Cold Fusion, the Defense Intelligence Agency report

Home (Main Menu)

  • 1-14-11: Cold Fusion Heat from the Rossi Reactor -- the ECat (Energy Catalyzer) Boiler



    The Wright Brothers

    Barnhart, B. [Beverly Barnhart], et al., Technology Forecast: Worldwide Research on Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions [LENR] Increasing and Gaining Acceptance, 2009, Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA or Defence Intelligence Agency].

    Defense Analysis Report DIA-08-0911-003, 13 November 2009

    ``Technology Forecast: Worldwide Research on Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Increasing and Gaining Acceptance

    Scientists worldwide have been quietly investigating low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) for the past 20 years. Researchers in this controversial field are now claiming paradigm-shifting results, including generation of large amounts of excess heat, nuclear activity and transmutation of elements.1,2,3

    Although no current theory exists to explain all the reported phenomena, some scientists now believe quantum-level nuclear reactions may be occurring.

    DIA assesses with high confidence that if LENR can produce nuclear-origin energy at room temperatures, this disruptive technology could revolutionize energy production and storage, since nuclear reactions release millions of times more energy per unit mass than do any known chemical fuel.4,5


    In 1989, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced that their electrochemical experiments had produced excess energy under standard temperature and pressure conditions.6

    Because they could not explain this physical phenomenon based on known chemical reactions, they suggested the excess heat could be nuclear in origin. However, their experiments did not show the radiation or radioactivity expected from a nuclear reaction.

    Many researchers attempted to replicate the results and failed. As a result, the physics community disparaged their work as lacking credibility, and the press mistakenly dubbed it "cold fusion."

    Related research also suffered from the negative publicity of cold fusion for the past 20 years, but many scientists believed something important was occurring and continued their research with little or no visibility.

    For years, scientists were intrigued by the possibility of producing large amounts of clean energy through LENR, and now this research has begun to be accepted in the scientific community as reproducible and legitimate.

    Source Summary Statement

    This assessment is based on analysis of a wide body of intelligence reporting, most of which is open source information including scientific briefings, peer-reviewed technical journals, international scientific conference proceedings, interviews with scientific experts and technical media.

    While there is little classified data on this topic due to the S&T nature of the information and the lack of collection, DIA judges that these open sources generally provide the most reliable intelligence available on this topic.

    The information in this report has been corroborated and reviewed by U.S. technology experts who are familiar with the data and the international scientists involved in this work.

    Although much skepticism remains, LENR programs are receiving increased support worldwide, including state sponsorship and funding from major corporations.7,8,9,10

    DIA assesses that Japan and Italy are leaders in the field, although Russia, China, Israel, and India" are devoting significant resources to this work in the hope of finding a new clean energy source.

    Scientists worldwide have been reporting anomalous excess heat production, as well as evidence of nuclear particles 12, 13, 14 and transmutation. 15, 16, 17

    Y. Iwamura18 at Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries first detected transmutation of elements when permeating deuterium through palladium metal in 2002.

    Researchers led by Y. Arata at Osaka University in Japan, 19 and a team led by V.Violante at ENEA in Italy (the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, 20 Energy, and the Environment, the equivalent to the U.S. Department of Energy) also made transmutation claims.

    Additional indications of transmutation have been reported in China, Russia, France, Ukraine, and the United States.21, Researchers in Japan, Italy, Israel, and the United States have all reported detecting evidence of nuclear particle emissions.23,24

    Chinese researchers described LENR experiments in 1991 that generated so much heat that they caused an explosion that was not believed to be chemical in origin."

    Japanese, French, and U.S. scientists also have reported rapid, high-energy LENR releases leading to laboratory explosions, according to scientific journal articles from 1992 to 2009.26,27

    Israeli scientists reported in 2008 that they have applied pulsating electrical currents to their LENR experiments to increase the excess energy production. 28

    As of January 2008, India was reportedly considering restarting its LENR program after 14 years of dormancy. 29

    U.S. LENR researchers also have reported results that support the phenomena of anomalous heat, nuclear particle production, and transmutation.30,31,32

    At the March 2009 American Chemical Society annual meeting, researchers at U.S. Navy SPAWAR Pacific reported excess energy,33 nuclear particles,34 and transmutation,35,36 stating that these effects were probably the result of nuclear reactions.37

    A research team at the U.S. company SRI International has been studying the electrochemistry and kinetics of LENR since the early 1990's, reporting excess heat and helium production. 2

    In May 2002, researchers at JET Thermal in Massachusetts reported excess heat and optimal operating points for LENR manifolds.39

    Researchers at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center in California first reported anomalous power correlated with Helium-4 production in 1996.40

    Although no one theory currently exists to explain all the observed LENR phenomena, some scientists now believe these nuclear reactions may be small-scale deuterium fusion occurring in a palladium metal lattice.41,42,43

    Some others still believe the heat evolution can be explained by non-nuclear means. Another possibility is that LENR may involve an intricate combination of fusion and fission triggered by unique chemical and physical configurations on a nanoscale level.44,45 This body of research has produced evidence that nuclear reactions may be occurring under conditions not previously believed possible.

    Recent results suggest these anomalous LENR phenomena can be triggered by various energetic stimuli (electric and magnetic fields, acoustic waves, infrared, lasers)46, 47 and may have a variety of operational modes.

    Nuclear Fusion

    Nuclear fusion as currently understood occurs only in the core of stars, in nuclear weapons, in high temperature plasmas, or in inertially confined high-energy collisions. Scientists for years have attempted to harness nuclear fusion through high-temperature plasma techniques but have been unable to produce more energy output than supplied.

    Fusion was once thought to be the answer to the world's future clean energy needs, but after 60 years of research still has yet to live up to this promise.

    "Hot" fusion researchers do not believe fusion can occur at near-room temperatures based on the Coulomb barrier that repels like nuclear charges and have dismissed much of the "cold fusion" research conducted since 1989.As a result, such research has received limited funding and support over the past 20 years.

    Potential Applications of LENR: The Technology Surprise Factor

    LENR's potential as a future clean energy source is still unknown. However, recent results indicating nuclear activity and transmutation are intriguing and pose the following questions:

  • If the excess heat from these experiments could be captured and intensified, could LENR be used as a power source for engines, batteries, or other equipment?

  • If nuclear particles could be generated and transmute elements, could LENR be used to mitigate hazardous waste or to neutralize weapons of mass destruction?48

  • If the various modes of energy production could be identified and optimized, could LENR be used to create designer materials or critical resources that are in short supply or serve as a tailored, "dial-a-mode" power source? 3

  • If rapid, explosive energy output can occur in one or several modes, could LENR serve as a new high-energy-density explosive?

