Article by BSRAssociate Ed Skilling — from JBR (Vol. 18, Nos. 5 & 6, July & August 1962)
On a warm July evening 1958 a telephone call from a friend and business associate startled me. The gentleman, an orthodox scientist — Dr. X to protect his identity — who had obtained his Doctorate at Columbia University, asked me to see a free energy device in which he had just invested considerable capital for a three month option to buy a 50% interest.
After signing a secrecy agreement, I met with Lester J. Hendershot and saw the Hendershot Motor. Dr, X chose to rename it the Hendershot Fuelless Generator, which was more descriptive of the device.
Les Hendershot in his sixties was a simple, sincere individual, with a lovely wife and four wonderful children. I had expected to meet a fast talking con man who, I thought, was about to take my friend for his money.
The story of the Hendershot Motor as it was called in the late 20s can be found in Charles Fort’s book “Wild Talents” and in the files of the Detroit “Free Press” and the New York “Times”. “FATE” Magazine carried an article on it by Associate Gaston Burridge in January 1950. The Fate article renewed interest in the unusual device, much to Hendershot’s sorrow, as he was plagued by all sorts of people, from business investors to weirdo religious fanatics who accused Les of causing earthquakes, floods and famine.
The unit that Dr. X had seen operate with a power output of 300 watts was partially disabled when I first saw it, due to Dr X’s insistence on seeing the manner in which the coils were assembled. My part in the program was to duplicate the unit and attempt to produce power in the same manner. To save time we were to rebuild the disassembled coil and try to get it working again as well as build a duplicate model. My only interest was academic so there was nothing to lose but my sanity.
Several days later, after much sweat and frustration, the original working model and the duplicate unit were assembled and wired to the schematic drawing I made from the original wiring. Strangely enough, I learned that I was the first to make a true schematic using electronic symbols rather than picture diagrams.
Les Hendershot was a clever man with his hands but was not an electronic technician. His knowledge in the field of electronics was learned by tinkering with radios, and either he did not know how to construct an original diagram or he didn’t choose to, due to his desire to maintain secrecy. Dr. X and I attempted to get the original unit working in my lab without success. We returned to Hendershot’s home for further consultation and experimentation. Several hours after arriving at Hendershot’s home at about 2 a.m. the 75 watt light bulb we had placed as an output load flashed once. This incident encouraged me onward and it was a lucky chance that it did flash as I would have left the project and filed it away as a hoax. It was not until October 26, 1958, four months later, that I saw a real demonstration of electrical phenomena. Many tests were made between July and October of that year and much investigation to determine the principle involved in the circuitry was carried out. To make a long story short and to save retelling of countless details involved in my experience since 1958, I can say that I know of no one person other than Lester Hendershot who has been able to make a Hendershot generator produce power. Many people have seen demonstrations in many places and at many times, including Mexico City. All have failed to duplicate Hendershot’s electrical phenomena.
I have my own pet theories on what principle is involved but have been unable to accept the theory of many who feel that Hendershot was an undeveloped psychic who under certain conditions could produce this ability. My conclusion was reached by means of logical analysis. Many times in the past and certainly in 1958 while Hendershot was away from his home working, his children were able to turn the unit on and operate a floor lamp and television set in the family living room without Hendershot’s conscious knowledge that the device was producing power.
Until it can be proved otherwise, I shall continue to investigate and experiment with ideas based upon my own conclusions. Lester Hendershot died in April 1961, and if there was any known secret to his ability he could not tell us directly.
I have never read or heard tell of any gainful results obtained by means of contacting the departed through mediumship. Much philosophy but little useful technical information can be had in this manner, at least in this writer’s opinion. For what it is worth to technically inclined Associates, the details of construction will be revealed now to BSRA. I’m sure others can obtain some results such as occasional shocks from charge build-up in the unit and minute indications of power which is all I could produce. It may be that some one can duplicate Hendershot’s ability.
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We are certainly glad to have Mr. Skilling’s personal story of his experiences with Hendershot and his “fuelless generator”. The schematic diagram and technical explanation will be in the next Journal. We’ll still string along with H.P. Blavatsky’s opinion that the power for Keeley’s fuelless motor was his own ectoplasm, and that Hendershot, like Keeley, was a natural magician. But that’s an opinion after all, and the facts, I hope, will be brought out by further research. Another Associate, the late J. Gilbert E. Wright detailed his efforts to get technical information through mediums in the BSRA brochure “Two Inventors Return” — Edison and Steinmetz, mimeo.
This man, Lester J. Hendershot, was an amazing individual when compared to men with technical abilities acquired by normal education. His native intelligence was extremely high. Charles Fort was certainly correct when he included Hendershot among the rare individuals that have Wild Talents.
