Monday 25 March 2019

Bessler’s Wheel and the Orffyreus Code.

As I wrote  previously, I’m temporarily recycling a previous post about the Legend of Bessler’s wheel,  because I need to concentrate on finishing my own attempted reconstruction of his machine.

As you can see from my previous post, there is a lot going on in my life but there is always the odd moment when I could work on the wheel.

At my age I find time seems to be accelerating and weeks shoot past and I seem to have accomplished very little.  I am determined to finish it now so I can prove to myself, at least, that I am right and that there are sufficient clues from Bessler to permit anyone to build his wheel. Success would mean that the design I’m working on would match his, which I know many people doubt is possible.  Obviously I will post the information here first, if it works - or even if it doesn’t.

Please feel free to comment if you wish and I will try to check back daily.

So here it is again, the Legend of Bessler's wheel.

On 6th June, 1712, in Germany, Johann Bessler (also known by his pseudonym, Orffyreus) announced that after many years of failure, he had succeeded in designing and building a perpetual motion machine.  For more than fourteen years he exhibited his machine and allowed people to thoroughly examine it.  Following advice from the famous scientist, Gottfried Leibniz, he devised a number of demonstrations and tests designed to prove the validity of his machine without giving away the secret of its design.

After more than thirty years he died in poverty.  He had asked for a huge sum of money for the secret, £20,000 which was an amount only affordable by kings and princes, and although many were interested, none were prepared to agree to the terms of the deal. Bessler required that he be given the money and the buyer take the machine without verifying that it worked.  Those who sought to purchase the wheel, for that was the form the machine took, insisted that they see the secret mechanism before they parted with the money. Bessler feared that once the design was known the buyers could simply walk away knowing how to build his machine and he would get nothing for his trouble.
This problem was anticipated by Bessler and he took extraordinary measures to ensure that his secret was safe, but he encoded all the information needed to reconstruct the machine in a small number of books that he published. It is well-known that he was prepared to die without selling the secret and that he believed that post humus acknowledgement was preferable to being robbed of his secret while he yet lived.

I became curious about the legend of Bessler’s Wheel, while still in my teens, and have spent most of my life researching the life of Johann Bessler (I’m now 74).  I obtained copies of all his books and had them translated into English and self-published them, in the hope that either myself or someone else might solve the secret and present it to the world in this time of pollution, global warming and increasingly limited energy resources.

It has recently become clear that Bessler had a huge knowledge of the history of codes and adopted several completely different ones to disguise information within his publications.  I have made considerable advances in deciphering one of his codes; the simplest one, and I am confident that I have the complete design.  Due to unfortunate family circumstances I am currently unable to complete the build I have undertaken but shall return to it as soon as possible and I sincerely believe that 2019 will see the reconstruction of Bessler’s wheel.

Johann Bessler published three books, and digital copies of these with English translations may be obtained from the links to the right of this blog.  In addition there is a copy of his unpublished document containing some 141 drawings - and my own account of Bessler’s life is also available from the links.  It is called "Perpetual Motion; An Ancient Mystery Solved?"  Bessler published three books; "Grundlicher Bericht", "Apologia Poetica" and "Das Triumphirende..."

I have also published Bessler's collection of 141 drawings and I have called it Maschinen Tractate, but it was originally found in the form of a number drawings of perpetual motion designs. Many of these have handwritten notes attached and I have published the best English translation of them that I was able to get. Bessler never published these drawings but clearly intended to do so at some point.

For some ideas about Bessler’s code why not visit one of my web sites at
One last thing.  Perpetual Motion machines have been utterly proscribed and Johann Bessler’s claims ridiculed - however, it seems that more than a handful of scientists have now come to the conclusion that it might theoretically be possible to design a mechanical system which is continuously out-of-balance and therefore will turn continuously using the repeated fall of weights for energy.  Gravity but not directly.  These open-minded people remain tight lipped for now, awaiting proof of their hypothesis.


Sunday 17 March 2019

Help Our Amy to Walk Again

To my regular readers, I apologise for this post which is completely off-topic!  I have put up a crowd funding page to try to raise funding to get my granddaughter, Amy, much needed rehabilitation treatment. I would not have posted it here as a blog if it wasn’t so important. There follows a brief account of an unbelievable series of events, leading to the fundraising.

Amy before she became ill
In the beginning my daughter, Jo (Amy’s Mum), was diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma in November 2017, and was in hospital for many months having chemotherapy, and then 3 weeks of radiotherapy. She, thankfully, finally went into remission in September 2018.

