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You are here: > News > May 22, 2005

Searl Effect: a tantalizing technology and a sad coda

An elderly Searl recalls achievements, blames former associates for stealing Searl's Electromagnetic Generator (SEG), and outlines the basis of both the generator and flight without pollution or G-forces.

by Mary-Sue Haliburton
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2005

The following treatise is written
in reference to and with commentary on the following 411-page pdf document:

Searl Electromagnetic Generator Plates

In 1946, at age fourteen and with the help of kindly owners of a generator factory, John R.R. Searl built devices based on his dreams. These devices allegedly flew without any batteries, fuel or wires. The flight aspect was a surprise; the youth was attempting to build a magnetic generator. As long-time associate and supporter John Thomas explains, at that time the young Searl “had such conviction in his theory that he was able to convince the factory owners to help him. All he had to do was pay for the materials used in his experiment. He was given the use of the facility and the help of a number of magnetics engineers.” (ref)  No longer having access to these resources, Searl has spent a lifetime attempting to get this technology duplicated so that it can be made available.

The sad aspect is the amount of time, space, money and effort he has been forced to devote to defending himself and trying to re-acquire what he says has been stolen from him by former associates. In a lengthy, complicated document the now elderly John R.R. Searl jumps back and forth between this theories and the interpersonal tensions that stood in the way of achieving this goal of clean energy and anti-gravity devices. These personality conflicts culminated in the theft of the elderly inventor’s technology, apparently with the advance knowledge if not consent of the police (p. 49), while he was in hospital. It is difficult not to feel some sympathy for this man, who points out that he was depriving himself of basic necessities in order to buy with his pension money the expensive cameras and other equipment that others felt they had the right to take.

On the home page of Searl's site,, is a list of data that is available to non-members. Standing out among these is a report by a team of Russian researchers who built a reduced-sized model based on Searl’s concepts and ran it through several tests. In proper scientific manner befitting their association with the Russian Institute for High Temperatures in the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow, researchers V.V. Roschin and S.M. Godin carefully explain what changes they made to the design, while attempting to respect its basic principles. To reduce cost and complexity, they used only one magnetized ring and set of rollers, not three as in the fully-fledged SEG. Their experimental method is outlined in orderly steps, specifying the use of an electric starter motor to get the assembly rotating, and then the point at which they switched off the electrical input as the SEG model began back-feeding energy when its rotational speed increased.

Their experimental results are striking. In many repetitions of the SEG warm-up procedure and independent mode of operating, they recorded reduction in the registered weight of the device on its mounting stand of 30-35 percent after the device reaches 550 rpms. They were able to determine the electrical load capacity of their version of the device as 6-7 kW. Above that limit, attempting to attach additional load caused the SEG to exit its self-generation mode and to slow down to a stop. They tried using clockwise and anti-clockwise motion, and found that while an anti-gravity effect occurs with the former, the latter causes the force to reverse and to increase weight (gravity effect) by the same percentage at 600 rpms. Concerned for the mechanical stability of their device, they did not test it at any faster rotation.

Even more dramatic effects including concentric thermal “walls” were reported. These rings of magnetic fields around the device felt discernibly colder to the physical senses in addition to registering 6-8 degrees Celsius below the ambient temperature. And when the laboratory was darkened, the Russian scientists observed an unusual toroidal field of blue-pink glowing luminescence around the converter when it was in operation. Godin and Roschin admit they cannot explain these phenomena using the conventional models of physics. Please see:

If the Russian document is valid, Searl does “have something” even if it seems that he’s his own worst enemy given his communication style. He glories in not being educated in the conventional school system. Though the lack of this education inhibits his expression and clarity, it does, he gloats, leave him free to discover ideas for himself.

He is not alone here. Some other noted inventors have been self-educated, and drew their inspiration from observing the natural world. Not least among these is Viktor Schauberger who flatly refused to attend university when he saw that his older brothers’ minds tended to shut down after they had been to institutions of higher learning. (Living Energies, by Callum Coats, p. 3.) He saw that they had been indoctrinated with the rigid thought-system of mechanistic science and engineering imposed on them by educators who were alienated from nature, and it was from nature that this independently-minded forester wanted to learn. Because the Swiss professor assigned to study the validity of Schauberger’s theories believed that too few people at that time would be able to understand it, his papers were locked in a vault for fifty years. Did that action pave the way for acceptance as science progressed (allegedly), or did it merely put the brakes on that progress?

