Saturday, 5 January 2013

Johann Bessler's clues - real or imaginary?

A recent email prompted me to review Bessler's clues - did I think they were real or imaginary?  I resolved to re-read my own conclusions and also why he might have left them for us, if they were fake.

The first and most obvious one was his pseudonym - Orffyreus.  It is easy to see how he arrived at it but not so clear why.  Many writers from every age chose pseudonyms - modern day pseudomyms include the following; Mark Twain's real name was Samuel Clemens; Woody Alle - Allen Stewart Konigsberg; Fred Astaire - Frederick Austerlitz.  In and around Bessler's day; Molière - Jean Baptiste Poquelin; Voltaire - François-Marie Arouet  - and Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 1493-1541, physician, alchemist, and mystic, more popularly known as Paracelsus!.

But the way Bessler chose his pseudonym was unusual.  The method, described as the atbash cipher is a simple substitution cipher for the Hebrew alphabet. In the English language the first 13 letters: A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M are place above the last 13 Letters: Z|Y|X|W|V|U|T|S|R|Q|P|O|N.
The order of the underneath row can be reversed as in Bessler's case. A similar cipher, known as the albam cipher required two alphabets.

We know he learned some Hebrew in Prague while staying with the Jesuit and the Rabbi, it seems obvious that he learned of the cipher then, but why would he choose that method to create a pseudonym?  No simple name changes as in the examples above and as far as I can find out, no-one else adopted such a method for their pseudonym - nor the encodement of their real name.

The reason must be linked to a desire to at least convey the impression that he was knowledgeable about ciphers and it is but a short step to conclude that he did that because he had put some encoded writing where people could read it.  I can see no reason why he would have wished to convey that impression unless there was a good reason for it and that conclusion is supported both by his own comments in Apologia Poetica as well as subsequent discoveries indicating the presence of alphabetic/numeric ciphers.

What information might that have been?  Either his chance to have the last laugh by explaining how he cheated everyone - or the real explanation of how his wheel worked, and I simply cannot accept that the former might have been true.  His tortured writing about the misery he has suffered at the hands of Gartner, Wagner and Borlach ring true.

Over the last few years I have published on my other websites my theories on why his machine did not violate the physical laws and also I have provided many examples of encoded material - too much to explain away as coincidence in my opinion.  I have a number of other examples which I am not ready to share yet but in summary I don't think there is any doubtr that Bessler left clues behind him.  Their purpose was two-fold, firstly to make people think there was information about his machine to be found within his published works, and secondly that information was there to be deciphered and it would explain how his wheel was constructed.  As I have said several times now, the information is both graphic and textual and should mainly be looked for inhis published works.



  1. The drawings showing nonconservative ______ offer the best clues.

  2. The clues may be real. Perhaps even an Orfyyrean Code. One may perhaps unveil the wheel by deciphering and clue following. Perhaps Johann Bessler made the code such that it can only be deciphered by the understanding of a working wheel. Perhaps, once a working wheel is built, the decipherment and clues will varify that his wheel and the working one are indeed built on the same principal/s.
    There is one way to discover a wheel though, and that is to go about it the same way that he did. Whether you will attain success as he did or not, is questionable, but, indeed possible.

    There is no-doubt an enchantment and intrigue to his drawings and writings which is why many of us dabble in clue searching and maybe even code deciphering just a little. I think that they can however become a bit hypnotic and cast a mental veil over the minds eye, and this may well be what Bessler intended.

    I'm not dissing clue finders and decoders, I'd be dissing myself if I did that. I do tend more toward the "do-what-he-did" approach though. No clues, no hints.
    I've built some wheels that would never make 8 thumps in a million years. I'm sure Bessler did too.
    Lately however my wheel designs are starting to conform with the clues of the eye-witness accounts.


  3. I agree - there is far too much encoded material to be coincidental. OTOH it *is* possibly another "lead-them-astray" tactic, "to cast a mental veil" as Anon above mentions, but I think that's unlikely. Personally, I think both the graphical and textual clues should be "combined with a discerning eye".

  4. "His tortured writing about the misery he has suffered at the hands of Gartner, Wagner and Borlach ring true." I know the feeling well! LOL!