While Jo was an in-patient at UHCW, (University Hospital, Coventry) Amy became unwell with croup, but it was a bad case - and this is where her nightmare began, she got admitted into hospital in December 2017, and ended up in an induced coma.

Then the Doctor didn't insert her cannula correctly and from that she got an infection in her left hand where the cannula had been, and she developed CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), at the time her mum was having chemotherapy. In fact, they were in the next ward to each other at one time!

CRPS is an extremely painful disease which has affected her left arm. The pain is present 24/7 and is said to be worse than child birth or amputation.  Drugs do not help to dull the pain and although there are many people diagnosed with this disease there is currently no cure.  However some patients can be helped to live with the problem and as Amy is such a fighter, we think she can benefit from the treatment on offer at the STEPS clinic.

The CRPS gave Amy a severe intolerance to dairy products, which have caused her to have several anaphylactic shocks when accidentally given cheese, or milk.  She has to have two loaded epinephrine hypodermics (epipens) within reach at all times.

Amy has been in and out of hospital since December 2017, and presently she has been an in-patient since September 2018, not even coming out at Christmas.

She was a Primary School teacher, with a first class honours degree and she loved her job.  But she hasn’t worked now since December 2017, it’s absolutely heartbreaking for her family to see her this way.

In Amy’s own words:- 

I am fighting a few debilitating and very painful conditions, which are unfortunately extremely difficult to treat. The past 18 months have been terrible; with my Mum having stage 4 cancer (thankfully in remission now) and me suffering from multiple disabling conditions. I have mostly been in hospital over this time, spending the majority of it, including now, bed bound in hospital as I can’t use my legs, sit up independently or use my left arm. My CRPS also sadly spread to my internal organs; meaning that I find it extremely difficult to take food and liquids orally, sometimes including my own saliva, so I depend on tube feeding the majority of the time. 

Unfortunately the hospital that I’m currently in doesn’t have the skills and are not equipped to help me 😢. I have been referred to specialist NHS hospitals but the waiting lists can take 1-2 years. We are very scared that if I wait that long, I will just continue to get worse over that time.’

As the family are very worried at the prospect of waiting 1 to 2 years for specialist help, we have set up a Crowd Funding page to help fund private care at STEPS, in Sheffield, who have an excellent record in the treatment Amy so desperately needs to get her walking again. Currently, it will cost approx. £5,000 per week. I don’t know how long she will be in there, depends on how well she does, I suppose.

These are the links to two sites, there are others posted by Amy on her crowd funding page:-

Thank you for reading this and if you can recommend a contact or share it on facebook or even make a donation, no matter how small, we would be extremely grateful.  

This is a quick update and probably the only one l'll do here,  until Amy starts her treatment.  In seven days we have raised over £4000, a long way from the £100,000 she needs, but we have been inundated with requests for interviews from newspapers, magazines and radio stations. We have signed with a press agency and they will posting articles and photos etc to every paper, magazine and news media outlet in the country and even some abroad, on wednesday next week.  Hopefully the total will then climb quickly towards the £100,000.
Kind regards

John Collins

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Johann Bessler's Double Portrait.

In his epic book, Das Triumphirende... (DT) Johann Bessler placed in the frontice-piece a portrait of himself which contained a few items, skull, jar, books - normally representative of a well known Latin phrase, ‘memento mori’ meaning, ‘remember, you must die’.  Also linked to this idea is another Latin word, ‘vanitas’, meaning ‘vanities’; artworks exploring this theme usually contain books, wine and musical instruments, and with the former reminding us of our mortality, the transience of our lives and the futility of pleasures.  Books were also included in the main portrait. These ideas were much discussed in in religious circles in Bessler’s time when this life was believed to a preparation for the afterlife.

However, Bessler included a second portrait of a person in a completely different setting.  This second portrait had had the face most carefully excised with almost surgical precision, allowing Bessler’s face to peer through, as if he was also the person the second portrait.

As far as I have been able discover there are only six copies of DT still in existence, each  containing the two portraits with the missing face in the second, but there are another dozen or so which have also survived but they do not have this unusual additional portrait.

We can make some assumptions about these portraits. Firstly we read on the first page that copies of the book were 'Printed at Kassel in October 1719, and published by the inventor himself, from whom bound copies may be obtained atWeissenstein Castle'.  There were several printers available who were busy printing books, tracts, adverts and music manuscripts.  I considered the possibility that Bessler did his own type setting but concluded that he would not have been allowd to.  Printers were busy and had to schedule time for each project and Bessler's book was 168 pages long with drawings included, plus the two portraits.  Half of the text was in Latin, which Bessler understood perfectly as Christian Weise, his famous teacher, taught in Latin as did most teachers of that time.  So the whole book could have been completed more quickly and accurately in the hands of an experienced printer.

