Alfred M. HUBBARD
Post-Intelligencer ( July 29, 1920 )
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ( Feb. 26,
"The Hubbard Energy Transformer" by Gaston
Burridge (Fate Magazine, July, 1956, pp. 36-42)
US Patent # 1,723,422: Internal Combustion
Engine Spark Plug
Notes by George Van Tassel
Who Was Alfred M. Hubbard?
Post-Intelligencer (Seattle WA), Thursday, July 29,
Hubbard Coil Runs Boat On
Portage Bay Ten Knots An Hour; Auto Test Next
Seattle Boy Inventor Makes Good His
Claims of Last December When He Announced Discovery to
If young Hubbard's claims are
correct regarding the newest coil he has perfected, and which
propelled a boat yesterday, these are a few of the things the
coil would do without cost other than the initial outlay of
Drive a large touring car at normal
Illuminate a moderate-sized office building.
Furnish current for lighting, cooking, and heating for a large
Heat seven two room apartments.
Alfred M. Hubbard, Seattle boy
inventor of a device which for want of a better name he terms
an atmospheric power generator, yesterday made good his
prediction that he would drive a motorboat with the apparatus
as a source of
An eighteen foot boat, propelled by
a thirty-five-horse power electric motor, which obtained its
current from the Hubbard coil, was driven about Portage Bay on
Lake Union. Among those who witnessed the demonstration
was a well-known local capitalist, the inventor's
father,William H. Hubbard, and a Post Intelligencer reporter.
The boat traveled at a speed of
between eight and ten knots--silently, except for the whirring
of a chain belt which connected the motor with the propeller
shaft. When the chain belt was removed, the motor ran
free at a speed estimated at 3,500 revolutions [the rest of
this line is unreadable]
No Hidden Wires Found
To guard against the possibility of
ordinary storage batteries concealed about the boat as a power
source, instead of the Hubbard coil, both electric motor and
coil were lifted free from their blocks, but no hidden wiring
was revealed. The coil used as a power unit was eleven
inches in diameter and fourteen inches in length.
According to Hubbard, tests of the coil show a current
of 280 amperes and 125 volts, which, he pointed out was
equivalent to approximately forty-five horse power, or
sufficient to drive an automobile. The current is
The electric motor was
approximately twelve inches in diameter eighteen inches in
length. It had been reconstructed in order to be used
with the Hubbard coil.
After his ride in the strange
powered craft the capitalist declared that he was frankly
puzzled, but that he desired an electrical engineer in his
employ to make an examination of the coil before he felt free
to discuss it.
Since last December, when the
Post-Intelligencer first made public the claims of the
youthful inventor, he has been more or less in retirement,
perfecting his coil. He took up his residence in Everett
where, with the assistance of Everett backers he worked on his
A local capitalist agreed to
witness a demonstration of the coil to determine its
practicability as a power source. The motorboat was
fitted with blocks on which to rest the motor and the
propeller shaft geared for a chained belt.
When the motor was first tried out
after its installation in the boat it ran backwards. So
involved are the connections between the motor and the coil
that fully a half-hour's experimentation was necessary before
the motor shaft revolved in the right direction.
That the capitalist was frankly
skeptical of the device was plain when he,with two other
passengers, boarded the boat at the Seattle Yacht Club
wharf. All the machinery that was visible was the coil
and the motor, the latter plainly geared to the propeller
shaft. The boat shoved off, Hubbard threw the switch,
and instantly the boat began to pick up speed.
It circled about the bay and
returned to the wharf, with never a slackening of speed. The
wires connecting coil and motor had begun to heat under the
excessive current, and, fearing that some part of the coil
might give way under the extra heavy strain put on it, Hubbard
declined to permit the motor to be run continuously for any
length of time. It was tried out later several times, after
brief periods which allowed the wires to cool, and its power
apparently showed no diminution. No instruments were
used to test its wattage.
The capitalist admitted that the
demonstration intrigued his interest, but that he would wait
for his expert's opinion before discussing it.
Following the demonstration, the
young inventor declared that within a few days he expected to
drive an automobile with the coil as a power unit.
The Coil used yesterday had been
built especially for the demonstration, and is nearly twice
the size of the coil Hubbard used in his demonstration last
winter. The large coil cost approximately $90 to
construct. The inventor says that so far as he has been
able to learn its life as a power unit is indefinite. He
declared that a coil large enough to drive an airplane would
be no more than three times the size of the coil used
yesterday, and that a machine thus equipped could fly around
the world without stopping, so far as the power supply is
While the device has been patented,
the claims for it are so broad that Hubbard says he does not
feel safe in making public his secret. In general, he
says, it is made up of a group of eight electro-magnets, each
with primary and secondary windings of copper wire, which are
arranged around a large steel core. The core likewise
has a single winding. A coil thus constructed, he says,
is lifeless until given an initial impulse. This is done
by connecting the ends of its windings for a fraction of a
second to an ordinary[two words unreadable R.L.R.] -ing
circuit, he says.
The manner of this momentary
charging, however, constitutes the principal secret of the
device, according to the inventor, who says that while
machinists have built a number of coils for him under his
direction, they have been unable to "start" them. In the
event the power of the coil should diminish, it can be
rejuvenated in less than a second, Hubbard says.
Photo captions (Photos by Walter P.
Miller, Post-Intelligencer Staff Photographer)
1-- Arrangement of Hubbard coil and
motor in boat. The motor is nearest the bow.
2-- Alfred M. Hubbard, inventor of the coil used as a power
3--The boat under way, driven by a motor which obtained its
power from the Hubbard coil.
Seattle Post Intelligencer
(February 26, 1928)
Hubbard Believes Mystery
Motor Based On His Own Invention
Ex-Dry Agent says he worked out secret
of utilizing radium power in 1919
Alfred M. Hubbard, the youthful
stormy petrel of the Seattle branch of the federal prohibition
office, may possibly be the discoverer of at least the basic
principle behind the [Hendershot] "fuelless motor" which was
demonstrated for the first time in Detroit last week, and
which is attracting the attention of such aeronautical experts
as Col. Charles A. Lindbergh and Maj. Thomas G. Lanphier.
