Latest Update: [October, 2014] – Updated site as it is now encrypted.  Remove the ancient visitor counter which had stopped working a while ago and changed all the audio and video links to use the embedded WordPress player instead of a seperate plugin – less plugins!!  Enabled caching.

* Still relevant –


This page contains two parts, first, a report on an experiment completed in November, 2001 which attempted to reproduce the results as seen by Britt Beaubian [433kb AVI link] in his recreation of David Cowlishaw’s GIT. Britt Beaubian’s experiment consisted of putting a GIT on its side on a cookie sheet or “rectangular cake pan” [Update May 4th, 2002] which was then put afloat in a bathtub. When the GIT was turned on, it moved forward and even after a backward impulse, it slowed to a stop and continued forward.

Abstract – This experimenter believes that Britt Beaubian’s results were the most compelling to date and it was hoped they could be reproduced, which they were. However, the conclusion is that the uni-directional movement was a result of wave action, clearly visible in Britt’s video and the results here, and not an anomalous property of the GIT.

Secondly, a search for the original source material David says he got the “ball in track” report from.

[Updated February 22nd, 2011] – You can find more information about David and GIT on the Wikipedia entry, and David maintains a facebook profile and another profile here.

PART ONE – Duplication



Note: The methodology assumes an understanding of how the GIT works – See David’s Website for details.

Figure one shows the prototype A2 and consists of one or more balls which are spun around the tracks by the rubber wheel in the center. The speed of the wheel is controlled by the pulley mechanism attached to the RC motor, which is bolted to the back of the device. The gray motor facing downward and against the orange bottom was for steering but was never built.

Figure 2 contains the realized prototype (and a bit of fun with paranoia. :-] ) . The device weight was only ~ 8 pounds not including the yellow wheeled cart underneath.

The biggest obstacle in getting the A2 built was machining the inside surface of the 1/8″ thick aluminum tracks. In order to reduce slippage of the balls as they increased and decreased speeds from front to back, friction between the ball and track is critical. The difficulty existed because the angle on the inside surface of the track has to smoothly change from almost vertical at the front to about a 45° degree angle at the back and manufacturing this by hand is close to impossible. The obstacle was overcome by using a CNC machine with proper programming and a precisely controlled small ball-nose end mill. Thanks to Riken Manufacturing in Ontario, Canada, the job was completed in a week and on budget, although I don’t think they will speak to me again… :-]

The bill of materials for A2, including costs in brackets, are as follows:

(2) 1/8″ thick aluminum tracks, laser cut and machined ($350CND/$221US*)
(2) 1/16″ thick aluminum “X” pieces to hold wheel in place ($50CND/$32US*)
(1) hollow 16 gauge stainless steel float (3000164) ($75CND/$47US*)
(2) hollow rubber glow-in-the-dark juggling balls ($25CND/$16US)
(1) solid rubber juggling ball (already had one)
(1) 6″ dia. RC rubber wheel for model airplane ($18CND/$13US)
(1) 7.6V RC motor ($50CND/$32US)
(1) Electronic Speed controller ($100CND/$63US)
(2) 7.6V batteries and charger ($120CND/$76US)
(1) Futaba remote control system (had one)
(~) Assorted pulleys, axles, cables, nuts, bolts and wood pieces ($50CND/$32US)
(1) Rhinoceros Nurbs Modeling Program for Windows, commercial version 2.0 ($1300CND/$820US**)
* Because of minimum orders requirements, for these part, I had to order enough pieces for two and half A2s which cost about $1200CND/$758US in total.
** This was not specifically purchased for this project, but was important in getting the inside surfaces of the aluminum tracks correct and communicating it to the CNC shop.

The first tests were done by fastening the A2 on a wheeled buggy that could move in any direction, however the results were inconclusive because of uncontrollable variables like wheel friction, jiggling, etc.

The second tests where done with the A2 firmly fasten into an open-air plastic container, 18″ wide, 24″ long and 9″ deep that was placed in an 8 foot square spa, well away from the walls. The balls were allowed to spin up to their steady state velocity and then the plastic container was released. It was done in this manner because it was found that starting the balls from rest imparted a movement to the plastic container as the balls accelerated to their steady state velocity. The plastic container was used because it could float and, in the event of positive results, a lid could be placed on top to remove air friction as a cause of movement.

The A2 was then put through a number of test runs with different types and number of balls, of which the best three videos are shown in the Results section below. The same speed setting was used for all test runs, however the actual RPMs varied because using one ball resulted in the well known washing machine motion which tended to slow the ball down. With two balls, the motion was symmetrical and the balls went a lot faster. For a rough estimate, count the waves or revolutions in ten seconds, and in the case of one ball, it is between 200 to 260RPM, and with two balls, twice that, or 400 to 500RPM.

