On my bus trip home from Washington, DC (where I went from Miami), I had plenty of time to read and write comments on E-cat World, where there are many claiming the settlement of the case means that Rossi technology is real. On the other side, here and elsewhere, some are complaining that it is tragic that Rossi v. Darden did not go to trial, because then Rossi would be prevented from “fleecing more sheep,” or the like. Yet all a verdict in that case would have established, almost certainly, was some kind of fraud, on someone’s part, and fraud may have nothing to do with underlying reality. It shows that a judge and/or jury was convinced, which can be a matter of truth, or a matter or skill or lack of skill on the part of attorneys. And then arguments may continue forever.
This is an ECW post that refers to Stanley Meyer. Analogies prove nothing, but provide indications, and there are analogies between Meyer and Rossi. There are also massive signs of pseudoskepticism in the critique of Meyer, and pseudoskepticism is belief, often masquerading as science. Genuine skepticism is essential to science, pseudoskepticism avoids the scientific method.
This post covers a number of different inventors, finding some parallels between them. One or more of these inventors may have been a fraud (or insane). By pointing to some correlations, I am not accusing them of being “the same.” There are also differences. James Griggs, for example, shows no sign of being a fraud, but has either found some new effect, or, more likely, has encountered measurement artifacts. He has a real company and a real invention that is being sold, without depending on “over unity” claims.
The ECW link is to a video. 3 hours and 22 minutes. The title: “Stanley Meyer’s Sister and Niece Talk about his Death.” This is the stuff of conspiracy theory. Something is odd or unexplained, and therefore … something sinister is going on. I’m listening to the video as I write now, but have no intention of listening to the whole thing. If people want to promote unusual ideas, do not dump a three hour video on them, unless you can create interest first. So is there some outline?
What is fascinating to me is the interplay between paranoia — it is acknowledged that Meyer was paranoid — and the idea that he might have something real. Again, the parallel with Rossi is obvious. Rossi’s friends acknowledge he is paranoid and eccentric.
Stories are told about Meyer and the stories become distorted on the internet. Check.
I like that the host of this interview does what he does. However, this should be a primary source, and secondary sources that organize information from primary sources are utterly necessary. Otherwise the information is not accessible, except for people who put in crazy amounts of time, who tend to be a bit wiggy themselves, present company included.
A plausible case is presented that Meyer was actually poisoned, with his reaction to the poison then causing his aneurism to burst. The police investigated the death, and accepted the coroner’s report that he died from an aneurism. “Why wasn’t poison investigated?” And then the theory becomes that the police were afraid. Okay, some sources:
The Cleveland Dispatch did a story on Meyer and his death in 2007. The lede:
After more than 20 years of research and tinkering, it was time to celebrate.
Stanley Allen Meyer, his brother and two Belgian investors raised glasses in the Grove City Cracker Barrel on March 20, 1998.
Meyer said his invention could do what physicists say is impossible — turn water into hydrogen fuel efficiently enough to drive his dune buggy cross-country on 20 gallons straight from the tap.
He took a sip of cranberry juice. Then he grabbed his neck, bolted out the door, dropped to his knees and vomited violently.
“I ran outside and asked him, ‘What’s wrong?’ ” his brother, Stephen Meyer, recalled. “He said, ‘They poisoned me.’ That was his dying declaration.”
He died from an aneurism, not from poison, not directly. The host of the program in the video presents an argument that the displayed symptoms support a theory that he was, in fact, poisoned, and that this could have been caused by any of a number of poisons; however, I’ll add that it could have been caused, for example, by salmonella causing intense vomiting, and I’ve gone through this, more than once, actually. I didn’t die, but I wanted to! That could pop an aneurism. And one could even deliberately feed someone food with added salmonella. Or it can just be from infected eggs, in my case, once, or from contaminated water from a well in proximity to latrines in a desert camp, in my other case. Actually that wasn’t salmonella, it was shigella, which is similar.
If Stephen Meyer was shocked at his twin brother’s collapse and death, he was equally amazed at the Belgians’ response the next day.
“I told them that Stan had died and they never said a word,” he recalled, “absolutely nothing, no condolences, no questions.
