John Bedini Helps Progress Toward New Energy Future

- By Jeane Manning

(Nov. 2011) The international network of “free energy” researchers is entering an exciting era, with rapid expansion of knowledge about new and rediscovered science. For instance, legendary inventor John Bedini recently attended an energy conference for the first time in a quarter-century, and he and colleague Peter Lindemann taught attendees some key principles of making fuelless energy systems.

Meanwhile mainstream experts in electrical engineering theory may face embarrassing moments in the future unless they have the humility to learn about what is possible in an open, rather than closed, thermodynamic system. The emerging field of research called “Tesla’s Impulse technology” and its variation labeled “Bedini technology” are bypassing textbooks that ignore open systems.

If you ask Bedini, “What’s an open system?” he might cite a windmill, a solar-electricity cell or a living tree as common examples. They receive input energy from outside themselves. Similarly his battery-charging circuits tap into the background primal energy that surrounds and permeates everything.

As a result of pioneering inventors such as Bedini, the growing number of researchers are gaining advanced understanding not found in textbooks of basics such as magnetism. The goal of many is to produce energy with an autonomous (stand-alone) device. An intermediate step for the purpose of demonstration is to learn how to build a self-running electric motor with no need for fuel.

A recent DVD interview with Bedini ends with a blatant clue indicating that the United States Department of Energy has had that knowledge for the past decade. More about that later in this article.

More than 25 years ago, John Bedini became known to the world as a young engineer in California who built a prototype of a “free energy” motor that powered itself and at the same time could do useful work. With only a 12-volt battery attached, his electrical motor ran and ran but the battery did not run down as would be expected. It did that with an innovative circuit tapping into the surrounding background energy of the universe and by using the battery in a way that converts that elusive energy-from-the vacuum into useable electrical charge.

He decided to help others by providing circuit drawings and specifications, so he wrote a small book. The now-defunct Tesla Book Company published it under the title Bedini’s Free Energy Generator. The book told how to build a motor like the one running on his workbench. His readers tried it for themselves, some successfully and some not.

As a result of writing his book, he was invited to be a guest at a 1984 symposium in Colorado, organized by independent scientists to honor the inventor Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943). Some months before the conference a Colorado resident, Jim Watson, had read Bedini’s booklet and phoned its author repeatedly. Using information that Bedini had shared, Watson quietly built a self-running machine – large-scale. When Bedini arrived at the conference in Colorado, to his surprise the stage was dominated by what Watson had built – a 800-pound flywheel connected to an aircraft starter motor. The system was charging its own batteries throughout the conference with power to spare. One source says it was putting out eight kilowatts – more than enough to run a house. The massive flywheel system demonstrated the technology Bedini had developed. The demonstration ended abruptly, however; one night someone broke into the conference room and stole Watson’s batteries.

The fact that Jim Watson and his family later disappeared from his colleagues’ sight is now well known and elicits speculation about suppression. Even retired military officer Bill Jones, a physicist who said he had tried to help Watson get funding, put out a call for information about Watson’s whereabouts in 1986. Dr. Jones told me no one knew where Watson and his young family had gone.

(I had met Jim Watson in Colorado Springs and at his rural home in the hills, so I recognized him years later, in the mid- 1990s in Denver. He was lingering near the door at the back of a large meeting hall during a New-Energy conference. He appeared well-dressed in an expensive business suit, but his eyes held what may have been sadness or a wistful feeling. When I asked if he was indeed Jim Watson, he looked uncomfortable but nodded an affirmative. We were interrupted, and shortly afterward he was gone.)

The mystery of Watson’s whereabouts and rumors that he had been threatened and/or “bought out” didn’t silence John Bedini. He and his physics mentor Thomas Bearden had been interviewed by radio host Bill Jenkins. Then at a 1985 Town Hall Forum in California, Jenkins gave up his own time slot as guest speaker so that Bedini and colleague Steven Werth could demonstrate a new energy-converting system.

When the audience of civic officials, utility company representatives and investment brokers arrived at the luncheon, they found light bulbs strung past their plates. Bedini told them his plan to make his electricity generator available to the public at a low cost instead of selling it to the highest bidder. He and Werth gave a demonstration of “overunity” — they showed the system putting out 80 per cent more power than was being taken from any battery. However this particular audience apparently didn’t appreciate the message. One official growled, “Remove the damn bulbs so we can eat.”