Other things to note – the RC motor was a little under powered, got very hot and drained the batteries after only about 6 to 10 minutes of run time.

Problems with Methodology:


(A) No pendulum test was conducted. Because two rubber hollow balls did not produce a direction, this test has been left up to others.
(B) The balls could be slipping Due to the nature of the forces involved, the balls will slip, however an attempt was made to reduce the problem
in three ways. The first was to use sticky rubber balls, second to apply constant pressure to hold the ball to the
track and lastly to design the track in a manner that would allow for maximum friction between ball and track.
The success of this method can be seen by timing how long it takes for two equally spaced balls to
catch up to each other, which, in the case of the hollow rubber balls, was a couple minutes.
The balls were slipping but not quickly.
(C) The rubber balls were not heavy enough It was hoped that speed, using two balls and a light track assembly would make up for the lack of weight
(D) Slip on the metal balls would be worse Agreed, the results from the hollow metal balls is inconclusive but is useful in proving the wave action theory.
(E) The spin ratio front to back wasn’t large For every rotation of the ball around the front, the ball spun about 4 or 5 times at the back. The
spin ratio is dependent on the size of the balls which was dictated by what was readily available.
(F) Force may have been imparted when released And in many cases it accidentally was, but the videos show the best results of many trials.



In this test, with one metal ball, the A2 carved out a 10″ circular path. Note the waves.
This test was done to closely mimic Britt’s test and again, note waves.
With two balls, the motion is smoother and with less waves, little to no movement.



The strongest arguments for the existence of the “Cowlishaw Effect” are

  • The balls were slipping.
  • The spin ratio was not high enough.

The strongest arguments against:

  • With two hollow rubber balls and wave action reduced to a minimum, little to no movement was seen.
  • Because the weight of the apparatus versus the balls was close by an order of magnitude, any anomalous effect should have showed up clearly.
  • Although the metal balls were probably slipping, the container still moved due to wave action.

PART TWO – The Search for the Anonymous Soldier, Track and Ball

(As emailed to David’s mailing list back in 2001)

To the IIC group,

Here’s my final report on the search for the anonymous soldier’s account of hollow balls in tracks at the Roswell crash.


This search is to confirm David Cowlishaw’s recollection of a soldier’s account which, in David’s own words was:

First thoughts were from reading a UFO book with a Roswell crash report
from an anonymous soldier that was on site.  He described large hollow balls
that ran in a race around the fairly small craft, and a center wheel gyroscope
in the center of the cabin (steering).  It had the “ring of truth”, and got me
thinking along the lines of a purely mechanical thrust mechanism.  That was in 1971, …

– Quoted from an e-mail sent to the IIC group on Saturday, July 03, 1999 9:00pm entitled “Re: GIT – New IIC group member! – Buildings on the moon (clementine photos) – DavidC”. (Partially reproduced at the bottom of this page)

Or from the “Gyroscopic Inertial Thruster Background.html” (May 4th, 1997, found in :

I stumbled onto this idea (the basic theory of the GIT) in 1986, after trying to
find a UFO book on the Roswell incident I had read as a high school student
in the early seventies.

I recall the story of one soldier that had been a witness and had described
balls that rolled around a raceway in the craft, and a few other meager
tidbits of information. I’ve never again found that book, nor do I remember
the name; that effort set me thinking again in the direction of the currently
described device.

[Update May 1st, 2002]
In a May 1st, 2002 e-mail to the IIC group entitled “Re: Search for the Anonymous Soldier, Further finements to search parameters (DvC)”, further details were:

“Oh, one thing I think I forgot to add to the public site,
concerning my recollection of a UFO text (pocket book), is the
fact that a “9 to 1 ratio” in design elements (diameter verses height,
+ many other internal factors, including the orbitals/race, although
they weren’t called orbitals, but “masses, balls, and/or spheres”),
was stressed in a chapter-like itemized event of several “UFO encounters” being
detailed. It included small dead bodies, one of them still yet alive for a few more
minutes, wondering about in a daze, wailing and clutching an item of bulk, only to
be struck in the head by a(nother) soldier with the butt of a rifle.”

These recollections are important because they form the basis for David’s GIT.


I started the search with the original Roswell crash book, Charles Berlitz’s “The Roswell Incident.” (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1980) and also read Kroff’s “The UFO crash at Roswell, What They Don’t Want You To Know” (1997) for a bit of perspective.

