Eric's History of Perpetual Motion and Free Energy Machines

created 9/29/96 last updated 12/02 -this page found at  - get updates to Free Energy claims

In spite of no evidence of success hundreds of people for centuries have attempted to solve the holy grail of energy production - Perpetual Motion Machines. Many people simply think it must be possible and if they only try hard enough, they will find a solution. Some of this is from Joseph Bulgatz's book: 'Ponzi schemes invaders from mars and other popular delusions'  Still to this day I get weekly emails from people who feel they are about to get one working.

  • Villand de Honnecourt 13th century had a drawing of one.
  • Leonardo da vinci made a number of drawings of things he hoped would make energy for free.
  • Jesuit priest, Johanes Taisnerius worked on a magnetic based perpetual motion machine
  • Mimara in 1518 designed a "self-blowing windmill"
  • John Dee of 16th century reported seeing one - but wasn't allowed a closer look
  • Cornelis Drebbel 1610, was an alchemist and magician supposedly made one. (hundreds have tried to replicate alchemy too)
  • Robert Fludd 1630 proposed many machines -people were trying to patent variations of Fludd's failures in the 1870's
  • 1635 - first of many English perpetual motion machine patents granted. - by 1903, 600 such patents had been granted. Free energy claimants love impressing people with patents (most people don't understand that a patent can't promise feasibility)
  • Edward Somerset 1638 demonstrated many lacking free energy water wheels to the king of France
  • Ulrich von Carnach in 1664 in Germany designed a perpetual ball moving machine that never worked.
  • scientist Jean Bernoulli(1667 - 1748) proposed a fluid energy machine
  • Bockler in 1686 made designs for self powered water mills.
  • In 1712 Johann Bessler aka Orffyreus investigated 300 different perpetual motion models and claimed he had the secret of perpetual motion and got much investment money - was declared a fraud but here's site which believes he had something that worked had constructed a machine which demonstrated his claim. another site about Bessler and another His own employees claimed the device was a fraud.
  • Dr Conradus Schiviers in 1790 made a belt driven wheel- others tried more unsuccessful adaptations a century later
  • Sir William Congreve in 1827 tried a machine running on capillary action (many others failed in this attempt too)
  • Britisher Henry Prince1866 described the first partially submerged perpetual motion machine.
  • Mark Zimara of Italy had a huge air powered machine that never worked
  • Horace Wickmam of the USA got a patent to a machine with many balls that just rotate around.
  • Austrian, Alois Drasch patented a unsuccessful machine in the US in 1868
  • german, George Andreas Bockler proposed 'self operating mills' using variants of Archimdes screws
  • Charles Redheffer in 1812 in Philadelphia made much money on a perpetual motion machine, tried to restrict scientific evaluation, but was eventually debunked. Afterwards, he still made money on similar scams.
  • Scottish shoemaker Spence, designed a magnetic based machine which was debunked.
  • E. P. Willis of Connecticut made money off a perpetual motion machine in 1870 - people eventually found out a secret source of power to it.
  • John Worrel Keely of Philadelphia in 1872 (he also had a traveling show of exhibitions). He fooled many scientists with a machine which appeared to run on water. He raised 5 million of investor money (more for the time than Dennis has raised). Keely tried to avoid being tested. The machine was based on hidden air pressure tubes. In spite of massive fraud being found - there are still believers in his 'technology' today.
  • John Gamgee in 1881 got considerable support for a machine very similar to Dennis Lee's which used liquid ammonia (because it could operate at freezing) - it got vaporized from heat readily available, thus expanding it would drive a piston. Gamgee wrongly thought the vapor would condense to liquid to start the cycle over again. The Navy appeared to have been fooled and showed it to president Garfield - it never went anywhere Tom Napier agrees that Dennis Lee may have resurrected Gamgee's bogus engine
  • J. M. Aldrich was arrested for getting investors for his free energy machine in 1899 - he some how was able to avoid conviction and conned many investors. One of whom was finally able to inspect the machine found a hidden spring
  • John Andrews in 1917 had a green powder he said turned water to gas (actually many people did this scam) - he tricked the Navy
  • Garabed T.K. Giragossian in 1917 claimed to have a free energy machine. He was one of the early frauds to hid behind conspiracy theory. Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution offering him protection from some kind of conspiracy. After much fanfare, and delaying tactics his machine turned out to be a giant flywheel which was charged up with energy slowly and put out a lot of energy for just a second. In spite of lack of proof of anything significant his followers still bothered the US congress for recognition.
  • T.H. Moray in the 20's cemonstated a "radient energy device" to many people who were unable to find a hidden power source. Some how, the secret was said to have been forgotten.
  • Lester Hendershot in 1928 got an Army commandant to endorse his free energy machine - but it was later found to have a hidden power source in the motor. His sons believe Lester lost his notes and that maybe they can rediscover how to get it to work.
  • Robert Johnson's permanent magnet motor got a patent but faded into oblivion.
  • Viktor Schauberger Claimed to have discovered some special vortex energy in water. Since he died in 1958, I don't know if his claims have been replicated, but people are still studying his works
  • Mr Papf in 1966 was a conspiracy believer alternative car engine got a few investors but killed someone during a demo. He tried to blame the problem on an investigating skeptic. He disappeared and became part of urban legend of scores of people which the big conspiracy has been silencing for generations.
  • Guido Franch was convicted of fraud in 1954 and 1973 of selling rights to distribute little green pills that would convert water into gas. He hid behind conspiracy theory and secrecy to avoid fair testing. A number of people have run this scam and many people still believe there are pill repressed by the oil companies.
