In the late 20th Century, Russian scientist Dr Eugene Podkletnov stunned the experimental Anti-Gravity community with the revelation that his Superconducting Force-Beam Generator was producing an output in excess of hundreds of pounds of pure gravitational force.

Podkletnov claimed that the gravitational beam was generated by a 3 to 5 megavolt drop onto a 4-inch diameter superconductor, which was enclosed in a wrapped-solenoid to create a magnetic field around the apparatus. His own diagram of the machine indicated it involved a levitating ring of superconducting material spinning at a rate of 5000 rpm. Apparently the anti-gravity effect produced by the machine was the well-known magnetic effect associated with superconductivity.

Pulses were powerful enough to punch through brick, concrete, and deform light-metals "like hitting it with a sledgehammer". The beam didn't disappear rapidly with distance -- in fact, it had been measured at distances of up to 5 kilometers, and seemed to penetrate all materials without a decrease in force.

At the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Division meeting of the AAAS in Norman, Oklahoma (May 1995), Dr. Podkletnov discussed briefly his theory of repulsive gravity which occurs in the centers of the enormously massive central stars that exist in the nuclei of all galaxies, such as the one in the galaxy, M-87, which has a mass of 2.4 billion solar masses. Under this theory, which has nothing to do with magnetism or superconductivity, when the scalar field value in the interior of such a massive star attains a value roughly equal to that which occurs at the Schwarzschild radius, under the formula F = ma, the force also becomes negative or repulsive.

In 1996, Dr. Podkletnov was about to publish a peer-reviewed article in the respected British Journal of Physics-D - proving, he claimed, that gravity could be negated. Then a London newspaper publicized his conclusions, and the skeptics had a field day. Everyone knew you couldn't mess with the law of gravity - Einstein himself had said so.

Podkletnov withdrew the article. His university evicted him. He retreated from the public eye.

But the controversy didn't go away, and his findings began to be investigated in laboratories around the world, including one owned by NASA. What came of that research is unknown; the results were never released, and the anti-gravity technology in use today is the result of commercial development that took a different path. Now anti-gravity and artificial gravity are in mainstream use, although the enormous price of operating the technology (particularly the power needed to artificial gravity fields) means it's not common.