    International LENR research was highlighted in April 2009 on a U.S. television program focused on the 20th anniversary of the Fleischmann and Pons announcement.49

    Many U.S. researchers are collaborating with foreign scientists, but each team has proprietary aspects of their experiments that are not shared. Because some peer-reviewed journals are reluctant to review or publish LENR data due to past controversies, most results are presented at international conferences, and foreign scientists have access to much of the U.S. data.

    In addition, U.S. experts have been invited to brief on LENR to nuclear institutes in India,50 Belgium, 51 and South Korea,52 and a reciprocal visit by South Koreans to SPA WAR Pacific to initiate collaboration is planned.

    This relatively free flow of information increases the likelihood of a technology breakthrough, as well as the potential for technology surprise, by an international team, especially those from countries that are devoting more resources to this research than is the United States, and are supported with major corporate funding (Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Honda in Japan; Pirelli in Italy).53

    The Experiments

    Most LENR experiments involve electrodes immersed in solutions of metal salts such as lithium chloride or lithium sulfate, with heavy water substituted for natural water. Electric current is sent through the experimental apparatus, in most instances producing excess heat.

    This effect occurs over long periods (several hundreds of hours), and many early experimenters achieved negative results because they were unaware of this incubation period.

    Israeli researchers used pulsating electric fields to increase heat production. The application of magnetic fields has been shown to stimulate increased heat and power.

    Usually one of the electrodes is palladium, because it has a high ability to adsorb (hold on the surface) and absorb deuterium atoms in its metal matrix. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that undergoes fusion in nuclear weapons at high temperatures and pressures; it also undergoes fusion and is one of the basic building blocks of the heavier elements formed in stars.

    The Navy SPAWAR experiments used a unique technique to place the palladium atoms in the heavy-water solution and to codeposit palladium and deuterium, which rapidly increases the deuterium "loading" necessary for the LENR phenomena to occur.

    Who's Hot in Cold Fusion?

    The countries with the most advanced LENR programs are Japan, Italy, and Israel. In addition, Russia, France, China, South Korea, and India are spending significant resources on LENR research. The following are among the most notable efforts:

    In Japan, Iwamura at Mitsubishi has been studying transmutation of elements in LENR experiments and multilayer palladium (Pd) complexes. His team includes the Japanese Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute and SPring-8 at Riken.

    Kitamura and other researchers at Kobe University are investigating Pd nanopowders and Helium-4 ash. Arata at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has worked on catalysts containing nanopalladium. Yamaguchi at Kobe noted transmutation using multilayered Pd samples.

    Mizuno at Hokkaido is studying transmutations and heat generation. A team led by Hioki at Toyota is investigating deuterium gas permeation through Pd as well as transmutations. Toriyabe at Tohoku University is developing charged-particle detectors for LENR. Kasagi is looking at electron and ionic screening in LENR effects.

    Vittorio Violante, a leader in the field of Pd metallurgy and the role of surface effects in LENR, heads a team at ENEA, Frascati Rome, (the Italian equivalent to the U.S. Department of Energy) performing LENR experiments.

    A team led by Francesco Celani at INFN that includes STMicroelectronics and Pirelli labs is studying deuterium migration in nanocoated Pd for fast-loading and anomalous heat effects. The Italian Physical and Chemical Societies are supporting LENR research in Italy.

    Srinivasan in India noted that India is restarting its LENR program: the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre had several groups working on LENR from 1989 to the early 1990s.

    Sinha at IISc in Bangalore is studying models for fusion in metal deuterides. Lakshmanan at Saveetha College is exploring fusion in sodium metal solutions.

    Andrei Lipson and other researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences and scientists in Tomsk are studying the emission of charged particles during the use of electron beams to excite palladium/deuterium (Pd/D) and titanium/deuterium (Ti/D) targets. Karabut and others at LUCH also are conducting LENR experiments.

    A Dubna team led by Gareev is studying nuclear fusion during cavitation and molecular transitions. LUCH's Savvatimova, Dash, Muromtsev, and Artamonov also are conducting LENR experiments.

    Adamenko and Vysotskii of Kiev are looking for magnetic monopoles in LENR experiments.Kurchatov-based scientist Goryachev is investigating LENR for alternative energy sources and for mitigating radioactive waste.

    Xing Z. Li at Tshinghua University claims 20 institutions in China are investigating LENR with governmental support. Tian's team at Cahnchun University of Science and Technology is investigating laser triggering in Pd/D systems. Zhang and other researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have studied Pd-D kinetics in LENR since 1991.

    Israeli scientists at Energetics in Omer have shown that variations in energy output can be increased using variable frequency or pulsed "superwaves" to stimulate LENR effects.

    The French Atomic Energy Agency had an official LENR program from 1997 to 1999. EDF also had one for several years. Currently, Jean-Paul Biberian from the Universite Marseille and Jacques Dufour at CNAM are working on LENR in France.

    Jan Marwan of Dr. Marwan Chemie in Berlin, Germany, is studying the nanostructure of palladium hydride systems. Huke and others from the Technische Universitat Berlin are working with Czerski in Poland and Ruprecht in Canada on electron screening mechanisms for deuteron fusion.

    Outlook and Implications

    If nuclear reactions in LENR experiments are real and controllable, DIA assesses that whoever produces the first commercialized LENR power source could revolutionize energy production and storage for the future.

    The potential applications of this phenomenon, if commercialized, are unlimited. The anomalous LENR effects seen in these metal lattices containing deuterium may also have as-yet undetermined nanotechnology implications.

    LENR could serve as a power source for batteries that could last for decades, providing power for electricity, sensors, military operations, and other applications in remote areas, including space.

    LENR could also have medical applications for disease treatment, pacemakers, or other equipment.

    Because nuclear fusion releases 10 million times more energy per unit mass than does liquid transportation fuel, the military potential of such high-energy-density power sources is enormous. And since the U.S. military is the largest user of liquid fuel for transportation, LENR power sources could produce the greatest transformation of the battlefield for U.S. forces since the transition from horsepower to gasoline power.