California is an oil-industry state. Apparently, some people who profit by our dependency on oil didn’t like what the independent-minded electronics whiz Bedini was doing by giving out details on how to build “free energy” machines. Soon after the Town Hall event, vested interests stepped in and literally slammed him against a wall. In one incident, two muscular thugs who accosted him asked, “Is that your car out there?…You’re gonna keep on buying gasoline for it, aren’t you?”

Some inventors have shut down their experiments and energy research completely when faced with similar threats to themselves and their families. John Bedini couldn’t give the public a self-running machine that would power their houses, but even if frustrated to be held back by the politics of energy he didn’t stop learning. He interacted with the bright inventors of magnetic devices such as Howard Johnson and Floyd “Sparky” Sweet, and built many toy-size prototypes. Someday the time would be right to bring clean abundant power to the people. Bearden has described John Bedini as a humanitarian concerned about the elderly pensioner who can’t afford high utility bills, “shivering in the cold winter and not daring to turn up her furnace…”


Bedini is also motivated by scientific curiosity, beginning when he was a boy roaming the hills of southern California and pocketing rocks to grind up later for making experimental transistors. After he graduated from high school, the U.S. Army recognized his brilliance in electronics and gave him advanced training.

Following military service, Bedini worked for big-name companies in stereophonic equipment. According to one biographer, his employers didn’t appreciate him designing equipment that was advanced far ahead of theirs, so he and his brother Gary formed their own company, Bedini Electronics.

As well as what he had learned from observing nature and from special assignments for the Army, John Bedini continued a study of the works of Nikola Tesla which he had begun at a young age. At some point, however, Bedini had to overcome his eleven years of grounding in conventional electrical theory before he could understand what Tesla was doing in what Tesla called “Radiant energy” circuits.


Tesla gave us the AC (alternating current) systems of electrical power generation and distribution that we use today. However during the last years of his life he made discoveries that would have made his AC inventions obsolete and would have replaced them with a safer system and abundant power for everyone.

While the popular media present only a limited slice of Nikola Tesla’s accomplishments, independent scholar Gerry Vassilatos places Tesla in a framework of lost science. He says Tesla’s involvement with standard electricity ended suddenly because of an accident that led him to discover rare electrical events. Vassilatos’ book Lost Science describes Tesla’s work in rich detail, but this article will just relate a turning point.

After the world began using his AC electrical systems, for a time Tesla was a millionaire and free to do pure research. One mystery that drew his attention was the explosive effect resulting when current was abruptly applied to electrical lines. In those days when power plant operators slammed hand-operated switches on or off at a certain speed and if the power level was high enough, their electrical equipment was blasted apart as if by lightning. Tesla wanted to know the full reason. He made a small lightning-generator to blow up sections of wire so he could study the effects at higher and higher voltages.

One day when Tesla abruptly closed his switch and the wire exploded, a pressure wave stung him. A more dramatic incident happened when he changed to an automatic switch. While the switching repeatedly interrupted current from his generator – bang, bang, bang — the strange pressure wave filled the large room. Every time electrical contact was made, thin blue-white sparks shot out of the wiring and they were magnified more than ten times what would be expected from the voltage supplied, Vassilotos reports. Tesla had difficulty getting close enough to turn off the switch. The blue-white sparks and shock effect happened during brief electrical pulses called impulses, instead of resulting from back-and-forth alternations of the current.

Tesla’s life changed when he discovered what he called the “radiant” effects of those high-voltage impulses (which can be compared to a pressure wave, a bang or a water-hammer-like event.) He struggled to explain the effect by using accepted mathematics, but it didn’t fit. Academics believed they had already seen – and described mathematically — all the basic electrical effects that exist.

Not needing to conform to other scientists, Tesla followed the evidence. Instead of merely electromagnetic waves, he began to work with a form of electricity that seemed to project from his devices as rays. Vassilatos says those rays appeared to stretch out in a progressive shock-shell and reach far distances without apparently losing strength.

From then on, Tesla’s announcements were increasingly difficult for conventional experts to believe. Even today, most engineers studying Tesla’s work assume that his “impulse system” is only a high-frequency alternator. Vassilatos says they are mistaken. Tesla called his type of automatic magnetic-arc switching a “disruptive discharge circuit.”

Despite the dramatic effect experienced by nineteenth-century power plant operators, Tesla eventually learned how to create sparks that were “soft” and non-hazardous compared to other forms of electricity. Were the emanations safer because Tesla’s system blocked the slower, denser electron flow found with regular electricity? Vassilatos speculated that blocking those dense charges freed the “mysterious effusive aether streams inherent in electricity”.

