Science, pseudoscience, and legal decisions

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: and
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.[1][3]

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).

In December, 1996, New Energy News published a brief report on the article, “End of Road for Car That Ran on Water,” London Sunday Times, 1 Dec. 1996. (copy here.)

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:

Burning water and other myths

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.

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax


12 thoughts on “Science, pseudoscience, and legal decisions”

  1. Regarding the Hydrodynamics Griggs gadget:

    Note that I was there during that test with 117% excess heat, and for several weeks during other tests. I have extensive notes, photos, and data. I published this long ago in various places. I do not have time to discuss the details, but let me fill in a few points —

    The flow calorimetric equipment was was designed by the Dean of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. As you would expect, it was a thing of beauty. I am pretty confident that it was correctly measuring 117% of input over an extended period. The machine is so large and hot that if you were to fall against it, you would probably be killed, so it is obviously radiating a great deal of heat. In tests with no excess heat, the heat balance was well below 100%.

    The machine does not produce excess heat every time, or easily. You have to “tune” it just right. When it starts to produce excess heat, the sound it makes and the volume of cavitation bubbles increases a lot. So, assuming the heat is real, I think it must be caused by cavitation.

    117% excess has no commercial value in the factory applications used for this machine. They wouldn’t even notice that, or care about it.

    The machine has many advantages unrelated to the excess heat. You can read all about them at

    Griggs left the company many years ago. The present owners, who are smart and nice people, long ago discovered that talking about the excess heat is not a good idea. So they don’t talk about it. I wouldn’t if I were them.

    Griggs did not discover this effect. I don’t recall the name of the fellow who did, but I spoke with his adult daughter, and based on her description of Griggs, I am sure she knew him, and I am sure he took the idea from her father. She wasn’t all that upset, as I recall. The excess heat is more of a puzzling anomaly than anything practical.

    Several places that installed the machines confirmed that it produces excess heat. They include some factories and the local firehouse. I spoke with them and I have their data. These people are expert, experienced, competent engineers. The county employee in charge of the firehouse, schools and other county facility water and HVAC equipment knows all there is to know about hot water boilers. He sent me the data. He expressed no doubt that the machine produces more energy than you put into it. He knows perfectly well that is an anomaly that cannot be explained by textbook physics. He was incurious about it. He told me about it in a matter-of-fact tone the way he might describe problems with drainage, or stuck valves. His attitude was, “huh. How do ya’ like that? Okay, let’s get back to work.”

    I never met the Georgia Tech Dean who designed the calorimetry, but I gather he was also incurious. His concern was getting paid. His attitude was, “okay, pay me the $50,000 [or whatever it was]. I don’t give a damn what your results show. Yes, I see there is excess heat, but it is none of my business.”

    You should not be surprised to hear that was his attitude. Many academic scientists observed excess heat, tritium, x-rays and other cold fusion effects said more or less the same thing. “Huh. What’ya know. Well, who cares. I would just get in trouble with Robert Park if I report this, and I can’t get a grant from the DoE to study it, so screw it.” As Stan Szpak used to say, scientists believe whatever you pay them to believe.

    1. Well, I was planning on asking you, so thanks for popping in with your report. I agree, the lack of curiosity is mind-boggling. However, they have a right to not care. It’s not their job, as you know.

      However, these machines can be purchased. I have the natural and standard concern about overunity being an extraordinary result. If the heat is from bubble fusion, I’d expect neutrons, it would be dangerous. So it could be cold fusion, perhaps. Or, more likely, measurement error. The 2000 report I read in Infinite Energy detailed many problems dealing with the machine, problems that might connect with measurement artifacts. So what I’d want to see is either confirmation of the effect or confirmation of some artifact, and then, if increased precision still shows the effect, if it becomes clearer rather than descending toward noise, it could become a lab rat.

      However, that the effect is not readily predictable creates the classic cold fusion issue. Reliable replication is not necessary if careful statistical work is done with some correlation, as with heat/helium. If radiation is found, does it correlate with heat production?

      “Not readily predictable” doesn’t match the usage for heating water for showers, etc., allegedly saving on power bills. However, if most of the heating is from input power, maybe that is quite tolerable.

      The machine making a lot of noise when making excess power would be an annoyance to them.

      The reports from that time report the use of the device for reliable water heating with claimed substantial reductions in energy usage. One of the reported characteristics is rapid water heating, which creates useful commercial applications even without overunity, and so overunity will be frosting on the cake, reducing operating expenses for a water heating application.

