But first, an interesting post from a newbie:
[from the point of view of a pipefitter, something is off about “the pictures of the conex holding the ecat”].
Yes. And Rossi vigorously excluded people with experience from his demonstrations, this was all obvious by the end of 2011. “Conex” is a shipping box, it would refer to the storage containers used by Rossi for the 1 MW plant. Martin did not point to the photos. However, his comment is devastating. Something is way off about the “1 MW Plant,” this is merely one more piece of junk on the pile.
Now, to the mess. Ascoli65 brought up some old stuff. The apparent theme is that Rossi is a tool of nefarious forces.
He refers to some old circumstantial arguments of his, and, as is common with trolls, he interprets lack of response as lack of ability to respond, i.e., as proof of his thesis. He brings up a great deal of old, undigested garbage, fairly standard for a pseudoskeptic. I want to start with his claims about Michael Melech.
As is common with pseudoskeptics, Krivit will be used as a source when it suits them. However, let’s go back before Krivit.
Michael Melich was (and is) listed on the Board of Advisers for Rossi’s faux “journal.” That page first captured on the Internet Archive, March 9, 2010.
The Board was given as:
Prof. Sergio Focardi (INFN – University of Bologna – Italy)
Prof. Michael Melich (DOD – USA)
Richard P. Noceti, Ph. D. , firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Alberto Carnera (INFM – University of Padova – Italy)
Prof. Giuseppe Levi (INFN – University of Bologna – Italy)
Prof. Pierluca Rossi (University of Bologna – Italy)
Prof. Luciana Malferrari (University of Bologna – Italy)
Prof. George Kelly (University of New Hampshire – USA)
Prof. Stremmenos Christos (Athen University – Greece)
Who are these people? Some are immediately recognizable.
Richard P. Noceti
is associated on ResearchGate
with the U.S. Department of Energy. He appears to be a chemist. He is reported as one of the founders of Ampenergo, the former U.S. Licensee for the Rossi technology. He is mentioned in Rossi v. Darden, a Discovery objection.
The new email address was LTI, i.e., Leonardo Technologies, Inc., Rossi’s former company, Robert Gentile, President and CEO. These are energy consultants, and the connections with Rossi were long-term.
was a major supporter of Rossi, assistant professor of nuclear physics
at the University of Bologna.
Pseudoskeptics have great fun with the name of the University, however, this is claimed to be the oldest university in the world, back to 1088 C.E. However, this university is older by maybe 200 years. The Wikipedia article is mispelled in the title. The Arabic Q is not followed by a “u” as in English. On the Talk page they are arguing over the definition of “university,” nobody seems to have noticed the gross and obvious mispelling. The original page spelled it correctly (in many variant transliterations), but I found no page move. So the mistake in the title simply remained….
I have met. He and his wife Marianne Macy have been friends of Rossi, and he may have been involved in setting up some early Rossi demonstrations (pre-2011) in the U.S. He is a Research Professor at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
There is some study of Melich’s history by Krivit. Be aware that Krivit is a yellow journalist with axes to grind. The bottom line: Melich has been involved with LENR since at least 1990. I remember when I was first reading in the field, I read a lot of Krivit material and had the impression of some Machiavellian personality. Krivit’s world-view is paranoid.
was also an early Rossi supporter. The Rossi licensee for Greece
is “Stremmenos.” Stremmenos apparently brought in Defkalion Green Technologies, Rossi’s first big “customer.” That imploded, badly.
Now, lesser known ones:
Prof. Pierluca Rossi
(University of Bologna – Italy) Pier Luca Rossi. Health physics. CV.
An “expert” on health physics, not apparently a professor. (Rossi is a common Italian name, probably no relation.)
Prof. Luciana Malferrari
(University of Bologna – Italy). Malferrari is associated with INFN, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare. I could not easily find his exact position. ResearchGate.
Prof. George Kelly
(University of New Hampshire – USA) There appears to be no George Kelly on the faculty of UNH. I am obviously not the first person to look. This mail on vortex-l
describes what Craig Haynie found in 2011.
