This is a page that will accumulate common confusions about cold fusion, Rossi v. Darden, and other related issues.
Many people get their news from social media, discussion fora, etc., and memes arise and propagate. There are some that I have seen repeatedly, so here is one place to cover them and, hopefully, clear up some confusion, amid a profusion of rumor and misinterpretation. As always, comment is open and notice of errors is appreciated, or even error about errors! After all, if a reader thinks something is wrong, it either is incorrect or I, quite possibly, have poorly expressed what I know or think I know.
Did Industrial Heat demand that Andrea Rossi provide them with IP at the same time as they were declaring it worthless?
I have seen this several times. In a recent incarnation, on Lenr-forum, kevmolenr wrote:
Why did IH countersue to get Rossi’s IP if it was worthless?
IH did not do that. There is a “prayer for relief” from the final version of the Answer and Counterclaim. There is nothing there about “getting IP.” Kevmo also asks:
IH countersued asking for his IP. Did they or did they not obtain transfer of the IP after it was Validated according to that first report?: They obviously paid for it. What IP was IH countersuing for?
The “prayer” is where a plaintiff asks the court to determine and order something. This is it:
WHEREFORE, Counter-Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court enter judgment in
their favor and against Counter-Defendants and Third Party Defendants as follows:
i. For compensatory and expectation damages and/or restitution in an amount to be
determined at trial;
ii. For costs of suit and for attorneys’ fees and costs;
iii. For pre-judgment interest; and
iv. For such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.
Others have explained the sequence of events. “IP” refers to “intellectual property,” and has two aspects: knowledge (“know-how”) and licensed rights. Industrial Heat was not happy with the conditions of the Validation Test, but it appears to me that they had decided to pinch their nose and go ahead, because they very much needed to know if Rossi had a real technology, Rossi’s claims were depressing investment in other LENR research. Why fund something that might produce a few watts if Rossi was producing kilowatts?
It is quite clear that IH essentially gave Rossi what he wanted, including allowing his friend Penon to be the “Engineer Responsible for Validation.” So though the Validation test stank, they accepted it, and the escrow transfer took place, which included an alleged transfer of what was needed to make the technology work.
IH claimed that, following instructions, and with the active assistance of Rossi, they were never able to show confirmed positive results.
In the settlement that ended the trial, reached after opening remarks and Rossi’s attorneys were setting up to begin their presentation, IH walked, giving up the IP, and no further exchange of funds either way. Often Planet Rossi has wondered why they had not accepted Rossi’s (alleged) offer, before he sued, to return the $10 million paid for the IP, to cancel the Agreement.
First, it is not clear that there ever was an offer. Second, they had invested, not just the $1.5 million for the reactor and $10 million for the IP, but perhaps a total of $25 million, including what they had paid Ampenergo, if I’m correct, as part of that, $5 million to surrender the U.S. rights. They considered it possible that Rossi did, in fact, have a technology, but had not disclosed it. If the technology were real, it could be worth a trillion dollars. Even a very small possibility of that would be worth holding on to the licence.
However, it appears that Rossi’s attorney convinced Rossi to walk as well, and then he could point out to IH that it was going to cost them millions of dollars to win, if they could win, and they might not recover their expenses. The $10 million payment was a done deal, Rossi’s attorneys would have argued estoppel , and to prove actual fraud in that validation test would have been difficult. The fraud that IH was claiming was over Rossi’s machinations to create the Doral fake guaranteed performance test, the fake customer, etc.
IH needed to decide to go ahead, very likely losing money (even if they “won”), or accept their losses and move on in LENR research with Woodford support. If they had believed there was even one chance in a thousand of Rossi Reality, I don’t think they would have let go of the license, they would have negotiated some compromise.
They concluded, I infer, that there was not even that much chance that the technology was real. In mercato veritas. The real market decided that Rossi’s E-cats were, with high certainty, worthless.
Many have claimed that they were foolish. I don’t think so. They needed to know, it was important to them, and they paid to find out, and they found out, to their satisfaction. My sense is that their boldness in investing in Rossi impressed Woodford Fund, and they obtained $50 million, so they doubled the money they could put into LENR research, and Woodford committed another $150 million if needed.
Rossi was angry that IH was investing in other approaches, calling them “competitors.” IH was actually interested in the science, and has funded research, including LENR theory. IH had no obligation to work exclusively with Rossi. Rossi also believed that they were disclosing his “secrets” to others. In fact, they had the right to do that, there was no non-disclosure agreement by IH. (The settlement agreement cancelled that right.) But Rossi’s secrets were worthless.
This a little “relax after getting home” exploration of a corner of Planet Rossi, involving Mats Lewan — but, it turns out, only very peripherally –, Frank Acland’s interview of Andrea Rossi just the other day (June 11), and some random comments on E-Cat World, easily categorized under the time-wasting “Someone is wrong on the internet.” Continue reading “Fake facts and true lies”
She interviews me about the lawsuit, Rossi v. Darden. Reminds me I need to organize all that information, but the Docket is here.
Wikipedians, that is all primary source (legal documents), so it can only be used with editorial consensus, for bare and attributed fact, if at all. There is very little usable secondary reliable source on this. Law360 (several articles) and the Triangle Business Journal (several articles) are about it. Although this was an $89 million lawsuit (plus triple damages!), I was the only journalist there, other than one day for a woman from Law360. Wikipedia is still trying to figure out what “walked away” means.
(As to anything of value, it means that both parties walked away. But IH also returned all intellectual property to Rossi, and returned all reactors — including those they built — to him.)
The agreement was released by Rossi, but the only source for it is from Mats Lewan’s blog. Mats was a journalist, and his original employer was Wikipedia “reliable source” — a term of art there –, but … he’s not, just as I am not. Mats Lewan is still holding on to the Dream.
I was and have been open to the possibility that Rossi was involved in fraud and conspiracy. But during the discovery phase of the litigation, it became obvious that the defense couldn’t produce any convincing evidence for this hypothesis. All technical arguments that were put forward were hollow and easily torn apart by people with engineering training.
It became obvious during the legal proceedings that Lewan was not following them and did not understand them. There were many circumstantial evidences where some kind of fraud is the only likely explanation, and then there were other clear and deliberate deceptions. There was about zero chance that Rossi would have been able to convince a jury that the Agreement had been followed and the $89 million was due. There was even less chance that he’d have been able to penetrate the corporate veil by showing personal fraud, which is what he was claiming. No evidence of fraud on the part of IH appeared, none. It was all Rossi Says.
Lewan thinks the problem was an engineering one. Lewan stated this in his later report on the QX test in Stockholm, November 24, 2017, about certain possible problems.
Clearly this comes down to a question of trust, and personally, discussing this detail with Rossi for some time, I have come to the conclusion that his explanation is reasonable and trustworthy.
Rossi is quite good at coming up with “explanations” of this and that, he’s been doing it for years, but the reality is that the test he is describing had major and obvious shortcomings, essentially demonstrating nothing but a complicated appearance. Rossi has always done that. The biggest problem is that, as Lewan has realized, there is high-voltage triggering necessary to strike a plasma, and there no measure of the power input during the triggers, and from the sound, they were frequent. Lewan readily accepts ad-hoc excuses for not measuring critical values.
What I notice about Lewan’s statement is the psychology. It is him alone in discussion with Rossi, and Rossi overwhelms, personally. Anyone who is not overwhelmed (or who, at least, suspends or hides skeptical questioning) will be excluded. Lewan has not, to my knowledge, engaged in serious discussions with those who are reasonably skeptical about Rossi’s claims. He actually shut that process down, as he notes (disabling comments on his blog).
The Doral test, the basis for the Rossi claim, was even worse. Because of, again, major deficiencies in the test setup, and Rossi disallowance of close expert inspection during the test — even though IH owned the plant and IP already — it was impossible to determine accurately the power output, but from the “room calorimeter” — the temperature rise in the warehouse from the release of heat energy inside it –, the power could not have been more than a fraction of what he was claiming. And Rossi lied about this, in the post-trial Lewan interview, and Lewan does not seriously question him, doesn’t confront preposterous explanations. Lewan goes on:
However, as I stated above, if I were an investor considering to invest in this technology, I would require further private tests being made with accurate measurements made by third-party experts, specifically regarding the electrical input power, making such tests in a way that these experts would consider to be relevant.
Remember, IH had full opportunity for “private tests,” for about four years. Lewan has rather obviously not read the depositions. Understandably, they are long! After putting perhaps $20 million into the project, plus legal expenses (surely several million dollars), IH chose to walk away from a license which, if the technology could be made to work, even at a fraction of the claimed output, could be worth a trillion dollars. They could have insisted on holding some kind of residual rights. They did not. It was a full walkaway with surrender of all the reactors back to Rossi. It is obvious that they, with years of experience working with Rossi, had concluded that the technology didn’t work, and there was no reasonable chance of making it work. (Darden had said, in a deposition, that if there was even a 1% chance of it working, it would be worth the investment, which is game-theoretically correct.).
There is an alternate explanation, that Rossi violated the agreement and did not disclose the technology to them, not trusting them. But having watched Rossi closely for a long time, they concluded, it’s obvious, that it was all fraud or gross error. (The Lugano test? They made the Lugano devices, but could not find those results in more careful tests, with controls, under their own supervision, and there is a great story about what happened when they became confused and were testing a dummy reactor, with no fuel, and found excess heat. Full details were not given, but at that point, they were probably relying on Rossi test methods. They called Rossi to come up from Florida and look. Together, they opened the reactor, and it had no fuel in it. Rossi stormed out, shouting “The Russians stole the fuel!”
Rossi referred to this because Lewan asked him about it. His answer was the common answer of frauds.
“Darden has said lots of things that he has never been able to prove. What he assures doesn’t exist. I always made experiments with reactors charged by me, or by me in collaboration with Darden. Never with reactors provided to me as a closed box, for obvious reasons.”
First of all, he has a concept of “proof” being required. It would be required for a criminal conviction, but in a civil trial the standard is preponderance fo the evidence, and Darden’s account, if it were important, would be evidence. (As would Rossi’s, but, notice, Rossi did not actually contradict the Darden account. As has often been seen by Rossi statements, he maintains plausible deniability. “I didn’t actually say that! It’s not my fault if people jumped to conclusions!” Yet in some cases, it is very clear that Rossi encouraged those false conclusions.
It would be up to a jury whether or not to believe it or not. Rossi makes no effort to describe what actually happened in that incident. Then, this was not an experiment “made by” Rossi. It was IH experimentation (possibly of reactors made by Rossi, as to the fueled ones, and then with dummy reactors, supposedly the same but with no fuel). Again, this is common for Rossi: assert something irrelevant that sounds like an answer. He is implying, if we look through the smokescreen, that Darden was lying under oath.
Again, if it matters, at trial, Darden would tell his story and Rossi would tell his story, both under examination and cross-examination. And then the jury would decide. In fact, though, this particular incident doesn’t matter. An emotional outburst by an inventor would not be relevant to any issue the jury would need to describe. A more believable response from Rossi, other than the “he’s lying” implication, would be, “Heh! Heh! I can get a bit excited!” Rossi always avoided questions about the accuracy of measurement methods. With the Lugano test, he rested on the “independent professors” alleged expertise, but there is no clue that these observers had any related experience measuring heat as they did, and the temperature measurements were in flagrant contradiction with apparent visible appearance. Sometimes people, even “professors,” don’t see what is in front of them, distracted by abstractions.
Yes, Rossi always has an explanation.
Rossi never allowed the kind of independent testing that Lewan says, here, that he would require. Whenever interested parties pulled out their own equipment (such as a temperature-measuring “heat gun”), Rossi would shut tests down. Lewan’s hypothesis requires many people to perjure themselves, but this is clear: Rossi lied. He lied about Italian law prohibiting him from testing the original reactor at full power in Italy. He lied about the HydroFusion test (either to IH or to HydroFusion). He lied about the “customer,” claiming the customer was independent, so that the sale of heat to them for $1000 per day would be convincing evidence that the heat was real. He lied about the identity of the customer as being Johnson-Matthey, and the name of the company he formed was clearly designed to support that lie. He presented mealy-mouthed arguments that he never told them that, but, in fact, when Vaughn wrote he was going to London and could visit Johnson Matthey, Rossi told them “Oh, no, I wasn’t supposed to tell you. Your customer is a Florida corporation.” Wink, wink, nod, nod.
