WELCOME TO THE FUTURE - Continued
Life in Gilmour is not easy for the Hamels. At the start of every day, sixty-year-old Nora is hoisted out of bed by David, twenty years her senior, using a chain-link pulley system he's rigged into the bedroom and bathroom ceilings. Then he purees her meals so she can feed herself through a large red straw while listening to the radio. An intimate and warm sense of humor helps keep their spirits up. "Oh, Nora, you've gone and made a mess again," Hamel chides with mock seriousness while wiping food from her bib. Nora squeals with delightful denial, her face scrunching into a chagrining "who, me?"
Both are serious when it comes to saucers. They see their situation as part of a ten-thousand-year legacy of alien contact all over the earth. They also know that David could get more work done on his Ark of the Covenant if Nora were put in a government home, but they tried that for a year a decade ago, and both lost their will to go on without the other's compassionate support. Poor and crippled, but rich with ideas and love, the Hamels get by with a little help from their friends, and from God.
The Hamels attract all kinds of devotees. For many, a visit to David's shed is a spiritual pilgrimage, a conspiracy confirmation and an environmentally friendly energy workshop all rolled into one. Many of these trips have been turned into fan fiction or film documentaries. The four-little Eyewitness series (available on VHS from http://www.world-famous.com/) captures the true Hamel low-budget ethos, using a handheld camera to capture the man himself ranting, and line drawings to explain the aliens' technology.
The definitive text, though, is Jeanne Manning and Pierre Sinclaire's The Granite Man and the Butterfly, an engaging retelling of Hamel's abduction, philosophy and inventions. It forms the basis for Granite Starship, written by Paul Coulbeck. "He's the bastard who copied my book," says Hamel. Coulbeck stayed with Hamel for a week, then published the abductee's life story - with all the relevant characters renamed and no credit given to Hamel. Bob Thomas of Arlington, Texas, hopes to set the record straight later this year in "The Word Made Manifest Through Sacred Geometry: The Work of David Hamel, a book he co-authored with Hamel himself (Hamel ranted, Thomas wrote) following a two-month stay with the inventor.
On the internet, the Hameltech Yahoo Internet group is ground zero for the inventor's worldwide support network. Established in 2000, the forum is now home to over six hundred members, who pool their resources to realize Hamel's vision. Core member Dan LaRochelle began networking with other Hamel fans online after reading about the enigmatic engineer on the KeelyNet alternative energy website in 1997. A family man from Wethersfield, California, LaRochelle first visited Hamel seven years ago, while his wife was pregnant with their first child. Like Hamel, LaRochelle is a Christian, and he says he was "flabbergasted" when Hamel told him that the ship "A," On and Arkan rode in was the Star of Bethlehem. "I'm not saying that's exactly what happened," he says, "but there's something religious to it. The main message is that the world will be completely destroyed very soon, so you've got to build this survival ship otherwise humanity could be wiped out."
"There are very powerful controlling factors in this world," LaRochelle adds, "and they don't want people to know this stuff." Continuing, he muses about a potential conspiracy surrounding the recent mysterious murder of Gene Mallove, the editor of Infinite Energy magazine. "He was on the verge of a big discovery. We're still forced to put gasoline in our cars and send the utility bill every month."
LaRochelle has spread the Hamel gospel via his self-produced booklet "The Gods Have Returned," which he has distributed at the Tesla Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and at the Exotic Research Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. These events attract hundreds of participants annually from the diverse environmentalist "free energy" community. He admits to getting a lot of his facts wrong in the booklet.
Even the schematics LaRochelle correctly reproduced don't yield working machines. He knows as many as forty people who have tried to build a forty-five-gallon oil drum device based on Hamel's design - all unsuccessfully. "I had a friend spend $10,000. He stayed a month with Hamel. He's a bullheaded guy, spent his life savings, his wife divorced him."
Steve Hiscock, a forty-four-year-old magnet aficionado from Belleville, Ontario, has so far spent between $4,000 and $5,000 on an eight-inch model, which remains incomplete despite twelve years of active collaboration with Hamel. He says he'd need to spend another $5,000 to $7,000 to build a model two feet wide, the minimum size at which the motor can function. His lack of concrete, reproducible results notwithstanding, Hiscock feels the decade-long process of discovery has been an enriching experience. "I would consider myself a very spiritual person -- in a metaphysical sense, not in a conventional orthodox religious way," he says. "The concept of the technology is rooted in a very fundamental understanding of the nature of reality, which is spirituality.
Hiscock is wary of the delusional ego Hamel is developing with age and fame, and understands that magnetic free-energy is considered fringe even among wind, solar, geothermal and cold-fusion advocates. Still, he believes that Hamel is onto something that, with proper development, could revolutionize power supply for the coming age. He notes that earlier this year inventor Mike Brady of Johannesburg claimed to have developed the first fully functional fuel-less magnetic motor after three decades of research and testing. Brady's company, Perendev Power, has licensed a twenty-kilowatt generator model to German and Australian distributors. (A four-megawatt model exists in blueprint form.) According to Perendev, each twenty-kilowatt unit is capable of producing enough energy to power an average home; the cost of purchase would quickly be recuperated as the owner uploads excess power to the local network. Sounds great, but without publicly available information published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, this technology will remain relegated to the lunatic fringe, even if the products are commercially viable.
"What has to happen," says Hiscock, "is that we need a mathematical model based on a working device, so people can understand and reproduce the idea."
David Hamel's story sets off every skeptic's alarm bells. As it should: he advocates an alternate chronology of human evolution that traces our origins to pre-Sumerian alien ancestry. But with the vast quantity of data available these days drowning historical and scientific knowledge in a lot of disinformation, what-and who-do we believe? The revolutionary theosophical and historical revisionism advocated on mega-sites like http://www.bibleufo.com/ and http://www.violations.org.uk/? Or their opposite, sites like http://www.badastronomy.com/ and http://www.skeptic.com/, which pool the world's hoax-debunking resources with equal force?
Hamel represents the ultimate consolidation of every cliche conspiracy into one major anti-establishment theory. He has become an official mascot for shifting, subjective, spiritually situated knowledge and action, as opposed to "objective" truth imposed by the orthodox establishment. In a way, he is a true contemporary of Linus Torvalds and Michael Moore. Like Linus vs. Microsoft, the battle Hamel is fighting pits open-source communal energy-sharing against top-down infrastructure. And like Moore vs. Bush, Hameltech vs. Big Oil is calculated satire. "Art is a lie that reveals the truth," as Picasso said.
To be continued