Basically, the “Board of Advisers” is meaningless, just as JONP’s pretense to be a peer-reviewed journal is meaningless. This was, from the beginning, Rossi’s blog and is used almost entirely now for communication with Rossi. While JONP is “copyright Journal of Nuclear Physics,” there is no contact information. The Resources are entirely about Rossi. The domain is owned by EFA SRL, Bologna. That’s Rossi’s company there.
Now, what was Ascoli65 pushing? First of all, he is an acknowledged pseudoskeptic,
he “believes in” the mainstream opinion on LENR. This belief that the mainstream is “right” is classic pseudoskepticism, it is not science, it is pseudoscience, cargo cult science. It ignores evidence. It is radically out of date, holding on to the past. There are genuine skeptics active on LENR Forum. This user is not one of them. He is dredging up errors from the past, exaggerates and distorts the position of LENR researchers. For example, from the post linked:
… the Ecat story, especially the astonishing results of the first demo held in Bologna under the supervision of an ancient Physics Department, and the almost unanimously endorsement of the CF/LENR community to those results provide a clear evidence about which is the true position.
The first demo was not necessarily held “under the supervision of the physics department.” However, I was active on the CMNS list when that news broke. There was not “almost unanimous endorsement.” Most LENR scientists said nothing about it, which is the position I advised, by the way. This “unanimous endorsement” is a fantasy, an invention, it never happened! There were many skeptical from the beginning.
Pseudoskeptics generally believe in the stupidity of others, it’s a theme, a meme, diagnostic of the game they are playing, a game of “I’m smarter than you,” if you dare disagree with them. They reduce the understanding of other to cartoons.
OK, he is an actor, a good one. But, who were the director and the producers of the movie? Do you really think that anyone in the world can pay dozens of millions, believing that he was buying a device, or a method, really capable of multiplying the electrical power poured in?
“Believing.” He imagines that the idea of an “energy multiplier” is preposterous and, in fact, it is, if one doesn’t use the words as intended, because of conservation of energy. I have frequently pointed out that COP is misleading, because the output power is not some multiple of the input power except as, with some designs, an engineering artifact. Rather, if a LENR device works, it releases nuclear energy, and if some electrical energy is used to cause this or catalyze this, that electrical energy also ends up as heat, so power has been “multiplied.” . We will see that Ascoli also applies his pseudoskepticism to hot fusion, following the Krivit mishegas.
The Ecat saga is too long and too complex to be attributed to a single person. As in a movie, the protagonist doesn’t coincide usually with the director and the producers. However, I don’t know who they are, but I think it’s necessary to figure out who they could be in order to understand the many obscure points of this story.
He is correct that ascribing the “sage” to a single person would be an oversimplification. However, what is remarkable here is is that he seems to be deprecating the role of the obvious central player in favor of some hidden person pulling the strings, some “director” or “producer.” While this can be useful, it also can fall into schizophrenia. Ascoli quotes Krivit:
“That is precisely the analysis of potential investor Brian Scanlan, who met Rossi and Darden at a meeting arranged by Michael Melich and Marianne Macy. (PDF) The husband-and-wife team of Melich and Macy was the first Rossi promoter in the LENR community. They strongly encouraged members of the LENR community to support Rossi and the E-Cat idea; Melich compared Rossi to inventor Nikola Tesla. Scanlan eventually saw through the smoke.”
Krivit is a yellow journalist. The fact here is that Melich and Macy were friends of Rossi and did, apparently, participate in setting up some meetings. You could call this encouragement to “support,” but also it could be simply to investigate or look at what Rossi had. What happened with these meetings? None of them went anywhere, and Jed has told some of this story. Rossi prevented any independent investigation, and this was quite obvious in the LENR community by 2011.
That prevention is not proof of bogosity. It is absence of evidence, for the most part. This kind of prevention or hiding could be a sign of fraud, but it could also be a product of what was a horrible patent situation set up by the LENR rejection cascade. Patent law was designed to encourage disclosure, but refusing to grant patents forced a reliance on secrecy. This was all understood by the LENR community.
