Lester J. HENDERSHOT
Generator & Motor
: The Lester J. Hendershot Story
Tom Brown :
The Hendershot Motor Mystery
Hendershot : From The Archives of Lester Hendershot
Engines : The Secret of the Hendershot Motor
The Hendershot Mystery
See also : HENDERSHOT1
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 living room.
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
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 they
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 about
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 work."
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 be recharged.
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 britches."
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
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
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
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 offer?
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 foreign powers.
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
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
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 area.
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
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 Mexico.
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
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 facilities.
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 electricity.
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
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 Father's
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 )
Compiled by Tom Brown
( Borderland Sciences
Research Foundation, Inc., 1986 )
( PDF, 12.3 MB )
From The Archives of Lester
The Lester J. Hendershot Story
Compiled & Published by Mark M. Hendershot
( PDF, 11.7 MB )
The Secret Of The Hendershot
Revealed by Utility Engines
( PDF, 1.5 MB )
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 areas.
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
"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
Power & Prejudice
The Hendershot "Fuelless" Motor
Hendershot's Solid State
Hendershot's Mark II Solid State
The Mark III Hendershot Device
The Hendershot Enigma
Book References & Magazine
Mark Hendershot : The Lester
Principle of Earth Induction
Lester Hendershot's Patent
Compiled by NuTech2000 (
( PDF, 36.5 MB )
Lester Hendershot's Patent