For decades, people have speculated on the various oddities that surround UFO craft and their behavior. By “oddities” I mean the colored lights, the photographic inconsistencies, the mysterious occupants, and the “here one instant, gone the next” qualities observed by many UFO witnesses… of which there are countless numbers that continue to report their experiences annually.

Among the various speculative theories, there are occasionally some rather brilliant observations made by those with backgrounds in engineering. One classic analysis, which actually was a summation of this individual’s life work, stands alone as some of the most intelligent thought applied to the mechanics of flying saucers; and yet it is not widely recognized, as most information on the subject appeared in scientific journals overlooked by the mainstream media.

Electric Spacecraft Journal was a quarterly scientific journal published by Charles Yost, a former Apollo-era NASA engineer. My colleague Joshua P. Warren had the privaledge of meeting and working alongside Yost a number of times before his death a few years ago, and subscribed to Electric Spacecraft, thus allowing me to be privy to the massive knowledge-base published in its pages over the years. Recently, I was looking over the October 1995 issue in preparation for an experiment Joshua and I will soon be partaking in, involving studies with Wimshurst generators that provide flow visualization and microscopic details of electric forces. Interestingly, Yost began an article on this subject by first musing on what an “electric spacecraft” is exactly, and in his description of a variety of characteristics he assumed such a craft might display, he illustrates for us a rather vivid description of a typical UFO, as well as the technical elements that would result in things like bright light, a saucer-like shape, and other elements associated with presumed alien spacecraft.

“The objective of the work at Electric Spacecraft, Inc. is to learn how to design and build a spacecraft that is totally propelled by electric forces,” Yost wrote. “More than likely, such a craft would be circular in form, such as a disk, sphere or cylinder shape. The popular “flying saucer,” or UFO would be characteristic of such a shape.” Yost also notes that “a crude, electrically-propelled craft might also have other flying saucer characteristics,” some of which might include the following:

  • A surrounding glow, changing in brightness as well as color due to electric ionization of the air and “high frequency pulsations”
  • Both static and oscillating electric radiation, strong enough to saturate electric currents within 100 feet of the craft via induction, hence causing electric devices to malfunction.
  • Persons operating outside the craft would have to wear a grounded, outer metallic garment for protection against electric burns.
  • Yost even theorized that such craft might be able to utilize cloaking technology; a craft surrounded with the right ionization and oscillation frequencies might be capable of dissapearing, at least in daylight or on radar systems.
  • Such craft could also appear to be distinct objects to the naked eye, but when photographed they may appear as “a bright, diffuse light,” caused by energtic radiation emitted which may overexpose photographic film or, in many instances, digital cameras capable of detecting infrared light, etc.

Indeed, it seems that Yost outlined many elements associated with the behavior of UFO craft. Of course, as astute as these observations are, it is obvious that Yost may have been influenced by existing data on UFOs (as it is my understanding that Yost had actually witnessed a large glowing UFO at some point over the mountains of Western North Carolina, prior to purchasing land near Asheville, where he built his private laboratory). However, what may be of greater interest was that Yost wasn’t the first to propose such theories. Prior to Kenneth Arnold’s sightings of “saucers” skipping across the skies over Washington or the Roswell UFO crash of 1947 (both incidents which helped form the public stereotype that UFOs are typically saucer-shaped craft), Nikola Tesla had stated that an electric flying machine might be best suited by having a cigar or saucer-shape, both of which ironically became common shapes of reported UFO craft four years after Tesla’s death. Does this illustrate that knowledge of electric propulsion of craft suggests that saucer shapes best lend themselves to this mode of flight, and that indeed knowledge of such was ascertained by one of the greatest electrical engineers of our time, long before UFO craft with similar shape and appearance were being seen? Furthermore, does this lend greater creedence to the studies of modern engineers like the late Charles Yost? Does the saucer shape, and the notion of an “electric spacecraft”, hold the key to unraveling the UFO mystery?

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Micah Hanks

Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at