man killed for inventing car that runs on water
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The mysterious death of Stanley Meyer
Was the man who could have upset the oil market poisoned by cranberry juice or taken by a stroke?
The mysterious death of Stanley Meyer and his water powered car
A mystery unresolved to this day and still very topical
03 November 2020 Share: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest WhatsApp Email Telegram
Photo credit: Fondazione Pirelli, Hemmings, Ferrari, BMW
The crime scene is in Grove City, Ohio, Franklin County.
With all the ingredients of the setting in the American province that is dear to crime writers.
It’s the 21st March 1998, the first day of spring, and four men are having lunch in a restaurant.
A waiter serves one of them some cranberry juice, perhaps (but we will never know for sure) chosen for dessert. This man, immediately after the first sip, suddenly gets up as if he’s gone crazy, he holds his hands around his neck, he loses his breath, runs out into the parking lot, collapses to the ground and pronounces his last words “they poisoned me”.
Stanley Meyer, with his buggy powered by the water-powered system he had patented
Steve Robinette, the lead detective on the case, collected the testimonies of everyone in the parking lot, including the final disturbing words of a man immediately identified as Stanley Meyer, a citizen of Grove City. His brother Stephen was one of the four at the table, and he heard the words spoken at the end of his life. Robinette is not one for interminable investigations. He performed a toxicology analysis, which gave no significant results, and he also spoke to the coroner, who attributed his death to a brain aneurysm, compatible with previous episodes of hypertension. In just three months, he closed the case file, sealed it with a coloured elastic band and wrote on the cover “death by natural causes”. Formally, the case was now resolved.
One of the many newspaper articles that spoke of Stanley Meyer’s surprising, as well as unproven invention
In 2015 Robinette retired from the police force, and devoted himself to politics, becoming president of the city council, and in 2019 he also ran for mayor.
But we can all rest assured that in all these years he never forgot the case of Stanley Meyer, the inventor of the water-powered car who, in 1998, got up from a table at a restaurant to run into a car park, some say just to leave us a message: “they poisoned me, and it’s because of what I’m doing to revolutionize the car world”. The coroner’s report contained the following statement: “no poison known to American science has been found”. But maybe the search for Meyer’s enemies should have gone beyond American soil. We have to go back to 1975, when Meyer, who spent his life patenting technical solutions of every kind, from the banking sector to, ironically, heart monitoring, decided to explore the automotive world. In that year, the effects of the Middle East oil embargo, which had also led to a crisis in the United States, were still considerable, with a significant drop in car sales.
Stolen one week after the inventor’s death, Stanley Meyer’s “Water Powered Car” currently appears to be in Canada, but there is no evidence whether it actually works
Meyer thought that the way to get out of oil dependency was through water propulsion. Yes, water. A “very” alternative solution, it goes without saying.
He created a fuel cell, based on the principle of splitting water atoms into its elemental form, burning hydrogen to create energy and releasing oxygen, along with water residues, through the exhaust pipe, thus generating harmless emissions.
After a few months he managed to develop his water-powered engine, mounting it onto a dune buggy painted with the conspicuous writing: “water powered car”, and with a call to his Christian faith, to communicate the spirit of protection and creation, which animated his actions.
Meyer claimed his vehicle was able to travel 180 km. With just 4 litres of water, and nothing else. Forty-five kilometres with just a litre of something that cost hardly anything must have sounded truly magical. And that’s exactly when his troubles started.
One of the drawings of the patent filed by Stanley Meyer for his “Water Powered Car”
Taking a look at what’s left of this inexplicable series of events, there is a film of this moving car, and various photos of the car surrounded by admiring people. But many argue that no one had ever really verified the actual operation of the engine, whether it was powered purely by water and whether the patent or the project worked at all. Analysing the case, there have been rivers of words and ink spent over the years both to support and to refute Meyer’s thesis, and especially the veracity of what he claimed. Even an American judicial authority, in 1996, two years before his mysterious death, had looked into Meyer’s invention, petitioned by several small investors who had financed the development of his project, who later became suspicious and worried that it was doomed to bankruptcy.
Stanley Meyer's water fuel cell
Stanley Meyer's water fuel cell
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"Water fuel cell" redirects here. For other purported water fueled devices, see Water-fueled car. For fuel cells, see Fuel cell.
