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Re: Anomalous Rotation in a Foucault's Pendulum

A Question From Alice Revilla in Panama
A Reply From NASA Science Writer, Leslie Mullen
Web Links Provided by NASA Scientist, Dr. David Noever

Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 06:09:13 -0500
Subject: A physics question

Maurice Allais's Discovery

Dear sirs:

I am a senior in a school in Panama, Central America, and I am doing a project on Maurice Allais. I saw your link to NASA's Space Science News story, Decrypting the Eclipse, about Maurice Allais's report that a Foucault's pendulum exhibited peculiar movements at the time of the 1954 solar eclipse. I was wondering, therefore, if you could direct me to additional information about this discovery and the results of the experiments relating to it that were conducted during the solar eclipse of August 11 this year.

I would appreciate your help.

Thank you

Alice G. Revilla

From: "Leslie Mullen"
Subject: Re: Anomalous rotation of a Foucault's pendulum
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 09:28:57 EDT

A Response from Leslie Mullen, who authored the article referred to by Alice

Dear Alice:

There is one Web site reporting a part of the eclipse experiment:

Be forewarned, it's in German. As for NASA, the scientists won't be ready to release information until they have analysed all the data and then written a paper. A large number of investigators are currently going over the data in some detail: the differences between the various instruments and techniques will have to be reconciled and then treated statistically both locally and globally. This could take a while since 20 institutions worldwide participated in the experiment.

Once NASA's scientific eclipse paper is peer reviewed for publication, science@NASA will write a story discussing the experiment results.

Says Dr. David Noever, the lead scientist for the Allais experiment, "We are really just scratching the surface at this point as to what future eclipses might bring to bear. It's worth noting that after 80 years of looking at the solar eclipses for general relativity deviations for gravitational bending of light, there is still a quite active ongoing debate about the magnitude of these effects. Our case is actually the inverse problem: how does an optical phenomenon bear on gravity issues? Our current thinking is that gravity may have less to do with the pendulum and gravimeter results than various reference frame issues associated with detection means for rotating systems. All this is still very speculative until all involved reach some conclusions on the quantitative bases and a single set of model equations to characterize them all."

Hope this helps,


Leslie Mullen passed Alice's inquiry to NASA physicist Dr. David Noever, who appended the following quotation and Web links

The following description of Maurice Allais's original observation is from: the absence of any magnetic field other than that of the earth, I observed, in the course of continuous observations, pursued over periods of about one month from 1954 to 1960, very remarkable anomalies in the movement of the paraconical pendulum, to wit essentially the existence of a significant periodicity of the order of 24 hrs 50 min. Identical results were found in June-July 1958 in two laboratories, some 6 km away from each other, one in a basement, the other in an underground quarry.

At the same time, I observed in the second half of July 1958 a correspondence between the anomalies in the movement of the paraconical pendulum and the anomalies observed in the optical sightings on a fixed sighting mark through a fixed telescope.

Finally, during the total eclipses of the sun on June 30, 1954, and October 22, 1959, quite analogous deviations of the plane of oscillation of the paraconical pendulum were observed...With regard to all these results as well as to their analysis I can make a prediction: if, without interruption, for at least one month, in the same place and at the same time, observations of the movement of the paraconical pendulum are made, together with optical sightings such as those I made, as well as a repetition of the Michelson-Morley (1887) and Miller (1925) experiments.. it will be found that the effects observed by Miller in 1925 correspond to the anomalies in the movement of the paraconical pendulum and the anomalies of the optical sightings which I observed

Pictures are available at:

The original pictures from Allais's work are available at:

The Harvard study is at:

The most current updated website is in Vienna at:

Other sites include:

Canada (In French)


England 15273.stm 15601.stm


ABC News


"The Dark Side of Gravity" Science Volume 285 ( 2 July 1999):

Dallas Morning News

Faster than Light (FTL) Magazine: a space online magazine

The Royal Observatory of Belgium, which summarized results from the 1992 Brazil solar eclipse and then made a tidal prediction for August 11, 1999.

For some very speculative mechanisms: vacuum energy, e.g.:

Dr. David Noever, Space Sciences Lab
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 USA

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