Building an Underground Earth Probe Antenna for 0 – 14 MHz TX/RX

Thank you to Jean-Marie Polard (F5VLB) for letting us know about his work in creating underground "earth probe" antennas that work for both RX and TX between 0 - 14 MHz, and are especially good at VLF and below. He writes:

Can't install an antenna at home? Madame refuses the masts, taut son? One solution, The Earth probes antenna.

Our group ( started in January 2019. At first everyone made fun of me, the professionals called me crazy and today with more than seven hundred members, we installed underground antenna systems and the results are there.

Between 0 and 14MHz, in transmission and reception, it works!

This system dates from 1914/1918 but has been brought up to date.

It doesn't take much to get started, just the urge to try.

Mad of vlf - elf - ulf ? come here nearly 1000 members are waiting for you.

So when? Welcome everyone.

To access the Earth Probes and VLF.ULF.ELF groups you'll need a Facebook account. The groups contain a number of research papers documenting the concept, and the photos section. From the photos, an earth probe antenna appears to consist of two long grounding rods spread over a distance, or a grounding rod and long buried wire, combined with a balun.

An example of an underground antenna setup from a 1935 shortwave magazine.
An example of an underground antenna setup from a 1935 shortwave magazine.
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Naysayers are as perennial as the grass. Born in the ‘box’ and interned in the ‘box’ having never ventured beyond their own self-limited mentality and relying solely on ‘authorized’ science. If it were for this kind of lame mindset, we would all still be living in caves.


In the former Panama Canal Zone, a secret underground antenna was installed inside a mountain that was used to monitor the spectrum of all of Central and S. America. It was designed as per Nicloa Tesla’s and Ernst Alexanderson’s specifications. Eric Dollard worked for RCA at their Bolinas Station in California. He was able to pick up radio transmissions in Japan through the improvised underground antenna using the fire hydrant system. Back in the mid 60’s the military had technology that automatically converted voice in Spanish to English that came over a teletype. The also had cell phones and video that communicated directly to the Pentagon. There was another above ground Tesla antenna field on Atlantic side of the Canal Zone under U.S. Navy control that was top secret at the time. It likely had an underground component as well. Tesla discovered that a properly constructed antenna had much better reception than anything above ground. Tesla’s AC electrical system is actually using the earth to provide supplementary power. If you were to calculate the power output of electrical generating systems against the load you would find that there is a large ‘anomalous’ gain. Tesla’s dream to harness the “wheel of nature” was suppressed by JP Morgan who could not stand the thought of anyone obtaining energy without cost.


You’re 100% right i have a friend that has one that i speak to him on 40 m but some people are parrots they just repeat what they hear without actually any personal experience!


Please remember, the main intention to have a concealed antenna for transmission and reception, was not that such concealed antennas have a better performance than simple above earth antennas, only that you have adequate performance.

Doghouse Reilly

The Soviets used this concept extensively for military communications. contains a summary of declassified Soviet practices for establishing and employing buried antenna systems.


Does anyone have the title and reference to the NBS article?

With a few meter of cooper wire from a discarded transformer I received signals down to 77.5 kHz. The picture shows the use of a chicken-ladder as feeding line, which is for symmetrical antennas, while the use of the ground stick and buried wire is asymmetrical. It can be argued that the feeder line can be attributed for part of the signals received transmitted, similar to the infamous self-tuners-boxes to which you could connect any length of wire above a few feet. A teardown made by QST in the 70’s showed only a few resistors inside with the feeding line and the resistors provided enough matching without the need for tuning.
My point is you will receive signals even with a dummy load on the end of a feeder line, the question is only how well you will receive signals compared to a defined antenna setup.


would it be possible to build a similar uhf/vhf antenna for recieve television signal???


You would probably get similar performance, by adding a 14 MHz low pass filter in the signal path from a normal uhv/vhf antenna. No would be my answer.

If this works the way I think that it does, I would guess at least ~30dB less signal (say that the filter, soil, has a very gentle slope and is attenuating at a extremely modest 20dB per decade).


No Facebook for me

No Facebook

Nor me. Phuck that.

Jack Wybenga

This concept has shown up in various publications including QST in the 1960s. It was a joke, surprised it finds new victims every few years


If the entire RF spectrum behaved exactly the same, I would fully agree with you that it was a joke.

But ELF (3 to 30 Hz is used to order submarines to rise to a shallow depth where it can receive some other form of high bandwidth communication) can penetrate seawater deeply, to the the full operating range of submarines. Because seawater is electrical conductive it attenuates most of the RF spectrum. A single ELF transmitter has 100% earth coverage. ELF transmissions are one way, and not very efficient a few megawatts of input power for a few watts radiated power.

My suspicion is the the soil is behaving similar to the “skin effect” in a conductor, where higher frequency AC has a low penetration depth, and lower frequency AC has a much greater penetration depth. Both signals will be attenuated but with less unwanted signal, the wanted signal will be clearer. But the assumption would be that the soil is conductive, so what works easily at a shallow depth in swampland may not work at all in the middle of a desert.

Jack Wybenga

There was a supposition that a surface effect came to play in Loran C, at 100khz, but propogation measuremen’s during a drought and after a hurricane showed it to be false. The submarine com link was at 17 kHz with a transmit power in excess of 2 Mw. Attenuation through water was logarithmic.


That may well be the case now. But Clam Lake, Wisconsin (between 1985 and 2004) was the heart of ELF transmissions to US submarines at the very bottom of the ocean.


The concept has been used as a joke, yes. It has also been used by several militaries for fixed antennas that sacrifice some efficiency for the sake of survivability.

Jean Marie Polard

when I started I get the same comments as you jack (new victims every few years). I told them, try it and come back to me. Now we have several ham radios using this system with success. Don’t criticize if you have not tested ! 73’s John


Put your rig or others on line for people to listen.. Thanks for exploring out of the box

Jake Brodsky, AB3A

For those who are not thrilled with FB membership (I am not and never have been on FB), you might want to see for a bit more technical background. This discusses the “Earth Probe” in better detail for LF, VLF, and ELF (right down to the Schumann resonances).


very detailed article, thank you for posting the link Jake.


I’m never going to hand my personal data over to facebook to track me and shove ads at me (not a part of the Facebook stalker cult) just to read the linked posts.

So what be the short summary ? That this is in effect an E-field dipole antenna that is using the soil to strongly attenuate signals above 14 MHz ?

John AE5X

Same here – the fact that they’re on Facebook attenuates their membership by many dB.