This was claimed by Hubbard himself
yesterday. While he said that he has been able to learn none
of the details in connection with the Detroit demonstration,
he declared that he was inclined to suspect very strongly that
the motor was simply a development of the apparatus which e
himself demonstrated in Seattle as early as 1919.
Driven By Radium
In 1919 Hubbard represented the
apparatus as being capable of extracting electrical energy
directly from the air, but he admitted yesterday that this had
been merely a subterfuge to protect his patent rights, and
that, as a matter of fact, it had been a device for extracting
electrical energy from radium, by means of a series of
transformers which stepped up the rays.
He declined to go into detail in
regard to the exact manner in which he managed to extract
power from radium -- but said that, so far as he had been able
to determine, there was no great difference between the
Detroit machine and his.
"I never heard of this Lester J.
Hendershot, the Pittsburgh electrical engineer who is
demonstrating the motor", Hubbard said, "but it must be
remembered that I worked on the invention for two years in
Pittsburgh -- in 1921 and 1922. It was a Dr. Greenslade who
represented the people who were financing me at the time --
but, of course, if the people who bought out most of my
interest in the invention were to bring it out as their own
machinery, they would probably do it through a man with whom I
had never worked. I was employed by the radium Chemical
Company at the time I was working in Pitsburgh".
While Hubbard declined to disclose
the exact amount that he had received for his invention, he
made it clear that he had sold out a 75% interest in what may
prove to be the greatest scientific revelation of the ages for
little more than a mess of potage.
"When I made my discovery", he
said, "I was only 16 years old and, until that time, I’d never
even had an ice cream soda. So you can imagine that a couple
of thousand dollars looked mighty big to me. I never hesitated
for an instant when the people who were financing me insisted
on taking a [missing text] kept demanding more and more of my
Just Quit Cold
"But, at last, along in 1922, I
suddenly came to the realization that if I acceded to their
latest demand I’d have only 20% interest left, so I just quit
Hubbard asserted that he has no
intention of bringing any legal action against Hendershot or
his associates for the present, at least.
"If he really is using my idea",
Hubbard said, "and if it proves practical, it’s so big that
25% -- or 2% -- will bring in more money than I can ever
possibly use. So I am not worried ... [missing text] when he
went to work for the Pittsburgh people.
Hubbard went into retirement along
with his motor for some time, but he made a dramatic return to
Seattle and public attention a few years ago, when he was
indicted for liquor conspiracy with Roy Olmstead, then
acclaimed as the bootleg king of the Northwest.
Hubbard was duly arrested but, on
the eve of his trial, the indictment against him was dismissed
and it later came out that, while associated with Olmstead, he
had turned government informer. Some time after this he came
out in the open as a frankly avowed prohibition agent.
Notes on the Hubbard Coil by George Van Tassel
College of Universal Wisdom (Yucca Flats, CA) ~
In 1952, in a paper entitled "The
World of the Secret Forces", a group of Austrian scientists
disclosed the segmented energy pattern of the surface of the
Earth. Their research was carried on at 48° N Latitude.
The segmented checkerboard pattern
of positive and negative squares on the surface of the Earth,
at the magnetic equator, was about 32 meters on each side and
becomes zero at both magnetic poles. At the 48° N Latitude the
squares were 15.9 meters. They also discovered that the Cheops
Pyramid in Egypt is about 30° N Latitude and the diagonal of
the pyramid magnetic field was circa 30 meters.
It is amazing that they discovered
each of the squares had positive and negative poles in their
centers, and that these poles conform to "Hubbard's Energy
Generator" in 1919, Cater's Energy Generator in 1971, and the
Chinese "Cosmic Flower", the source of all energy.
The poles in these checkerboard
squares are 2.45 meters diameter in the center pole and the
eight surrounding poles are 60 cm diameter at 48° N Latitude.
We are convinced that Hubbard tapped the energy from these
Earth surface poles in Seattle, Washington in 1919.
Alfred M. Hubbard was front page
news on December 17, 1919, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
newspaper. Hubbard was only 19 years old when he powered an
18-foot boat around Portage Bay with a 35-horsepower electric
motor hooked to his energy generator, which was only 11 inches
in diameter and 14 inches long. There were no batteries in the
boat and the boat ran for hours beyond the life of batteries.
Hubbard's generator was a central
coil wound on a tube, with eight coils around it, wound on
iron cores. Here is real power without smog, or fumes and at
no cost to operate. This explains why the "authorities"
stepped in and stopped the experiments as in other cases
through the years.
A Finnish citizen, who worked with
Hubbard, gave some additional data to Art Aho, and we have the
original tubes that were part of Hubbard's equipment.
Hubbard ran wires North, South East
and West, 1200 feet in each direction from his coil generator
in the center. These wires passed over 18 of the Earth's
square poles in each direction and ended connected to a steel
tube with some mercury in it, in the center of the 19th pole
in each direction. The alternate polarity, from each pole
crossed, perpendicular to the wire created a wave pattern from
one end of the wire to the center coil assembly creating a
pulse of electrical energy. This fixed generator transmitted a
resonant energy to the generator in the boat.
Can you picture these "no
maintenance, no cost" devices, set up around cities, supplying
power to the present circuits, with no radiation from
reactors, no smoke from steam-plant generators, and no danger
from dams that break and change the ecology around rivers.
This is the power principle hidden by "authority" since 1919
that has made the cost of electricity what it is now, from
expensive maintenance-hungry sources.
We hope we can set up a separate
research on this principle when we finish the "Integratron".
According to G.D.Mutch, the
dimensions in the table of Table 1 are taken from Hubbards
actual 9-coil design:
Total Hubbards Frequencies
= 2.8 Ghz/ (2^19)
Hz =€ 2.8 Ghz/ (2^18)
Hz = 2.8 Ghz/ (2^17)
"Hubbard used a multiply ratio of
5.75 formulated from his knowledge of the Golden Section.