I assumed that anyone who was going to make a major investment in Rossi would do due diligence. If not, it was their own money at risk. My view was limited. Industrial Heat trumped it. They created the possibility of independent testing, by a bold move. Yes, it cost them millions (probably about $20 million), but … they are not crying and complaining, other than legally, as they have the right to do. They made money, as to cash flow. They found out what they intended to find out. Pretty good trick if you can manage it! Pseudoskeptics don’t make money, except as clowns like the Amazing Randi.
Their payoff is in believing they are smarter than everyone else.
It seems that Melich had a proactive role in finding some financing for the Ecat back in June 2011, before the breaking of the agreement with Defkalion. This attempt didn’t succeed, but I wonder: did he also the same with the IH investors?
Would it matter if he did? However, Darden has told some of the story, about some calls he got. Not one call from one person. More than one. It appears that this was out of the blue, he wasn’t seeking advice on cold fusion. It’s obvious to me what happened! In 2011, many people started talking about cold fusion, stimulated by the Rossi claims. I considered it very dangerous, because I knew that Rossi might be a fraud, it was an obvious possibility. But many people were talking, and some happened to mention it to Darden. That’s all. So he investigated. Many people have, for various reasons, investigated cold fusion. The events of 1989 et seq are well-known, and the sociologists of science know that what happened wasn’t exactly science. It was a social phenomenon that created an appearance of scientific consensus. It happens. Cold fusion is not the only example.
That possibility (of an information cascade) is not evidence for cold fusion, it merely shows that an alleged consensus isn’t probative. Polywater and N-rays are often cited by comparison with cold fusion, as examples of “pathological science.” However, in both those cases there were definitive experiments that cast doubt on the primary finding that would create an idea that the phenomenon was real. That never happened with cold fusion, there’s a clue. And then there was later work that essentially addressed at least some of the early concerns, establishing that there is an anomaly, something unexpected.
It would be very surprising if those calls to Darden came from someone attempting to raise money from Darden. No, apparently Darden sought out Rossi, not the other way around.
The pre-2011 demonstrations were not widely known. They had very little effect on succeeding events, which involved different people.
Replying to Eric Walker, who confronted his “almost unanimously” blooper, Ascoli65 wrote:
I said “almost” unanimously. “Almost” is not a well defined adverb, but if you consider the number, and the importance (the weight) of the long-time members of Vortex community (at that time the most representative site debating on this subject) which strenuously supported the reliability of the data provided by Levi, I think its use is not a mischaracterization.
This is such BS. Ascoli does not know the LENR community. Very few CMNS scientists post anything to vortex-l, ever. The vortex community is organized around “weird physics.” There is no site where the scientists debate. In fact, that is why this site was founded, though I am far from realizing the goal. Previously, I created resources on Wikiversity. It’s like pulling teeth to get the researchers to write anything other than their own papers. We will see what Ascoli asserts. It is radically misleading, not merely some “mischaracterization.” I was active on vortex-l then, I was not banned until the beginning of 2013 (and this had nothing to do with LENR or Rossi). Without doing a formal study, I’ll just say that Rossi was controversial there, and I was one of the more prominent people who might be considered “cold fusion proponents,” like Jed Rothwell. Neither of us are LENR scientists, we are writers and editors.
Ascoli again quotes Krivit:
Krivit on November 2, 2016 (1):
“Longtime LENR researchers who played the most significant roles in promoting Rossi’s fraudulent E-Cat were Michael Melich (b. 1940), Edmund Storms (b. 1931), Michael McKubre (b. 1948), David Nagel (b. 1938), and Mahadeva Srinivasan (b. 1937). Among the credulous promoters was Nobel laureate Brian Josephson (b. 1940). …”
This is all Krivit yellow journalism. Krivit is not a reliable source. This is not factual reporting, it’s judgment and blame and implications. We could look at each case, but for now, if Ascoli is going to rely on Krivit’s opinions as holding water, he’s going to end up wandering through a desert with nothing to drink.