    Prepared by: Beverly Barnhart, Energy Technology Steward, DIA/DI, Defense Warning Office, DWO-4

    With contributions from:

    Dr. Patrick McDaniel, University of New Mexico;

    Dr. Pam Mosier-Boss, U.S. Navy SPAWAR/Pacific;

    Dr. Michael McKubre, SRI International;

    Mr. Lawrence Forsley, JWK International;

    and Dr. Louis DeChiaro, NSWC/Dahlgren. Coordinated with DIA/DRI, CPT, DWO, DOE/IN, US Navy SPAWAR/Pacific and U.S. NSWC/Dahlgren, VA.


    1 Bockris. John. "The History of the Discovery of Transmutation at Texas A&M University," paper presented at the 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF), Cambridge, MA, 2003.

    2 14th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Washington. DC, 10-15 August 2008.

    3 The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the identity of the chemical element. Nuclear transmutation occurs when the number of protons in the nucleus is changed by adding or removing protons or converting them to other nuclear particles. Thus transmutation changes one chemical element into another through a nuclear process.

    4 Benedict, M., T. Pigford. and H. Levi, "Nuclear Chemical Engineering." McGraw Hill Series in Nuclear Engineering, 1981.

    5 Hecker, S., "Plutonium, A Historical Overview," Challenges in Plutonium Science, Vol. 1, Los Alamos, National Laboratory. No. 26, 2000.

    6 Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 261. 263, 287. pp 187, 301, 293.

    7 DeChiaro. Louis, "Recent Progress in Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, "briefing prepared by NAVSEA. Dahlgren, for DDR&E, 28 August. 2009.

    8 Iwamura, Yashiro, et al.. 'Transmutation Reactions Induced by D? Gas Permeation Through Pd Complexes (Pd/CaO/Pd), "14lh International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Washington. DC, 10-15 August 2008.

    9 Hioki, Tatsumi, et al., "Influence of Deuterium Gas Permeation on Surface Elemental Change of Ion-Implanted Pd," 14lh International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Washington, DC, 10-15 August 2008.

    10 Celani. Francesco, et al., "Deuteron Electromigration in Thin Pd Wires Coated with Nano-Particles: Evidence for Ultra-Fast Deuterium Loading and Anomalous, Large Thermal Effects," 14th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Washington, DC, 10-15 August 2008.

    11 "Exciting New Science; Potential Clean Energy," Abstracts ... [Error? Same as 14]

    12 Mosier-Boss, et al. 'Triple Tracks in CR-39 as the Result of Pd/D Co-deposition: Evidence of Energetic Neutrons," Naturwissenschaften, 96. 2009. 135-142.

    13 Mosier-Boss. et al.. Navy SPAWAR briefing. American Chemical Society annual meeting. March 2009.

    14 "Exciting New Science: Potential Clean Energy." Abstracts. 14* International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science and International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Washington. DC. 10-15 August 2008.

    15 Transmutations only occur when nuclear particles interact and are exchanged to produce different elements.

    16 Iwamura. Yashiro. et al., 'Transmutation Reactions Induced by D2 Gas Permeation Through Pd Complexes (Pd/CaO/Pd) 14th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF), Washington. DC, 10-15 August 2008.

    17 Yamaguchi. Tatsuya, et al.. "Investigation of Nuclear Transmutation Using Multilayered CaO/X/Pd Samples Under Deuterium Permeation." 14* International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Washington, DC, 10-15 August 2008.

    18 Iwamura, Yashiro, et al., "Elemental Analysis of Pd Complexes: Effects of Di Gas Permeation," Japan Journal of Applied Physics, Vol 41. 2002, pp. 4642-4650.

    19 Arata, Y.. "Anomalous Effects in Charging of Pd Powders with High Density Hydrogen Isotopes," Physics Letters A, 373,2009. pp 3109-3112.

    20 Violante. V. et al.. "On the Correlation of PdD Alloy Material Properties with the Occurrence of Excess Power." briefing presented at 14lh International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Washington. DC. 10-15 August 2008.

    21 Prelas. M.A., et al., "A review of Transmutation and Clustering in Low Energy Nuclear Reactions," briefing presented at Vice Chancellor for Research Seminar on LENR, University of Missouri. May 2009.

    22 Briefings presented at Navy SPAWAR San Diego. LENR meeting. 4-5 August. 2009.

    23 Mosier-Boss, et al. 'Triple Tracks in CR-39 as the Result of Pd/D Co-deposition: Evidence of Energetic Neutrons," Naturwissenschaften, 96, 2009. 135-142.

    24 Mizuno. Tadahiko, "Neutron Emission Induced by Nuclear Reaction in Condensed Matter." briefing presented at Vice Chancellor for Research Seminar on LENR. University of Missouri. May 2009.

    25 Zhang, et al.. "On the Explosion in a Deuterium/Palladium Electrolytic System," Third International conference on Cold Fusion. 1992. Nagoya. Japan.

    26 Biberian. Jean-Paul. "Unexplained Explosion During an Electrolysis Experiment in an Open Cell Mass flow Calorimeter." Journal of Condensed Matter, Nuclear Science, 2 (2009) pp. 1-6.

    27 Zhang, et al. "On the Explosion in a Deuterium/Palladium electrolytic System." Third International conference oi Cold Fusion. 1992. Nagoya. Japan.

    28 Lesin. et al.. "Ultrasonically-Excited Electrolysis Experiments at Energetic Technologies." Energetics Technologies. Omer. Israel, briefing presented at 14lh International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Washington DC. 10-15 August 2008

    29 Jayaraman. K.S.. "Cold Fusion is Hot Again." Nature India, 2008. Published online 17 Jan 2008.


    30 Mosier-Boss. et al.. multiple briefings presented at Navy SPAWAR Pacific. August 4-5. 2009.

    31 McKubre. Michael. "Studies of the Fleischmann-Pons Effect at SRI International." briefing presented at Vice Chancellor for Research Seminar on LENR University of Missouri.

    May 2009. 32 Szpak. Stan, et al.. "Evidence of Nuclear Reactions in the Pd Lattice." Naturwissenschaften, 92. 2005. 394-397.

    33 Szpak. Stan, et al.. 'Thermal Behavior of Polarized Pd/D Electrodes Prepared by Co-Deposition." T. Acta. 410. 2004. 101-107.

    34 Mosier-Boss. et al., 'Triple Tracks in CR-39 as the Result of Pd/D Co-deposition: Evidence of Energetic Neutrons." Naturwissenschaften, 96. 2009. 135-142.

    35 Szpak. Stan, et al.. "Evidence of Nuclear Reactions in the Pd Lattice." Naturwissenschaften, 92. 2005. 394-397.

    36 The identity of a chemical element is determined by the number of protons in its atomic nucleus. Transmutation occurs when one chemical element is changed into another one. This normally occurs during radioactive decay, but can occur from any number of nuclear processes that add or subtract protons from the atomic nucleus.

