Lester J. HENDERSHOT
Generator & Motor
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
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 an instrument.
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
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 Pursuit Group.
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 saw.
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
Major Lanphier's comments to reporters after the
"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 it."
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
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
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 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 critics—it works."
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 dropped—unproven.
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
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
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
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
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 generator.
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 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
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
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 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
Then he promised that he and his associates would keep the
possibility of his involvement in the earthquake to
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 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 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 considerably.
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 parapsychology.
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
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 from it.
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
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 energy.
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
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 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 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 Father's work.
The Hendershot Motor Mystery
Compiled by Tom Brown
( Borderland Sciences
Research Foundation, Inc., 1986 )
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
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
The Archives of Lester Hendershot
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
The Secret Of The Hendershot Motor Revealed by Utility Engines( PDF,
1.5 MB )
Principles of the
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 damn
"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
The Hendershot Mystery
Compiled by NuTech2000 (
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 & PrejudiceThe Hendershot "Fuelless"
MotorHendershot's Solid State
GeneratorHendershot's Mark II Solid
State GeneratorThe Mark III Hendershot
Book References &
Mark Hendershot : The
Lester Hendershot Story
Principle of Earth
Lester Hendershot's Patent
Lester Hendershot's Patent