These people are among the main protagonists of the CF/LENR hystory. In addition, Krivit forgot (?) to mention Jed Rothwell, and his overwhelming role in support of the Ecat (2).
Rothwell is not a “LENR researcher,” not a scientist, per se, but an advocate, editor, and librarian. Josephson is a Nobel Prize winner in Physics, but, again, not actually a LENR researcher. He believed that the Rossi claims were worth looking at. So did many, and looking at the claims was not a bad idea at all. The person in that list who is indeed a “main protagonist” is Michael McKubre, and he didn’t “promote” Rossi. He wrote a review of the Lugano paper that seemed positive, reflecting a first reaction from many (including me, by the way), but also pointing out some major problems (which proved fatal to that paper), and I recognized an obvious error because of something Jed Rothwell pointed out, privately, that the Lugano reactor was nowhere near 1400 C, as they claimed, but probably more like 800 C., i.e, what input power might have created, because of the color temperature. So much for Jed being a promoter! Jed did think Rossi had something, he has openly admitted it, but he was, himself, rejected by Rossi when he wanted to bring his own instruments.
A sensational endorsement has been provided 4 years after the Bologna demo in the special issue of the magazine Current Science entirely devoted to the LENR (3), probably the most important acknowledgment of the field in the scientific publishing of the last years. It contains two articles by Nagel talking extensively of the Ecat results since the first tests, and a Storm review on the “main experimental findings of the LENR field” citing as first reference the Lewan book, that in turns starts with the January 2011 demo. This last has been cited even in the preface:
Sensational endorsement? That special issue has 34 articles. Storms has 62 references in the article in question. Here is Storms’ first paragraph:
HUNDREDS of papers have been published about the claims made by Fleischmann and Pons (F–P), many peer reviewed; over a dozen books[1–9]have summarized the information; and the subject has been debated at conferences and reviewed in government reports. Of course, several books[10–12] emphasize the skeptical viewpoint.
That was a neutral statement. It did not refer to Rossi, and Rossi’s work is not mentioned in the paper. Remember, Ascoli is attempting to characterize the LENR community as heavily promoting Rossi’s work. Yes, the first reference is to Lewan’s book about Rossi, but Lewan also addresses LENR in general.
That issue of Current Science was published in February, 2015, the same month as “test” started in Doral, Florida. At that point, most scientists were in “wait and see” mode. That IH appeared to be supporting Rossi was considered reason to hope that the Rossi Effect was real, by some. Yet there is very, very little mention of Rossi in that issue, I remarked on it at the time.
Nagel does talk about the Ecat results. The first paper
mentions Rossi results but most discussion is of other results. Nagel simply reports what had been published, very normal for a scientist. He does not validate those results. The second paper goes into much more detail, though the focus is NiH work, starting with Piantelli, and Focardi/Rossi fits with that. This is really the only substantial discussion of Rossi in the issue. Just as a rough estimate, maybe 3% of the issue was about Rossi. This is far from heavy support!
I advised the LENR research community, in 2011, to avoid appearing to support Rossi, given that nothing Rossi had been independently confirmed, and the Rossi results were “outside the envelope,” not an incremental development. I argued that we would know soon enough if it was real. In fact, it was years before any clear information became available, through the lawsuit.
Some scientists disregarded that. Storms did, to some extent; but his mention of Lewan in that paper is not an example of it. Storms also has opined that Rossi might have lost his secret. This is a not terribly uncommon idea, that Rossi had found something but way over-hyped it, used flawed methods, and fooled himself as well as others.
The CF/LENR proponents, as well as those of other revolutionary energy technologies, promise a way to have safe, cheap and limitless energy. These promises influence the way in which we use the present energy sources, so they affect the lives of all of us, as well as those of our descendants. It’s very difficult to evaluate the consequences, in terms of benefit (and of its opposite), deriving from this hoax.
