Future Energy eNews - April 22, 2002
Remembering a Genius Energy Inventor, Dr. Paul Brown (1955-2002)
I thought it would be years from now that I would be writing about Paul Brown’s amazing life and what his friendship has meant to me. His passing on April 7 in a car crash is a great loss to all of us. I first met Paul in 1983 at a Nonconventional Energy Technology Symposium in Georgia where we both were speakers. At that time, we both liked sharing information and did not believe in proprietary secrets. Paul was the most courageous inventor that I have ever known. When he discovered that "The Moray Device and the Hubbard Coil Were Nuclear Batteries" (published in Magnets in Your Future, March, 1987), I was amazed. I remember having dinner with him in Ottawa in 1988 as he explained all of the historical evidence he had uncovered. This was detective work at its finest. Paul told me about the radiation burns he suffered on his hands as he learned how to carefully work with Strontium 90 and other materials. He also underwent training and certification to obtain the necessary license for handling radioactive materials. When Paul proceeded to improve upon the resonant nuclear battery work and patent it in 1989 (#4,835,433) as an "Apparatus for Direct Conversion of Radioactive Decay Energy to Electrical Energy," I realized the entrepreneur in Paul was now maturing. At thirty years old, Paul had merged his small Nucell company with a publicly trading Peripheral Systems, Inc. and began appearing in Fortune (Dec. 19, 1988), Business Week (Aug. 29, 1988), Hazmat World (Dec., 1989), Nuclear News (Jan., 1990) and even The New York Times (June 24, 1989). Paul also had significant conference presentations at that time such as, "Resonant Nuclear Battery May Aid in Mitigating the Greenhouse Effect" (American Nuclear Society, San Francisco, CA, 1989) and "The Beta Voltaic Effect Applied to Radioisotopic Power Generation" (American Nuclear Society, Nashville, TN, June, 1990).
Little did I know the life-threatening suppression that Paul suffered for inventing an improved, clean source of energy, that was better than any NASA thermoelectric "nuclear" batteries. Every so often a nuclear physicist in the audience would catch on that his battery exceeded the available thermal decay energy, which Paul calculated to include the available angular momentum energy. That is when his 25-year lifespan battery became too much of a good thing for some people. In 1991, Paul explained his disappearance from the business world and public life with a shocking one-page letter he circulated to IECEC speakers through Dr. Pat Bailey. His letter, showing how dangerous this work is, will forever remain etched in my memory (excerpt reprinted below):
"I have been involved with alternate energy since 1978, while still a college student. Over the years I have heard many nightmare stories about people who developed something significant only to be persecuted, harassed, persecuted, and even killed. I was sure that these stories were exaggerated or possibly the result of the inventor's own paranoia or such. Further, I met several inventors whom I felt were their own worst enemies (via fabrications of their imaginations) which confirmed my beliefs.
As time went on, in about 1982, I became involved in work of some significance and received some minor criticism and skepticism that I found to be beneficial as well as practical, but no death threats of any of the other forms of persecution. I built experimental devices, learned things unavailable from books, filed for patents and in general felt very satisfied with my life, society and the scientific system.
However, things began to change, slowly and alarmingly. The more success I had in my endeavors -- the more I began to attract dishonest and greedy people (I know this now but was unaware of it then). My life became more uncomfortable as time went on but I was not sure of the problem.
In 1987 we decided it was time to let the world know what we were working on and the results we were getting. It was a proud time for me. I thought we were doing the right thing. But this was the real beginning of the worst. Since that February 1987, I or my company have been persecuted by the State Dept. of Health; then the Idaho Dept. of Finance filed a complaint against the company and myself; my license for handling radioactive materials was then suspended for 6 months; I began to receive threats (i.e. ‘we will bulldoze your home with your family in it’); then the investigation by the Oregon Dept. of Finance; then the tax man; then the Securities and Exchange Commission; my wife was assaulted; I lost control of my company; my home has been robbed three times and vandalized on four other occasions; twice now I have been accused of drug manufacturing; I lost my home; most recently my mother’s car was pipe bombed. With each hardship I strive harder toward successful development of the technologies under my endeavor. But it only seems to get worse.
Someone once said, 'Paranoia is only a heightened sense of awareness.' He was right! It is hard for the average guy to comprehend these disasters happening to select people. I am here to tell you it is not coincidence. I now understand why some inventors drop out from society.
