Zawodny Backpedals, Gibbs Plays the Fool

Last week’s NASA video release featuring NASA senior scientist Dr. Joseph Zawodny explaining the benefits and possibilities of LENR has created quite a stir, with people from a wide-spectrum displaying a similarly wide range of responses.  There was everything from the staunchest of believers claiming this as proof that the e-Cat works as advertised to the anti-cold fusion crowd saying this means absolutely nothing.   Whatever position one took on this, apparently Zawodny and the people at NASA received a plethora of responses regarding it.  This tidal wave of publicity resulted in Dr. Zawodny issuing a clarification on his blog that was anything but.  If anything, Zawondy’s clarification was a convoluted contradiction of at least three years of work and public statements regarding LENR, NASA and Dr. Zawodny’s involvement with both.   Dr. Zawodny’s attempt at clarification was 1200 words, while the transcript of the 2 minute video that he was attempting to clarify, including the voice-over from the narrator, was 244 words.  A clarification that is nearly 5 times longer than the original statement is usually an indication that something is amiss.  It also flies in the face of Zawodny’s stated belief that “less is more” when it comes to explaining things.

To put things in the proper context, let us first examine some of the statements and other indications of both Zawodny’s and NASA’s support for LENR over the last two years.

From Dr. Zawodny’s blog on January 13, 2009, there was this post entitled  “Capture the momentwhere Zawodny states:

I’ve been working on a special project at work. I can’t talk about the subject just yet, but hopefully soon. Let’s just say that it has the potential to change everything for just about everyone on the planet. I had the opportunity to present my work to management and it went exceptionally well. I have complete support for the next phase of the project.  The events of the day are still soaking in and I wanted to capture the moment – here. This is really great news for everyone. Wish me well and I’ll do my best for you

A presentation at NASA in August of 2009 entitled “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, An Energetics Revolution for ALL of NASA’s Missions And A Solution to Climate Change and the Economic Meltdown,” can be found here.

In March of 2011, Dr. Zawodny filed a patent application entitled “Method for Producing Heavy Electrons.”  The application is here.   NASA was listed as the assignee for this patent.

On October 22, 2011, Zawodny gave at presentation at an LENR workshop at the NASA Glenn Research Center, with PDF here and slide show below.

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Then of course on January 12 of this year, almost three years to the day of the blog post referenced above, the video was released touting the benefits of LENR and the NASA Technology Gateway web site, found here.

Now look at some statements Zawodny made on his blog, found here, the day following the release of the video.

“While I work for NASA, I do not speak for them.”  Further down the page he states:  “There have been many attempts to twist the release of this video into NASA’s support for LENR…”

Well, if one watches the video, one of the first lines spoken in the video states:  “While the world is drastically dependent on fossil fuel, researchers at NASA Langley Research Center are working on another way of producing energy efficient nuclear power.”  It does not say “Dr. Joseph Zawodny is working…”, nor does it state that any one particular scientist “is working,” It states “researchers (pleural) at NASA Langley Research Center are working.”  Just this statement alone states that NASA is working on this technology.  I really do not know how much clearer that can be.  Furthermore, the last line in the video states “NASA’s Method for Enhancement of Surface Plasmon Polaritons to Initiate and Sustain LENR in metal hydride systems, a clean nuclear energy for your power operated technology.”  Again, Dr. Zawodny is not specifically mentioned as the one working on this.  Nowhere in the video does it state that Zawodny is working on this at all, much less alone.  Of course, the other information posted above does make it clear that Zawodny is working on this…but in addition to several other NASA scientists that also gave presentations at the NASA Glenn Research Center on September 22, 2011.  As a matter of fact, one of the presentations list three additional scientists as being participants in this research aside from those who gave presentations!  How many more researchers are working on this at NASA that we know nothing about?  The video clearly implies that this is a NASA-sponsored video, reporting on work being done at NASA by NASA scientists and that Dr. Zawodny IS SPEAKING for them.  Dr. Zawodny can write a 10,000 page clarification and it would not make things any clearer than that which was stated in a 2-minute video.  While Zawondy states in his blog that this was an obligatory video touting his patent application, again I see no indication at all of this in the video that this work is specifically related to him or a patent.  The ONLY indication there at all that Zawodny has even filed a patent is because of the application referenced above.

Again, given the above, I really don’t see how Zawodny expects to be taken seriously in his insistence that he neither speaks for NASA or has NASA support regarding his research which, has been pointed out already, is only his in the broadest sense of the word and in no way implies exclusivity.

The above are only the most glaring inconsistencies that appear in Zawodny’s blog post compared to the other information referenced above.  He also attempts to “clarify” what he meant by the word “demonstrate” as used in the video, which is just as contorted and nonsensical as the inconsistencies already covered.  Again, for a man who states he lives by a “less is more philosophy,” he sure does a poor job demonstrating it.  Still another part of the blog entry attempts to explain why he left out mention of the Widom-Larsen Theory in the video in attempt to soothe some individuals who were apparently offended by this omission.  I think anyone who has been following this saga can surmise who these offended parties were.  I honestly just skimmed over that part of his blog post but I certainly hope he did a better job of bringing clarity to that situation than he did to clarifying by what he meant in the video of January 12.

