Ron does not like wind turbines, and thinks that putting his illusory reputation at the disposal of the protesters is a fine thing. We think that he is instead helping the proponents of wind-power. Why? Because those who lobby government departments in order to get the turbines built are already able to denigrate the opposition by painting them as luddites. Just imagine how much more ‘ capital’ they would get from pointing out that the apparently leading scientist opposing them is in fact a notorious crackpot who thinks that he can make energy out of thin air. “What”, they might say, while stifling guffaws, “does he have against rotating objects as a source of energy? After all, he has suggested that the Bessler wheel was genuine!”. Moreover, every real scientist knows that, when he criticises ‘free energy’ (perpetual motion) in an internet forum, he is immediately accused of being in the pay of ‘Big Oil’. If Ron takes part, then pro-turbine people will be able to suggest that the LENR lunatic fringe is bribing Ron to publicise their pseudoscience. So Ron should quietly withdraw from the fight and give the protesters a better chance of success.
Archive for September, 2012
We predict that Ron will soon be singing the praises of yet another crackpot group: the Breakthrough Energy Movement. We know this because it is featured on the homepage of the pseudoscientific conman, John Searl (to whose site AIAS has a permanent link). The BEM has everything that the Welsh carrot could wish for: LENR, antigravity, death-rays (shades of Grindell-Matthews), etc. But no! Ron cannot now mention the BEM because that would prove us right; just as he can never correct the spelling mistakes on the AIAS site and thus bow to our superior knowledge of English.
According to Ron,
“… the hate mail blog “crackpotwatch” has been banned by the giant retailer Tesco from using any of its internet media facilities. This is because “crackpotwatch” contained repeated violent abuse against Victor Riecansky, Kerry Pendergast, Robert Cheshire, others and myself. Such abuse is a common assault and under the 1997 Prevention of Hrassment [sic] Act, puts a person or persons in fear of violence, a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison. Other internet outlets are requested to follow the example of Tesco and to ban “crackpotwatch” and any habitually abusive person.”
This, of course, is completely untrue and the abusive slur probably resulted from Riecansky’s (for he was the culprit) unfamiliarity with WiFi use. We suggest that he adjust the security settings on his laptop, and try again. We are unable to detect any violence or abuse in our comments. Calling someone, who cites the Bessler Wheel as being a valid energy source, a crackpot is not abuse: it is a statement of fact. Reminding someone, who cannot spot obvious errors in orbital plots and cannot pronounce the names of famous scientists properly, that he is a former tug-boat captain is not abuse: it is a statement of fact (unless he was lying about having attained such a responsible position). Suggesting that a teacher, who cleaves to crackpot theories, might be an educative menace to his pupils is not abuse: it is a public service. It is funny that Ron thinks that a retail chain would take the least interest in such matters. However, the funniest aspect of all of this is that Ron thinks that he is a person of some importance. He is not. His vaunted social position is as illusory as the supposed success of his theory. Only one thing makes Ron – among so many other pseudoscientists* – of interest to us**, and that is the puzzling and insulting (to more deserving scientists) award of a Civil List pension. We call upon him to give up this accolade (which he abuses for real) and thus cease to make a laughing-stock of Wales, British science and the scientific community as a whole. Meanwhile, he should cease his attempts to harass those exercising a right to free speech and cease his criminal wasting of police time.
*We really must thank Ron for bringing our attention to that handy list of pseudoscientists; we have been making do with a shorter list provided by the Natural Philosophy Alliance.
** That, and the parallels with Grindell-Matthews (early success descending rapidly into mere pseudoscience, promise of fantastic inventions, residence in Craigcefnparc, marriage to woman of East-European extraction, delusions of grandeur).
Transfers Alternativer Technologien is a crackpot organisation which is run by an incompetent (‘by definition’) engineer and journalist married couple. When not pushing the Rossi nonsense, they advertise the even-more ludicrous ‘Energy by Motion’ electrical generator of Professor Leslie Szabo. One has to wonder what is wrong with the academic criteria in certain foreign countries if they generate so many dodgy ‘professors’. Presumably those countries suffer from the same academic incompetence that allowed Ron to find employment for a while. One also wonders why Siemens does not discipline Eckardt for associating its name with anti-Einstein lunacy.
PS: note that Ron has still not corrected those glaring spelling errors on the AIAS site. But how can he? To do so would be to admit that he reads our blog and is also semi-literate. So they have to remain there forever … together with all of the other errors.
We note with surprise that ‘Doug’ has failed to mention the most notorious alchemist of recent times. This would be the French crackpot , Louis Kervran. He was said to be the leading French expert on radiation effects and so, as Ron would say, his qualifications and ‘high honours’ trump rationality and accepted scientific evidence. Like Ron’s friend, Vigier, Kervran had been a member of the resistance and – for some some strange reason – Ron considers hiding out in the maquis to be an indicator of scientific rectitude. According to Kervran, biological systems are capable of transmuting elements. We are reminded of what one of the Darwin family said about sloppy experimentation and Ron-style theorising: “false theories are the comedies of science; false results are its tragedies” … or words to that effect.