    37 Mosier-Boss. et al.. Navy SPAWAR briefing. American Chemical Society annual meeting. March 2009.

    38 McKubre. Michael. "Studies of the Fleischmann-Pons Effect at SRI International." briefing presented at Vice Chancellor for Research Seminar: Excess Heat and Particle Tracks from Deuterium-Loaded Palladium. University of Missouri. 29 May 2009. 7

    39 Swartz. Mitchell, et al., 'The Impact of Heavy Water (D2O) on Nickel-Light Water Cold Fusion Systems," Proceedings of the 9lh International Conference on Cold Fusion, ICCF-9. Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. May 19-24, 2002. Beijing. China, Tsinghua University Press. 2003. pp 335-342.

    40 Miles. Melvin, et alĄ "Anomalous Effects in Deuterated Systems," Final Report. NAWCWPNS TP 8302. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. 1996.

    41 Hagelstein. Peter and Man Chaudhary. "Modeling Excess Heat in the Fleischmann-Pons Experiment." briefing presented at Vice Chancellor for Research Seminar on LENR, University of Missouri. May 2009.

    42 Olenik. V.P. and Yu. D. Arepjev, "Physical Mechanism of Nuclear Reactions at Low Energies." National Technical University of Ukraine. Kiev Polytechnic Institute

    43 Srivastava. Y.N., O. Panella. A. Widom. "Instability of the Perturbation Theoretical Chromodynamic Vacuum." LANL web site. arXiv:0811.3293vi 20 Nov 2008.

    44 Hagelstein, Peter. MIT. Briefing. Navy SPA WAR Pacific, August 2009..

    45 McDaniel. Patrick. "Electrochemically Induced Nuclear Reactions." briefing, presented at Navy SPAWAR Pacific. August 2009.

    46 Sinha. K.P. and A.Meulenberg. "Laser Stimulation of Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions in Deuterated Palladium," Current Science, Vol.91, No.7, 10 October, 2006, pp. 907-912

    47 Lesin, et al., "Ultrasonically-Excited Electrolysis Experiments at Energetic Technologies," Energetics Technologies, Omer. Israel, briefing presented at 14lh International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF), Washington, DC, 10-15 August 2008.

    48 Tsvetkov., S.A., "'Possibility of Using Cold Fusion for Nuclear Waste Products Transmutation," !0th International Conference on Cold Fusion, Cambridge, MA, 2003.from website.

    50 Personal correspondence. Dr. Michael McKubre. SRI International. October. 2009.

    51 Forsley. L.. "Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reactions: Overview of an Unexpected Phenomena." First Colloquium on Nano-Nuclear Science I'Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium. May 4-5. 2009.

    52 Personal correspondence. Mr. Lawrence Forsley. JWK International. October. 2009.

    53 In Japan, the three major automakers are supporting LENR research. In Italy. Pirelli Labs is one of many corporate and governmental sponsors of LENR research.

    54 Biberian. Jean-Paul. "Unexplained Explosion During an Electrolysis Experiment in an Open Cell Mass flow Calorimeter." Journal of Condensed Matter, Nuclear Science, 2 (2009) pp. 1-6.''

    Top -- Home


    ``Commentator 1 wrotr:

    This is a sad footnote.

    The DIA report lists Andrei Lipson as a major Russian researcher, ... Lipson deserved to be signaled out. Several people including me told the DIA authors that Andrei died on November 1, 13 days before the paper was issued. The DIA said they heard that sad news but the paper has already been through the review & approval process it was too late to change it.

    That is entirely understandable. I hope that Andrei's colleagues are able to continue his fine work. Mizuno told me he considered Andrei one of the most creative and important people in the field.


    Commentator 2 wrote:

    It makes one wonder what might be contained in a classified report!


    Commentator 3 wrote:

    This appeared to me to be really stunning! An official recognition of the possibility of the reality of CF [cold fusion]! However, I see the authors include Mosier-Boss, McKubre, and Forsley. If the paper disappears we won't know if it is due to security concerns or action by pathological debunkers.


    Commentator 4 wrote:

    Good point regarding what might be in the classified report. These authors are all very likely to have confidential information of their own research and consulting with industry.

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    Honestly, I doubt it. I doubt there is much important information about cold fusion that I do not know, or that you cannot find at plus the conference proceedings.

    I am aware of a few details about experiments that have not yet been published yet, but that is only because it takes a while to write papers. People are not holding back. I have heard some "proprietary" information over the years, but in most cases it has been of little use.

    My parents were posted to the U.S. Embassy in Russia during WWII, so when I was a kid I knew some Soviet experts and people who had been in intelligence agencies during WWII and the early part of the cold war. They said the top secret government information was seldom more accurate or informative than what is published in the New York Times. In "Dr. Strangelove" there is an exchange about the doomsday machine:

    President Merkin Muffley: This is preposterous. I've never approved of anything like that.

    Ambassador de Sadesky: Our source was the New York Times.

    One of ex-spys I knew said "that sounds about right."

    They also said the Soviet Threat was wildly overblown. They said this in 1964, but few people believed them back then. The full extent of the exaggerations did not become clear to everyone until after the cold war ended. It works both ways; the Soviets were much more afraid of the U.S. than they should have been.


    Commentator 2

    What I found particularly interesting:

    "If rapid, explosive energy output can occur in one or several modes, could LENR serve as a new high-energy-density explosive?"

    DIA and DOD [show] interest. Where's DOE?


    Commentator 3 wrote:

    "The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency assesses with high confidence that if LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions) can produce nuclear-origin energy at room temperatures, this disruptive technology could revolutionize energy production and storage, since nuclear reactions release millions of times more energy per unit mass than do any known chemical fuel."

    The report does have "if" in there, but the overall sense of the report is that the science is real, i.e., there are low energy nuclear reactions, but that the technological feasibility of *practical* energy production has not been shown ...

    I.e., they [LENR] *do* produce "nuclear origin energy at room temperatures," though the temperature increases locally and substantially (I mean on the submicron scale and transiently), but the condition in the sentence really means "can produce ... energy ... at practical levels and in a practical way."

    Suppose a lot of energy is sometimes produced, but the amount isn't controllable, the process is too chaotic. Oops. That could make it impractical. Or suppose the supplies and energy invested are too expensive, and the payoff is low efficiency. I.e., you always get excess heat, but unless the excess can be produced at a high enough level, the only utility would be some extra heat, and the process and materials and investment might be too much.