I only gloss over the remainder of Dr. Zawodny’s 1200 word “clarification” to move the second act of this comedy, that being Mark Gibbs, hired gun for Forbes.  After the hubbub created by the video, Gibbs wrote an article for Forbes on-line where he mistakenly took Zawodny’s back-tracking at face value  and actually considered it a clarification of the video.  In the process he totally ignored the two years of contradictory evidence that this was indeed back-tracking and attempted to assert that all of us “zealots” had it all wrong because “Zawodny said” as much in his blog post.  Gibbs is either playing the fool or actually is one, it’s anybody’s guess at this point.

Gibbs begins the article, entitled Cold Fusion: NASA Says Nothing Useful, with this quote from the NASA Glenn Research Center web site:

“Tests conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center in 1989 and elsewhere consistently show evidence of anomalous heat during gaseous loading and unloading of deuterium into and out of bulk palladium. At one time called “cold fusion,” now called “low-energy nuclear reactions” (LENR), such effects are now published in peer-reviewed journals and are gaining attention and mainstream respectability. The instrumentation expertise of NASA GRC is applied to improve the diagnostics for investigating the anomalous heat in LENR.”

I have used that quote many times on this site and it has been a part of the “A Brief History” section of this site since its inception.  The quote is a clear indication that NASA was able to replicate Pons and Fleishman in the same year they became the laughingstock of the scientific world and cold fusion became a pseudonym for “junk science.”  Yet, NASA did not  acknowledge this replication for over two decades.  But instead of exploring that issue, which could be the subject of an entire book much less a magazine article, Gibbs asks the puzzled question about if cold fusion and LENR are the same thing.  Well Mark, it does really take much research to find out that indeed they are.  Neither does it take much poking around to find out that the real question is not whether cold fusion and LENR are the same thing but if “it” is really fusion?  That issue has been debated for as long as the term cold fusion has been in the public consciousness.  The fact that it was even called fusion in the first place is much of the reason that the physics community, including “hot fusion” and theoretical physicists, have out-of-hand rejected this phenomena for two decades.  But, again, instead of exploring that important issue, i.e. “has cold fusion been rejected for 20+ years because of semantics.”

In the first couple of paragraphs alone Gibbs could have taken the opportunity to explore two important issues in the cold fusion story, NASA’s failure to acknowledge replication for 20+ years and the question of “what’s in a name.”  But, instead, he goes on to discuss the Zawdony video and the blog clarification that wasn’t.

He states:  “This video has been hailed as somehow irrefutable proof that NASA, as a whole, is admitting to the existence of LENR as a practical technology for energy generation while others see this as a breaching of the misinformation and suppression campaign conducted by Big Physics (specifically the hot plasma researchers) and Big Energy (the oil, natural gas, a nuclear industries). For example, the following comes from a blog called “E-Cat Site” (the highlights are mine).”  He then goes on to quote a portion of the article on this site that covered the video (at the link above).

While I thank Gibbs for the unsolicited plug for this site on Forbes, it would have been nice if he had also clicked the donate button in the right upper sidebar and spotted me $50.  It is the least he could have done for calling this site out as an example uninformed, over-enthusiastic “zealotry” AND copying and pasting the transcript of the video on Forbes without giving the proper credit.

But, aside from that, Gibbs misses the Mark (pun intended) once again. I did not say irrefutable, I said unequivocal.  There is no equivocation in the NASA video that LENR is real, especially when taken in the context of the quote from NASA Glenn and the other information referenced above.  Whether it is irrefutable is another question altogether.  Certainly Zawodny and Gibbs are TRYING to refute it, so what effect that has on the masses will actually determine if it is irrefutable or not.  No article ever posted here has ever stated that LENR was YET practical.  The emphasis here has been to point out that cold fusion/LENR is real and MAY SOON be practical, not that it is currently.  By the same token, many of us believe that Rossi MAY HAVE solved the issue of practicality.  Even some at NASA believe this.  As the chief scientist at the NASA Langley Research Center, Dennis Bushnell, stated in his presentation on September 22 at NASA Glenn:  “Rossi device possibly producing useful energy but wholly “Edisonian,” not “scaleable,” not “optimized.”

Whether the “whole of NASA” believes that LENR is real is another matter for debate that Gibbs brings up.  The “whole” of any organization the size of NASA is never going to agree 100% of anything down to the man.  I don’t believe that was ever implied on these pages or could be asserted by any reasonable person.  However, based on the number of NASA scientists and managers that have given credence to LENR going back two decades now, I think it is safe to say that important and myriad portions of that organization believe that it is real.  I really don’t think there can be reasonable question about that.  It is not really reasonable to believe that senior and chief scientists at NASA are actively working and/or supporting LENR without the knowledge of other important people in that organization.  Nor is it reasonable to think that NASA would allow this much information about their work to be made public without their consent and knowledge.  People who believe otherwise are zealots of another sort and it would be a positive step to see Forbes, and Gibbs in particular, to make as much of an effort to distance themselves from those types as it has to distance itself from “true believers.”

