Saturday, 28 April 2018

Johann Bessler’s (Orffyreus) School of Wisdom.

There is much discussion on the BWF, about the Rosicrucian codes which Øystein and others have found embedded within many of the drawings in Maschinen Tractate.  There has also been some revelations about Euclid’s geometry.  I’m no expert in these matters and certainly the evidence of their presence is persuasive, but I do not see how they will assist us to reach the solution that Bessler found and which might reveal the design inside his wheel.

Bearing in mind the fact that it was Bessler’s intention, should he acquire the money he sought from the sale his Perpetual Motion machine, to establish a School of Wisdom, supported by non-denominational Christian teaching, such arcane clues seem irrelevant.  He aspired to train apprentices in many of the crafts skills he had acquired during his wandering years.

The term, School of Wisdom, always seemed to me to be a misnomer as it was in reality a school designed to teach a trade to aid young men to provide for themselves and their families.  However for the first time I googled the words School of Wisdom, and was surprised to find a number of references linking modern spiritual, intellectual and also historical association including the Illuminati, the Masons, the Royal Society, Euclidean geometry and of course the Rosicrucians. Prague and Bohemia are mentioned several times. This seems to link with Bessler’s home town which was within the borders of Bohemia and of course he did spend some time in Prague studying with both a Jesuit priest as well as a Rabbi. 

So what ever meaning we can attribute to  Bessler’s School of Wisdom, it seems possible that there were two activities being considered; firstly the education of the apprentices in their trades, and secondly perhaps the sharing of knowledge through the use of the Maschinen Tractate about the existence of an older knowledge combining Masonic and Rosicrucian thought with those Bessler believed might benefit.

Bessler also mentioned that the rabbi taught him Hebrew and there are some handwritten examples present in his papers, but also he claimed knowledge of “the language of Angels”, a subject that has a more controversial history.  It was known as “Enochian” and was apparently first recorded by Dr John Dee, in collaboration with Edward Kelley, a spirit medium.  Years of respearch and many attempts to prove the language was invented by either Dee or Kelley, have not proved entirely conclusive, although the suspicion remains that one or both did create it.  They both visited  Prague and endeavoured to obtain the benefits of the friendship of the emperor Rudolph of Prague.

These visitors left a lasting impression on the city of Prague and it may be that Bessler’s reference to language of angels is linked to John Dee’s “Enochian” texts.

Finally I should point out that Dee was lecturing on  the geometry of Euclid at the University of Paris while still in his twenties.  He was an ardent promoter of mathematics and a respected astronomer, as well as a leading expert on navigation, having trained many of those who would conduct England's voyages of discovery.  He seems to have been a genuine polymath but they can still be fooled by a convincing hustler?

So perhaps Bessler left behind him two skeins of thought; firstly the secret of his perpetual motion machine’s construction, and secondly a number of clues relating to these secret societies.  But for the latter, to what end?  Was it just to declare his knowledge of these esoteric matters or did he invite attention from others who might have progressed further along the path of “wisdom”?


Monday, 23 April 2018

Code Embedded in Chapter 55 of Bessler's Apologia Poetica

I note the current interest in the Mascinen Tractate codes and I am interested in the discussion as but also slightly puzzled as the they were bnever published. I published my own thoughts on the code in Chapter 55 of Apologia Poetica on my web site at, but my explanation was very long and detailed and it had a few transcription errors which appeared after publication, so here is a much abbreviated explanation.

Chapter 55 was designed to be the last chapter in Apologia Poetica originally, but Bessler added part two to provide space to argue against the accusations of his enemies.  Every one must be familiar with the ubiquity of the number 55 in Bessler's works so we can assume it was important in Bessler's eyes, so chapter 55 had a purpose beyond its declaration of faith.

The whole book is written according to the AABB rhyming scheme, the first line rhyming with the second line - rhyming couplets. However part of the way into chapter 55, the rhyming changes to ABAB, the first and third lines rhyming, and the second and fourth, producing a four line stanza instead of the two line ones. The text reverts to rhyming couplets before the end of chapter 55, so this implies that the text within the four-line stanzas section is of significance and because it is the only part with this rhyming scheme it I suggest that this section which is encoded.

There are actually only 54 four line stanzas, but Bessler tricks the unwary decoder by inserting four blank lines which when included, total the 55 we've come to expect.  I numbered each of the 220 lines..  