There is a great fuzziness here. Who are the “CF/LENR proponents” and what do they “promise”? Am I a proponent? I am working toward facilitating scientific research. I point out that if LENR can be made reliable, it is possible that it would be massively useful as an energy source. “cheap” is possible. “limitless” is not, though the resources available are huge, perhaps. We do not know yet how to manage LENR in this way. So promises are way premature. I have never seen someone like Michael McKubre “promise” what Ascoli claims. Here is a recent paper, the lead paper in that Current Science issue, after the introduction by the section editors.
THE question under discussion is whether the phenomenon known as cold fusion has been proven to be existent or non-existent. This is an important question, for if real, the possibility exists that cold fusion might become a meaningful primary energy source with few of the disadvantages associated with the power sources that we have available to us today. One expects science to be able to rationally investigate and determine answers to questions such as this. Having studied this phenomenon almost full time for the past 25 years, I will state my preliminary conclusion up front and then proceed with a more nuanced discussion. Whatever it is and by whatever underlying mechanism it proceeds, the accumulated evidence strongly supports the conclusion that nuclear effects take place in condensed matter states by pathways, at rates and with products different from those of the simple, isolated, pairwise nuclear reactions that we are so familiar with in free space (i.e. two-body interactions). The implications of this statement are profound and we will proceed with caution on the basis of validation of the envisaged new science.
McKube is a scientist who was retained as a professional to investigate cold fusion, and he did so for over 25 years. His comment above is fully sober. His opinions carry weight with decision-makers, as they should. He does not mention Rossi. His concern is the “state of scientific proof” with respect to the original claims by Pons and Fleischmann.
From what we now know, Pons and Fleischmann made mistakes, for sure, but their basic finding, of anomalous heat, has been amply confirmed, and much more is now known. There is current work to confirm some basic findings with increased precision, work that really should have been done over twenty years ago, but … funding was very difficult for a long time. That’s over. Someone like Ascoli is simply clinging to the past, a die-hard — or just a hanger-on.
A new consensus has been emerging, starting with an understanding that this is worth investigating. Further research was the recommendation of both U.S. Department of Energy review panels, in 1989, and in 2004, it was clearly and explicitly unanimous. Funding has become available, and new research is under way. “Hoax” was a popular idea about the Pons and Fleischmann work, it was never a scientific judgment.
I’m very sorry that this affair involves an Italian university. But the problem is much more wider. It doesn’t specifically affect the UoB, it involves the whole academic e scientific world engaged in the research for an energy breakthrough. Think to the flop of the NIF initiative, or to the misrepresentation of the performances of the large tokamaks such as ITER, as recently denounced by Krivit (2).
Reliance on Krivit again. Krivit’s critique of ITER was massively ignorant, claiming that ITER was deceptively sold, when nobody was actually deceived, but Krivit misunderstood, his understanding of power and energy and COP being massively defective. See my category here.
For coverage of the same article as Ascoli cites, see here.
Krivit filed a DMCA takedown notice over the original version of that, so much of the original is now in a Hypothes.is annotation page.
Press the “<” button near the top right to see annotations.
There are possible issues involved with the setting of research priorities, but it is fully understood that practical hot fusion power is decades away. We might argue that LENR could conceivably be closer, for it has already produced better results in some ways than those massive hot fusion experiments. However, the demands are very different. Cold fusion research could, right now and in the immediate future, absorb under $100 million per year, and I would not start with $100 million immediately. That money exists, however, and is looking for useful applications. The work I most wanted to see done is being done, and has been funded with $12 million, apparently, which should be plenty. I think they will have money left over for related projects.
Ascoli has no coherent idea, other than a vague concept of waste, of funding being spent because it’s there. My position is that this is up to the funding source, not external critics.
You said yesterday, you were in touch with Melich since 4 years. That’s around the beginning of 2013. One year later, IH announced to have “acquired the rights to Andrea Rossi’s Italian low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology, the Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat).”
Actually, I think it was a reference to ICCF-18, a bit later in 2013. I also met Dewey Weaver at that conference. At least he says so, and I think he looks familiar. However, “one year later” was just the open announcement. In fact, the IH/Rossi/Ampenergo Agreement is dated in 2012. And Ampenergo was the U.S. Licensee from an agreement with Rossi dated April 7, 2011.