It is not clear that anyone else lied, other than relative minor commercial fraud, i.e., Johnson staying quiet when, likely, “Johnson-Matthey” was mentioned, and James Bass pretending to be the Director of Engineering for J-M products, and that could be a matter of interpretation. Only Rossi was, long-term, and seriously, and clearly, deceptive. Penon may, for example, have simply trusted Rossi to give him good data.
Rossi lied about the heat exchanger, and there are technical arguments and factual arguments on that. He changed his story over the year of the trial. Early on, he was asked about the heat dissipation. “Endothermic reaction,” he explained. If there were an endothermic reaction absorbing a megawatt of power, a high quantity of high-energy density product would need to be moved out of the plant, yet Rossi was dealing with small quantities (actually very small) of product. High-energy-density product is extremely dangerous.
There are endothermic chemical reactions, Rossi was using that fact, but the efficiency of those reactions is generally low. Melting ice would have worked, but would have required massive deliveries of ice, which would have been very visible. Nada.
For many reasons, which have been discussed by many, the heat exchanger story, revealed as discovery was about to close, was so bad that Rossi might have been prosecuted for perjury over it. Lewan seems to have paid no serious attention to the massive discussion of this over the year.
On the page, Rossi makes the argument about solar irradiance being about a megawatt for the roof of the warehouse. Lewan really should think about that! If solar irradiance were trapped in the interior, it would indeed get very, very hot. “Insulation” is not the issue, reflectance would be. Rossi’s expert agreed that without a heat exchanger the heat would reach fatal levels. A heat exchanger was essential, some kind of very active cooling.
Lewan accepts Rossi’s story that he never photographs his inventions, and seems to think it completely normal that Rossi would make this massive device, with substantial materials costs, and labor costs, and have no receipts for either. It was all Rossi Says, with the expert merely claiming “it was possible.” Actually, more cheaply and efficiently, a commercial cooling tower could have been installed. And, of course, all this work would have had to have been complete before the plant was running at full power, and it would have been very, very visible, and noisy, and running 24/7 like the reactor. Nobody reported having seen any trace of it.
A jury would have seen through the deceptions. Pace, the IH lead attorney, was skillful, very skillful. The Rossi counsel arguments were confused and unclear, basically innuendo with little fact. The very foundation of the Rossi case was defective.
The Second Amendment to the Agreement allowing the postponement of the Guaranteed Performance test had never been fully executed as required, and it turned out that this was deliberate on the part of Ampenergo, the Rossi licensee for North America, whose agreement was a legal necessity, and it’s clear that Rossi knew this — he wrote about it in an email — but still he was insisting it was valid. The judge almost dismissed the case ab initio, in the motion to dismiss, but decided to give Rossi the opportunity to find evidence that, say, IH had nevertheless promised to pay (they could have made a side-agreement allowing extension, creating possible problems with Ampenergo, but they could have handled them by paying Ampenergo their cut even if it wasn’t due under the Agreement).
Lewan is a sucker. And so is anyone who, given the facts that came out in trial about Rossi and his business practices, nevertheless invests in Rossi without fully independent and very strong evidence. Sure: “Accurate measurements by third-party experts.” Actually, “third party” is only necessary in a kind of escrow agreement. Otherwise the customer’s experts — and control of the testing process by the customer, presumably with Rossi advice but “no touch” — would be enough. Penon, the “Engineer responsible for validation” was not clearly independent, he was chosen by Rossi, and Rossi objected strongly to any other experts being present for the Validation Test, leading to the IH payment of another $10 million. Later, Rossi excluded the IH director of engineering, violating the agreement with the “customer,” JM Products.
After the test, Penon disappeared. They finally found him in the Dominican Republic, after he had been dismissed as a counter-defendant for lack of service of process (so he was deposed). This whole affair stunk to high heaven. Yet, Lewan soldiers on, in obvious denial of fact, repeating Rossi “explanations” as if plausible when they are not. By the way, the Penon report depended on regular data from Rossi, and the numbers in the Penon report are technically impossible. This was screwed sixty ways till Sunday.
A person associated with Industrial Heat confirmed, privately to me, the agreement, as published by Rossi on Lewan’s blog. At the time of publication, the agreement had not actually been signed by all parties, but that did eventually occur.
There is a whole series of podcasts of Ruby Carat interviews, see http://coldfusionnow.org/cfnpodcast/
She said that she would be interviewing Rossi later.
Review of this podcast on LENR-Forum
(All the CFN podcasts in this series are linked from LENR-Forum and are discussed there, at least to some degree)
The first comment comes from Zeus46, who is predictably snarky:
So Abd doubles-down on his claim that IH is working with Swartz, and also chucks Letts into the mix. Someone from Purdue too, apparently.
Many Tshayniks get Hakn’d at Rossi v Darden. Also rumours are mentioned that Texas/SKINR are currently withholding ‘good news’.
Rumours that Abd requested the Feynman reference are possibly entirely scurrilous.
Remarkable how, in a few words, he is so off. First of all, Letts was a well-known IH investment, and there is a document from the trial where the other IH work (to that date, early last year) was described. It was Kim at Purdue who was funded as a theoretician. And I did not mention Swartz, but Hagelstein. I don’t recall ever claiming that IH was “working with Swartz,” but Swartz works with Hagelstein, which might explain how Zeus46 got his idea.
Rossi v. Darden, far from being useless noise, revealed a great deal that was, previously, secret and obscure. Those who only want to make brief smart-ass comments, though, and who don’t put in what it takes to review the record, will indeed end up with nothing useful. It all becomes, then, a matter of opinion, not of evidence and the balance of it.
No “rumor” was mentioned, but reporting what I said becomes a “rumor.” I reported what I had directly from Robert Duncan, which is only a little. They are not talking yet about details, but, asked if they were having problems creating the heat effect, he said “We have had no problem with that,” which I took as good news. Most of our conversations have been about the technicalities of measuring helium, which may seem straightforward, but is actually quite difficult. Still, creating the heat effect is beyond difficult, it is not known how to do it with reliability. But heat/helium measurement does not require reliable heat, only some success, which can be erratic.
“Withholding good news” — I certainly did not say that! — is a misleading way of saying that they are not falling into premature announcement. The minor good news would be that they are seeing heat, his comment implied. But the major news would be about the correlation, and I don’t know what they have in that respect, or where the research stands. I’m not pushing them. They will announce their work, I assume, when they are ready. No more science by press conference, I assume. It will be published, my hope is, in a mainstream journal. I’ve simply been told that, as an author published in the specific area they are working on (heat/helium), they will want to have me visit before they are done.
As to the mention of Feynman, Ruby asked me for a brief bio and I put that in there, because Feynman, and how he thought, was a major influence. It’s simply a fact, though. I sat in those famous lectures, and heard the Feynman stories first-hand when he visited Page House, my freshman year. My life has been one amazing opportunity after another, and that was one of them.
Now, there was a comment on the RationalWiki attack article on me a couple of months back, by a user, “Zeus46”. Same guy? The author of that article is the most disruptive pseudoskeptic I have ever seen, almost certainly Darryl L. Smith, but his twin brother, Oliver D. Smith is up there as well, and has recently claimed that he made up the story of his brother as a way to be unblocked on Wikipedia. Those who are following this case, generally, don’t believe him, but consider it likely he is protecting his brother, who is reportedly a paid pseudoskeptic, who attacked “fringe science” on Wikipedia and Wikiversity and recruited several Wikipedians to show up to get the Wikiversity resource — which had existed without problems for a decade — deleted, and privately complained to a Wikiversity bureaucrat and later to the WikiMedia Foundation about “doxxing” that wasn’t or that did not violate WMF policy, lying about “harassment,” and also who created the article on RationalWiki as revenge for documenting the impersonation socking they were doing on Wikipedia. They have created many impersonation accounts to comment in various places, and will choose names that they think might be plausible, and they had reviewed what Zeus46 had written — and what I’d written about him.
So I’d appreciate it if someone on LENR Forum would ask Zeus46 if this was him. If not, he should know that he has been impersonated. He is, to me, responsible for what he writes on LENR Forum, and, by being an anonymous troll (like many Forum users), he’s vulnerable to impersonation. The goal of the Smiths would be to increase enmity, to get people fighting with each other. It has worked.
My thanks to Shane for kind comments. Yes, it was relatively brief, by design. Ruby had actually interviewed me months before, and it was far too long. I thought I might write a script, but actually did the final interview ad hoc, without notes, but with an idea of the essential points to communicate.
Ruby is a “believer,” I’d say naturally. It’s well known, believers are happier than the opposite. So she is routinely cheerful, a pleasure to talk with. She is also one smart cookie. Her bio from Cold Fusion Now:
At first a musician and performance artist, one day she waltzed into Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and got a physics degree. Thinking that math might be easier, she then earned a Masters degree in Math at University of Miami in Miami, Florida. Math turned out to be not much easier, so now, she advocates for cold fusion, the easiest thing in the world. She has made several short documentary films and speaks on the topic. She currently teaches math at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California and conducts outreach events for the public to support clean energy from cold fusion.
She is an “advocate for cold fusion,” and RationalWiki accuses me of “advocating pseudoscientific cold fusion.” In fact, I’m an advocate of real scientific research, with all the safeguards standard with science, publication in the journal system, same as recommended by both U.S. Department of Energy reviews.
“Cold fusion” is a popular name for a mysterious heat effect. The hypothesis that the effect is real is testable, and definitively so, by measuring a correlated product (as apparently Bill Collis agrees in another podcast, and I know McKubre is fully on board that idea, and that is what they are working on in Texas — and since the correlation has already been reported by many independent groups, this is verification with increased precision, we hope, nailed down.)
Commercial application, which is what Ruby is working for, is not known to be possible. But having a bright and enthusiastic cheerleader like Ruby is one of the best ways to create the possibility.
Lewan’s reporting on LENR has become entirely Rossi promotion. I’m commenting on his misleading statements in this announcement.
As originally planned, the Symposium will address the implications for industry, financial systems, and society, of a radically new energy source called LENR—being abundant, cheap, carbon-free, compact and environmentally clean.
Such implications could be as disruptive as those of digitalization, or even more. For example, with such an energy source, all the fuel for a car’s entire life could be so little that it could theoretically be pre-loaded at the time of the car’s manufacture.
While it has been speculated for almost thirty years that LENR would be cheap and clean, we do not actually know that, because we don’t know what it will take to create a usable device. There is real LENR, almost certainly, but there are also real problems with development, and the basic science behind LENR effects remains unknown. There is no “lab rat” yet, a confirmed and reasonably reliable and readily repeatable test set-up known to release sustained energy adequately to project what Lewan is claiming.
Yes, LENR technology could be disruptive. However, it is extremely unlikely to happen rapidly in the short term, unless there is some unexpected breakthrough. Real projects, not run by a blatantly fraudulent entrepreneur, have, so far, only spotty results.
An initial list of speakers can be found on the front page of the Symposium’s website.
I’ll cover the speakers below.
The decision to re-launch the symposium, that was originally planned to be held 2016, is based on a series of events and developments.
What developments? Mats misrepresents what happened.
One important invention based on LENR technology is the E-Cat, developed by the Italian entrepreneur Andrea Rossi. Starting in 2015, Rossi performed a one-year test of an industrial scale heat plant, producing one megawatt of heat—the average consumption of about 300 Western households.
Mats presents the E-Cat and the heat produces as if factual.
The test was completed on February 17, 2016, and a report by an independent expert confirmed the energy production.
The original Symposium was planned to be based on that report, but the report was not released until well into the lawsuit. Was the “expert” actually independent? Were the test methods adequate? Did the plant actually produce a megawatt? Did the report actually confirm thatt? There is plenty of evidence on these issues, which Lewan ignores.
Unfortunately, a conflict between Andrea Rossi and his U.S. licensee Industrial Heat led to a lawsuit that slowed down further development of the E-Cat technology. This was also why the original plans for the New Energy World Symposium had to be canceled.