Example 49/30 = 1.6333. Hubbard stated that his nine(9) coil
design above stepped up the output power compared to the input
power by a ratio of 3:1... Hubbard stated he could use copper
wire of different diameter/gauges to complete one totally
Hubbard Energy Transformer
by Gaston Burridge.
Fate Magazine, July, 1956, pp. 36-42
The mysterious device was said to radioactive rays into
electricity - and run big motors.
Recently I spent an evening with a
scientist close to atomic energy developments, and to be
perfectly frank I guided the conversation to the subject of
changing radioactive ways directly into useable electrical
energy. I was told it has not been done. That atomic
scientists have tried every thing they can think of to
accomplish this neat little trick, but so far have failed.
Many an atomic researcher has believed such an arrangement
possible, but the right combination has not been found.
I mentioned that I had heard of a
young man named Albert Hubbard who in 1919 was credited with
having accomplished something approaching this.
My atomic scientist acquaintance
was immediately interested.
The conversation changed from me
asking all the questions to him asking most of them.
What will become of it? Who knows!
Ever since mankind invented the wheel he has been searching
for a means to keep his wheel turning - indefinitely and at
small costs "perpetual motion machines are seldom invented
Perpetual motion seemingly has
become the impossible.
A few men have- or think they have
seen the way to untapped power sources.
Alfred Hubbard seems to be on of
these, around him and his device as around other such men and
devices a mystery has been spun.
I choose to call the Hubbard device
a transformer because it appears to transform and turn one
sort of energy into another. The apparatus is now more than 35
years old .
Alfred M. Hubbard is still alive.
He is a man in his late 50's.He does not live in this country.
He continues to be secretive about
his efforts, but it is known that he is still interested in
atomic energy materials. There are many rumors afloat. Alfred
M. Hubbard was a Seattle, Washington boy.
He was only sixteen when he began
work on his device and only nineteen when he perfected it to a
Hubbard's announcement of his
transformer set Seattle a buzzing. On Wednesday December 17
1919 the Post Intelligencer carried a first page
spread entitled "Hubbards New Energy Device No Fake"
says Seattle college man. That college man was Rev. Father
William E. Smith professor of physics at Seattle College, a
Catholic institution. Professor Smith was quoted as stating he
had examined the Hubbard Device carefully and had tested
it as fully as his means would allow.
Father Smith said, "I
unhesitatingly say that Hubbards Invention is destined to take
the place of existing power generators and that within a few
years it will have advanced the whole theory and practice of
electricity beyond the dreams of present day scientists."
But it hasn't! Why hasn't it?
Atomic energy recently has become the power of electricity,
but it is used to heat water, to make stream, which turns a
turbine, which turns a most conventional generator.
This is a long way from converting
atomic energy or radioactive energy directly into electricity
as the Hubbard Device was reported to do.
There are rumours that there are
several other devices similar to Hubbard's.
Rumour says that devices reached a
most interesting point of development and the "Authorities"
stepped in and stopped the experiments and in some cases
confiscated the apparatus.
This under the guise of "improper
and dangerous use of atomic energy ". Dangerous to whom?
Electricity as we know is generally
is derived from two accepted means
By cutting the lines of magnetic
force set up in coils of wire carrying an electric current to
produce strong magnetic fields.
By reactive chemical means which
requires chemicals to be burned reacted upon and destroyed and
thus frequently replaced as in wet and dry batteries.
Recently another device has been
developed which will manufacturer electricity directly from
sunlight. As yet this device has a small output and is no
threat to present generators.
Hubbard's transformer uses none of
these. It appears not to be within the laws of conservation of
energy. At first Hubbard claimed he was getting his energy
from out of the air. Father Smith soon put an end to that.
He did agree however the inventor
had stumbled upon something new. The word stumbled which seems
to disregard Hubbard's three years of work. Professor Smith
declined to reveal anything regarding the construction of the
He did say its energy output was a
steady and that it produced an alternating current. It's
frequency or charge was not mentioned. It's voltage and amp
limits were not given.
Photographs published in the Intelligence
indicated that the apparatus or at lest one of them operated a
light bulb of about 900 watts capacity. The picture shows this
lamp brightly aglow.
The lamp was atop a small device of
which could have been held in two hands. In this case the
cycle would be relatively unimportant but the voltage would be
have to be within rather close limits. The amperage required
could be slight.
Father Smith said, " I hardly think
this apparatus will operate indefinitely though I could not
place a maximum length of operation at this time."
He said he believed the apparatus
constructed " would continue to function for an unheard of
period and he was of the opinion it could be easily
rejuvenated after a long use."
Professor Smith also said he did
not think that there was any limit to the size such a device
might be built nor a limit to its output capacities.
One of the interesting experiments
made with the Hubbard transformer was the propelling of a 18
feet boat around the Portage Bay near Seattle.
A 35 horse power electric motor was
hooked up to a Hubbard transformer measuring maybe 12- 14
inches in diameter and 14 inches in length. It furnished
enough energy to drive the boat and a pilot at a good clip
around the bay.
The demonstration lasted several
hours and created a sensation. The test required enough
current for a long enough time to rule out any sort of
battery, being housed in the device. Even a battery of such
strength and durability would certainly be something new.
From this test we may make some
surmises. The cycle was probably 50 or 60 cycles per second.
There are 25 cycle motors but they
are a few and probably the boats motor was not rewound to take
either higher or lower frequency commercial electricity in US
is 60 cycles.
The voltage could be 440 or 220
volts, probably 220 volts. It seems unlikely a 35 horsepower
motor would have as a low voltage of 110 volts.
It is possible of course or it
could have been rewound for a higher voltage 600 volts or
Ampere or quality of current would
have to be considerably less at higher voltage input greater
at a lower voltage input.
If the horsepower was to be
maintained anywhere near that recorded. Thus we can suppose
the Hubbard Transformer was no baby.
Soon after the demonstration,
Hubbard's name dropped from the Seattle paper and he went to
work for the Radium Chemical Company of Pittsburgh -- now of
But on Monday, February 27, 1928
Hubbard and his transformer again made Seattle's Post
Intelligencer headline. This time in connection with the
"Fuelless Motor" designed and built by Lester J. Hendershot,
then of Selfridge Field Detriot.