The Bible references don’t relate to Bessler’s adjacent comments. There are many different versions of the bible and the text and verse-numbers vary from one to another which make it impossible to make sense of the references.  In my opinion the Bible used is not important, therefore the text indicated by the references is also to be ignored.

Therefore the Bible references themselves point to letters and spaces, which are more likely than words because the appearance of a whole word in the comments, such as ‘weight', would be too obvious.

Using the numbered lines I found the first and only quote on the first page appeared on line 19, along with the Judae 19 Bible reference, but no verse number.  But there were spaces in the adjacent comment, which suggested that this clue included blank lines and spaces. And the actual quote used did in this case seem highly relevant saying “These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit.” I think the important point here is that these refers to the spaces and blank lines which are they who separate themselves. No verse number here meant that the quoted text here mattered.

I believe the name of the book chosen indicated by the alphanumeric position of the initial letter, the position along the lines  for the desired letter.  I discovered that counting backwards from the end of the comment, I arrived at a space, 9 from the end, J is the 9th letter of the 24 letter alphabet. This supports the conclusion that spaces were to be included.

But there about 30 places for letters, spaces and brackets in each line so a 24 letter alphabet was not sufficient and Bessler was not able to use every letter of the alphabet because he had only the first letter of each book from the Bible to choose from.  He uses just 13 letters which are all he had available. In order to provide himself with more options he chose to alter the spelling of some books.

The very next two Bible references demonstrate this. Math short for Matthew in the first example; Matth in the next one.  So in this case M is the 12th letter of the alphabet, add 3 for the first example and 4 for the second one.  One addition for each letter.

So we have a section of clearly defined text; a means of selecting specific line; a way to indicate a letter, bracket or space and possibly a punctuation mark.  So why haven't I deciphered the whole text?

There is another Bessler fail-safe, just in case it all seemed too simple.  The text for decoding is shown in fraktur font, a kind of Gothic font; the bible references themselves are in Latin font, not unlike font you see today, but there are a few places where the Bible fonts are in fraktur font, and the first one is not even a Bible reference but the one immediately below appears to be a Bible reference.  One might dismiss these aberrations as typos except that Bessler did not make mistakes.

If there is interest in this subject I'll add some more on a future blog post.


Monday, 2 April 2018

Johann Bessler’s Wheel and the Orffyreus Code

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 73).  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.

In addition there is a wealth of letters to and from Bessler or about him which I have included in my book about the life of Johann Bessler, see below how to obtain a copy of my book.

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. I hope to complete the wheel sometime during the summer and publish details of the 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 or from this link,

In addition there is a copy of his unpublished document containing some 141 drawings, entitled Maschinen Tractate.  This document was intended to form a teaching aid to be used by Bessler in a school for apprentices which he wished to found with the money he hoped to obtain for his invention.

My own account of Bessler’s life is also available from the links.  It is called "Perpetual Motion; An Ancient Mystery Solved?"

Johann Bessler three published books are entitled; "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 of 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

A separate web site deals with another piece of code found in his book Apologia Poetica, 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.


Friday, 23 March 2018

Johann Bessler's Life to be Celebrated at Bad Karlshafen

Thanks to Georg Künstler and his post on the Besslerwheel forum, I have become aware of the impending celebrations in Bad Karlshafen, due to take place 24th May to 2nd June 2018.


Karlshafen, as it was known then, was the place Johann Bessler retired to and lived in a house courtesy of Karl the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, former patron of the inventor.  For those who don’t know the word ‘Bad’ in front of the town’s name simply stands for ‘Spa’. It has thermal springs.

The town tourist board are putting on a play each day, telling the story of Johann Bessler, and intriguingly have reported the discovery of an airtight package locked in a sealed box found in the harbour basin during renovation work.

See the old harbour below.

They claim that within the box is the world’s only surviving blueprint of Johann Bessler’s perpetual motion machine.  They ask, “will this solve the world's energy problem once and for all and make Bad Karlshafen world famous?

Now I do not know what is in this box, nor do I know whether it has any connection to Bessler, but it certainly could do. The discovery of this box may be the reason for the decision to celebrate the life of Johann Bessler in this particular year, although it might also be because he came to live in Karlshafen in 1718, exactly 300 years ago. But  I also note that the 'Hugenots and Waldesian Trail  has been awarded with the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 for the following activities related to “In the footsteps of Huguenots and Waldensians" project'.  This particulat piece of history related to the founding the town of Karlshafen (formerly called Sieberg) by escaped Huegenots who were welcomed by fellow Protestant Karl.

