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Gravity is a Push

Walter C. Wright
Carlton Press, NY
Edition / Year:
1st Edition. 1979
In the section labelled:

[Walter C Wright, Carlton Press, 1979]

Gravity is a Push, by Walter C. Wright, Jr.

As its title suggests, this book expounds a theory that the force of gravity is a push rather than a pull. This is not an idea invented by Wright - a Frenchman named George-Louis LeSage is usually credited with coming up with the first version of it in 1784. Since then there have been several attempts to come up with a push theory of gravity that can be made to fit with observation, some of them very sophisticated - such as those put forward by the renegade astronomer Tom Van Flandern and others. There is even a patent based on a push gravity theory. But Wright's scheme as set out in this book is rather harder to take seriously.

Wright tells us that he started to think about gravity because his son Tom did not believe in Newton's theory, in particular the standard explanation for high and low tides. Wright found his son's doubts compelling and looked into the question further. He could not understand why, if gravity is an attractive force, all the heavenly bodies are not “stuck together like a bunch of grapes”. How could it be that no-one else had previously spotted this glaring, fatal, flaw in Newton's theory? He does not enlighten us.

According to Wright, the gravity we experience on earth does not come from our planet but instead from the Sun. The Sun is made of two types of metal, causing it to generate a magnetic field, but in the form of anti-matter, which explains how its magnetic field repels rather than attracts the planets. This repulsive force between heavenly bodies is also the reason for the observed expansion of the universe: obviously if all the stars repel one another that is why they are moving further apart with time. Curiously, the idea that a magnetic force from the Sun holds the planets in place is also to be found in a book written in 1910 by one of my favourite crank writers Webster Edgerly, who wrote:

“The sun is the most energetic of all powers, and its energy is magnetism. It is able to hold all its planets away from it by the pushing power of its peculiar rays.”

In support of his theory, Wright has built numerous models, commonly using magnets, to demonstrate different facets of it. He is very proud of these models, which he evidently regards as much more convincing than mere mathematics: indeed he regards the inability of exponents of Newton's theory to build convincing physical models (convincing to him, that is), as damaging to their credibility. Unfortunately his models don't really demonstrate anything other than his failure to grasp elementary physics. Take one of his examples, the behaviour of a Slinky toy when held vertically under gravity:

springs A, B, and C as described in the text

I studied the Slinky toy and it seemed odd to me that if gravity were a pull from the earth, then why did the rings on the Slinky Toy closest to the earth show the least amount of pull? The only explanation possible, in my opinion, was that gravity was pushing the rings of the Slinky Toy downward.

It surely takes a genius for wrong-headedness to find difficulty with a phenomenon for which an averagely intelligent 14-year-old would be able to provide an explanation. For physics duffers the illustration shows what is happening (I hope) simply enough: in A there is the Slinky spring showing greater stretch at the top and less toward the bottom as described by Wright. In B a few coils have been cut off from the bottom and replaced with an equivalent weight of solid metal; in C more coils have been cut off in the same way. It should be clear from this how the amount of stretch of the spring comes from the weight of the coils below it, so coils near the bottom are stretched apart much less than those near the top. Moreover, if there were a significant difference in the force of gravity between the top and bottom of the spring as Wright seems to be implying, by the same token you would weigh noticeably less at the bottom of a flight of stairs than at the top!

A key ingredient of Wright's theory is something he calls the 'magnetic circular squeeze'. This is a force which acts inwards to 'squeeze' objects such as the planets into round shapes. Wright claims that this force is responsible for the fact that the hairs on your head do not taper whereas those on your arms do. What is more:

The incoming magnetic wave has a twist factor in it.

The 'twist factor' - nothing to do with Chubby Checker - is made responsible for the twisting of water draining down plug-holes, the way that apricots grow, the direction of continental drift, the helical shape of the DNA molecule and the sometimes-observed corkscrewing of lightning bolts. Then, musing further on the great electrical power of lightning, he wonders whether gravity is not after all:

static electricity, which is a form of magnetism which makes all the heavenly bodies react like [statically charged] balloons [that is, they repel one another]. It is something to consider.