Ron has a conveniently choosy memory and skims over the fact that both Telesio-Gallilei and AIAS are worthless pseudoscientific operations having Steriwave and ECE as their respective ‘manufacturing arms’. Let us remind him that, according to Companies House, Ron’s ECE Technologies company (zero employees, assets of £2) has Eckardt, Ron and the blessed Gareth Evans as current officers. Previous officers were Amador, Austen-Brown, Clifford, Eyre, Fell, Kellum, Lindstrom, Merwe … and the much-derided Fucilla. Meanwhile, Eckardt is a former officer of the Fucilla fronts: Steriwave, Global Energy Technology, Jurassica Oil & Gas and United Oil. Ron was also an officer of several of those companies. So who holds the moral high-ground? Neither! They are both equally bad.
This is hilarious! The rubbish Zurich conference is apparently being organised by Transaltec. Its home-page refers prominently to the German version of ‘The Secret of the Creative Vacuum’ by John Davidson. The latter’s main business, when not writing pseudoscientific twaddle, is selling over-priced juicers and vitamins to health-faddists … and acquiring new wives. We love coincidences, so get this one: a large section of the above book is devoted to the supposed discoveries of the conman, John Searl. As we shall never tire of mentioning, Ron has opined that the UK government should back Searl’s non-existent ‘technology’. Moreover, the AISI site has a permanent link to Searl’s fraudulent site, and a former collaborator of Searl used to control the AISI site. Now, isn’t that cosy? But that figures: pseudoscience is a serious menace to education, but the pool of pseudoscientists is relatively small and that is why Ron is a big fish stranded within it.
Laymen are always surprised to learn that certain metals are so ‘amenable’ to interaction with hydrogen isotopes (protium, deuterium and tritium). This was first noted at the start of the industrial revolution, when mild steel began to be widely used. One immediate problem was that mild steel (unlike pure iron) is very susceptible to rusting. In order to remove rust during production, steel sheets were ‘pickled’ in dilute sulphuric acid. It was soon noticed that pickled steel often became brittle. The exact reason for this is still not entirely clear and is still a lively research topic (much of the experimentation resembles cold-fusion ‘research’; which makes metallurgists particularly scathing skeptics). The difficulty is that certain metals can absorb enormous amounts of hydrogen by forming hydrides. It is often as if a completely new alloy has appeared and replaced the original metal. The process is reversible and, for this reason, nickel-based alloys have been developed for the safe storage of fuel for future hydrogen-powered cars.
So, we have a highly complex system and – as usual – this leads fame-desperate scientists astray. The saddest example of this was John O. Bockris. He had spent years on the study of the above-mentioned ‘hydrogen embrittlement’ and explained it in terms of the metal lattice being forced apart by the intruding hydrogen atoms. However, when the cold-fusion nonsense took hold, he started to suggest that the metal lattice was squeezing hydrogen atoms together and making them fuse into helium atoms. This must be the most ridiculous volte face in the history of metallurgy. His career nose-dived after this and he was eventually disciplined by his university for consorting with alchemists.
The point to retain here is that metal-hydrogen systems are very complex and may undergo unexpected phase transitions (ignorance of the detailed metallurgy of plutonium – with its seven (!) phases – could have destroyed the Manhattan ED Project at any moment, it has now been realised, due to sudden and unexpected alteration of the effective critical mass via phase change). Phase transitions often release anomalously large amounts of heat, and this is the Occam’s Razor choice for explaining so-called LENR.
Now here is an interesting confluence of coincidences: an engineer called Charles Brush fooled himself concerning anomalous heat release from solids nearly 100 years ago. Like Ron, he also held childish views on antigravity. He held patents on carbon-arc devices (see Ron’s blog of today) and – joy of joys – Brush built the first automatic wind-turbine!
SOTT, Ron’s favourite business information-source, is the ‘brain’-child of Laura Knight Jadczyk (LKJ), who calls herself a scientific mystic and paleo-christian shaman. She is a promulgator of comet Elenin and planet-X nonsense and, of course, perpetual motion (aka free- or space- energy). Other interests are antisemitism (Mossad) and anti-American (9/11 truth) conspiracy theories and ‘new world order’ . Alien abduction and HAARP ramblings fill in the gaps. She also runs the Cassiopea website and there prattles about the grail quest, alchemy and other new-age rubbish, plus the 2012 apocalypse (what will it be called next year?). LKJ believes that psychopaths control every nation; which, surprisingly, is a fairly mainstream belief among psychiatrists. Like Ron, she is against peer-review and real science. Some years ago, she defamed a member of Higher Balance, an Oregon-based loony ‘health’ company, via the Quantum Future group, a similarly loopy organisation which apparently provides her finances. Higher Balance sued, and LKJ escaped serious consequences only because she lives in France. (Opinion, Civil Case No. 08-233-HA, US District Court, Oregon, 18th June 2009)
We can confirm that the American Biographical Institute is a scam. So too is the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge (hmm, how close – geographically and in intent – is the latter to another publisher of our acquaintance?). Then there is the US Commerce Association, which awards worthless ‘Best of …” plaques to conmen like John Searl. By the way, Ron is very wise to hitch his wagon to Searl’s rising star. Searl is clearly the more successful of the pair. Does Ron have a factory in California, does he own three companies conveniently based in notorious tax-havens? Does he have at least three professionally designed websites? Is he constantly displayed and discussed on YouTube? No. Ron is not successful, even as a crackpot. And before we forget, Marquis Who’s Who is also worthless, but trades on its originally good reputation. Ron should try to get into, say, the Europa Who’s Who … and shut up until he succeeds.