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The Inventor’s Plight

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  • The Inventor’s Plight

    I’m currently experiencing the dilemma recounted by many inventors. It’s a story of deception, coercion, bribery, blackmail, suppression, and flat out illegal dishonesty. Sadly, this is my third round! There are really 3 totally different stories, plots, and outcomes. Over the course of a couple posts, I want to share some stories about battles inventors face, as viewed through my own eyes. First, the beginning:

    Story #1 — Paul Pantone & the GEET Fuel Processor:

    Background -
    In 1991 I was working as a mechanic in the greater Harrisburg, PA area. I lived way out in the boonies and was driving 51 miles one way to work (102 miles round trip, about 165 kilometers). Way too much of my weekly paycheck was going to the gas station. I decided to try to get better fuel economy out of my 1971 Dodge Demon. I never quite clipped the 18 mpg mark, even though most of my daily trek was highway.

    Several evenings per week I would pull my car into the shop to take advantage of the lift, scope, 4-gas analyzer (before NOx was a concern), and other shop equipment. One day my boss asked me what I was up to. I replied, I’m trying to improve the fuel economy on my car. He then said; not too long ago there was an article in the Harrisburg Patriot News, front cover mind you, about an inventor who was getting 72 MPG from a 70’s era Oldsmobile Toronado with a 455 V-8. At first I didn’t know what to say. Was he joking? Was there such an article? For that matter, COULD THAT BE DONE?!? I besieged him, TELL ME MORE! He said he couldn’t remember any more details.

    A short time later he said he remembered a couple things from the article. He said the inventor claimed that liquid fuel doesn’t burn, only the fuel that is fully vaporized actually gets burned to contribute power. I later discovered the inventor was Arthur Sgrignoli of Enola, PA.

    In 1993 I was in the emergency ward waiting room at a Harrisburg area hospital as an elderly friend lay potentially dying. Surrounded by her family, I was perusing a Mechanic’s Illustrated magazine from the hospital’s rack. In the back was an ad that read, “Secrets of the 200 MPG Carburetor Revealed! Send $1 + SASE to: H&A Industries … Bowling Green, MO…” I tore out the ad and quietly put it in my wallet (I still have that ad in my keepsake box). Over the next several months I wound up buying Alan Wallace’s 3 books, along with materials authored by Bruce McBurney, Naylor, and others. I built a couple Nay Boxes and tried other technologies (getting a best of 60 mpg with LOUSY drivability).
    You only fail when you quit!

  • #2
    Act 2 -
    In 1996 I heard about Paul Pantone and his fabulous GEET Fuel Processor. My new wife (still my wife after 25 years) & I read anything & everything we could find on Paul. We contacted every person he referenced; the local municipalities, professors, you name it, we called them. Before we knew it, we were the GEET Distributors for Pennsylvania (and later Maryland and Washington, DC). I actually quit my day job to go full-time GEET!

    Between sometime in 1996 and January of 2000 I went from Distributor for Pennsylvania, to Distributor for PA, MD, & DC; to getting involved with R&D, to Head of R&D, to President of GEET. I replaced a man I later grew to love & respect, John D. Stueben. Paul blamed all of GEET’s problems on JD (as John was called). Promoting me to President was to solve all of GEET’s issues (so he told his groupies).

    From my inauguration in April of 1999 to my resignation in January of 2000, I learned a bitter reality about Paul. I knew that very few companies make it big with that one big deal with GM or Ford. Companies build with a small deal stacked on other small deals until the whole becomes big. Every time I would line up a partnership, Paul would get slobernly drunk and call the party up around 7 pm. Before morning dawned, the deal was shattered. I would get the 10 AM call from the proposed partner who would tell me how much he liked me, but would NEVER work with that Paul Pantone fellow.

    By late 1999 I knew there was no way GEET was ever going to succeed as long as Paul had access to business partners. I contacted all of the influential folks within the “inner circle” to test the waters. If it came to a head, would they support me, or would they follow Paul. The verdict was that if I challenged Paul, I was winging it on my own. So I resigned. A few of my loyalists begged me to start a class-action law suite against Paul. I knew the GEET worked (and still do to this day), so I declined in the hope a better person than me could reign him in and get the technology out to the world.

