Breaking Through Editorial:
Water The Omnipresent Enigma
(Originally Published September
- October, 1999 In Infinite Energy Magazine Issue #33)
by Eugene F. Mallove, Sc.D.
"Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink".
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1798
Water is all around us and in us, yet we may be very
far from understanding-or even recognizing-all its mysteries. It
is an omnipresent enigma. We are water beings living on a water
world, but we do not understand this substance, once considered
by ancient Greek thinkers and those who followed to be one of four
basic "elements"-air, earth, fire, and water. In chemist Paul Caro's
paean to water,1 he writes, "As a source of life and
a means of purification, water is undoubtedly the prototype for
spiritualized matter; the irrepressible attraction of water for
human thinking was first expressed in religious or poetic form."
In the Judeo-Christian heritage, the Book of Genesis
tells that before the "first day" of creation, all was water: the
world was "without form and void; and darkness was upon the face
of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
In many eastern religious traditions water was also the origin of
all things. Whatever one's faith or non-faith, water stirs the soul.
Who cannot find joy in contemplation at water's edge near an ocean,
lake, pond, or babbling brook?
Our particular interest in water began with
cold fusion and other claims of energy extraction from water-and
these certainly are candidates for the most astonishing of water's
"miracles." We could not help but notice other important claims
and controversies surrounding water. We decided to gather them together
and write about some of them in this issue of Infinite Energy-our
special "water issue." Apparently we have just scratched the surface.
It would be easy to dedicate a bimonthly magazine to nothing else
but the many faces of water.
Water is omnipresent, as the "ancient mariner" of
Coleridge's poem well knew, though he dared not drink the salty
concoction that surrounded his boat and which covers 70% of his
little planet. National Geographic's special edition on North
America's water (November 1993) noted that 97% of Earth's water
supply is salt water and only 3% is fresh, two-thirds of that being
ice. The New York Times (December 8, 1998, p. E1) put these
figures at 97.5 and 2.5% respectively. Its focus on water noted
that only 0.008 of all terrestrial water is the renewable fraction
that supports land-based life. We protoplasmic beings are about
60% (by weight) water. Since most other molecules in the human body
are of greater mass than water molecules, one infers that water
molecules must be by far the most abundant molecule, number-wise,
in any organism.
As many readers may know, but it must be mentioned
in tabulating water's "miracles," water is an extremely peculiar
substance: its maximum density occurs at 4°C, above its freezing
point 0°C, the inverse of the normal situation of maximum density
at or below the freezing point. Thus, ice floats, and the world's
life-giving oceans and bodies of fresh water have not frozen solid-as
most certainly would have happened had the more dense ice been able
to sink to depths. It is amazing that the "universal solvent" has
this life-critical flotation property, while at the same time its
tiny Mickey Mouse head-shaped molecule can cluster around large
molecules in living organisms to transport and position them in
the intricate dance of biochemistry.
Unlike comparable molecules, such as H2S,
H2Se, and H2Te, water remains liquid up to
a very high temperature, 100°C.2 The Earth is thus able
to be a clement world, protected as it is by the most dominating
"greenhouse gas" of all, namely water vapor.
Earth is not the only planet of the solar system that
has water-Mars may have had much more than it has today as part
of its frozen polar caps or locked underground. Recent close-up
images of Mars suggest that water may have produced some erosion
features in the comparatively recent geologic past. Jupiter's moon
Europa has gained notoriety for its presumed very deep water ocean
below its cracked ice shroud. These certainly are not the only places
harboring water in and around the solar system. Literally trillions
of icy comets are said to extend in a gigantic halo cloud far beyond
the realm of the well-known planets. Much further out, water has
been detected in interstellar space in unusual "Buckyball" clusters,
as MIT Professor Keith Johnson reports (see his article, p. 29).
Noted space scientist Dr. Louis Frank has made his
mark claiming that "small comets" are constantly bombarding Earth
and other planets, virtually unnoticed except for the still controversial
evidence for them from satellite images of Earth. He overturns geochemical
dogma in claiming that these are the source of most of Earth's water;
water does not come primarily from upwellings from the planet's
primordial stores.3 Because of this heresy, he's in as
much hot water with mainstream geology as cold fusion people are
with mainstream physics and chemistry.
Another water heresy that has caught our attention
is the possibility that deep underground water not part of the
hydrologic cycle, may be abundant worldwide. If only geologists
who are expert in the hydrologic cycle could shift their paradigm
a bit, they might see that water might be almost everywhere
for the taking. From springs atop the driest mounts in the Middle
East to mysterious inflows discovered and rejected by tunnelers
below New York City, fresh, possibly virgin, Earth-generated, or
"primary" water seems to be available in lots of strange places.
Read the account of Morad Eghbal of the Riess Institute (p. 10),
and you will understand how little we really know about water-we
can't even agree on its sourcing! Virtually no articles written
about the crisis in fresh water scarcity mention this stream of
thought.4,5 Just as pundits debating energy today never
refer to cold fusion and other water energies, those who promote
the fresh water crisis say nothing about Riess et al. and
When we are able to command the essentially infinite
energies within water to generate clean power without pollution,
the freshwater crisis will be handled by cheap ocean water desalination
and transport. The Sahara Desert and other barren areas will be
no more. Clean, fresh water will be anywhere and everywhere we want
it to be-with or without Earth-generated water a la Riess.