Mats glosses over what actually happened. Rossi sued Industrial Heat for $89 million plus triple damages (i.e., a total of $267 million), claiming that IH had defrauded him and never intended to pay what they promised for performance in a “Guaranteed Performance Test.” This account makes it look like Rossi was sued and therefore could not continue development. But the original Symposium was based on the idea of a completed, tested, and fully functional technology with real power having been sold to an independent customer. That did not happen and the idea that it did was all Rossi fraud. Rossi has abandoned the technology that was used in that “test” in Doral, Florida, and is now working on something that does not even pretend to be close to ready for commercialization.
In fact, he could have been selling power from 2012 on, say in Sweden, at least during the winter.
In [July], 2017, a settlement was reached implying that IH had to return the license. During the litigation, IH claimed that neither the report, nor the test was valid, but no conclusive proof for this was ever produced.
It appears that all Lewan knows about the lawsuit is the “claims.” We only need to know a few things to understand what happened. First of all, Rossi filed the suit and claimed he could prove his case. He made false claims in the filing itself, as the evidence developed showed. I could go down this point by point, but Lewan seems to have never been interested in the evidence, which is what is real. “Conclusive proof” commonly exists in the fantasies of fanatic believers and pseudoskeptics. However, some of the evidence in the case rises to that level, on some points. Lewan does not even understand what the points are, much less the balance of the evidence.
There was a huge problem, known in public discussion before it was brought out in the filings. Dissipating a megawatt of power in a warehouse the size of the one in Doral, supposedly the “customer plant,” but actually completely controlled by Rossi, who was, in effect, the customer, is not an easy thing. As the plant was described by Penon, the so-called Expert Responsible for Validation (Rossi claimed, IH denied, and the procedures of the Agreement for that GPT were not followed, clearly), and as Rossi described it publicly, the power simply was either absorbed in the “product” (which turned out to be a few grams of platinum sponge or graphene) or rose out of the roof vents or out the back door. Rossi’s expert confirmed that if there were not more than that, the temperature in the warehouse would have risen to fatal levels. So, very late in the lawsuit, after discovery was almost done, Rossi claimed he had built a massive heat exchanger on the mezzanine, blowing heat out the windows above the front entrance, and that the glass had been removed to allow this.
Nobody saw this heat exchanger, it would have been obvious, and noisy, and would have to have been running 24/7. My opinion is that the jury would have concluded Rossi was lying. My opinion is that IH would have prevailed on most counts of their counterclaim.
But there was a problem. The legal expenses were high. While they did claim that the original $10 million payment was also based on fraudulent representation about the test in Italy (Rossi had apparently lied about it), they were likely estopped from collecting damages for that, so they would only have recovered their expenses from their support of the Doral installation (i.e., the contracted payments to West, Fabiani, and Penon).
They had already spent about $20 million on the Rossi project, and they had nothing to show for it. They did not ask to settle; I was there, the proposal came from a Rossi attorney, a new one (but highly experienced). There was no court order, only a dismissal of all claims on both sides with prejudice.
And Lewan has not considered the implications of that. IH had built the Lugano reactor. They supposedly knew the fuel — unless Rossi lied to them and kept it secret. If anyone knew whether the techology worked or not, they would know. They also knew that, if it worked, it was extremely valuable. Billions of dollars would be a drastic understatement. But, to avoid paying a few million dollars more in legal expenses to keep the license? Even to avoid paying $89 million? (The Rossi claim of fraud on their part was preposterous, and Rossi found no evidence of it, but the contrary, and they had obtained a commitment for $200 million if needed). They would have to be the biggest idiots on the planet.
No, that they walked away when Rossi offered to settle, but wanted the license back, indicates that they believed it was truly worthless.
Lewan is looking for conclusive proof? How about the vast preponderance of evidence here? Mats has not looked at the evidence, but then makes his silly statement about “no conclusive proof.” He could not know that without a detailed examination of all the evidence, so I suspect that he is simply accepting what Rossi said about this.
Which, by this time, is thoroughly foolish. What the lawsuit documents showed, again and again, was that Rossi lied. He either lied to Lewan at that Hydro Fusion test, or he lied to Darden and Vaughn in his email about that test, claiming it was a faked failure (i.e., he deliberately made the test not work so that Hydro Fusion would not insist on their contract because he wanted to work with this billion-dollar company.)
Lewan has hitched his future to a falling star.
Meanwhile, Andrea Rossi continued to develop the third generation of his reactor, the E-Cat QX, which was demoed on November 24, 2017, in Stockholm, Sweden. Andrea Rossi has now signed an agreement with a yet undisclosed industrial partner for funding an industrialization of the heat generator, initially aiming at industrial applications.
Rossi has been claiming agreements with “undisclosed industrial partners” or customers since 2011, but the only actual customer was Industrial Heat. (plus the shell company Rossi created to be the customer for the heat — refusing an opportunity to have a real customer, and that’s clear from Rossi’s email. Lewan is going ahead without actually doing his own research. And he isn’t asking those who know. He appears to be listening only to Rossi.
The E-Cat reaction has also been replicated by others. In March 2017, the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan reported such a replication.
Lewan links to a 19-page document with abstracts. The report in question is here. From that report:
In 2010, A. Rossi reported E-cat, Energy Catalyzer. This equipment can generate heat energy from Ni and H2 reaction and the energy is larger than input one. This experiment was replicated by A Parkhomov but the reaction mechanism has NOT been clarified [1-2]
Naive. It’s worse than that. First of all, the Rossi technology is secret, and Parkhomov was not given the secret, and so it could only be a guess as to replication. NiH effects have been suspected for a long time, but Rossi’s claims were way outside the envelope. Parkhomov’s work was weak, poorly done, and, unfortunately, he actually faked data at one point. He apologized, but he never really explained why he did it. I think he had a reason, and the reason was that he did not want to disclose that he was running the experiment with his computer floating on battery power in order to reduce noise, basically, the setup was punk.
I was quite excited by Parkhomov’s first report. Then I decided to closely examine the data, plotting reactor temperature vs input power. There was no sign of XP. The output power was calculated from evaporation calorimetry and could easily have been flawed, with the methods he was using. And even if he did have power, this certainly wasn’t a “Rossi replication,” which is impossible at this point, since Rossi isn’t disclosing his methods.
Given that, I have no confidence in the Nissan researchers. But what do they actually say?
In this report we will report 2 things. The first one is the experimental results regarding to reproducing Parkhomov’s experiment with some disclosing experimental conditions using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (STA-PT1600, Linseis Inc.). This DSC can measure generated heat within a tolerance of 2%. The second one is our expectation on this reaction for automotive potential.
So Lewan has cited a source for a claim not found there. They did attempt to reproduce “Parkhomov’s experiment,” not the “E-Cat reaction” as Lewan wrote. And they don’t say anything about whether or not they saw excess heat. They say that they will report results, not what those results were.
This is incredibly sloppy for someone who was a careful and professional reporter for years.
This appears to be a conference set up to promote investment in Rossi. I suspect some of the speakers don’t realize that … or don’t know what evidence was developed in Rossi v. Darden. Some may be sailing on like Lewan. Rossi looked interesting in 2011, even though it was also clear then that he was secretive and his demonstrations always had some major flaw. It was almost entirely Rossi Says, and then some appearances and maybe magic tricks. Essen is another embarassment. President of the Swedish Skeptics Society. WTF?
The only names I recognized in the list:
- Mats Lewan, conference moderator
- Bob Greenyer
Both have lost most of their credibility over the last year. As to the others:
John Joss, a writer and publisher.
David Orban … no clue that he has any knowledge about LENR, but he would understand “disruptive technologies.” Verture fund. Hey, watch him talk for a minute. I ‘m not impressed. Maybe it’s the weather or something I ate.
Jim Dunn, on several organizational boards, including the board of New Energy Institute, which publishes Infinite Energy, so he’s been around. He wrote a review on Amazon of Lewan’s book.
Thomas Grimshaw, formed LENRGY, LLC Working with Storms. Perhaps I will meet him at ICCF-21. The most interesting, he has quite a few papers written on LENR and public policy, on lenr-canr.org, going back to 2006.
John Michell. Rossi’s eCat: Free Energy, Free Money, Free People (2011) ‘Nuff said.
Prof. Stephen Bannister, does he realize what he’s getting himself into?
Prof. David H. Bailey
(I’ll finish this up tomorrow)
- Kirk Shanahan’s 2010 JEM Letter
- The Penon pressure gauge
- Arkell v. Pressdram.
- The Pons and Fleischmann boil-off experiments
- Rossi v. Darden documentation
And that’s what Rossi did, in spite of the insanity proclaimed on LENR Forum and elsewhere, and his followers lap it up, even though, like much buzz on Planet Rossi, it is utterly preposterous.
For a year, on his blog, Rossi had been proclaiming that he was going to demolish IH in the lawsuit, that he had proof, etc. Out of eight counts alleged, four were dismissing from a motion (and a count must be really poor to be dismissed at that stage — and what remained was hanging on a thread. Maybe Rossi could come up with some killer proof in discovery. That never happened, all that Rossi found were some ambiguous statements that, if one squinted, could look a little like what he was claiming, whereas the other side was heavily supported. Continue reading “How to win by losing: give up and declare victory!”
The plan here is to review Rossi v. Darden, to help readers make sense of what happened. There was a blizzard of filings, pleadings, documents in evidence, depositions, etc. Many depositions exist in many redactions; our Depositions page provides a list of these, and, at the top, links to complete or, for some depositions, we do not have the complete deposition, so then a merged compilation is provided, so the reader can see all that was deposed by a given individual. (Thanks to Bruce H. for the compilation work).
I just pulled out the opening statements of the parties from the trial record, now linked from Opening statements.
Study pages will be created for each statement including links to evidence, etc. These pages will also include opinion, but the design is for them to be, overall, neutral-by-inclusion rather than neutral-by-exclusion (i.e., more like Wikiversity than Wikipedia). (If some faction elects not to participate, that faction’s views might be under-represented. TANSTAAFL.)
The opening statements of the parties in Rossi v. Darden have been extracted from the full record to make study of them easier.
On Day 1 of the trial, June 28, 2017, the Plaintiff and Defendant gave opening statements to the jury. On Day 2, June 29, this jury was dismissed due to a mistrial, too many jurors had been lost for various reasons. These statements became moot, but they are here in the event that anyone wishes to compare them with the later statements.
On Day 3, June 30, a new jury was selected and all the parties gave opening statements.
The intention is to annotate these statements with references to evidence in the record, where this can be identified. Any reader is welcome and invited to suggest corrections or additions.
On Day 4, July 5, as the evidentiary phase of the trial was about to begin, the parties agreed to ask the court to dismiss all claims with prejudice (i.e., those claims could not be raised again), with the court not being responsible for enforcing any agreement. So the judge dismissed the jury.
Ah, it was so tempting to resort to an obvious pun in the name of Citywire, but the blogivation would be so rude…. and the report was a decent attempt at news reporting, even though, as is common with mainstream media without more than a little to invest in investigation, it was shallow and a tad misleading.
Heh! For starters, Rossi was not and is not a scientist. He has explicitly disavowed and ridiculed the scientific method. He is an inventor and entrpreneur, and, some claim, a practiced and experienced fraud. (This is a common error in mainstream media about Rossi. He does not claim to be a scientist and has no credentials as one. What is true is that some scientists have supported his claims, which is a huge and complex story.)
So I commented there, linking to the docket here for information on the case. Their news was more than a month old. Almost two months. Notice the lack of dates in the story…. My review:
I created that page to hold my replies to comments on the story, instead of cluttering up the Citywire page, which was already starting to happen with the typical public comment process.
Citywire qualifies, I think, as “main stream media.” Stories on cold fusion in this kind of media tend to be totally shallow and poorly researched. This is certainly not the worst I’ve seen! Some of what I write below may be nit-picking, minor quibbles, but … some of it isn’t. My purpose in creating this page is actually to hold responses to the public comments on the Citywire story.
An energy technology company backed by fund manager Neil Woodford has settled a legal battle with a scientist who claimed he was owed $89 million (£69 million) for the use of his invention.