    OF COURSE Bessler left clues behind that would describe, IN DETAIL, the secret PM mechanism he found and used! To him, the idea of dropping dead with the design unsold and after the last working wheel had been destroyed WITHOUT perserving the secret in SOME way would have been UNthinkable! (When [IF] I find THE secret, I will also have the same to make sure that it is not lost.) Such a scenario would, effectively, have meant that his years of effort and deprivation would have added up to a BIG FAT ZERO! Yes, Bessler hated most of mankind, was paranoid about security, and obsessed with getting his "just compensation" for his invention. BUT, even so, he realized that unless someone, somewhere, at sometime could finally determine the EXACT design he found and used, then that is what would eventually happen unless he left enough DETAILED clues about the design behind as a "legacy" to humanity. The clues ARE there and there are MANY of them.

    Well, at this point I will avoid launching into yet another proclamation of WHERE I think one will find MOST of those clues. You all know the exact source that I am referring to by now!

    Why did Bessler choose the pseudoname of "Orffyreus"?

    I have often why and eventually concluded that it must have had something to do with the Greek myth of Orpheus who, IIRC, had a magical musical instrument (a harp, I think) that, when played could produce miraculous effects like animating ordinarily INanimate objects and thereby could make WHEELS turn! His Latinized pseudoname was then, obviously, a way to tell people that he, Bessler, also had some magic (in the form of a secret OB PM gravity wheel design) that could make something ordinarily INanimate, like a wheel of wood, cord, and metal, come "to life".

  5. John, you know perfectly well that Bessler’s clues are definitely real, and that they are definitely not imaginary!

    A B C D E F G H I/J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U/V W X Y Z

    BTW there is no M or Z in either Bessler or Orffyre! What are you up to?

    Why did Bessler choose the pseudonym of "Orffyreus"?

    Happily for once I can agree with Technoguy. He said…

    “I have often (wondered) why and eventually concluded that it must have had something to do with the Greek myth of Orpheus who, IIRC, had a magical musical instrument (a harp, I think (no TG it was a lyre)) that, when played could produce miraculous effects like animating ordinarily INanimate objects and thereby could make WHEELS turn! His Latinized pseudoname was then, obviously, a way to tell people that he, Bessler, also had some magic (in the form of a secret OB PM gravity wheel design) that could make something ordinarily INanimate, like a wheel of wood, (cord), and metal, come "to life".

    This is all good stuff! Apart from the ‘cord ‘bit.

    Happy New Year to All!


    1. JW wrote: "...Bessler’s clues are definitely real, and that they are definitely not imaginary!"

      Amen! Yes, we DO agree on the "essentials". What we still, practically all, disagree on are the DETAILS behind those essentials. In time that disagreement will subside as we all mostly agree upon a single design that Bessler found and used. I hope to be VERY instrumental in bringing about that agreement.

    2. Sorry John, I got carried away with font colours! Ignore the M and Z.


  6. I don't think Orpheus' lyre was magic. The Pied Piper of Hamelin's pipe was magic, and St. Patrick's stick, although the snakes might have been in his head, and MAYBE Harry Potter's wand.

    1. There is a theory that all Greek legends were actually based upon REAL incidents / people that just got distorted over time from being verbally repeated from person to person and from one generation to the next.

      Perhaps there was a man in very ancient Greece with a name that sounded like "Orpheus" who became quite adept at playing the lyre (a sort of predecessor to the harp). Maybe he discovered that when he plucked certain strings and produced certain tones, he was able, via the phenomenon of acoustic resonance, to make small, ordinarily inanimate objects move about. Thus, if he placed a similar lyre next to his and plucked a string on his, the same string would begin vibrating on the adjacent harp. Perhaps he even found a way to make light, but rigid objects vibrate so that they would begin to "crawl" along a table's surface. (As a kid, I once had a very interesting toy that used this principle in a way. It was a minature football field that was mounted on a vibrating base. One placed little 1/2 inch tall plastic football players on the field and then turned on the vibrator. As a result, the little players would begin moving around the field and knocking into each other. Occasionally, the player with the football would make it to the end of the field for a touchdown!)

      The ancient Greek lyre player may have performed these "parlor tricks" (did they have parlors back then?!) for friends and relatives and amazed them with it. Then those witnesses would have retold the story to people who would retold it to people, etc., etc. Before you know it, hundreds of years later, the Greeks had the myth of Orpheus with his magic lyre making inanimate objects move.