In an interview with R.B. Berman at
this time, Hubbard revealed for the first time that his
transformer was powered with radioactive substances.
Hubbard admitted he had used the
idea of power from the air to protect his real idea for patent
and that this machine created electrical energy directly from
rays of force or particles emitted from radioactive materials.
He did not name the materials. They
remain a secret today. According to Hubbard's statement in the
newspaper he sold a 50% interest in his device to the Radium
Chemical Company and went to Pittsburgh to continue developing
the device for them.
Hubbard related that the company
had demanded more and more equity in the machine until finally
he retained only a 25% interest. Evidently pressure was bought
upon him to sign over an additional 5%.
This Hubbard refused to do, and in
1922 he severed connection with Radium Chemical Company and
returned to Seattle.
At the present time Hubbard is not
inclined to discuss his employment period with the Radium
Chemical Company nor will he discuss this device or his
experiences with it.
My first letter to the Radium
Chemical Company was not answered. A second letter a few
months later brought a reply from Mr. Grange Taylor, vice
president of the concern.
He stated that none of the
employees presently with the company and also with it in the
early 1920's could remember anything about the device or about
Hubbard himself. Mr. Taylor letter said "there is no
information available on the device you mention."
A poor description of the device
may be better than none at all.
Around a hollow centred probably a
non-magnetic tube insulated copper wire is wrapped. The size
of the wire and the number of turns are not known.
This winding could correspond to
the primary of a transformer.
In the hollow of this tube are a
series of small diameter preferably magnetic iron rods. The
radioactive materials are packed snugly about these rods to
form a compact mass.
These bars do not touch one
another. If they are magnetic their poles might be all alike
or they may be alternated.
Circulating the central tube and
its appendages are eight coils of wire wound upon what appears
to be eight cores of magnetic upon iron. These eight coils
stand parallel to the central tube. Their outer windings
appear to be connected in series and probably form something
corresponding to the secondary of the transformer.
As there seems to be more windings
on this secondary than the primary one would suspect following
ordinary electrical practice. That the transformer was a step
up variety rather than a step down.
That is the secondary voltage would
be higher than its primary voltage and consequently its
amperage would be less.
Four leads out wires are showing.
How they are connected together -- if they are remains a
Around the outside of the windings
appears to be a wrapping of some dense material, probably
meant to shield or turn aside the rays from the radio active
materials within. Such a shield would be necessary so to
protect those working with the apparatus.
All of this is set between the roll
ends that make the device look like a giant spool.
There are no moving parts. The
machine operates silently. The radioactive materials probably
would have to be replaced from time to time.
Whether the coils have to be
excited once before the device will operate, I don't know. It
may be they have to excite each time the machine is started to
establish the directional flow of the current.
If Father Smith made any records of
his findings in connection with Hubbard's transformer, they
are not available at present.
Recent inquiry at the college
disclosed that Professor Smith has passed away and the college
library contains no notes covering this matter.
As far as can be determined no US
patents ever were issued to Hubbard's covering the device.
The Radium Chemical Company list of
patents is long but no title in their list appears to cover
such an apparatus as Hubbard's.
Either the device was not developed
to a point where a patent could be obtained or because of
seeming friction which developed between the company and
Hubbard it was impossible for either to obtain a patent.
It was possible that patents exist
in other countries.
US Patent # 1,723,422
Internal Combustion Engine Spark Plug
(August 6, 1929)
Alfred M. Hubbard
Assignor to Radium Spark Plug Corporation
My invention relates to the art of
spark plugs. More particularly, my invention relates to a
spark plug the terminals of which, that are disposed within
the cylinder of an internal combustion engine, are provided
with radium for ionizing the space between said terminals.
While I will describe my invention
as applied to spark plugs for use in internal combustion
engines, nevertheless, it is to be expressly understood that
my invention is not to be construed as limited to such
specific application, but is applicable to all uses where like
conditions and like problems obtain.
Spark plugs, as heretofore designed
for use in automobiles, are provided with a gap between the
terminals of approximately one-thirty-second of an inch
(1/32"). The aim of automobile engineers is to provide as
great a gap as possible, in order to provide as prolonged an
exposure of the fuel to the ignition spark as possible.
However, the length of this exposure to the ignition means is
definitely limited by the factors obtaining in the timing
mechanism. If too large an amperage is employed, the breaker
points in the timing mechanism are burned off. Therefore, it
has been found that a compromise in the time during which the
fuel may be exposed to the ignition spark and the ability of
said breaker points to support the current is necessary, and,
as a result, the gap between the terminals of the ordinary
spark plug, as used in automobile engines, has been
established as about 1-32nd of an inch. A primary object of my
invention is to extend the period of exposure of the fuel to
the ignition spark, and at the same time take into due
consideration the weakness or limitations imposed by the
breaker points of the timing mechanism.
A further difficulty that obtains
in the ignition of fuel in internal combustion engines, by
means of spark plugs of present practice design, resides in
the fact that while under compression the spaced relation is
limited to about 1-32nd of an inch., the same spark would jump
a gap of some ten times the said space when exposed to
pressures no greater than atmospheric pressure. In other
words, it seems that subjecting the fuel gases to compression,
as obtains in the ordinary internal combustion engine as used
in automobiles, greatly reduces the space that may be provided
between the terminals. That is, in the ordinary internal
combustion engine, the necessity of compressing the fuel gases
militates against providing the best condition for providing
the ignition spark with spark plugs of ordinary practice
design; that is, the said compression militates against
providing a spark which will ignite any other than the more
volatile parts of the fuel. A primary object of my invention
is to provide a spark plug which overcomes this objection.
A further primary object of my
invention is to provide a spark plug which will reduce the
period of combustion of the fuel charge of the internal
combustion engine, by providing an ignition means of a higher
degree of heat.