As if all this were not enough, Wright believes that the Earth flips around 90 degrees every so many thousands of years. Because “permanent magnets do not change their poles”, evidence of changes in the position of the Earth's magnetic poles leads him to the conclusion that it is the whole Earth that must flip “very gently”, with new poles forming “where the old ones used to be”. This is because he believes that the poles are created by the Sun's magnetic field, not by anything inside the Earth.

There is a great deal more nonsense in this book, including the ludicrous claim that Einstein's General Theory supports Wright's conclusions. Yet, though his ideas may be preposterous and baseless, there are - as usual - a few souls inclined to believe them. As far as I can judge, these mainly fall into those who could not understand physics at school and who find his simple models appealing; those who are perversely attracted to 'alternative' ideas in general; and those who want a different theory of gravity specifically because they think it may explain how flying saucers work. On one fan's web page you will find the assertion (dated 1992) that “[Wright] NEVER claimed that gravity is magnetic in nature”, although that very claim is clearly made on page 25 of this book, which would suggest Wright is not merely loopy, but intellectually dishonest, too: though the same web site tells us elsewhere that he:

is one of the most energetic and alive people I know, sharp as a tack. He and his beautiful lady friend Darlene ... still go dancing every Saturday night!!

You can't say that about Stephen Hawking, can you?

More alternative gravity theory links

  1. The Earth's “Center of Gravity” - Up or Down?
  2. Gravity, Relative Magnetic Fields and Chi
  3. Eggsperimental verification of a new theory

Gravity is a popular subject of consideration for fringe theoreticians, so there is a lot more of this kind of thing out there, mostly of equal battiness.


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Submitted by Jamey Lynne (not verified) on 02 Oct 2009 - 20:23 Permalink

He's half right. Gravity is a push, not a pull. However, It is the fabric of spacetime that exerts the push. The larger the accumulation of matter, the more spacetime resists it. This is a fairly weak push, after all I can resist my own weight and stand up against the spacetime pressure against the 6 trillion tons of Earth. Einstein wasn't wrong about the effects matter has on spacetime, he just didn't think it through. Inside the sphere of influence of a spacetime-matter distortion, matter is pushed together. Outside this sphere of influence, matter is pushed apart. this accounts for both gravitation and the accellerating expansion of the Universe. Look at it this way, if matter didn't distort spacetime, the universe would be filled with rarified molecular dust.
Submitted by Teos Yashab (not verified) on 11 Apr 2010 - 23:34 Permalink

The reason Wrights works is difficult to accept is that it does not require acceptance. His work is scientific yet he does not subscribe to contemporary model/paradigm of thought regarding gravity. The reason it does not require acceptance is because it is an analogy, or rather an extension of a different analogy to that of Newtons exploration. The nature of Wrights initial analogy does not make any changes in the current models of celestial behavior including Einsteins relativistic refining of the Newtonian analogy. All that wright does is reverse the direction of the flow of an observed force of nature. When electrical current was first observed it was deemed to flow in a given direction. It did not take long for an application of the newly discovered phenomena to reveal the path of the electron to be the opposite. This was nothing new in terms of electronics but it has paved the way for a far more complete understanding of the universe at its constructive levels. The old theories and equations still work because nature is a balanced system. The kind of exploration that we see in Wrights work is exactly what science requires to make new sense of a world not yet fully understood. His work can inspire your own thoughts if you let it. Analogy, mythology and reasoned imagination are the beginning, the science then simply plots a path through with observation and reflection. Gravity is still a puzzle, and if we are discount any other paradigm that differs from our current incomplete one, how will we ever complete the puzzle. Those who are happy to sit with the belief that the space/time warp analogy is truth are not wrong, but they are also staring the means dead in the eye and claiming it to be the end. 'To entertain and idea without accepting it is a sign of a good education' - Aristotle
Submitted by Alfred Armstrong on 12 Apr 2010 - 00:07 Permalink

Teos, have you actually read Wright's book? It's not "scientific" in any meaningful sense of the term. Science is not about analogies, it's about models that can be used to make predictions and that, more importantly, can be refuted.

