Sympathetic Vibratory Physics - It’s a Musical Universe
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Letter from Keely to Bloomfield-Moore

11/1/1884 - "I cannot describe it other than the receptive conclusion of the two forces, positive and negative, coming together, seeking their coincidents and thus producing rotation by harmonious waves, not streams. You ask if sound waves had anything to do with the motion of the globe? Nothing; the introductory settings are entirely different. The ball ceased to rotate when I took your left hand in my right hand, while with our other hands holding the iron rod resting on the metal plate, because the receptive flows became independent of the circular chord of resonation as set up mechanically. The power of rotation comes on the positive; and the power of negative breaks it up."

"I am straining every nerve to accomplish certain matters in a given time, working from twelve to fourteen hours daily. Although in my illness I have had some peaceful hours in thinking over the fascinating points associated with the researches to which I am devoting my life, I have also had some very stormy ones in reviewing the many unjust insinuations and denouncements that have been heaped upon me by the ignorant and the base-hearted. My one desire has been the acquisition of knowledge; and, no matter how great the impediment thrown in my path, I will work without ceasing to attain my end. After struggling for over seventeen years, allowing scientists to examine my machinery in the most thorough manner, and to make the most sensitive tests, denunciations have multiplied against me. One charge is that I use sodium in my mercury, in the vacuum test. I have thought that I would never again make any effort to prove that I am honest but I am working in a new lead, and for the satisfaction of the few friends that I have I propose to show my introductory evolutions, in proof of the negatization of an etheric substance to produce vacuum. The mercury may be delivered to me by an expert: I will operate from an open mercury bath: using the most perfect mercury gauge obtainable, attached to the same sphere that the column is operated from. Professor Rogers, the highest authority we have, saw the operation of inducing these etheric vacuum and pronounced the result wonderful. He said that the scientific world would go down on its knees, if I produced only one pound of vacuum under the conditions named. I showed from one to fourteen lbs. during the evolutions. . . . As soon as I have been able to combine all the positive and negative forces of etheric vibration in the triple vibratory sphere-engine that I am now at work upon in short, as soon as I have completed a perfect, patentable machine, then my labours will cease on the Motor line; and after my patents are taken out I will devote the remainder of my life to Aerial Navigation, for I have the only true system to make it an entire success in the vibratory lift and the vibratory push-process."

Letter from Charles Collier to Major Ricarde-Seaver

8/1/1885 - "The Bank of England is not more solid than is our enterprise. My belief is that the present year will see us through, patents and all."

Let Us Have Some Actual Useful Work

Public Ledger, Philadelphia - 7/28/1886 - "With regard to the occasional revivals of the Keely motor, whether annual, semiannual, or biennial, as they have come along in the last ten or a dozen years, the Ledger has paid but little attention to them for a long time; and possibly this last display last week might have been allowed to take the same unnoticed course, but that the "whizz" of the big sphere seems to have been so rapid, and the racket so stunning, as to more greatly puzzle those present at the exhibition than on any former occasion. The matter for a long time has presented itself to us in but two aspects mainly. First, there was large public interest in the asserted development of physical force by new and very strange means - very interesting if there really was a probability of a new device or new means of developing power that could be harnessed and made to do useful work; and second, so far as the matter took the form of exploiting a private enterprise or stimulating a boom for a private speculation, there was but very limited interest for the public. In this latter aspect it was almost exclusively an affair between Mr. Keely and the stockholders of his company, who felt willing to back their faith in the substantiality of his invention or discovery, by investing their money in the companys stock. This was no affair for a public journal to meddle in, unless some imposture was designed that might affect the general public.

"That in the way the Ledger has regarded the matter for several years; and, as during that period it seemed to be almost exclusively a private matter of little public interest, we have had little or no concern with it. Of course the Ledger stood ready all the time, as it stands now ready, to welcome anything that promises to be useful or of advantage in any way as an addition to the mechanical or other working facilities of our day. That Mr. Keely might have a clue to such an addition we did not dispute on the mere ground that it was new or strange, or because experts pronounced it impossible; for many stranger things have happened. Mankind, even those who are illumined by the highest human knowledge and intelligence, do not yet know all that is to be known, as we are reminded almost every day by the strides of scientific and mechanical progress. We would rather have found Mr. Keely less inclined to be mysterious; we could have wished him to have been less disposed to talk in terms that sound very like meaningless jargon to most well-informed persons; but still we did not think it proper, or fair, or wise, to reject his claims on these grounds, but have simply let them rest in abeyance, so far as the Ledger is concerned, because behind all this, and behind many more such essays, in the possibility that the success of some one of them may solve the problem of what is to be done when the worlds supply of fuel, whether in from of wood, or coal, or peat, or gas, is either practically exhausted or to be got at only at a cost that would largely preclude its use. Mr. Keely, we say, may have a clue to that, as also may some one of those who are experimenting with the several manifestation of electric or magnetic force.

"What we would have had Mr. Keely do and, until he does it, his operations have but little practical value in the sight of the Ledger, would have been to harness his motor to do some useful work to gear it by cogwheel or by belt and pulley or by some other mechanical device, to a main shaft that has driving lathes, or planers, or other machines - something that was doing actual useful work, day in and day out, as other machines do. Of machines that will manifest great pressure on a gauge, of contrivances that have enormous lifting power, of explosives that demonstrate stupendous force, the appliances of science and the mechanic arts have large numbers, and they are handier and more manageable than any Mr. Keely has shown. These are not to the point - except, perhaps, to persons endowed with large faith. The machine that will do actual, useful, large work, by a manipulation of new energy or by a display of energy by new and manageable means, this or these are the things the public and the Ledger will be glad to hail."