      Maybe our hypothetical proto-Orpheus was able to tether one of those small objects he made crawl along a table with a string to a pin in the table so that it would crawl around the pin in a circle. If that worked, then it wouldn't be too difficult to make a set of these objects cause a kind of lightweight capstan to rotate. The distorted version of this feat would be that Orpheus was able to make wheels turn using his magic lyre!

      Hmmm...a fake PM wheel operated by absorbed sound frequencies. Sounds interesting.

    2. Actually there are those that believe that Bessler used some kind of sonic device (he was an organ maker, after all) inside the wheel. According to them, he [Bessler] talks about "rumbling ghosts" that "walk through open doors and sometimes closed doors". The sonic waves would have been used to vibrate things -- maybe resonance effects? Just a thought.


  7. 'The ancient Greek lyre player may have performed these "parlor tricks" etc., etc. Before you know it, hundreds of years later, the Greeks had the myth of Orpheus with his magic lyre making inanimate objects move'

    And before you know it, hundreds of years later, we have the myth of Orffyreus with his magic wheel and manipulated name.

    1. Are you insinuating that the Master's story is a MYTH or just a big LIE? Do you realize how OFFENSIVE such a suggestion is to those who have devoted their lives to studying Bessler and his inventions? If you have ANY credible evidence or even a feasible alternative theory that would indicate the Bessler's wheels were anything other than 100% genuine, then PLEASE reveal that NOW! We're growing ever so weary on your _______ "explanations"!

      I consider his saga to be a true LEGEND based upon ACTUAL historical facts (much thanks to Gould and JC for helping to uncover those FACTS). Bessler's wheels only appear to be magical (that is producing effects without any real causes) because their secret was not openly revealed during his lifetime or rediscovered during the last 300 years (that secret IS, however, after MUCH analysis, revealed in the DT portrait clues!).

      When his secret PM mechanism is finally revealed we will see that, indeed, it is mechanically simple and it does NOT violate known laws of mechanics or physics. What has prevented its rediscovery in the last three centuries, IMO, is the precision of the various component parameters involved in a wheel's construction. Just the slightest error in the shape of a part, a spring constant, or a cord length and one has...just another "NON-runner" (fortunately, some small variation in the masses of a wheel's weights is tolerable). When, however, ALL of the parameters are correct, then "magic" will truly happen and one will have a WORKING OB PM gravity wheel spinning away before him!

      It WILL happen and it will happen THIS year! And VERY SOON!

    2. "Are you insinuating that the Master's story is a MYTH or just a big We're growing ever so weary on your _______ "explanations"!"

      You brought up the mythic connection, not me. I'll hint around like everyone else does and until I have an engine, thanks!

      Are we calling it a gravity wheel again? I thought gravity played no part.


    Earlier this morning I began the testing of my "Contact AFTER 3:00 (but before 4:30)" 4:1 scale computer model wheel of one of the one-directional "sub wheels" used in the full size Merseburg wheel. I'm basically doing the exact same tests on it that I performed on the previous variation which required weight to rim contact taking place between the drum's 1:30 and 3:00 positions. Thus, I am again varying the starting stretch distances of the design's 8 primary spring from 0.5 inches down to 0.0625 inches in increments of 0.0625 inches (which correspond to varying the stretch distances of the primary springs in the full sized Merseburg wheel from 2.0 inches down to 0.25 inches in 0.25 inch increments). After each adjustment in starting stretch distances of the 8 primary springs, the model is rotated CW at 1 rpm by an assisting motor and the interconnecting cord coordinated motions of the active weighted levers is observed, specifically, the location of the CoM of the design's eight 1 ounce lead weights is studied. The testing should be completed in another day or so.

    I am, of course, NOT worried about the results of the testing showing this variation FAILING to maintain the CoM of its weights on the drum's descending side. Why? Because, as I demonstrated near the end of the last blog entry's comments, the "Tilted Protractor Clue" in the 2nd DT portrait, once fully and PROPERLY interpreted, indicates that this failure WILL happen! It also indicates, to my GREAT surprise, that success will be found with the NEXT variation that requires weight to rim stop contact taking place between drum positions 4:30 and 6:00.

