Thomas E. Bearden

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Thomas E. Bearden (1930–2022)[1] was a claimed inventor of various "overunity systems" (perpetual motion) and free energy devices. He is also an advocate of scalar waves.

Scientific achievements[edit]

Science writer and skeptic Martin Gardner said that Bearden's physics theories, compiled in the self-published book Energy from the Vacuum, are considered "howlers" by physicists, and notes that his doctorate title was obtained from a diploma mill.[2]

Bearden founded and directed the Alpha Foundation's Institute for Advanced Study (AIAS) to further propagate his theories. This group has published papers in established physics journals and in books published by leading publishing houses, but one analysis lamented these publications because the texts were "full of misconceptions and misunderstandings concerning the theory of the electromagnetic field" and also states that "existence of non transverse waves in vacuum does not imply that electromagnetism is not a U (1) gauge theory."[3]

Bearden supported his various claims with a wide range of crank theories, including the proposal that all electrical devices, from batteries to electromechanical generators, in reality operate on vacuum energy. These theories offered no concrete testable predictions, none have been published in independent, peer-reviewed physics literature, and Bearden himself had little formal training in physics.

Over-unity claims[edit]

Motionless electromagnetic generator[edit]

Bearden designed the Motionless electromagnetic generator (MEG), a proposed device which is most notable for claims of over-unity operation. It can allegedly sustain its operation, in addition to powering a load without application of external electrical power, by extraction of vacuum energy from the immediate environment. This has never been actually demonstrated in a controlled setting.

In 2001, Bearden predicted that the first commercial products based on the MEG would be "rolling off the production lines in about one year",[4] and as early as 2002 claimed to have a prototype of the device that produced "100 times more power out than was input".[5] However, Bearden never produced a prototype or commercial products based on it, nor had he ever did a public demonstration of the technology. As last as 2009, he claimed that development was "on hold" pending the release of funds from the UN.[6] Bearden had given no details as to what further development is needed, given the claimed success in 2002.

Bearden claimed that it didn't violate the first law of thermodynamics because it extracted vacuum energy from the immediate environment.[2] Critics dismiss this theory and consider that it's just a perpetual motion machine with an unscientific rationalization.[2][7][8][9][10]

One skeptic pointed out that the device strongly resembles a standard transformer, with the exception of a permanent magnet and two actuator coils being included in the design.[11] When Bearden was awarded US patent 6,362,718 for the MEG in 2002, skeptic Robert Park complained so loudly that the American Physics Society issued a statement against the granting.[9] The United States Patent and Trademark Office said that it would reexamine the patent and change the way it recruits examiners, and re-certify examiners on a regular basis, to prevent similar patents from being granted again.[12]

Modified magnetic Wankel engine[edit]

Bearden and his colleagues proposed a simple modification to the magnetic Wankel engine (Takahashi Motor[13]) which he claims would deliver "over-unity performance" through "asymmetrical regauging", a variant on gauge theory. He believed that this technology was known, and suppressed, by the Japanese.[14]

Other views[edit]

Bearden has extended his views on electromagnetism to encompass the effect electromagnetic fields have on biological cells. He has stated that, as a result of his theories, "inexpensive, quick, nondebilitating, cures can be developed for most major dread diseases, including cancer, arteriosclerosis, and AIDS". This assertion is based on his description of diseases and the body's state as being not phenomena, but rather epiphenomena. Bearden labels the source of these manifestations "energy precursors" and states that they are the root causes of symptoms manifested.

Bearden also made claims regarding electromagnetic warfare, involving something called a Quantum Potential Weapon, which he claimed can "broadcast" destructive disease-triggering waves upon an enemy from a distance. Bearden insisted that such weapons were the cause for the momentary outbreak of "flesh-eating disease", as he believed streptococcal infection is a symptom of electromagnetic radiation. He did not cite any published medical literature in these claims.[15]

Bearden suggested that many of these advanced technologies are known by a few governments and clandestine organizations. These theories are a central theme in many of his books, particularly Aids: Biological Warfare, Fer de Lance, and Oblivion: America at the Brink.

Suppression of energy technology[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Free energy suppression

In spite of the difficulties and delays in bringing the MEG to market, Bearden maintained that a number of free energy technologies have been available for well over a century, yet have been actively suppressed by government and private interests.

He repeatedly expressed his belief that the key to over-unity systems was present in the original form of Maxwell's equations, and this potential was realized by Nikola Tesla; however, he claimed that part of the equations were deliberately suppressed in their vectorization by Heaviside and Lorentz in the late 19th century. Bearden claims this was orchestrated by industrialist J.P. Morgan in order to protect his oil interests.[16]

He claimed that a "nuclear power plant consortium" has worked to "ruthlessly suppress" cold fusion, and further that this consortium "is almost certainly to blame for the murder of Eugene Mallove, the main proponent and activist for cold fusion".[17]

He hypothesized that the death of Arie M. DeGeus in Charlotte, North Carolina might have been a murder carried out to suppress his development of a "self-powering battery".[18]

Secret electromagnetic warfare[edit]

He believed that Russia developed a weapon in the 1960s which uses "time-polarized EM waves" to disrupt the normal flow of time, and used this in Afghanistan in the 1980s.[19]


See the main article on this topic: Chernobyl

Bearden believed that the Chernobyl disaster "was almost certainly caused by an accidental catastrophic failure of a large TR Woodpecker transmitter about 30 kilometers away" (which could be a geographical reference to the former Duga-3 military installation), where the device in question generated "giant electrogravitational standing waves". He claims the official story of the meltdown was fabricated by the Soviets after the fact.[20]