The above-mentioned general objects
of my invention, together with others inherent in the same,
are attained by the device illustrated in the following
drawings, the same being merely preferred exemplary forms of
embodiment of my invention, throughout which drawings lie
reference numerals indicate like parts:
Figure 1 is a preferred form, in
side elevation, of a spark plug embodying my invention, having
its terminals provided with radioactive matters;
Figure 2 is a view of such a spark
plug, having the radioactive matter disposed in a pocket
within the end portion of the terminals;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary view of
such a spark plug having the radioactive matter applied to the
end portions of the terminals; and
Figure 4 is a view of still another
modified form embodying my invention, where the spark plug has
but one terminal and the engine piston constitutes the other
terminal for the ignition means.
In constructing a spark plug
embodying my invention, preferably one or both of the
terminals 5 and 6 are provided with radioactive matter 7 such
as, for example, radium zinc sulphite. Preferably, one
terminal 5, which is the positive terminal, is provided with
said radioactive matter. These terminals, it will be noted,
are in spaced relation, -- the space 8 is provided between the
same. The dotted lone 9 indicates the relative position of the
terminal of the present practice design of spark plug for use
in automobile internal combustion engines. The radioactive
matter is disposed throughout the material constituting the
terminal in the preferred form shown in Figure 1.
The providing of such a terminal
may be accomplished by heating the material constituting the
said terminal to a very high degree of temperature in an
electric furnace, and then when the molecules of said terminal
material are in expanded form, the same may be dipped in
radioactive matter, thereby impregnating the terminal
substance with the radioactive matter.
In Figure 2, the terminal may be
provided with pocket 10, and this pocket supplied with
radioactive matter. Then the said pocket may be closed by
suitable plugging material 11.
In the modified form shown in
Figure 3, the radioactive matter is applied to the end
portions of the terminal by coating the same with material
containing radioactive matter 7.
In the modified form shown in
Figure 3, the radioactive matter is applied to the end
portions of the terminal by coating the same with material
containing radioactive matter 7.
In the modified form shown in
Figure 4, a spark plug having but one terminal 12, which is
the positive terminal, may be provided with radioactive
matter, and the piston 13 itself in cylinder 14 may be
employed to constitute the negative terminal. The use of the
piston for such a purpose is rendered possible owing to the
fact that the space between the terminals may be greatly
increased as compared to the present practice design of spark
plug, so that the spark may be caused to pass from the
terminal 12 to the piston 13, when the said piston is at its
topmost position, or as it approaches its topmost position.
The mode of operation of a spark
plug embodying my invention is as follows. The radioactive
matter provided on one or both of the terminals of the spark
plug facilitates the current passing between said terminals by
ionizing the space therebetween. Hence, instead of the short
interval of 1/32" which normally obtains between the terminals
of spark plugs used in automobile internal combustion engines,
I provide a much greater space. Said space may be 1/4" or
more. My experiments and use of the spark plug so constructed
have proven that the spark thus provided is of much greater
degree of brightness, and is characterized by a much greater
degree of heat. Thus, I provide for a much longer exposure of
the fuel to the ignition spark, so that parts of said fuel,
which are of less volatility that others, may be ignited by
the spark, owing to its high degree of heat, as well as the
heat developed by the burning of the more volatile parts of
the fuel charge. This results in providing for a more complete
combustion of the fuel in a much briefer period of time than
has heretofore been possible, and also the more nearly
complete elimination of all the unburnt fuel left in the
By providing for the more complete
combustion, I also provide for the reduction of carbon, which
results from imperfect combustion, and which is very
objectionable in that it dilutes the lubricating qualities of
the oil in the crank casing.
Furthermore, a distinct advantage
is noted in that a leaner fuel mixture may be employed.
To secure the same amount of power
due to the more complete combustion provided by my invention.
In other words, an advantage results by reason of my invention
in the economizing of fuel. My experiments have shown that an
engine, which may be very slow to start with spark plugs as
heretofore designed, operates forthwith when provided with
spark plugs embodying my invention, i.e., it is not necessary
to "heat up" before the engine is able to move the car.
The same principles hereinabove set
forth, as respects the spark plug embodying my invention,
applies to the other modified forms illustrated.
The modified form shown in Figure 4
manifestly overcomes any difficulty of the carbon collecting
between the terminals, not only by the elimination of one of
the terminals in the form of a small terminal wire, but the
comlpeteness of the combustion reduces the amount of carbon
which is developed. The necessity of providing a carefully
adjusted space interval is not requisite when the said
interval is ionized, and, therefore, the care and attention
now required to maintain said space is eliminated.
Obviously, changes may be made in
the forms, dimensions, an arrangement of the parts of my
invention, without departing from the principle thereof, the
above setting forth only preferred forms of embodiment.
Alfred M. Hubbard?
by Todd Fahey
Before Sergeant Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band...before Timothy Leary...before Ken Kesey's
band of Merry Pranksters and their Electric Kool-Aid Acid
Tests...before the dawn of the Grateful Dead, there was Alfred
M. Hubbard: the Original Captain Trips.
You will not read about him in the
history books. He left no diary, nor chatty relatives to
memorialize him in print. And if a cadre of associates had not
recently agreed to open its files, Captain Alfred M. Hubbard
might exist in death as he did in life--a man of mirrors and
shadows, revealing himself to even his closest friends only on
a need-to-know basis.
They called him "the Johnny
Appleseed of LSD." He was to the psychedelic movement nothing
less than the membrane through which all passed to enter into
the Mysteries. Beverly Hills psychiatrist Oscar Janiger once
said of Hubbard, "We waited for him like a little old lady for
the Sears-Roebuck catalog." Waited for him to unlock his
ever-present leather satchel loaded with pharmaceutically-pure
psilocybin, mescaline or his personal favorite, Sandoz LSD-25.
Those who will talk about Al Hubbard are few. Oscar Janiger
told this writer that "nothing of substance has been written
about Al Hubbard, and probably nothing ever should."
He is treated like a demigod by
some, as a lunatic uncle by others. But nobody is ambivalent
about the Captain: He was as brilliant as the noonday sun,
mysterious as the rarest virus, and friendly like a golden
The first visage of Hubbard was
beheld by Dr. Humphry Osmond, now senior psychiatrist at
Alabama's Bryce Hospital. He and Dr. John Smythies were
researching the correlation between schizophrenia and the
hallucinogens mescaline and adrenochrome at Weyburn Hospital
in Saskatchewan, Canada, when an A.M. Hubbard requested the
pleasure of Osmond's company for lunch at the swank Vancouver
Yacht Club. Dr. Osmond later recalled, "It was a very
dignified place, and I was rather awed by it. [Hubbard] was a
powerfully-built man...with a broad face and a firm hand-grip.
