Lester J. HENDERSHOT
Generator & Motor
From the Archives
of Lester J. Hendershot
Mark M. Hendershot
THE LESTER J. HENDERSHOT STORY
TOLD BY MARK M. HENDERSHOT
My name is Mark Hendershot, Lester J.
Hendershot was my Father.
Lester was an inventor and in his many attempts at producing
practical items, he had a moderate success a few times with
electronic toys, and had sold some of his ideas to small
manufacturers. His biggest idea, however, was so revolutionary
that it embarrassed the nation's top scientists be-cause they
couldn't explain it, and if it could be perfected, it would
possibly eliminate the need for public electric utilities in
many instances, and it would completely change most of our
present concepts of motivation.
His earlier invention was called a "motor" by the newspapers,
but it was actually a generator which was powered by the
magnetic field of the earth. His later models created enough
electricity to simultaneously light a 120 volt light bulb and a
table model radio. I witnessed it furnishing the power to run a
television set and a sewing machine for hours at a time in our
It was in 1927 and 1928 that my Father began to think seriously
about this "fuel-less" generator. He had taken up flying in 1925
and he soon realized that the ultimate development of aviation
would be greatly enhanced by the creation of an absolutely true
and reliable compass, and his first efforts were to produce such
He theorized that the magnetic compass did not point to true
north and varies from true north to a different extent at almost
every point on the earth's surface. Also, the induction compass
has to be set before each flight and at that time was not always
reliable. He claimed that with a pre-magnetized core he could
set up a magnetized field that would indicate the true north,
but he didn't know just how to utilize that in the compass he
had set out to develop.
In continuing his experiments, he found that by cutting the same
line of magnetic force north and south, he had an indicator of
the true north and that by cutting the magnetic field east and
west, he could develop a rotary motion.
With this principle in mind, he switched his plans and began
working on a motor which utilized this magnetic power. He built
one that would rotate at a constant speed, a speed
pre-determined when the motor was built. It could be built for a
desired speed, he said, and he felt that a reli-able constant
speed motor was one of the greatest needs in aviation at that
time. The one he built developed 1,800 revolutions per minute.
In the following years, he realized that the idea of a
magnetically powered motor was not as practical as a
magnetically-powered generator, so his later work was directed
toward the generator.
To avoid confusion, it should be pointed out that the early
experiments began on a magnetically-powered motor, and later a
The first significant experiments on the motor version were held
at Selfridge Field, Detroit, under the direction of Major Thomas
G. Lanphier, commandant of the field and leader of the First
The device demonstrated at Selfridge was a small model of what
he hoped would be developed into an airplane engine [powered by
earth's magnetic field]. Quotes in the newspapers referred to
top aeronautical brass of the day and their impressions of what
One such report was credited to William B. Stout, president of
the Stout Air Service, Inc., and designer of the all-metal type
plane used by the Ford Motor Company. Stout's comments were:
"The demonstration was very impressive. It was actually uncanny.
I would like very much to see a large model, designed to develop
enough power to lift an airplane."
Major Lanphier's comments to reporters after the demonstrations
"The whole thing is so mysterious and startling that it has the
appearance of being a fake."
"I was extremely skeptical when I saw the first model," he
continued, "but I helped to build the second one and witnessed
the winding of the magnet. I am sure there was nothing phony
My Father had first shown the military brass how his model
worked, then he supervised army technicians in building their
own model, which worked perfectly. Major Lanphier said that the
electrical men to whom they had shown the motor "... laughed at
the way we wired it up and said it wouldn't work. Then it DID
It was the Selfridge Field experiment which touched off the
series of stories in the national press. Stories with blaring
headlines in such papers as the Detroit Free Press, Detroit
News, Detroit Times, Pittsburgh papers, The New York Times, and
many others. Most of them tagged the instrument demonstrated at
Selfridge the "miracle motor," and there were pictures of Major
Lanphier and Col. Lindbergh, my Father and the motor.