      So, Jed, what about the Russian devices? Was there ever a report on the testing you were involved in? There was testing in process reported in Infinite Energy in 2000. That there are off-the-shelf devices claimed to generate anomalous energy is, in my view, a big deal, deserving careful investigation, not shallow dismissal as impossible nor enthusiastic belief. Meyer was a disaster, almost a caricature of Rossi. But Griggs, as I mentioned, did not resemble any kind of fraud or major delusion. He wasn’t (isn’t) a scientist and his conclusions might be incorrect, but … there appear to be no secrets involved in the Hydrosonic Pump.

      1. Abd – I take Jed’s comments on the Griggs pump as being the truth, and the overunity performance is not mentioned by Hydrosonic simply because it’s bad for business to claim such things (especially when they are intermittent and not understood). I agree it’s not something that should be subject to either dismissal as “theoretically impossible” or enthusiastic belief, but instead some solid investigation to find out the truth and what conditions are required. Unfortunately, those two main divisions are where most people seem to be stuck, and neither leads to that good science needed to work out why it happens and the precise conditions needed. Cavitation does seem to be a good way of achieving a very-high energy-density that may be sufficient to trigger something nuclear happening. Getting out sufficiently more energy than is put in to complete the loop does however look to be difficult to achieve, though it may help if we start using some fissionable material in the fluid used. It may be possible to achieve a small-scale fission system that is safe to operate and has no nasty waste products. At some point I intend to try this using molten Lithium (no water!), which ought to produce only Helium as the waste though may be a bit hot on neutron production, which would disqualify it for home use.

        Mark Dansie did in fact look at Stan Meyers’ dune-buggy, and found some hidden fuel supply built-in. I haven’t got the whole story there, and Mark may be blocked from telling it by an NDA anyway, but he certainly seems sure that Meyers was a fraud. I think there is a possibility of splitting water using less electrical power if we use hot water or steam, where the heat energy gets converted into chemical energy, but otherwise the total energy you need to put in is set by Nature and is not subject to negotiation. Since 1/6000 of the Hydrogen in normal water is Deuterium, there is maybe a possibility of using that more-easily available fusion energy to do something, but AFAIK no-one has actually done that (maybe this is the reason for the Griggs pump excess power, but I don’t know). In general, though, the water-as-fuel idea (as most people look at it) is not workable, since electrolysis involves losses. Until someone shows me a real situation where energy is not conserved, I’m keeping that as an axiom. Much the same with zero-point energy, where if we could actually access it it would no longer be the real zero-point, so I think it is likely not accessible even if it is actually there, and not just an artefact of our imperfect theory and methods of measurement.

        The interesting thing about superconductivity is, to me, the reason for resistance in the first place. Resistance is something we are so used to that we tend not to think why it occurs, but as I see it it is a result of the band structure (thus a lot of small-difference energy-levels available) which is itself a result of the Pauli exclusion principle with fermions. The Cooper pair is effectively a boson and thus is not subject to the same statistics, and such pairs can all thus share the same energy-level with a large jump to the next-level up. The Cooper pairs can therefore not lose a small amount of energy on collisions, and must pass without any energy loss. The linkage between the two electrons is however pretty weak (magnetic link) and is easily broken by collisions – why cooling materials tends to increase their lifetime and lead to superconductivity. To achieve superconductivity, we really want some atom that emits electrons not singly into the lattice but in pairs (empty a filled orbital, since they are paired in a full orbital) and routing through the lattice that guides them without major collisions that break them apart. I’m pretty sure this can be solved so we can achieve room-temperature superconductivity. I’ve no idea why the Pauli exclusion principle works, but maybe someday we’ll work that out too, and what half-integral spin actually means.

        Starlite is something I seem to have missed in the news. Sounds interesting, but it’s hard to see how organics would reflect heat that well. If it does reflect that well, though, its internal temperature may not rise enough to destroy the molecules, so it’s not totally obvious that it would be a fraud. Having 20 different ingredients, though, does seem like a misdirection (read that as “lie”). In order to reflect the heat you’d need a repeating structure at around the 10 micron scale, but it would also need to be a fairly broad band photonic structure. Stopping the conduction of heat, though (as with the blowtorch) would be a bit more difficult to arrange. Sounds like Maurice Ward’s best option would have been to get a patent and then negotiate royalties. Achieving the maximum income possible seems a stupid thing to do – he could only wear one pair of trousers at a time, live in one house, drive one car etc. and having too much money makes you a target. Once people know something is possible, someone is going to come up with a better way. It’s unavoidable. Still, seems like his family didn’t get the secret out of him, though the Cavendish laboratory’s tests should have given people sufficient clues to have reproduced it if they wanted to (see the Mail story at–ingredients-kept-secret.html ). 5 years on and no news? Maybe they aren’t trying….