That is the Rossi/IH agreement, and IH has mentioned that it was incomplete. This points to an obvious missing, an “Exhibit B” that was attached, that isn’t shown, showing the Ampenergo Agreement. Likely, Rossi did not want it to be seen.
Noceti of Ampenergo was also a member of the JONP Board of Advisers. Why the special focus on Melich? In fact, the phone call that Ascoli refers to were very likely independent and not from anyone we know about. There are thousands of people who became interested in LENR by 2011-2012. In December, 2012, I spoke with an Italian industrialist who said there was plenty of money, if one had a worthy project. It was in the air. What Ascoli is writing is raw speculation, ignoring what was actually happening them. Could Melich have called? The question I would have is why he would call Darden. There was no reason to think that Darden would be interested. By his own account, he wasn’t and it was only when he got three calls, independently, that he realized he might well look into LENR. And what happens when people seriously look into LENR, when something gets them over the “wasn’t that rejected a quarter-century ago” mindset?
It often takes some responsibility to create that. Robert Duncan was hired by CBS News, based on a recommendation from someone connected with the American Physical Society, to investigate cold fusion. He took it seriously, he did not rely on what he already knew. He came away amazed, and now he is leading that project I wanted to happen. Is he gullible? Well, he’s been given a lot of money to do the work. Is there a problem with that. I want and everyone wants him to do the research, straight-on, not to “produce free energy.” He’s got the team and the resources and the money. That’s where LENR is going. Rossi was a huge distraction.
What about the two groups? Probably at least one of them is one of the two groups that have been first funded by Darden/IH. So they could have been groups involved in the LENR research.
Now, this starts to approach some plausibility, but it simply doesn’t mean what Ascoli might think. We have information that Darden made some small investment in Brillouin Energy before Rossi. That could put it at about the right time. Brillouin is supported by Carl Page, whose primary interest is the environment, which might put him in contact with Darden, since environmental concerns are what drives Darden and company. That is, Carl Page, or someone connected with him, could easily have been one of the three phone calls. Brillouin is a real operation, with far more scientific depth. I met Godes in 2012 at SRI. I do not necessarily like everything I’ve seen from BEC, but this is genuine research, looking for commercial possibilities. Disclosure: I received a consulting payment from the Anthropocene Institute, Page’s organization, in 2015.
But so what? Bottom line, birds of a feather flock together. News? On what planet?
But why they both called Darden in a so short period? The best explanation is that they have been recommended to do that by the first caller, and considering the affiliation of this last, it’s much probable that these groups were among those operating inside the DoD perimeter.
But the next question is, why these public groups were looking for a private financing? One possible answer is that at the end of 2011 “the authorities have finally closed down cold fusion research at SAPWAR [sic]” as announced on Vortex on December 17 (2).
Melich is allegedly “DoD.” He definitely has DoD connections, Krivit makes a lot of hay out of that. Or beans.
However, what “public groups”? Ampenergo would be a prime candidate, but they wouldn’t connect with Darden, I’d expect, though it’s possible. Bottom line, it could have been any of the thousands of people whose interest in LENR ramped up by 2012. I don’t see any connection between Darden and Melich, or DoD and Darden. But there are connections through the environmental movement. So I’d give an estimate of the probability that Page was involved at something like one in twenty. And there is no point to all this; Ascoli is working on a conspiracy theory that the military is up to something, usually “no good.” It’s not clear.
Padua, 2015. Dewey Weaver is talking about people he knows. He would know the details of how Darden became involved. He knows Mike and Marianne. Mike and Marianne were friends of Rossi, I believe I can disclose that without offending Marianne. They would never knowingly support a fraud, so if there was fraud, they were blindsided. It happens. People make mistakes, and if one never makes mistakes, one is not trying hard enough. That is, excessive timidity can avoid at least some mistakes, but also can avoid amazing successes. I never saw anything improper from either Mike or Marianne. Reporting is not improper. Making mistakes in reporting happens. Eventually, the smoke will clear.
