Here is a fun strange claim from the paranormal folklore: A Russian man with deep interest in bugs discovered that some beetles float instead of flying. Using gravity-defying bug wings he put in a box, Viktor Grebennikov claimed to have made a device that could lift him off of the ground. Here is the only photo of the platform in action which is commonly shown.
The oldest version of this photo I could find was from Feb 2007 on a Polish web site, six years after Grebennikov passed away. Here is the google translation:
Wiktor Stiepanowicz Griebiennikow, an entomologist from the University of Agriculture in Novosibirsk who died in 2001, discovered the effect of antigravity produced by certain chitinous shells of certain Siberian insects.
According to the scientist, antigravity – as well as other effects, for example, temporary invisibility – arises thanks to the regular microscopic structure of insect carapaces. In the course of further work, it turned out that all spatial structures resembling honeycomb, even those built artificially, have similar properties. Thanks to them you can also achieve inhibition of bacterial growth, acceleration of plant growth and numerous other surprising effects. It is this phenomenon that makes the human body usually sleeping on a natural fiber mattress with difficulty getting used to sleeping on a sponge mattress.
Based on his discoveries, Griebennikov constructed a flying antigravity platform, which he claimed he had successfully performed long flights over Novosibirsk.
Before that, a short review of Grebennikov’s discoveries was first published in the magazine “New World Technologies” nr.6/2002 The image in the earlier publication is a little better, you can see a bit more detail.
New Energy Technologies #3(22) 2005 – In summer 1988, an entomologist from Novosibirsk city, Viktor Stepanovich Grebennikov, examined a micro-structure of the lower surface of beetles’ wing case by amicroscope and became interested by “anunusually rhythmic, extremely ordered,incomparable honeycomb, solid multidimensional composition, which looked as if it was pressed by some complicated automatic machine”. Studying this amazing micro-pattern allowed Grebennikov to design an aircraft of anew kind called “Gravity plane”.
Grebennikov’s flight and other paranormal claims were promptly rejected by skeptics and scientists outside of the paranormal community as his reports were devoid of conclusive proof or public demonstration. He claimed that his camera shutter was jammed during the flights due to a time-warping force-field generated by the secret “geometric” power of chitin.
Here is the best photo I could find of the platform:
Those wing nuts and other metal parts look heavy. Here is the bottom of the platform:
Here is, supposedly, one of his translated claims of flying:
I cast almost no shadow even in a very low flight. Yet, as I found out later, people sometimes see something where I am in the sky. I appear to them either as a light sphere, a disk, or something like a slanted cloud with sharp edges, which moves strangly according to them, not exactly the way a real cloud would. One person has observed a “flat, non-transparent square, about one hectare in size”. Could it have been the optically enlarged little platform of my device? Most people see nothing at all though and I am quite pleased with it for the time being. I can’t be too careful! Besides, I still haven’t determined what my visibility or invisibility depended on. I must confess that I consciously avoid people when in flight and that I, for this very purpose, bypass all cities and towns and try to pass even the cross roads and footpaths at increased speed after making sure there is no one there.
Fun. But … do any beetles travel with stealth effects like this? Perhaps anti-gravity insect wings are causing visual disturbances in the sky making people see odd things and we just don’t know it. Here are a few videos on the anti-gravity invention of Victor Grebennikov. One person commented that they’d seen a video of him flying, but this may have been a troll comment.
Did Viktor get “air” in this photo by simply grabbing the bars of his device and pogo hopping? No way to tell with a still.
Dan A. Davidison explains the basis behind Grebennikov’s findings and how certain insects really fly (levitate) linking how a spinning vortex creates a magnetic field counteracting gravity. It’s possible that an electrostatic effect is occurring too at the nano level.
This next lecture says chitin never degrades and is dielectric, meaning it repels electricity.
What is chitin? Webster calls it “a horny polysaccharide (C8H13NO5)n that forms part of the hard outer integument especially of insects, arachnids, and crustaceans.”
Chitin does degrade, if it meets chitinase, a substance produced by many organisms, including humans (likely from our insect eating ancestors.)
Chitin digestion by humans has generally been questioned or denied. Only recently chitinases have been found in several human tissues and their role has been associated with defense against parasite infections and to some allergic conditions.
Dielectric materials don’t defy gravity or even repel electricity as far as I know. They do resist the flow of electricity. Slowing something down or stopping it is not the same as repelling it. Many solids are very good insulators. Some examples include porcelain, glass, and most plastics.
Because dielectrics resist the flow of electricity, the surface of a dielectric may retain stranded excess electrical charges. This may occur accidentally when the dielectric is rubbed (the triboelectric effect). This can be useful, as in a Van de Graaff generator or electrophorus, or it can be potentially destructive as in the case of electrostatic discharge.
There is a special class of dielectric that retains charge called an electret which retain static charges. This may explain light objects being repelled electrostatically from the chitin bug wings. Could this have enough force to lift much?
Specially processed dielectrics, called electrets … may retain excess internal charge or “frozen in” polarization. Electrets have a semipermanent electric field, and are the electrostatic equivalent to magnets. Electrets have numerous practical applications in the home and industry.
Static electricity does build up on objects. Static charges cause objects to attract or repel. This force can be stronger than gravity, but only when charges are close enough to each other.
It looks as if electrostatic force may help scarab bugs open their wing covers, which is cool, although not something that defies the known laws of physics. Perhaps the flapping wings underneath the covers cause a further build up of charge.
It doesn’t look like any more than electrostatic repulsion, in this video at least. Insect wing covers in the above video probably aren’t floating in the air due to antigravity, but rather are repelling eachother due to electrostatic charges.
Coulomb’s law states that:
‘The magnitude of the electrostatic force of attraction or repulsion between two point charges is directly proportional to the product of the magnitudes of charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.’
Here’s a scarab beetle taking off in slow motion. Does it look like the wing covers are providing anti-gravity support?
It is true and strange that some believe Viktor Grebennikov flew using his invention. I’d like to believe … but I’ll end by asking an obvious question: Why hasn’t anyone constructed a similar working device in the last 30 years since his supposed 1988 “Gravity Plane” flight? Hmmm.