        1. Testing the Meyer “fuel cell” should be fairly simple. I did not thoroughly study that history, and what Meyer himself wrote leads me to consider strong psychopathology, and when that is present, the persons own eyewitness accounts can be unreliable. It’s correct that it appears he was “poisoned,” but that implies someone added poison to his food or drink, but it could simply be ordinary “food poisoning,” which is not uncommon. Conspiracy theorists take mysteries and convert them to evidence something nefarious is afoot. They take circumstantial evidence and then imagine circumstances to explain it. That is all, by itself, normal thinking, but the breakdown occurs when losing sight of the fallibility of inference and the vast multiplicity of possibilities. When we find an explanation that fits our preconceptions, we stop. Aha! Proof! Because testing the Meyer cell should be so easy (running a car is not testing the cell, it is far more complicated!), i.e., if he has a compact process that efficiently dissociates water — and high efficiency in that itself has commercial possibilities — it would be that process which would be studied and measured (and it seems it might have been, finding no over unity conversion).

          In marcato veritas, that slogan of Rossi’s is actually quite a good standard, though not infallible. By that standard, Rossi’s claims are utterly unverified, reality is practically the opposite. Rossi has almost entirely sold hope, not product. And most buyers have abandoned hope, a few hold on. As to product, the only verified buyer has claimed it didn’t work when independently tested, and Doral was obviously not the kind of independent test that “in mercato veritas” implies, no matter what the Agreement specifies nor how it was interpreted. There was no “market” in Doral: Rossi was the “customer” in practically every respect.

          The goal of Industrial Heat was to “crush the tests,” to find out. The major thrust was through testing the devices they made through what they bought, the IP, and with, initially, Rossi assistance. They wanted these tests to be successful. Internal communications showed that if this was pretense, it was maintained internally, nothing Rossi found in discovery contradicted this. In his claims, he converted hopeful reports into proof that they were lying when they claimed that later test results overturned the earlier ones. And so Rossi attempted to bully his customer into accepting his claims. That failed. This all made no sense when it comes to how to do business. Never attempt to bully your customer. Always cooperate with the customer. Bend over backwards to accommodate customers. “The customer is always right” is not a “truth,” but a stand to take, within reason. Rossi did not understand “within reason.” In the end, he’s not sane, my opinion. The primary evidence is that he sued, not only IH, but Darden and Vaughn personally, as well as Cherokee Investment Partners, on legal theories that, frankly, stink, and that were immediately recognizable as such by attorneys. There was zero chance that Cherokee would have been found liable, they had taken totally adequate precautions against such liability. Chances rose, but only slightly, that Darden and Vaughn could have been found liable. The evidence that would have been necessary for that was totally missing. Unless confirmed, Rossi’s recollections would have been unusable. What was claimed as “confirmation” wasn’t, it’s that simple.

          These are not marginal considerations, they are clear from the evidence.

          Now, Griggs. This is an effect that has no connection with cold fusion except in an appearance of anomalous energy. There is some possible connection with bubble fusion, which is not cold fusion, it is hot fusion, and is claimed to generate neutrons, as would be expected. If a Griggs device can reliably produce anomalous energy, a search should be made for neutrons. There should be plenty of them. However, is the AE reliable? If not, testing could be much more difficult. The hot water application implies reliability if it long-term reduces power usage for constant load. So have neutron detectors been deployed near that pump?

          If neutrons are being generated, there is a safety hazard; this should definitely be tested and ruled out. Shielding from neutrons is difficult and can generate secondary radioactivity.

          If the Griggs process generates AE without neutrons, it is an even more mysterious effect, and those are of high interest because such anomalies may be signs of some limit to understanding, which is where the future may be found. Even if out of a hundred such claimed effects, only one turns out to be a true anomaly even after investigation to confirm reports, it’s worth testing. It is not necessary for the “mainstream” to decide to run a crash program. As few as one person, but better a team, can do what is needed to create a breakthrough. It’s a collective but individual obligation, not a distributed one, obligatory on all. It only takes one whistleblower to warn the villagers of the wolf. When one person is this whistleblower repeatedly, being oversensitized to what might look like a wolf, he will be ignored. My advice to those who see a lot of wolves: shut up, slow down, don’t act alone, follow the scientific method collectively, trying to prove your are wrong. Of course, if wolves are actually eating children, start screaming! That is what screaming is for. There will be proof in the dead children. And if there are none, you can then get help recovering your sanity. It all starts with rigorous honesty. How do I know?

