Just thirty minutes southeast of Bern, Switzerland rests the tranquil community of Linden. Ancient wooden chalets dot the landscape, and a patchwork of small farms float on green hills that roll into the distance. The region also produces Emmentaler cheese, but despite the treasures of scenery, gastronomy, and solitude, Linden typically remains absent from most tourist itineraries. I, however, plan to visit Linden in May. More specifically, I plan to visit a small outlying community of Linden called Methernitha, because I heard a rumor that the people that live there possess something that could change the world.
According to the rumor, about 30 years ago a German engineer named Paul Baumann built an electrostatic generator that supposedly produces more energy than it consumes. Many people refer to generators like these as “free energy machines,” but most scientists and engineers would quickly point out that in nature, energy is never free. In fact, the first law of thermodynamics forbids it and plainly states that energy is neither created nor destroyed. The second law goes a step further and states that in all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state. In summary, we don’t just create energy out of nothing, but we can harness it, and convert it into other forms.
Baumann’s machine, called the Thestatika, apparently functions by generating electrostatic energy, but also by harnessing outlying energy from the aether, a concept that isn’t new to physics. To understand the aether, imagine a large swimming pool filled with all sorts of floating stuff; this is the universe. The floating stuff, beach balls, rafts, half sunken beer cans, would represent the atoms that bump into each other to form molecules and physical matter. The water would represent the aether, or the medium, in which those atoms and molecules are suspended.
Nicola Tesla patented a radiant energy machine almost 100 years ago in attempt to tap into this aether. Though not exactly extracting energy from the aether, Tesla postulated that the radiant energy machine grabbed charged energy particles streaming into our atmosphere from the sun, much like a solar panel does today. The difference between a solar panel and Tesla’s radiant energy machine is that Tesla’s machine also works in the dark. It even gathers electrical charges from lightning storms miles away. Could it be that Baumann’s Thestatika actually utilizes concepts from Tesla’s radiant energy collector?
A more likely interpretation is that the Thestatika is actually a Wimshurst electrostatic generator, a device that produces relatively low levels of high voltage electricity through electrostatic induction. Paul Baumann supposedly discovered a way to amplify the generated electricity to powerful and useful levels. To operate the Thestatika, a person rotates a pair of disks to get the machine moving, but once it’s in motion, it provides enough electricity to power itself and provide indefinite electricity to whatever is hooked up to it. It doesn’t break any laws of thermodynamics, because it simply grabs energy from a source that we can’t see and are just beginning to understand. Imagine a machine that requires no coal burning, no water flow, and no nuclear collisions, just a small rev to get it humming.
If this thing really does exist, then it fascinates me that a device like the Thestatika might rest just 30 minutes outside of the very city where Albert Einstein developed his theories of relativity. Is there something in the water of the Canton Bern that inspires contemplation of the great mysteries of the universe?
The people that own the Thestatika call themselves the Methernithans. They are a conservative Christian community with deep spiritual values and a dedication to meditation and contemplation. They apparently believe that the rest of the world is not responsible enough to embrace a technology that could redefine our lives. They fear that the rest of the world would find a way to use this device for military purposes and to ultimately harm humanity. So for now, they are content to power their community with this machine, continue to conduct their independent research, and only invite a select number of people to visit.
Could this be a solution to our energy problems, or is this just a marketing hoax dreamed up by a group of people with a flawed understanding of physics? I aim to find out. I’ve been tinkering with my own projects and I’m already amazed by the possibilities that surround us, possibilities that some people choose to blatantly ignore. It makes me wonder what else is out there. Even if this thing is a hoax, at least it gets people thinking. At any rate, I feel a bit like Indiana Jones, on a journey to uncover the secrets of a machine that could revolutionize our lives.
See the Thestatika on video:
A different video in German: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOWPJEq42l4