“I never, ever had a trust of those two men ever again.”
Notice the conclusion being drawn from a negative. He seems to think that their saying nothing indicates some kind of guilt. Yet they are from a different culture, and someone truly guilty would more likely fall over themselves with effusive condolences. But, sure, it’s possible!
Now, my first interest here was pathological skepticism (as well as pseudoscience).
Today, Stanley Meyer is featured on numerous Internet sites. A significant portion of the 1995 documentary It Runs on Water, narrated by science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke and aired on the BBC, focuses on his “water fuel cell” invention.
It starts with Griggs and Hydrodynamics, which (still) makes the Shockwave Power Reactor, (SPR). In the video, Griggs is claiming overunity power, i.e., more energy showing up as heat than is required to spin the cavitating reactor. This is presented as a violation of conservation energy, but this is bullshit. Rather, what would be the place to start, for theory, if the COP of 1.5 or 1.6 can be confirmed, would be an unidentified conversion of energy. For example, there are claims that fusion may take place in cavitation bubbles (so-called “bubble fusion.”) There could be some hydrino reaction, for example. (Don’t think that because I propose these, that I “believe” they are real.)
Hydrodynamics is not claiming any energy production for their product. See RexResearch. The patent does not depend on any energy production claim. The core here, as to “overunity,” is simple: Griggs measured input power, to an electrical motor spinning his cavitating rotor, and measured heat rise in the water. He claims to have observed over unity.
‘During one of the demonstrations we watched,’ he says, ‘over a 20 minute period, 4.80 Kilowatt Hours of electricity was input, and 19,050 BTUs of heat evolved, which equals 5.58 Kilowatt Hours, or 117 per cent of input. The actual input to output ratio was even better than this, when you take into account the inefficiencies of the electric motor.’
But if there are kilowatts of excess heat available, why doesn’t Griggs simply use the steam to turn a turbine-generator and connect the output to the input — thus getting a perpetual motion machine?
My point here is that harnessing some unexpected effect does not create “perpetual motion,” but some possible effects might run for a long time as described. The answer to the question is that a COP of 1.5 or 1.6 is not high enough to overcome the inefficiency of converting heat to motion again (i.e., turbine efficiency and motor inefficiency). But this could make a nice heat amplifier for an electric water heater. If it works. It may also have other effects. Presented as if proof in the RexResearch article is usage of the pumps for precisely that purpose that allegedly reduced costs for electric heating. So … what is actually happening?
The product is actually available. The obvious skeptical objection would be possible error in measuring power, either input or output or both. Yet, if the reported effect is as large as stated, increased precision should show that. And by now, I’d think we’d have seen extensive sale of these pumps for saving energy. If that isn’t happening simply because of stupid claims of “perpetual motion,” that would be tragic. I have just started to look at this, I’m sure there are some readers much more familiar.
Testing the pump proved more difficult than expected, in an attempt in early 2000. Those difficulties looked soluble, to me. They could also relate to possible artifacts in the original measurements.
(I will often say “anything is possible.” That does not mean “likely,” and it cuts both ways.)
Searching for updates on testing of Grigg’s device, I found this comment:
David Evans on April 26, 2017 at 3:53 am
I watched the program “It Runs On Water”:
and shortly after the program I telephoned Jim Griggs and asked if I could purchase one of his machines and he was very keen but Jim became impossible to contact a month later. Until now I could not understand how his hydrosonic pump worked but realise, now, what it was doing and without defying the laws of physics.
You also need to look into the suppression of starlite:
But the greatest suppression of recent times is that of superconductivity at room temperature: http://www.sciencealert.com/physicists-achieve-superconductivity-at-room-temperature and http://articles.latimes.com/1996-12-12/news/mn-8448_1_french-scientists
which would have huge implications, especially with maglev transportation.
What I notice immediately is the theme: alleged invention becomes unavailable, therefore suppression. I looked at the starlight video which is just a demonstration of starlite. Nothing about suppression. In other words, Mr. Evans does not know how to write coherently, which is common among conspiracy theorists. “Conspiracy theorist” doesn’t mean “wrong,” by the way, but the thinking is generally defective, and …
Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you.
