There’s a war going on; a war of which you may not be aware.  No, I’m not talking about Iran, or Syria, or North Korea.  I’m not even talking about the Illuminati or the New World Order.  And I’m not talking about the war on drugs, either.  I’m talking about the war between fans of the fathers of electromagnetic theory: Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.  For the record, I come down squarely in the Tesla camp, though if you’re an Edisonite, I’ll happily forgive that lapse in good judgment on the basis that you may not know just how awesome Tesla was.

And since today (February 11) is Thomas Edison’s birthday, I figured it would be a good time to take on a subject that involves the work of his one-time protégé and long-time nemesis.

Publicity photo of Nikola Tesla sitting in his laboratory in Colorado Springs in December 1899. Photo was taken by Dickenson V. Alley, photographer at the Century Magazines.

Nikola Tesla was a genius.  He revolutionized EM theory, and according to some, he tapped into fundamental energies and processes that no one else had or has ever considered.  His inventions have forever changed the world and have provided the foundation for so much of our modern electronics-based culture.

Many of his inventions and EM equipment have been the basis for research in physics, and thus he has had a profound impact on our understanding of the world around us.  Though some have taken his work beyond what most consider science.  A man named John Hutchison is one of those people.

You may already know who Hutchison is; he’s the free energy nut.  Hutchison is really just a guy with an aptitude for electronics and EM theory, who apparently stumbled onto something incredible, but we’ll get to that.

In the world of science, Hutchison is considered a fraud.  Many skeptics have labelled him a hoaxer and a liar, and at least on one occasion, he has admitted to as much…but it’s not really settled.

A typical Tesla Coil design

A little background: in 1978 Hutchison began tinkering with electronics in his apartment.  His interest in Tesla and EM theory likely started long before that, but it was at the end of ’78 that he made his discovery and burst onto the scene in 1979.  Using a series of Tesla coils (a device used to generate electrical plasma through high power electromagnetic fields – or high-voltage, low-current, high-frequency AC current), combined with an electrostatic generator (which is similar to a Tesla coil) and other equipment, he created a “complex electromagnetic field”.  Experimenting with this field, Hutchison found he was able to make objects levitate, and to cause dissimilar materials, such as wood and metal, to melt and merge.

It is believed, by Hutchison and his supporters, that what he did was tap into the mysterious and elusive zero point energy using a scalar wave.  The ZPE is the product of a specific quantum state known as a Zero Point Field or ZPF.  This is a state of matter that occurs at a temperature of absolute zero, or zero Kelvins.  In that state, there should be no matter or energy, but when a ZPF is created, magnetic fluctuations are found that indicate there is some kind of undefined energy present in the field, an energy that shouldn’t be there.

If that sounds familiar, it may be because of Erwin Laszlo’s Akashic Field Theory, wherein he postulates that the ZPE is the foundation of human consciousness and thought.  Laszlo claims that the akashic field, which is something that’s been hypothesized for centuries, is a higher state of energy in the universe that contains all of the information in-and-of the universe.  He says that the human brain, and perhaps all brains, access this state of energy through a complex process involving the ZPE, and that all thought and knowledge that the human brain possesses or uses comes from this field.  It’s all very complicated, though surprisingly, it has some merit and is supported by several well known scientists.

Ice cream being “levitated” by Hutchison via his H-Effect

What’s the big deal you say?  Well, none of that should be possible, and if you believe certain skeptics, it isn’t.

Since 1979, Hutchison has recreated the effect, now called The Hutchison Effect or H-Effect, on video many times.  In addition to the many videos you can find on YouTube, Hutchison also sells extended videos with more involved explanations via his own website.  He demonstrates the levitation of objects of varying size and mass (including ice cream), and shows metals and other materials melting, apparently at room temperature.  If his videos are an accurate representation of the Hutchison Effect, it’s a truly incredible thing.

The problem is, no one else has been able to reproduce the effect, despite Hutchison providing technical specifications.  And in fact, Hutchison himself claims that he’s been unable to reproduce it since 1991.  He has admitted to faking footage on at least one occasion, and since his evidence consists solely of his word and these video clips, perhaps the skeptics are right to condemn him and his H-Effect as hokum or pseudo-science.  But in reading about his exploits, I’ve been reminded of two unrelated yet similar effects that are known to be absolutely true.

OK, one’s true, the other’s questionable.

Firstly, can stone be melted?  Sure it can.  Typically when one works with stone of any appreciable hardness, chipping, cutting and carving are the terms you’d associate with it.  After all, rock quarries don’t melt rock out of mountains, they blast it out and hammer it into smaller, more manageable chunks.  But it is possible to melt a stone.

Lava, as we all know, is liquid stone.  Superheated by the Earth’s core deep underground, it comes to the surface via volcanos and other geological features, and then it cools, slowly becoming solid rock again.  But this can be achieved in other ways too.

Most of the ways you’d melt rock aren’t really melting the rock.  Certain powerful acids can dissolve rock, and are sometimes used to cut and shape types of stone for commercial use.  But there are thermite cutting methods that do a nice job of slicing right through solid rock.

Krishna and Arjuna at Kurukshetra, 18th-19th-century painting.

Though, if you believe ancient Indian texts, there are still other ways to melt rock.  Found in the famous Mahabharata, an epic Vedic poem, is the story of Mayasura (or Maya), a great King of ancient India.  Mayasura, it’s said, was a master architect, and was tasked by the Hindu gods Krishna and Arjuna to build a palace for Arjuna’s brother Yudhisthira.  The resulting palace became known as Mayasabha, or the Hall of Illusions.  Mayasura, it seems, had the ability to melt stone to his purposes, and he used this skill to sculpt incredible surfaces throughout the palace.  The floors were said to be so smooth that they were indistinguishable from a pool of water.

Despite the apparently allegorical nature of the story, there are some who claim that Mayasabha really did exist, but the method of its construction is highly debateable.

And let’s not forget the legend of Ankor Wat of the late Khmer Empire in Cambodia, wherein it was said that the entire structure was built in one night by a divine architect, who used a magical liquid to melt stone into the shapes he wanted.

Secondly, is levitation real?  Sure it is.  Scientists have been levitating objects in laboratory conditions for decades.  Magnetic and electrostatic levitation have long been used to create conditions for containerless storage and analysis, for materials that react with other common elements.  NASA uses them regularly.  But there’s another method you might not be aware of.

Acoustic levitation is quickly becoming a superstar of fringe science.  It is used in lab settings for the same reasons as above, and in the research of sound waves and their effect on the environment.  But some say it’s been used outside the lab for centuries, and maybe even millennia.

The Coral Castle in Miami, Florida is sometimes said to have been built using acoustic levitation techniques, and the practise of levitating rocks and other objects has been documented in Tibet as recently as the mid-19th century, but their use of the technique is said to long predate that age.

In short, much of the criticism that gets thrown at John Hutchison for his theories and methods is related to his appearance and eccentricities.  Though few in science history have been as eccentric as his hero, Nikola Tesla.  He may have faked the entire thing, or he may really have stumbled onto something incredible, but was ill-equipped to deal with the aftermath.  His name is embroiled in some world-class conspiracy theories involving the US and Canadian governments, and the military-industrial complex, so any truth there may once have been in his work have long been overshadowed by doubt and skepticism.  But what he proposed isn’t necessarily outside the realm of possibility, and if the rumours are true, in that NASA, the US DOD and other science and military entities have taken it seriously enough to spend money looking into it themselves, then perhaps there’s more to it than meets the skeptics eye.