water2burn

Thursday, February 09, 2006

It Runs on Water
(Transcript from Equinox, Channel 4)

ARTHUR C CLARKE: "I think there is a strong possibility that we are at a turning point in history; a complete revolution in human affairs. The discovery of totally new energy sources. Many people are skeptical of this but I think we may be going through the four stages involved in any revolutionary development.

1, It's nonsense, don't waste my time...
2, Oh, it's interesting but not important...
3, I always said it was a good idea...
4, I thought of it first.

"Can you imagine what it would be like if you could split water and run it into your engines. You could put water in your fuel tank to fly airplanes, power Power Stations. Ordinarily we look at water to drink and wash our clothes and today you have to look at water as a fantastic new fuel source. A world powered by water might seem like a dream, pure fantasy, but a 100 years ago that is exactly what the men of steam would have thought about a world powered by oil.

ROME, GEORGIA - JIM GRIGGS - Engineer: "Back in the mid 1980's I was working on a system of putting in some controls when a boiler feed line like this began to have a water hammer, a vibrational problem, and I noticed a pipe change temperature and I thought; what would happen if we could harness this energy in a non combustible source. And that led to the invention of the hydrosonic pump. It turned out to be my first invention. I'd never invented anything before."

NARRATOR: Jim Griggs' first invention was to bring him into direct confrontation with the world of science.

JIM GRIGGS: "One of the first years so, it was kind of just a project that was piddled with kind of like a hobby, on the weekends, in spare time with friends... and that was the first time that we noticed the excess energy. It was back in the late 1980's, and I knew that you couldn't get more energy out than you put in. It violated the law of physics, so I just set the pump aside for a few months, just left it alone, didn't mess with it, trying to figure out where I was making my mistake."

NARRATOR: Jim Griggs is bang in the middle of the American tradition that has spawned such men as the Wright brothers and Edison. Inquisitive, good with machines, working away in their garages and back sheds to turn an idea into a device that works. In Griggs' case the mistake in the calculations that he was so concerned about has not gone away. In fact it seems to have turned into a major scientific heresy. The machine appears to produce more energy than it consumes, Griggs is now convinced that that is no mistake. He has struggled for 4 years to turn his spare time enthusiasm into a serious business. What he has tried to do is to capture the intriguing effect he'd noticed in that vibrating boiler pipe, use it to create a totally new water heater, one that works without any heat source. His company now produces what amounts to a well engineered water hammer - it bumps and smashes the water fed into it, raises the temperature to boiling point or to steam in a matter of seconds to replace household or industrial boilers. So they happen to call these machines, pumps.

JIM GRIGGS: "What we have is a hydrosonic pump that has a rotor located inside. It's a cylinder that has holes bored in at specific angles and depths, ranging from a few hundred holes up to a few thousand, depending of whether we want to make hot water or steam.".

NARRATOR: The key to the machine seems to be the number and the design of the holes in the rotor. Griggs has experimented with many different combinations to get the best results. The rotor fits tightly into a steel chamber with only a very small gap between the two. Water is fed into the gap and the rotor is spun rapidly by a small electric motor. As it spins, the water is pummeled and hammered through the holes. In seconds it flows out of the cylinder as hot water or steam. What is so extraordinary about such an ordinary looking machine is the claim that it is more than 100% efficient. More energy is being measured coming out in the form of heat or steam than the electrical energy needed to turn the rotor - the term for this is over-unity. Scientifically this is supposed to be impossible because it overturns the fundamental law of conservation of energy that says that you can't get something for nothing and yet external observers claimed to have measured here up to 70% more energy out than in.

JIM GRIGGS: "What continues to bother me is something... everyday you get up and you look to say well maybe today I'll find where I made my mistake in my calculations and this will be explained, or a scientist will come up with a theory that will fit what we are doing and explain it."

NARRATOR: Tom Droege has had a distinguished career at one of the leading scientific centers of America, Fermi Lab. He also has a nationwide reputation as an investigator into the unusual and he is far too experienced to worry about the impact on his career of working on the fringes of science. When news of Jim Griggs' invention began to spread, Droege was contacted hundreds of miles away in his home city of Chicago.