Others jump on the bandwagon and start suggesting names. None of these names would be ready connections to Darden. One does not necessarily call up Darden, out of the blue, and start chatting. Not quite the same, but similar: do you just call up Bill Gates and start proposing some project? Probably not like that! But there are means of approach. The way I read the Darden comment, though, this was not initially an approach for money, though it may have led to some small investment in BEC. It was a conversation about the future, I would guess, and what is happening that might be of interest to those who care about the environment.
The derived hypothetical scenario comes from the effort to fit your answers with the rest of the information provided by firsthand witnesses, as Krivit and Macy herself.
There is no conflict. Krivit, for the most part, is not a “firsthand witness,” with some exceptions. Macy does know Rossi. Ascoli is looking for something that isn’t there, and when it isn’t there, he’s puzzled, because there must be someone directing this. That Rossi is Rossi, someone with particular skills, as described, doesn’t make sense to him. Why?
OK, thank you again. I take note of this. In such a case I should deduce, from your own words, that you have been one of the first IH investors to have been in touch with Melich.
Possibly. ICCF-18 was in 2013. What Dewey actually said was that Darden did not meet Melich until Padua, i.e., 2015. Ascoli is jumping to conclusions, albeit likely meaningless ones.
Your words demonstrate also that you are very familiar with him and his wife, so you are well informed. But, I don’t want ask you anything more of what you said about him. However, it seems to me that it is impossible to judge the role of Rossi in the Ecat affair without figuring out what has been that of Melich.
That seeming of impossibility must be based on a belief that Melich is involved in the Ecat affair more than we know. We know that Melich and Marianne and Rossi were friends. They may have been involved with one or more of the early (pre-2011) demonstrations and Marianne wrote about Rossi — as she later wrote about Darden. She’s a writer!
It seems that Ascoli is fishing for something more here, and he’s discounting what Dewey has told him, it seems — with no evidence at all for anything different. It is not clear that Melich has any major role that continued with Rossi, that Darden and Rossi met independently of Melich, and, I suspect, independently of the whole U.S. military research involvement. IH, over time, has been and will be, I assume, connecting with people like Larry Forsley and Pam Boss, i.e., “refugees” from SPAWAR. What I’m seeing with IH is a friendliness to all research in the field. They may or may not fund individual projects. Dewey is probably their point man for making those decisions, that’s my impression.
My own interest is in setting up process to vet research proposals, to provide the best support for projects with the highest potential for generating results of value. That could be pure science or it could be more practical, there is room for some of both. And I would dislike that the field be dominated by any single source of funding. Variety is the source of transformation.
I was the first in the IH network to communicate with Michael and Marianne starting back at ICCF-18.
OK, thank you.There still remains the problem of who was the first phone caller who gave rise to the establishment of the IH company. At this point we could think at whoever other person along the command line, up to nearly the top.
He’s assuming someone in a “command line.” I’ve suggested someone here who is plausible, but it could have been any of thousands of people, most of whom we will not know or recognize. Someone with Darden’s ear already. The “IH company” was formed to create the Agreement with Rossi, a few days before. This was a private Darden and Vaughn initiative, and they then brought in others. We don’t know when Dewey became involved. I think he had worked with Darden before, though. Melich is of interest to Ascoli because “DoD.” That’s why he is looking for “command line.”
I’ve learned a lot about the early US E-Cat demonstrations and several of the Navy folks believed that they witnessed at least one credible demonstration back in the early days.
That’s also very interesting. So in the middle of 2013 (at ICCF-18) you got firsthand information on the early Ecat tests coming from “several” Navy folks operating in the field.
He just jumped to a conclusion that Dewey did not state. In my world, that information about early tests was not much discussed then. It started to come up later, and it came out more plentifully after Rossi v. Darden was filed. Jed knew about the early tests, I think. They were not necessarily discussed at ICCF-18, in a semi-public context. Peole involved with the military do not necessarily talk freely about what they know! No, all that has come out since then, mostly.