          The cold fusion evidence in 1989 was inadequate for the massive response considered, a crash program. (Let me put it this way: there were ways in which that panel had its head wedged, but the overall conclusion was sound, as to the immediate situation, and the major failure of the ERAB panel was in not setting up a way to monitor possible progress; instead, it relied on the “journal system,” which is flawed when it comes to correcting errors that depend on preponderance of the evidence, as distinct from obvious and easily-understood and replicable “proof” of prior error.

          The same shortcoming existed for the 2004 panel. This time, however, the review was instigated by researchers and friends, but … it was a naive effort, with no clear and realizable goal other than some vague recognition (which actually happened, compared to 1989!). A goal of establishing a DoE desk to monitor developments would have been quite realizable, until the reality issues were nailed. In fact, by that time, sufficient evidence existed to create a preponderance of the evidence conclusion that the AHE was real, and the panel process was utterly inadequate to develop a consensus on that, so the panel was split. The review itself was badly flawed. Hagelstein et al knew that, but believed that “beggars can’t be choosers,” and that reveals how disempowered the cold fusion community had become. If we think of ourselves as beggars, the world will treat us as beggars. We internalized the rejection. Why didn’t we suggest the formation of some review process? To me, with my training, it’s obvious. When we are reactive, we don’t think very well, this is about how the brain works. It applies to all areas of our lives.

          I don’t see evidence that Ward lied. However, he probably did not have the resources to do the extensive testing that would show what was truly necessary and what was not. This wasn’t actually his job, it would have been the job of whoever bought the rights. To Ward’s thinking, his invention was worth billions of dollars. So if someone bought it for, say, $10 million, they were “stealing” it, and that would be Wrong and Bad. He couldn’t allow that! However, he had a lawyer. Did he trust the lawyer? Apparently not! I’ve seen paranoia up close. When people are truly paranoid, they trust nobody. A good lawyer would have negotiated a win-win situation: the licensee would pay something reasonable for the right to investigate, and would then pay royalties or other long-term fees, depending on success (and “success” means that they are making a profit, not merely gathering more investment). The paranoid inventor will believe that with such an agreement, the buyer will figure out how to cheat them. Isn’t this how corporations behave? That’s why one needs a good lawyer, someone fully experience with dealing with what most people have little clue about other than impressions from rumors and mass media, etc. This would not be a place to scrimp on legal expenses, and that first payment must be enough to cover all reasonable legal expenses, including prosecuting enforcement of an agreement. Rossi was probably overpaid, but he was a strong negotiator, in the sense of “my way or the highway.” He was also naive, because “my way” was seriously defective, and IH was not about to complain that the Agreement didn’t adequately protect Rossi from certain reasonable contingencies. Even his ardent supporters sometimes agree that Rossi was a poor businessman. “Eccentric,” often coupled with “paranoid.” (They don’t realize how close those are to “delusional,” because they, themselves, share some of Rossi’s delusions. It’s obvious on ECW, reflected a little on LENR Forum.)

          Now, Griggs. It is possible that there is some AHE there, and this is peripherally related, then, to cold fusion, the topic of this blog. I do not want the blog to become, like LENR Forum, a compendium of “free energy claims” and “the mainstream is wrong” arguments. It will badly distract us. But I do see a place for some study here, in the page system. (Pages are not features on the CFC home page, which is date and post oriented. Pages can be used for long-term study. Subpages can be used as well, a powerful technique which has not yet been applied. The ongoing study of Rossi v Darden will be done by creating a master page that then links to all subpages and related pages and posts, the master page will summarize. This is about making knowledge accessible. And, by the way, neutral, ideally consensus-based.)

          There was research being done on the Griggs Effect. It seems to have remained incomplete. Jed has reported some results, and I’m hoping he will point to places this was published. More reports and accounts can be collected. And if something is missing (and I think something is missing), someone may become willing to supply it. This is really the same as my approach to cold fusion. Instead of railing at the “mainstream” or specific critics, find out what is missing and supply it. I have found substantial support for this approach, even from “skeptics,” but it’s also interesting to me how much opposition arises from those who think that what exists is already enough, even though it obviously isn’t enough to transform the social-collective approach to cold fusion. Some prefer complaining about the alleged stupidity of others, instead of taking responsibility. It’s easier, and some will carry certainty that it was “all their fault” to their graves.