Anything in the news during that period which could be connected
with Lindbergh was front page whether he had an active interest,
or just happened to be in the area at the time.
Headlines in the various papers read, "Gasless Motor Tested for
Lindy," "Lindy Inspects Fuelless Motor for Airplanes", and
"Lindbergh Tries Motor That The Earth Runs."
One story even stated that, at its request, Lindbergh and
Lanphier were flying to New York to show the motor to the
Guggenheim Foundation for the Promotion of Aeronautics.
Later reports, however, emphasized that Lindbergh actually had
nothing whatsoever to do with the experiments, and that he had
just witnessed a couple of the demonstrations as the guest of
his friend, Major Lanphier.
The Selfridge tests seemed to satisfy Lanphier and his
associates, how-ever, and during the period he was there, the
model the technicians built obtained as high as 1,800
revolutions per minute and they announced its performance was
entirely satisfactory. It was estimated these motors would run
for 2,000 to 3,000 hours before the magnet center would have to
A man named Dr. F. W. Hochstetter, of the Hochstetter Research
Laboratories in Pittsburgh, hastily called a news conference and
displayed models of what he said were the "Hendershot Motor." He
demonstrated them, and when they wouldn't work, he declared
Hendershot was a fake, and that the motors worked only because
of power derived from concealed pencil batteries.
After he exhibited his models of the motor, Dr. Hochstetter
announced that they wouldn't generate enough electricity to,
"...light a 1-volt fire-fly" or to "...stitch a fairy's
Noting the lavish lecture room in a New York hotel which had
been rented by (or for) Dr. Hochstetter for the press
conference, Dr. Hochstetter was asked [by one reporter] why he
was so interested in the Hendershot demonstrations and in trying
to discredit them. He replied merely that he had "come to expose
a fraud which would be capable of destroying faith in science
for 1,000 years" and he claimed his only motive was that "pure
science might shine forth untarnished."
It was obvious to those who were pro-Hendershot that, in view of
all the fuss and bother of such a noted scientist as Dr.
Hochstetter, somewhere behind it all, someone was anxious for
the innovation to be ridiculed.
When approached with the accusations, my Father smiled and told
reporters, "Dr. Hochstetter is correct, to a degree. I have
concealed batteries in a model or two because I found that I
could not trust some of my visitors, and I also had evidence
that someone had tampered with my work. So, I put a couple of
batteries in on occasion to lead the intruders away from what I
was working on."
He added that Major Lanphier and his army technicians were proof
enough of his claims. "I didn't build the motor that was
demonstrated at Detroit," he pointed out.
"That was built by Army men under orders from Major Lanphier and
under my direction. I didn't even so much as wind the motor.
They built the motor and it works. That's my answer to all the
Dr. Hochstetter and his associates also claimed my Father had
signed a contract and received $25,000 for exploitation of the
motor, but after a brief period of excitement, the matter was
Not long after his demonstrations of the motor, Dr. Hochstetter
died under unusual circumstances. He was in a Baltimore and Ohio
train wreck, and he was the only passenger on the whole train
who lost his life!
My Father was the butt of many jokes and comments at the time of
the debates about his invention. An artist, drawing for one of
the Pittsburgh papers, depicted him in a cartoon riding a
propellorless airplane. The caption made fun of him.
In later years my Father remarked, "Every time I see a jet plane
go over now, I think of that cartoon and how everyone laughed at
me for suggest-ing a plane could some day fly without a
propeller. Twenty-five years ago I tried to tell them that."
As suddenly as it all started, the publicity and sensationalism
of the Hendershot motor stopped. The last news story to appear
was on March 10, 1928, when a small article appeared in most
papers saying that Lester Hendershot was a patient in Emergency
Hospital in Washington.
The personal account he gave was much the same as the newspaper
quote, with the minor exception that he was it by a bolt of 220
volts, not the jolting 2,000 the over-eager reporter had
written. He was demonstrating the motor in the patent office,
and the shock paralyzed his vocal chords, resulting in several
weeks of recuperation before he completely recovered.
