Thursday 30 June 2022

The True Story of Johann Bessler’s Perpetual Motion Machine.

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 the outside of it, but it’s internal workings were kept hidden. This was because the inventor feared that his design would be copied and someone else might obtain credit for all his years of hard work looking for the solution. He followed the advice from the famous scientist, Gottfried Leibniz, who was able to examine the device, and recommended a number of demonstrations and tests designed to prove the validity of his machine without giving away the secret of its design.

Karl the Landgrave of Hesse permitted Bessler to live, work and exhibit his machine at the prince's castle of Weissenstein. Karl was a man of unimpeachable reputation and he insisted on being allowed to verify the inventor's claims before he allowed Bessler to take up residence. This the inventor reluctantly agreed to and once he had examined the machine to his own satisfaction Karl authorised the publication of his approval of the machine. For several years Bessler was visited by numerous people of varying status, scientists, ministers and royalty. Several official examinations were carried out and each time the examiners concluded that the inventor's claims were genuine.

Over a number of years Karl aged and it was decided that after so long it was time the inventor left the castle and he was granted accommodation in the nearby town of Karlshafen. Despite the strong circumstantial evidence that his machine was genuine, Bessler failed to secure a sale and after more than thirty years he died in poverty. His death came after he fell from a windmill he had been commissioned to build. The windmill was an interesting design using a vertical axle which allowed it to benefit from winds from any directions. 

He had asked for a huge sum of money for the secret of his perpetual motion machine, £20,000 which was an amount thought 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 before the buyer was allowed to view the internal workings of the machine. But 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. 

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 77). 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.

Not long after I was able to read the English translations of his books, I became convinced that Bessler had embedded a number of clues in his books. These took the form of hints in the text, but also in a number of drawings he published and I found suggestions by the author that studying his books would reveal more information about his wheel.

For some ideas about Bessler’s code why not visit my web sites at 

Take a look at my work on his “Declaration of Faith” at 

Also please view my video at 

It gives a brief account both the legend and some more detail about some of the codes.

The problem of obtaining a fair reward for all his hard work 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. He implied that he was prepared to die without selling the secret and that he believed that posthumous acknowledgement was preferable to being robbed of his secret while he yet lived.

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 his codes and I am confident that I have the complete design.

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's three published books are entitled "Grundlicher Bericht", "Apologia Poetica” and "Das Triumphirende...". I have called Bessler's collection of 141 drawings “Maschinen Tractate”, but it was originally found in the form of a number of loosely collected 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 use them in his planned school for apprentices.

You can order copies of the books from my website at 

Printed books direct from the printer can be obtained from here

Or from the top of the right side panel under the heading ‘Bessler’s Books’.
There are also links lower down on the right side panel.

As I often say, the solution to this device is needed now. Anything that might help cleanse the planet of pollution and help to reduce green house gas emissions, by providing a clean cheap alternative energy source should encouraged in its discovery and development to counter global warming.


Saturday 25 June 2022

If You Won Would You Be Willing to Share with Other Claimants?

I noted an observation on the Besslerwheel forum, which I thought worth commenting on.  

Mr Tim, I think it was, suggested that “ I'm sure that once a working device is revealed there will no doubt be scads of people who will claim that parts of their designs were the inspiration for the discoverer's success, and that they therefore deserve a share... ;-)”

I have always thought that this was likely to happen and perhaps some of the claims might be true.  But there will always be some who can’t believe they’ve been beaten to the finish and are envious, disappointed or feeling that they were just pipped at the post. But if the one who succeeded had to give a share to other claimants of whatever reward materialised (in the event that something of value was offered), I think the number who felt they deserved a share might leave the victor with nothing of value other than an acknowledgement that he or she won; a worthwhile event, but a Pyrrhic victory.

I’m sure that if someone else got there first I too would be disappointed that it wasn’t me, but I’d still be delighted that I was still alive and kicking when it happened! I have always said I wouldn’t try to patent it if I had succeeded and I would share the information on the build as far and wide as possible.  I know that this is not a popular view and we are all entitled to our opinions, but I feel that patenting such a device would open the door to a multitude of claims and counter claims.  

I think that given the 300 plus years since Bessler first exhibited his Perpetual Motion machine and thousands or tens of thousands of people have sought the answer, if someone somewhere succeeds now, then it is seems quite likely that another successful build could appear at the same time, maybe more than one?   Inventions do sometimes seem to appear when they’re most needed.

This concern about others laying claim to all or part of the successful inventor’s is unwarranted in my opinion.  The successful inventor will simply either announce it along with the details and that date will be logged for ever, or apply to patent it.  Other claims to have been first would need proof and it is hard to think how that might be achieved.  Maybe a legal statement might lend weight to such a claim but it would have to detail everything about the device and perhaps include a video of a working model, suitably witnessed and time and date certified.