The company that Woodford backed was not sued by the “scientist,” who is not a scientist, rather. Andrea Rossi, an Italian inventor and entrepreneur, sued Thomas Darden, John T. Vaughn, Industrial Heat, LLC, IPH International B.V. (an IP holding company wholly-owned by IH), and Cherokee Limited Partners. IH was a party to the original License Agreement with Rossi, and IPH was added by amendment. The others were an attempt by Rossi to pierce the corporate veil, claiming fraud, and Cherokee Limited Partners was included on a Rossi claim he’d been led to believe that Cherokee would cover any failures to pay. This made no legal sense, but did survive to trial because Stuff Happens.
The Rossi claim was not for “use of the invention.” It was for an alleged failure to pay an additional fee, $89 million, as allegedly triggered by the Agreement, for an alleged successful test.
Scientist Andrea Rossi, who claims to have invented a ‘low energy nuclear device’ alleged Industrial Heat, held by Woodford’s Woodford Equity Income fund and Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) investment trust, had ‘systematically defrauded’ his intellectual property rights to the energy catalyser, or E-Cat.
Industrial Heat is owned entirely by IH Holdings International, Ltd. Technically, Woodford does not “hold” either IH or IHHI. Rather, Woodford owns preferred stock in IHHI. Control of IHHI is not under Woodford control, it is with the original investors. By the time Woodford supported IHHI by investing, IH was probably out of money. Woodford is then the largest investor (by roughly $50 million vs $20 million), but this actually had almost nothing to do with Rossi, who sued the original company and its officers and the kitchen sink. But who could not touch IHHI.
E-Cat technology has been shunned by the scientific mainstream but claims to be able to generate energy at more moderate conditions than the high temperatures required for other forms of nuclear fusion.
This confuses the field of LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions) with a particular claimant. The “mainstream” is not well-defined. LENR is considered “fringe science,” or “emerging science,” the reality of LENR effects is generally considered controversial, but investment has been increasing. Woodford invested $50 million making them the largest recent investment. What could be called “mainstream acceptance” of “E-Cat technology” has been rare. Most scientists involved with LENR did not accept Rossi’s claims. However, some did.
The mechanism behind LENR is unknown, though there are various theories. It is popularly called “cold fusion,” but it is not known if the term “fusion” is accurate. There have been claims of independent scientific verification of Rossi’s claims, but these were found, by Industrial Heat, as well as others, to be defective. There are persistent reports of anomalous energy generation, but at levels far lower than Rossi’s claims.
A “technology” does not make a claim, people do.
Rossi’s claim against Industrial Heat reached the Florida courts, but the two parties reached a settlement a week into the case.
After more than a year of legal wrangling. The settlement, July 5, 2017, was abrupt and unexpected. It appears to have arisen that morning in court, after the jury had been chosen and the parties had given, July 10, opening statements. A new lawyer for the plaintiff asked permission of the court to have a few words with the defendant’s lead attorney. And then it all unfolded. It appears that Rossi had decided to settle and let go of his claims, and his attorney was able to negotiate the return of the License (which then allowed him to save face, claiming, on Lewan’s blog, that this was all he wanted in the first place. My guess is that what he wanted could have been obtained by ordinary negotiation a year earlier without spending what may have been $5 million in legal fees on both sides (estimates of the fees have varied widely, but this was obviously very expensive).
It is unclear what was actually agreed July 5, but some time later the document appeared on Mats Lewan’s blog, almost certainly supplied by Andrea Rossi. At that point, the information I have is that the document had not yet been signed by all the parties, so the terms were not necessarily final. The lawsuit and countersuit, however, were dismissed with prejudice July 5, in court. Later, there was confirmation of the Agreement; eventually, the last remaining party signed the Agreement.
Technology and science writer Mats Lewan, author of An Impossible Invention chronicling Rossi’s work, published what he claimed were the terms of the settlement, with Rossi receiving the license to the E-Cat.
This is correct. That is, the License was returned to him, and, as well, all embodiments of the technology, whether built by Rossi and sold to IH, or built by IH.
Rossi had claimed before the court hearings that Industrial Heat’s claim to the intellectual property had been crucial to its fundraising from Woodford Investment Management and others.
Which was probably deceptive and misleading. Woodford did not invest in IH, and there is no sign that Woodford was impressed by Rossi technology. It is more likely that Woodford was impressed by IH’s willingness to take the risk they did. No evidence appeared in pleadings that Woodford relied on Rossi claims, but the License may have served as a hedge against a possible Rossi surprise, because Woodford investments were actually targeted to other LENR technologies and research (including theory development).
Woodford’s small stake in Industrial Heat has been one of his worst performing holdings.
As completely expected. There was no expectation of any performance, this was all long-term establishment of position. With the Rossi technology not confirmed by Industrial Heat testing, it was worthless, and very little other LENR research or development appears to have short-term profit possibilities. Nobody has a clearly successful product to promote. That is, and was surely known to be, the nature of the field at this time.
There is real science involved, as can be seen in the publication record in scientific journals, and many published reviews. The idea that this is uniformly rejected (“shunned”) is old and quite obsolete; but it persists and if people believe the field is shunned, to that extent it is, even though substantial publication has continued and official reviews have unanimously recommended further research (with opinion being divided on the reality of the effect, evenly divided in the last major review, by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2004).
Over the 12 months to the end of June, only Allied Minds (ALML +
), 4D Pharma (DDDD +
) and fellow unquoted stock Kind Consumer have been a bigger drag on performance in the Patient Capital trust. Industrial Heat accounts for around 1.3% of the portfolio.
Then it is a 1.3% that is devoted to a serious blue-sky possibilities, work that might lose money for decades, but that, if successful, could be worth a trillion dollars (i.e., since I may have some Brit readers, a thousand thousand million).
The stock accounts for a much smaller proportion of the Equity income fund, at just over 0.1%, but still ranks among the 20 biggest weights on the fund over the 12 months to the end of June.
I am not sure how the investment was valued, but IHHI has no profits and is not expected to; it may have some license rights, which may be carried on the books as assets, even if return is unlikely. It now, with the Settlement Agreement, may write this off entirely, producing tax benefits for shareholders, as they have pass-through profit and loss, if I’m correct.
Woodford Investment Management declined to comment, but has previously said it shared Industrial Heat’s ‘quest to eliminate pollution’ through its ‘diverse portfolio of innovative technology, such as low energy nuclear reactions’.
That’s what they say, all right. However, they have never claimed to have an actually performing LENR technology, and only, at times, hopes of such. At this point they have perhaps six technologies that remain for consideration as possible.
I would not suggest to anyone to invest in LENR who is looking for profit in their lifetime, unless maybe they are young and, as well, risk-tolerant. This is a long shot; I personally expect commercial application of LENR to eventually be successful, but it could take a very long time. We still don’t know what is actually happening with the known effects, other than results (the original effect, with palladium deuteride, produces energy and helium correlated at a ratio that indicates some kind of fusion is taking place. That’s widely confirmed, and there is current work to increase precision on that, I expect to see publication soon.
Now, as expected, there have been comments. The site does not allow threaded comments. I posted there yesterday and I’ve been asked at least one question. I’ve decided to answer comments here, posting only a link there, assuming it’s approved, to the comment section of this page, here, and anyone may continue the conversation here, through our open comments, if they choose.
Comments on Citywire
List of comments (apparent threading added)
PaulSh Aug 30, 2017 at 16:41
==Mary Yugo Sep 06, 2017 at 19:40
General Zod Aug 30, 2017 at 17:39
RKB Aug 30, 2017 at 18:32
== Tyrion Lannister Aug 30, 2017 at 19:28
=== PaulSh Aug 31, 2017 at 10:34
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax Aug 31, 2017 at 13:05
== PaulSh Aug 31, 2017 at 15:09
=== Tyrion Lannister Aug 31, 2017 at 16:27
Mary Yugo Aug 31, 2017 at 18:54
== RKB Aug 31, 2017 at 19:24
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax Sep 01, 2017 at 01:26<
Capt Ahab: 11:27 on 02 September 2017/a>
Mary Yugo Sep 05, 2017 at 22:26
PaulSh Aug 30, 2017 at 16:41
The way I read both the linked blog and the actual settlement, Industrial Heat is finished. To say that Rossi is “receiving the license to the E-Cat” is a bit of an understatement because he is actually having the licence returned to him along with all existing hardware and IP – in other words, IH will have nothing.
This assumes that Industrial heat was only interested in Rossi. If Paul would read the rest of that blog, he would see that when Woodford invested $50 million in IHHI, effectively into the control of the original IH investors, and they invested this in his “competitors,” Rossi decided he could not trust them.
(Even though the License allowed them to sublicence and did not restrict them from disclosing the IP.)
However, by this time, they already knew that they could not make his technology work with independent testing. While the License had a possible value as a hedge, they didn’t need the hardware, which the alleged test actually showed was, at best, not ready for commercialization, so they were moving on already. Other than legal expenses, they had put about $20 million into Rossi, but they have already put substantially more than that into other technologies. So they are hardly “finished.” They are continuing to work with researchers and have developed broad connections with the research community, and they are generally trusted in the field. Nobody who matters believes Rossi’s story of IH defrauding him.
There is a remaining possibility, if Rossi ever does actually pull a rabbit out of the hat. Ampenergo was the prior owner of the Rossi license for the Americas, and IH gave them something like $5 million plus stock for those rights. Ampenergo was a party to the License Agreement and still has rights, and the new agreement between Industrial Heat and Rossi could not affect those, and Ampenergo is still responsible to IH for what they separately agreed. So if the Rossi License ever does happen to develop value, IH might still have a line on it. They do not expect this, but these people work with hedges when possible.[…]
RKB Aug 30, 2017 at 18:32
Cunning. The investors in IH lose, presumably the promoters have taken fees, the device never gets exposed as a fraud, and Rossi is free to licence to another startup. Rinse and repeat.
There are no promoters taking fees. The “investors in IH” were a close group of highly experienced investors, and Thomas Darden was the largest investor, spending his own money. The court documents expose that Rossi fraud is very likely.
IH, I am sure, researched everything they could find about Rossi before investing in the possibility with him. Nothing like that new court record existed for them to see. For Rossi to find new investors is now far more difficult. By standing up to the Rossi suit, they made the world far safer for people willing to invest in risky technology; Rossi will be off the table for almost all of these.
What really worries me is that Woodford fell for it.
In effect, Industrial Heat claimed to have harnessed cold fusion. Anybody who knows anything significant about science will tell you this exists only in the realms of fantasy.
Without a definition, “cold fusion” exists as a fantasy, and much that Tyrion says here is fantasy. Industrial Heat did not “claim to have harnessed cold fusion.” What is variously called the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect, or the Anomalous Heat Effect, was originally called “cold fusion” in the media, even though Fleischmann and Pons were explicit that what they had found was an “unknown nuclear reaction,” and they only speculated that it might be fusion. Later research has developed that they were, in round outlines, correct, because helium is being produced from deuterium — by the preponderance of the evidence, confirmed. However, nobody has shown that the effect is “harnessed.” That claim was Rossi’s, and he usually did not claim it was “cold fusion.” He was quite evasive and still is.
I would put this differently: at this point, “harnessing cold fusion” is very much beyond the state of the art. There are protocols that may generate a few hundred milliwatts in most attempts, and work is under way to improve reliability and develop better control of conditions. Rossi’s claims were far outside the envelope. Most scientists involved with the field were suspicious, but a few theorists adapted their theories to possibly explain Rossi’s results. There were a few scientists who were incautious enough to report positively on his work; scientists are not necessarily trained to recognize fraud and deception. This was very different from the situation with “cold fusion,” where there is credible work published and under way, justifying further research. There are a few companies with commercial projects, claiming some level of success. Again, far less than what Rossi was claiming.
PaulSh Aug 31, 2017 at 10:34
@Tyrion Lannister, much as I have often scoffed at “cold fusion” and other dubious branches of pseudo-science, it has to be said that anybody who knows anything significant about science should also tell you that we don’t know everything there is to be known. So it’s a question of getting the balance right between, as one NASA scientist once put it, being so open-minded your brains fall out, and being so closed-minded you end up missing out on great opportunities.