TOM DROEGE - Dept. of Physics: "I came to Georgia out of an Internet group who just happened to put up a note that says why don't we send Tom Droege to Georgia to investigate this device. What I said to the group is that I can't go and prove that it is right or wrong. What I can do is go and look and see if the way he approaches the problem makes sense to me, and if he is doing all the right kinds of things."

NARRATOR: Tom Droege was on his way to meet Jim Griggs and his business partner Kelly Hudson.

KELLY HUDSON: "I believe that most of the scientific community is just closed minded about this and they will be always looking or not always - hopefully not always, but are basically looking for anything to discredit or disprove what we are doing and you know you're going up against some pretty smart people that are saying that."

AT HYDRODYNAMICS INC - TOM DROEGE: "Well I don't really expect to find anything positive here, none of the devices have panned out in the past, so I really don't expect this one to."

TOM DROEGE: "Hi, I'm Tom Droege."

JIM GRIGGS: "Jim Griggs."

TOM DROEGE: "Hi Jim, it's good to meet you."

TOM DROEGE: "What kind of efficiencies are you seeing out of this on like a hot water run?"

JIM GRIGGS: "The normal hot water run efficiencies run anywhere from around 108% efficient to up to about 115% efficient."

TOM DROEGE: "I was shown that it was putting out I don't know 8 or 10% more energy than what was put in, but these are just numbers on a computer and what you're looking for is something that's convincing. Now what I did do is try to look at the experimental technique and ask very specific questions about how they made measurements."

JIM GRIGGS: "Then we have generally six J top thermal couples that feed back to the data acquisition system."

TOM DROEGE: "And then you've got a thermometer here just to check that the thermal couples are reading correctly."

JIM GRIGGS: "The company has invested probably in excess of $50.000.00 over the last year, year and a half to buy instrumentation and take the time to perform some of these measurements.".

TOM DROEGE: "They've invested a fair amount of money and effort and it was actually good enough a design to take the measurements they needed to take. What was missing was sophistication in the analysis of the measurements that they were taking. One either plays the inventor game or you play the science game. If you're playing the inventor game then you keep everything completely secret and you just sell your excess energy. If you're playing the science game then there are specific rules that are in effect and the key part of the science game is replication. There are not even the most fundamental scientific processes applied to the way of making the measurements and the way to analyze them and so I don't think there's any particular reason to believe them as true."

JIM GRIGGS: "Most inventions don't start in a university or a big city, they start in someone's garage or someone's brain as an idea. The fact that we started out in a little town in Powder Springs, Georgia and grew into a bigger plant in the thriving metropolis of Rome, Georgia, no, its not surprising to me."

NARRATOR: The visit was inconclusive. Tom Droege found no proof of over unity but nor could he disprove it. Griggs has installed 9 machines so far and in each case it's caused some surprise. 250 miles away for example, a Griggs machine has been heating the water for Albany Fire Station for over a year.

AT THE ALBANY FIRE STATION - ROY DOWNS - Municipal Engineer, Albany: "Right after our initial installation we measured the output with Jim's team representatives from a local university, one of our local power companies and we were all astounded with the output. Our measurements indicated that the system was more than 100% efficient which is very hard to believe. The average engineer would say baloney. But our measuring devices were certified and you know until someone comes along and proves us different we will say it is more than 100% efficient."

NARRATOR: The scientific jury is still out on the Griggs machine but the debate rumbles on across the Internet. But the idea of a challenge to physics coming from such a direction is one that is rejected by leading particle physicist Frank Close, Head Theoretical Physics, Rutherford Lab.

FRANK CLOSE: "What would be revolutionary would be if you summed up all of the energy released and you found that the sum total was greater than you put in at the start. Then, you'd be generating energy for free, and this would overthrow 300 years of experience which has become embodied in what we call the principle of the conservation of energy. You can change energy from one form to another but the sum total always balances."