What ever the outcome, claims and counterclaims may follow but in the end the important point is that the technology will be out there.


Sunday 19 June 2022

Johann Bessler’s Research & Development.

I’m still in the process of moving into our house.  There’s a lot to do and my workshop’s having to take a back seat while I get us settled in.  I was in two minds about sharing what I know now or waiting until I can build the finished wheel in my workshop.  But I think that releasing any information risks it being lost or ignored so I’ll just keep going and hope to finish things as soon as possible.

How was it that Johann Bessler was able to solve a scientific puzzle that seems to have evaded the rest of us? Perhaps we are all too well educated, we understand so much more than was available to him?  He had spent years studying the machinery of his day, clocks and watches, windmills, pumps, organs etc, he was well taught in mathematics, music, etc. He didn’t just study them, he learned about operating and maintaining them. He was obviously very practical and  highly skilled in those subjects which interested him. He also read Acta Erudorum, (in Latin) a scientific journal, keeping up with the latest scientific discoveries and theories, but because had not begun to move in those more exalted circles it may have been easily accessible to him prior to his discovery of the correct configuration of his Perpetual Motion machine and Karl the Landgrave’s patronage.

I think he quickly became familiar with the actions of levers and pulleys and configuring actions at a distance (to borrow a phrase) in his study of organ building, and he was already able to build watches and clocks, which opened his mind to cogs, gears, pulleys and levers.  He could only do the same as us, but he could ignore what he didn’t know, unlike us.  We spend much time discussing where the energy came from, and so much theory about forces, vectors, acceleration, circular motion etc. None of this needed to concern Bessler, he used his practical experience to solve the problem.

Bessler spent most of his time thinking about his wheel and how to make it turn continuously and realised that it had to be permanently out-of-balance otherwise how could he expect it to turn continuously  or….permanently?

Two actions had to be available in order for continuous rotation to take place.  If a weight was ready to fall but had not fallen yet, then another action must have been active and engaged in rotating the wheel just enough to tip that weight which hadn’t fallen yet, continuing the existing rotation.  Bessler told us that his weights worked in pairs, so when that first weight fell, it must have lifted it’s paired weight, positioned in an earlier segment behind, some of the way back up.  But that paired weight in its earlier segment must have had some ability to rotate the wheel that little bit when it fell, just as it’s twin would do when it fell.

That is so difficult to explain, but I can picture it and I think that kind of process went on in Bessler’s mind, before he suddenly realised how to work it. 


Friday 10 June 2022

Johann Bessler Versus the Conspiricists

There are often comments suggesting that publication of the solution to Johann Bessler’s Perpetual Motion device could endanger the life of the publisher/discoverer etc.  But in my opinion this is just the fake conspiracy theorists at work; the same kind of belief espoused by flat-earthers, the faked moon landings, the investigation of a crashed UFO at Area 51, and many other ‘suspicious’ events.  Many conspiracy theories involve an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable. They are no doubt apocryphal.

These conspiracies work because of a psychological effect known as  the illusory truth effect or the illusion of truth effect.  It is the tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure. This phenomenon was first identified in a 1977 study at Villanova University and Temple University When truth is assessed, people rely on whether the information is in line with their understanding or if it feels familiar. The first condition is logical, as people compare new information with what they already know to be true. Repetition makes statements easier to process relative to new, unrepeated statements, leading people to believe that the repeated conclusion is more truthful. (Thanks to

Having said that I’m not immune to the strange attraction of some theories even though my inbuilt BS detector warns me not to be gullible.  In a way we are bombarded with conspiracy theories on a daily basis. There is so much duff information out there which is swallowed eagerly by younger, more innocent and less experienced people who harvest huge amounts of information and through a variety of  social media help to spread it like a virus.  Many older and wiser people also spread the same news as if it was legitimate, authorised or verifiable.  So is this just more paranoia and on what grounds would people think that we Bessler researchers are risking our lives by continuing our research?

The favourite bad guy is ‘Big Oil’ and allied political groups, MIBs what or whoever they are, and others with their own axe to grind. There are those who deny global warming and others who accept it but deny human responsibility, blaming it on natural cyclical causes.  Too many to list here but I think that some are following an agenda with the ultimate aim of stopping our kind of research because it will impact on the value of their own interests and therefore they welcome these conspiracy groups which are self generating and popular with certain groups. 

Not forgetting those who genuinely believe that we in this area of research are delusional, misled or incapable of understanding that Bessler was a fake and the whole project is doomed to failure.  I suppose they can’t be called conspiracists but their effect is similar to those who are, and of course they believe they’re correct due to the illusory truth effect!