The water fuel cell is a technical design of a "perpetual motion machine" created by American Stanley Allen Meyer (August 24, 1940 – March 20, 1998). Meyer claimed that an automobile retrofitted with the device could use water as fuel instead of gasoline. Meyer's claims about his "Water Fuel Cell" and the car that it powered were found to be fraudulent by an Ohio court in 1996.
2 The term "fuel cell"
3 Media coverage 4 Lawsuit 5 Meyer's death 6 Aftermath 7 See also 8 References 9 External links
The water fuel cell purportedly split water into its component elements, hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen gas was then burned to generate energy, a process that reconstituted the water molecules. According to Meyer, the device required less energy to perform electrolysis than the minimum energy requirement predicted or measured by conventional science. The mechanism of action was alleged to involve "Brown's gas," a mixture of oxyhydrogen with a ratio of 2:1, the same composition as liquid water; which would then be mixed with ambient air (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, free radicals/electrons, radiation, among others). The resultant hydrogen gas was then burned to generate energy, which reconstituted the water molecules in another unit separate from the unit in which water was separated. If the device worked as specified, it would violate both the first and second laws of thermodynamics, allowing operation as a perpetual motion machine.
The term "fuel cell"
Throughout his patents Meyer used the terms "fuel cell" or "water fuel cell" to refer to the portion of his device in which electricity is passed through water to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Meyer's use of the term in this sense is contrary to its usual meaning in science and engineering, in which such cells are conventionally called "electrolytic cells". Furthermore, the term "fuel cell" is usually reserved for cells that produce electricity from a chemical redox reaction, whereas Meyer's fuel cell consumed electricity, as shown in his patents and in the circuit pictured on the right. Meyer describes in a 1990 patent the use of a "water fuel cell assembly" and portrays some images of his "fuel cell water capacitor". According to the patent, in this case "... the term 'fuel cell' refers to a single unit of the invention comprising a water capacitor cell ... that produces the fuel gas in accordance with the method of the invention."
The water fuel cell
In a news report on an Ohio TV station, Meyer demonstrated a dune buggy he claimed was powered by his water fuel cell. He stated that only 22 US gallons (83 liters) of water were required to travel from Los Angeles to New York. Furthermore, Meyer claimed to have replaced the spark plugs with "injectors" that introduced a hydrogen/oxygen mixture into the engine cylinders. The water was subjected to an electrical resonance that dissociated it into its basic atomic make-up. The water fuel cell would split the water into hydrogen and oxygen gas, which would then be combusted back into water vapor in a conventional internal combustion engine to produce net energy.
Philip Ball, writing in academic journal , characterized Meyer's claims as pseudoscience, noting that "It's not easy to establish how Meyer's car was meant to work, except that it involved a fuel cell that was able to split water using less energy than was released by recombination of the elements ... Crusaders against pseudoscience can rant and rave as much as they like, but in the end they might as well accept that the myth of water as a fuel is never going to go away."
To date, no peer reviewed studies of Meyer's devices have been published in the scientific literature. An article in journal described Meyer's claims as one more "water as fuel" myth.
Stanley Meyer's invention was later termed fraudulent after two investors to whom he had sold dealerships offering the right to do business in Water Fuel Cell technology sued him in 1996. His car was due to be examined by the expert witness Michael Laughton, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Queen Mary University of London and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. However, Meyer made what Professor Laughton considered a "lame excuse" on the days of examination and did not allow the test to proceed. His "water fuel cell" was later examined by three expert witnesses in court who found that there "was nothing revolutionary about the cell at all and that it was simply using conventional electrolysis." The court found Meyer had committed "gross and egregious fraud" and ordered him to repay the two investors their $25,000.
Who killed the water
Stanley Meyers sat down to lunch at a Cracker Barrel diner in rural Ohio. Ten minutes later, he would be dead, his last words an accusation of murder.
Who killed the water-powered car?
29 April 2019 | Facts & Curiosities
Hero Labs > Stories > Facts & Curiosities > Who killed the water-powered car?
It was the 21st of March 1998, when American Inventor Stanley Meyers sat down to lunch at a Cracker Barrel diner in rural Ohio. He ordered cranberry juice and the soup of the day. Ten minutes later, he would be dead, his last words an accusation of murder.
