(FYI: "lift" is typically created by the flow of air molecules around wings and rotor blades. There's a helpful description of the details here. Extra thrust is essential in Earth's atmosphere because of the combined toll exacted by gravity and aerodynamic drag.)
Here it is, over 50 years later, and the flying saucers have yet to materialize. Sure, in the 1950s and 1960s the U.S. Air Force flirted with something called the Avrocar, but killed the program when the technical problems proved insurmountable.
Then there was the robotic saucer proposed by the U.S. military in the 1990s, which Science Channel in 2009 described as looking "a bit like a dog's water bowl with a video camera attached." It was hardly the stuff of science-fiction fueled dreams.
Fortunately, we have a new working concept over which to wax enthusiastic! Several years ago, a mechanical and aerospace engineer at the University of Florida named Subrata Roy patented his design for a "wingless electromagnetic air vehicle" (WEAV) powered by magnetohydrodynamics - that is, ion propulsion, or plasma, based technology.
Per a 2008 article in Scientific American:
"The saucer will hover and propel itself using electrodes that cover its surface to ionize the surrounding air into plasma. Gases... become plasma when energy (such as heat or electricity) causes some of the gas's atoms to lose their negatively charged electrons, creating atoms with a positive charge, or positive ions, surrounded by the newly detached electrons.
I think the operative word here (again) is "theoretically." But it's an exciting prospect, nonetheless, perhaps our 21st century version of the Coanda effect. Such a circular, spinning aircraft - LiveScience compared it to a "flying Bundt pan" - could hover and take off vertically while still achieving decent propulsion, without tons of mechanical moving parts. And it would be stable in windy conditions.
Roy built a six-inch battery powered model, and speculated about using the WEAV for airborne surveillance, as well as exploring planetary atmospheres in our solar system, like Saturn's moon, Titan. But the last we heard from him, there were still weight issues, plus the plasma factor would interfere with electromagnetic communications. These are non-trivial issues, as physicists like to say.
Still, it's nice to see folks like Roy keeping the dream alive, a century after the mysterious F.A. Jone submitted his patent.