EVGray: Auto motor inventor just fueling around? July 7, 1975
Los Angeles (AP) - Ev Gray, a self-educated inventor, says he has designed a car motor that needs no fuel. Hundreds of investors have put their money on it.
But local authorities have charged him with bilking his believers out of thousands of dollars. A specialist in energy engineering saw the prototype motor and said if it worked "it would violate all the laws of physics."
In the eyes of Gray's supporters, it is a case of a small-time inventor being harassed because he is on the trail of a revolutionary idea that challenges the auto establishment.
If allowed to develop his invention, Gray said, "This motor will probably replace most motor power in the very near future."
Claims for the device have varied over the past four years, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, but essentially it has been described as an "electromagnetic motor" that is started by a set of batteries, then runs virtually on its own and puts energy back into the batteries -- enough so that they need recharging only infrequently.
"If he did what he says it does it would violate all the laws of physics," said Donald Cronin, a staff scientist at TRW Systems Inc, who watched a test of the motor about a year ago.
"It ran for about 10 seconds and then everything blew," he said. "A group of scientists from a big research firm in Japan had come with an elaborate amount of equipment -- gauges, instruments, TV cameras -- and were ready to sign a letter of intent. After the test, they packed it all up and went back to Japan."
Gray, 50, says he has been toying with the idea for such an engine since he was 7 years old. He is almost boastful about his lack of scientific training.
"The technical people tell me that if I had a technical background I wouldn't have come up with a motor like this," he says.
Gray began selling shares in his invention in 1971 and attracted some 800 shareholders. Last July investigators from the district attorney's office seized the prototype engine, plans, drawings, bookkeeping records It was not until May that charges were filed against Gray -- one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft, eight counts of grand theft and three counts of securities violation.
Gray's attorneys site the 10-month delay as one sign of harassment. A national tabloid newspaper attacked the D.A.'s office for its "behind-the-scenes suppression of one man's effort to help mankind."
This kind of talk frustrates the investigators, who see themselves as acting to protect lay investors who aren't able to distinguish a technically complicated fraud from a valid research effort.
Ev Gray must be persuasive though: two investigators from the D.A.'s office "went down to see and got hustled themselves -- they invested money of their own for a while, but later got it back." Said Deputy Dist. Atty. Mitchell Harris
As to why the case has taken so long to prosecute, authorities say that, in the first place, it has been hard to find investors willing to press charges.
The D.A.'s office also points out that the investigators were busy with other cases they considered more pressing, and this kept them from wrapping up the Gray investigation.
From Free Energy WS Progress Bulletin, Pomona, California, Monday, July 7, 1975