    An Arata cold fusion hot water heater would work, saving energy, but the cost of the palladium would be fierce, and how often would the material have to be reprocessed? You'd get nearly all the palladium back and hearly all of the deuterium, but there are significant costs associated with these actions.

    I do not consider it a demonstrated thing that practical LENR applications are known; the most likely candidate could be nuclear decontamination, not using what the reprort implies, but biological agents as reported by Vyosotskii.

    So right away, if it was up to me, I'd make sure that Vyosotskii's work was replicated. I'd send representatives to Russia to work with him. He's credible, even though what he reports is incredible. I find it remarkable that the report mentions Vyosotskii's search for magnetic monopole involvement in LENR, which strikes me as much more speculative than his work with biological transmutation and decontamination (acceleration of nuclear decay).

    If LENR is real, there is no reason to believe that proteins couldn't manage to catalyze it, particularly if there is a reasonable experimental report indicating it. And there is. That ... Mossbauer spectrogram, got me in lots of trouble at Wikipedia. It's conclusive, you have to understand something about such spectrograms to understand why that is such a spectacular result.


    Commentator 2 wrote:

    "If rapid, explosive energy output can occur in one or several modes, could LENR serve as a new high-energy-density explosive?"

    ... Where's DOE?

    Commentator 3 wrote:

    It is ironic isn't it? CF dismissed by DOE and the patent office, and yet potentially important to DOD. However, I think the potential for concern is very real. Thermal excursions and particularly thermal excursions producing neutrons have been noted by various researchers. I now think there is a theoretical basis for such events. See pages 9-10 of draft #3 of "Cold Fusion Nuclear Reactions", located here:


    Commentator 3 wrote:

    ... I think the potential for concern is very real.

    Commentator 5 wrote:

    Yup. Absolutely.

    Going back to Robert Carroll we find the idea of "really cold fusion", plus the realization that bosons could be involved in LENR in a higher temp range than with the Bose [Einstein] condensate [BEC] (i.e. a "transient condensate" at ambient temperature), and the realization that the very high effective pressure inside a metal matrix is essentially the same effect as cryogenic confinement, in terms of limiting degrees of freedom -- plus realizing that palladium-hydride is superconductive at low temperature -- are any of these factors synergistic?

    It very likely that near absolute zero the rate of reaction "could possibly" be poised to go into a rapid chain-reaction mode, if there is a stable BEC and extremely high loading. That is the scary part, especially if it were perfected by our enemies first and the first evidence we see of it is Tel Aviv being leveled, for instance. That scenario is likely one of many reasons why the Israelis have been deeply involved in the R&D, and we probably only see the tip of that "iceberg".

    From time to time, there have been divergent opinions expressed here on whether or not this military aspect is actually already well-known to a few in the Pentagon, from a black project perhaps (assuming it is real) - and then that secret knowledge is what has translated down the food chain into what we see as the incredible level of "official neglect" given to the whole field since 1989.

    Commentator 1 has led the chorus for the argument that goes something like this: our military bureaucracy is really "not that smart" and there is no high-level conspiracy to quash LENR, just basic ignorance. The bureaucrats could not keep it secret, in any event.

    I hope that argument turns out to be correct, but I suspect something more sinister. They cannot keep many secrets, but there are a few that could be worth protecting at extraordinary cost.


    Commentator 1 wrote:

    This is a perennial subject. I suppose that cold fusion bombs are probably not possible, for the reasons given below, but I do not think [we] can rule them out definitively.

    First, the reasons why they may be possible:

    1. Several cold fusion devices have exploded.

    2. Martin Fleischmann worried that cold fusion might have weapons applications, which is one of the reasons he wanted to keep the research secret for several more years back in 1989. I gather he still worries about this. I do not know his reasons but he is a smart cookie so perhaps there is something to it.

    Clearly, you can make a small bomb. But I doubt you can make a kiloton or megaton scale device, for the following reasons --

    1. Cold fusion is not a chain reaction.

    2. Cold fusion cannot exist without an intact lattice.

    Cold fusion is not a chain reaction in the same sense a fission bomb is. That is to say, each nuclear reaction does not give rise directly to one or more other reactions, on the timescale of a nuclear reaction. Cold fusion does exhibit positive feedback, but that is not the same as a chain reaction.

    As far as I know, positive feedback comes about because the cold fusion reaction heats the metal, and the heat increases the reaction rate.

    I assume that as soon as the lattice melts or vaporizes the reaction stops. And it will melt locally long before you get multiple generations of reactions from a large fraction of the total population of deuterons, because heat conducts very slowly compared to the timescale of a nuclear reaction ...

    Regarding "the idea of really cold fusion plus the realization that bosons could be involved in LENR in a higher temp range than with the Bose condensate -- it is very likely that near absolute zero the rate of reaction could possibly be poised to go into a rapid chain-reaction mode, if there is a stable BEC and extremely high loading."

    I do not know about this theory but cold fusion at room temperature and in the positive feedback high temperatures exhibits no signs of being a chain reaction as far as I know, so I do not see why it would become a chain reaction at cryogenic temperatures.

    Commentator 5 wrote:

    Commentator 1 has led the chorus for the argument that goes something like this: our military bureaucracy is really not that smart and there is no high-level conspiracy to quash LENR, just basic ignorance. The bureaucrats could not keep it secret, in any event.

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    I know for a fact that our military bureaucracy is not that smart when it comes to cold fusion. This is an observation, not speculation. I have spoken with some of them and I know many other people who have communicated much more extensively at much higher levels, and they confirm my observation. This is also true of the Japanese bureaucracy under the previous two Prime Ministers.

    The bureaucrats or Men in Black have never lifted a finger to stop me from publishing information about cold fusion, so I suppose they are not trying to keep it secret.

    Take [this] Defense Intelligence Agency report. As noted it is based on open sources, and those sources are credible. In fact you could write just about every sentence based on stuff at ... So if they are trying to suppress this they are doing a terrible job ...

    Naturally if there were a high-level conspiracy I would not hear about it ...''


    Commentator 3 wrote:

    Let's not forget suppression of patents, at least in the US. That kills off industrial development and research investment within the US, at least somewhat. Though probably instigated by pathological skeptic academics, it is still an official governmental agency policy.


    Commentator 1 wrote:

    The methods do not include things like Men in Black harassing me. (With the possible exception that someone at Google may be deliberately preventing their search engine from indexing the DIA document.)