This parallel is not meant as an assertion that Searl is in the same class as Schauberger, but merely to corroborate the truism that minds can be closed and unable to see new ideas when exposed to the same influences that trigger previously unknown visions in the mind of an independent inventor. The critics of Searl declare his invention to be impossible because they didn’t achieve it themselves, leaving it to the “some fool like me” who did it anyway (p. 14). This, Searl says, with his typical gutter humor, shows that those who claim they are educated “do not state which end is educated, to my senses the impressed image fails to refer to their heads.”

Creative ideas from early sources

The conceptual framework in which Searl developed his inventions traces its origins back to the childhood game of hopscotch, with its squares marked on the ground. From this he devised universal principles and his own unique school of mathematics based upon “the law of squares”, and opposite principles or dualism.

Searl says that another source of creative input came from dreams that were repeated. In one of these dreams, he said he saw a steam roller – the only large machine he was aware of in his youth – as a massive flywheel and rollers bearing down toward him. (p. 17) A dull-witted child might simply have brushed this off upon awakening if he remembered it at all. Or, if inclined to be fearful or self-absorbed, he or the adults around him might have sought a “psychological” explanation (e.g. this might have been interpreted as representing the threat of being crushed by his father’s masculinity or some such Freudian nonsense). But in this dream the boy John Searl glimpsed the basis of an invention.

It is difficult to judge the merits or lack of same in his unusual theories and calculations. Some points he makes are corroborated by others. Searl insists on the reality and importance of time as a factor in his equations. And Tom Bearden (whom Searl admires) goes so far as to say:

"Only if a thing dimensionally contains time, can it 'occupy time.' This point is so obvious that one wonders how so many of the scientists and mathematicians seem to have missed it. By this criterion, e.g., mass does not exist in time, a priori. To 'observe' or detect, in fact, means to stop time, thus collapsing the wave function. However, it reduces the observable or detectable to a spatial quantity, not a spatiotemporal quantity. In other words, the ordinary scientific method destroys a part of reality in each detection or measurement, yielding only a partial truth. not fundamental truth." (, note 35.)

Many experts have condemned Searl’s Law of Squares and unusual mathematical theories as useless or ignorant ramblings. However, as Searl points out, his loudest critics have not invented a clean-energy technology and been robbed of it, so he does not consider their criticism to be based on real knowledge. He devotes many pages and photos to the 2003 robbery, in which his former associates entered his house and took his equipment, and also to complaints about the burning of his papers. Naturally enough this incident was a huge setback, has cost the 73-year old inventor a great deal of time and struggle merely to regain the level he had reached. Focused the author is on that act of theft and his reasons for stating that the perpetrators still fail to understand the technology properly although they claim to be its owners, the continuing references to this conflict distract the reader from wanting to study these unique theories. However, this idiosyncratic thought framework is said to be more fully explained in other books and papers authored by Searl. There are DVD films available of public lectures that might also be more accessible than this convoluted essay.

Coming at this from a more standard academic background, I admit to being disconcerted by some of the apparent leaps of logic and redefinitions that are thrown at us by the author. However, this may not be an indication that he is wrong; it may be that my mind has become too rigid. For example, Searl espouses a form of dualism, arguing that in everything there are two opposite states. Logically, if at first he defines his two “prime states” as being “death and life” (in that order, with death predominating (p. 5)), I am not expecting him to then redefine the two prime states. However, this is what he does, not once but several times. (I lost count on how many times he offered a new re-definition of the prime states.) The second re-definition is “random” (unpredictable) vs “uniform” (predictable). Is this evidence of disorderly mind? Or does it suggest a more creative mind not hidebound by conventional logic? Perhaps an educated reader should not assume that the first snap judgment is the correct one! In any case, this redefinition is important, in that his stated objective is to convert the random energy state to the uniform energy state so that it can be made useful. (p. 21)

Searl does not intend to demolish conventional physics, but just to stretch its rigid frame a bit. He is approaching from a different direction but using many of the known principles. Searl mentions that Newton’s law of motion includes the fact that motion is perpetual until acted upon by a different force. He writes:

"Based on the evidence so far achieved, I can confirm now that I do have absolute faith that we can with the correct team of personal [sic]; obtain the functions which are required to cause a mass that is free to move and will do so on its own accord. It will rotate around another unit of similar material but of greater mass until such time that another force is applied to change its course of direction according to Newton’s law; that being in this case a stop!" (p. 66)

This is a significant point. Regularly the mass media trots out the meme “perpetual motion machine”– tightly linked to the concept “fake” – in order to make us turn off our minds and not even consider the possibility that this might be valid. In one of his informal letters found at, Bearden says:

Isn’t it sad, when one is attacked as a “perpetual motion nut” as a “knee-jerk reaction” to the mere mention of electrical systems taking their energy from the vacuum? Perpetual motion is supposed to be the epitome of foolishness – when it fact it is Newton’s first law. Place an object or system into a state of motion, and it will remain forever in that state of motion unless and until some external force is brought in to forcefully change it into a different state of motion. Then that SECOND one is eternal, until the intervention of an outside force again.

There seem to be links to other inventors and theorists that may lend further hints of validity. Searl states that his invention requires four materials to be used, one of which is not a metal. He then throws in the word “WHY?” in red capital letters. He does not explain it at this point, but leaves the question festering so the reader has to wait until the next page and retain the curiosity to persist. The reason is to control or limit the flow of electrons (p. 22). However, this specification calls to mind the work of Wilhelm Reich, who used layers of metal and non-metallic materials in his “orgone accumulator” which is part of the weather-control system the Reich cloudbuster.

Though the concepts are not explained in the same words, there may be a similar principle at work. And orgone energy is said to manifest as a blue glow. Could this be part of what the Russians observed in their glowing blue-pink coronal discharge? And what is the pink part? So far nobody has even offered a theory including the Russian scientists who could not make a guess themselves! But clearly there is something happening on the level of energy that we don’t yet grasp, and therefore we should not be too quick to dismiss the inventor who brings forward unusual ideas along with devices that appear to defy accepted principles. We have to keep in mind that those accepted principles have brought us pollution and destruction on a grand scale.

The article also discusses at length the technical difficulties involved in creating the correct rollers and stators. Both the size and weight have to be precise, and then magnetized with the proper sine wave configuration. One of his conflicts with the former associates was his rejection of their attempt to grind down the incorrectly sized components and re-magnetize them. Searl insisted this could not be done as the true wave-form and balance would not be achieved. (p. 101, para 517) This conflict appears to have been one of the factors that led to the breakup of the original team, and to their theft of his property, the burning of his papers and several months of homelessness from which Searl is still trying to recover.

While clean and safe in normal circumstances, Searl argues that extreme precision and expert knowledge of his principles are both essential. He states that his technology could be dangerous if mishandled. He even compares it to atomic power getting out of control. (pp 14-15, para. 185-6) Is this exaggeration intended to scare people away from supporting his competitors who he claims lack adequate knowledge to build and run the SEG? Or could this clean energy system pose a danger if not understood and managed with knowledge? Apparently the Russian experimenters did not run into any danger; but they were concerned enough to install a braking system to ensure that the SEG did not escape from their control. In their rather conservative tests they had no ill effects, but were also not exposed to the working device for a long time. Searl claims health improves with exposure to the properly-working device, and as proof mentions the healing of burns he had suffered in a kitchen accident. If the SEG device is tapping into and running on orgone or life-energy, beneficial effects rather than harm would be expected.

Some of the principles as explained herein appear to make sense even to us conventionally-educated folks. For example, Searl compares the SEG to a satellite. The roller must perform like a satellite by being in a state of constantly falling inward but maintaining its “height”. However, there is a difference in that the satellite is staying at altitude by means of velocity alone. That is “achieved by shear [sic] force against nature.” When the fuel or other force supply is used up, the satellite slows down and descends. Searl says that his device is “a function of nature and it does not require the use [of] force against nature” in order to remain in operation. (p. 104, para. 531-541) (NB: Searl is not referring to “shear” forces but actually intends to use the word “sheer” as an emphatic adjective, which he regularly does – and misspells in the same way – throughout the article. E.g p. 13, para 169)

If a reader can persist through (or skip over) the pages of diatribes against betrayers, the later part of this long document contains a more detailed look at his unique form of mathematics. This presents challenges on several levels. Either cudgel one’s brains and try to grasp it, or set it aside and hope that it isn’t necessary for a the general reader actually to understand this in order to read what follows. One runs into the same dilemma reading Tom Bearden’s work; the explanations of principle which are accessible to general readers are inevitably followed by pages of equations which are not comprehensible without a basis in the advanced mathematics in which he is apparently an expert. The non-mathematician’s eyes tend to glaze over at that point! Suffice it to say that both Bearden and Searl have invented magnetic generators, and that both are using a mathematical system as the underpinning to their work.