Key to handling paranoia is to recognize it, it is characterized by fear, and fear leads to very primitive and very limited thinking. Martial artists, swordsmen, know that if you are not afraid, you can’t be cut (which is probably more accurately stated as “if you are not afraid, you are far more likely to act and move such that you will not be cut.”)
Starlite on Wikipedia. Notice the similarity to the Rossi story. Inventor has amazing invention that might actually be worth billions, if it’s real and commercializable. Inventor refuses to fully disclose the secret formula, or allow fully independent testing of the formula, fearing his secret will be stolen. 2012 coverage by the Daily Mail of the Starlite situation.
Marice Ward, the starlite inventor, claimed to have told his family the secret. However, a process is not known to be transferred until the transferee can show that following the instructions creates the results. IH was supposedly told all the trade secrets, but was unable to confirm the results (they claimed). “Telling” is not enough. The transfer must be actually demonstrated before we know that it has been effective. Often, in confirming inventor results, SRI failed until they communicated more deeply with the inventor, filling in what may have been missing in an original report.
Combine this with high paranoia, the inventor may have been afraid to fully write down the formula, even with his family, because anything written might be stolen — and family members sometimes betray families.
If starlite was real, and it might have been, he could have made as much as billions of dollars, by finding and trusting an attorney competent to deal with corporations. He might have needed to give up his tight control; the result of that control was that he got practically nothing and neither did his family, nor did humanity as a whole. Paranoia strikes deep.
From the Daily Mail:
Mr Ward’s lawyer Toby Greenbury then came on board and became exasperated as he failed to grasp how to negotiate with big corporate companies.
One day he demanded £1million – but the next he wanted £10million.
He could have gotten hundreds of millions or more, with skilled negotiation. He’d have to trust his lawyer, given his lack of sophistication. Those payments were probably initial payments, not final realizations proposed. IH invested $1.5 million to secure the agreement, and then gave $10 million more upon the Validation Test and transfer of IP (handled through escrow), with $89 million more being conditional, and my opinion is that this was not enough, but the basis should not have been a single test, but actual success by IH. If IH isn’t making money — or able to raise it — how were they supposed to pay Rossi?
The Agreement, particularly as Rossi understood it and played it, was naive. It was not written by a Rossi attorney and there is no evidence that he consulted an attorney. For a $100 million Agreement. This was naivete or hubris.
Back to the Arthur C. Clarke video. It gets into zero point energy. My point is that if zero point energy can be tapped, it would not, per se, violate the law of conservation of energy. It does create a host of problems. Basically, if zero point energy can be tapped, it is not zero point energy! There would be a lower temperature. But that is not my point here. It is that impossibility arguments are … impossible, because they involve understanding something that, it is believed, does not exist.
Back to Meyer. From the Wikipedia article, the lede:
The water fuel cell is a technical design of a “perpetual motion machine” created by American Stanley Allen Meyer (August 24, 1940 – March 20, 1998), around which a case of controversy developed. He claimed that an automobile retrofitted with the device could use water as fuel instead of gasoline. Meyer’s claims about his “Water Fuel Cell” and the car that it powered were found to be fraudulent by an Ohio court in 1996.
It is so hard to find good help. How is a “case of controversy” different from “controversy”? Was the Meyer invention a “technical design of a perpetual motion machine”? Maybe. The source?
First of all, often ignored on Wikipedia when it comes to pseudoscience or debunking articles: citations are inappropriate for the lede. In theory, the lede should be rigorously neutral with everything alleged being covered in the article (which is where the citations will be).
Note 1 is the Columbus Dispatch article which has:
Meyer said his invention could do what physicists say is impossible — turn water into hydrogen fuel efficiently enough to drive his dune buggy cross-country on 20 gallons straight from the tap.
Key: “efficiently.” Here, the authority is what “physicists say.” There is more on that, actual quotations from a physicist with
The basis for Meyer’s research, electrolysis, is taught in middle-school science labs.
Electricity flows through water, cracking the molecules and filling test tubes with oxygen and hydrogen bubbles. A match is lighted. The volatile gases explode to prove that water has separated into its components.