    Many months later I got a call from a prosecutor from the Utah Trade Commission. I was asked several questions regarding the happenings while I had authority. I told the lady that I photo-copied every incoming check, all of the bank transactions, as well as any and all official documents of merit. If she would be willing to pay the Kinko’s bill, I would send her everything I had. I never heard from her again. I later learned she was only trying to decide whether to include me in the court action. I guess I got lucky there.

    The internet has lots of rhetoric about how Paul was a victim of suppression, how he was railroaded, and wrongly incarcerated in the mental institution. I won’t say the State of Utah is blameless, but I will state my opinion that Paul was not the Caliph is is being made out to be.

    Lesson: not all “suppressed” inventors were wronged. (The Tom Ogle story is quite similar.)
    You only fail when you quit!


    • #3
      Story #2 — Dennis Lee & the HAFC:

      Disillusioned by the whole Paul Pantone experience, I fumbled my way through a couple jobs before starting my own 1-man speed shop, “Powre Haus” in 2004. I invented the Powre Lynz (screw threads in the intake ports) and Powre Ringz (screw threads on the back sides of the intake valves). I heavily explored port biasing, combustion chamber radiusing, Somender Singh Grooves, and other techniques. I did a lot of work with turbos, custom manifolds, and coatings (powder coatings, high-temp coatings, etc.).

      In late 2006 I got a call from Dennis Lee. What I thought I knew about him was mostly from the internet and a couple conversations with a prodigal former associate. He said he was trying to develop an HHO system and was having issues with the vehicle’s ECU thwarting science. He said I was highly recommended by someone I had worked with in the past (Pantone era). I politely told Dennis that after working with Paul, I had no intentions of jumping back into the fire with him. I also said I would willingly give him anything & everything I was already offering freely on my fuel economy forum, (the now defunct)

      I gave him direction and told him where to find sources that detailed the steps. Later I got another call. He wanted to record a conversation with me and a few of his “experts”. After the recorded call, he offered me $200 for my time & expertise. With doubts, I deposited the check. I would not spend a penny of it until at least a week had passed and it actually hadn’t bounced! (It cleared.) The relationship slowly escalated until I was officially heading up the technical aspects of his HAFC program. I worked with an electronics expert to create the O2ptomizer, I created & taught the training program, and fielded questions on 2 weekly hotlines. Minor improvements were implemented to the program here and there as we found glitches.

      I found him extremely rigid and somewhat difficult to work with at times. He almost fired me over a misunderstanding. I wasn’t allowed to have direct interaction with any of the Dealers or Installers, except through the hotlines or Dutchman emails. If I called someone, it had to be from the Dutchman phone. However, Dennis was brutally honest. He wasn’t always kind, but he was always honest — at least with me. On the flip side, one of my best friends in the whole world has a different story to tell regarding his involvement with Mr. Lee.

      By late 2008 Dutchman had reoccurring full-page ads in prominent national magazines, 13 different publications. “Get 50% improvement in fuel economy or your money back!” I was recompensed respectable wages, and the company was making good money. We were employing over 7000 people; full- and part-time. Then we got served by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Dutchman was being charged with fraud. Almost immediately I was donned Dutchman’s leading Expert Witness. I am now recognized by the US Federal Court System as a “Fuel Economy Expert”.

      I reviewed the charges and went to work. I was blessed with the assistance of Frank Rubino and later Matthew Curtin to help me cognize a rebuttal. I felt that there had to be a misunderstanding. I knew the results were real. I knew folks were elated with their HAFC purchases. I had been getting feedback from the field that the results were overwhelmingly positive. It only made sense that if we could clear this matter in a scientific manner, it would quickly blow over. We prepared our bullet-proof case.