    Slowly, but steadily, I'm getting closer to the end of the "right track" and success. I feel now like I can almost reach my hand out and, by straining, just barely touch the 100% finish line with the tip of my finger! I have NEVER been THIS close before!!!

  9. Changing of name could have been done to attract better luck. The 'O' appearing at the beginning could have some reference to the it is it magic or trick...the wheel performed...the levers carrying weights performed such an act that actually tricked gravity....pure acrobats...Suresh

  10. Ken has no idea how close he actually is (or isn't). His house of cards designs are built on the flimsiest evidence. Ken, how offensive it is to treat Bessler like some kind of deity! You are treating this as a religion. There is no credible evidence that the second portrait has anything to do with Bessler, other than show through his face on certain copies! Your faith and dead horse beaten designs will not produce a working wheel.

    Trevor was also "very optimistic" he was less than a month away on his 70th birthday in Sep 2011.

    So, why don't we just get on with doing the work and research necessary to solve this, instead of bragging about having nothing on someone else's blog?

  11. Priceless! Yes I need to join Mark in not reading these comments anymore.


  12. I agree with Vincent about his good, bad and the ugly point he made in the previous blog post....I am also in agreement that TG is groping in the dark..(sorry TG)...but this is not the proper way to shunt out someone who has been relentlessly working and did his best to offer whatever he could so far...frankly speaking, I have learnt many things from TG. The best trait in him is that he is very honest, polite and patient too, not to speak about his prompt initiatives..his main fault is that he is so obsessed that he is unable to realize that he is facing an imminent dead end in his current approach...while others can easily understand this TG is unable to make it out. Eventually, he is going to announce failure.(But when?)....Patience is running out....TG please give a little thought here...Re-creating BW isn't everyone's baby..You need to listen to someone now...This is an SOS...I just can't imagine this blog without you..My heart goes all out for you...You have solved so many points but tell me what is holding you now..Please go thru my points with a real open mind before it is too late..I really mean no offence..You may not believe, but even I am not reading your test results..I don't find anything there..But please don't count me with others..

    As I stated earlier, things are very simple inside the wheel...just levers and cords..Springs are also not used the way stated by you...The arrangement inside is amazing..The action performed by the levers in accordance with the weights is much more can be found no where even though it is very just does not occurs to everyone...You are right about the precision point..The weights & levers have to be of same specifications and equally spaced....this is important..And finally, one has to be a little ingenuously innovative in getting to reduce weight as much as possible on the ascending side...Suresh

  13. Yes,..right Suresh welcome back, but what have you enthiused about lately that could inspire others.
    I may be a little long in delivering because the exact mechinics has to evolve.
    At least I have one thing in my favour and that is,I have never lost my zeal.
    I have to succeed because I can see how it can be done and firmly believe that bessler did it period.
    All I can say is that we are closer than we were before.

  14. I regret that it has come to this, but Technoguy, I must ask you to stop posting comments on this blog. I've been extremely patient with your refusal to adhere to my requests for shorter, less frequent comments, but there is a growing clamour by email, for your removal because of your apparent logorrhea, which is driving some of my other readers away. I would rather lose one or two than several, so although I have no objection to your language and you have been extremely polite in all your responses, I have to draw a line under this at some point and it might as well be now.

    As has often been pointed out, you seem to share many similar psychological characteristics to Ken who was eventually banned from the BW forum, not for what he wrote but for the sheer volume of obsessive mundanity.

    I will stand by my offer to put a link to any blog you might decide to start, TG. I wish you well and you are welcome to return to comment as long as you agree to keep it brief!


    1. "I regret that it has come to this, but Technoguy, I must ask you to stop posting comments on this blog."

      I hear and, unlike a troll, I respectfully OBEY. Please consider THIS to be my LAST comment here!

      I AM now on the verge of testing the last possible variation of the weighted lever configuration for Bessler's wheels that, if my recent interpretation of the "Tilted Protractor Clue" is correct (and I certainly think it is!), MUST be THE one that Bessler actually used. I am also VERY highly confident in the shape of his "magic" levers that I extracted from the DT portrait clues as well as the PRECISE cord attachment points to it, the "Connectedness Principle" required interconnecting cord sets and their various lengths, and the placements and spring constants of the springs Bessler used. I expect the final verification that I do, indeed, have THE secret OB PM gravity wheel design he found and used in the next few weeks. That verification will occur just as soon as I SEE that the design can maintain the CoM of its eight 1 ounce weights on the wheel's descending side THROUGHOUT a 45 degree interval of CW drum rotation (I tend to be FAR more critical of my OWN research than I am of others, so NO announcement will be made anywhere UNLESS this IS TRULY it!). Unfortunately, because of the toxic climate that certain individuals have been allowed to create on this blog, I will NOT be announcing the results here.