He was also very genial, an excellent host."
Captain Hubbard was interested in
obtaining some mescaline, and, as it was still legal, Dr.
Osmond supplied him with some. "He was interested in all sorts
of odd things," Osmond laughs. Among Hubbard's passions was
motion. His identity as "captain" came from his master of sea
vessels certification and a stint in the US Merchant Marine.
At the time of their meeting in
1953, Al Hubbard owned secluded Daymen Island off the coast of
Vancouver--a former Indian colony surrounded by a huge wall of
oyster shells. To access his 24-acre estate, Hubbard built a
hangar for his aircraft and a slip for his yacht from a fallen
redwood. But it was the inner voyage that drove the Captain
until his death in 1982. Fueled by psychedelics, he set sail
and rode the great wave as a neuronaut, with only the white
noise in his ears and a fever in his brain.
His head shorn to a crew and
wearing a paramilitary uniform with a holstered long-barrel
Colt .45, Captain Al Hubbard showed up one day in '63 on the
doorstep of a young Harvard psychologist named Timothy Leary.
"He blew in with that
uniform...laying down the most incredible atmosphere of
mystery and flamboyance, and really impressive bullshit!"
Leary recalls. "He was pissed off. His Rolls Royce had broken
down on the freeway, so he went to a pay phone and called the
company in London. That's what kind of guy he was. He started
name-dropping like you wouldn't believe...claimed he was
friends with the Pope."
Did Leary believe him?
"Well, yeah, no question."
The captain had come bearing gifts
of LSD, which he wanted to swap for psilocybin, the synthetic
magic mushroom produced by Switzerland's Sandoz Laboratories.
"The thing that impressed me," Leary remembers, "is on one
hand he looked like a carpetbagger con man, and on the other
he had these most-impressive people in the world on his lap,
basically backing him."
Among Hubbard's heavyweight
cheerleaders was Aldous Huxley, author of the sardonic novel
Brave New World. Huxley had been turned on to mescaline by
Osmond in '53, an experience that spawned the seminal
psychedelic handbook The Doors of Perception. Huxley became an
unabashed sponsor for the chemicals then known as
"psychotomimetic"--literally, "madness mimicking."
But neither Huxley nor Hubbard nor
Osmond experienced madness, and Dr. Osmond wrote a rhyme to
Huxley one day in the early 1950s, coining a new word for the
English language, and a credo for the next generation:
To fathom hell or soar angelic,
just take a pinch of psychedelic
Those who knew Al Hubbard would describe him as just a
"barefoot boy from Kentucky," who never got past third grade.
But as a young man, the shoeless hillbilly was purportedly
visited by a pair of angels, who told him to build something.
He had absolutely no training, "but he had these visions, and
he learned to trust them early on," says Willis Harman,
director of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Sausalito, CA.
In 1919, guided by other-worldly
forces, Hubbard invented the Hubbard Energy Transformer, a
radioactive battery that could not be explained by the
technology of the day. The Seattle Post- Intelligencer
reported that Hubbard's invention, hidden in an 11" x 14" box,
had powered a ferry-sized vessel around Seattle's Portico Bay
nonstop for three days. Fifty percent rights to the patent
were eventually bought by the Radium Corporation of Pittsburgh
for $75,000, and nothing more was heard of the Hubbard Energy
Hubbard stifled his talents briefly
as an engineer in the early 1920s, but an unquenchable streak
of mischief burned in the boy inventor. Vancouver magazine's
Ben Metcalfe reports that Hubbard soon took a job as a Seattle
taxi driver during Prohibition. With a sophisticated
ship-to-shore communications system hidden in the trunk of his
cab, Hubbard helped rum-runners to successfully ferry booze
past the US and Canadian Coast Guards. He was, however, caught
by the FBI and went to prison for 18 months.
After his release, Hubbard's
natural talent for electronic communications attracted scouts
from Allen Dulles's Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Also
according to Metcalfe, Hubbard was at least peripherally
involved in the Manhattan Project.
The captain was pardoned of any and
all wrongdoing by Harry S. Truman under Presidential Pardon
#2676, and subsequently became agent Captain Al Hubbard of the
OSS. As a maritime specialist, Hubbard was enjoined to ship
heavy armaments from San Diego to Canada at night, without
lights, in the waning hours of World War II--an operations of
dubious legality, which had him facing a Congressional
investigation. To escape federal indictment, Hubbard moved to
Vancouver and became a Canadian citizen. Parlaying connections
and cash, Hubbard founded Marine Manufacturing, a Vancouver
charter-boat concern, and in his early 40s realized his
lifelong ambition of becoming a millionaire. By 1950 he was
scientific director of the Uranium Corporation of Vancouver,
owned his own fleet of aircraft, a 100-foot yacht, and a
Canadian island. And he was miserable.
"Al was desperately searching for
meaning in his life," says Willis Harman. Seeking
enlightenment, Hubbard returned to an area near Spokane, WA,
where he'd spent summers during his youth. He hiked into the
woods and an angel purportedly appeared to him in a clearing.
"She told Al that something tremendously important to the
future of mankind would be coming soon, and that he could play
a role in it if he wanted to," says Harman. "But he hadn't the
faintest clue what he was supposed to be looking for."
In 1951, reading a scientific
journal, Hubbard stumbled across an article about the behavior
of rats given LSD. "He knew that was it," says Harman. Hubbard
went and found the person conduction the experiment, and came
back with some LSD for himself. After his very first acid
experience, he became a True Believer.
"Hubbard discovered psychedelics as
a boon and a sacrament," recalls Leary.
