A stunning report written by the late Eugene Mallove details the efforts of professors, researchers, and even the former President of MIT to squash cold fusion at all costs. If you have any doubt that Pons and Fleischmann had enemies desperately trying to discredit them, this article will erase it!
Due to the fact that commercially-ready cold fusion technologies like Andrea Rossi's E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) exist and can produce kilowatts of power, I'm not too interested in previous systems from years ago that could only produce a couple watts of power (or less). However, I am very interested in the events that took place immediately after the birth of Cold Fusion in 1989, when Pons and Fleischmann announced the existence of their technology to the world. Although cold fusion systems at the time were not ready for the market place, they proved the effect was real — a fact the establishment could not allow the public to accept.
Immediately after the announcement was made, the "mainstream" scientific community went on the attack. The late Eugene Mallove was in the middle of it, being employed at MIT in the news office — before resigning in protest of the institution's misconduct. In a featured article for Infinite Energy Magazine, Mallove detailed exactly what took place that led to his resignation, and the depth of hatred that many professors at MIT had for Pons and Fleischmann's work. The article titled, "MIT and Cold Fusion: A Special Report" also looks at how the replication performed by the institution's Plasma Fusion Center actually did produce positive results, how data from the experiment was altered by unknown individuals at least twice, and how the hot fusion scientists in charge of such tests were far too biased to conduct proper research.
The article is the most detailed piece of documentation I have ever seen in regards to the early years of the war against cold fusion. If you think the suppression Pons and Fleischmann faced was bad, you don't have a clue until you have read this article.
To start with, those in charge of the replication attempt were members of the MIT Plasma Fusion Center. Their work with hot fusion Tokamak brought the university many millions of dollars in funding from the government, and maintained their job security. If cold fusion were to be accepted as a real phenomenon, it could have made hot fusion research appear to be near worthless.
The question in the minds of representatives in Washington, DC would have been, "Why should the taxpayers finance the construction of giant reactors to experiment with hot fusion reactions that produce nuclear waste and lethal amounts of radioactivity, when cold fusion research only requires a small fraction of the funding, while producing no waste and little radioactivity?"
In the minds of the MIT professors, such as MIT Plasma Fusion Center Director Ronald R. Parker, that question could never be allowed to cross the minds of those that paid for their employment. So in an effort to belittle cold fusion research so no one would take it serious, the members of his department (including some scientists from others) took every opportunity they could to attack Pons and Fleischmann. For example, consider how…
- A funeral party or "Wake for Cold Fusion" was held by the Plasma Fusion Center, before their replication test of Pons and Fleischmann's setup was even complete. They held another such party afterwards.
- Mugs belittling cold fusion were given out by Ron Parker, the head of the MIT hot fusion research group, who was supposed to be doing serious research to determine if cold fusion was a reality or not. The mugs read, "The Utah University: Department of Fusion Confusion" and had mocking instructions for cold fusion on the back.
- Ron Parker would use the test results to discredit cold fusion, while at a celebration of the death of cold fusion stated to Eugene Mallove (after being shown evidence in support for cold fusion) stated that the data from the MIT replication was "worthless."
- How examination of the data from MIT's replication showed obvious evidence of tampering. In fact, the corrected data showed excess heat. Yet it was still used to discredit cold fusion research for many years.
- How the former President of MIT, Charles Vest, refused to order an investigation into how the Plasma Fusion Center handled the replication, and their obviously unscientific behavior — such as partying for the death of something instead of doing unbiased research. Even worse, years later he signed onto a Department of Energy report stating that cold fusion did not deserve funding for research, yet hot fusion deserved millions of additional dollars and was a "bargain."
- Conflicts of interest were ignored from the very start. For example, those who had the strongest need for cold fusion to be proven not to work (hot fusion scientists), were tasked with the replication of the effect. It would be like giving a cigarette company the order to conduct a study on the reality of lung cancer, or the lumber industry the job of determining the usefulness of industrial hemp. What the hot fusion scientists were going to say was obvious!
- How some scientists were so closed minded they stated that if cold fusion was real, Pons and Fleischmann should be dead from radiation poisoning. In addition, some scientists went so far as to personally attack them. In one case, a scientist stated that even if a thousand tests showed excess heat, that the results would not vindicate Pons and Fleischmann.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the article is how Ronald R. Parker and Ronald G. Ballinger had a phone call with Nick Tate of the Boston Herald in 1989. They were talking to him about a potential story about cold fusion, hoping that he would write a hit piece. In their conversation, which is transcribed in the article, Parker uses the fraud word in his description of their work. He also talks about how he is setting up another "blast" against cold fusion with Bob Bazell, a reporter with NBC.