Something happened during this period that could explain the
actions of Dr. Hochstetter and his associates. My Father said
that while he was in the hospital, he was approached by a large
corporation to stop his activity in connection with the motor or
Until the day he died, he would not reveal the name of the
company, only that if he were successful with his generator, it
would be a serious threat to their multimillion dollar industry.
He named the sum he accepted as $25,000, and the condition was
that he was not to build another unit for twenty years. That's
when he dropped out of sight.
I've thought about the bizarre events connected with the
generator, and feel it is possible the "large corporation" first
tried to stop the activities through Dr. Hochstetter. When this
failed, they approached my Father personally and bought him off.
It's interesting to note that one of the doctor's charges was
that he was paid $25,000 to exploit his work. Isn't it odd that
this is the same figure actually paid, but to stop his
activities, but was quoted before he was approached with the
My Father admitted that he and the family lived in constant
fear, as we were being contacted every so often by crackpots who
had delved into the records and discovered his creation, and had
gone to the trouble of searching him out. Some of them, he
suspected, were representatives of subversive groups and/or
This latter charge seems a little exaggerated, but was supported
by a series of letters he received from a fellow in Ohio in
1952. He had traced my Father by going back to his hometown in
Pennsylvania and talking to my uncle about the generator.
The first letter explained that he was a part of a group of
scientists who were privately financing their own research on
the same phenomena my Father discovered in 1928. He emphasized
they would not allow backing by any organization or government
since an invention such as the Hendershot Generator should be
for, "all the peoples and should not be controlled by national
governments, but should be given gratis to the World Government
when it is ready to assume World Responsibility."
He was critical of my Father for allowing the military to look
at it in 1928.
That letter was written in April, and in June a postcard came
with the following terse message, "Will shortly make public via
radio and news-paper, connection your generator with 'Flying
Saucer Propulsion.' Request Security Clearance from Security
Chief your group within forty-eight hours. Have succeeded in
duplication of your Generator."
In July my Father received a four-page hand-written epistle from
the Ohio man. To my knowledge, it was the last letter the writer
sent on the subject. He discussed information his intelligence
had received on flying saucers, modestly admitting his sources
were better than the CIA or the FBI, which he claimed had
investigated him several times. He intimated that a Pasadena
scientist had recently been kidnapped because he was working on
an attempt to adapt the generator to aircraft.
Then he went into a long and rambling dissertation on how he got
interested in what he called the "Ether Vortex Phenomena" and
the generator. He explained that the magnetic field in the earth
and volcanic action are related, according to his studies. He
had spent two and one-half years in Japan working with Japanese
volcanic scientists on the subject.
He mentioned one study he had made, and pointed out that the
shift of the strata causing the volcano was due to a rotation of
the Electromagnetic Field of the volcano at high speeds. He
urged my Father to write a complete paper on his findings and
publish them (preferably send them to the Earthquake Research
Institute in Tokyo).
Referring to a particularly bad earthquake which had just
occurred in the Los Angeles vicinity a few months before, the
writer warned my Father not to operate his generator in the area
near the San Andreas (seismic) Fault which runs through the
He said, "You may not believe it, but you can cause earthquake
activity to increase if you continue to operate your generator
in that district. I am wondering if you were not directly
responsible for the recent earthquake near Los Angeles?"
Then he promised that he and his associates would keep the
possibility of his involvement in the earthquake to themselves.
Letters such as these, plus occasional phone calls when the
callers would not identify themselves, and a threat from an
admitted Communist which was turned over to the FBI, caused my
Father concern much of the time. If a large organization would
take over the generator and its re-search, all he wanted out of
it was enough money to take care of himself and his family in
the future years.
One of the most encouraging offers came in September of 1956
when my Father received word that officials of the Mexican
government wanted to meet with him and discuss the possibility
of using his generator for the rural development program in
Government officials flew to Los Angeles and drove out to our
house, where our family doctor who spoke Spanish acted as
interpreter. Arrangements were made for the family to go to
Mexico City, and for my Father to work with Mexican technicians
on the generator.