With no results, I then widened my search to crashes around the late 1940s and got close with Frank Scully’s book “Behind the Flying Saucers” (1950) about a crash in Aztec, New Mexico.  It did not mention soldiers or balls in a track but it did mention the following on page 24, my comments in [ ]:

The disks, he [an anonymous presenter] explained had revolving rings of
metal, in the center of which were the cabins.  The cabins were geared to
the disks, which revolved around the stabilized cabins

The smallest [UFO of three] had a landing gear built like a tricycle of
three metal balls, which could revolve in any direction

I followed up the lead by reading “UFO Crash at Aztec, New Mexico” (William S. Steinman and Wendelle C. Stevens, 1986) which is a 600 page monster that looks into the background of Frank Scully’s story. Closer to the source, the mention of balls becomes more opaque as in the following quote from page 104, my comments in [ ] :

They [the ships] contained two parts, a cockpit or cabin about six feet in
diameter, and a ring eighteen feet across and about two feet thick around
this cabin.  In flight, the ring revolved at a high rate of speed, while the
cabin remained stationary like the center of a gyroscope.  The ship has a
bearing type tripod landing gear.

While following up on John Scully’s lead, I widen the search by looking through other UFO books published between 1945 and 1975 in the hope that this broad range would cover any book David could have read around 1971 as a teenager.  Here is an incomplete list of the books:

Scully, Frank, “Behind the Flying Saucers”,1950
D.Leslie & G. Adamski, “Flying Saucers have Landed”, 1953
– Mentions a ball type landing gear.
Keyhoe, Major Donald E. “Flying Saucers from Outer Space”, 1954
Wilkins, Harold T. “Flying Saucers Uncensored”, 1955
Jessup, M.K., “The 1956 UFO Annuals”, 1956
Menzel, Donald and Boyd, Lyle, “The World of Flying Saucers”, 1963
Edward J, Ruppelt, “The Report on Unidentified Flying Object”, 1966
Vallee, Jacques & Jannine, “Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma”, 1966
– Mentions Adamski in three places.
Edwards, Frank, “Flying Saucers – Serious Business”, 1966
– A brief mention of Roswell on page 41 and a couple paragraphs on Scully on page 89.
David, Jay, “The Flying Saucer Reader”, 1967
– Has a chapter on Adamski.
Lorenzen, Coral E., &quotFlying Saucers, The Startling Evidence of the Invasion from Outer Space”, 1967
– Mentions Scully on page 36
Klass, Philip “UFO – Identified”, 1968
Drake, Raymond W, “Gods and Spacemen in the Ancient East”, 1968
– Mentions Adamski in seven places.
Editors of Science & Mechanics, “The Official Guide to UFOs”, 1968
– This book had a case on page 20 that states one object which “… kept moving gently back and forth, yet hovering in the same spot.  It seamed to be of a silver-colored material, but there were small objects, resembling balls, in constant motion around it, circling around it at tremedous speed, as if in orbit around the object.”
White, Dale, “Is Something Up There?”, 1968
Greenfield, Irving A, “The U.F.O. Report”, 1969
– Mentions Adamski on page 12.
Fuller, John G. “Aliens in the Skies”, 1969
Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, “UFOs The Whole Story”, 1969
– Mentions Scully on page 25.
Dutta, Rex, “Flying Saucer Viewpoint”, 1970
– Mentions Scully on page 40.
B l Cathie, P N Temm, “Harmonic 695 the UFO and Anti -Gravity”, 1971
Hynek, J. Allen, “The UFO Experience”, 1972
Stoneley, Jack, “Is Anyone Out There?”, 1974
Spencer, John Wallace, “No Earthly Explanation”, 1974
Trench, Brinsley Le Poer, “Secret of the Ages”, 1974
McWane, Glenn and Graham, David, “The New UFO Sightings”, 1974
– Mentions Scully on page 119.
Blum, Ralph, “Beyond Earth: Man’s contact with UFOs”, 1974
Fowler, Raymond E. “UFOs: Interplanetary Visitors”, 1974
Wilson, Dr. Clifford, “UFOs and Their Mission Impossible”, 1974
– Mentions Adamski.
Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, “Encounters with UFO occupants”, 1976
– Mentions Scully on page 169.
Berlitz, Charles. “The Roswell Incident.” New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1980
Steinman, William S. & Stevens Wendelle C, “UFO Crash at Aztec”, 1986
Randle, Captain Keven D., “The UFO Casebook”, 1989
– Mentions Scully in five places.
Kroff, “The UFO crash at Roswell, What they don’t want you to know”, 1997

Problems** with Methodology
(A) Only two books on Roswell were read, one of which debunked the crash
– The soldier’s account was reportedly in a book read in 1971 and thus, I tried to find that account.  I am less inclined to trust the most recent books because they use second hand information, most of the original witnesses are dead and time tends to cloud the truth.
(B) Only one UFO book published in 1971 was read.
– Book selection was dictated by two things – availability and cost. Most older UFO books, even paperbacks, run $3+ and are difficult to find at your local library.  I was aided by two things –, a website with over 20 million second-hand books available from 9000 second hand stores around the world and a cooperative librarian.
(C) The books represented are a small selection from those published between 1945 and 1975.
– It is hard to know how many UFO books were published in that period, however, see the third point in the second paragraph under “Conclusion” for why I think at least a brief mention of the account should have surfaced in the sample.