I considered attending these celebrations but I have no German and my experience of Germany during a visit a few years ago, to all the places related to Bessler’s life, is that few people speak English.  I may have just been unlucky in my contacts with local people but that was my experience then and it has coloured my expectations in the future. Although I enjoyed my visit and Karlshafen is an extremely attractive place, I see no point in sitting through a production which will be all in German, naturally.

Speculations about the mystery box have occupied my thoughts ever since Georg's notification of the event.  Bessler's house was literally less than a stone's throw from the harbour basin, which I believe was completed in 1717.  Given Bessler's obsessive compulsive desire to protect his secret  for as long as he lived, it is quite possible that he did indeed hide his secret within a waterproof and air-tight box and sink it into the water of the harbour basin - maybe only days before he died.

If that was indeed the case then he would know that from time to time the basin would need to be dredged and perhaps his box found, in which case it would need to be of sufficient sturdiness to withstand the rigors of recovery, while remaining watertight.  It maybe that it is possible to drain the basin in which case recovery would be relatively simple.

All this speculation can be resolved once the contents of the box is published, but I am not denying that although the box may be genuine it might be that its attribution to Bessler could be more of a publicity stunt, and speculation by the town tourist board encouraged while the contents of the box is not divulged.  Hopefully all will be revealed during the celebrations in May and June this year.

What if it does turn out to be blueprint for Bessler’s wheel? Someone will doubtless be asked to rebuild it and if they do and it works, what then?  Patent or released freely to the world at large.  Could it even be patented?

We wait with bated breath for the announcement of the box's contents.

EDIT, It seems my excitement at the prospect of discovering what lies within the mysterious box reputedly found in the harbour renovation was somewhat precipitate, as it now seems that the mystery box was a fictional element added to Bessler's life story, due to be enacted at the special event in May and June this year.  My apologies for this error which I blame on the ambiguous translation of the web page by google.


Friday, 16 March 2018

Construction of My Version of Bessler's Wheel Re-Started.

My family's health probems having ameliorated a little, I no longer have to go to hospital every day, and that leaves me time to return to building Bessler's wheel!  It has been several months since I actually worked on it and in fact I had barely made a start when things began to deteriorate.  My plans for 2018 were put on hold, but I am confident that now things are improving, but never forget,  "Homo proponit sed Deus disponit".

The basic wheel or wooden disc upon which everything is mounted measures just three feet in diameter, and it will be no surprise to learn that it is divided into five equal segments.  Each pivot point has been marked and drilled and each stop point located.  I have fitted the pivot axles to all the necessary points, and can now begin construction of each mechanism.

These are complex for me to build but not that hard to understand.  Each mechanism has two equal weights attached to it and there are additional features which I prefer to keep to myself for now, but as I have said many times, all will be shared once it works or even if it doesn't.

This wheel is designed to turn in one direction only; it will start to spin spontaneously once the brake is released.  It would be tempting fate to fit a brake before I've tested whether it works - but it will of course!

I am well aware after all these years that gravity is not a source of energy, but I am still convinced that the overbalancing weights, provide the drive, as Bessler said, and you may tell me that gravity cannot provide energy, but without it there is no motion.

It’s a bit like saying petroleum provides the energy for the automobile, it doesn’t until it has been ignited and forced a piston upwards. Without the petrol you would get no action.

When I first researched the science which governs this subject, I realised straight away that a closed loop could not provide the energy from one falling weight, but several working together could in theory maintain an open loop, thus cotinuous rotation.

Initially I chose to experiment with over-lapping actions, and when it became too congested, I tested arrangements on both sides of a disc.  Then it became necessary to test arrangements on two and even three discs on one axle.  I knew that Besser’s first wheel was very thin but it seemed a logical step forwards if it gave me a clue to how he did it.

I tried to put myself in his shoes, designing wheels which might work but which could be refined and reduced to one disc once success had been achieved.  Later I returned to the single wooden disc because the other methods were too complex and tests showed that the multiple discs weren’t necessary.  But since those early experiments I have gradually broken through Bessler's smoke screens of misleading and ambiguous clues and I'm convinced that I have obtained the design which I believe will work.  If it does, I will explain how and why it is identical to Bessler’s design.