    Commentator 6 wrote:

    I'm sure this was stated with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

    My apologies if the following speculation has already been discussed at length, but isn't it conceivable that Google's search engines focus on the data mining of actual text. Since the DIA report is in an image/graphic format there is no actual text for which Google can directly index. Therefore, Google is unintentionally blind to its existence.


    Commentator 6 wrote:

    I'm sure this was stated with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    Not really. I'd bet even money someone is diddling with the Google's search engine. It would be pointless to speculate about who or why.

    Commentator 6 wrote:

    ... Since the DIA report is in an image/graphic format there is no actual text for which Google can directly index.

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    Nope. I converted it to image-over-text Acrobat format. Google has indexed other documents in this format. Plus there are claims on the net that Google OCRs image-only Acrobat files automatically.

    Also, it is not finding this text on the HTML main screen at It found this very same text a few days ago, but now it has stopped finding it. This is unprecedented as far as I know. All HTML text at LENR-CANR has always be indexed and made available.


    Commentator 5 wrote:

    [Regarding 'keeping secrets' and] speaking of real demos of ... chain reactions -- in fact a very old demo with a high death toll -- in other words ... speaking of nuclear "triggers" in the historical sense ... via the uber-secret project that led a few experts at Los Alamos to the realization that deuterium is chemically active for nuclear reactions -- i.e. when rapidly mixed with the proper ingredient (photon activated chlorine), D[euterium]2 can release copious neutrons, which can be used (and were) as a trigger -- that is the one major "secret" from the Manhattan project that was fairly well kept, the "Kistiakowsky trigger".

    But as I have opined before, the reason for keeping it secret probably relates to the Port Chicago incident and its aftermath more than anything else (because it was not a reliable trigger anyway, and because of the rewriting of the history of the so-called "mutiny").

    George Kistiakowsky was one of the Russian trained scientists in the Manhattan project who did not spy for them and in fact hated Stalin. He was later to become a Harvard professor and Anti-Viet-Nam activist

    Commentator 7 wrote:

    Note that according to Mills in his paper

    HCl is a Mills catalyst. The reaction

    D2 + Cl => D + DCl

    would produce lots of D[euterium] atoms which could then be shrunk with the help of the catalytic DCl ...

    The D-D reaction

    D + D => He3 + n

    could produce neutrons. The photo activation helps by ensuring a large population of D and Cl atoms. (The reaction

    D + Cl2 => DCl + Cl

    also takes place).

    See also the Scragg patents

    e.g. US patent 4,024,715.


    Commentator 1 wrote:

    Naturally if there were a high-level conspiracy I would not hear about it ...''

    Commentator 8 wrote:

    Try Bible-dipping and find "By their works you shall know them." Are they doing a terrible job? Do you think it is some accident that there has been very little US government funding for cold fusion research since the announcement by Pons and Fleischmann in 1989?

    There are Americans who still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in 2001 and that Iraq aided the Twin Towers bombers. Do you think that all the savage attacks on cold fusion have been motivated by altruism? Or is it possible that sone of the sceptics are kleptocratic hired guns? The Iraq adventure took out the Iraqi oil fields, raising the price of oil from $25/barrel to over $125/barrel, and making some people richer than ever. Was this an accident?

    If you think the assault on health care reform by the insurance business has been beyond atrocious, watch what the Oil Gang does when cap-and-trade comes up. Beverly Barnhart's report (and the people involved) may be in for some very heavy flak.

    We would not be in Afghanstan another five minutes if the men in black, and the kleptocrats they serve, would abandon the Unocal pipeline project from Kazakhstan across Afghanistan to the port of Karachi in Pakistan. But a lot of Americans have been convinced we are there to bring democracy and freedom to the Afghans.

    [For more on the Unocal pipeline and the run-up to 9-11-2001 and the Afghan War, see ]

    Some of these Americans may also believe that a troop surge pacified Iraq when, in fact, the "success" was achieved by paying off the Sunni Moslems in western Iraq and by Iran restraining the militant Shiites such as al Sadr's Mahdi Army.

    In the 1980's, we gave Osama bin Laden Stinger missiles to shoot down the Russian helicopters in Afghanistan, creating a chain of events that resulted in the Russians losing most of their Islamic empire.

    Do you think the Russians are going to forget this? We will have to build the Unocal pipeline over their dead bodies. Where did Iran get medium range missiles to threaten Israel and high-tech roadsde bombs used so effectively against us in Iraq? Where are the roadside bombs coming from in Afghanistsn?

    ARTICLE from AlterNet, 10-11-01, By Ted Rall

    "The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia

    Nursultan Nazarbayev has a terrible problem. He's the president and former Communist Party boss of Kazakhstan, the second largest republic of the former Soviet Union. A few years ago, the giant country struck oil in the eastern portion of the Caspian Sea.

    Geologists estimate that sitting beneath the wind-blown steppes of Kazakhstan are 50 billion barrels of oil -- by far the biggest untapped reserves in the world. (Saudi Arabia, currently the world's largest oil producer, is believed to have about 30 billion barrels remaining.) ...

    Russia has helpfully offered to build a line connecting Kazakh oil rigs to the Black Sea, but neighboring Turkmenistan has experienced trouble with the Russians: they tend to divert the oil for their own uses without paying for it ...

    The logical alternative, then, is Unocal's plan, which is to extend Turkmenistan's existing system west to the Kazakh field on the Caspian and southeast to the Pakistani port of Karachi on the Arabian Sea. That project runs through Afghanistan.

    As Central Asian expert Ahmed Rashid describes in his 2000 book "Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia," the U.S. and Pakistan decided to install a stable regime in Afghanistan around 1994 -- a regime that would end the country's civil war and thus ensure the safety of the Unocal [kleptocrat] pipeline project.

    Impressed by the ruthlessness and willingness of the then-emerging Taliban to cut a pipeline deal, the U.S. State Department and Pakistan's ISI intelligence service agreed to funnel arms and funding to the Taliban in their war against the ethnically Tajik Northern Alliance.

    It has been reported that as recently as 1999, U.S. taxpayers paid the entire annual salary of every single Taliban government official ...

    Pakistan, naturally, would pick up revenues from a Karachi oil port facility ...

    A US-installed Northern Alliance can't hold Kabul without an army of occupation because Afghan legitimacy hinges on capturing the capital on your own. And even if we do this the right way by funding and training the Northern Alliance so that they can seize power themselves, Pakistan's ethnic Pashtun government will never tolerate the replacement of their Pashtun brothers in the Taliban by Northern Alliance Tajiks ..."