Furthermore, better technologies for desalination already exist,
but are little-known-see Don Bullock's article, p. 62. Cold fusion
and the BlackLight catalytic process are in the vanguard of candidates
to provide energies for desalination and transport, but we must
also note the emergence of parallel technologies that extract energies
from water that may be unfamiliar to many cold fusion and BlackLight
Power advocates. A good example: the water-arc process described
by Drs. Graneau, p. 33.
Our colleague Ken Rauen's review of a major hydroelectric
power project in Quebec, Canada, with which he has had direct experience
(see p. 19), illustrates the intimate relationship of water, energy,
and the environment. There will be no need for energy-producing,
land- and culture-destroying dams anywhere when "small is beautiful"
water-fueled power sources are in common use.
Jules Verne predicted the advent of the water-fuel
age in his 1870 novel, The Mysterious Island. But in today's
paradigm-paralyzed world, energy from water is still seen by the
scientific establishment as science fiction. Even more "miraculous"
are allegations of potential medicinal properties of ordinary water,
which is treated in special ways. We first encountered this issue
in the so-called electrochemical activation of water (IE,
No. 18, p. 35 and IE, No. 21, p. 7). Robert Yukes provides
an update and extension to this very, very heretical topic of health
properties of specially treated waters (p. 26). When military authorities
in the U.S. take seriously the potential of this water technology
to assist in defense against biological warfare, and when Russian
and some Japanese hospitals are routinely using this water as sterilants
and curatives, scientists of good will need to take note. They need
to suspend disbelief and conduct hands-on investigation; they must
read the technical literature.
The alleged medicinal properties of electrochemically
treated water pale in comparison to the claims being made in the
"memory of water" controversy, which began in France in the mid-1980s
with the work of Dr. Jacques Benveniste. Please read my review of
Michel Schiff's remarkable book on this controversy, The Memory
of Water, p. 55. In work that has been reproduced and widely
attacked as discredited science, Benveniste and his colleagues conclude
that extreme dilutions of chemical agents in water-to the level
that not even a single molecule of agent remains in the water-can
have a significant effect on cells. This was nearly the first time,
and certainly the most publicized, that a foundation of the alternative
medical practice, homeopathy, was brought literally under the laboratory
microscope. If Benveniste is correct, a major revolution in the
life sciences is on the horizon, once the establishment calms down
and studies the data that it rejected so hurriedly.
As ancient peoples, we first knew water as just a
major part of the environment. Our awareness of its practical properties
evolved while its spiritual qualities also emerged in ancient and
modern minds. Some ancients began to think of it as an "element"
long before we had any idea of what an element was in the nuclear
sense of twentieth century physics and chemistry. Remarkably, the
several thousand year-old debate about whether the tangible world
consisted of atoms or a continuum did not end until the nineteenth
century became the twentieth.
And what about water? Water, it transpires, was not
even discovered until the late eighteenth century!2
As Davis and Day relate in their excellent little 1960s work, Water:
The Mirror of Science (well worth hunting for in used book stores),
it was not until 1783 that Henry Cavendish in England could conclude
that water was composed of the gases hydrogen and oxygen in certain
definite proportions. Hydrogen he knew only as "inflammable air"
and oxygen as "dephlogisticated air." Despite this primitive eighteenth
century knowledge, it was a key turning point. Water was no longer
an element. From then on, the path was open to reveal even greater
mysteries within enigmatic water.
As did the ancient mariner of Coleridge's poem, we
thirst for "miracles" from water-some of these, such as several
laboratory-established energy sources, we now know to be real, though
they still lag in acceptance and development. Others, such as Riess's
theory of omnipresent Earth-generated water, and Benveniste's "memory
of water," may turn out to be be mirages. But I would not bet that
these claims will turn out to be ephemeral. Work is still going
on; data is in hand, even building. A water "miracle" may be no
miracle once you have seen it and measured it enough times
and have checked your vision. What we most need now is that rarest
of elements: open minds to study and develop these possibilities,
plus the resources to make that happen.
Much of this Infinite Energy water issue owes
its life to Barbara DelloRusso, our creative Managing Editor. Barbara
was instrumental in pulling together all the diverse articles, materials,
and fragments that, we hope, make this issue impressive to the beholder.
Especially appreciated is Barbara's written contribution-an overview
of the history of the Quoddy tidal power project. We can't thank
her enough for her tireless efforts on behalf of this very special
magazine, and for this very special issue.-EFM
- Caro, P. 1993. Water, McGraw-Hill,
Inc., New York (translation of French edition, 1992).
- Davis, K.S. and Day, J.A. 1961. Water:
The Mirror of Science, Anchor Books, Doubleday & Company,
Garden City, NY.
- Frank, L. 1990. The Big Splash,
Birch Lane Press.
- Leslie, J. 2000. "Running Dry: What Happens
When the World No Longer Has Enough Freshwater," Harpers Magazine,
July, pp. 37-52.
- Simon, P. 1998. Tapped Out: The Coming
World Crisis in Water and What We Can Do About It, Welcome
Rain Publishers, New York.
- Schiff, M. 1994. The Memory of Water:
Homeopathy and the Battle of Ideas in the New Science, Thorsons,
an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, London, San Francisco.