His ability to perform technical feats by intuition was developed to a high degree. As an example: If he wished to build an electrical coil that would operate in a circuit at a resonant frequency of say 500 KG, he would go to an electronic supply store, pick out a spool of wire from the supply racks, take it home and wind a coil on a form which would turn out to measure in a resonant circuit, 500 Kilocycles. He was able to consistently achieve this phenomena, and as a result of it created a fuelless generator that would produce electrical power.
When compared to T. Henry Moray, Hendershot, in my opinion, was a giant.
The Associates reading this Free Energy story will learn that Hendershot duplicated the same electrical phenomena that Moray did with far simpler components. Hendershot did not require a secret, exotic type of ionic cold cathode tubes as valves and oscillators which Moray claims is the secret behind his Radiant Energy. This writer’s experience working with Hendershot combined with what is published in Moray’s book “The Sea of Energy in which The Earth Floats” leads one to believe that the energy field tapped by these unusual men is one and the same. Both men appear to have suffered similar problems in trying to present to the world, Free Energy. It is most unfortunate that Lester Hendershot did not live to meet T. Henry Moray, as the combination of the Hendershot simplicity of circuitry with Moray’s knowledge and theory of Radiant Energy would astound mankind.
Lester J. Hendershot was of the opinion, as expressed to this writer in 1958, that his Free Energy device, the Hendershot Generator, was tapping a magnetic force field. Examination and study of the components use in the Hendershot circuit does not substantiate a magnetic theory. Tests of the circuit in a strong magnetic influence would not induce a voltage in the circuit that would produce power.
After exploring various facets of magnetic fields in an attempt to induce power into the device, the search was abandoned. A great deal of study was made in a search for a theory that would fit the components used in the device. The electrical parts used in the Hendershot circuit, such as capacitors, coils, transformers, magnets, solenoids, were studied on their individual merits to determine their function in the circuit wiring. Measurements in the static condition were made of the non-commercial items to determine component values.
BASKET WEAVE COILS
The unique feature of the Hendershot device is the basket weave coils, with cylindrical capacitors built in the center of the coils. (See A & B, Fig. 1) Hendershot did not explain his intent when he designed this part of the circuit. In the early days of his experience, during the late 20s, he used standard broadcast radio coils which he could purchase in the radio supply stores of that era.
A test of the present coil design on a radio frequency resonant bridge or “Q” meter will reveal that the coil out of the circuit will be self resonant in the lower frequency of the radio broadcast band of 500 KC. This indicates that Hendershot kept the present design in the same ratio of inductance that was used in the early days.
Another interesting component is the solenoid coils CHI & CH2 used in conjunction with a magnet from a radar magnetron with a soft iron bar between the magnet and the solenoid coil cores. During operation of the Hendershot Fuelless Generator, this unit will buzz at a frequency rate dependent upon the air gap between the magnet, iron bar and coils.
The magnet-coil device was mounted in a frame so that a screw adjustment would move the coil in relation to the magnet, varying the air gap which varies the resonance of this “buzz” frequency. Like the basket weave coils, A & B, the magnet-coil device idea was derived from a telephone receiver used in the early days. A regular buzzer used in a door bell annunciator should serve the same purpose. Hendershot purchased the solenoid coils in a radio supply store and they appeared to have been used in a 110 volt bell ringer.
The two commercial transformers, also purchased from a radio supply store were vertical oscillator transformers used in a TV set and were of unknown make or brand. They have a 5:1 turns ratio. Hendershot used several different types of transformers in the circuit but found the TV ones worked the best. Two dual electrolytic capacitors C3, C4, C5 and C6 are standard Pyramid TM 58, 40-80 MFD at 450 working volts.
Two additional capacitors are required for C1 and C2. The hand-wound capacitor used in center of the basket weave coils are also made from Pyramids TM 58. Coils A & B are identical in construction so only one will be described. The coil is cylindrical, 5 15/16 in. diameter (See Fig. 2). It is wound like a basket around fifty-seven l/8 in. diameter wood dowel pins three inches long. The dowel pins are even spaced on the circumference of the circle. All coils are wound in the same direction, weaving in and out between dowel pins mounted in the same type base to hold them rigid.
Starting at the base, L2 is 64 turns of No. 24 gauge copper enamel or Formvar wire close wound. L3 & L4 is Belden thermoplastic hookup wire No. 20 gauge, a 25 foot spool is required for each coil L3 and L4, 25 feet will end up with 24 turns wound in the same fashion as L2, close wound. Hendershot always used L3 yellow and L4 red for easy identification.
L1 is made from No. 28 gauge copper enamel coated or Formvar magnet wire. 14 turns close wound over the outside diameter of L2 in the center of L2. Plastic electrical tape is wrapped around L1 to form a smooth surface for winding, after winding the 14 turns, wrap additional tape to hold L1 in place.
