan submitted by NRL was selected due, in part, to its success with the Viking Program. NRL's pioneering task was to design, build, launch, place in earth orbit, and track an artificial satellite carrying a scientific experiment….

And why do I think Townsend had anything at all to do with this, you ask? (Oh please, please, please, do ask!). Because, oh curious one, after disappearing for most of 1956, Townsend popped up again in early 1957 in Umatilla, Florida. The family spent a leisurely few months there and the only work-related travel Townsend undertook during this time was the occasional day trip, 'to see about a construction job.' And let us not forget that his Washington cohort, Dr. Sarbacher was heavily involved with with missile guidance systems.

More from the Navy site:

In 1957, because suitable satellite-launching facilities were not available, NRL constructed the first complete satellite-launching facility at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Central control of this facility was maintained at the main NRL site in Washington, DC. Critical functions involved in attaining orbit had to be performed many hundreds of miles from the launch pad. NRL had developed in 1956 the first satellite-tracking system, called Mini track, which provided the first down-range instrumentation for determining the orbit of a satellite. This system evolved from NRL's work on phase comparison and angle tracking and used a series of fan-shaped, vertical antenna beams.

And perhaps you can guess just what small, sleepy, Florida town lies a short 90 miles inland from Cape Canaveral? 



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