The field popularly called “cold fusion,” more soberly called “condensed matter nuclear science,” with a subfield being “low energy nuclear reactions,” is not pseudoscience, even if one thinks it dubious. Real experimental work is being done, by experienced researchers and scientists, for exploration to develop hypotheses and to test them, and even real physicists are working on possible theory. There are sometimes people too eager to accept what pleases them, and people very reluctant to look at their own assumptions, but from the beginning in 1989, those who actually understand science have supported investigating the possibilities of “cold fusion.” (Pseudoscience is unverifiable, claims of LENR are generally verifiable or multiply confirmed, it can be a complex issue. Claims of impossibility are well-known to be pseudoscientific, in fact. They cannot be proven, because absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. And there is evidence, merely controversial evidence, in many cases.
There are many common memes about cold fusion that are directly contrary to easily verifiable fact, such as the claim that the Pons and Fleischmann reports “could never be confirmed.” That claim is actually preposterous. Pons and Fleischmann did make mistakes, but their central report — anomalous heat — was never found to be wrong, and many others found it, once the conditions became better understood. Famous early “negative replications” actually confirm later understanding, i.e., the conditions set up in those experiments are now known to certainly fail to see the effect.
In this particular case, Industrial Heat was a huge gamble that you might have put a little of your own money into in the hope of winning big, just as you might buy a lottery ticket, but there’s no way you should have been putting other people’s money into it.
That depends. One would ethically not put “other people’s money” into it without those investors being aware of the risks. If a fund invests without due diligence and disclosure, the fund manager could be held liable for losses. Investment may look like gambling, but is not, because it is not a zero-sum game. Darden of Industrial Heat testified that they considered that if there was 1% chance of Rossi technology actually being commercial or commercializable, it was worth their investment. As another wrote, “Do the math.” What is the value of LENR technology? What are the odds of success? To answer those questions takes some research. My estimate of the potential value is generally about a trillion dollars (i.e., 10^12). 1% of a trillion dollars is $10 billion. Allow for the likelihood that there will be competition and other market factors, and still $20 million is chicken feed.
If you have it to risk.
Make bets like this frequently, and if you choose well, you are likely to win, overall. Suppose you make a hundred bets like this, your cost will be $2 billion. Nobody is going to do this alone, I’m sure. It has to be, in some sense, “other people’s money.” Darden has built a $2.2 billion company, Cherokee Investment Partners, by making risky investments in environmental remediation. Many of these investments fail, and when they fail, Cherokee tends to lose up to $25 million, their typical investment. Stupid? Stupid all the way to the bank. When these investments win, they may result in profits in the hundreds of millions.
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax Aug 31, 2017 at 13:05
There is full coverage of the lawsuit, all documents and links to analysis, at http://coldfusioncommunity.net/rossi-v-darden-docket-and-case-files/
I followed the case from filing to settlement. I travelled to Miami and attended the trial (Except for one person, one day, I was the only media there.) Many will comment on this case without knowledge, this is the internet.
My brief summary: Industrial Heat invested $20 million of their own money (a small group of investors who know each other well) on a long shot. Darden said in a deposition that, if there was 1% chance of Rossi technology being real, it was worth the investment, and, coming from their interest in environmental remediation and protection, their goal was the field of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), not Rossi himself. They needed to know.
They found out, and by the time Woodford invested, (having committed up to $200 million, so the Woodford $50 million was just the first tranche), whatever has been spent of the Woodford money went entirely into other investigations and was beyond his reach, since Woodford did not invest in Industrial Heat, a United States LLC, but in IH Holdings International, Ltd, a U.K. corporation.
This was known to be very risky, with expectations that failing to find a commercial-scale application with only $50 million was likely. They did due diligence and know that LENR is real, but very difficult to control, due to severe problems with material conditions, with theoretical understanding still being in a primitive stage. Rossi’s claims were damaging the field, because who wants to invest in scientific research claiming a few watts, when Rossi was claiming kilowatts? — and there were some scientists supporting the claim (especially a group from Uppsala University in Sweden)..
To read Rossi’s account to Mats Lewan, when Rossi found out about the $50 million going to his “competitors,” he decided he could not trust them, and all relations were hostile from then on, and eventually he sued them (which made no business sense). IH settled for a return of the License and his reactor junk, worthless to them, but allowing Rossi to continue to claim that his technology worked. (Someone who wants to continue believing this is forced to conclude that Darden and others lied under oath, or, alternatively, that Ross never trusted them with the secrets, in spite of being paid for them. Paranoia strikes deep. Even Rossi’s friends consider him paranoid and very difficult to deal with.)
As to the public interest (which they are not obligated to protect), the roughly $5 million that they are said to have spent on legal fees has allowed the public to know what happened, through case documents, clear evidence that would have been introduced in the trial if it had actually entered the evidentiary phase, filed with pleadings and attested., Future possible investors can see how Rossi treated what appears in the documents, with Rossi aggressively pursuing in discovery every bit of apparent dirt he could find, as an angel investor.
Woodford did not invest in Rossi. A small portion of Woodford funds may have been used to help pay legal expenses (IHHI became the sole owner of IH, through stock swaps). The Woodford investment was, and remains, extremely risky. It could take billions of dollars to develop LENR, but, through Industrial Heat, Woodford will have his finger on the pulse of the field and will know when it is appropriate to invest more. They bought, actually IH created, expertise. This could take twenty years to pay off. There is a small possibility that LENR will remain, forever, a lab curiosity, but … my sense is that this is unlikely. What is unclear is what and how long it will take.
PaulSh Aug 31, 2017 at 15:09
Dear Mr. Lomax, thank you for that “brief” summary. Would I therefore be correct in saying your position is that Rossi’s work proved to be a dead end but IH itself is far from dead even though Rossi has taken back everything apart from their “expertise”?
Yes, Rossi’s work adequately proved to be a dead end. If he has a real technology, he did not deliver it as promised, and his “1 MW plant,” if it had actually worked, would have cooked everyone in that warehouse. And then Rossi has a story to explain that away, a story that changed over the year that the issue was pending. He’s almost certainly lying.
IH is far from “dead” because they were much larger than Rossi. Consider that their original investment went to Rossi or to support validation and confirmation attempts, and that was apparently from a $20 million stock sale (to the small group). Then they received the $50 million from Woodford and the bulk of that has been spent on other approaches. This is all about gaining knowledge and experience. Rossi can’t possibly take that back. Rossi had physical possession of the 1 MW Plant that they had padlocked. He was offering to drop the lawsuit if they surrendered the License. Instead of arguing that they paid $10 million for the License — Rossi did claim elsewhere that he had offered to refund their money (all $11.5 million they had paid him) if they surrendered the license, but from what happened later, I doubt it. He was almost certainly lying about that as he lied about many things where we later found out the truth — they decided to walk away. Rossi had no technology worth fighting over. They might have obtained some recovery from their counterclaims, but … it was not necessarily going to recover their legal costs and there were risks. So, then, what about the Plant that they had paid $1.5 million for in 2012? It was useless to them. Remember, they have already thoroughly tested the technology and their analysis of performance in Doral, Florida, was that it wasn’t performing at anything like what was being claimed, units were failing, it was a mess. What would they do with it? Far easier to just give it all back.
They always claimed that their goal was to make Rossi successful. Okay, so he’s too paranoid to work with. Suing him for recovery could spook their basic “customers,” i.e., the inventors they want to work with. I think that, that Wednesday morning in Miami, they took the opportunity to just leave it behind. They had already gained, in a way, an additional $50 million for research to compensate for the $20 million they were walking away from. I spoke with Darden after the settlement came down, and he was “philosophical.”
Remember, this was largely his money. Now, Woodford has invested, in something just as risky, general LENR research, “other people’s money.” But he is not betting anyone’s far on this, it is a tiny part of the porfolio. He could make many investments that are “blue sky,” and if his judgment is sound, his assesment of risk and possible benefit, this could make total business sense, as long as no investors are misled.
Tyrion LannisterAug 31, 2017 at 16:27
It’s down to maths and physics, and the maths prove it isn’t possible. The activation energy required is colossal. You simply can’t get energy for free which is what would be required for cold fusion to work.
If some told you they could break the speed of light, would you keep an open mind on that?
This is utter nonsense. The energy in the Anomalous Heat Effect is through an unknown mechanism, but the source is known, it is, with high probability, the conversion of deuterium to helium. That implies, but is not necessarily, “fusion.” Fusion ordinarily involves the fusing particles to move beyond a charge-repulsion barrier, and one way to do that is for them to have high kinetic energy. That energy is normally found at high temperatures. However, that is not the only path to fusion. Also called “cold fusion” when discovered and shown to exist, muon-catalyzed fusion bypasses the coulomb barrier by using muons to shield that repulsion. Most theories of “cold fusion” involve some other kind of catalysis. Most fusion, in fact, even with “hot fusion” occurs by tunneling, which is a quantum-mechanical effect that allows moving to the other side of a barrier without actually going over it.
There is no known impossibility to “cold fusion,” but it was unexpected. Pons and Fleischmann were not looking for free energy, they were looking to test the assumptions of plasma physics as applied to the solid state, where the interactions of particles may be far more complex. They actually expected to find nothing (because they thought the approximations were good enough, but they had decided to look. That’s science.) Then their experiment melted down, releasing more energy than they could explain with chemistry, and they were world-class electrochemists. They waited five years to announce and still were not ready. It became a colossal mess, as many rushed to confirm without adequate information and Pons and Fleischmann themselves did not understand aspects of their work. We know far more now, thanks to the work that did continue.
The opinions expressed here are common, though, because the field is extremely complex and many people decided, years ago, to wait for some killer demonstration. Some people thought that might be Rossi. It wasn’t.
Mary Yugo Aug 31, 2017 at 18:54
It seems as if a post in which I attempted to draw attention to Rossi’s past may have been censored. So I will leave it to this link:
I also commented on the quality of Woodford’s vetting of Rossi and IH. That didn’t make it through either.
Ah, Mary Yugo. For those who don’t know the history, for sure, it is informative, though Krivit is a yellow journalist and commonly tells only one side of a story. Be that as it may, all this was known to IH and to Woodford. “Mary” commonly expresses regret that IH didn’t pay attention to him! They could have saved $11.5 million? What idiots they are!
From a comment by Dewey Weaver, an investor in IH and a contractor to them, who tangled with Rossi immediately (he tells the story that he pulled out a heat gun to confirm temperatures Rossi was reporting in a demo, Rossi yelled “Everyone out of the room, it’s about to explode!” and then told T. Barker Dameron, who was at that point managing IH attempts to confirm Rossi, to “Get that lawyer out of here!” (Weaver is not a lawyer, as far as I know.)
MY – as intimated before, TD had a hunch that the splash from engaging / funding Rossi would lead to other opportunity whether R was real or not. A combination of huge vision and gigantic nerve/skill.
The sector had been resource starved for almost 2 decades and very good dedicated folks had managed to stay in active research sometimes at great sacrifice to themselves – these folks turned out to be excellent people beyond their research capabilities which makes this fun on top of rewarding. I’m greater than 50/50 now that his hunch is going to end up working out. (not much greater but confidence is growing – still a long way to go).
Weaver was responding to Mary Yugo, who is like a Timex watch with a broken set knob, “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” Mary belabors the obvious as if nobody else can see it. Darden, as described by Weaver, was right. The IH investment actually paid off, turning $20 million invested in Industrial Heat into $50 million and probably more invested in IHHI, for LENR research, demonstrating “vision and nerve/skill,” and that is what Woodford invested in. Not Rossi.
If someone does develop a practical device, they will know about it and will be ready for investment opportunities. Nobody else is likely to pull off the Rossi tricks. Everything is being carefully tested. Mostly, though, we will not, as the public, learn about this, because it would almost all be under non-disclosure agreements. Even the straight scientific research in the field is normally cautious about publicity.
RKB Aug 31, 2017 at 19:24
Rather ironic when you consider Woodford, from his Cowley base, is just a few miles away from JET at Culham, as well as Harwell and the University. He didn’t think to get their opinion – or maybe didn’t understand why they were laughing so much?