Weise was one of the first teachers in Germany to change to teaching in German rather than Latin, but not until after Bessler had left and he describes himself as one of Weise's favourite pupils, whether that was his imagination or not, he did change his name once he had discoverd the perpetual motion, from plain Ernst Bessler, to Johann Elias Ernst Bessler, perhaps an acknowledgement of his debt to Weise whose own son was called Johann Elias Weise.

Given that Bessler probably had the printing done by a Kassel printer, a woodcut of the mystery faceless person who was installed in front of Bessler's portrait may have been provided by that printer.  This would require someone to do the portrait of Bessler with head and shoulders to the same size as the mystery guest so that he could fit inside accurately.  I'm not sure if there were many copies of the mystery person, but I would have thought it would be quite simple if the printer had retained the woodblock from a previous order, to print extra copies.  However Bessler may have found the task of including perfect versions of the two portraits in his book as being too time consuming, to complete more than say half a dozen.

I think that the two portraits were designed to show Bessler's dual interests; art and science, but I know many people see more detail in the two portraits.


Tuesday 5 March 2019

Instinct or Intuition Will Lead to the Solution to Bessler's Wheel.

During this curious journey we Besslerites travel, we often suffer the hardships associated with long adventures, but ours are not like those normally encountered with such enterprises.  Little physical hardship is encountered, unless it is the occasional injury caused by a unfortunate misguided application of force to a hammer, screwdriver of spanner (wrench) to a tender part of one's anatomy.

No, the tribulations we commonly encounter are the ups and downs of an emotional nature - an intangible kind.  Initially the curiosity and inclination to believe that Johann Bessler really did discover the secret of building a working perpetual motion machine fills us with premature happy anticipation that maybe we can discover how he did it. Then reality takes a swipe at such misplaced optimism, because the mighty scientific institutions which guide our knowledge enhancement, dismiss such ideas with tumultuous scorn.  But then again, you read and reconsider the convincing evidence that Bessler did not lie and you feel that perhaps this is a paradox.  It seems highly believable and yet it simply cannot be, because the greatest scientific minds of the last 300 years cannot be wrong. Absolutely not!

So how can we explain this apparent impass?  At the heart of the matter is a certain vagueness about several defintions which seems to cloud the issue.  The term 'perpetual motion' has an aura of mystery and magic which is attractive and persuasive and if you've seen the strong circumstantial evidence that Bessler's claims were genuine, you may have discussed the issue of perpetual motion and come to the conclusion that in fact the  term is faulty for a number of reasons and perhaps it would be better to call it continuous motion subject to the presence of gravity. Bessler told us that the weights themselves constitute the whole apparatus and therefore, without gravity there would be no motion.  Forget the definitions, they are doubtfull, subject to interpretation and misleading.

The search for a solution is a road with many forks each of which has so far led us up blind alleys, dead ends and cul-de-sacs. Our emotions switch violently from intense exhilaration when we believe we know the answer to the depths of depression when we discover our design was wrong. 

Regardless of this setback we continue with the search because we are of the opinion that Johann Bessler told the truth.  In which case three hundred years of complete dismissal by the elite (a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society - they think!) that his wheel is and was impossible, is too big a target to ignore.  Think what a massive boost to the ego of every person who spent much of his or her life, searching for the elusive secret which Bessler found; and being constantly reminded of the foolishness of their quest, to discover that they were right and our teachers were wrong..  How wonderful it will be, to show those nay-saying,  know-it-all, condescending experts that they got it wrong.

The truth is that we all instinctively know that Bessler's wheel was genine.  There is an account in one famous book about the search for perpetual motion which describes the author's discussion about the subject with an experienced engineer, (Perpetual Motion - The History of an Obsession - Arthur Ord-Hume).   The engineer dismissed the possibility of anyone ever succeeding in building a perpetual motion machine because they flouted the laws of physics - and that was the end of the matter, or so the author thought.  A few days later the engineer returned to see the author, and said that even though he knew it was impossible he had done some sketches showing how he thought it might be achieved.  That illustrates the dilemma facing all of us; even though we have been taught that they are not possible we each of us know instinctively that such machine are possible.  It's intuitive that with the correct arrangement of weights a wheel will rotate continuously within the field of gravity.

NB, one commenter requested a picture of the air rifle on the wall in Bessler's portrait.  I am not aware of any such thing, but in the interests of  clarity I have added a copy of the portrait which Bessler looked through because it contains items which could be thought of as an air rifle.


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