      I had taken a short break in the testing of the second variation that has weight to rim stop contact taking place between the drum's 3:00 and 4:30 positions in order to catch my breath and attend to some other non-Bessler research related chores (which I always refer to as annoying delays in reaching the end of the "right track"!). During the break, my wondering mind realized that the previous design I had for the gravity latches that Bessler used to lock the weights against their rim stops in whatever "sub wheel" within a two-direction wheel was undergoing retrograde rotation could NO longer be considered to be correct now that it seems that contact is to take place low in the drum between its 4:30 and 6:00 positions. Yet another paradigm altering surprise for me!

      With much effort, I managed to find some additional clues (NOT in the portraits!) that indicate where these latches must be relocated because of this change in the contact octant and how they need to be structurally modified. I will eventually have to test them to determine that they do, indeed, work. (BTW. Without these latches, it is NOT possible to make a two-directional wheel, only a one-directional one. I personally see no real advantage to the two-directional wheels Bessler constructed other, but I also want to provide the correct latch design to use for those builders who might want to construct a two-directional wheel.)

      So, I bid you all fond farewell (with a few notable FOUL EXceptions!) and wish you the VERY best in your search to achieve the "Holy Grail of Mechanics" whether it's THE one Bessler used or some other design. These various WORKING designs really ARE possible (Asa Jackson found one) though EXTREMELY difficult to find. If my strength and motivation hold up, I WILL be doing everything possible to rediscover THE one Bessler found and used BEFORE the end of the 300th anniversary of the successful public demonstration of Bessler's Gera wheel which will be at midnight, Tuesday, June 11th, local Gera, Germany time of THIS year! Indeed, I now VOW that THIS year will NOT pass without Bessler's secret PM mechanism finally being rediscovered!

      Don't give up five minutes BEFORE you WOULD have found success!!!

  15. @JC
    Maybe you removed some recent comments of TGs? Otherwise I must say that I am surprised that you reached the decision to ban him right now. It seemed to me that he had much improved lately, no multi-part posts, and less frequent posts altoghether. As others have mentioned here, I too, have learned from him and appreciated his input, as long as it was short.

    1. I didn't remove any comments, Mimi, but I had the feeling they were starting to expand again and multiply - maybe I was wrong but I made the decision and I have to accept the consequences.

      It was an extremely difficult and unpleasant decision to take, Mimi, and if it had been just myself who was getting irritated by TG's comments I would have left things as they were. But I have received several emails asking me to stop allowing him to comment further and I have to take notice of all who come here. I offered to supply a link to his own blog should he decide to start one, but he seems reluctant to do take advantage of my offer. If he does begin a blog I will still provide a link.


  16. Mimi, may I ask what it is you think you learned from him?

  17. Hi guys! Doug is right in my opinion. Clues are for you to waste your time. I think Bessler wanted to make it look like there was a secret for you to solve.

    1. That's pathetic! I said this and now another PM idea came to my mind!? That's frustrating...

  18. John , I think your decision entirely fair and reasonable....

  19. "I hear and, unlike a troll, I respectfully OBEY. Please consider THIS to be my LAST comment here!" - @TechnoXXX

    Really, has our Creature been dislodged?

    I'll believe it a trick done if, after months have passed, he remains silent but, such a superior act would be one I believe him incapable of performing utterly.

    Seemingly, this most peculiar personage could not and likely never will be able to control him/her/it's self, and on account, might benefit greatly by seeking professional, psychological help. (A really rough course of Reichian psychiatric work might help straighten him/her/it out but, if too old the infesting Emotional Plague becomes a thing insuperable, and the exercise potentially dangerous.)

    As for his parting shot, this "certain" individual will take as a compliment, and as applying to himself mostly:

    ". . . Unfortunately, because of the toxic climate that certain individuals have been allowed to create on this blog, I will NOT be announcing the results here."