To anyone who knows the history of cold fusion, this is hilarious. Cold fusion was originally a finding in electrochemistry, not physics. Electrochemists, experts in measuring heat, were finding heat they could not explain with chemistry. Because the level of the heat was beyond what they understood as chemistry, they did speculate that it was nuclear. They had some evidence of neutron generation, far, far below the levels expected if the reaction was ordinary fusion, and they reported it. That evidence was artifact, error, so physicists, of course, laughed at them for their mistake in nuclear physics, which was outside their field. But then physicists tried to do electrochemistry, which can be far more difficult than it would appear to a plasma physicist, say. Many looked for neutrons and when they found no neutrons, proclaimed “cold fusion is dead.” What we now know is that the reaction originally found, from multiple confirmed experiments, is generating helium from deuterium, and that reaction would produce some of the observed heat, but, if that reaction were ordinary fusion, somehow induced to only result in the rare helium branch, it would produce very hot gamma rays, which would also be dangerous.
The reaction, whatever it is, produces helium and heat, and very little else. There are suspicions of low-energy photons that would not be easily detected, i.e., bursts of them. None of this is expected. So far, all we really know is, as to major products, there is helium and there is heat. No plasma physicist would be expected to have any clue about this. As to Rossi’s claimed nickel hydride reactions, again, a straight fusion theory would predict a way-crazy-low rate. In general, cold fusion results are based on something unknown, and if you want to know about them, as experimental results, the people to ask are the experts who know how to make those measurements. A plasma physicist from JET would be clueless. Totally out of his field, the only connection is “fusion.” And if this is fusion, it is of a kind they have never seen.
(There are extensive reports of tritium production, but the rates a far below what would be associated with the heat, and my sense is that tritium, when produced, is from a rare secondary reaction. Very rare.
Bottom line, Woodford claims that he or his people did investigate the field and decided (like Darden before them) to get his feet wet. Woodford actually committed up to $200 million if needed. My sense of the field is that that is not enough to insure success. But a carefully managed program could identify promising technology and then seek to take it to the next level, including raising additional research funding. Nothing, so far, is meriting any kind of crash program.
Unfortunately, much research in the field is secret. Which can also become an excuse for fraud. IH now has some very extensive experience with that. They, and many others, out of their experience, will be more careful, and that’s a good outcome. Rossi originally claimed he would sell his “secret” for $100 million. He didn’t get it and is very unlikely to see serious money again.
Rossi also showed that some scientists can be fooled. He actually did an amazing job of it!
Again, bottom line, if one does not trust Woodford to perform due diligence, don’t invest with Woodford! Many of his investments are risky, but overall payoff will depend on his skill at balancing risk with reward, and the probabilities.
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax Sep 01, 2017 at 01:26
Because this comment section does not allow threaded comments, I am replying to @PaulSh on a page on my blog. I have written, there, a review of the article, and also replies to almost all comments here. Comments there are welcome.
Capt Ahab: 11:27 on 02 September 2017
Mr Woodford’s name appears far too often for all the wrong reasons
Woodford was very little involved with the lawsuit and is not known to have played any role in the Settlement Agreement. It is likely, however, from ongoing behavior of Woodford that they were supportive of IH’s determination to “not write a check” to Rossi. They appears that Woodford invested another $2 million in IHHI in June, 2017, from a June 19, 2017, allotment of more Series A shares.
See also Woodford WEIF holdings,, as of 31 July, 2017, lines 102 and 115. For WPCT, see as of 31 July, 2017, lines 37 and 52. As I recall, but do not have links at hand, Woodford previously had two holdings, now there are likely four. As would be expected from IH (and therefore IHHI) writing off the Rossi investment and any residual value assigned to the License that they returned, the value of Woodford investments in IHHI has declined; however, this was expected, it was understood that IHHI was not likely to generate any income, but would require additional investment.
(On former IHHI share allocations, see the 24 May 2016 Annual Return of IHHI, as of 21 April, 2016. There are two lines for entities holding Series A shares (which were issued for $50 million US, collectively), as Norwood Nominees, which would be trusts with owner concealed.) These could be compared with Woodford statements, but it’s more complex than I care to investigate.)
Mary Yugo Sep 05, 2017 at 22:26
Opening statements of all parties in the trial (Rossi, IH, countersuit, and two third parties) — thanks to “Abd”
Thanks, MY. While I might ordinarily think, when someone like you thanks me, “OMG, what am I doing wrong?”, set that aside. It seems like all “sides” are thanking me for that page. That is actually a sign of doing something right, forget the damn personal reactions. Maybe we can build on this.
Mary Yugo Sep 06, 2017 at 19:40
“The way I read both the linked blog and the actual settlement, Industrial Heat is finished. To say that Rossi is “receiving the license to the E-Cat” is a bit of an understatement because he is actually having the licence returned to him along with all existing hardware and IP – in other words, IH will have nothing.”
Actually, it is Rossi who ends up with nothing but all the evidence IH was able to generate shows clearly that his devices do not produce energy. They are simply electric heaters. And IH tried to make Rossi equipment work for going on three years with Rossi’s help and supposedly his full cooperation which is what they originally gave him TEN MILLION DOLLARS to get!
IH still has investment capital and is supposedly working with the most clever people they can find to make LENR work. Personally, I don’t think they will but they are hardly “finished.”
You can get more input on this from Dewey Weaver, an IH principal, who posts discussions in this thread:
That is a good place to learn what is going on with LENR and IH today and to discuss it pro and con although with somewhat heavy handed pro-LENR moderation.
Rossi did walk with what was left of the $11.5 million he was paid, minus legal fees, which were, I assume, considerable. There is really only one “heavy-handed” LENR Forum moderator, Alan Smith, who just banned Ascoli65.
Using moderation tools to argue with a user, maintaining off-topic confusion, not good. Alan doesn’t use gentler alternatives. There is plenty of marginal-libel on LF, routinely tolerated. So why this particular suddenly strong enforcement? I think it’s personal, reflective of a desire to protect Levi from understandable criticism, and, if so, Alan should properly defer to other administrators, if there are any.
However, consistently, LF ownership has supported Alan. That’s Nygren’s right. He gets what he pays for. (In this case, free moderation labor, with the obvious cost, power in the hands of the moderator. It is entirely unclear if Alan’s actions are a priori supported by the Team. They tend to have a very different quality from the actions of other moderators.
There is a new article on Citywire about Woodford. It’s quite good, my opinion. A video has Woodford explaining his reaction to recent losses, and his investment philosophy. My opinion: he knows exactly what he is doing, it is a long-term and overall highly profitable strategy, albeit with some risk.
The IH (thus IHHI) losses were expected. He points out that he works closely with the management of small unquoted businesses, and has full information. The large losses that did impact his fund value (IHHI is tiny by comparison) were with quoted stocks, where regulation prevents the full flow of information. (I’d never before considered this as to how it impacts investment decisions). What he comes to is that if one does not trust the management of a quoted business, don’t invest in it. He didn’t say it quite like this, but I will: if it seems they are treating you like mushrooms, i.e., keeping you in the dark and feeding you bullshit, ask the necessary questions — and, obviously, consider divesting, and with a large stake, that may impact the market valuation of that business.
Some of the Planet Rossi community are mushrooms, from where they choose to live and what they apparently choose to believe. See my comment there, and responses to it.
Somtimes I think of a catchy or snarky title, then write the blog post. Here, I’m just writing and will figure out a title later.
I was again mentioned on LENR Forum.
Of course now SSC thinks there was a trial.
There was a judge, a jury, a courtroom, lawyers ……… but maybe you are right, I’m probably the one who understood bad ….. they were all there to play a joke on Abd, right?
Little does he know! The entire universe is here to play a joke on Abd. The best part of the game is getting it. Continue reading “Winning by losing”
This is an obvious logical fallacy, yet the argument is surprisingly common from some who think of themselves as skeptics. They are, in fact, “pseudoskeptics,” because they are selectively skeptical, rejecting the ideas of others while swallowing their own whole.
We never have complete control over the circumstances of life. What works one time may not work another. Walking down the street can be a gamble; after all, we could get hit by a bus. Yet if we live as if we must avoid all danger, we die in a state of constriction and loss.
Ideally, we learn to assess risk and to make choices that recognize risk and consider possible returns. If the return is high, we may take higher risks. That’s all rational game theory.
So if I get hit by a bus, does that mean it was a mistake to walk down the street? Perhaps it was a mistake to be inadequately careful, but no amount of care can avoid all risk. The risk is small, so normal response to it is reasonable caution. Continue reading “No payoff = bad bet?”
Law360 allows free trial accounts.
- July 31, 2017
An Italian inventor who sued in Florida federal court over an $89 million licensing agreement for an energy catalyzer patent has settled the dispute with licensee Cherokee Investment Partners LLC over technology for a low-energy nuclear reactor called the E-Cat.
- June 30, 2017
An Italian inventor suing over an $89 million licensing agreement for an energy catalyzer patent opened trial Friday in Miami, telling jurors that the licensees had repeatedly touted the technology and said it had “potential to change the world” before reneging on the agreement.
- June 29, 2017
A trial over an $89 million licensing agreement concerning an energy catalyzer patent is off to a rocky start after a Florida federal judge declared a mistrial Thursday just one day after seating a jury, forcing attorneys to start again the next morning.
- May 17, 2017
A Florida judge shot down two energy companies’ dueling petitions for quick wins Wednesday in an $89 million licensing suit concerning an energy catalyzer patent, deferring to a jury to evaluate the remaining factual inconsistencies in their competing accounts.
- April 5, 2017
Two companies that licensed a nuclear reactor hit back against the energy technology’s owner Tuesday, arguing in Florida federal court that the patent holders clearly violated a licensing agreement and voided an $89 million contract.
- March 23, 2017
Energy companies locked in a battle over patent licensing for an energy catalyzer filed dueling motions for summary judgment in Florida federal court this week, with the patent owner insisting it has a right to enforce its contract and the licensees saying the device didn’t perform as promised.
- January 11, 2017
Jones Day attorneys and their client Cherokee Investment Partners LLC won’t be sanctioned for allegedly making frivolous counterclaims in an $89 million patent licensing dispute with a company that invested in an energy catalyzer, a Florida federal judge said on Wednesday, calling the request “premature.”
- January 10, 2017
A company that has purportedly invented a cold fusion reactor on Tuesday urged a Florida federal judge to sanction private equity fund Cherokee Investment Partners LLC and its Jones Day attorneys for denying true facts and making frivolous claims in the parties’ $89 million patent licensing dispute.
“Peep” is the sound of Main Stream Media regarding Rossi v. Darden. The following is the first mention I’ve seen of the settlement, in Triangle Business News, in an article behind a paywall.
https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2017/08/03/dispute-between-inventor-and-raleigh-investor-over.html. I have a copy of this article, and provide here some excerpts. Much of the article will be familiar to anyone who has been following the case. Continue reading “Peep!”
Color mind boggled. “Winning” is generally a highly subjective judgment, unless there are clear standards, which, in this matter, there are not. Someone may claim that the issue is clear, by either proposing or assuming a specific standard, which is, in this case, post-facto. The “case,” is, of course, Who Won in Rossi v. Darden? or Who Won by Reaching Settlement?
Frank Acland started a poll on E-Cat World. Poll: Rossi v. IH Settlement — Who Won?
The announcement refers to a discussion on the Vortex mailing list. I’ll get to that. On-line discussion groups have long ignored the processes of deliberative democracy. A question is asked, sometimes, but the exact form of the question is well-known to have a massive influence on answers. A question is asked and then people answer it, often arguing for their answer. Very normal in on-line fora. Continue reading “Who won?”
Today I uploaded consolidated deposition files for Penon and three for Rossi (for himself, for Lenoardo, and for JMP). These files were prepared by Bruce H. We have many extracts from the depositions, and we must maintain them because they are cited by specific case exhibit and pdf page, in our study documents. But if someone just wants to read as much as possible of a deposition, these consolidated files make it far easier. There are many more to be done, but Bruce is a pioneer, and I want to take this occasion to acknowledge that, and the help of all those who have made and are making this site useful.
All deposition exhibits (and the consolidated files) are listed on RvD: Depositions
What ensues when we speak of the devil has long been expected. Problem with the devil: Qur’an: he speaks to you from where you do not recognize him.
I find a gloss for that obvious: he speaks through our friends and most of all through our own internal conversation, which most people have not learned to suspect is a pack of lies, in spite of ancient warnings about the self. (Actually, like the most skilled lies, it is mixed with a kind of truth, which helps it hide more effectively.)