          1. It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to test the Griggs device. There would be no point to doing it on a shoestring. You would have build a test bed as good as the one at Hydrodynamics that the prof. designed. I believe they dismantled that long ago.

            Gene Mallove purchased a Griggs device and tried to test it, but he was never able to assemble the equipment he needed to do this.

            A report on the Griggs device was included in ICCF4, and in Infinite Energy. I do not know of any other reports.

      2. You wrote: “I have the natural and standard concern about overunity being an extraordinary result. If the heat is from bubble fusion, I’d expect neutrons, it would be dangerous.”

        They checked for radiation of various sorts, and found nothing.

        “So it could be cold fusion, perhaps. Or, more likely, measurement error.”

        A measurement error is unlikely. The final test bed configuration designed by the Georgia Tech prof. was superb. It was made from top-notch industrial grade equipment such as power meters and flowmeters. Such instruments are reliable. Without excess heat, output would have been 80 or 90% of input, so 117% is significant. It is better than 17% excess.

        “So what I’d want to see is either confirmation of the effect or confirmation of some artifact, and then, if increased precision still shows the effect, if it becomes clearer rather than descending toward noise, it could become a lab rat.”

        The best results came from the Georgia Tech testbed, which had the best precision. The fire department and other customer locations used ordinary HVAC equipment which is adequate to the task.

        It would need more confirmation before we can be sure it is real, but I do not know of any reason to doubt the claims, other than the obvious fact that they appear to violate textbook physics.

        “‘Not readily predictable’ doesn’t match the usage for heating water for showers, etc., allegedly saving on power bills.”

        It never saved money by reducing energy expenses. That was never the advantage of these machines. Gas heating of hot water is much cheaper than electricity even when you get 17% excess heat. You would have to get 300% excess to compete with gas. The advantages of these machines are explained in the website.

        “The machine making a lot of noise when making excess power would be an annoyance to them.”

        The machine makes a terrific racket normally. You can hear a change when excess powers produced but I do not think it is noisier or more annoying.

        “The reports from that time report the use of the device for reliable water heating with claimed substantial reductions in energy usage.”

        17% is not a substantial reduction in energy use. No one advertised that as far as I recall.

        “So, Jed, what about the Russian devices? Was there ever a report on the testing you were involved in?”

        That was a bust.

        “Meyers was a disaster, almost a caricature of Rossi.”

        Meyer, not Meyers. The guy was violent. He seemed crazy to me. I do not believe any of his claims.

        1. from Rex Research.

          The customers include the Atlanta Police Department, a fire station, a dry cleaning plant, and a gymnasium. Interestingly, the Hydrosonic pump was installed in the public buildings by the county engineer after evaluating the device. The buildings are using the device mainly for heating purposes, and they have been running for more than a year. The customers have bills from their local electric utility company showing a year on year decrease in bills equivalent to 30 per cent.

          I suspect they are using it for hot-water-on-demand, because, as I’ve read what I’ve seen, this is fast start-up. So it not only saves power directly, if it’s over unity, it avoids keeping a tank of water hot. There were also reports (on the RR page) showing higher COP.

          The Russian tests being a “bust” is compounded because of lack of reports! So nothing is collectively learned. How were they a bust? What happened?

          I’ll repeat, my opinion is that measurement error is most likely. But that’s a speculation and does not create learning. “I don’t understand how the measurements could be incorrect” is not enough to overcome well-established physics. If repeated and reliably repeatable, maybe. Still very difficult.

          It is not just “textbook physics,” it is very well-established basic physics. Apparent “Violations” of well-established principles indicate something is missing from our knowledge, one way or another, and represent opportunities to extend that knowledge. For obvious reasons, we won’t pour resources into every possible anomaly, but when something seems reproducible, and this does, then it might be worth millions of dollars invested in research to find out. This is peanuts compared to the possibilities, and it wouldn’t take millions of dollars to take the next steps.

          What happened to the pump Mallove bought? If these machines have resale value, maybe a used machine can be purchased, and then resold for a similar price. So the cost would be in setting up solid measurement, and that likewise can be multiple purpose equipment. Maybe the fire station installation could be more carefully instrumented. It might not take as much as you are thinking. But even if it did, it could be worth it. That cost is within crowd-funding reach.

