Thursday, 27 October 2011

Why is the number five so prominent in Johann Bessler's works?

I wasn't sure whether to place this on the Bessler forum or just put it here on my blog, and certainly previous experience has taught me that many people either deride the theories expressed or argue forcefully against them, but I hope to gather some more support to my own view. I know I tend to be in a minority when expressing my belief that Bessler's wheel was gravity-driven, even here, but perhaps it will help me if I give my thoughts an airing. Any way I'll probably post it on both because it seems to me to be too important to ignore.

Most people are aware of the ubiquity of the number 5 encoded in all of Bessler's publications and many don't see any significance other than perhaps a nod to some kind of mystery school teaching designed to hint at the inventor's knowledge of ancient wisdom. I don't believe that theory, I'm convinced that Bessler was passing on information.

I have always thought that there were two hard facts established about the internal workings of Bessler's wheel and one of them was that there were five mechanisms. The other was that the weights worked in pairs. All else is open to conjecture. But one certainty is that Bessler thought that this piece of information was extremely important and even encoded it in his name right from the moment he adopted the pseudonym, Orffyreus.

I believe that five mechanisms were required because for me there is no other sensible interpretation to be taken from the clues - the number five is indicated by both the numeral five in text and code and by the presence of the pentagram in the drawings. I cannot think of any other reason for its presence so here I try to understand why it's a necessity to a working wheel.

Five mechanisms would need the wheel to be divided into five equal parts of 72 degrees each. Although I understand the argument that even one or maybe two mechanisms should be enough to demonstrate the principle, I think more will be required to achieve a useful rate of rotation. Let's suppose that each mechanism only produces a mechanical advantage (or overbalance) once in each rotation; then each one must be able to produce it sufficiently to turn the wheel at least 72 degrees, but less than, say 90, otherwise four mechanisms might suffice. Maybe it can just about reach 90 degrees but perhaps that isn't enough to maintain rotation? There would have to be an overlap of mechanical advantage (or overbalance) for each mechanism in order to maintain rotation and the greater the overlap the faster the acceleration.

Bessler wrote that "one cross bar makes the machine revolve slowly, just as if it can hardly turn at all. But on the contrary when I arrange to have many crossbars, pulleys and weights, the machine revolves much faster". (from Apologia Poetica - published by John Collins). If the mechanical advantage (or overbalancing effect) only amounted to a little over 72 degrees, and this happened only once in a single rotation, and there was only one such mechanism on the wheel, then the rest of the turn would have to take place with the wheel in a condition of balance. One can see how such an arrangement would produce a wheel which could hardly turn. Two, three, or four mechanisms would have little different effect if the overbalance only amounted to just over 72 degrees as there would be no continuity between each mechanism's action. An overlap of overbalancing would be required and if the mechanisms can only achieve an overbalance for, say 80 degrees of any single rotation, then anything less than five mechanisms will result as Bessler has described.

But if five mechanisms were introduced, then with more than a 72 degree portion of the full rotation for each mechanism, you would get the required overlap and an accelerating and continuous rotation.

This argument presupposes that the reader accepts the possibility of a gravity driven wheel - as I do! ;-)


  1. I'm with you on the gravity bit because I have no idea what else could have powered his wheel. We've had all the silly arguments of nuclear forces and the like, but little of what was actually available to him.

    To me, if you turn gravity sideways it's like the wind. On any given day, the wind mostly blows in the same direction, yet sailing boats manage to reach destinations apparently against the direction of the wind (and without having to sail around the world). If a boat can do this there must be other systems as well, and Bessler had the good fortune to stumble upon the way to do this. No one said it was easy, and when apparently cleverer men failed to build similar machines, they resorted to discrediting his idea. No one liked a smart-arse (or someone cleverer than themselves) even then. I this light, his "enemies", who held senior positions in government and maybe academia, must have felt ridiculous in not being able to reproduce similar systems. Sounds very much like sour-grapes.

  2. Copiale Cipher cracked. When bessler code is opened. Bessler was freemasonery I´m 100% sure.

    John are you sure that number five was Bessler´s obsession not yours. Maby that number obession make you blind to see important clues. Five this five that and still we dont have wheel. Maby is time to move forword if that five does not lead anything.

    Yes I know that you are sure that solution is behind number five but stop hit your head.

    John what you think that strange shape "A" letter in bessler wheel drawings. Is that "A" freemasonary sign ? could it been that some part of every drawing is sybol like in Copiale Cipher ?

  3. Freemasons have their own cipher; I've got it in a dusty book somewhere. It seems to consist mostly of right angles turned this way and that.

    Having said that, I've been puzzled by the strange "A"s in various places. My feelings about them were that they were reminiscent of right angles. i.e. when you draw a right angle in school, you make a little square in the coroner to show that it is a right angle.
    However, these As seem to appear in various places in different texts. As I only have few references to Bessler's texts, it's difficult to know what they ultimately mean.

    Again, my feelings towards encrypted works are that to make them more difficult to decipher, you add more red herrings to lead the clever man down blind alleys.

  4. The number 5 certainly has significance, I am quite sure of that. I am not sure as to whether it means that there have to be a total number of 5 (identical) mechanisms, or 5 *kinds* of mechanisms. Or, perhaps, both.