PAUL CZYSZ - Prof. Aeronautics, St Louis University: "Science guys don't like non science guys inventing things. It's discredited almost immediately. Whether you talk about the high priests in Egypt, or you talk about the monks that had the monasteries in the black plague, they were the caretakers of knowledge and I think the caretakers of knowledge looked with disdain on commoners who think they have knowledge."

NARRATOR: The fact is that Jim Griggs and his machine are by no means alone. Not only in America but in both Russia and Japan for example, there are reports of machines that seem to tap an unexplained source of energy. They don't all involve water but they do all seem to produce more energy than they use. What's more this is by no means a modern phenomenon but the debate goes back at least to the turn of the century. Today, Nikola Tesla is almost unknown but 100 years ago he was regarded as one of the most prolific and inventive engineers the world has ever known. The time when Edison was persuading great cities like New York and London to install costly, inefficient direct current generating stations, Tesla, backed only by Westinghouse, defied all critics and invented the system with the vastly more efficient alternating current, which now powers the entire modern world. The famous Tesla coil was able to produce hitherto undreamed of voltages. Tesla had a vision of what he called a universal energy field which he believed would eventually be tapped..

He wrote - 'throughout space there is energy. It is a mere question of time that men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature'. Unfortunately his extreme level of showmanship demonstrated in photographs didn't help his cause. But he persuaded the power company, Westinghouse to build him a power station devoted entirely to his laboratory. Here he built the biggest coil he'd ever constructed and set to work to tap the universal energy field. He experimented with power levels and frequencies that had never been approached before. Several million volts pulsing at 50,000 cycles per second. This was big science, difficult to reproduce even today. But Tesla was working in uncharted territories, as he wound the voltage and the frequencies up, there was a great and still unexplained surge of excess power created at the very heart of the machine. So powerful it flowed back up the cables overriding the safety circuits. The entire power station was burned out. It turned out to be the beginning of the end for Tesla. His reputation never recovered. He spent the last 20 years of his life in relative obscurity. Even today his experiments remain only vaguely understood and largely ignored.

The story leaps on to Moscow in 1980.A physicist named Alexander Chernetskii was working along similar lines to Tesla although on a laboratory scale. In addition to his measurements he had a crude system of light bulbs to indicate power output. Under certain conditions at high voltages and high pulse rates he stumbled upon a startling effect. He writes of a surge of power at the heart of the apparatus and a sharp increased in power output. Over a period of four years his research indicated this apparatus could generate five times the power it consumed. Few of the scientific establishment in Russia or elsewhere took his claim seriously but one top physicist from the West interested in fringe science, did go to see Chernetskii in 1991.

HAL PUTHOFF - Theoretical Experimental Physicist: "We went to see his device and it was a very dramatic demonstration. I was impressed; I went home at the first night in Moscow and didn't sleep very much trying to figure out how this thing could be working. Whether it was a trick, what principles could truly be involved."

NARRATOR: Chernetskii's papers talk of tapping the energy of the vacuum. A language very reminiscent of Tesla. A report published by the Russian news agency Novosti describes extraordinary potential implications of his research. Not least a new and non-polluting power generating industry. Stimulated by what he'd seen Puthoff finalized arrangements for Chernetskii to continue his work in the U.S. The Russian died suddenly in 1992 and no one has taken up his research. The work of Tesla, Chernetskii, Jim Griggs and others has been largely ignored by the scientific establishment. Almost certainly because it poses too big a threat to reputations and research grants, to dabble in such revolutionary stuff. But that is now changing. The freedom of the Internet has begun to break the stranglehold of an establishment dominated by peer review. And as more of these devices have come to light, one or two mainstream scientists have begun to tackle the issues. One possible explanation for these startling results does lie within the current laws of science. It's a concept known as zero point energy.

HAL PUTHOFF: "Physicists know that we are immersed in something called zero point energy. It has the name zero point, we give it that name because even if we were to cool this entire room down to absolute zero in terms of its temperature, that energy would still remain. It might be surprising to think that at absolute zero everything would freeze out and there would be any energy left but in fact that's the case."