The idea of Wright as some sort of radical pusher at the boundaries is ludicrous. To go beyond, you have to understand what's gone before, and since Wright can't even get basic mechanics right he's not a very convincing candidate. Actual scientific revolutionaries are like Wegener or Zwicky, people who know their stuff, not lovable boobs like Wright.

Submitted by Teos Yashab (not verified) on 12 Apr 2010 - 01:56 Permalink

Fair comment. I can't argue with the fact that his methods are not scientific and i have to concede that my initial statement that his work is scientific is an incorrect summation. I am not scientifically trained therefore i am not qualified to judge regarding scientific methodology. I simply mean to say that to entertain new analogies about how our universe functions is the key to realising the truth of that which we are presented with as observers. It seems to me that the problem with a book like 'Gravity is a Push' is that Wright makes observations using magnetism to explain a force that he believes behaves in the same way when the two forces are in no way related outside of his discourse. Does it not seem to be the case that to understand the mechanics of all that has previously been observed only to use this information to predict that which is to come is the very state of mind that has causes science to make mistakes, right itself in reflection and thus further our currently incomplete understanding of the universe. These mistakes are the guide posts to realising the truth of our universe and perhaps our current mechanical models can be explained by a completely different model that will not disprove our current explanations but place them in a different system that illuminates the truth behind the mechanics. If Wright has spent his life making mistakes in the entertaining of nothing but flawed and fantastical ideas then how is this different to any previous form of scientific exploration that is always and invariably replaced by the radical explorations of a free thinker. I do not mean to imply that Wright is a radical free thinker who has discovered truth, however, it is the process of free thought that is absolutely necessary in the journey. Thanks for the advice. I'll stop making wild claims about anybodies work being scientific without having the correct background and I'll certainly have a look at the work of Wegener and Zwicky. I just love hearing about people who have the conviction to live as imagineers, when they are wrong they clarify what is right and when they are right point us in new directions, either of these two states (of either right or wrong) always lead us in the direction of truth when we apply our minds to reason.
Submitted by Francois Tremblay_ (not verified) on 17 Aug 2010 - 10:39 Permalink

I don't know of any crackpot gravity sites, so no. The topic has never appealed to me. Although, doesn't Alex Chiu have a weird explanation of gravity? After verification, it turns out he does: So I guess this is my suggested alternative. :)
Submitted by Symon Edward F. (not verified) on 20 Dec 2010 - 15:28 Permalink

Hello, I am sure that our society is still far away from the key to the mystery of the creation of our universe, as well as of the nature of gravity. But still, they are trying to make attempts, and there are more and more new discoveries about the fabric of space-time . Recently scientists have turned up rare evidence that space-time is smooth as Einstein predicted, while pushing closer to a complete theory of gravity.
Submitted by kevinanchi on 20 May 2011 - 16:14 Permalink

This hasn't been discussed here already somewhere; has it? If not, I'm hoping anyone may like to collaborate here to help compile material on the theory that all forces are repulsive, none being attractive. What seems to be attraction between 2 objects would actually be outside pressure causing the objects to move closer together. If a person stands on a platform some short distance above the Earth and moves off of the platform without any other support, there's nothing pulling on the person, like a rope, but there's something pushing from above. That something would seem to be the aether, or the like. The Earth partially blocks the aether from below the person; otherwise equal aether pressure from all directions would cause the person to remain next to the platform without falling. 

Submitted by Alfred Armstrong on 20 May 2011 - 16:22 Permalink

Mysteriously, a spammy link to some crummy website selling patio furniture appeared in your comment, Kevin. Never mind, I have removed it.