My advice to you is keep a low profile until you have completed your endeavor; be selective in choosing your business partners; protect yourself and your family; know that the nightmare stories are true.
God speed, Good Luck in your endeavors, and never lose The Faith.
(Open Letter to All Working on Alternate Energy– November 1, 1991)
It took about four more years before Paul would, as he told me later on, "stick his head above water to see if it would get cut off." He said that he had completely dropped the business venture in Oregon because his life was more important to him than money. Furthermore, the arrests and convictions that he endured were groundless harassment, according to Paul. My guess at the time was that they were probably intended to discourage him from disturbing the fossil fuel industry, which at that time, the U.S. was going to war to protect. Only with the subsequent encouragement of friends did he later resume his research and start lecturing again, this time on tritium batteries. When I saw Paul at a 1997 conference in Colorado, he was approached by a couple of businessmen who alerted him to the brand new Bell Labs-Lucent Technologies patent #5,642,014 (June 24, 1997). Called a "Self-Powered Device," the Bell inventors had brazenly referenced Paul’s public lecture on the tritium battery concept, which they proceeded to patent. What was also unusual about the application was that it was designed solely for a watch battery that would last 25 years. Instead of going for more powerful designs, that perhaps would disturb major economic controlling interests, Bell Labs chose an almost innocuous application that surely would not displace any existing businesses. To me, this shed a light on the problems Paul suffered in Oregon with "Solving the Worldwide Need for Reliable Cheap Power" as the title of a 1989 article in Business Magazine indicated as his intentions.
In the midst of the tritium research and Paul’s inability to buy it in the state where he worked, he accidentally stumbled upon a curious phenomenon in a nuclear handbook. As he looked down a long list of radioactive isotopes which are all made in nuclear reactors, Paul noticed that if he could remove one neutron from their nuclei, he would transmute each of them into a very-short-lived isotope. This discovery made him very excited and for the next few years, Paul started testing this theory. Not only was it true but the government apparently knew about it right after WW II. (Many scientific labs around the world subsequently confirmed the viability of the photoremediation--Hypercon process.) Why bury nuclear waste and endanger everyone nearby for thousands of years, Paul asked, when he could apply photoremediation (using low energy X-rays) and generate electricity too? As another company was formed and started to bring this invention to where Nuclear Solutions is today, Paul and his family had to survive a National Security Agency campout at their home for an extended period of time. The NSA kept threatening him and his family with "bringing in the van" if they didn't cooperate. When one young company employee asked an NSA agent what would happen if they just posted the information about nuclear waste treatment on the web in spite of any NSA controls, the agent responded, "We will kill you." (Paul's wife who was there has also confirmed this quote.) In terror, they could only imagine whether they would live through the interrogation experience or not. It was fortunate, as Paul told me later, that he made phone calls to at least one or more high level government friends, including one who had connections with the CIA. The intercession between Paul and the NSA, that was facilitated by the third party, was crucial to allowing Paul and his company to continue with their completely peaceful intention of eliminating nuclear waste.
Paul Brown was, and always will be, a hero in my eyes. He was also the first recipient of the "Integrity in Research Award" at our Conference on Future Energy in 1999, which made him very happy. The picture of Paul accepting that award can be found on our institute’s http://users.erols.com/iri/Pauleulogy.htm website, where we also proudly offer the 200-page "Collected Writings of Paul Brown, Ph.D." (IRI #808) as a memorial to his genius. Paul has published extensively on a wide variety of topics including atmospheric electricity, variable reluctance alternators, propellentless propulsion, alternates to mass-gain at light velocities, gravity and residual electric force, besides the nuclear topics mentioned above. Wired magazine produced a great article about Paul in Feb., 1999 called "Nuking Nukes" that is posted at http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.02/mustread.html?pg=19 (and can be emailed, faxed, or printed for free, according to the website).
The company he founded, Nuclear Solutions, www.nuclearsolutions.com has confirmed their intention to carry on Dr. Brown’s lifetime of service and discovery. Their main product, clean electricity generation plants utilizing photoremediation of nuclear waste, is well-documented on their website. It is a publicly trading company whose stock will inevitably soar, just as Paul did with all of his achievements.
Keeping the faith,
Thomas Valone, MA, PE
Integrity Research Institute
1220 L St. NW #100-232
Washington, DC 20005
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