A 1968 resume states that Hubbard
was at various times employed by the Canadian Special
Services, the US Justice Department and, ironically, what is
now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Whether he
was part of the CIA mind-control project known as MK-ULTRA,
might never be known: all paperwork generated in connection
with that diabolical experiment was destroyed in '73 by
MK-ULTRA chief Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, on orders from then-CIA
Director Richard Helms, citing a "paper crisis."
Under the auspices of MK-ULTRA the
CIA regularly dosed its agents and associates with powerful
hallucinogens as a preemptive measure against the Soviets' own
alleged chemical technology, often with disastrous results.
The secret project would see at least two deaths: tennis pro
Harold Blauer died after a massive injection of MDA; and the
army's own Frank Olson, a biological-warfare specialist,
crashed through a closed window in the 12th floor of New
York's Statler Hotel, after drinking cognac laced with LSD
during a CIA symposium. Dr. Osmond doubts that Hubbard would
have been associated with such a project "not particularly on
humanitarian grounds, but on the grounds that it was bad
But Hubbard's secret connections
did allow him to expose over 6,000 people to LSD before it was
effectively banned in '66. He shared the sacrament with a
prominent Monsignor of the Catholic Church in North America,
explored the roots of alcoholism with AA founder Bill Wilson,
and stormed the pearly gates with Aldus Huxley (in a session
that resulted in the psychedelic tome Heaven and Hell).
Laura Huxley met Captain Hubbard
for the first time at her and her husband's Hollywood Hills
home in the early 1960s. "He showed up for lunch one
afternoon, and he brought with him a portable tank filled with
a gas of some kind. He offered some to us," she recalls, "but
we said we didn't care for any, so he put it down and we all
had lunch. He went into the bathroom with the tank after
lunch, and breathed into it for about ten seconds. It must
have been very concentrated, because he came out revitalized
and very jubilant, talking about a vision he had seen of the
"I was convinced that he was the
man to bring LSD to planet Earth," remarks, Myron Stolaroff,
who was assistant to the president of long-range planning at
Ampex Corporation when he met the captain. Stolaroff learned
of Hubbard through philosopher Gerald Heard, a friend and
spiritual mentor to Huxley. "Gerald had reached tremendous
levels of contemplative prayer, and I didn't know what in the
world he was doing fooling around with drugs."
Heard had written a letter to
Stolaroff, describing the beauty of his psychedelic experience
with Al Hubbard. "That letter would be priceless -- but
Hubbard, I'm sure, arranged to have it stolen.... He was a
sonofabitch: God and the Devil, both there in full force."
Stolaroff was so moved by Heard's
letter that, in '56, he agreed to take LSD with Hubbard in
Vancouver. "After that first LSD experience, I said 'this is
the greatest discovery man has ever made.'"
He was not alone.
Through his interest in aircraft,
Hubbard had become friends with a prominent Canadian
businessman. The businessman eventually found himself taking
LSD with Hubbard and, after coming down, told Hubbard never to
worry about money again: He had seen the future, and Al
Hubbard was its Acid Messiah.
Hubbard abandoned his uranium
empire and, for the next decade, traveled the globe as a
psychedelic missionary. "Al's dream was to open up a worldwide
chain of clinics as training grounds for other LSD
researchers," says Stolaroff. His first pilgrimage was to
Switzerland, home of Sandoz Laboratories, producers of both
Delysid (trade name for LSD) and psilocybin. He procured a
gram of LSD (roughly 10,000 doses) and set up shop in a
safe-deposit vault in the Zurich airport's duty-free section.
From there he was able to ship quantities of his booty without
a tariff to a waiting world.
Swiss officials quickly detained
Hubbard for violating the nation's drug laws, which provided
no exemption from the duty-free provision. Myron Stolaroff
petitioned Washington for the Captain's release, but the State
Department wanted nothing to do with Al Hubbard. Oddly, when a
hearing was held, blue-suited officials from the department
were in attendance. The Swiss tribunal declared Hubbard's
passport invalid for five years, and he was deported.
Undeterred, Hubbard traveled to Czechoslovakia, where he had
another gram of LSD put into tablet form by Chemapol -- a
division of the pharmaceutical giant Spofa--and then flew
Procuring a Ph.D. in biopsychology
from a less-than-esteemed academic outlet called Taylor
University, the captain became Dr. Alfred M. Hubbard, clinical
therapist. In '57, he met Ross MacLean, medical superintendent
of the Hollywood Hospital in New Westminster, Canada. MacLean
was so impressed with Hubbard's knowledge of the human
condition that he devoted an entire wing of the hospital to
the study of psychedelic therapy for chronic alcoholics.
According to Metcalfe, MacLean was
also attracted to the fact that Hubbard was Canada's sole
licensed importer of Sandoz LSD. "I remember seeing Al on the
phone in his living room one day. He was elated because the
FDA had just given him IND#1," says one Hubbard confidante
upon condition of anonymity.
His Investigational New Drug permit
also allowed Hubbard to experiment with LSD in the USA. For
the next few years, Hubbard -- together with Canadian
psychiatrist Abram Hoffer and Dr. Humphry Osmond -- pioneered
a psychedelic regimen with a recovery rate of between 60% and
70% -- far above that of AA or Schick Hospital's so-called
"aversion therapy." Hubbard would lift mentally-disturbed
lifelong alcoholics out of psychosis with a mammoth dose of
liquid LSD, letting them view their destructive habits from a
completely new vantage point. "As a therapist, he was one of
the best," says Stolaroff, who worked with Hubbard until 1965
at the International Federation for Advanced Study in Menlo
Park, California, which he founded after leaving Ampex.
Whereas many LSD practitioners were
content to strap their patients onto a 3' x 6' cot and have
them attempt to perform a battery of mathematical formulae
with a head full of LSD, Hubbard believed in a comfortable
couch and throw pillows. He also employed icons and symbols to
send the experience into a variety of different directions:
someone uptight may be asked to look at a photo of a glacier,
which would soon melt into blissful relaxation; a person
seeking the spiritual would be directed to a picture of Jesus,
and enter into a one-on-one relationship with the Savior.
But Hubbard's days at Hollywood
Hospital ended in 1957, not long after they had begun, after a
philosophical dispute with Ross MacLean. The suave hospital
administrator was getting fat from the $1,000/dose fees
charged to Hollywood's elite patients, who included members of
the Canadian Parliament and the American film community.