I know that's what you'd want because no one would leave comments on this most excellent of sites with the sole intention of getting a free linkback, would they?

Links from here cost $MOOLAH$, bro.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Jul 2011 - 13:21 Permalink

I agree with Jamey Lynne. And I propose this to you. The sun creates a bubble in space time. As does the Earth,moon,ect. Because the body's spin, so do the bubble they create, like a record. The earth is being protected from the full force of space time by the suns bubble. If we were alone in space without this, our gravity would be much greater. The push of the Earth loses to the push of space time. That's why if you jump you come back down. The moon is in the earths bubble adding a double effect from earths bubble and the suns bubble. Weakening the push from space time on the moon. Plus it has its own push weakening space times push even further. Because of the earth and the moons bubbles are so close, and overlap they cause the push from space time to be very weak in between them. This allows the earths push, to push the oceans out towards the moon. If the moon was absent there would be a uniformed bulge all the way around the equator. That's why there is lesser bulge on the opposite side of the planet. Its just from the earth pushing out where space time pushes the least, at the equator. Creating the tides and the biggest scientific mind f%$# of all time.
Submitted by Alfred Armstrong on 15 Jul 2011 - 13:31 Permalink

I am afraid unless you can describe this mathematically and demonstrate (a) that it is consistent with all known observations and (b) that it predicts something new that can be tested by experiment, your proposal is just a pretty story.

That's what distinguishes science from mythology, religion and other non-explanations: repeatability, testability, refutability.

Submitted by louis (not verified) on 19 Jan 2012 - 17:24 Permalink

Hi I was able to block gravity between 2 masses using a laminar laser beam from a 1.5 watt laser. The lab experiment is described in Physics Paper, Dec. 2011. It seems only pushing gravity theory can explain the observed effect. Hope someone with a bigger laser will try this . Louis.
Submitted by Rangutan (not verified) on 22 Jan 2012 - 16:51 Permalink

After FOURTEEN YEARS of research, I now have enough notes and evidence to write a scientific paper and rattle all of your brains. "Gravity is caused by the inter-galactic radiation of particles travelling beyond the speed of light, mostly from Black-Holes" - Rangutan 1988-2012 So tracking back on my discussions on the web I came across "Gravity is a Push". Wally was quite right that there is something WRONG with current definitions of gravity but does not explain what is MISSING in research of gravity. The fact is that gravity is a resultant of something else, not an atractive force. Which idiot beleaves that two masses on either side of the universe attract each other? Walter Wrights observation is quite correct that the oceans appear to be pushed towards the Sun. What he really means is the oceans that are at LOW TIDE are pushed by incomming gravitons and that mass of water is pushed toward the high-tide areas ... Newton was on the right track but Einstein messed everything up. Also modern-day morons like Hawkings and his fans are missleading us horribly. The mere fact that they all use a CONSTANT means there is a missing intellectual component. "G" is the value of gravity in our solar system but NOT universal. I would like to spend a year studying the correct terms for astrophysics and quantum mechanics then write a paper on REAL GRAVITY. I now realised that my coined "bontrons and bomtrons" are simply "gravitons", free particles travelling beyound the speed of light, therefore no mass but have momentum, produced by blackholes.....
Submitted by Rangutan (not verified) on 15 Jan 2017 - 15:30 Permalink

Hawking is a great mathematician that collects the theories of others and makes assumptions. I know than black-holes cause gravitational waves, tachyons are real! RRG aka Rangutan

