APOLOGY TO SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
By Hal Fox
APOLOGY TO SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
Hal Fox, Editor, New Energy News
The Salt Lake Tribune, which has been a locally-owned and operated newspaper for many decades, was recently sold. We owe an apology to the Health and Science editor for not making ourselves known to the new management.
On Thursday, June 19, 1997, the front page of Section C of the Salt Lake Tribune carried an outdated article by science writer Lee Siegel, full of disinformation on cold fusion. The article cited three books: T. Kenneth Fowler's "The Fusion Quest", Michael Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things", and A.K. Dewdney's "Yes, We Have No Neutrons". Here are some examples of the disinformation quoted by this article:
Fowler is quoted: The experimental evidence offered to our committee by cold fusion's proponents was crude and unconvincing. Though a few scientists and a coterie of other enthusiasts have continued to claim otherwise, as far as I can tell, the over all conclusion that cold fusion is an illusion still prevails, though I confess I have not been motivated to pay much attention lately.
Michael Shermer is quoted: Something is probably pseudoscientific if enormous claims are made for its power and veracity but supportive evidence is scarce as hen's teeth. ... Maybe 50 years of physics will be proved wrong by one experiment, but don't throw out your furnace until that experiment has been replicated.
A.K. Dewdney is quoted: [they took] an extraordinary gamble and lost. They lost, in the end, not because they were anxious for Nobel prizes or great wealth. Such factors may explain why they gambled. But they lost because they were wrong.
Fowler's committee was, apparently, the infamous Energy Research Advisory Board committee that set out to look at cold fusion. When they were shown excess thermal energy they reported "bad calorimetry". When they were shown evidence of some neutrons, they decided "bad instrumentation". When they were shown tritium they said "contamination". Apparently Fowler, by his own admission, has not sought to learn any more about cold fusion since 1989. Fowler is completely unprepared to be considered as currently competent in regard to cold fusion developments.
Michael Shermer is equally unprepared to evaluate cold fusion. In our files we have over 3,000 papers about cold fusion with over 600 papers reporting on successful replication. Shermer apparently reads only those scientific journals that refuse to publish anything about cold fusion.
Dewdney appears to be the least competent, by his own words, to be taken seriously about his comments on cold fusion. Pons and Fleischmann did not gamble, they knew that they had discovered an amazing (but not thoroughly understood) phenomena. And they didn't lose and they weren't wrong. Scientists in over 200 laboratories in thirty countries have replicated and/or advanced the discoveries of Pons and Fleischmann. Over 100 patents have issued in Japan on cold fusion. Over 300 patent applications have been filed in the U.S. (from both American and foreign scientists). Over one hundred million dollars has been spent in Japan on "new hydrogen energy" the Japanese euphemism for cold fusion. Cold fusion is now being commercialized. How wrong can one writer be?
In the U.S. cold fusion (just a few examples) has been successfully demonstrated using heavy water (John Dash, Oregon), using light water and nickel (Michael Swartz, Massachessets and Bush and Eagleton, California), using sonoluminescence or cavitation (George & Stringham, California), producing tritium (Bockris, Texas), in proton conductors (Oriani, Minnesota). In addition, two conferences on Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions have been held at or adjacent to Texas A&M and the proceedings published in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Journal of New Energy. Most recently, a press release has been issued about the Neal-Gleeson Process which transmutes radioactive thorium into stable elements. This monumental achievement, probable less expected than the production of thermal energy, has been examined and analytical reports verified by Professor George Miley, Editor of the International Journal of the American Nuclear Society, Fusion Technology.
The Fusion Information Center has been publishing information about cold fusion and other enhanced energy systems for eight years. We apologize to Lee Siegel for not letting him know about the enormous amount of published technical literature and the huge successes of cold fusion. We apologize for not letting him know that two companies are now selling partial or complete systems guaranteed to produce excess heat with cold fusion devices, such as Jet Technology in Massachusetts. We apologize for not sharing the story of BlackLight Power in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whose shares have gone from $0.75 to $1500 per share due to their commercialization of the production of thermal energy and, probably, because of the support they have received from electrical utility companies.
Please accept our apologies, Mr. Siegel, and we will show you where the hen's teeth are located.
Hal Fox, Editor New Energy News
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August 7, 1997.