Leidy and Wilcox Visit Keelys Lab

On the 28th of May, 1889, Mr. Keelys workshop was visited by several men interested to see and judge for themselves of the nature of his researches. Among them were Professor Leidy, of the University of Pennsylvania, and James M. Wilcox, author of "Elemental Philosophy." After seeing the experiments in acoustics, and the production, storage, and discharge of the ether. Mr. Willcox remarked that no one who had witnessed all that they had seen in the line of associative vibration, under the same advantages, could assert any fraud on the part of Keely without convicting himself of the rankest folly. These gentlemen met Mr. Keely with their minds open to conviction, though with strong prejudices against the discovery of any unknown force. They treated him as if he were all that he is, keeping out of sight whatever doubts they may have had of the genuineness of his claims as a discoverer; and, in the end, all who were present expressed their appreciation of his courtesy in answering the questions asked, and their admiration of what he has accomplished on his unknown path. In doing this, they were simply doing justice to him and to themselves, - to that self-respect which leads men to respect the rights of others, and to do unto others as they would be done by. Had they questioned Keelys integrity, or betrayed doubts of his honesty of purpose, he would at once have assumed the defensive, and would have informed them that he has no wish to conduct experiments for scientists who are ready to give their opinions of his theories before having heard them propounded, or of his experiments before witnessing them. When Keelys system of "sympathetic vibration" is made known ("sympathetic seeking" Mr. Willcox would call it), it will be seen how sensitive Mr. Keelys instruments are to the vibrations caused by street-noises, to vibration of air from talking in the operating room, to touch even, as well as why it is that, although he is willing to take apart and explain the construction of his instruments in the presence of investigators, he objects to having them handled by others than himself, after they have been. "harmonized," or "sensitized," or "graduated."

Mr. Keely is his own worst enemy. When suspected of fraud he acts as if he were a fraud; and in breaking up his vibratory microscope and other instruments which he had been years in perfecting, at the time he was committed to prison in 1888, he laid himself open to the suspicion that his instruments are but devices with which he cunningly deceives his patrons. Yet these same instruments he has, since their reconstruction, dissected and explained to those who approached him in the proper spirit. It is only when he has been subjected to insulting suspicious by arrogant scientists that he refuses to explain his theories, and to demonstrate their truth, as far as it is in his power to do so. "Keely may be on the right track, after all," remarked an English scientist, after Prof. Hertz had made known his researches on the structure of ether; "for if we have imprisoned the ether without knowing it, why may not Keely know what he has got a hold of?"


NYT - 11/26/1898 - Decidedly surprising caution is shown by The Engineering News in discussing the question whether the late JOHN WORRELL KEELY was ingenious only in the exploitation of human credulity, or whether he was an unskilled and ill-taught mechanical genius who had accidentally stumbled into the threshold of one of natures most mysterious temples. A technical journal devoted to the exactest of the sciences might be expected to show neither patience with nor consideration for a man like Keely, who for thirty-five years talked an utterly incomprehensible jargon in describing and explaining his machine, and who always insisted on performing his marvels in conditions exactly like those on which the ordinary prestidigitator depends for success in astonishing his voluntary dupes. Yet The Engineering News calls attention to the facts that Keely stock was "never offered for sale to the general public, with the accompaniment of a prospectus, in the way that most fake enterprises are floated"; that "the money paid into the treasury of the company appears to have nearly all been expended for the carrying on of the experiments," and that "Mr. Keely himself lived in the plainest and most frugal style." It is admitted by the writer of the article that "with one possible exception" - an exception, by the way, that escaped the attention of newspaper men - Keely never permitted competent experts to make such an examination of his apparatus as would remove the strong suspicion of willful fraud. Yet it is asserted, on the other hand, that "those who witnessed his experiments and were competent to judge of them were almost invariably completely nonplused and unable to explain the things they saw according to ordinary physical laws." The same might be said of any jugglers feats. The Engineering News, however does not say it. What it does say, in summing up the matter, is that "Keelys experiments and methods generally had most of the earmarks of a fraud; but it confounded the ablest men who examined his work to tell how it could possibly be accomplished by fraudulent means." And as to the character of the man himself we read: "If Mr. Keely performed his experiments by fraudulent means, he was certainly one of the most clever and ingenious mechanics and electricians who ever lived. If he was a genuine discoverer, he lost the fame that might have been his by his eccentric insistence on secrecy and refusal to submit to investigation." As leniency toward to dead, this may be all very well, but to us it seems like carrying kindness unnecessarily far.



BOSTON, Dec. 24, 1898 - Charles S. Hill of this city, who is the attorney for Mrs. Anna M. Keely, widow of John Ernst Worrell Keely, has returned to the city after attending a meeting of the Directors of the Keely Motor Company at Philadelphia. At this meeting various plans were suggested for continuing the operations begun by Mr. Keely, which were so suddenly stopped by the inventors death. In an interview today Mr. Hill said:

"The report that immense quantities of manuscript have been left by Mr. Keely is, so far as I am aware, absolutely untrue. A few scraps of memoranda in the form of a diary, possibly 500 or 600 words, giving no clue to anything whatever, half completed drafts and letters written by him on business, and other such unimportant papers comprise the bulk of all that I have been able to find. The whole thing is in as uncertain a state as ever.

"Mrs. Keely has deemed it wise to place all material and data in the hands of T. B. Kinraide of Jamaica Plains. Mr. Kinraide enjoyed Mr. Keelys confidence throughout the latter years of the inventors life, and, upon his death bed, it was Mr. Keelys request that Mr. Kinraide should take upon himself the task of completing his work. At the end of one year Mr. Kinraide will present a report and permit an inspection of what he has done.

"If at the end of one year he is convinced that there is absolutely nothing that will lead to a practical machine, he will abandon his attempts."

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