(I’ve seen evidence that there is indeed a safer form of electricity. At a conference in Maryland a Canadian physicist re-enacted a Tesla experiment. He built a certain unusual circuit according to Tesla’s specifications and then put his bare hand – holding a bulb lit by that circuit’s wire — into a clear glass bowl of water. A member of the audience volunteered to try it and I have a photo of him holding the light bulb in the water. Aether power?)

Aether is a controversial word describing invisible energy that permeates us and all space everywhere and always. Some researchers now call it “zero-point energy”, but that term may not be the best description. Tesla viewed his Radiant energy as an aetheric gas, a current that flows through space without a need for electrons. John Bedini and Tom Bearden have pointed out that James Clerk Maxwell, famous for formulating classical electromagnetic theory, had set up a system of equations able to deal with properties of the aether as a type of very subtle fluidic gas. Maxwell’s mathematics reinforces the case for the validity of Tesla’s worldview.

Tesla believed that as a result of his discoveries new energy technology would be developed and would revitalize our world. After all, he had learned basics such as how to magnify the “radiant electricity” and send it long distances. “Humanity will be like an ant heap stirred up with a stick; see the excitement coming!” he predicted.

John Bedini and other experimenters give credit to Gerry Vassilatos’ research, and to other studies of lost science such as the Magnetic Current manuscript of the mysterious Edward Leedskalnin, as having revealed insights in addition to Tesla’s patents.

Meanwhile the Bedini family had moved to northern Idaho where John and his brother Gary continued their business — manufacturing high quality audio amplifiers and innovative audio equipment. John is also trained as a machine tool operator and welder, so the Bedini shop can make nearly anything — from unique circuit boards to an experimental automobile. It’s not surprising that he’s built prototypes of advanced generators — and instruments for studying their workings, such as scalar detectors.

He has shared his knowledge. On his website or online forums Bedini has for years given out details on how to build non-conventional motors and circuits. Countless experimenters contacted him about their success or lack of results. Often they had made slight changes, thinking they had a better way to do things. However, unlike the small changes that experienced cooks make to improve someone else’s recipe, the engineering changes did not improve the results. Instead the fiddling often showed that the experimenter didn’t understand the basics of the outside-the-box knowledge.

Bedini withdrew from forums on which immature or disrespectful participants wanted “free energy” handed to them without effort on their part. However he does have patience with serious experimenters willing to start with basics of the new science and willing to first build small devices to learn how to work with the energy-from-the-vacuum. He calls that energy “negative energy” when describing his circuits. It’s entirely different in operation than standard electricity, and engineers can’t detect or measure it with today’s meters.


John Bedini didn’t appear at any more public conferences for non-conventional energy topics until the milestone event at the Coeur D’Alene Resort hotel in northern Idaho, November 13-14, 2010. Rick Friedrich, whose company Renaissance Charge sells Bedini-invented battery chargers, organized that conference in only nine weeks. To attract attendees, Friedrich asked the now world-renowned inventor to participate. An audience of about 370 people showed up – partly because Bedini promised to be there to answer questions.

The conference was a milestone on several counts, from the caliber of attendees to the empowering knowledge revealed. People traveled from at least 20 different countries to the small city in northern Idaho. Perhaps non-conventional energy science is inching closer to mainstream attention; at the conference while selling my books I spoke with industrialists, engineers, university students, retired electricians, entrepreneurs and other professionals who research Tesla technology in their spare time.

To visually demonstrate ways to tap into the background energy, Bedini unveiled a complex 14-foot high machine that he had spent many thousands of dollars to build.

He says that showing how a scientific principle works is more helpful in the long run than selling a ready-made device or providing its complete schematic and detailed list of parts. It’s like the difference is between “give a man a fish” or “teach the man how to fish.” If a consumer buys an unusual generator and it breaks down, he or she has no hope of repairing it without understanding its principles.

Conference attendees quickly dubbed the machine the “Ferris Wheel” and the audience swarmed to the front of the hall to examine it up close and ask questions. Its features included pie-shaped barium ferrite permanent magnets that create asymmetric fields, magnets with built-in memory that allow their polarity to be flipped, and precision timing of magnetic pulses. The system uses Tesla’s method of discharging capacitors to reduce the huge counter-torque force, Bedini later explained. That’s only among many tricks and features he built into the machine. Nonlinear systems seem to be key to inviting the input of energy from the universe.

