" are we then to assume that stars, planets, etc also push the coulumb field ahead of themselves producing gravity? or something that leads to it?"
I guess my question was really to the authors of the papers. Do they think gravity and the effects of the electron beam are the same?
"A simple analogy would be: take two vacuum cleaners and bring the ends of the hoses near each other. If the suction is strong enough, the hoses will pull together and hit each other. If too weak, then not much happens. Those "absolute locations" on the natural reference system is analogous to the air between, but in the scalar sense, you are "sucking in" locations, not atoms--the grid is shrinking."
a similiar thinking here
stuff keeps getting larger, but space doesn't
so it appears that things are attracted (gravity)