NARRATOR: Andre Sakharov the Soviet physicist argued that we should regard all matter as floating in a universal sea of energy. Modern physics tells us that the space between the stars and the space between the particles which make up matter are filled with vast amounts of fluctuating energy. Fluctuations which are fundamental to our view of the fabric of nature. So if we think of an atom, with its nucleus and its orbiting electrons, modern physics tell us that there is a basic fuzziness about the energy levels of the electrons. Rather like an out of focus photograph. You cannot tell both the position and the speed at the same time. Moreover, the random fluctuations in energy levels can be intense enough to spring pairs of particles spontaneously from the vacuum, only to disappear again. Energy into matter and back into energy again as Einstein taught us. This is one of the most extraordinary manifestations of zero point energy, but just how much of this energy is there? Can it ever be tapped?.

HAL PUTHOFF: "It turns out this energy is quite intense. Nobel Laureate Feynman, one of Einstein's protégés, Wheeler, loved to comment on how intense this energy is. The way Wheeler puts it there's enough energy in the bottom of a coffee cup, in fact more than enough to evaporate all the world's oceans. The potential of this is vast. You could go all the way from having a replacement never-say-die battery for your electric toothbrush, all the way up to powering aircraft carriers and spaceships."

PAUL CZYSZ: "If there is such a thing as zero point energy and if you can tap it, its like living next to Grand Coolie Dam. If you know how to drill a hole through the dam and use the water pressure that comes out, it's there for you to use."

NARRATOR: Could Tesla, Chernetskii or even big Jim Griggs from Georgia have chanced across the key that unlocks not only this unfathomable sea of energy, but also some of the mysteries of the universe? Zero point energy has been called the possible rosetta stone of physics.

PAUL CZYSZ: "What the rosetta stone allowed you to do was to translate from one language to another language that you've never seen before because one of them you recognized. We have several different laws that attempt to describe the universe. There is no unified theory; there's three separate theories. If indeed the rosetta stone existed then you would allow these theories to merge into one and you would understand the source and origin of the universe and how it's put together."

STANLEY MEYER - Inventor, FAYETTE COUNTY, OHIO: "Well it was during the oil embargo of the United States, it alarmed me that a little country over in the far east could actually cripple the United States and realizing that the entire industrial base of the United States and the world's based on the supply and utilization of energy, it became imperative that we must try to bring in alternate fuel source and do it very quickly. Of course I thought originally with the right type of funding we could possibly get it in within six months but reality shows that the twelve to fifteen years was more correct in this projection."

NARRATOR: Back in the seventies Stan Meyer set out single handedly to solve America's energy problems. He decided to do it using water, the world's most abundant storehouse of hydrogen which is a far more powerful fuel than oil. For fifteen years Meyer has been fighting to get his inventions taken seriously.

STAN MEYER: "Most inventors have to be a loner, you have to be somewhat thick skinned, and don't rely on other people to support you because they will not. More times than not an invention is really stolen from the inventor, even in my prior development with high technology, I've had patents taken from me. I've learnt from the school of hard knocks to be very cautious."

NARRATOR: Meyer has always stood out against the crowd. He has no formal qualifications as a scientist because he didn't wait to graduate from high school leaving early to go straight into research at the high powered Battats (?) Institute in his native Ohio. Now he works full time as a private inventor, he built a device with potentially revolutionary implications. There is nothing startling about a machine that can extract the hydrogen from water. What is highly unusual is that it should do so with ordinary tap water. The conventional method is called electrolysis. Meyer has turned that process on its head. Unlike electrolysis his device doesn't use up large amounts of electric current, nor does it produce an enormous amount of waste heat.

For twenty years he has been refining a method to fracture water that produces vast amounts of hydrogen on demand. This is not his latest apparatus, he was unwilling to let us point a camera at that. This is the simple device he used to convince a reluctant patent office that his revolutionary concept actually works. Alloy rods acting as electrodes are housed in a perspex container that's filled with water. Normal mains voltage is fed in through a transformer but critically, there is virtually no current consumed, less than half an amp. The result is dramatic, hydrogen pours off at the flick of a switch. Meyer claims the key is his electronics which pulses electricity rapidly across the rods at up to 20,000 cycles per second. In a way that's not readily apparent, his process transforms the equation. Whereas in conventional electrolysis three times as much energy is consumed, as is produced in the form of hydrogen fuel, but in Meyer's apparatus the reverse is true. It appears to produce several hundred percent more energy than it consumes.