    There will BE nothing for any announcing, so let's not weep for too long.

    Has the nightmarish furor caused by this hiding, impish troll, actually come to it's mandated end?

    I would respectfully advise that . . . doubts should remain.



  20. It might have been useful just to limit posts to a maximum of fifty words.
    Only John is entitled to blog more.

    1. As Dennis the Menace would say, "Golly, Mr. Wilson", don't you think 50 words is a little restrictive?

      C'mon Chris, do you really believe that you're fooling *everyone* ??

  21. It's an idea, Trevor, but I have so little control over content that I couldn't apply a limit.


  22. I don't think he is offended, do you?
    But it's strange he can't control himself, he seems normal otherwise; except for the innate energy / innate mass argument. Maybe that is what his sims are missing - the innate energy/innate mass setting update.

    1. I know that last sentence is "tongue in cheek," but it raises a couple of points.

      — All mechanical simulation programs (that I've heard of) use only Newtonian physics. None of them bother with Einstein's time dilation/ length contraction/ mass increase.

      — I agree with John that under the circumstances it would be best for TG to have his own blog. I'd probably visit it occasionally, if only to challenge him on exactly how he intended to use Einsteinian physics to get energy out of an overbalancing wheel.

  23. Will those who wanted TG gone now step up and offer something other than criticism, or will they crawl back under the woodwork waiting for their next victim?

  24. I wanted TG gone because he was taking up too much space in the comments section. I tried several times to get him to adapt his comments to a more reasonable length and number, but he refused.

    I did not agree with his research findings, but then he didn't agree with mine, as many don't, but I was happy for him to discuss them here. Many people were interested in what he had to say and I would have taken more of an interest too, if the comments had been more digestible.

    I have no desire to ask anyone else to leave - and I would have TG back if he promised to comply with my simple requirements.


    1. This is your blog John. You have a steady and loyal core of followers here. Some who even like to stay on topic and discuss the ideas you express here and not endlessly divert and self promote their own. For a long time it was hijacked and was Ken's defacto blog. Now perhaps your blog followers will build in number again and you can achieve whatever it is you want to achieve with this blog.

    2. Ditto that Anon.

      If you look at the meat of TG's comments, they were incredibly detailed, hence the length. How else could you post that information. When I look at the remaining posters you get the same old boring lack of detail dribble. Only a few more days now... Well that didn't work, back to the drawing board ... . Just my opinion, but I think some people here were threatened by his work and the amount of detail he put into his posts.

    3. Without tgs input this blog is just sheist like all the others. A guy finally shows up revealing hidden clues in the portraits and even gives some dtails of his research and then a few idiots manage to brainwash collins into driving him away. What a joke!

    4. Couldn't say it better Anon. Watch the no nothings on this blog going forward. You will find they have NOTHING to offer.

    5. yeah tg supplied a lot of interesting material here. hope he makes it to the end of the right track and finds his success.

  25. Listen here guys,..Don't use your anon status to imply insulting things about comments that are meant to encourage.
    TG's antics are even more tolerable than yours!
    You are only happy when you can scrounge some clue from those who are making an honest effort.
    What genuine clues have you offered up?
    I'm pretty sure even John would not reveal his most profound secrets of a working wheel.
    I have submitted some ground breaking secrets in past posts but they have been ignored or passed over perhaps because it takes a discerning mind to understand them.
    John please eliminate the anons from this blog,they are cowards.

  26. How optimistic are you feeling Trevor? Very? Very, very? When will those earth shattering secrets be turned into results? You seem to have a habit of contributing how close you think you are and "secrets". Useful stuff for a hero?

    1. Even when I show you a working wheel you won't accept it purely because of sour grapes.

    2. Even when I show you a working wheel you won't accept it purely because of sour grapes.

    3. "It is hoped that the wheel will be ready for launch sometime this year. The market for this wheel will be world wide and should level the playing field between the rich and poor with a drastic reduction in food and energy costs. The wheel will be named The Constant Power Wheel."

      How do you like those grapes?

    4. Well not that TG is gone, Trevor is the main man. Based on his past comments, he should have a working wheel no later than February.

    5. Have you guys got nothing to do but sit around and criticise.If you got off your butts to work on your own own wheel maybe you would not be so impatient and we could work as a team.


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