We all flew to Mexico City and were housed in an apartment near
the home of the Director of Electricity. My Father supervised
the Mexicans in building a model. He had been working with them
for several weeks becoming more and more tense as time passed.
He confessed to my Mother that he was frightened because he
understood no Spanish, and his fellow workers talked constantly
in little groups by themselves, often glancing over at him. He
couldn't understand a word they were saying, and it worried him
One morning in February of 1957, the laboratory called and asked
where my Father was. My Mother told them he had left for work in
the morning, and if he wasn't there, she had no idea where he
might be. She became increasingly concerned as the day passed
and there was no word from him.
That night he didn't come home, and we were on the verge of
hysteria by next morning, then we received a telegram from Los
Angeles. My Father's fear had worked itself into a nervous
frenzy and he had rushed to the airport the day before and taken
a plane for California. To the day of his death, it was a closed
subject and he would never explain why he was compelled to leave
us so suddenly under such strange circumstances, except that he
feared for his life.
The final attempt to promote the generator came in the latter
part of 1960 when a Dr. Lloyd E. Cannon convinced my Father that
he had the facilities to present the project to the United
States Navy for research and development.
Cannon said he was the General Manager of his own company, Force
Research of Los Angeles, Palm Springs and the Mojave Desert.
Cannon explained that his group was made up of many dedicated
scientists of various fields who contributed time and knowledge
to Force Research projects. The range of experimentation covered
electronics, astronautics, free energies, propulsion, and
Under my Father's supervision, two models were built and 100
copies of a fifty-six-page "proposal" were printed for
presentation to the various government agencies and politicians
who would have to review the project for its consideration.
After the completion of the proposal and it had been sent to the
government with no results, Cannon traveled the southwestern
United States with the models trying to raise money for
research. His visits were increasingly less frequent to our home
until 1961, when a tragic climax to this story occurred.
On April 19, 1961, upon returning home from school, I found my
Father dead. It was recorded as a suicide without any further
investigation. For those who might be interested in my Father's
analysis of how his generator worked, the following are his
theories on the subject:
This field of magnetism surrounding the earth is similar to the
field of magnetism in a man-made generator.
The rotor of a generator is revolved by some means of power,
cutting the lines of magnetism, creating electric power. The
earth is turning inside of a field of magnetism. That, no one
contradicts, yet it is claimed there is no power to be derived
Let's say we have a mechanism that will collect, polarize and
create a positive and negative connection to this tremendous
power that is ever-present on the earth.
Take a survey compass. You can hold the needle east or west, and
let go of it, and it immediately goes north and south. This same
power, when cut by the proper apparatus as the earth rotates
inside this magnetism, will produce power, the amount of which
is not calculated at this time.
As long as the earth rotates around the sun, it will create
electric power which some scientists claim does not exist. Yet,
we dig into the moun-tains for material that costs us
unbelievable sums, to create the same power.
This magnetism surrounding the earth is in the same relation to
electric power as uranium is to atomic power. Earth's magnetism
is ever-pres-ent at any height or depth. It is equal to uranium
as a by-product for power, namely electricity.
Magnetism must be cut. The lines of force circling the earth are
constant and if this force is broken up, and polarized, you have
the equivalent of uranium broken up, which creates a heat and in
turn creates power.
Breaking up the forces of magnetism, polarizing them, thereby
creating a resistance for power, is the same principal as atomic
Scientists claim it requires friction to generate electricity. I
claim the earth rotating as it does, according to scientific
theory, creates friction as a generator. The ever-present
magnetism is the field, or stator.
We have only to utilize this source of power to light every
home, high-way, bridge, airplane or any type of thing that
cannot now be lighted because of inadequacy of present
A very small unit composed of wire, a magnet, several especially
designed coils, condensers, collector units, and a few other
minor items, will cut this force. Another especially designed
mechanism will polarize it, giving a positive and a negative
connection to any resistance and the result is the generation of
There you have the theory of how to create electricity from the
magnetic force of the earth, as written by a man with only a
high school education.