    I did notice something peculiar. In the MT drawings, often where Bessler is using the "odd A" it concerns a design that uses water. So maybe it means "Aqua" (for water in Latin). But that's not too likely. It may mean "Antrieb", or "drive" (his "first mover" in the old metaphysics). I am thinking this has significance.

    There's more I noticed. Some of the MT drawings have a dot (period) behind the number of the drawings, whilst others do not. The ones without dot (period) have often have the "odd A" and the ones with "dot" do not.

    Yet another thing I noticed is that all drawings that have a number 5 in them, seem to be the more "serious" or clever mechanisms, whilst the other seem to me (in German) "spielerei" or toys, sketches almost of unworkable tests perhaps?

    I have not studied all of this extensively, but just some observations. There definitely seems to be some logic to it. Perhaps "someone with a discerning eye" (as Bessler said) and more time than me can piece it together?


    Here it is that copiale cipher solved.

  6. One of the most important things I learned about Bessler's "clues", especially his visual ones, is that, when he gives one something that seems immediately obvious it is a FALSE clue intended to lead one astray. The true clue is, however, usually nearby, but is almost always mixed in with additional false clues. It's sort of like he places his golden keys that will unlock the secret of PM inside a pile of brass ones that will not work the lock. It, indeed, takes a VERY "discerning eye" to tell the differences and pick the golden keys out.

    You've found some pentagrams in Bessler's drawings? Great. I can assure you, however, that you were intended to find them and, since you did so easily, that they have nothing to do with what you think they do;, that is, that they represent five "perpetual motion structures" within a one directional wheel's drum.

    Trying to continuously maintain the imbalance of a wheel's CoM through 72° of drum rotation is no easy task. It is much easier to accomplish this feat if one only has to do it for 45° which requires the drum to carry 8 evenly spaced weights within itself.

  7. I think the number 5 is too vague to be of much use by itself. It can refer to 5 individual systems, 5 same systems incorporated into the wheel, a skip gap of 5 in a code, a pentagon, a pentagram, a weight ratio, a linear ratio, or simply a red herring. Once the code, if any exists, is deciphered, it will doubtless become very obvious. However, there is the chance that this was Bessler's final dig at his enemies, who might struggle for years to search for something that isn't there.

  8. I agree that it's well established that the weights come in pairs, and also that the weights change their distance from the wheel's center as it turns.

    (As Bessler says in Chapter XLIII of AP: "So then, a work of this kind of craftsmanship has, as its basis of motion, many separate pieces of lead. These come in pairs, such that, as one of them takes up an outer position, the other takes up a position nearer the axle. Later, they swap places, and so they go on and on changing places all the time.")

    Why do this? If a "pair" means a weight on each end of a rod which can slide through a hole in the wheel's axle, then the rotational inertia of that assembly is less when both weights are at the same radius, than when one weight is at an outer position with the other nearer the axle.

    One possible reason to do this is to get an imbalance in periodic time for mass-spring resonance, which I think could have been occurring in the wheel.

    Note that to change the period for rotary mass-spring resonance it is sufficient to change rotational inertia, as suggested above. You don't have to change the magnitude of the mass itself, as is required in the case of linear mass-spring resonance.

  9. Yes, yes, the weights "come in pairs" which, apparently, consist of diametrically opposed weights. BUT, that does NOT necessarily mean that the weights in a "pair" are DIRECTLY mechanically connected to each other across the wheel's center (as is erroneously suggested on the "toys page" of MT). These paired weights are merely located 180° away from each other around a wheel's rim (and there would be four such pairs in an eight weight wheel).

    Want to increase your real probability of solving the Bessler wheel mystery from zero to maybe 1 in a 1000? (Of course you do or you wouldn't be reading JC's blog right now! LOL!)

    Good, then go back to Leupold's lever wheel. Reduce the number of weighted levers it contains from 12 to 8. Finally, figure out how to use the sinking of ascending side weights toward the axle to raise descending side levers back toward the rim. And, most importantly, figure out how to do this without having any portion of your mechanism pass through or near the wheel's axle. The shifting must involve more than just two weights and must be smooth and continous. If you can do this, you will keep the CoM of the weights on the wheel's descending side throughout each 45° of rotation and achieve the miracle of a working PM gravity wheel.

    Sounds easy? No way, mate! You'll have a true mountain of work ahead of you and this is no task for the "armchair philosophers" of this world or anyone who has a "low frustration threshold".

    But, as someone once said, "Greatness requires sacrifice." With only a 1 in 1,000 chance of success, each "serious" mobilist must ask himself if he is prepared to make the sacrifice in terms of time and effort to purchase this most exotic lottery ticket. Bessler did and managed to beat the horrendous odds. That is why we still study his life and works centuries after his death while history has largely forgotten the thousands of his equally skillful contemporaries whose sweat only purchased them losing tickets.

  10. The only ratio Bessler talked about was 4:1.

  11. Right Anon,..There was no requirement for overlap but the extra weights did add speed and strength to the wheel.
    The only people who are going to solve this problem are the hands on mechanically minded engineers.


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