    Trying to build and defend an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan through Afghanistan to Karachi in Pakistan could, in a few years, result in a war more bitter and divisive than Viet Nam, the Kazakh War of 2020. So what are the prospects for cold fusion?

    [The thieves must think we all have tea bags for brains.

    See The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 ]

    Top -- Home

    Commentator 9 wrote:

    I did not realize that Cold Fusion (CF) and flying had so much in common. Apparently, very little changes when it comes to the influence of the invincibly ignorant.

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    Yes, but the good news is that because very little changes, the effective methods of overcoming the influence of the invincibly ignorant remain pretty much the same as they were back in 1903. The principal method is to demonstrate the effect if possible, and if that is not possible, publish photographs and other graphic proof.

    A concrete illustration of this can be seen in the history of the Wright's negotiation with the British war office and the US Army. The British War Office was instantly convinced that the airplane was real within a few months of the 1903 flight.

    The U.S. Army was not convinced until late 1907. The question is: Why? and What does that tell us about what steps cold fusion researchers should take to convince people today? What can we learn from history?

    This subject is covered in detail in many books but especially A. Gollin, "No Longer an Island" (Stanford, 1984).

    Aeronautics, first balloons and later blimps, had played an increasingly important role in war since the U.S. Civil War. Count Zeppelin as a young man, and other European officers, came to the U.S. and witnessed Union Army balloon observers in action. This was very effective and impressive. Every European army was knowledgeable about this subject, and most were following both Zeppelin's work, and the Wrights and others working on heavier-than-air aircraft.

    The U.S. Army did nothing because of the Langley fiasco: "For some time [the Army] had been victims of savage criticism and denunciation, in the national Press and in the Congress itself, because they had furnished Professor Langley with so much money for his ill-fated experiments. This campaign of ridicule and censure was so bitter that, in the opinion of Langley's friends, it broke his spirit and eventually caused his death a few years later.

    For their part, the military bureaucrats in the U.S. War Department condemned once for squandering public funds in support of the ridiculous and impractical dreams of a professor, had now learnt the value of prudence in such matters. They did nothing. Langley's failures had demonstrated ... that heavier than air flight was impossible."

    The British Army, on the other hand, was more open minded. A British aviation aficionado in contact with the War Office, Patrick Alexander, was in touch with the Wrights. The Wrights invited him to the December 1903 test fight, with a telegraph advising him to "BRING ABUNDANT BEDDING" but he could not make it.

    In 1904, soon after the first flight, Col. Capper, Chief of the Aeronautic Department, British War Office, contacted the Wrights and asked to visit them. He was coming to the U.S. to see the aeronautics exposition in St. Louis, which did not impress him. They welcomed him, the way they welcomed many other technically knowledgeable visitors.

    Commentator 10 wrote:

    I understand that the rejection of reality in the case of the Wrights went to astounding extremes. Newspapers spoke of their efforts as a hoax while any reporter could simply wander down to the area where they were testing and watch them fly.

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    Yup. In the summer of 1904 and 1905 they flew fairly often, although unannounced. (They could not announce flights; there were too many glitches from the weather and mechanical failures to know if they would get off the ground on any given day.)

    They were in plain sight of a trolley car. The car operator would often stop so that the passengers could watch. The Wrights asked prominent citizens of Dayton to sign affidavits saying they had watched the flights.

    The reporters were not all hostile, but they did not understand the significance. One asked them "have you done anything interesting lately?" Orville responded, "we flew in a circle the other day." The reporter said ... "Oh, that's interesting, well, call me if you fly a long time, say for an hour."

    Perhaps the reason he was so blase was because people had flown blimps for hours at a time over long distances and around the Eiffel Tower. Some reporters did not grasp the difference between lighter-than-air and heavier-than-air aircraft. Even if they understood the physical difference, they probably did not appreciate the potential performance differences; i.e., speed, maneuverability and so on.

    Modern reporters sometimes have difficulty understanding the difference between electrochemical fuel cells and cold fusion cells. They do not realize that nuclear energy is millions of times more energy dense than chemical energy.

    Commentator 10 wrote:

    I think it most critical to produce a simple useful product based on cold fusion -- or whatever new principle is to be accepted -- and then ignore the critics and academics.

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    Airplanes before 1912 were anything but useful! They were death traps.

    At this point we need the academics. We should ignore the critics. The Wrights should have! They should have dealt with the British War Office instead of the U.S. War Department, because the British understood and appreciated what they had accomplished. Cold fusion researchers should make more of an effort to reach to their friends.

    As I have often said, there is tremendous latent support out there. It is waiting to be tapped. If only the cold fusion researchers would make their own case more clearly with much more credible detail, I think they would get a lot more financial support and technical assistance from mainstream researchers.

    Unfortunately, just as the Wrights did, they expect others to believe them because they know themselves to be honorable people, and they are miffed when other people express suspicion and ask for more details and bona fides.

    The Wrights should have realized that the U.S. army officers had good reason to demand proof. The Wrights read mass media and science journal articles about aviation as assiduously as I read articles about cold fusion.

    They were tied into a network of people such as Chanute who forwarded information to them. They knew all about the Langley "scandal" (as it was considered at the time). So they should have understood where those army officers were coming from.

    Along the same lines, cold fusion researchers should understand why many mainstream scientists who do not actively oppose them are still reluctant to believe them. They should take steps to convince these people, but they seldom do. They, like the Wrights, almost seem to consider it beneath their dignity to make their own case.

    The other mistake made by both the Wrights and cold fusion researchers is that they are subtle. Understated. They make technical assertions that only an expert can appreciate. They should heed Winston Churchill's advice:

    "If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack."

    This is vital because people are not familiar with cold fusion. Even scientists don't get some aspects of it which should be obvious, simply because they are unfamiliar with it. Read the 1901 Wright paper, or von Neumann's early papers describing computer architecture.

    Ask yourself how well you would have understood these documents if you had never seen an airplane or computer, and you started off with no idea how they might work. The Wright paper is a blizzard of details: wing loading, center of mass, angle of incidence, ... so if you were hearing the presentation you might miss the significance of this statement:

    "That with similar conditions large surfaces may be controlled with not much greater difficulty than small ones, if the control is effected by manipulation of the surfaces themselves, rather than by a movement of the body of the operator."