      On the day of the hearing I greeted our prosecutor, Josh Mallard, with a smile and a handshake. I knew he wasn’t a bad guy, and when he realize justice was being violated, he would dismiss his case and move on (yea, right; read on!). One by one witnesses were led to the stand to take their oath. I took my turn, and as I walked back to my seat, I gave Josh a “high 5” and with a jovial smile told him, “Good job”.

      In my personal library, bound in hard covers, is the official “Report and Recommendation” as published by the honorable Michael A. Shipp, United States Magistrate Judge, dated February 9, 2009. Conclusion: “For the foregoing reasons, it is recommended that Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction be DENIED.4”. In summary, it was a 10 to 0 score where Judge Shipp claimed the FTC had no claim and the Defendant (Dutchman Enterprises) was blameless of all charges.

      “YES!!! Time to Celebrate!!”
      You only fail when you quit!


      • #4
        Apparently Judge Shipp had not been briefed prior to the trial. He mistakenly believed that this case, like most every other case he oversaw, was about the law and justice. Nevertheless, after his erroneous ruling, he was given proper perspective. He had a bright career ahead of him, and he really should give consideration to the case at hand. He blew it, but it wasn’t too late to fix it.

        Not long after the “unofficial” ruling (the one I had hard-back copied), FTC vs Dutchman became the first and only case in US Federal Court history where both the primary AND back-up transcriptions were corrupted beyond intelligibility. The only recourse Judge Shipp had was to declare a retrial. However, he would allow changes in claims, as well as expert witnesses. The case never went back to trial, and after 2 years of nonsense, was settled out of court. Dennis was given a 7 year abstinence order where he was forbidden to engage in any energy related business activities. Curiously, when the 7 year anniversary arrived, the order was extended for another year. This continued for a few more years. As of July, 2019, it was still being extended.

        My verdict: Dennis Lee was one of the inventors who was truly a victim of suppression.
        You only fail when you quit!


        • #5
          Story #3 — The Unknown Inventors’ Plight

          Up front I beg your indulgence with my lack of details, use of aliases, and ambiguities. This is transpiring concurrently. I cannot jeopardize future results by divulging sensitive information. However, I wish to share my observations; make a point if you will.

          I am convinced that for every inventor you hear about, there are several hundred with viable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges; but you’ll never know their names, and they will never be availed to bless the world with their insights. Over the past 2 and a half decades I have met many of these unsung heros. Too often the villain that deprives them of their due glory is death itself. Such is the case in my current adventure.

          An inventor, let’s call him “Willie”, manifested an invention with significant implications for the world’s energy needs. A demonstration unit was constructed, which validated several profound claims. Investors were wined & dined. Finally a deal was struck. On the morning of the consummation for a $20 Million deal, Willie died! With his passing, all knowledge of the effective mechanisms were wiped from the Earth. A year later I get a phone call from my friend (an associate within this group) who unfolds this tragic epoch.

          My friend (let’s call him Wally) tells me how they have a “working model” of the technology, but have no idea how to further develop it into a “working product”. I am asked to get involved to fix various bugs. Over the phone I work out the details of a good “first step”, which I construct in my shop/lab. I then make the journey across several States to meet Wally and the rest of his group. After a day of testing, we conclude that my controller does indeed do what was agreed upon, but it would take more than that to accomplish the goals. On to step 2.

          A second, more advanced controller was constructed, and a second trip was made. After 2 days of beating the bushes, we agreed that there was much more to this technology than the obvious. We needed drastic measures, not band-aids.

          One of the members of this group, let’s call him “Woody”, was financing the R&D. He paid for the DigiKey orders, the gas & hotel for my trips, and so forth. He never paid for labor, engineering, nor my IP,; just actual expenses. Recently he “sold the technology” out from under the rest of his group, without their knowledge or consent. Enter Patty, the shark.

          Curiously, the aforementioned “group” never formed an official legally recognized entity. There was no company. There were no patents. All dealings had been with a hand shake. My involvement never included a contract, or even a simple invoice. Everything was based on trust. I knew & trusted Wally, therefore it never was an issue. Time to parlay the conspiracy theory aspects.