Earthquakes and volcanoes[edit]

Bearden claimed that Russia used various other technologies in the 1980s to cause the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger and induce "several large earthquakes".[21]

He believed the Japanese Yakuza used this technology to trigger the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, and the resulting tsunami, which killed approximately 200,000 people, and that the Yakuza is also plotting to trigger the Yellowstone Supervolcano, which would kill the majority of the US population.[22]

Weather control[edit]

Bearden maintained that scalar waves can be used to create the high and low-pressure zones and influence the weather. He claimed that the KGB, in collaboration with the Yakuza and the Aum Shinrikyo cult, had been secretly influencing the weather since 1990, and explicitly blamed the Yakuza for Hurricane Katrina.[23]

Claims to academic credentials[edit]

Biographies of Bearden consistently state that he received a Bachelor's Degree in mathematics from Northeastern Louisiana University and a Master's Degree in nuclear engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.[24]

Some time in or before 2001, Bearden began to identify himself as "Tom Bearden, Ph.D.", and claimed to have written a Ph.D. thesis, he never made this thesis public[25][26] or provided affiliation or details. The Skeptical Inquirer, among others, revealed that Bearden obtained his Ph.D. for "life experience and for life accomplishment" from Trinity College and University, which the magazine describes as "a British institution with no building, campus, faculty, or president, and run from a post office box in Sioux Falls, South Dakota".[27] This institution is not accredited by any recognized accreditation association and is generally regarded as a diploma mill. It has since changed its name to Bronte International University and its exact location is uncertain.

Project Stargate[edit]

In 1984 the CIA collected or published a paper by Bearden titled STAR WARS NOW! The Bohm-Aharonov Effect, Scalar Interferometry, and Soviet Weaponization under Project Stargate.[28] Bearden made familiar claims about scalar waves, Tesla free energy and Soviet weather control. It was probably pitched to secure more financing for his research by leveraging Cold War paranoia about Soviet capabilities. For example P. 31 depicts something called "TESLA ABM DEFENSES" that show a Soviet "Tesla Howitzer" destroying an incoming ICBM fired by the United States.

External links[edit]

Supportive or neutral[edit]

Critical examinations[edit]


  1. Tom Bearden Obituary.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Martin Gardner, "'Dr' Bearden's Vacuum Energy", Skeptical Inquirer, January/February 2007
  3. Trovon De Carvalho, A. L.; Rodrigues, W. A. (July 15, 2003). "The non-sequitur mathematics and physics of the New Electrodynamics proposed by the AIAS group". Random Operators and Stochastic Equations (Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co.) 9 (2): 161–206. Retrieved 24 March 2013. "We show that the AIAS group collection of papers on a 'new electrodynamics' recently published in the Journal of New Energy, as well as other papers signed by that group (and also other authors) appearing in other established physical journals and in many books published by leading international publishers (see references) are full of misconceptions and misunderstandings concerning the theory of the electromagnetic field and contain fatal mathematical flaws, which invalidates almost all claims done by the authors." 
  4. Tom Bearden Website, "Correspondence 103001". Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 17:08:46 -0600
  5. Oct. 15, 2002 version of MEG Status page
  6. Tom Bearden Website, "Current Status of the MEG" (date encoded in the file name, or visible here)
  7. "Free Energy: Perpetual Motion Scams are at an All-Time High", What's New, APS, 5 April 2002
  8. "Vacuum Energy: How Do You Patent a Perpetual-Motion Machine?", What's New, APS, 3 May 2002
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Free Energy: APS Board Speaks Out on Perpetual Motion", What's New, APS, 28 June 2002 "The Executive Board of the American Physical Society is concerned that in this period of unprecedented scientific advance, misguided or fraudulent claims of perpetual motion machines and other sources of unlimited free energy are proliferating. Such devices would directly violate the most fundamental laws of Nature, laws that have guided the scientific advances that are transforming our world."
  10. Energy: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch", Eric Prebys, Guest Lecture at Columbia University, November 4, 2008. Also, shorter version for Fermilab's "Ask a scientist" program, December 6, 2009
  11. Erik Krieg. "Tom Bearden — A Critical Examination of His Claims". Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT). Archived from the original on 2009-02-08. 
  12. "Free Energy: The Patent Office Decides to Take Another Look", What's New, APS, 23 August 2002
  13. Tom Bearden Website Article in The Sunday Times, 1995: "'Accident' in lab creates super motor."
  14. Tom Bearden Website The Magnetic Wankel Engine (retrieved 6 August 2007)
  15. Bearden, Thomas. "His personal site at". Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  16. Tom Bearden Website, "Correspondence 050207", Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 00:07:54 -0500
  17. Tom Bearden Website, "Correspondence 011105, Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 11:14 AM
  18. Tom Bearden Website, "A Curious Coincidence", posted, 2007
  19. Tom Bearden Website, "Time Polarization — Significance and Weaponization"
  20. Tom Bearden Website, "Weapons that use Time-reversed electromagnetic waves"
  21. Tom Bearden Website, "TWA-800 Deception Plan"
  22. Tom Bearden Website, "Correspondence 012105", Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 09:28:38 -0600
  23. Tom Bearden Website, "Correspondence 041407", Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2007 17:48:37 -0500
  24. See, for example, his bio in this "Virtual Times" article
  25. Tom Bearden Website, "Correspondence 103001", Tue, 30 Oct 2001 17:08:46 -0600
  26. Tom Beardon Website, "Correspondence 011403"
  27. Bearden, Thomas. "Skeptical Inquirer website". Retrieved 2010-10-9. 
  28., released September 5, 2003; CIA-RDP96-00788R001900680014-4