  • Otis Carr in 1958 sold stock for a company to manufacture UFO's and free energy machines from Oklahoma. He claimed inspiration from Tesla, now his ideas are being used by  Dennis Lee Anyone with more info on Otis or Carini please email
  • Edgar Cayce even babble about "Motor's with no Fuel"
  • McClintock was claimed to use air as a fuel and had a patent. (a patent doesn't mean something works)
  • The Evgray machine scammed many investors (who didn't know how to test 'depleted' batteries). The perpetrators refused to let a knowledgeable person test the device. And the DA had trouble charging them because investments weren't made as stock purchases. A skeptical investigator who I talked with was denied permission to examine the device (skeptics rarely get a close look at this stuff)
  • Arnold Burke in 1977 collected $800,000 of investor money (again, mostly from bible believing farmers) for a 'self acting pump'. He tried to hid behind religion. He called his device Jeremiah 33:3' Finally, an open test was done in 1979 and found a hidden source of electricity. His believers (with an infinite supply of denial ) still raised $250,000 to get out of a fraud conviction. He still went on making lots of claims with no evidence.
  • Robert Adams in 1977 made all kinds of conspiracy and OU claims in New Zealand.Many still believe in the Adams Motor . - He had the obligatory battles over patents, debates over theory, debates over power measurement and dabbling in other areas of alt physics. He's 80 years old and said to have a scientific education.  He has a lot of theories about Aether. Skeptical information
  • Robert Stewart in 1978 got over $3,000,000 of investment money (much from farmers) for a closed cycle engine using freon rather than water. This 'engine' used the same scheme John Gamgee tried to sell the navy in 1882. -Eric Krieg thinks this is the same approach Dennis Lee's free energy machine works on. I think he just faded away (people claim he was silenced)
  • Rory Johnson of Elgin Illinois, claimed to have invented a cold fusion, laser activated, magnetic motor that produced 525 HP, weighed 475 lbs, and would propel a large truck or bus 100,000 miles on about 2 lbs of deuterium. After signing a number of dealers, he moved all his equipment out of his labs, moved to CA and died. (to this day, folks say he was silenced by OPEC)
  • RJeseph Maglich was a physicist and claimed to have a device in 1978 which harnessed fusion power from sea water. They say they put power in and get more power out. I've never heard of them since.
  • Howard Johnson got a patent for a device that claimed to make free energy from a motor like device. (Note: a patent doesn't mean something works). As of 11/02, Stephen was claiming he would soon mail out samples of working ones. By 12/12/02, Stephen dropped out of contact.
  • Keith Kenyon had a device claimed to produce more energy than consumed. Calculations seemed to not take power factor (also known as phase angle) into account. It never openly had it's output hooked up to its input. Even Dennis Lee tells his followers that all the over unity motors (claim to make more electricity than consumed) usually just fool people who can't measure power factor.
  • Muller Moter  Bill muller and Carmen muller of Germany raised money on an overunity motor and got a few followers, but never actually demonstrated one working
  • Joseph Newman in 1984 claimed to have a free energy machine based on alternative physics. Like many perpetual motion inventors, he sued the US patent office. Many people wrongly measured the true power output of this machine, (they didn't realize you must specially calculate power for non sinusoidal current consumption). He now refuses to ship a unit for testing. Ten years ago, inventor Joseph Newman gave a open week-long demonstration  in the Super dome in New Orleans. Over 9,000 people attended from across the country (including Dennis Lee who reportedly wanted to join his ideas with Newman. ) Newman is suing some former investors he claims are trying to steal his invention. I give more information. Evan Soule of Newman's organization offers a rebuttal
  • Dennis Lee Since 1988 has been promising to demonstrate free electricity "in a month or two". He is much like Newman in his mixture of religion & extremist politics, evasion of qualified investigators, endless promises, threatening detractors, etc. He had a Fischer engine, a CRD device and now, and OU motor device. Dennis has invested in Searle and Stanley Meyer and joined Pantone in 2001 in a 50 state tour.
  • Stanley Meyer 1996 claimed to have a water powered car and was also big on mixing Christianity and patriot politics in with fringe science.  Meyer was found guilty of fraud after his Water Fuel Cell was tested before an Ohio judge. It is rare for an inventor to be prosecuted for an invention that does not work, but Meyer's problem was that he had been selling "dealerships", offering investors the "right to do business'' in Water Fuel Cell technology. Meyer refused to allow anyone else to measure his device. Dennis Lee invested in him. He died in early 1998.Stanley Meyers gets locked up for phony water powered cars
  • Bruce De Palma had a machine in 1986 - which appeared to one Electrical Engineering professor to put out 4 times more power than consumed. Turned out it was just a measurement error. (I could go on and on with such examples) Bruce was a substance abuser living very high off investor money and unwilling to help investigators like  PSITRON. A pathetic summary of the death of free energy claimant Bruce dePalma and a site dedicated to Bruce.
  • Dr. Potapov sold a device that was claimed to produce more energy than consumed, there are claims that these didn't work and that people did not have refunds.
  • John Bedini claims to have a free energy device, but seems closed to having competent independent people investigate John Bedini's claims a An independent writing on Can you get excess power with magnets and wires?
  • Mr. Finsrud is a Norwegian artist who made a sculpture where a metal ball moves for weeks apparently with no outside influence. more info
  •  Don Watts of Las Vegas in around 1990 had a patented CEACU. which stands for Centrifugal  Energy Amplification and Conversion Unit - it turned out to be one more investment fraud.
  • Troy Reed of Oklahoma, was ready to issue licences for manufacturing  his permanent magnet motor etc. He's taking investment money for a device he claims puts out more heat energy than input energy. He says he's dumped a few million into his designs over the last 10 years and had little interst in my prize offer when I contacted him in 2001
  • David Hamel has a lot of Free energy ideas from Planet Kladen also check my info on him