So on LENR Forum, IH Fanboy has been writing a series of posts that continue his Rossi Good IH Bad theme. IHFB is remarkable. Before the trial, he was expecting that IH would unfortunately kick Rossi’s ass because of all the Rossi “mistakes” — or we could just say “lies.” Juries don’t like lies. It’s a simple story to communicate. if there is probative evidence. Continue reading “Speak of the devil”
This recent Lewan interview and comments on it led me to look back at an older one:
Last week, Andrea Rossi made a visit to Sweden, and apart from meeting with the team of professors in Uppsala, with me and other persons, he made a trip from Stockholm to the south of Sweden to have look at a 10,000 square meter factory building for sale. The day after, assisted by his Northern Europe partner and licensee Hydrofusion, Rossi made an offer on the building in the order of USD 3 to 5 million. Negotiations are now ongoing.
This was before the IH Answer in Rossi v. Darden revealed that Rossi claimed to IH, in 2012, that he had created a fake test for Hydro Fusion to get out of his agreement with them. One wonders how Hydro Fusion reacted when they found out, assuming they did. Be that as it may, it seems clear that Lewan reports what Rossi tells him as fact, without verification. To be sure, perhaps he did verify, but … it seems unlikely. Then Lewan does not follow up. What happened to this deal? When an actual offer is made, normally there is a deposit put up. Or was this a real offer, or just an idea?
There are many “updates” reported in this interview. What else was there and how does it all look now, with far more having become public?
Even buying a factory building is no proof that production will start. Critics, accusing Rossi for being a fraudster, will assume that it could be a way to attract investors, but I honestly wouldn’t expect a fraudster to make use of such expensive schemes. Especially not since it would be quite fine just getting away with 11.5M without further trouble.
This is a classic argument on Planet Rossi. “I wouldn’t expect.” “Fraudster” is not well defined. Lewan’s expectation is an ungrounded fantasy. If a fraudster is someone who induces people to do what he wants by misleading them, there is plenty of evidence that Rossi has done that (including that Hydro Fusion affair, regarding which Lewan has direct knowledge of).
IH obviously didn’t expect Rossi to sue them, he’d have to be crazy. Yes. He would. However, maybe he gained something, he is now claiming that his goal from the beginning was to get the License back, though that does not match his actual behavior. However, once we accept the idea that someone might be literally insane, it is not necessary that anything make sense. What can be seen here is that Lewan is creating conclusions out of nothing.
I would take this as a strong indication that the modular Quark X, supposedly big as a pen, producing heat, light and direct electricity at variable proportions at a total power of about 100W, based on the E-Cat LENR technology with hydrogen, lithium, aluminium and nickel in the fuel, is real. Rossi, however, said that there’s still R&D to be done to get the Quark X ready for production. He also said that the ‘X’ had no other meaning than being a substitute for a final name.
And some other mystery ingredient, apparently, the most closely-guarded secret. Quark-X is now allegedly a 20 watt device, and direct electricity isn’t being claimed any more, if I’m correct. This is 14 months later. Sure, Rossi had an excuse, but … why does everything depend on Rossi alone? Doesn’t he have partners? Ah, well, questions, questions. What’s here.
After my meeting with Rossi (first time for me since September 2012), I have a few other updates.
Claiming that everything he said could be proven with documents (or that he otherwise would be lying),
Rossi lies, that’s not in question. That doesn’t show that any given statement is a lie, but what do we know about what is claimed here?
Rossi told me regarding the one-year 1MW test that:
All the instruments for measurements were installed, under observation of IH and Rossi, by the ERV (Expert Responsible for Validation) Fabio Penon, who had been communicating also with Darden, receiving technical suggestions from him on this matter. All communications with the ERV were made with both Darden and Rossi in copy.
Later email communications between Penon and Rossi (but before this interview) were not cc’d to Darden and were destroyed by Rossi, apparently. Rossi apparently removed monitoring equipment installed by IH, but what he has said here may be more or less correct. Rossi was, in fact, in full control of the “test.” IH never agreed that this was the Guaranteed Performance Test, and it was clear that Rossi knew that the opportunity for the GPT had expired, though IH was willing to negotiate for further payments.
The flow meter was mounted according to all standard requirements, for example at the lowest point in the system.
As soon as the “test” was completed, Rossi removed the pipes so this claim could not be verified.
The MW plant was placed on blocks, 33 cm above the ground, to make sure that leaking water or any hidden connections would become visible.
That would be the Plant. However, the full system was mostly hidden in the “customer area,” and there are various ways that what happened in that area could seriously affect measurements.
The two IH representatives present at the test were Barry West and Fulvio Fabiani (who worked for Rossi from January 2012 until August 2013, when the MW plant was delivered to IH in North Carolina, after which he was paid by IH as an expert who would make the technology transition from Rossi to IH easier). West and Fabiani reported to JT Vaughn every day on the phone.
I’m not sure about “every day.” However, calling them “representatives” is a bit deceptive. Both were tasked with assisting Rossi. Fabiani was an old friend of Rossi’s wife, apparently, and when things broke down between IH and Rossi, Fabiani, he claimed, felt trapped in the middle. In the end, he did not turn over the raw data that did, in fact, belong to IH, thus possibly protecting Rossi. We know that he destroyed that data, by his admission, and he destroyed his emails.
Rossi always pointed to the “two men” IH had in Doral. They were utterly ineffective at monitoring what was going on, because West, in particular, was not allowed to challenge Rossi on anything. Fabiani apparently threatened to harm West if he did anything to harm the “test,” though it’s not clear that he was serious. Fabiani was definitely a Rossi man, not IH.
Three interim reports, about every three months, with basically the same results as in the final report, were provided by the ERV during the test.
They were. Glossed over is the fact that Penon only visited the test maybe once every three months, and depended entirely, as far as we know, on Rossi for data. Many of these details, though, remain unclear because of the destruction of data and emails.
During summer 2015, IH offered Rossi to back out from the test and cancel it, with a significant sum of money as compensation. Rossi’s counter offer was to give back the already paid 11.5M and cancel the license agreement, but IH didn’t accept.
If this actually happened, it is odd that IH would later accept the settlement, turning the License over for no compensation at all.
At this point, making this claim, Rossi was suing IH — and other defendants — for a lot of money. Later, Rossi says, now, in the new interview, that his whole purpose was to get the licence back. IH had put about $20 million into the affair, so $11.5 million would be short. But how about $10 million plus some residual rights? Not requiring all the things that Rossi didn’t want, only providing a conditional payment to IH if Rossi hit the market with real product?
This alleged offer, now, looks like much better than IH actually got. Because this would likely have been used as a basis for improving the IH settlement, I doubt that it ever happened like it’s being said here. Rossi does that, reframes events according to his own narrative and the impression he desires to create.
The unidentified customer (‘JM Products’) using the thermal energy from the MW plant, had its equipment at the official address—7861, 46th Street, Doral, Fl. The total surface of the premises was 1,000 square meters, of which the MW plant used 400 and the customer 600.
We now know that there was no customer other than Rossi wearing different hats, when he even bothered to change hats. This story, like all the others told before the truth came out, strongly implies an independent customer, not Rossi himself. His story changed once he was under penalty of perjury, with massive evidence that he’d been lying. Some of his testimony, still, pushed that legal edge.
The equipment of the customer measured 20 x 3 x 3 meters, and the process was running 24/7.
The thermal energy was transfered to the customer with heat exchangers and the heat that was not consumed was vented out as hot air through the roof.
The “heat exchanger” mentioned here, with the function described, would not be the heat exchanger Rossi later claimed. This report directly contradicts the later story. The heat was, in the later story, blown out the front windows of the mezzanine, not through the roof.
The “equipment” was a collection of tubes in which other, smaller tubes were placed, to be heated. As this was actually operated, with only small amounts of “product” being involved — maybe a few grams! — this did not require anything remotely close to a megawatt. Rossi was here maintaining the fiction of a “customer” which was only Rossi, with full control by Rossi.
The water heated by the MW plant was circulating in a closed loop, and since the return temperature was varying, due to different load in the process of the customer, Rossi insisted that the energy corresponding to heating the inflowing cooled water (at about 60˚C) to boiling temperature would not be taken into account for calculating the thermal power produced by the MW plant.
This was Rossi controlling the ERV report. An engineering evaluation would aim for accuracy, and if some margin is to be added to be “conservative,” this would be applied later, not just to one measure, or mathematically to all, based on estimated error. Rossi’s insistence caused the performance data to be, possibly, partially hidden. By the way, the metering pumps had a maximum operating temperature of 50˚C, another example of the equipment operating outside the rated range.
The ERV accepted. (This was conservative, decreasing the calculated thermal power. The main part of the calculated thermal power, however, derives from the water being evaporated when boiling).
He also insisted that an arbitrary chosen 10 percent should be subtracted in the power calculation, with no other reason than to be conservative. The ERV accepted.
To be sure, at this point, IH was following a policy of not confronting or criticizing anything that Rossi did.
IH never had access to the customer’s area. At the end of the test, an expert hired by IH, insisted that it was important to know where the water came from and where it was used. The ERV explained that this had no importance.
Demonstrating that the ERV was, to use the technical term, a blithering idiot. Sure, if everything works perfectly, it should be possible to measure generated power with the “customer loop” being hidden.
However, there are possible error and fraud modes that would operate in the “customer area.”
Supposedly, the “customer,” JMP, was to independently measure the delivered power. Instead, Johnson, the President of JMP — and Rossi’s lawyer and President of Leonardo Corporation — was given draft reports by Rossi to send to IH for delivered power. Rossi later claimed, when it became apparent that his earlier descriptions were inadequate, that he had built a heat exchanger — an additional one — to dissipate the megawatt. The operating conditions of that heat exchanger, i.e., air flow rate and air temperature rise, would have been an additional measure of power, it would have been of high interest. But if it existed, it was hidden. Why?
Rossi’s description of what was said by the “expert” may not be accurate. This is the set of questions.
Nothing there about what Rossi says. We don’t know that, at this point, Rossi had seen those questions. We may suspect that Penon gave the document to Rossi, but the emails were destroyed, and Penon was unavailable to be served, apparently hiding in the Dominican Republic to avoid being sued.
In fact, Penon blew off the expert’s questions, refusing to answer them. This is not how an independent expert would behave. Questions were asked verbally, and the expert (Murray) wasn’t satisfied and put the questions in writing. No answers.
The average flow of water was 36 cubic meters per day.
Data collection from a test like this would properly be as measured (actual flow meter readings), not some “average.” This is all part of what was weird about the Penon report. That’s covered in many other places.
At the end of the test, the ERV dismounted all the instruments by himself, in the presence of Rossi and IH, packed them and brought everything to DHL for transportation to the instrument manufacturers who would recalibrate the instruments and certify that they were not manipulated.
This is the kind of claim that sounds reasonable until it is examined closely. When a lawyer saw this claim (not an IH lawyer), he immediately said “spoliation.” That is, evidence was removed. To be sure, no evidence appeared in the case about the results of those recalibrations.
“Manipulation” — or error — need not be of the instrument itself, but how the instrument is installed or how it is read.
One of the mysteries of the Penon report is the rock-solid 0.0 bar pressure reported. Assuming that Penon actually meant “0.0 barg,” this is astonishing, given supposedly superheated output. With superheated output, it is very difficult to maintain temperature control (unlike saturated steam, that will be rock-solid at a given pressure.) Murray raised certain issues with Penon, but there are more. In any case, imagine that the pressure gauge was screwed into a blind hole. No pressure. Nothing wrong with the gauge. Then just a little steam could raise the pressure enough to explain the temperature readings; setting up such a system to operate at 0.0 bar, precisely, would be extremely difficult, and why would one go to the trouble?
After the test, IH wanted to remove the MW plant from the premises in Florida, but Rossi would not accept until the remaining $89M were paid according to the license agreement.
The Plant clearly belonged to IH, which, by the Term Sheet, had the right to remove it. Rossi’s action was not legally sustainable, under normal conditions.
Rossi’s and IH’s attorneys then agreed that both parties should lock the plant with their own padlocks (as opposed to the claim by Dewey Weaver—a person apparently connected to IH, but yet not clear in what way—that ‘IH decided to padlock the 1MW container after observing and documenting many disappointing actions and facts’).
