In 1913 Rota applied for a patent for a "Process and Apparatus for Maintaining a Body in Suspension in the Atmosphere, Based on Electric and Magnetic Forces".
This patent application does not in fact contain any element making it possible to understand or reproduce the desired effect, namely to maintain a body in levitation or "slow down its fall". Rota claims to power his device with "an electric current".
A few years later, he built prototypes using "an electrical energy not to be confused with the calorific ampere or eddy currents" to overcome gravity
In 1914, electro-gravitation was a reality, as evidenced by the photo of Wilson Churchill attending a demonstration of inventor Emile Bachelet's prototype. (Patent US1020942 "LEVITATING TRANSMITTING APPARATUS).
It was however necessary to wait a century before being able to realize the first commercial application: le MAGLEV (Magnetically Levitating train).
At the beginning of the 20th century, it is therefore understandable that the article below on the front page of Le Matin on September 13, 1915 went around the world, even if the principle of the invention proposed by Louis Rota was in fact of a very different and more like science fiction
Marseille, 13 September.
From the special correspondent of “Matin”. Currently residing in our town an Italian Engineer has made an astounding discovery and that has resolved the problem of holding, absolutely immobile, a body in space.
Professor Louis Rota - that is his name - has invented an apparatus which triumphs over the law of gravitation and is able to hold immobile in the air at a height of five hundred, six hundred, indeed 1000 metres, a considerable weight.
It is possible to move this apparatus at a prodigious velocity in any direction and it may be stopped at any point all that, it is understood, without a mechanical motor of any sort, simply by using Hertzian waves.
The principle of this invention rests on the special partitioning of electrostatic and magnetic forces enabling forces of attraction and repulsion sufficient to maintain the apparatus suspended , immobile at a variable height of 400 to 1000 metres for many hours, forty or more. If the wind speed is less than 14 Km/second, the apparatus remains at the same point. In the case that the wind is stronger, the apparatus can rise higher above the wind and remain immobile.
Experiments have already been made which have already given results. The other has been made at Marseille with an apparatus in the form of a cigar 4 metres long and 75 cm diameter weighing 95 kilos. It can lift 45 Kilos and remain 24 hours in the air. It moved 200 Kilometres from its point of departure, and could go from Marseille to Paris (653 kilometres in a direct line) in 3 hours and Paris to Turin (585 Kilometres) in two and a quarter hours.
This information was taken up with more or less detail in many French and foreign newspapers.
Germany: Abendpost - 15/sep/1915
Italia: Il Risveglio italiano , October 1st 1915
According to the Marseille newspapers, the Italian engineer Luigi Rota, residing in Marseille, would have solved the problem of the absolute immobility of a body in space.
This article appeared in at least 2 other newspapers
Jacques Martial, editorial secretary of Le Petit Marseillais, met Louis Rota in his studio and published an article in ""Le Petit Marseillais" of September 12, 1915 .
This experienced journalist faithfully reports his meeting with Louis Rota in his laboratory, but did not not attended a demonstration of the device.
La Patrie Créole du 30 octobre 2015:
The Creole Homeland of October 30, 2015:
A Discovery at Sensation
THE LAW OF GRAVITATION IS DEFEATED. - THE DIRECTION AT DISTANCE SOLVED. - 250 KILOMETERS PER HOUR. - SPECIAL WAVES. - the importance of the discovery.
From the Petit Marseillais :
A friend recently told me:
- There is in Marseilles, at the moment, an Italian engineer who is perfecting a truly sensational discovery, an invention that is nothing short of wonderful.
And as I smiled - one always remains sceptical when one speaks to you about an extraordinary invention - he added:
- Here is his address, go and see him, he will receive you with the greatest pleasure. I would like to tell you first that he does not solicit capital, nor advertising, nor publicity. He has at his disposal unlimited credits, the source of which I cannot tell you; the experiments already made are convincing and, before long, all the press will be interested in him' without him making a move. Go to his house, you'll thank me for it.
And he gave me the inventor's card: Professor Louis Rota, 35, cours Lieutard*. But, really, I did not regret my visit. So what did Mr. Rota invent? A device that has overcome the law of gravitation, that can be held immobile in the air, at a height of 500, 600 or 1,000 meters, capable of carrying a weight of 10 kilos, to which one can then impart a prodigious speed in the direction one wants, and stop it at the desired point. All this, of course, without any mechanical engine of any kind, simply by the use of electricity and electric waves. Isn't this quite marvelous? What was the principle of this invention established on? we ask Mr. Rota.
- The principle of the invention is based on an apparatus which, by means of a special distribution of electric and magnetic forces, allows to obtain reactions of repulsion and attraction on the magnetic and electric forces of the earth and the atmosphere, which reactions allow to maintain the apparatus suspended and immobile in the air at a height of four hundred to one thousand meters. It can remain so for several hours in proportion to its volume and weight, and up to forty hours. In case of current not exceeding fourteen meters per second, it remains at the same point. In case of stronger current, it moves, but in a vertical direction and up to the top of the current.