However, even watching a 12-foot diameter wheel slowly self-rotate with torque strong enough to lift a large man off his feet isn’t enough to change a career skeptic’s mind. Change of thinking requires the eyes to see how basically different the technology is, and ears willing to hear Bedini’s unexpected messages such as, “Radiant energy is totally different and so is magnetic energy,” or “The magnet has a spacial field never explained in textbooks. Energy is flowing around a magnet” or “You don’t need any current to charge batteries or run magnetic motors.”

Electron flow (standard electrical current) from motor to batteries is not even wanted in the crucial part of Bedini’s systems. Instead, battery plates are charged by what he calls “negative” energy – energy from the vacuum. The flow of energy-from-the-vacuum into the circuit is invited by the series of sharp impulses of pure potential (spikes of voltage) sent along the wire from the motor. The technology is described succinctly on the Renaissance Charge website as using “intense, unidirectional — instead of back and forth — wave impulses to charge batteries of all sizes.” In other words, it uses what Tesla called Radiant energy.

One of the engineers who attended the conference told me that all of Bedini’s battery-charging circuits have the charging event “de-coupled while the primary accumulator is connected to the coil. It’s kind of an asynchronous mode…” He further explains that a magnetic field is created in the coils and then breaks down, and at that point a Radiant energy event can ‘chime in.’

Such explanations and speculations about Bedini’s systems give a taste of how non-standard they are, different from and not limited by conventional electromagnetics.

Those of us who are not technically trained can skip trying to picture the complex details of Bedini’s machine and go to the main point: electrical circuits are not closed systems. Instead, any electrical circuit could be open to an energy flow which is not limited to the well-known flow that binds to the electrical conductor. When a circuit taps into energy from the surrounding space, energy is not created; it’s just converted to a useable form. Therefore no law of thermodynamics is broken by “free energy” circuits.

At the Idaho conference, other attractions related to Bedini’s inventions were also brought out. Rick Friedrich drove a self-running electric lawn tractor into the room and circled it triumphantly near the podium. It was displayed along with an electric car and other variations on Bedini’s patented technology. One of Bedini’s “10 coil” machines spun all weekend, lighting two quartz bulbs and running itself from batteries it was recharging. Working with the Bedini battery-charging technology, industrial electronics consultant and new-energy researcher Jeff Wilson had invented an automated battery-swapping system – another step toward energy independence for individuals.

Electric motor secrets

At the Idaho conference Peter Lindemann presented a lecture — “Electric Motor Secrets, Part 2” – initially about a little-known German invention called the Lockridge Device which was a self-running device. He explained how and why Back EMF (the opposing electromotive force) functions in electric motors, how it masks the real efficiency of these machines, and how to overcome it, even in conventional motors. Near the end of his talk he gave specifications for building a self-running combination of an electric motor and electric generator from off-the-shelf parts. The audience was impressed. A retired industrial electrician said that after Lindemann explained “we had a very clear idea of how the device worked and how we could build an over-unity motor-generator system.”

Lindemann’s lecture is for sale as a DVD on his website: He’s also conducting an online dialogue for people who want to build a working model. The discussion thread is on the Energetic Forum in the Renewable Energy section. Lindemann expects a number of the builders to successfully make self-running machines for themselves. And on another monitored thread for builders Bedini is mentoring a cooperative international online web of researchers, newcomers fresh from university, and seasoned engineers in all stages of their careers.

The next conference to showcase Bedini’s technologies is scheduled for July 29-31 in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, the same weekend as the ExtraOrdinary Technology Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, also in the USA.

Students of new energy science who can’t travel could instead buy the book Free Energy Generation: Circuits and Schematics which contains Bedini’s first book, reprinted, as well as a patent in which he and Tom Bearden compress 20 years of their work.

Researchers also find a wealth of information in the Energy From the Vacuum DVD series by filmmaker Anthony Craddock ( For instance, Craddock paid John Bedini to analyze documents given him by the late Howard Johnson — magnetic contour maps, photographs of Johnson’s experiments and other clues to how the secretive magnetics expert was planning to build a magnetic motor/generator. At the end of that Magnetic Gates DVD, eleventh in the series, Craddock adds a typed comment:

“The fact that the (United States) Department of Energy has sponsored patents by Vijak K. Chadhok for the manufacture of laterally-asymmetric permanent bar magnets with laterally asymmetric fields strongly implies that the DoE has had working self-rotating magnetic motors since at least 2001.”