The early events in question were demonstrations, calling them “tests” could be misleading. These were events controlled by Rossi, and one account has it that when the witnesses started monkeying with the setup, checking things out, Rossi was quite upset and aborted the demonstration. They would not be fooled. They were polite and allowed that Rossi could come back, but he never did.
So then Ascoli goes into his theme that any idiot would have known that this was all phony. He bases this in something he found — and which he previously discussed — that seemed impossible. Basically, his imagination is quite restricted, what he thinks impossible could readily have happened, but he believes he has a smoking gun, proof! that somebody was lying. Let’s say that he has not convinced anyone with knowledge. I spent a fair amount of time with this before, and he refers to that:
Do you think that Rothwell and Melich were not aware, since the beginning, of this glaring inconsistency in the experimental setup?
Very possibly not. Why should they read all that internet crap? Rothwell might, but Melich, I doubt it. The fact about this: Ascoli points to a probe inconsistency. But there is something much worse. There is no “probe” that can determine steam quality as was imagined in the relevant test — which is not one of the demonstrations in question, Ascoli is confusing different issues, his point apparently being that smart scientists, involved with the military, would not make such a stupid mistake, when this probe matter had nothing to do with what those scientists had seen.
There was no reason for anyone to lie about the probe. If a mistake was made, a mistake was made. But it is totally moot! The whole measurement of steam quality was moot, a red herring. Steam quality could have made a small difference. Overflow water, which is independent from steam quality, could have explained all the apparent excess heat. Bottom line, that test was inconclusive, and Rossi always arranged for inconclusive tests! He was a genius at it!
People in the field came to suspect fraud. Few wanted to say it without proof. Most simply kept quiet. Rossi may have succeeded in discovering multiple ways to make kilowatts appear to exist when they didn’t. It’s not as difficult as it might seem. Defkalion found a great way! If Rossi was deliberately fraudulent, creating demonstrations that would look quite good would be completely possible. (It is even possible to do this accidentally, though one would think that a sane inventor would figure it out, i.e,. realize the problem.)
So Ascoli thinks that, from the probe issue he found, steam quality could not have been checked, and he believes that any scientist would see that. First of all, no. Scientists operating outside their expertise miss things. Secondly, it was widely known by the end of 2011 that Rossi was not allowing conclusive tests. Period. IH must have known this. But “not allowing conclusive tests” does not prove that Rossi has no real heat. There was, in fact, a plausible motive for him to disallow this: to maintain suspicion that he had no heat. This drives pseudoskeptics crazy, since it is inconceivable to them that a “woomeister” would not want to be believed, but, in fact, the motive is plausible enough to be sustained as a possibility: if Rossi could make himself look like a fraud, then imitation would be suppressed. If he gave completely conclusive demonstrations, there would be a race to follow up, and he only had, at most a lead of a couple of years, and someone with high resources might be able to do what he did much more quickly.
I am not saying that this was real, but that it was possible. (And it still is possible, Rossi may have decided that he didn’t want to work with IH, and therefore he created this whole smokescreen. I just don’t think it’s likely. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.)
(Basically, there are self-sealing ports for instruments that allow a probe to be inserted from outside, under pressure inside, but do not allow the pressure to escape. If I had such a port in a steam generator, I’d want a nipple like that. I’m guessing that Rossi had one, so one probe could have been removed and another put in very quickly. But this is all speculation, and, in fact, moot.)
Ascoli kept beating this dead horse.
There was an excellent analysis
of the overall situation by THHuxleynew, an example of a genuine skeptic. Nuanced. I have An Impossible Invention,
given to me by someone who was named in this discussion…. he thought I should have it, and he was right. It’s been extremely useful. Mats is sincere, I’d call him reasonably knowledgeable, but of late he hasn’t been paying attention. There have been developments that he doesn’t understand, that’s all (it’s obvious, he realized, in fact, that he was in over his head). I’d hope for him to wake up and smell the coffee. Much has been revealed as evidence in Rossi v. Darden.