I’m certain that the ramifications of a modern version of Bessler’s wheel will include reviews of investment in most if not all alternative energy research.  It will call into question the true value of windmill electricity generators, whether on land or offshore, and this will be challenged by groups with a personal interest in such industries.  I found a paper published by one industrial giant which stated that “the European Union has committed to cut greenhouse gas emission by 55% by 2030 in order to reach climate neutrality in 2050. It has been widely recognised that electricity will be the backbone of the energy system when it comes to a clean energy transition. Renewables, led by wind and solar, will play a central role in the shift from fossil-based power generation, with evolving energy carriers like hydrogen complementing direct electrification and helping to address harder-to abate sectors.”  You can’t blame them, they have a huge investment in this industry and see their future reliant on the options available to them at this time, i.e., no realistic chance of Bessler’s wheel making an appearance any time soon, but if and when it does appear they are not going to take it lying down. Their best way forward would be to invest in researching ways to use it, and they might just do that.  This could be replicated around the world.

My suggestion to those who warn against publishing details about Bessler’s wheel assuming they’ve succeeded in building a working model is you should flood the media with precise details of the construction.  Use the same methods as the conspiracists and the news will spread faster than the most potent media virus.  This way the details will proliferate in a world with multiple interactive communications and become unstoppable.


Sunday 5 June 2022

Johann Bessler’s Build Issues

What follows is mostly speculation and not to be treated as fact although hopefully my suggestions are logical.

Research into Bessler’s Wheel tends to be concentrated on trying to discover how he invented a device which could lift heavy weights and run continuously for more than a month, but what of the accompanying issues he had to overcome in the process?

The ceilings in Kassel where he exhibited his last and largest device were about twelve feet high, so he needed a ten foot step ladder to fix the eight sets of bolts into the ceiling, to hold the two sets of four pillars supporting the wheel.  William Kenrick described seeing the remains of the bolts still attached to the ceiling on a visit he made a few years after Bessler had left. Translocating the wheel a few steps between each set of wheel supports might have required a pair of platforms extending from under the first set of bearings to a similar position under the second.  With the axle being about six feet above the floor Bessler and his cousin would need something to raise their shoulders high enough to lift it enough to drop it into the next bearing set. The platforms could have provided this assistance.

They could have left the platforms in position which would have allowed visitors easy access to examine the bearings and although no mention of such furniture was made, several written comments describe the intensive examination of the bearings which were frequently carried out.  Access to the bearings could have been enabled by a platform and it is possible that the platforms could have been movable to allow a view of the whole wheel rotating, and we know that Fischer von Erlach spent about two hours examining the wheel and listening to the sounds  coming from it. Removal of any platform would seem necessary to allow him to be close enough. Or a simple ladder could have been provided but examination of the bearings while the wheel revolved might necessitate the presence of the platforms. 

The axle was six feet long and the wheel eighteen inches wide, leaving four and half feet clear but there had to be three or four inches on each end to accommodate the pillars and their bearing shells.  So about two feet clearance for each man to lift his end of the axle. So other means of lifting might include a kind of wheel barrow with some suitable construction to fit under the axle, or perhaps each man simply lifted the wheel onto his shoulders via a padded yoke of some kind.

Translocation of the wheel to a separate set of bearings and supporting pillars was suggested by Gottfried Leibniz during their two meetings, and it was designed to allow the close examination of the bearings which were left uncovered during the examinations.

There had to be access to a large window, or two would be better; one to enable the rope to pass through to the outside pulley and down to the courtyard below, and a second or third one to allow the examiners and other spectators to see the lifting of the heavy weight.  There also had to be room for several people all there to witness the spectacle, but allowing Bessler a private space to remove and replace a number of weights during translocation.

Actual construction of the wheel could have been managed in position on the axle which had already been fitted in place on the pillars, otherwise it would have to be lifted onto the bearings during or after the wheel’s build had been completed.

I don’t know how all his build issues were dealt with but Bessler only had one assistant sometimes referred to as his ‘his blue-apron apprentice’, also as his cousin.  In Freemasonry a candidate is given a blue apron to signify that he has progressed to the second degree after the initial white lambskin one, meaning he has learned more of his chosen apprenticeship.  Although it’s tempting to think that Bessler’s assistant knew how the wheel worked, I doubt it.  Bessler displayed such concern over that ‘secret’ and only ever shared it reluctantly with Karl the Landgrave who insisted on personal verification that the machine was genuine before he agreed to allowing the inventor to exhibit it in his castle Weissenstein at Kassel.

The assistant was necessary to help with translocating the wheel and perhaps with lifting some parts of the build, but even if it was his younger brother Gottfried, I still think it extremely unlikely that Bessler would have allowed any information about the actual ‘secret’ to have been shared deliberately or accidentally.

Despite the difficulties Bessler managed to overcome them and provided an excellent exhibition of his machine which lasted over ten years.  It is so frustrating that given the large numbers of people who must have examined his machine minutely over the years no one was able to complete the purchase of one of the most amazing inventions ever to be seen.  The one man who was prepared to buy Bessler’s wheel, Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, died on his way to see it.


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