Hubbard, who believed in freely distributing LSD for the world
good, felt pressured by MacLean to share in the profits, and
ultimately resigned rather than accept an honorarium for his
His departure came as the Canadian
Medical Association was becoming increasingly suspicious of
Hollywood Hospital in the wake of publicity surrounding
MK-ULTRA. The Canadian Citizen's Commission on Human Rights
had already discovered one Dr. Harold Abramson, a CIA contract
psychiatrist, on the board of MacLean's International
Association for Psychedelic Therapy, and external pressure was
weighing on MacLean to release Al Hubbard, the former OSS
officer with suspected CIA links. Compounding Hubbard's plight
was the death of his Canadian benefactor, leaving Hubbard with
neither an income nor the financial cushion upon which he had
His services were eventually
recruited by Willis Harman, then-Director of the Educational
Policy Research Center within the Stanford Research Institute
(SRI) of Stanford University. Harman employed Hubbard as a
security guard for SRI, "although," Harman admits, "Al never
did anything resembling security work."
Hubbard was specifically assigned
to the Alternative Futures Project, which performed
future-oriented strategic planning for corporations and
government agencies. Harman and Hubbard shared a goal "to
provide the [LSD] experience to political and intellectual
leaders around the world." Harman acknowledges that "Al's job
was to run the special [LSD] sessions for us."
According to Dr. Abram Hoffer, "Al
had a grandiose idea that if he could give the psychedelic
experience to the major executives of the Fortune 500
companies, he would change the whole of society."
Hubbard's tenure at SRI was uneasy.
The political bent of the Stanford think-tank was decidedly
left-wing, clashing sharply with Hubbard's own
world-perspective. "Al was really an arch-conservative," says
the confidential source. "He really didn't like what the
hippies were doing with LSD, and he held Timothy Leary in
Humphry Osmond recalls a particular
psilocybin session in which "Al got greatly preoccupied with
the idea that he ought to shoot Timothy, and when I began to
reason with him that this would be a very bad idea...I became
much concerned that he might shoot me..."
"To Al," says Myron Stolaroff, "LSD
enabled man to see his true self, his true nature and the true
order of things." But, to Hubbard, the true order of things
had little to do with the antics of the American Left.
Recognizing its potential psychic
hazards, Hubbard believed that LSD should be administered and
monitored by trained professionals. He claimed that he had
stockpiled more LSD than anyone on the planet besides
Sandoz--including the US government--and he clearly wanted a
firm hand in influencing the way it was used. However, Hubbard
refused all opportunities to become the LSD Philosopher-King.
Whereas Leary would naturally gravitate toward any microphone
available, Hubbard preferred the role of the silent curandero,
providing the means for the experience, and letting voyagers
decipher its meaning for themselves. When cornered by a video
camera shortly before this death, and asked to say something
to the future, Hubbard replied simply, "You're the future."
In March of 1966, the cold winds of
Congress blew out all hope for Al Hubbard's enlightened Mother
Earth. Facing a storm of protest brought on by Leary's
reckless antics and the "LSD-related suicide" of Diane
Linkletter, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Drug
Abuse Control Amendment, which declared lysergic acid
diethylamide a Schedule I substance; simple possession was
deemed a felony, punishable by 15 years in prison. According
to Humphry Osmond, Hubbard lobbied Vice-President Hubert
Humphrey, who reportedly took the cause of LSD into the Senate
chambers, and emerged un-victorious.
"[The government] had a deep fear
of having their picture of reality challenged," mourns Harman.
"It had nothing to do with people harming their lives with
chemicals--because if you took all the people who had ever had
any harmful effects from psychedelics, it's minuscule compared
to those associated with alcohol and tobacco."
FDA chief James L. Goddard ordered
agents to seize all remaining psychedelics not accounted for
by Sandoz. "It was scary," recalls Dr. Oscar Janiger, whose
Beverly Hills office was raided and years' worth of clinical
Hubbard begged Abram Hoffer to let
him hide his supply in Hoffer's Canadian Psychiatric Facility.
But the doctor refused, and its believed that Hubbard sent
most of his LSD back to Switzerland, rather than risk
prosecution. When the panic subsided, only five
government-approved scientists were allowed to continue LSD
research--none using humans, and none of them associated with
Al Hubbard. In 1968, his finances in ruins, Hubbard was forced
to sell his private island sanctuary for what one close friend
termed "a pittance." He filled a number of boats with the
antiquated electronics used in his eccentric nuclear
experiments, and left Daymen Island for California. Hubbard's
efforts in his last decade were effectively wasted, according
to most of his friends. Lack of both finances and government
permit to resume research crippled all remaining projects he
may have had in the hopper.
After SRI canceled his contract in
1974 Hubbard went into semiretirement, splitting his time
between a 5-acre ranch in Vancouver and an apartment in Menlo
Park. But in 1978, battling an enlarged heart and never far
away from a bottle of pure oxygen, Hubbard make one last run
at the FDA. He applied for an IND to use LSD-25 on terminal
cancer patients, furnishing the FDA with two decades of
clinical documentation. The FDA set the application aside,
pending the addition to Hubbard's team of a medical doctor, a
supervised medical regimen, and an AMA-accredited hospital.
Hubbard secured the help of Oscar Janiger, but the two could
not agree on methodology, and Janiger bowed out, leaving Al
Hubbard, in his late 70s, without the strength to carry on
Says Willis Harman: "He knew that
his work was done."
The Captain lived out his last days
nearly broke, having exhausted his resources trying to harness
a dream. Like the final fleeting hour of an acid trip --- when
the edge softens and a man realizes that he will not solve the
secrets of the Universe, despite what the mind had said
earlier --- Hubbard smiled gracefully, laid down his
six-shooter, and retired to a mobile home in Casa Grande,
On August 31, 1982, at the age of
81, Al Hubbard was called home, having ridden the dream like a
rodeo cowboy. On very quiet nights, with the right kind of
ears, you can hear him giving God hell.