    That's revolutionary. It is perhaps the single most important breakthrough in the history of aviation, although there were lots more described in this paper, such as the "pressure testing machine" (wind tunnel). In cold fusion, the equivalent would be something like:

    "We can dispense with electrochemistry and the double structured cathode, and prevent sintering by using purified nanoparticles dispersed in a matrix of some other material."

    That may well sound like "buzz, buzz, blah, blah" to the uninitiated, even to a person with considerable technical knowledge.

    Commentator 5 wrote:

    It seems possible that the Wrights went first to the U.S. War Department specifically because they were U.S. citizens, and did not feel it would have been appropriate, feasible, right, or (fill in blank) to sell their technology overseas before the U.S. military adopted it.

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    They said that. They said they felt they should give their own War Department first dibs, as it were. That's what they told Col. Capper during his visit. However, they continued negotiations with the British, French and German militaries, and in 1908 and 1909 they concluded contracts the French, Germans and others, but the contract with the British War Office got tangled up in politics ...

    It was obvious to everyone that other nations would soon get the technology. The Wrights were granted a patent that explained all the details, as any patent must do to be valid. See:

    Note that it does not include an engine, only the method of controlling the airplane.

    The Wrights overestimated the difficulty of replicating their work from the patent. They thought they could maintain a technical lead over competition for years, but it lasted only about 6 months.

    There is another aspect of this ... Apparently the patent laws were different in 1903, and disclosure of pending patent information was more likely to result in the loss of the right to patent.

    It wasn't enough to file for patent. That explains their secrecy. It seems excessive by modern standards, but for the most part they were following the advise of their patent lawyer, Toulmin, who was one of the best in the business.

    They initially filed their own patent, which the Patent Office rejected. Crouch explains why:

    "For more than fifty years the Patent Office had received a stream of applications for flying machines. In the early 1890s, officials decided that such 'nuisance' applications would be summarily dismissed unless the applicant could demonstrate that his machine had actually flown.

    The Wrights knew that they could fly; it did not occur to them that a harried bureaucrat might have difficulty recognizing that fact on the basis of a simple patent application."

    In the case of cold fusion, the Patent Office established a policy of rejecting all applications summarily on June 5, 1989. They do not make exceptions for people who can prove the device works.

    Along with the rejection letter they send a package of information that includes copies of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal articles saying that cold fusion does not exist.

    (I have a copy of the June 5, 1989 memo, which was leaked. I saw the rejection letters at the University of Utah special collection library and in the papers belonging to researcher.)

    As I see it, the Patent Office policy towards airplanes in 1903 was reasonable. Even looking at the 1906 patent drafted by Toulmin, I do not suppose that an educated engineer could have judged that the thing would work.

    So the Patent Office was acting with due diligence and a three-year delay was reasonable. The Patent Office policy with regard to cold fusion, in force from from 1989 to the present, is unreasonable!

    Once again, we see that the Wrights did not adequately take into account the perceptions of the people they were dealing with at the Patent Office. They soon realized they needed help, and hired Toulmin. This kind of problem is all too common with cold fusion researchers, except that they seldom fix the problem.

    The Wrights misreading of other people was perhaps partly due to the mindset of provincial businessmen, who were used to personal contacts and honesty by reputation. Dayton was a small town by modern standards.

    The Wrights had been dealing with machine shops, suppliers and others in their bicycle business for many years. They were used to be treated as honest businessmen and a known quantity.

    On the other hand, the people they were soon dealing with -- the Charles Flint Co. in particular -- were used to selling fleets of battleships to sovereign nations, and starting up companies such as IBM. So there was a disconnect.

    C. S. Rolls, by the way, was the founder of the Rolls-Royce company, and one of the first British aviators. He crashed and killed himself in a Wright airplane in 1910.

    Here is something interesting from the New York Times, June 6, 1909, indicating there was concern about what we now call "national security," at least among journalists:

    "HOW AMERICA LOST THE WRIGHT AEROPLANE; Authorities at Washington Let Pass the Opportunity of Getting Exclusive Control -- Other American Inventions That Have Also Gone to Europe: The Gatling Gun, The Hotchkiss Gun, and The Holland Submarine -- June 6, 1909, Sunday."''

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    For a non-expert observer, the early Wright brothers flights were difficult to distinguish from an uncontrolled powered hop. Many people in the early 1900s put powerful internal combustion engines onto various contraptions and managed to "fly" them in the same sense you can fly a washing machine if you put a large-enough propeller on it. This was not actually flight.

    The Wrights rigorously defined the technical attributes of what constitutes flight carefully in their lectures and papers. At Kitty Hawk in 1903 they flew before the Coast Guard rescue team. Those people were experienced sailors and experts at small craft, but probably not qualified to determine this was a flight.

    In 1904 - 05 in Dayton they flew before hundreds of people, and they got ~50 leading citizens such as a bank president to sign affidavits. By this time they were a 100 feet in the air, flying for 40 minutes. However, a bank president is not an engineer or aviation expert, so an expert might still question his judgment.

    In 1908 they flew before a bunch of reporters at Kitty Hawk, but as usual the reports were garbled and unreliable, much like today's mass media reports of cold fusion.

    It wasn't until August 8, 1908 that Wilbur flew before real aviation experts, at Le Mans: Bleriot, Archdeacon, Zens, Henri de Moy and others. Those people had been trying to fly for years, but they could barely stagger off the ground.

    When they saw Wilbur fly, they were astounded. Speechless. The difference between what Wilbur could do and what they could do was analogous to a cold fusion cell producing 100 mW of 15% excess heat, and a working 10 kW cold fusion power reactor. These were highly egotistical people but they said (for example) "We are beaten. We don't exist!" The next day every newspaper in France declared that the Wrights were masters of the air -- which they were.

    Imagine you are a reporter or bank president in 1906 and someone asks you "did that thing really fly?" You might have difficulty giving an honest and competent answer. The Wrights were superbly skilled bicycle riders and pilots and they seldom spun out or smashed to pieces, but if you happened to be there on a bad day you would get the wrong impression. In 2010 if you ask a reporter at the APS [American Physical Society] "is cold fusion real after all?" you should not expect a reliable or meaningful answer.

    Louis Bleriot, who could barely get off the ground before watching the demo, flew across the English channel 11 months later. There were hundreds more like him.

    They were talented and capable aviators and aircraft builders, but they did not understand how to make an airplane until they saw one. They should have read the patent carefully, and learned. But they did not do that until after the demonstration. Then they sure did! The airplane was much easier to replicate than it was to invent. Cold fusion will be somewhat more difficult to replicate, but not much.

    Third Millenium -- Top -- Home -- What's New