  • Stephan Marinov claimed to have proven much alternative physics and to have contacted a strange cult that claims to have a Free Energy Machine. He committed suicide on July 15, 1997. more information, But he left behind some intense rants
  • Greg Watson sold kits for a rolling ball and track that were thought to have over unity in 1997. Attempts of replication I know of have failed. It may have been lack of proper level or measuring. People have reported being unable to get their money back. For other opinions, go to :  smot2a failure to confirm
  • Yule Brown scammed a lot of gullible investors in Austrailia for years with his Browns Gas claims. Eventually was picked up by Dennis Lee (who eventually declared him insane) and finally died in 1998.
  • CETI These people have claimed to have a device that puts out anomalous yet small amounts of heat - maybe cold fusion. They raised millions. As of 10/97, they have not been willing to have me come over and see for myself. They have said, we want people to think it doesn't work so we won't have competition. I've wondered if the energy may have come from not accounting for friction effects from the cooling flow through the pellets. (Jed Rothwell a rational editor of Infinite Energy Magazine says "however, tests with CETI cells at Motorola, SRI and the French Atomic Energy Commission show no measurable friction)  Milton Rothman has a response                  I openly admit that I have not followed all the history of cold fusion claims and am generally ignorant on the subject.
  • In Jan 98 Barbara Hickox allegedly has a patent dating from 1981 for a $7500 fusion powered free energy system. I've started asking her for proof as of 10/98
  • Paramahamsa Tewariof India claims to have a device that is 200% efficient (I'm told his measurement is questionable)
  • RQM is a Swiss company selling FE machines found at - I heard they filed for bankruptcy 7/99
  • Ted King is looking for people to buy stock for a car he plans to drive across the country using just 2 12 volt batteries. You can contact Ted  if you want to buy shares.
  • Bruce Perreault has claimed to have discovered a new element, the plasmatron, ion pump, radiant energy device, etc.  He's said to be constantly trying to raise more money.
  • Daniel Pomerleau of Canada claims to have something that works, but he isn't interested in releasing it (as  12/97)
  • Brian Collin of Australia claims revelation from God (like most of these people) to make a free energy device. A Stephen Mark claimed he invented it. Investors are still out for around $80,000.
  • Kawai and Takahashi - both of Japan claimed in the 90's to have overunity devices.  - it did nothing  more than drain batteries.
  • Entropy Systems of Ohio 1999 Sanjay Amin  got 1.6 million investment dollars for a device that would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.  I've asked them to apply for my prize for proof. - they seem to have folded. See a rational review of Amin's claims.
  • Carl Cella is a kooky guy who has claimed to have one of the many cars said to run on water.
  • Robert  LeBreton in 1999 claimed to be making a 600 hp free energy machine  He asks for funding, people say he is a mental case.
  • Renzo Boscolio in 1999 in Italy claimed to have low-energy nuclear reactions but refused to supply real proof that he promised to people who came out from Infinite Energy Magazine. Dave Cappelletti is said to still be collecting money for this.
  • Doug Konzen of Seattle says he has an overunity motor in Jan of 2000 that anyone can see.
  • Kipper Motor. In 10/00, Steve Elswick thought it was overunity. But David Sligar who paid $175 for plans could not get it working. It is reported to have run from a hidden microwave source of remote power
  • Ludwig Brits and Victor Christie in 2001, claim the Lutec free electricity over unity motor/generator will soon be in Australia.  They have little evidence and are trying to get small time people to send in money. to an off shore account As of 7/13/01, they have not responded to numerous local requests for validation.
  • Jasker in 2002,an Irish company has claimed to have free electricity. (some have said it is just a joke) info more info
  • Confidential Technology -Wayne Cochran died 12/29/02 Crazy Jack Carey 622took over -he is more nuts than most, they have been promising FE soon for about 20 years now.
  • Tom Bearden’s MEG device Tom has given classes teaching theory before people who don’t have the math background to see it is just gobbledegook.. A rational review of meg claims and Randi’s info and my info – Bearden’s followers won’t allow this on their discussion boards.
  • Gurbakhsh Singh Mann of India claims to have invented a gravity and buoyancy perpetual motion machines
  •  Michael J. Marshall in Las Vegas has a device called QSFG which stands for quick start fuelless generator he says 64 nations have asked him to build factories They claim to have been offered billions for the technology. He is said to have gotten an American Indian tribe to finance his efforts. According to news reports, he was released from the slammer in 1998, after serving time for fraud and grand theft auto - he's failed to pay employees..
  • Carl Tilley and Robert Kibbey in 6/2001 in Tennessee have claimed some over unity device   and  other stuff. Their demonstration failed in 9/02 and as of 11/02, they have been evading proper demonstations.
  • Stephen Walker in 9/2002 promised to send me and several others a free energy machine in mail. As of 12/02, still not here.
  • Perendev promised to make some kind of free energy This Norwegian guy said he was cheated out of $6000 by them.
  • GWE Genesis World Energy In 2002 this group claimed to have 400 people who developed some device that sounds like it separates water into H2 and O2 using less energy than mainstream science says is possible. As of 2003, they have evaded independent confirmation. More info APS review
  • Steven Greer (Disclosure Project) In 02.2003, Steven announced he had discovered some real sources of Free energy which he promised to make sure get proven to the general public. Many say that Greer is just plain nuts
  • Bill Muller of Canada In.2003, he claimed to have some kind of OU device. Independent tests found it under unity
  • Energie In 2003 this Greek company promised a homopolar magnet (De Palma design) FE design by June of 2003. They actively seek investors.
  • Steven Mark In according to this report has been scamming people out of big money based on a faked over unity – he’s thought to have preyed on dopey Hollywood types.