PAUL CZYSZ: "Stan has something that's characteristic of the people that sound like they've done something to tap zero point energy. Has high frequency, high voltage and is a combination of the two at which something occurs. With Chernetskii in Russia it was what he called a self-sustaining discharge, the two would run by itself. When Stan gets this effect the amount of hydrogen and oxygen that are emitted off these two electrodes is a step function. It almost boils the water. If I did this with standard Electro chemicals I need current and the water should rise a degree every couple of seconds. With Stan's it'll run for a half-hour and the water temperature hasn't changed. Something's different."

NARRATOR: Meyer demonstrates this repeatedly without any difficulty and yet on the face of it, it represents an extraordinary revolution. His measurements over the years suggest 1700% greater efficiency than conventional electrolysis, and if he is to be believed he's getting much better results from his latest, still secret invention.

DR KEITH HINDLEY - Research Consultant: "Well I first got involved with Stan Meyer, when I went over there with a couple of colleagues to look at his water splitting device. So we arrived at Stanley Meyer's, he had a demonstration cell, we filled it with tap water, in fact I did that myself and he switched it on and almost instantly our three jaws dropped because of the rate at which the gas poured off. It was quite spectacular."

PAUL CZSYZ: "Whatever energy source Stan Meyer had tapped, it was not explicable by the electric power that was going into it. So something was powering it outside of conventional wisdom."

NARRATOR: There is no question that the gas coming off in such abundance is hydrogen. Meyer ignites it to produce a high temperature flame able to cut through metal.

DR KEITH HINDLEY: "Stanley Meyer has faced a lot of difficulties, he's three times tried to launch the device, produce press conferences, have the technical press around but he's been almost universally slated. In the early days very much so, they just ridiculed the whole idea. He's getting a little more notice now because some scientists are getting interested. But by and large science is very intolerant, particularly modern science."

NARRATOR: As with Tesla, Griggs and others, Meyer's claims are so far outside the received scientific wisdom that they've been ignored by the majority of the scientific establishment but then Meyer has ignored them too. He has poured his energies over the last ten years into establishing recognition for his claims by getting international patents.

STAN MEYER: "In the processing there was a great deal of difficulty in trying to process the legal paperwork in such a way as to allow the patent office to fully understand what was actually occurring. In one instant we brought the water fuel cell to Washington DC and of course I had tweaked it in such a way as to produce an enormous amount of hydrogen and oxygen gas and the patent examiner said no it will not work based on the electrolysis process and when we turned it on and produced an enormous amount of hydrogen gas, the examiner finally realized that we were doing exactly that and went out in the hallway and started screaming and hollering to everybody on the floor put out all your cigarettes hydrogen's in the building. So we started laughing and we said well we've certainly convinced everybody at the patent office that we can do what we said we can do.".

NARRATOR: Even so the U.S. patent office dragged their feet for three years before granting patents on the hydrogen producing device. Since then against massive resistance, he's managed to get patents established throughout Europe and Japan.But the Hydrogen machine was only the first step towards Meyer's ultimate dream. If he gets it right this application of his technology will change the 21st century in the same way that the Wright brothers and Carl Benz transformed the 20th. He is currently modifying a beach buggy to run on nothing but water. It doesn't have a petrol tank or even a hydrogen container; it has just a tank of water. He's invented a device called a water splitter to replace the spark plug. As the water is injected into the engine Meyer claims it's fractured into hydrogen and oxygen and then burned as fuel. Now he's working on a kit to modify any engine. He hopes to demonstrate it on this car within twelve months.

STAN MEYER: "And of course the blessing to the use of the water's as a fuel source, that on combustion the byproduct is water mist. So we're even solving the environmental pollution problem at the same time that we're using water to maintain the industrial basis of the entire world."