When Tate reported in the Boston Herald on May 1 that the MIT scientists had called Pons and Fleishmann's work a "possible fraud" and "scientific schlock", Pons and Fleishmann were viciously attacked at the meeting of the American Physical Society. In a retrospective piece written in 1991, Tate asserted that: "Some say those comments set the tone for the national criticism of the Utah work that followed."
Meanwhile, when Tate's article in the Boston Herald revealed that Parker had described Pons and Fleishmann's work as being a "possible fraud" and "scientific schlock", Parker rushed to deny he had made such statements. Probably, he realized that in his rush to discredit cold fusion he had crossed the line, and committed slander. In order to avoid possible legal repercussions, in a media advisory from the MIT News Office, Parker specifically denied making such assertions to Tate during their telephone conversation. However, Tate had recorded the phone call, and therefore had rock solid evidence that Parker had made those statements. Years later, Tate allowed Eugene Mallove to listen to the recording, which revealed the truth about what was said. It was too late, the damage to cold fusion's reputation was done.
In summary, Mallove's article paints a damning picture of MIT scientists and professors hell-bent on discrediting cold fusion. Out of desperation to protect hot fusion research, they went so far as to tell blatant lies, alter data, hurl personal insults, conduct celebrations of the "death" of cold fusion, and organize journalists to write hit pieces to try and dismiss Pons and Fleischmann's work in the public eye. Then the leadership of MIT turned away and ignored the misconduct and potentially criminal behavior, even when they were specifically alerted to it. Years later, these same individuals (working in other positions with the DOE and DOD) continued to promote the idea that cold fusion was "garbage."
If you want to know the TRUTH about why it has taken twenty plus years for a commercial cold fusion technology to be developed, you should read this article. It is a tragedy beyond measure that an institution like MIT would allow such inappropriate behavior. Everyone involved has blood on their hands from all the people on this planet that have died due to the suppression of this technology. Literally, due to their suppression of cold fusion, children have needlessly starved, millions have suffered dehydration due to a lack of clean water, the environment has been trashed, and the global economy has been almost destroyed.
If the suppression of cold fusion by MIT had never happened, we might not even have an energy crisis today!
And this is but one of many such stories about the suppression saga from 1989.
The suppression from back then has had phenomenal staying power due to the brainwashing that pronounced "cold fusion" to be "junk science," no matter what, despite thousands of replications worldwide, with several making significant gains toward marketplace viability, and the E-Cat actually reaching the marketplace on October 28 of this year with a 1 MW unit. So now, when people attack Andrea Rossi's E-Cat, it's hard to tell whether they are acting as a function of that brainwashing, or as a present-day disinformation agent, or if they have honest misgivings of a scientific basis.
Gratefully, Rossi keeps moving forward despite these negative statements.
A few individuals in the mainstream are coming around and waking up to the reality of cold fusion, like NASA's Dennis Bushnell who claims cold fusion is the number one most promising alternative energy technology on the planet. However, to protect hot fusion research, protect the status quo, and to keep the public from realizing how the scientific community suppressed cold fusion, he calls the phenomena LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions). In addition, he claims there is no fusion in cold fusion, in order to try and make the technology seem more mundane, and more acceptable.
There were enemies of mankind in 1989 that wanted to prevent the proliferation of cold fusion, and there are still such enemies today. Reading about how cold fusion research was attacked from the very start can help us prepare for attacks from these in the future.
We cannot let greedy, selfish, and power-hungry monsters and their countless minions suppress cold fusion for another twenty years or more. There are too many lives at risk. Simply put, the future of our civilization is at stake.
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In addition to the comments down below, on December 29, 2011 6:43 AM MST, the following came in by email from Dr. Mitch Swartz of MIT who has been holding cold fusion conferences there nearly since 1989.
Nice column. Thank you for taking an interest in this important subject, and letting me know.
I will try to find some of the published papers which I did on this in FUSION FACTS (the first), and then the two articles from ICCF-4; and send them to you.
Also, consider that the bad action was conducted by one, or a few, individual(s). That is not 'MIT'. And this was in the past, although your column does correctly note the important, negative impact to the present.
Supporting the above, and in that light, we are having an IAP course at MIT on CF. (see the COLD FUSION TIMES or IE), and have had numerous Colloquia on CF.
Hopefully, you will come to one some time.
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