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High Stakes on the Bleeding Edge

Near the leading edge of well-known energy technology, the landscape is increasingly dotted with inventions—from solar-electric breakthroughs to new hydrogen-generating alternatives. I’m pleased that Doug Kenyon asked me to write this column regularly, to bring you some of the exciting news from that landscape. And beyond.

The “beyond” is even more interesting. Out on the bleeding edge where new-paradigm scientists struggle, the stakes are higher and issues larger. Those issues or questions affect the future of humankind. Will powerful breakthroughs be monopolized by weapons-makers, or will we-the-people have empowering tools for creating a more enlightened civilization? Will countries continue to fight over supposedly scarce energy resources, or will planetary citizens enjoy energy-abundance from harmonic technologies that could clean up some of our environmental messes? Will we get it that humankind can work in harmony with nature?

On the bleeding edge of energy research, frontier scientists and other self-funders are making progress, sometimes in quantum leaps. But it seems that the establishment is committed to allowing only incremental improvements on existing technologies, despite the fact that some people within the corridors of power know about breakthrough energy possibilities.

Dr. Tom Valone, in a conversation at a conference in Salt Lake City this summer, gave additional insights. He noted that the mandate for NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP) research program spells out its commitment to “incremental” improvements. Doesn’t that mean just small steps along a familiar path, instead of a quantum leap to a different path? Meanwhile, the familiar fossil-fueled or nuke path is harming ecosystems. BPP’s grants to cautious theoreticians to study little facets of “zero-point energy” theories have been too little and too spineless—lacking in the courage to fund heretics who actually build prototypes of new energy generators that could do useful work.

Valone had tried to introduce, into the NASA “breakthrough” program, two Russian scientists who had built a generator patterned after the legendary flying Space Energy Generator of John Searl of England. The Russians’ prototype worked dramatically as a more-output-than-input generator, and even lost weight while operating. But the NASA representative told Valone, in effect, that such quantum leaps are not wanted by the program.

However, at least two brave individuals from within the U.S. Department of Energy attended Valone’s energy 1999 Conference on Future Energy. Back at the DoE they had started a program similar to NASA’s, but aiming for ground-based new energy technology. Their proposed Breakthrough Energy Physics Research (BEPR) program withered away after the federal change in administration in 2000. Recently even their Internet talk-group was kicked off the DoE radar screen.

So don’t look to the federal government for quantum leaps to a carbon-free energy economy. When pressured, the feds will give grants to certain physicists to study zero-point energy (free energy from the vacuum of space), but those studies will be safely remote from actual working hardware that could be easily replicated. In other words, they don’t seem too serious about freeing us from fossil fuel dynasties.

The Utah conference was small in attendance but big on freedom-of-thinking. It was co-sponsored by Steven Elswick’s Tesla-Tech business and the small Utah-based Institute for New Energy, represented by journal editor Hal Fox.

It was an opportunity to speak with respected authors such as Valone, Moray King and others. The international community of New Energy proponents is still grieving the brutal loss of our friend and inspiration, Dr. Eugene Mallove, and will for some time. As readers of Atlantis Rising know, he published Infinite Energy magazine, brilliantly argued New Energy concepts on national radio and other venues, wrote a column for this magazine, had the courage to seriously investigate bleeding-edge developments in new-paradigm science, and was also a witty colleague with a superluminal sense of humor. I can’t write about him without tears.

However, the shock of loss is bringing the beleaguered community of researchers together in determination to accomplish their goals—and in the process to honor Gene Mallove’s memory. At the Utah meeting, several speakers stressed the need to cooperate more closely even where there have been differences of opinion. I photographed one such pair of researchers—Al Francoeur of Canada and Sonne Ward of Idaho—shaking hands on that sentiment.

At the converence, Francoeur presented his several areas of works-in-progress—a magnetic generator of his own design, a rebuild of a vintage free-energy motor from the late Ed Gray, which you’ll hear more about in a future column, and Francoeur’s fuel vaporizer—an interim technology to reduce the use of fossil fuels until New Energy generators are on the market.