Dewey was an investor in IH, involved from the beginning of the affair, and a contractor to them as well. His statement is not contradicted by what is said about attorneys on both sides. (Both can be true.) This is Lewan arguing with Weaver, but, of course, Lewan disallowed comment on this post.
It’s obvious why IH would want to padlock the container, it would be to prevent spoliation. It seems they did not contemplate that Rossi would remove all the piping. There is a story that Johnson asked IH about starting up the plant again (possibly an attempt to support the “customer” story), IH indicated that could be done, and then Johnson withdrew the request. After all, the piping had been removed (and, as well, if the later story is true, the heat exchanger as well. Both were necessary for operation of a megawatt plant!)
Rossi claimed that the Term Sheet prevented IH from having access to the “customer area,” which wasn’t true. That provision was in a draft, but was removed before that agreement was signed. Nevertheless, IH did not attempt to enter the “customer area.”
I should also add that I have been in contact with people with insight into the MW report, that hopefully will get public this summer as part of the lawsuit, and they told me that based on the contents, the only way for IH to claim a COP about 1 (that no heat was produced—COP, Coefficient of Performance, is Output Energy/Input Energy) would be to accuse Penon of having produced a fake report in collaboration with Rossi. Nothing in the report itself seems to give any opportunity for large mistakes, invalidating the claim of a high COP (as opposed to claims by people having talked about the report with persons connected to IH).
Jed Rothwell somehow obtained a copy of a preliminary report. Lewan is here reporting a complex judgment with no attribution covering the expertise of those judging, this was vague rumor. If the data in the report is taken as accurate — which appears unlikely from internal evidence — sure. High COP. Lewan is completely unspecific. Rothwell claims he got the preliminary data from someone who got it from Rossi. When the Murray questions to Penon came out, Rothwell said that he had nothing more to add (Rothwell had seen spreadsheet data, but Murray describes it.)
The Penon report was filed in the court documents. There is also data from Fabiani. It all looks odd, but I’m not going into more detail here.
As for hints on the ERV Penon being incompetent, based partly on the HotCat report from August 2012, I would like to point out:
Fabio Penon has a degree in Nuclear Engineering, from Bologna University, with rating 100 of 100 and honors.
Goes to show. (Nuclear engineering does not necessarily prepare one for low-temperature steam power measurement and possible artifacts.)
He worked for several years in the nuclear industry with thermo mechanics.
When the nuclear industry was put on hold in Italy, he turned to work as expert on product certification, collaborating with entities such as Bureau Veritas, Vertiquality and Det Norske Veritas.
The HotCat report from August 2012, signed by Penon, containing a few notable errors, was not written by Penon. Penon assisted at a test on August 7, 2012, repeating an experiment made on July 16, 2012. The report was written on the July test, and Penon was only confirming that similar results were obtained on the August test. Penon told me this in an interview in September, 2012. You could of course accuse Penon of not having studied the original report sufficiently before signing it, but the errors were not a result of Penon’s work.
Sure. That signature, however, demonstrates a level of professional incompetence. He signed a report without verifying it. I’d be happier if he simply made some mistakes! Here, Mats is finding excuses, and that’s what one does if one is attempting to create or support some picture, some overall impression.
Penon’s behavior as shown by the lawsuit wasn’t … inspiring.
Two further remarks regarding earlier E-Cat tests:[not copied]
I have contacted several experts to get a third party evaluation of the Lugano test report and the contesting papers by Thomas Clarke and Bob Higgins. Until I receive these evaluations I only note that the original result is contested, but that no conclusive result is agreed upon. The isotopic shifts remain unexplained, unless you assume fraud.
That is probably necessary, though the real point is that the samples were not obtain neutrally.
Mats never came up with the third party evaluations. That could have been an actual service.
There is more, confirming that Clarke and Higgens were correct, at least in round outlines. IH made the Lugano reactors, and claims that they were never able to confirm the Lugano results, in spite of extensive efforts. (It is possible that they had some original results later considered artifact, and the report of an accidental control experiment, mentioned in the recent interview, may have been a Lugano-type reactor with similar optical calorimetry. That kind of work must be fully calibrated (i.e., with control experiments at full input power, the basic and most obvious Lugano error.)
As to the isotopic shifts, Rossi, during this visit that Lewan is reporting on, provided another sample of ash to Bo Hoistad. This showed the same isotopic shifts. It was apparently from the Doral plant, though that’s not clear. The “same isotopic shifts” could indicate that this was from the same sample. If it was actually from Doral, Doral had operated for a year, whereas Lugano only operated for a month. One would expect more dramatic shifts from a year of operation, if this is an effect from whatever reaction is generating power.
Now, all this makes me conclude that the E-Cat is most probably valid and that the 1MW test was indeed successful.
It appears that the phase of the Moon led Lewan to conclude this. There was a major investor who devoted $20 million and years of effort to confirm Rossi technology. The investor failed to do so, and walked away with a complete loss. In the face of that, the vagueness Lewan asserts pales to insignificance.
What remains to be explained is why IH in that case didn’t pay Rossi the final $89M and continued to partner with him to develop and market such a disruptive, world changing technology.
Indeed. Something is wrong with this picture. To discover it, Lewan would need to set aside his own complex emotional reactions, and actually become familiar with fact.
After looking at it for some time, I tend to be skeptic about the conspiracy hypothesis, involving large financial and political interests being threatened by such a technology, even though I find it remarkable that IH has involved APCO Worldwide and Jones Day.
Sifferkoll really goes off the deep end.
APCO and Jones Day are not at all mysterious if one looks at who these people are. Darden is a professional investment manager, handling billions of dollars in investments. It’s surprising that they would hire professionals? Why?
I then ask myself if it’s really possible that it all comes down to money. That IH/Cherokee, as has been suggested, has a track record of putting up companies based on emerging technologies or remediation projects, collecting public and private funding (or also this link), making the funds disappear and then closing down the companies with reasonable explanations for unsuccessful development of the technology or of the project.
That is a cherry=picked story of what Cherokee does, often asserted by Sifferkoll and repeated among Rossi supporters as if it were established fact.
Cherokee takes on risky projects, setting up LLCs for each project. They put about $25 million of Cherokee funds in them. Each project is independent. Each project then solicits its own investors, generally from “qualified investors,” people who can take on major risk — and also people who may need tax deductions, another factor.
Money does not “disappear.” Rather, a few projects fail. When they fail, which isn’t often, — i.e., most projects make money, quite a lot — a project may be shut down. In some cases, liabilities may exceed assets, though that is not common, and then a project might go through bankruptcy. Like any corporation. Some of these projects obtain loans and governmental funding. As with any such loan or grant to a corporation (or individual!), there can be losses. All this has been exaggerated in the lists of alleged Cherokee misbehaviors. I’ve looked at each one I’ve come across, reading the sources, documenting fact. It’s classic mudslinging.
If Cherokee were ripping off investors, there would be investors complaining. If officers were absconding with funds, there would be prosecutions (and one of the stories does involve such a prosecution. An LLC hired someone who apparently wasn’t trustworthy. It happens. None of this has anything to do with Industrial Heat. Industrial Heat investors are not complaining about Darden. This was all FUD to support a Rossi narrative of these people being crooks, but the case documents simply don’t show that.
But Mats hasn’t read the case documents, he’d rather just see what is written on blogs and make knee-jerk judgments.
Admittedly, this could be a defendable strategy in some cases where results could be obtained. Still, if the E-Cat is really working as claimed, why wouldn’t they then take the chance to build it into a prospering money machine? Taking care of the magic hen that lays golden eggs instead of roasting it after having collected the first egg, as some would put it. I cannot figure it out.
The difficulty is arising because assumptions are being made that are contradictory. IH never collected any eggs, not even the first! Rossi claimed “unjust enrichment,” but they never sold Rossi technology. He claims that they “collected $50 million” based on the technology, but that was empty claim (sometimes supported on Planet Rossi by misquoting what Woodford wrote when they learned about the problems.) Woodford did not invest in Rossi technology, but in the general IH LENR activity, this is completely clear.
IH shows, at this point, a dead loss, IHHI still has funds, apparently, but much of the asset value carried may be the Rossi License, which will be completely written off.
In Mercato veritas. Will anyone else invest after seeing what happened to IH?
Clearly, such an endeavour would require investing a lot of money and work, spending large parts, if not all of the funding IH collected while boasting about the successful MW test, and also taking a market risk that it might not play out as expected.
Mats is telling the Rossi story, regurgitated. IH did not “collect funding while boasting about the successful MW test.” They didn’t boast about the MW test. They occasionally expressed some optimism, mixed with some concerns, but major new investment didn’t exist until Woodford invested, and that was committed before the alleged 1 MW test began. Woodford did visit, and Rossi said this and that about it, and some believe Rossi, including, apparently, Mats. There was no new major fundraising after the original $20 million stock offering in 2013, as far as I’ve been able to find.
But wouldn’t it be worth it? Becoming remembered for introducing a technology that could change and literally save the planet, from the climate crisis and from fossil fuel pollution? Rather than being forever remembered as those who only saw the money, and didn’t want to get involved in the technology project? I just cannot understand.
There are many internal IH communications, communications with investors, and the like, in the case documents. They obviously did not “see only the money.” Rossi made that up, and Rossi seems to have believed that they only cared about money (hence he imagined that they’d be happy that he chose them over Hydro Fusion, even though that affair reeked).
These people had concluded that LENR was probably real, and that it was possible Rossi had real devices, and they poured money and hope into that for years, tolerating Rossi’s “difficult behavior,” because if they didn’t, they knew what Rossi would do, and then then would not be nearly as certain as they did, later, come to be.
It’s actually not difficult to understand, if Mats would just take off the blinders and start looking at what he already knows, if he lets go of his attachments.
He doesn’t need to take it from me. He could see all of this for himself.
But, with this interview, he cut himself off from learning what was actually going on:
Finally—I will continue having the comments on this blog closed. The main reason is that few new facts have been presented, whereas unmanageable amounts of opinions have been posted.
That’s a characteristic of community discussions in general. However, Mats had no imagination. The problem on his blog was a linear comment model with no hierarchy. It created completely unmanageable discussions. Further, Lewan didn’t have time for this (and had no patience for those who did). What he could have done was to engage someone to manage the site for him. To develop useful crowd-sourced information requires structure and study and work. To let him know when there was something worth looking at.
What Lewan did isolated him from people who actually understood the case, perhaps only a few of those commenting. Lewan loosely followed E-Cat World, but not LENR Forum (far more neutral, with some regular participants being good writers and scientifically knowledgeable, still a huge mess).
If one doesn’t have the time to follow full discussions with all the trolls and nut cases, and if the topic is important, one needs help. Choose that help well!
I would like to apologise if I have hinted at Thomas Clarke’s having an agenda with his impressive number of comments. I want to assume that Clarke is perfectly honest in the significant work he has laid down on analysing the Lugano report and on commenting what, according to him, is probable or not. But I would also like to note that producing for some periods up to 34 posts per day hints at a position which I’m not sure if it should be called balanced. This, combined with obvious spin from a few people, apparently having an agenda in criticising some individuals, adds to my decision to keep the comments closed.
Thus suppressing genuine discussion of what is posted on the blog. This idea that there is something wrong with “34 posts per day” is a common one among shallow thinkers. That isn’t the Clarke norm, but that was a very hot discussion in a very hot time. I would have invited Clarke to write posts, not merely to comment, because his engagement in the routine cycles of insults common on blogs would be a waste. I would suggest to Clarke that he leave defending himself to others. That’s an old internet principle: don’t defend yourself, defend each other.
Mats doesn’t know enough about the case and case record to have informed opinions, he is entirely dependent on what Rossi tells him and what he’s seen on E-Cat world. He claims “there is no proof,” but he has not actually examined the evidence, it’s all vague. He only reports what Rossi Says, plus some shallow and uninformed conclusions of his own.
To do more would be too much work, my guess.
However, please share the post if you think t’s relevant, and feel free to email me if you have facts that you think I should be aware of.
I have posted a comment on his new interview post, still awaiting moderation approval, and, since he requested this, I’ll email him a link to this page.