Interesting description of the magnetic field of the Earth and its banding. I have seen no other such commentary before and i presume antecedents exist.
However, considering the density of navigation flights out there it appears unreasonable that such a phenomena would not be well known and understood.
Otherwise this fictional construct continues with the magic material been shown to the world. Problem with that we have no such evidence of such out there as this would not need to remain exclusive or particularly secret. More important the actual skin happens to be formed in atomic layers to control fields and electric activity. We are learning how to do this now, but not in 1978.
Description of gravity control conforms to my expectations here, but that is not too hard an imaginative leap either...