Ward actually had revolutionary hardware for sale at the meeting. His novel battery-chargers quickly sold out. He said his discovery was built on a foundation including what he’d learned from innovators such as John Bedini (interviewed for a past issue of Atlantis Rising) and the late Nikola Tesla. Similar to Bedini’s, the effects of Ward’s battery chargers seem different from conventional battery charging in quality (rejuvenation of batteries) and not just quantity (speed of charging). Ward’s chargers are not self-running; they must be plugged in to a source of electricity. However, they are apparently super-efficient. I spoke with him a month after the conference, and he doubted whether he could continue to fill orders for the $150 chargers. He did, however, plan to sell a larger model for $500.

Sonne Ward makes it easy for academics to dismiss his claims. At the end of his presentation, an engineer stepped up to the microphone to present the standard viewpoint of what is possible or not in electrical engineering. Ward, a self-taught inventor who describes himself as obnoxious and arrogant, just laughed and said “Why should I care?”

He may have developed attitude in response to decades of incidents such as federal bureaucrats hitting him with dismissive comments such as, “We make the energy policy, kid. Who do you think you are?”

Other presenters such as Valone and King, however, did take pains to place their research in relation to accepted science, citing many references, in peer-reviewed scientific literature, to zero-point energy.

Dale Pond’s presentation was somewhere in the middle, neither disregarding standard science nor trying to stay on the same page. His research is into the “sympathetic vibratory physics” of 19th-century inventor John W. Keely. Dale brought an example of that science—a Keely Musical Dynasphere. An energy science-of-the-future that works with resonating vibrations? Sounds like the ultimate in harmony-with-the-universe.

Pond says the biggest gap between the orthodox viewpoint and sympathetic vibratory physics is their views about cause and effect. Orthodoxy sees vibration as a moving-back-and-forth caused by outside physical forces, while SVP views vibration as caused by primary laws of the universe that create and govern rhythmic exchanges, acting from within. That view of “vibration” sees rotation—spin—instead of the standard view of oscillations. For more information, see

You can easily spot the pioneers—by the arrows in their backs. That saying is doubly apt for New Energy pioneers. Most of them struggle without funding and are often pierced by the criticisms and barbed wit of armchair skeptics. A few inventors of new energy devices have been physically pummeled by paid thugs, or hauled into court on false charges. Some were targets of unscrupulous promoters and found themselves involved in business dealings that ruined the inventor financially.

An Internet news service reporting on the Utah conference criticized inventors who complain about needing money to continue their work. Yet how many of us have single-mindedly worked for decades and spent all our savings on something we believe can save humankind from smothering in polluted air? Only the rare individual can maintain that level of effort for many years without falling out of step with polite society in some way. It’s easy to criticize.

One of those lone researchers is Robert Patterson. He and his friends drove to the conference in a vehicle equipped with an invention that he says triples his gas mileage. He calls it RAM—Ram Implosion Wing. He claims the shape causes vortices of air in front of the vehicle pulling it forward, and vortices behind adding a push.

The fortunate inventors are those with a support group, even if that group has also emptied their wallets for the cause. In the case of a Bulgarian-American scientist living near Salt Lake City who plumbs the secrets of ball lightning, a three-generation extended family offers morale support. Dr. Kiril Chukanov’s daughter, Laura Chukanov, translates his science writings into English and his wife Angelina seems fully committed to encouraging his work.

Chukanov creates ball lightning in a quartz sphere within an industrial microwave oven in his laboratory. He found the phenomenon has unusual electrical features and enormous possibilities for generating usable energy. In his book, General Quantum Mechanics: The Great Reform of Science, Chukanov says he has sacrificed the best years of his life to “exhausting and ungrateful scientific research,” but hasn’t tried to get the attention of either science writers or the public, nor does he want fame. “God gave me this knowledge, not to use it for my own needs, but to share…for all of people on earth.”


Bulgarian-American scientist Dr. Kiril Chukanov plumbs the secrets of ball lightning.

Robert Patterson’s RAM Implosion Wing

Dale Pond’s Version of Keely’s Musical Dynasphere.

Jeane Manning

Nov/Dec 2004 – #48