The device is built for the use that one wants to make of it, according to the duration of action that one wants to obtain. The first one was a cylinder of one meter height, with a total weight of ten kilos; the second one, of two meters height, with a weight of thirty kilos, began to give some satisfaction, during experiments which took place in Naples.
The present device has the shape of a cigar 4 meters long, 75 centimeters in diameter and weighing 95 kilos. It will be able to remove a weight of 45 kilos and to remain consecutively twenty-four hours in the air, with a displacement of 200 kilometers of the starting point. On the central carcass are the regulators that lead the device in the desired direction without any current being able to make it deviate from its route. It will be possible to go from Marseille to Paris (635 kilometers, in direct line) in three hours; from Paris to Turin (585 kilometers), in two hours and forty minutes. In thirty hours, we could go from England to North America. One will easily obtain a speed of 250 kilometers per hour.
In two words, Mr. Rota has solved the difficult and incredible problem of the absolute immobility of a body in space, the suppression of the currents, of the parasitic or wandering waves; he has discovered a special and new materialization of the wave that he can direct at will and in all its intensity.
We repeat, this discovery will have a considerable impact and we hope that the experiments that Mr. Rota intends to carry out shortly in Marseille will be definitive.
Should we add that this invention can have consequences of extreme importance applied to the transport of letters or small parcels, or other materials via. Berlin?
What happened after September 13, 1914? According to Layman's articles, reported by Mike Watson:
"During the 1914-18 war, the Paris laboratory was invaded and vandalized by people apparently wanting "his secret". Rota himself was injured. He was then invited to London".
We do not know the exact details, but Rota left France to work with the British Admiralty. Patent applications confirm that in 1917 Rota lived in Teddington, a suburb of London.
The archives of the English press also contain several articles mentioning Rota's work.
Below 2 examples (+ articles here)
The Daily Herald, January 11th 1922
LATEST MARVELS OF SCIENCE
POWER TO MAKE A NEW WORLD
STARTLING CLAIMS OF A YOUNG SCIENTIST
A company is about to be floated to work the invention of a very great, but little known scientist, whose discovery, if it fulfills his claims, will literally revolutionise the world.
This fact was disclosed to me yesterday (writes a DAILY HERALD correspondent) by two financiers in their office in the City of London.
This invention, I was told, is one that can cause battleships, submarines, aeroplanes and guns to crumble to dust the moment any Government gives order to move them.
That was only the beginning of the marvel. The mysterious force about to be harnessed for the service of man would immensely speed up travel, transport, and communication, whether by land, water, or air, cheapen every sort of manufacture, and enhance every domestic and social amenity.
For instance, cargo of mails or goods could be sent across the Atlantic through the upper air, without human being aboard the craft, at a speed of 10 to 400 miles an hour. The vessel would rise vertically to prescribed height, travel horizontally in a predetermined direction and drop gently and punctually upon its destination.
Wireless message, dispatched from no costly or elaborate stations, would travel to any distance, free from all danger of dissipation or confusion, and with absolute privacy as between sender and receiver.
The nature of all mineral and oil deposits in any part of the world and their depth and volume will be accurately determined without so much sinking a shaft.
Current rushing through the air will provide the householder with cheaper, safer and more brilliant lighting than he has ever ventured to desire.
OLD POWER MADE OBSOLETE
A new power for every industry will first make coal, steam, oil, and electricity more efficient, and afterwards dispense with them altogether.
Within 18 months, I was told, —and in accents of conviction—the company will be operating, and a spectacular demonstration will convince the world that all these wonders, and more, can be accomplished.
The secret is "telluric currents," and the discoverer is a young scientist, Professor L. V. Rota. The existence of these currents, which emanate from the earth (hence their name) has been suspected by other scientists. Lord Kelvin, shortly before his death, declared their reality. Professor Rota claims to be the first to discover and record them.
They may also be described as "molecular force", force," and they must not be confuse, says the Professor, with Ampere's thermo-electric currents or with Foucault currents.
It is the study of these telluric currents, in their nature, intensity and direction, that is believed to open up possibilities of such tremendous importance for the future of humanity.
As a preliminary demonstration, Professor Rota, who was then living at Marseilles, constructed a cigar-shaped apparatus 17ft. long, 30in. in diameter and convinced certain Press correspondents that this apparatus could remain suspended motionless in the air for 24 hours, carrying a considerable weight and propelled or stopped without the use of any mechanical motor.
To our knowledge, there are no articles proving that he was able to demonstrate in public the flight of one of his prototypes.
The other documents at our disposal are those mainly those written by Louis Rota and do not contain information to reproduce a possible levitation effect.