Submitted by thomas (not verified) on 23 Jan 2012 - 02:35 Permalink

Submitted by thomas (not verified) on 23 Jan 2012 - 15:53 Permalink

Submitted by gene neff (not verified) on 17 Dec 2013 - 04:53 Permalink

I was a good friend and a student of Walter Wright. He was known as Red Wright to most of his friends. He gave me a copy of his book Gravity is a Push and he mentioned my name in the book. I am not a scientist, although I have some limited knowledge of the field. Red may not have been a scientist, but he was a brilliant and interesting individual. I am writing this several years after his death. I wish I could have contacted him before he died to let him know that there is new evidence that his theory that gravity is a push which he tried to explain to me on many occasions, is in fact being studied more closely now. I saved an article from USA Today, dated Tuesday, October 2, 2007 entitled, "Scientists still in the murk about Cosmic 'Dark energy' it could hold the key to universe;s fate, by Ron Cowen . The article among other things stated, "Science writers took part in a workshop last month at the space telescope Science Institute in Baltimore to focus on the question of why gravity on the largest scales, has switched roles -pushing out instead of holding in," also stated, "Astronomer Adam Riess remembers the moment he realized that instead of pulling galaxies together, gravity was pushing them apart. This is a very interesting article and should be read in its entirety to see the relationship between what is now being explored and what Red postulated. I sure would have loved to show this to Red while he was alive. I know he would have been pleased.

Submitted by Michael S (not verified) on 29 May 2016 - 22:23 Permalink

I knew Walter (Red) Wright he worked with my father at the Railroad. My father worked using electro magnetics and ultrasonics to test railroad track going 25 miles and hour to find cracks and flaws in the rail. When they locate a flaw the would back up hand test it and mark it and then slow the trains on the track until the rail is replaced. This is why you seldom hear anymore of derailments from broken rail.
Mr Wright came to my elementary school in Fairfield California and demonstrated he theories in which he had models to prove them. It was enlightening and he taught me to look for holes in theories because after all the world is not flat as we humans were once told. So as the climate change people like to exclaim that climate change does exist which I do not deny, I only deny that it's caused by man. I have never seen a convincing argument or theory that can't be disproved or not found to be full of holes. I know that earth is not a round sphere and is oblong in the middle. I know that tectonic plates heave up islands in Hawaii. I know that the earth will someday come to and end. I think a lot of the time Scientist gets things wrong too. So what I don't like is Armstrong's high and mighty attitude about an Author who spent a lot of time thinking about something that could change everything.
I read today about a new Rail gun that fires a projectile at 4500 miles and hour with magnectis and electricity. It made me remember my Dad's coworker Mr Red Wright. I wonder what effect his theories played in developing this weapon ? I guess only time will tell? Elon Musk is developing a rail system that people will travel at supersonic speeds. Did Wrights theories help with this too? We may all be crediting Wright instead of Newton one day.......

Submitted by Alfred Armstrong on 30 May 2016 - 13:08 Permalink

Thanks, Michael. We'll have to disagree on the value of Wright's work, I'm afraid. I'm sure he was utterly honest and sincere, but he was mistaken. Here's a page with a good explanation of why I take that opinion. For me, the most important point on that page is this:

A theory that cannot be refuted or falsified is not a scientific theory.

This is something that non-scientists often fail to understand, but it's how science advances. One theory does not replace another because of fashion, but because it makes a new prediction about observations yet to be made. In doing so, it sets itself up for failure, because by making such a prediction you also provide a way that you can be proved wrong.

Submitted by Michael S (not verified) on 30 May 2016 - 19:29 Permalink

It's interesting and amusing to me that your reponse is that his science is flawed when actually all science is inherently flawed. So by that definition unless he is exactly right he must be completely wrong. When my argument is his Theories may someday be proved right.... Your link you provided is interesting to me because I've always believed the science behind climate change is very flawed; even more so since they proven the science behind the Montreal protocol to be wrong and no country has made a move to change the laws that were created to prevent the hole in the ozone layer?

Submitted by Craig (not verified) on 16 Feb 2019 - 00:38 Permalink

Does anyone find it interesting that after Wright gives his presentation in august 1988, only one month later NASA reopens its space program with the launch of discovery after Challenger disaster caused its un fortunate shutdown, also i watch the Challenger launch and it almost appears that its dismantled by an invisible force, the engines dont blow up, they continue to burn going any way but up, with the compelling argument that Wright makes about meteors, my overall impression was that nothing comes, nothing leaves

Submitted by Eugene E Bunt (not verified) on 27 Apr 2019 - 19:59 Permalink

First I will borrow my answer to another question to save writing. This answer fits as well to the question: What is the relationship between heat and gravity?