As another interesting note, Gibbs seems to express frustration that the NASA video from January 12 is another promise of  “jam tomorrow.”  Well, welcome to the club Mr. Gibbs.  A lot of people have been waiting a long time for their “jam,” some years and some decades.  If there is to be any “jam” regarding LENR, it should go first to Martin Fleishmann and Stanley Pons whose careers were ruined, at least in part, by the kind of lazy and unformed journalism you displayed in your last article.


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10 Responses to Zawodny Backpedals, Gibbs Plays the Fool

  1. Gregoryyc says:

    WE need a swift counter punch very very soon or we will be breathing more exhaust hume till the end of century. MARK ( no pun intended) my word. ( explosion of silence by upper echilons) This proves that we are not likely benefit from DR. Rossi or Defkalion any time soon. If we so not act. NOW>
    Stop speculating on who said what or did what to whom.
    Lets gather our heads & inteligence to get this thing going pronto. Question is : How to get this device in your hands or my hand say, like, yeaterday. Got that ?

    So as a precursor to this solution I suggest that we get together and pursuade Dr.Rossi to sell us a few home units as is as it stands now, ugly or not so long as it produce heat only for few days even and burn out the cartridge or not. Got that again ?

    Listen guys. We must develope strategy to bring it out to light as soon aas we can . Not spend our talking wasting time on bullshit. LETS DO IT !

  2. Andrew says:

    I firmly believe that there are major politics at play right now in the LENR saga. Sadly I also think it is also the calm before the storm.

    • Ben says:

      You are right Andrew. The storm of falsehood and misinformation has already begun and I can only see it getting louder and more aggressiveness.

    • Sandy says:

      The powers that be are suppressing LENR technologies in order to keep us addicted to oil. That addiction requires us to keep an armada in the Persian Gulf. The neocons will stage another bogus torpedo attack on one of our ships (e.g., the Gulf of Tonkin Incident) or a real torpedo attack (e.g., the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty) in order to provide a justification for a military attack on Iran. We are being manipulated into another war. Will Russia and/or China become involved? Will it become a nuclear (fission) war?

  3. Brad Arnold says:

    FIrst get the establishment to once and for all declare LENR legitimate: This phenomenon (LENR) has been confirmed in hundreds of published scientific papers:

    Second, “as his claim that he is getting heat from Ni + H is no longer extraordinary, Rossi’s claim is much less extraordinary. He is now only claiming that he has optimized a phenomenon that is known to science.” ( per Bruce Fast)

    The one-two punch. But, according to Mr Gibbs of Forbes, you need a PHYSICS DEGREE to know for sure that LENR is legitimate (yeah, that’s the ticket). See the disconnect?

    All of these quotes from NASA are not endorsing Rossi’s improved “secret Italian Sauce,” but the LENR reaction:

    “Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than chemical…” –Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

    “Energy density many orders of magnitude over chemical.” Michael A. Nelson, NASA

    “Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry.” –Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny, NASA

    Yet, if LENR is legitimate, then Rossi’s optimization of LENR (from a COP of 2 to a COP <6 which makes it commercially viable) isn't so farfetched.

    BTY, some say oil-sands depends upon a price per barrel of at least 85 $/barrel (estimates range from 65-95, but below 85 you are looking at a very slim profit margin which makes it economically questionable), so any commercialization of LENR directly and immediately threatens billions of dollars of economic development on the US Northern border and within it's economic zone (i.e. NAFTA). Maybe that is why ConocoPhillips is now trying to sell 50% of it's oil-sands investment.

  4. Sandy says:

    Dr. Zawodny predicted that LENR will cause the “Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry” (page 26 of “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions: Is there a better way to do nuclear power?”, September 22, 2011). Big Oil did not like Dr. Zawodny’s prediction so NASA has forced him to “clarify” himself in support of the share price of Exxon, Chevron, Shell, etc.

    Dr. Zawodny’s slide presentation contains the “Rated S” warning that his presentation is not “NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW DOGMA OR HAVE FIXED BELIEFS”. Big Oil probably did not see the humor in that warning.

    • Viridiana says:

      what or did what to whom.Lets gather our heads & icletigenne to get this thing going pronto. Question is : How to get this device in your hands or my hand say, like, yeaterday. Got that ? So as a precursor to this solution I suggest that we get together and pursuade Dr.Rossi to sell us a few home units as is as it stands now, ugly or not so long as it produce heat only for few days even and burn out the cartridge or not. Got that again ?Listen guys. We must develope strategy to bring it out to light as soon aas we can . Not spend our talking wasting time on bullshit. LETS DO IT !

  5. Pingback: Zawodny Backpedals, Gibbs Plays the Fool | e-Cat Site

  6. Pingback: Zawodny Backpedals, Gibbs Plays the Fool | E-cat News Aggregator

  7. Brilliant article and well said. Finally, another blog that has backbone.

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