People have asked me many times over the years how sure am I that I finally have the right  design and I have always said, oh about 90 percent sure, but my certainty has always evapourated in the cold light of reality.  But this time .................................?


Thursday, 8 March 2018

The Möbius Strip and Bessler’s Wheel.

I recently posted a little piece about my search for potential clues to Besser’s wheel, among ancient symbols, in particular the yin yang symbol.  Another of my favourites, not so old but intriguing nevertheless, is the sign for infinity in mathematics, the lemniscate. It has the appearance of a sideways figure eight, and although there are variations they are all similar.

This was introduced by John Wallis in 1655, and although he did not explain his choice of this symbol, it has been conjectured to be a variant form of a Roman numeral for 1,000 (originally CIƆ, also), which was sometimes used to mean "many", or of the Greek letter (omega), the last letter in the Greek alphabet, can also mean, infinity.

Lastly and most fascinating of all is the Möbius strap or band.  A simple device to make; take a long rectangle of paper or just a longish strip,nd join one end to the other, but put a half twist in before connecting two ends. I don’t want to bore you with all the quirks attached to this remarkably simple design but you can find plenty of information on the internet.

The interesting point for me is the apparent similarities to be found between the infinity symbol and the Möbius band. Admittedly the lemniscate doeasn't usually have a half twist in the path of the strip but I have seen some drawn like that and I wondered of the artist got confused or was it just an additional twist!

This brings me to the Toys page MT138.139.140 and 141.

Note the lower pair of figures labelled 'D'.  are shown in spiral or twisted design whereas the upper pair labelled  'C', are in straight stripes.  I've always wondered if that is meant to convey that the lower pair have a half twist in their relative positions somewhat like the infinity symbol of even the Möbius band?

I did try to manipulate my drawing of the figures 'D' to demonstrate what I meant but it ended up just confusing, so if anyone wants to try their hand at it I'll gladly post their pic here if its better than mine! So the right half of the ‘D’ figures needs turning up side down and flipped horizontally to complete the spiral move. To me the spiral is suggesting a upside down move as well as a horizontal flip.

This is not necessarily the right explanation but it needs some kind of examination and it has the typical look of a Bessler clue.

I believe I have discussed some of this many many years ago but I can't remember where or when, so apologies if we have been here before, but I definitely didn't associate the Möbius strip and the infinity symbol together along with the figures 'D' in the Toys page at that earlier time.

There may be some way of introducing Möbius-like mechanical configurations into Bessler's wheel?


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Was the Prime Mover the Weight-Lifter or the OOB Weights?

There was a brief discussion about the Prime Mover in Bessler’s wheel on the Besslerwheel forum recently and I came away still unsure of exactly how we can define it.

Some people argued that since the wheel had to be Out Of Balance (OOB) in order to turn, the OOB arrangement of weights meant that that was the prime mover.  Others said it was what ever made the weights OOB was actually the prime mover.

A prime mover can refer to tthe device which extracts mechanical energy from an energy source or it can mean the engine which pulls the train.

Bessler's wheel was a prime mover because it extracted power from falling weights, but really I would like to say gravity!.

But within Bessler's wheel there must also be a prime mover which gets the wheel moving in the first instant.  What part converts the source energy into mechanical energy?  It must be the OOB weights. The wheel will rotate some amount as long as it is  OOB, but the weight-lifter part of the mechanism won’t directly effect rotation, that effect only takes place after is has lifted the weights.

On the other hand, ovyyus made a good point when he said, “Bessler’s first two wheels remained always OOB, even when held stationary. These wheels contained something (a prime mover) capable of lifting weights prior to any wheel rotation...”

So when the wheel was held stationary, the OOB weights were already in position to overbalance the wheel and we know that the biggest problem we all face is how to lift the weights.  Somehow something within the mechanism lifted the weights BEFORE the wheel could rotate.

But although I think the mechanism which lifted the weights was a vital part of the machine, it did not of itself, drive the machine around. That was due to the overbalancing due to the OOB weights, so which one was the prime mover?

Is the weight lifter the prime mover, or is it the OOB weights?  You can’t have one without the other - not if you want a continuously rotating wheel.


The Metaphors in Johann Bessler’s Apologia Poetica, Chapter XLVI

There is an intriguing passage in Apologia Poetica which has been the subject of much debate.  Most of the book is written rhyming couplets...