The strongest argument for the existence of the soldier’s account is that there could be lots (hundreds?) of UFO books published between 1945 and 1975.

The strongest arguments against are:

  • The search criteria is quite narrow – a soldier reported hollow balls in tracks at Roswell and this account was in a book readily available to a teenager during 1971.
  • Roswell wasn’t widely known in the UFO literature before the 1980s, in fact, given the amount of reported activity around Roswell at the time, it would seem reasonable that the crash would have at least a brief mention in UFO books before Berlitz’s “Roswell Incident”.  To my surprise, there was only two and after reading Berlitz’s book and Kroff’s debunking, I believe Kroff –  it was a balloon (ok – expel me now :-] )
  • It also seemed reasonable that given the unique and dramatic nature of the account that it would stand out and be mentioned in other books published after 1971, especially in Roswell specific books like Berlitz’s.  After you read a few UFO books you realize that they frequently refer to each other, especially the more dramatic detailed reports.  You can see this readily in the frequent mention of the Frank Scully and Adamski stories in other UFO books.
  • David’s recollection seems vaguely like the Aztec, New Mexico account using similar words like “balls”, “gyroscope”, “center”, “cabin”, 25 feet in diameter = fairly small (subjective), ring = race (?).

I am publishing this information because finding the soldier’s account is important to support David’s claim and if anyone else wishes to continue down this path, this research will give them a head start.  Even given the evidence that the soldier’s account may not have existed, I still believe**** some type of alternative propulsion is possible.  When I started this search, I was eager to strengthen David’s case with the hope that one day I would be buying my next car from a IIC consortium, however…



Sean Donovan.
IIC member since 1999

> —– Original Message —–
> From: “David E. Cowlishaw” <[email protected]>
> To: “Sean Donovan” <mrsdonovan(at)>
> Sent: Saturday, July 03, 1999 9:00 PM
> Subject: Re: GIT – New IIC group member! – Buildings on the moon (clementine > photos) – DavidC
> > ———-
> > >6. How did your interest get aroused by GIT?
> > >——–
> >
> >     First thoughts were from reading a UFO book with a Roswell crash
> report
> > from an anonymous soldier that was on site.  He described large hollow
> > balls that ran in a race around the fairly small craft, and a center wheel
> > gyroscope in the center of the cabin (steering).  It had the “ring of
> > truth”, and got me thinking along the lines of a purely mechanical thrust
> > mechanism.  That was in 1971, and being classically trained, I never got
> > around to trying it until I finally realized that “authorities” weren’t
> > the last word in our limits!



Sean Donovan.


Revision History

October 2013 – My once a year look over resulted in fixing the link to the prototype page which, because of the upgrade to NGINX, stopped working.  Also fixed the main menu.
January 1st, 2012 –  Through benign neglect, this page now holds a top position on Google searches for “David Cowlishaw GIT” and I fixed it up, before I let it rust away again.  I updated to WordPress from plain HTML which fixed the terrible colors [wayback machine], removed the annoying play-on-load Mulder MP3*, enlarged photos, added inline playable videos and added more pictures of my research at the time on a new page.
February 22nd, 2011 – Given this site appears fourth in Google searches for “David Cowlishaw GIT”, I fixed all  the links to David’s website (which use to be hosted on  I added a link to his various profile pages and Wikipedia entry.
November 29th, 2006 – Removed Guestbook which wasn’t being used anyway, moved to a new site, removed floating menu, combined second page with first.
September 16st, 2005 – Added Firefox friendly sound control.
September 4th, 2005 – Because of spam, guestbook entries now requires e-mail confirmation
September 1st, 2004 – Fixed counter.
August 21st, 2004 – Reset the counter when the ISP moved to a new server.
March 26th, 2004 – removed juggling glow ball link and offer to send videos on CD.
June 18th, 2003 – fixed dead DuBro link.
April 28, 2003 – updated e-mail address.
April 13th, 2003 – removed offer to lend UFO books.
March 18th, 2003 – removed offer to sell extra parts.
August 1st, 2002 – Submitted site to — Ooooh traffic!
July 17th, 2002 – Added header to videos and increased compression
July 16th, 2002 – Added floating menu
May 4th, 2002 – Added comments
May 1st, 2002 – Added guestbook, other minor revisions