NARRATOR: Meyer is protective about his inventions to the point of self-confessed paranoia. Most observers describe him as a crank and his car as an aberration but then madness and genius often go hand in hand. Meyer shares with many inventors a problem that goes well beyond paranoia. As an engineer with no scientific background he faces a giant hurdle when he tries to communicate with scientists.

FRANK CLOSE: "One problem is that the language that people use when they're trying to describe their inventions is not the language that I as a scientist am used to, and so I have to translate it, if you like, into a way that I can begin to understand what they are trying to say. It might as well be written in Swahili for all of the sense that it initially makes and so I'm not particularly inspired to put a lot more effort in, in the hope that the pearl of wisdom will reveal itself to me. At a certain point you get a law of diminishing returns."

NARRATOR: But it isn't just a question of the difficulties of communication. There is a profound barrier between scientists and inventors and a strong reluctance on the part of most scientists to risk their reputations grappling with issues that don't have a clear scientific pedigree.

PAUL CZYSZ: "The reluctance to look foolish inhibits a lot of people from looking at things. This is looked at as a pariah. You touch it and it creates an image of you that you don't want your colleagues to see."

FRANK CLOSE: "One extreme you might have things that are guaranteed to work but are not very interesting if they do, and at the other extreme things that are a real long shot but would be revolutionary. And so you have to try and weigh the balance and decide which side is more likely to be profitable for you. Then having made some choices you then have to ask yourself and how do I actually go about doing this. Do I have to apply for funds to do it and if I do who will I be competing with and what is the better chance that this will be supported or that, because at least in the big science area that I work, you can't just sort of come up with an idea on a Friday and expect to start the experiment on a Saturday. It takes many months, many years even of preparation."

NARRATOR: Although the scientific establishment may have ignored the likes of Meyer, a powerful military industrial complex certainly hasn't. Over the past ten years, Meyer says he has been quietly approached by many influential organizations who would never admit publicly to their involvement with him.

STAN MEYER: "It is involved in deep space exploration and its also being developed quite highly in the military. Basically what occurred with water fuel cell was in effect that once they understood what was actually occurring then under the U.S. national security mandate, I have no decision or power over whether or not the military or NASA or the Federal government will utilize the technology. They can utilize it in any way they so desire.".

NARRATOR: NASA is using every method it can to regain some of its now fading glory. In the face of strong congressional resistance the days of limitless budgets for space exploration have long since gone. The champion of the new environmental friendly energy source, NASA would gain immense support. As a former top scientist of the NASA space plan project, Professor Paul Czysz has an inside track on the workings of the agency.

LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER, NASA - PAUL CZYSZ: "NASA has large centers. The center that's in charge of propulsion is now St Louis in Cleveland, Ohio. Can you imagine instead of having a million-pound rocket as nine hundred thousand pounds of fuel on board in oxidizer? Can you imagine what it would be like if you could put a device on there that would split water and run it into your engines? No explosive compounds."

NARRATOR: Public confirmation of a contract from NASA would provide a resounding boost for Meyer's technology. Paul Czysz says it's only in a closed meeting they confirmed such an agreement.

PAUL CZYSZ: "They're looking for new energy sources. I understand from the people that I talk with that they have worked with Stan in trying to understand what he's done and given him a contract. I also understand with the bureaucracy in Washington, and the congressional oversight as to why they would never admit it. Anyone that does that will be suspect, will be challenged, will be considered a threat."

NARRATOR: But if only a fraction of what Meyer claims for his technology can be achieved, it would represent a vindication for NASA's involvement. It would also be a powerful threat to many entrenched vested interests.

PAUL CZYSZ: "If Stan Meyer's device works, like he advertises you would make energy available universally, almost free. That is a major, major, major impact."

SARASOTA, FLORIDA - NARRATOR: Florida, where America's rich come for the endless sunshine. Thirteen years ago they were joined by an industrial chemist who had built a distinguished career with the American chemicals giant Dow.

JAMES PATERSON - Industrial Chemist: "When I moved from California I brought all of my laboratory with me. I bought my building and moved everything and set it up permanently so that I could do independent research on the hydrogen energy. I'd made enough money to retire and I felt that the Silicon Valley was getting too crowded. And I wanted to move to Florida for the water."