Page 185 #726 contains a summary of the Searl Effect written by Fernando Morris, who concludes:

“The electrons are then attracted brought back to the centre of the S.E.G. where again the electrons are stripped of their kinetic energy; a cycle that repeats continuously, taking advantage of energy that is not limited. These natural and clean sources of energy are of the highest quality, clearly the S.E.G. neither creates nor destroys energy, it only gathers and controls it temporarily in to a useful form of electrical power.”

Pages 240 through to 261 mostly discuss the materials used and how the different layers of materials fit into his mathematics of the squares concept. After some digressions, this subject recommences on page 285 and continues to about page 364, evincing knowledge of the periodic table and the properties of the various metals and minerals related to magnetism. One has to respect both the knowledge of this man and the personal struggle to keep going despite his declining health and the continuing conflicts with his former company. In this section there are a few personal asides such as the one on page 304::

“When I moved into this building I had to re-buy this Fluke 337 clamp meter to replace the one that was stolen while I was made homeless. … It is indeed a handy tool as it saves time disconnecting cables to check current or voltage functions through that circuit. When you are carrying out research and development work you sure want good tools as your life might depend on that accuracy being absolute as far as possible.”

With another of his definitions of the prime dualities – reality vs fantasy – in mind, he adds: “In the world of fantasy you can build flying saucers and what not without costly tools or equipment that I will accept as a fact from my hands on experience nursing mental patients. A vast number of people live in the world of fantasy as they do not have the courage to live in the world of reality that I must live in.”

On page 365 he begins to discuss in detail the meaty aspect of his life’s work, the Searl Effect or Inverse Gravitation. This part is quite fun to read, and is adorned with some attractive conceptual illustrations. One might in fact begin to read at this page, and then if intrigued enough go back and try to wade through the “squares” and the interpersonal squabbles in the company.

Is the Searl effect genuine? Timely funding and support for the aging inventor may bring back to reality in useful size what the young boy Searl achieved in miniature in 1946. We would all do well to hope that day will come! The alternative is the status quo: the monopoly held by the wealthy on finite forms of energy that is destructive of our environment. Since Tesla discovered aetheric energy almost a century ago, the tantalizing possibility has existed that there is a cleaner, healthier way to power our transportation and other energy needs. What stands in the way, as all who walk that independent path have discovered, is human greed and entrenched economic interests. It is not governments that have stopped this. As Searl explains, prime ministers and presidents have sent him letters of encouragement, but have not had the clout to order the energy companies and their wealthy bosses to step aside once money has been invested in hydroelectric dams, nuclear plants, oil wells and distribution systems, and so on ad nauseam. (p. 61, para. 389-99)

It may take nothing less than a total spiritual transformation of humanity to bring about the change to clean energy.

However, Searl’s robust personality carries him on through difficulties that would stop many others. He asserts, “I am not a rebel or have rebel ideas, for if I did airlines would be under my control now. … The relationship in the phrase MY JOY simply means that these conditions will all contribute to the acceptance of the INVERSE – G – VEHICLE as the rightful means of transportation in the atmosphere and space.” (Page 396)

# # #

Further background to this inventor’s work is available in a short article by John Thomas at:

Also, the Searl Effect website has a "builders only" page.

See also

Page posted by Sterling D. Allan May 22, 2005
Last updated December 24, 2014





"It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom." // "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right." -- Albert Einstein

ADVISORY: With any technology, you take a high risk to invest significant time or money unless (1) independent testing has thoroughly corroborated the technology, (2) the group involved has intellectual rights to the technology, and (3) the group has the ability to make a success of the endeavor.
All truth passes through three stages:
   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

    "When you're one step ahead
of the crowd you're a genius.
When you're two steps ahead,
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