        2. Spelling error noted and corrected. It was in many places. Thanks. “Crazy” is not an argument, it’s an observation. Some crazy people may be right, sometimes, but …. “crazy” is a social phenomenon. It indicates something is broken.

  2. Abd – it’s worth saying that the body of knowledge, that has led us to define the Laws of Physics as they are, is based on limited conditions. When we go outside those conditions (hotter, colder, higher/lower energy-density, higher/lower velocity etc.) we sometimes find anomalies. Superconductivity was unexpectedly found when we went colder than before, and so was superfluidity. LENR itself was found by doing something unusual, in loading Pd with a higher density of D than had before been achieved. As telescopes get better, we’re looking further back in time with better resolution, and thus finding anomalies in the rotation speed of ancient galaxies that are *difficult* to explain using current mainstream theories. Go outside the tested limits of our theories, and we can’t rely on them to absolutely predict what will happen. Most people seem to ignore this point, and are surprised when the predicted result isn’t what actually happens. Maybe it gets overlooked that, when this happens, the theories are updated to account for the new experimental data.

    The Griggs pump produces a lot more cavitation than pretty-well anything else. Most people design out cavitation, after all – it breaks things. Would it produce more anomalous heat if the rotors were pure Nickel (or some specific alloy) rather than stainless? Given the lack of obvious nuclear radiation, and the anomalous heat, and the results from Thermacore, it’s a reasonable hypothesis that LENR may be involved. The big question is whether the output power could be improved over the current +33% or so more than (mechanical) power input, and thus whether developments could be justified. I recall a few other companies working on this, but I’ll need to search again to find them – no big announcements and it was a few years ago, so I presume they didn’t get anything extraordinary.

    You maybe need to define better what Principles are being violated here. Is it Conservation of Energy, or simply that LENR Can’t Be True? It’s just an anomaly in heat produced, after all. Given the measurements and the witnesses, it’s a bit of a cop-out to say it must be measurement error. That is after all the argument used against LENR in general – since it’s theoretically not possible then the measurements must be mistaken.

    1. Yes, at this point, it is just a reported anomaly in energy out/energy in measurements. Because of how well the laws of thermodynamics are established, and because of an absence of evidence for, say, a nuclear source, the most likely explanation is measurement error, but … that is not actually an explanation until the mechanism of error is shown through controlled experiment. Because the COP is not high, there isn’t major excitement and interest in commercial applications. But somewhere in the world, it should be possible to find funding to find out what is actually going on. This is valuable even if the finding is “prosaic.” It would show a source of unexpected measurement error.

      Yes, this is often considered a general argument against LENR, but it’s defective. It is actually only a heuristic, a formula for allocating resources. We cannot know if LENR is impossible if LENR operates by an unknown mechanism. The approach as an argument for non-existence was known to be defective long ago. It may be an argument for not devoting major resources to a crash program, and that situation got worse (from this perspective alone) over the years, as there was a continued failure to find a lab rat. In all that noise, I identified one set of experiments that were widely confirmed and apparently reliable, though the reliability was not heat, per se, but a finding of correlated heat and helium.

      If the heat/helium correlation is real, it is highly likely that both the heat and helium are real, in spite of all the arguments about possible artifacts. That something is possible does not show it is real. The ultimate standard in science is the scientific method, relying on experiment and testing of ideas, not on theory, as such. When I point to a likelihood of experimental error, because of established theory, that does not establish that there was error. Jed thinks error was unlikely, because the calorimetry was excellent. This is a collision of expectations and of whose ox gets gored. Both are unlikely, so there!

      I don’t want to associate LENR with the hosts of “free energy claims,” just as Griggs did not want to associate his pump with LENR. That’s a political choice. I’ll repeat, there is zero evidence of LENR with the Griggs device, LENR is merely a rather vague hypothesis to explain the heat without violating the laws of thermodynamics. But LENR is merely a postponed mystery, since we don’t know how LENR operates, even if, as I claim, the heat/helium evidence is reasonably probative.

    1. The drama of it all. Wake me when it’s over.

      If the Suhas work had been confirmed already, this would be a job for a fast-response LENR support activity. Collectively, we need to be ready to move quickly under some conditions. IH, in theory, would become involved, but IH needs to conserve resources for stronger claims, it can’t be grasshopper-LENR. My own involvement in the field is as an identifier of strong claims and thus claims worthy of significant investment.

      Saving Suhas’ *** could be appropriate, but this probably wasn’t ripe, and eating unripe fruit will give us upset stomachs. I’d say IH would properly be watching, probably through Dewey Weaver.

      Our watchman

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