for more reading of free energy scams check out the perpetual motion chapter of Jack Phins 'the 7 Follies of Science' - also the book 'Perpetual Motion: The History of an Obsession' and 'The Perpetual motion Mystery ' by John Collins and 'The Manual of Free Energy Devices and Systems' by D. A. Kelly.  I have tried to let all the latest free energy claimants know of my prize for proof

The Museum of Unworkable Devices  a great overview of them

A great explanation of the psuedoscience and mismeasurement in free energy claims

INE Free Energy Devices Database -  - another great list of FE claims
Creator of this here page and his skeptic pages and crack pot pages
 Milt's discussion of Free Energy and Ceti
A excellent history of perpetual motion machines from an Australian skeptic


My open prize money for a real free energy machine
back to my main page about Dennis Lee. -

how to become a Free Energy con man

what about 300 mpg carburetors?

Eric's discussion of real forms of free energy

A more believing history of free energy claims

Another good overview of Free energy claimants Crank Dot Net | free energy

Bob Schadewald claims to have invented a Perpetual motion machine - but will the big conspiracy stop him?



For a totally different interpretation, check out this conspiracy believing history of free energy 'inventions' I think the writer of it doesn't understand that many fraud perpetrators claim they've been offered outrageous sums to hook investors and then disappear after being detected to avoid incarceration - which gets interpreted by believers as evidence of a conspiracy.

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