DR DENNIS CRAVENS - Physicist: "I'm trying to hold back the excitement because I don't want to lose my objectivity but it is exciting to know where this might take us because it will be a whole new area of theory. There's things we don't understand because there's something unique about it."

JAMES PATERSON: "When I was in school we had to learn glass blowing and we had to learn welding because we had to make our own equipment. A typical scientist would, if they can't buy it out of a catalogue they won't use it, or they can't use it. I think there's some scientists that just will not go to the bench and try to verify or disprove what is proposed. They're too bull-headed to change."

NARRATOR: Dennis Cravens is a scientist who was prepared to advise on the problems of accurate measurement.

DENNIS CRAVENS: "I was basically skeptical before I saw the device. This area has been known for false claims. When I first came to Paterson's lab it was not exactly the state of the art measurements. The electric meters only had a few digits to it so there was some question of whether or not they were measuring what we thought they were measuring.".

JAMES PATERSON: "I was finding an increased yield of energy. However it was so low that it was questionable and it could be my equipment, my instruments that were actually giving me this increased energy output instead of a true reaction."

NARRATOR: With figures so low and so hard to verify, Paterson had actually abandoned his research for over six years.

JAMES PATERSON: "There was a lot of controversy about 1989 in alternative energies and I went back and decided to take a look at my findings that I'd previously discovered. I have a continuous record of scientific developments since 1949. When I went back to my records with a fresh eye I found that I was producing excess energy but at a very low level."

HAL PUTHOFF: "This is an area of physics that specially seems to draw amateurs to and or low-tech labs and so therefore they don't have a lot of money to spend on the apparatus, but the first things put together by some maverick in his garage are probably going to be pretty low-tech and pretty crude. But that's okay, I mean the first observations of radioactivity or whatever were really quite crude. Actually if you look the history of invention most often breakthroughs were found by mavericks working outside the field."

NARRATOR: But however innovative they are the inventors don't have either the knowledge or the resources to validate their results. That's the role that science is best equipped to fill. But an essential problem is how to get the scientific community involved in an area that challenges the received wisdom and which poses a real threat to reputations.

DR KEITH HINDLEY: "Most of the inventors of this kind of device cannot get their devices to work in a reproducible way largely because they don't know how they operate. So each time they run their device it produces different figures. They're all in many cases well over-unity and so they're pretty crazy anyway and scientists coming along and looking at them will say oh dear the device is different every time it runs, there's no control over it, you can't do some work on this. And this is a shame because scientists should be curious."

FRANK CLOSE: "If I draw an analogy with research being like trying to beat a path through the jungle and what we're trying to do is to make the path bigger so we can get to THE TRUTH more easily, and then along comes some Guru who says no, no the true path is over there somewhere. Now in that circumstance what do you do? You've got this huge undergrowth all around, you can see nothing, you just have the word of the Guru to follow. It's a judgment that you have to make. If the Guru is right and you follow through the jungle and find this huge highway then it's the Noble prize and revolutionary discoveries. On the other hand if the Guru is wrong then you're as good as dead, maybe literally in that particular example."

NARRATOR: At the heart of the problem lies the issue of measurement, getting the figures right. Dr Hal Puthoff has taken the greatest risk in trying to establish a dialogue with the inventors. His institute in Austin, Texas occupies an uneasy no man's land between the scientific community, which is largely scornful and the inventors who are deeply suspicious.

HAL PUTHOFF: "There is a tension between the scientific knowledge on the one hand and those who are understandably reluctant to tell all their secrets. On the other hand until we actually get a device in our own laboratory and make careful measurements there's no way of evaluating in the dark as to whether they're actually working.In this case the setup is so precise and so accurate that even if a device generates energy that would raise the temperature in here by only a thousandth of a degree we could still determine that and therefore get an estimate of exactly how much energy was being created. Now to reach this kind of accuracy it took us months of putting this equipment together, writing special computer programs to keep track of all this stuff. This is a very unique, one of a kind work station for us to carry out these kind of experiments. So this entire facility puts us in a position where if someone has a device that indeed does work, we will know it."