As years went by I've always wanted to continue with my Father's
invention, but have worried myself about possibly running into
the same problems my Father did.
It would not do my Father justice just to stop all work on it
and now I am ready to fulfill his dream. Since childhood I have
been fascinated by electricity and have spent over twenty-six
years in the electrical trade.
Of his three sons, I alone have pursued this fascination
and have applied my knowledge and experience to carry on my
The Hendershot Motor Mystery
Compiled by Tom Brown
( Borderland Sciences
Research Foundation, Inc., 1986 )
Note: Due to
bandwidth issues, this large PDF file ( 36.5 MB ) no longer
is posted here. It is included in the Civilization Kit Data
DVD. It can be viewed online at this link ( copy/paste ) :
F.D. Fleming : The Hendershot
Motor Mystery ( FATE, Jan. 1950 )
Gaston Burridge : The So-Called
Hendershot Motor ( BSRA Round Robin, March-April 1956 )
Ed Skilling : A Story of Free
Energy ( J. Borderland Research 18 (5/6), July-August 1962 )
& Energy Unlimited # 13
J.G. Gallimore : The Lester J
Hendershot Motor ( Private research papers released to BSRF )
From The Archives of Lester
Compiled & Published by Mark M. Hendershot
Note: Due to bandwidth issues,
this large PDF file ( 36.5 MB ) no longer is posted here. It
is included in the Civilization Kit Data DVD. It can be viewed
online at this link ( copy/paste ) :
The Lester J. Hendershot Story
The Secret Of The Hendershot Motor
Revealed by Utility Engines
( PDF, 1.5
Principles of the Hendershot
The Earth Inductance Compass
& the Hendershot Motor
Referenced in the article: "THE SO-CALLED HENDERSHOT MOTOR by
Gaston Burridge" is an article by the company Utily Engines.
This is very good data and some data can be verified in other
NOTE: "In the May, 1953, issue of "Fate" magazine appeared an
advertisement from the "Utility Engines' professing to have
plans for sale of a so-called Hendershot motor for $2.50.
Suddenly, all mail was rejected by the address of the "Utility
Engines"! I asked Hendershot about this matter. He told me he
learned of it soon after the advertisement was published. Soon
after that he learned about the plans they were selling and
using his name. They were doing this, Hendershot claimed,
without his permission or consent. He told me that he promptly
informed the postal authorities of this circumstance. "They must
have done something about it, for I heard nothing more about
them," he said. Hendershot was quite emphatic to me regarding
the plans put out by the "Utility Engines" not being of his
device. He was so emphatic, in fact, I felt he, like the maiden,
"didst protest too much". Thus, 'the Ol hound dog's nose' went
to the ground! In due course it came up with the information
furnished by an acquaintance of Hendershot's to the effect that
Hendershot had remarked at the time, while the "Utility Engines"
information was not his device, "it was pretty damn close!""
"The first model consisted of a ring magnet less than three
inches in diameter. Around the magnet were coils rigged as only
Hendershot knows how to rig them, and another set of coils pass
through the center of the ring."
The second model is built around a ring magnet, the outside
diameter of which is seven inches and the inside diameter six
The Hendershot Mystery
Compiled by NuTech2000 (
Note: Due to
bandwidth issues, this large PDF file ( 36.5 MB ) no longer is
posted here. It is included in the Civilization Kit Data DVD.
It can be viewed online at this link ( copy/paste ) :
Power & Prejudice
The Hendershot "Fuelless" Motor
Hendershot's Solid State
Hendershot's Mark II Solid
The Mark III Hendershot Device
Book References & Magazine
Mark Hendershot : The Lester
Principle of Earth Induction
Lester Hendershot's Patent
Lester Hendershot's Patent
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