I’m not quite sure what an explosion “proves.” It’s an effect, and burning with water as a product would be clearer as a demonstration. Or power generated in a fuel cell. Hydrogen and oxygen are not volatile, as the word is ordinarily used, they are already gases at these temperatures. But, again, it’s hard to find good help. This explanation is actually decent as newspaper science goes.
Meyer said his invention did so using much less electricity than physicists say is possible. Videos show his contraptions turning water into a frothy mix within seconds.
Right. That is the claim, more efficient conversion than expected. “Much less electricity.” “Frothy mix” may impress the naive.
“It takes so much energy to separate the H2 from the O,” said Ohio State University professor emeritus Neville Reay, a physicist for more than 41 years. “That energy has pretty much not changed with time. It’s a fixed amount, and nothing changes that.”
More than 41 years being a physicist. Ah, the Clarke aphorism: when an old scientist says something is possible, he is probably right. When he says something is impossible, good chance he’s wrong. The old tend to think that what is outside their experience is wrong or impossible. Rigidity. That does not mean that they are wrong in any particular case and, in fact, they might be reasonably reliable. Or not.
Meyer’s work defies the Law of Conservation of Energy, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed.
It’s interpreted that way, this is an artifact of interpretation. A more efficient method of dissociating hydrogen from oxygen might or might not violate CoE. Depends on whether or not there is another energy source being converted to the potential energy of dissociated gases.
“Basically, it says you can’t get something for nothing,” Reay said.
That’s not actually what it says, that is a popular explanation, using vague terms.
“He may have had a nice way to store the hydrogen and use it to make a very effective motor, but there is no way to do something fancy and separate hydrogen with less energy.”
He is making a circular argument: this is impossible because there is no way to do it. How does he know there is no way? Well, he has no knowledge of anyone succeeding at it, and if such were to come to him he would reject it as impossible.
Conservation of energy, as extended to include mass conversion, and perhaps some speculative “release” of zero point energy, is very well established. The basic principle of thermodynamics that appears to be violated here is “path independence.” The energy conversion that takes place when one set of materials is transformed into another is independent of the path taken. The energy states depend on those materials, and their exact states, not on history. (If we convert pure deuterium to pure helium by some process, the energy released must be 23.8 MeV/4He — including all losses through radiation, etc. The intermediate steps, if any, don’t matter.)
However, the assumption being made by the physicist is that there is no other conversion involved. He does not state that.
Did Meyer understand the problem? Possibly not. He was not sophisticated. What happened to his invention? If it was actually generating hydrogen and oxygen more efficiently than expected, this should have been quite easily measurable.
Note 3 in the Wikipedia article is a reference to a Sunday Times article. At this point I started seeing vast levels of flabber, too much to write about. Meyer’s statement about the court proceedings.
My summary: paranoid, insane. There are probably facts somewhere in there, in fact it all may be fact of some kind, but paranoia converts fact into highly colored conclusions. Any summary to anyone we have been writing about?
That summary was apparently published December 20, 1996 (and copyrighted by Meyer, 1996).
I do not know if the Times account of what happened in the trial was accurate. However, Meyer threatened to sue them for reporting what was in the article. It appears common for paranoid inventors to cite law in highly misleading or just plain wrong ways. WFC was Meyer’s company.
WFC Notice To Retract and WFC Cease & Desist Order Hereby Given
Due to the New Energy News article above distorted and unbalance bias statements, WFC hereby demand that The New Energy News Editor, Hal Fox, print an article in the next issue of the New Energy News with regard to the confirmation of WFC tech-base by the many independent Governmental and University testing laboratories, worldwide, as herein so duly noted… demon- strating the “Mode of Operability of using water as a new fuel source, as so subscribed in above attached WFC Technical Supplemental Report … as so further elucidated by the enclosed attached German Association of Vacuum Field Energy letter to WFC by Dr. H.A. Neiper confirming the tested overunity effect of WFC technology, as herein to be included therein WFC charges of judicial default as so outlined above against the presiding judge; as herein WFC Notice To Comply is herein given; and that, […]
It is hereby to be noted that above said WFC documents were in the public domain prior to the publishing date of said New Energy News article. Concealing information to promote public deception is punishable both by fine and imprisonment, or both, as so specified under U.S. Federal Security Laws To Inform.