The Capacitors Cl & C2 are the most difficult to build and are the critical key item to success or failure in producing results. The foil from two capacitors, Pyramid electrolytic TM 58, must be removed from the can that encloses the foil by cutting the top or bottom off with a hack saw or other cutting device. The coiled foil is removed from two capacitors and spread out on a flat table. A TM 58 capacitor should measure, including foil and paper, 91 l/8 in. long and 2 3/4 in. wide. Wipe off-excess electrolytic solution so that it is dry. One side of the paper holding the foil will be full length, the opposite side will be split with terminal connections appearing at each end of the split portion. The capacitors that were used in the early experiments had a gap between the split foil of 3/4 of an inch.
Prepare two cylinders of metal with dimensions of 5 1/4 in. in diameter by 2 3/4 inches wide. A stainless steel sheet metal .032 thick was used in Hendershot’s cylinders, open at both ends. Before wrapping begins, insulate the cylinders with pure kraft paper. Ordinary brown wrapping paper is unsatisfactory as it contains impurities. Wax paper might be used as a substitute.
It is interesting to note that Hendershot originally used one pound coffee cans for the capacitor cylinders but found that after a period of time the electrolytic left in the capacitor paper would perforations in the metal, rendering the cylinder useless. This is why he made the later cylinders of stainless steel.
After insulating the cylinders, wrap the capacitor foil and paper around each of the cylinders. Start at one end with the long unsplit foil on the inside and wrap the full length onto the cylinder. Secure the wrapped capacitor with a string or tape so that it will not unravel. Both units should now look the same.
Each of the completed capacitor cylinders C1 and C2 are placed on the inside diameter of Coil A and Coil B. After centering the cylinders, pour melted paraffin into the outside diameter of the cylinder and inside diameter of Coil A and Coil B. The melted paraffin will run into the turns of the wire sealing the complete
units. If the correct tensions were applied while wrapping the capacitor paper and foil, the measured capacity should be .0078 MFD.
It is very difficult to obtain the correct capacity and this process may have to be repeated many times to arrive at the right value for each unit. Short circuits of the capacitor will render the results useless, and, of course, make it impossible to measure the resultant capacitance value. For accuracy the capacitors should be measured with a reliable capacitor bridge. Hendershot was able to accomplish this feat intuitively.
If all conditions of the circuit are met with the proper component values and if the wiring is made according to the schematic diagram, the unit should function and produce 300 to 500 watts of energy. The only limiting factor to the amount of power that can be extracted is the wire size used in the coils and transformers. Hendershot on many occasions when applying excessive output loads, would burn up the unit by the over heating of the wiring. Some variations can be made in the circuit wiring but what changes are tolerable are unknown.
After a unit was wired either by Hendershot or other experimenters he would sit down at the device with a length of insulated wire bared at each end and begin making connections to various terminals of the unit until the solenoid magnet combination would buzz and the output load, if it was a standard 110 volt light bulb, would glow. He then would adjust the air gap between the magnet and solenoid coils until full brilliance was achieved and the buzzer produced a steady tone. This procedure would take from a few minutes to several hours.
On one occasion he adjusted the unit for 10 to l5 minutes and only achieved a flash of light from the output. Several hours later he found it necessary to rebuild the capacitors before any further tests could be made. Either the unit would work immediately or not at all, depending on the unknown characteristics of the phenomena.
It may be noted on the schematic that capacitor C6, which is one half of a dual Pyramid TM58, the positive terminal is connected to one side of the output load. This connection places an electrolytic capacitor in an AC circuit. A polarized capacitor will not work in an alternating field and will overheat. The schematic diagram as shown in Fig. 1 did operate for ten to fifteen minutes before the capacitor began to boil and blow out. If an experimenter should be fortunate enough to achieve success in producing power it may be advisable to connect this capacitor the same as C4.
Experimenters who have worked with Hendershot may have other circuit diagrams that also produced results, but this story has been this writer’s experience in a true story of Free Energy Phenomena.
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We here at BSRA Headquarters would like to hear from any Associates who succeed on their own with the Hendershot circuit, but don’t ask us for help on the technical problems involved — our philosophical background isn’t up to it. Our personal feeling about this Free Energy, discovered and proven by Keely, Moray, Hendershot and a few others, is that this is a manifestation of Etheric matter-energy. This is the Night-side of Nature, spoken of by Phylos in Oliver’s “Dweller On Two Planets”. Phylos says the Atlantean technicians of his time made common use of this Etheric energy as a power source; he also predicted, in the 1880s, that the Ethers would be discovered and used again in modern times. We’ve made a beginning on the study of this profound subject with the re-issuing of Meade Layne’s “The Ether Ship Mystery and Its Solution”, and have added charts showing the relationship of the four Ether levels to our known worlds of solids, liquids and gasses!
See also: “Some Free Energy Devices” by Jorge Resines, including a chapter on Hendershot’s motor, with analysis of why and how the Hendershot generator works. 108pp, stapled.