Questionable Attack on Rossi and Ecat attracts too much Attention
A very amateur attack on Andrea Rossi’s ecat low energy nuclear reaction process by a couple of self-proclaimed “skeptics” that have never actually seen the device is attracting far too much attention. The most visible example of this attention appeared on the website of a major American cable network called MSNBC. It is apparently a reprint of one of Natalie Wolchover’s Life’s Little Mysteries blogs.
In it Wolchover claims that an Australian engineer has come up with a theory of where the ecat’s excess heat is coming from. The engineer Ian Bryce claims the excessive heat is generated because a wire that is supposed to be a lead is not grounded. Bryce thinks the wire is generating the excess heat and not low energy nuclear reaction.
There are three problems with this claim:
- First as far as I know Bryce has never actually examined the ecat. He lives in Australia and as far as I know he has never actually traveled to Bologna, Italy, to examine the ecat itself. Since nobody except Rossi and his associates have actually seen the inside of the device there’s no way Bryce could know this. All Bryce is making is an educated guess based on his reading of paperwork Rossi apparently provided to Dick Smith an Australian entrepreneur who wanted to invest $200,000 in ecat. Therefore Bryce’s claims must be treated with doubt. It’s interesting to note that physicists who have had access to the same material that Bryce did not make the same conclusion.
- Second Wolchover herself admits that Bryce is an aeronautical engineer (i.e. an airplane designer) not a physicist or an electrical engineer. Therefore he may not be qualified to make this judgment. Bryce’s only qualification was apparently that he and Smith are both members of the Australian Skeptics group and that his “services” were apparently free. One would think that somebody with $200,000 to invest would be able to come up with a few bucks to pay a qualified engineer or scientist to look at the device and pay for an airline ticket to Italy for that person. Something sure smells fishy here.
- No effort was made by Wolcover to have any sort of experienced scientist such as Dr. Robert Duncan look over Smith and Bryce’s claims to see if there is any validity to them. Duncan is a physicist with experience with LENR and Vice Chancellor of the University of Missouri. He regularly talks to the press and he seems to be fairly easy to get in touch with. The so-called skeptics who criticize others for accepting Rossi’s claims at face value accept any “criticism” no matter how questionable at face value. In other words they themselves practice the methods they condemn others for.
Something else Wolchover’s writing apparently contradicts the Australian news reports I’ve seen about this story. An article in the Australian newspaper states that the $200,000 was offered to an Australian named Sol Millin not Andrea Rossi. Nowhere does it say that Rossi solicited money from Smith. Smith apparently offered the money himself. The Australian reports that Bryce’s skepticism of Rossi is based on questions about reports on the technology.
It sounds to me as if Mr. Smith and Mr. Bryce set out to discredit Andrea Rossi and ecat from the beginning. They made a conclusion and started looking for evidence to verify it. That is not scientific nor is it valid skepticism. Until either of these two men or somebody else actually looks inside the ecat their claims should be ignored. I might also add that the $200,000 probably doesn’t exist either.
I might also note that I was aware of this nonsense and ignored it because sounded like nonsense. If LENR skeptics had any brains they would ignore such stories. They do nothing but make themselves look bad. I’m only writing about it because US media have picked up on it.
Wolcover also makes another mistake when she states that Rossi met with a senator in Massachusetts to discuss building an energy plant. He met with a state senator named Bruce Tarr to discuss production of his devices in Massachusetts and ecat testing there. One would think a science writer would know the difference between a US senator and a state legislator.
Wolcover also notes that Andrea Rossi served prison time for fraud in Italy in relation to a failed business venture in the early 1990s. She notes correctly that Rossi was later acquitted of the charges. Rossi himself has maintained he was jailed because he refused to pay bribe money to Italian gangsters and politicians. The Amanda Knox debacle shows that Italian courts are more than capable of sending an innocent person to prison for political reasons. Rossi’s acquittal seems to indicate he was the victim of a similar frame up.
One final thought here as long as Rossi’s ecat is not independently examined and verified he will be open to such attacks. Dr. Rossi needs to get the ecat validated by independent scientists and technicians. I would suggest Dr. Robert Duncan and his group at the University of Missouri where an institute for the study of LNER has been set up and funded with $5.5 million.