          Woody evidently sold the “company” and its holdings (the technology) to Patty. (Remember, there never was a company, and the technology was never patented, therefore there was nothing legally recognizable as sellable in a legal transaction.) I received notification that Patty now owned the “company” and was CEO. I was to continue my duties, but now under the authority of Patty. Let me pause for a few moments for that to sink in.
          You only fail when you quit!


          • #6
            I was contacted by Patty who informed me that the new “company” would be needing expertise like mine, and that they were eager to develop a working relationship with me. Right after that I got an ear-full from my friend Wally. He told me how there never was a company, though not for lack of pressure from the other members of the Group for Woody to create one. Due to lack of patents and assignments, ownership of the technology fell under “possession is 9/10 of the law”. None of the other members of the Group were even aware of this sale, let alone agreeable, or compensated by it. Finally, Patty was “that villain mentioned earlier” that had tried to take advantage of the Group in a previous transaction attempt (a story Wally shared with me weeks prior).

            There are charges of theft being filed, where the stolen items are not included in the charges. Woody (the guy that sold the “company”) was not a technical person, and couldn’t describe any of the parts of the “machine” to save his life. Threats are being heralded with “limited windows of opportunity…….. or else!” to me and another member of the Group.

            Quick Synopsis:
            Woody has been financing R&D for the Group.
            I got involved because of my friend Wally.
            Woody & I never had any official paper between us.
            I signed a Mutual NDNC, not with the Group (as there was no legally recognized entity with which such an agreement could be made), but with Woody’s now defunct construction company.
            I was given $2000 to develop a prototype for the Group.
            As of this posting, about $6000 has been spent on the project; $4000 above Woody’s initial contribution.
            Patty is demanding that I turn over the prototype, all software, PCBs, schematics, etc to this new group because of the $2000 Woody gave my company.
            Whatever effective mechanism is responsible for whatever spectacular claims that empower the invention, I have never been privy to. My observations would categorize the invention as typical (though my observations could not explain the claims).
            Most of the technology being incorporated into the current prototype is IP owned by my company.
            Much of the technology for the present prototype is public domain; yea, even off-the-shelf.
            None of the technology in the present prototype is from the Group (as I have no earthly idea what might make it so special, let alone reconstruct it).

            With all the illegal and deceptive activity conducted by Patty’s company — even if they could lure someone like me into helping them technically — they are destined to relive the Pantone tragedy. Nevertheless, me and my company are being drawn into a drama that didn’t have anything to do with us. We are being threatened by some shyster with no legal grounds. This Patty is demanding I remit MY COMPANY’S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY! Surely more events shall unfold in the upcoming weeks & months. Should anything worth mentioning transpire (that I can freely share), I will post updates. Ultimately, I hope I can at least share the resultant outcome.
            You only fail when you quit!


            • #7
              Mr H, if you still have any of those materials from Mr McBurney you mentioned, I'd like to talk to you about obtaining copies. Please DM me so we can make some arrangement.
              Since his passing a year or 2 ago, he has all but disappeared from the interweb. I kick myself repeatedly for not stopping by his house when I drove by. All those years with him just 10 miles away...


              • #8
                What are you looking for? I first got to know him over the phone in 1995. I had the opportunity to drive up north to visit him once in 2007. He showed me some of the cool stuff he was working on (mostly in the past) and allowed me to take pictures. I have them digitized somewhere (used a film camera). He had 15 modified microwave ovens strewn throughout the house making his colloidal silver -- nano water as he called it.
                You only fail when you quit!


                • #9
                  I can't tell you how many times I drove past his place on McLeod Road in the Falls...regretfully.
                  I'll gratefully take copies of whatever you might have of his work...might it be easier to post it to a website/cloud storage like google drive or dropbox so everyone, everywhere can have access?


                  • #10
                    I have videos of him explaining how his colloidal silver stuff works in a digital format, as well as the couple pictures I shot while there. Everything else is on paper in the form of the books he sold. If there was other stuff, I don't have it.
                    You only fail when you quit!


                    • #11
                      I'm interested in digital copies of his published work on fuel efficiency. I'll direct message you to start a conversation on this.