Meyers was a prolific inventor, and by all accounts a rather eccentric one. Between 1960 and his untimely death in the carpark of an unassuming diner he applied for nearly 200,000 patents. Electronic banking, oceanography, heart monitors – Meyers had no formal qualifications as a scientist, but somehow saw opportunities to innovate in fields as erratic and unexpected as his personality. He was a religious man who swore that God sent him the ideas; he was known to exclaim “Praise God and pass the ammunition” at seemingly random intervals. By 1989 he had been granted so many patents that the US patent office decided to put him on a fast-track programme, reducing the scrutiny on his applications to save office resources. This, if you believe the conspiracy theories, may have been one of the factors that lead to his death.
On 21st March 1998, Stanley Meyers was dining for business rather than pleasure. He was meeting two Belgian investors in the hope of raising capital for his latest invention: the water-powered car.
This one was to be his crowning achievement: a vehicle fuelled not by polluting hydrocarbons, but by good old H20 – the most plentiful substance on earth. It could supposedly cross the United States on just 75 litres of distilled water, emitting only oxygen as waste. It would revolutionise transport and transform industry. It would change the world, and create astronomical wealth. Meyers said he had a working prototype, a dune buggy painted in a spectacular shade of retina-damage orange; emblazoned with a gaudy American Flag and the words “Jesus Christ is Lord”.According to witnesses, the meeting passed cordially and uneventfully. It concluded with a toast – the Belgians raising their champagne glasses, and Meyers his cranberry juice. He took a sip; convulsed, grasping at his neck; burst from his seat and ran from the restaurant into the carpark where he collapsed. As he lay on the tarmac, he gasped to the startled onlookers who surrounded him: “they poisoned me”. And then he died.
So who killed Stanley Meyers, and with him the water-powered car?
“Big Oil” companies with trillions of dollars at stake? Or perhaps General Motors, the largest car manufacturer in the world back in 1998. Or could it have been the mysterious Belgian investors, realising the monumental significance of what Meyers had discovered and seeking to claim it as their own?
The most accurate answer to this riddle is probably Rudolf Clausius, or you could also point the finger at William Thomson. Just to really put a twist in the tail of this whodunnit, this dastardly duo arguably killed the water-powered car around 150 years before it was even invented.
Clausius and Thomson jointly discovered the laws of thermodynamics, which, until proven otherwise, expressly prohibit Meyer’s invention from ever working. Meyer’s water-powered car was a physical impossibility. Water, as we know, does not burn particularly well. Meyers invention purported to work by freeing the hydrogen molecule in H2O its accompanying oxygen molecules, allowing the highly flammable hydrogen to be burnt as a fuel source. This process (known as electrolysis) is real and very well-documented, but unfortunately, it takes the same amount of energy to break the bond as is released when it’s formed. In other words – releasing energy from water will always consume more energy than it produces. That’s the first and second law of thermodynamics in action.
The Truth is Out There
So how did Meyers really die? Many conspiracy theorists still believe it was an assassination. He was said to have drawn mysterious visitors from around the globe; attracted lucrative buyout offers from shadowy offshore companies and even allegedly been the subject of state-sponsored espionage. Some even theorise that a such a world-changing technology would have upturned the delicate, post-cold-war geopolitical power balance; ending America’s dependence on crude oil and with it the strategic importance of Russian oil fields and the Middle East. Even Meyer’s brother suspected foul play: he met with the two investors the next day to tell them Stanley didn’t make it; “I told them that Stan had died, and they never said a word,” he recalled. “absolutely nothing, no condolences, no questions, not a word. I never, ever had a trust of those two men ever again.”
Grove City Police Department drew a rather more prosaic conclusion at the end of their three-month inquiry. Natural causes; a brain aneurism to be precise. “There were all sorts of cloak-and-dagger stories”, said Grove City Police Lieutenant Steve Robinette, the lead detective on the case. “It was laced with all sorts of intrigue and conspiracy. But we checked everything, and we found nothing.” Stanley Meyers, who had a history of high blood pressure, had died of a cerebral aneurism. The toxicology report came back spotless. He had not ingested any poison known to American medical science on the day he died – not even alcohol. A verdict of death by natural causes was recorded by the coroner, and consequently, no charges were ever filed.
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