Rage against the machine.

Rage against the machine.

(2015) Documentary (Sunset) Joe Newman, Johnny Carson, Evan Soules, Ralph Hartwell, Milton Everett, Garland Robinette, Donald Quigg, Bobby Matherne, John Flannery, Jim Jordan, Jon Fox. Directed by Jon Fox

Florida Film Festival 2016

Most people won’t know the name of Joseph Newman, but maybe they should. At a time where renewable sources of energy are hard to come by, he invented a machine that put out more energy than it took in. For the science community, endorsements were hard to come by; few reputable scientists were willing to stake their reputation on a machine that apparently broke the second law of thermodynamics.

Newman went to get a patent on his invention, but ended up entering into a protracted fight with the United States Patent Office, which denied him his patent. The legal battle would eventually cost him his family, his home and his reputation.

Documentary filmmaker Jon Fox spent 15 years putting together the footage that make up this film, ranging from archival news reports, interviews as well as more current footage, including some fairly impressive impressionist-like animation. The footage is blended together well.

There are people who swear that this machine would have changed the world as we know it, offering low cost energy available on a global scale. Others state that there had to be some sort of fraud going on, a hoax perpetrated for scientific rubes as it were. The fact that Newman lived in Mississippi brought out some ingrained prejudices about the respect others have for Southern intellects.

Like many documentaries, there are a lot of interviews with people who worked with Newman or knew him. As with most documentaries that utilize interviews, there is really no way to make them any more interesting than they are. The guys being interviewed for the most part are very intelligent guys, but they’re certainly not very charismatic, so be forewarned.

That is not to say that every interview here isn’t worth your while. Newman himself is interviewed after years of being reclusive and disillusioned and in all honesty, he seems very much a changed man – paranoid, bitter and contentious. While given what happened to him it’s not hard to understand why, he is in many ways a victim of his own hubris. He was a boxer early on in his life and that pugilistic attitude that developed remained with him until he passed away. Sadly, the secret of his machine, which he promoted to the end of his days, may never be realized.

Fox, who near the end of the film bears the brunt of Newman’s rage, is even-handed in his dealing with the mercurial Newman. He certainly avails a certain amount of sympathy for the man’s situation and makes no bones about where he stands vis a vis the conduct of the American government towards one of its own citizens which was absolutely deplorable. The truth is that no scientist was ever able to prove that Newman’s machine was a hoax, or that it didn’t do what he claimed it did. Every test it underwent in the light of day was successful (the tests that weren’t were conducted by those who had a stake in proving that the machine was a fake and took place behind closed doors). It seems to me that the world lost out on a device that would have been transformative.

Newman’s fight was an uphill battle to say the least, and perfectly illustrates how the deck is rigged against the little guy with a big idea to make it successful. While there’s no conclusive evidence that the power companies colluded against Newman, it is extremely likely that they did. Whether Newman’s device would have revolutionized the way we receive energy is a matter of conjecture; we’ll truly never know.

REASONS TO GO: A real life David vs. Goliath story. Fascinating watching the machine in action.
REASONS TO STAY: Too many talking heads.
FAMILY VALUES: Occasional profanity.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Newman’s interview with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show lasted sixteen minutes, which is considered to be the longest interview the legendary host ever did with a non-celebrity guest.
CRITICAL MASS: As of 5/30/16: Rotten Tomatoes: No score yet. Metacritic: No score yet.
NEXT: The Huntsman: Winter’s War


6 thoughts on “Newman

  1. It was a fraud. It is silly to think otherwise. Besides the fact that the laws of physics dictate that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, no one, not even the US Government could bottle up a real revolutionary invention. This film is not serious, but rather promotes this fraudster.

    • To date, nobody has conclusively proven his engine to be a fraud although many have tried. I’m not a physicist – just a film reviewer – but it seems Mr. Newman has taken the truth with him to the grave.

  2. Only out of ignorance will we continue to claim Newman to be a fraud. For Newman, himself, along with his supporters and his detractors all erroneously believed his claims of overunity were worthy of dispute. They’re not if we consider our collective ignorance of the contribution of the rotating magnetic field of his spinning bar magnet as a second energy source. It reduces overheating in various components (resulting from impedance) and produces an AC sine wave input which blends with the DC input coming from the battery pack (which is chopped up into square waves by his commutator).

    Thus, his gyroscopic theory does sound like nonsense, but only if we ignore his theoretical hint indicating the presence of a helical AC waveform emanating from the north and south poles of his bar magnet sweeping through space to delineate a gyroscopic sine wave pattern.

    Only a very little of this AC input gets used. So little in fact, that my LTSpice simulations indicate an efficiency rating of 1 to 10 parts per million! Far less than overunity!!

    The man deserves a posthumous patent since he did not defy the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The input of his device exceeds its usable output.

    My data is posted here …

    • Are there instructions, info, etc on the machine so it’s actions could be duplicated NOW?? IF not, why not? It would seem very stupid to not leave behind info to use the machine and try again to prove it or not. Is the machine around?? So many questions that should have been answered. Maybe that’s why it does look highly suspicious. BUT, I hope the machine is re discovered and proven the miracle Newman espoused. ?????????

      • Take a close look at the photo, above. Those so-called bar magnets are, in reality, PVC canisters of helium wrapped with an open coil.

        {“Open” implies not connected to anything and not self-shorted.}

        Helium will not respond to an electromagnetic field. And Newman’s coil does not have sufficient current to produce any appreciable magnetic field as it is. Yet, he purposely designs his massive coil to exhibit high voltage to produce a strong electrostatic field (very lengthy wire of moderately thin girth). This, the helium will respond to by producing a moderate to high frequency of electromagnetic radiation of its own. This amounts to a feedback, a positive feedback, to his massive coil and blends with the D/C pulses coming from his battery pack through his motor’s commutator creating a slightly complex waveform within his coil. The beauty of his setup, is that he does not have to “pay for” the excitation of the helium except for the initial hand crank he gives his motor to get it started. But once begun, it picks up speed due to the coil amassing double the voltage over what the batteries can supply sufficient to broadcast this voltage to the helium and stimulate the helium to broadcast an EM field of its own — received by the coil — and the coil ends up sending a few hundred milli amps of current in reverse direction back to his pack of batteries to trickle charge them (top them off). This complies with my simulation.

        Without the helium using simple bar magnets…no overunity…

        Shortened URL, of above link…

        With the helium…overunity…

        Shortened URL…

        {Replace the file extension of JPG with ASC to get the LTSPICE simulation files.}

        And this is what Byron Brubaker (MX6Maximus on YouTube and Facebook) advised Newman nearly forty years ago. Yet, Newman never gave this friend of mine, an electrical engineer living in Indiana, any of the credit. Newman continued to tell everyone how to build it based on his prior design (using permanent magnets instead of helium — which was not overunity) while all the while he was using his upgraded design to show off to everyone. Not even in his book did he divulge this secret. Yet, my simulations and befriending Byron completes this mystery.

        Thanks for asking. Only through curiosity will we uncover these mysteries.

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