This was obviously written by someone who is simultaneously smart, in some ways, and insane. It’s pseudo-legalese. A believable cease-and-desist order one would want to send from an attorney, and if one is going to cite “Federal Security Laws” the specific code sections would be cited. There is no offense at law of “concealing information to promote public deception.” Willfully creating a defamatory impression by any means could be libel or slander, but there is no credible evidence of libel or slander here, on the part of Hal Fox or New Energy News. It is not a criminal offense in the U.S. What happened to Meyer” action against the Sunday Times? My guess: nothing. If Meyer alleged any actual and clear errors, I’d imagine that they corrected them. But the fog of accusations in Meyer’s documents would be more likely lead to them being ignored.
Meyer’s attorney is quoted in the Columbus Dispatch article:
Two years later, a Fayette County judge found “gross and egregious fraud” in Meyer’s contract negotiation with two businessmen. Their money was returned.
Roger L. Hurley, a retired Darke County judge, defended Meyer and still believes in him.
“I would not represent someone who I would consider to be a shyster or a bum,” said Hurley. “He was a nice guy.”
Hurley is a lawyer and would be very unlikely to say anything negative about his client. However, the issue here is not whether or not Meyer was a “bum or shyster.” Someone like Meyer will make statements which are misleading, and that’s all it takes to create a finding of fraud. If Meyer believes what he says, or if it cannot be proven beyond doubt that the deception was willful, he would not be guilty of criminal fraud.
One more article I came across checking this out, from Nature, an editorial:
Wikipedia editors are desperate for “Reliable Source,” and Nature is RS, right? Maybe. That’s an editorial which may not be subject to peer review. The author expresses opinions, then reported on Wikipedia as fact. Naughty.
a former broadcast executive named John Kanzius claims to have found a way to turn salt water into a fuel. Expose it to a radiofrequency field, he says, and the water burns. There are videos to prove it, and scientists and engineers have apparently verified the result.
It is, of course, not controversial that water can be converted to fuel. Just, electrolyze it or otherwise dissociate it. However, Kanzius and some journalists make really stupid statements about this. The Nature author says,
Why salt should be essential to this process is far from obvious. You might think that someone would raise that question.
But no one does. No one raises any questions at all. The reports offer a testament to the awesome lack of enquiry and critical thought that makes news media everywhere quite terrifyingly defenceless against bogus science.
Indeed. However, he says it is “far from obvious.” No, it’s obvious to anyone who understands how to convert water to flammable gas.
He is right, though, that journalists often don’t exercise diligence to understand reports, and often simply repeat what they are told and “he said, she said,” without discrimination.
He comes up with a theory about water as an “element,” with psychological import, and then has:
Water, we are told, can unlock the hydrogen economy, and holds untold reserves of deuterium for nuclear fusion. Here is nuclear pioneer Francis Aston on the discovery of fusion in 1919: “To change the hydrogen in a glass of water into helium would release enough energy to drive the Queen Mary across the Atlantic and back at full speed.” Was it a coincidence that cold fusion involves the electrolysis of (heavy) water, or that the controversial recent claims of ‘bubble fusion’ took place in water? Of course not.
“Coincidence” is a mental construct, and he is here constructing a fantasy. Apparently, he believes it, without evidence. What Aston wrote was a little off, but the basic idea is correct, though possibly exaggerated (what does it mean to convert “hydrogen” to “helium.” Where would the neutrons come from? I suppose one could figure out a way, and if all the hydrogen were so fused, yeah, literally a boatload of energy. So? This is not actually controversial. Hot fusion relies on that energy, more or less.
“Cold fusion” was discovered in heavy water because it is a convenient way to generate and load palladium with deuterium, but is not the only way to see the effect, and not because of any myth about elemental water.
Bubble fusion is a claim that bubble collapse generates very high temperatures inside the bubble, definitely high enough to dissociate water into protons and electrons and oxygen. High enough for fusion? That is what is not clear. It does actually generate very high temperatures, just not — perhaps — high enough. It also would generate copious neutron radiation, in fact, that was the claim (that neutrons were generated).
It’s an interesting editorial, but wrong-headed.