NARRATOR: Given the huge increase in activity in his field what are the odds of finding a device that does tap zero point energy?.

HAL PUTHOFF: "In this field there's good news and bad news and we find ourselves in kind of a paradoxical position. On the one hand there's good theoretical reason to believe that it is possible to extract zero point energy in fact there's actual laboratory evidence at the microscopic level. The bad news is that so far the devices at least that we've had a chance to examine have not demonstrated an engineering principle by which this can be done in some effective way."

FRANK CLOSE: "Well there are people who are inventing and trying to develop new ways of producing energy with greater or less success and some of these may well turn out to be interesting devices that one day you can buy and use. As an engineering or marketing and development project, that's fine as far as I'm concerned, but it doesn't have anything to do with the scientific interest as to whether or not these devices are producing more energy than you put in. On that I'm prepared to bet my mortgage that they're not.

HAL PUTHOFF: "Our expectation is that probably within two or three years we'll see a demonstration of a device, a robust demonstration which shows that there is some excess energy being generated by a process that's like extraction of zero point energy."

NARRATOR: Whether zero point energy or something else is the explanation, major revolutions seem to have a habit of arising from the most unexpected quarters.Carl Benz invented the car in his garden shed. The Wright Brothers were bicycle makers from Ohio, they transformed the 20th century. Is it possible that one of these men could do something similar? Not only transform our way of life but split the world of physics wide open.

HAL PUTHOFF: "I think we're at a similar cusp point today as has occurred a number of times in physics. We have a certain period in which things kind of come together and you think you've got the answers and then there's just a little crack here and there and but you know things are going to bother you but pretty soon you realize there's a whole new thing here we've got to deal with. And once again people are suddenly going off in new directions, string theory, zero point energy theory. I think we're at a cusp point again where the physics that develop out of the next twenty years is going to be very revolutionary. And it's difficult to say what to expect but on the other hand it makes it a very exciting time in physics."

NARRATOR: Revolutions of course take many decades to be established but those who believe that we are on the cusp of a major revolution both in energy production and in scientific thinking are already considering some of the key implications, both positive and negative.

PAUL CZYSZ: "There's an interesting philosophical question is that when we had bows and arrows the impact we could do on the rest of the world was rather limited. With nuclear energy we have a source of energy that can destroy us. Zero point energy could annihilate us. I think it's decreasingly dependent that we understand how to control ourselves and the energy. If we don't, its too late."

ARTHUR C CLARKE - Futurologist: "If these new and limitless energy sources are for real, this is going to change every aspect of human life. It would mean the end of the fossil fuel age, no more pollution, no more smog, no more oil spills because if won't be shipping millions of tons of oil around the world. In fact it's hard to see any disadvantage, but I can think of one, if we have unlimited amounts of free energy, where's that going to go? Energy always degrades eventually into heat, so if we all have thousands of kilowatts to play with, the earth may heat up and eventually become as hot as Venus."

Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1999. All rights reserved.

Note: Inventor Stan Meyer died the same year this program was recorded. The official cause of death was listed as "food poisoning."

8 Comments:

At April 2, 2006 at 7:09 PM, Blogger JapanVisitor said...

Fascinating post! Unfortunately, ineptitude in mathematics put paid to going anywhere with what has been a lifelong interest in physics, but topics of this kind, as well as string theory, seriously fascinate me. Will the scientific community ever be able to change should it be faced with inarguable evidence undermining the principle of the conservation of energy? Things in the past, no matter how dogmatic the establishment practitioners, have always had enough fluidity to allow mavericks to somewhow get a foot in the door and prove them wrong. The modern world, however, is becoming so tightly controlled thanks to improved surveillance, communications and the concomitant globalization that I fear it may be becoming a behemoth more and more watertight to fundamental change. One can only hope that the same communication system that makes for stricter and stricter control can also be instrumental in powering dissent. I suppose what is required of the mavericks of zero point energy is to get out there and start convincing ordinary people that buying what they have invented is going to start saving them money - like Albany Fire Station that is using Jim Griggs' machine. Money talks, and, today especially, not even the ivory towers can survive its fiery breath.

 
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