by Lance Cleveland
If you ask the other residents of a certain apartment building in Vancouver, they may admit to being curious about John Hutchison. They see a tall, muscular man who carts old consoles of electronic equipment onto the elevator nearly every week. Their curiosity increased the day a Japanese television crew showed up and disappeared inside his apartment for a few hours. And in the summer of 1995, Hutchison further puzzled onlookers by sitting on the curb and picking out stones, Why would a rockhound sort through ordinary street rocks?
What the neighbors do not know is that John Hutchison is well-known in new-energy circles, and is even known to some who move in the circles of established science. His visitors have included distinguished physicists. But unlike Shoulders and Lambertson, he is a self-taught scientist. As a boy in Vancouver, he read about Nikola Tesla and then startled neighbors with Tesla coil experiments in his backyard.
While in his twenties, he developed a medical problem that resulted in his living on a small disability pension. For years, he lived a generally reclusive life, digging for rare electrical equipment in military surplus stores and junkyards, and carrying his finds home on the city bus. Apart from time spent as a volunteer at a local ecology center, he spent hours in his bedroom-turned-laboratory, patiently rebuilding equipment. He considered opening a museum.
Antigravity and the Hutchison Effect
Hutchison’s life changed drastically in 1979 when, upon starting up an array of high-voltage equipment, he felt something hit his shoulder. He threw the piece of metal back to where it seemed to have originated, and it flew up and hit him again. This was how he originally discovered the Hutchison effect. When his Tesla coils, electrostatic generator, and other equipment created a complex electromagnetic field, heavy pieces of metal levitated and shot toward the ceiling, and some pieces shredded.
What is the Hutchison effect? As with much of the new-energy field, no one can say for sure. Some theorists think the effect is the result of opposing electromagnetic fields cancelling each other out, creating a powerful flow of space energy.
A Vancouver businessman heard about the Hutchison effect, contacted Hutchison, and brought in a consulting engineer to form a company that would promote technology developed from the effect. Despite demonstrations to potential customers from both Canada and the United States, things did not work out, and Hutchison and the company parted ways in 1986.
After a couple of other abortive business tries, including a sojourn in Germany, Hutchison returned to Vancouver in late 1990 and again lived a relatively reclusive life. Piece by piece, he sold what remained of his laboratory equipment in order to pay his bills. It would be several years before he could reestablish his collection.
Hutchison wanted to connect with other researchers, but the local media had given his work the weird-science treatment, and didn’t take him seriously. However, material on the Hutchison effect was included in a Japanese book on Hutchison’s life and work that sold well in Japan. Living in a country with almost no natural resources has led the Japanese to take new-energy ideas very seriously, as we will see in Chapter 8.
As a result, Hutchison was asked to speak in Japan, where thousands of people paid to attend his two lecture tours. These tours were organized by Hiroshi Yamabe, a well-known Tesla lecturer who made his fortune in such advanced engineering fields as robotics and artificial intelligence. Yamabe offered to set up a laboratory for Hutchison, but the Canadian was ambivalent about the prospect of moving to Japan.
Beyond the Hutchison Effect: The Dirt Cheap Energy Converter
Hutchison was undecided about what to do. He had moved beyond the Hutchison effect and into the field of space energy, and had acquired a Canadian business manager. The winter before his 1995 Japanese tour, Hutchison built a working space energy device about the size of a microwave oven. The Hutchison Converter was based on Tesla’s resonance principle. Tesla demonstrated this principle by steadily pulsing bursts of energy into his electric coils, each burst coming before energy from the previous burst had time to die away. This led to higher and higher amounts of energy, like a child going higher and higher on a swing.
Hutchison captured the same pulsing, rhythmic energy by using crystals of barium titanate, a material that can capture the pulses of certain electromagnetic frequencies in the way that a radio can pick up certain radio frequencies. When the crystal pulses, or resonates, it produces electric power.
I saw a demonstration in which the converter put out six watts, enough to power a motor that kept a small propeller spinning furiously. The whirring of a tiny propeller looked rather silly, until one realized that the apparatus contained no batteries, no fuel, and no connection to a power outlet It worked continuously for months.
One day while experimenting, however, Hutchison cracked a crucial part and decided to take the unit apart.
He built a smaller, more portable model to take on his speaking tour. Resembling an Oscar statue in size and shape, the portable converter put out slightly more than a watt of power. It lit a tiny lamp as a demonstration and also ran a small motor.
At the end of the tour, in front of an audience of about 500 Hiroshima residents, Hutchison slapped the device onto a table lit by the bright lights of a television crew. He quickly unscrewed all the parts and revealed its inner details, while the camera zoomed in for a closeup and a pair of chopsticks provided a scale to show the size of the device. It was clear that the converter contained no batteries. Afterward, men crowded around Hutchison, offering him their business cards and asking him to sell them a supply of barium titanate.
Back home, Hutchison’s business advisor fretted that the inventor had given away his secrets. But Hutchison shrugged his shoulders; he had gone beyond the prototype technology he had taken to Japan. He now had a new secret – the stovetop process he called Dirt Cheap because the ingredients included common rocks.
The new process grew out of his use of barium titanate. He wondered, "Why can’t I make a material that works even better?" Hutchison knew that other researchers had put electrodes on certain rocks to show that the rocks generated a tiny electric current, somehow soaked up from the cosmos.
So Hutchison sorted through small stones on the street in front of his apartment and threw them into a test tube-sized metal container. Next, he added a mixture of low-cost, common chemicals, he won’t reveal which ones and put this rock soup on the stove to simmer. This allowed water to evaporate and tiny pockets of air to rise from the stones so that the chemicals could enter them. Before the mixture cooled into a solid, he added specially treated posts to draw electricity from the crystal-like substance th at had formed. Again, no one is entirely sure as to how the Dirt Cheap method works, although one physicist told Hutchison that the Casimir effect, used by Ken Shoulders to create charge clusters, may be at work (see page 61).
When he first discovered his Dirt Cheap process, Hutchison didn’t bother to patent it. He had heard from other inventors how their laboratories had been vandalized and their property had been stolen once the Patent Office had been notified, and he was not eager to be the first inventor to take a bold step by manufacturing a large home- or factory-sized unit that could restructure industries. Besides, in the 1980s — when he was still working with the Hutchison effect — he had received a few threatening comments from strangers.
How could Hutchison enjoy his peaceful life and still get a space energy product to the public in a low-key manner? He says he has hit upon an unusual strategy: building miniature flying saucers powered by Dirt Cheap-supplied electricity, and selling them as space-energy children’s toys. Hutchison hopes an environmentally safe toy that lights up without batteries will intrigue the public into buying Dirt Cheap devices that could power large appliances. And perhaps, the Dirt Cheap process could help lead to a world of nonpolluting new energy.