My answer on Quora to the question; “Has anyone figured out how gravity works?”

Yes, Einstein described how it works.

Einstein gave us the answer to gravity, warped space/time. And he told where to look for it, the bending of light in a gravitational field. On May 19, 1919 astronomer Arthur Eddington took a photograph of a constellation that lined up behind the Sun during a solar eclipse, and it confirmed Einstein's prediction of light bending in a gravitational field. The background star images moved away from the Sun, as if you were viewing the constellation through a huge positive lens. Einstein described the mechanics of this observation by imagining a series of elevators rising from the Sun’s surface; light enters the elevator at a higher level on the far side, and then it exits at a lower level on the side closest to us. As light traverses elevator after elevator, its path bends so that the star’s images appear to be at a greater angle away from the Sun (“The Evolution of Physics” © 1938 by Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld page 220.)

Mass slows time which alters the distance matter can travel in comparison to less mass areas. Elements can be identified by the light they radiate due to the unique number and position of electrons in their electron energy-shell levels where photons are absorbed and emitted, resulting in dark spectral lines distinguishing each element. Using these spectral lines as light-wave-length markers; light-waves red-shift for each element when coming from a massive star, this means that light from specific elements travels farther in comparable length when coming from the slower time-rhythm with fewer seconds compared to the surroundings of a massive star. The fabric of space stretches as illustrated in gravitational embedding diagrams toward the center of mass allowing light and matter to move farther/faster using less energy toward the comparatively slower time-rhythm.

To imagine the space-time warp allowing objects to move farther in the same amount of time while coming from a massive object with a slower time-rhythm: think of an object moving directly away from you, the light waves coming from it will Doppler shift, the waves will be less frequent in arrival, but you will have witnessed the object move farther by your standard of light speed for the same amount of time. If you think of a second as the time it takes for light to travel a certain distance, that is now time plus greater distance. Sir Issac Newton said you move through space freely without friction, Gravity is the result of moving farther/faster through the rising elevators toward the slower time-rhythm and then being stopped by the planet surface, change in momentum lags change in velocity, which feels like deceleration/gravity. Gravity is the kinetic energy of momentum. Gravity is simply a change in uniform motion.

Now the answer: On the surface of a planet you are in a faster time-rhythm than the matter in the core of the planet, you are blue shifting (traveling through space) toward that core. Anything put under pressure radiates heat, that is how air conditioning works: the compression side is where the heat is extracted and the low pressure side is where air is cooled down for circulation. All of the blue shifting matter on the planet surface is applying tremendous pressure on the core, that is why the core is not cooling down after billions of years and will remain hot forever. The pressure slows the time-rhythm producing long wave energy and radiates the gravity (moving space) we feel on the surface resulting in our momentum toward the core.

Submitted by Sally Silvia (not verified) on 17 Aug 2019 - 23:34 Permalink

I'm not here to get into any discussion on the theories of gravitational push or pull or otherwise. Red (Walter) was a client of mine many years ago and he used to drop by just to chat. He often gave me flyers with all sorts of drawings and comments on them. He also gave me a copy of his book AND a small, magnet model that he used when explaining his theory. I have kept them these many years because I cared for him as a person, respected his persistence, admired his curiousity and felt that perhaps someday there may be someone who would like to have these things to read through. If there is any among you who are interested in having these things I would love to give them to you. I can't bear the thought of just throwing them away!

Submitted by Jonathan (not verified) on 30 Apr 2020 - 02:53 Permalink

I am a relative of Red's; on the Downer side. He's my great uncle. My family still resides in the Fairfield/Vacaville area. I would love to discuss how I could take these materials of Red's off your hands!