Contemporary evidence of Dr. Feynman in the parking lot with Papp's Engine, ties to major American Toy Brand, may have not touched wire?

  • What follows is an off-topic humanist angle of the Papp engine disaster, focusing on the killed toy maker. It was made possible by a GVN newspaper article found on microfilm, posted on the Internet in 2022, and verified last year.


    The man killed was an R&D leader at Mattel and was on the job during the incident. He was believed to have been there for a technological hint for toy development.

    The contemporary source had labeled the toy maker as a Director, and a later source printed him as Vice President. As supported and encoded by a perpetual engine prank in which the engineers made the toys, he had been present during Hot Wheels prototyping, finding ways to "self-power" their newly launched diecast cars, of which crude prototypes were being made at that moment in time.

    As if this story doesn't get any more unbelievable, one potential interpretation of Dr. Feynman's actions, based on this in-era print, reads Dr. Feynman had asked Mr. Papp for the wire (but did not take control of it), with Mr. Papp in command throughout the volley.


    A Tragic American Toy Story
    The Engine That Killed a Mattel Preliminary Design Director
    medium.com

    The Ultimate Hot Wheels Legend
    Does Evidence Link a Fallen Mattel Toy Inventor to Hot Wheels?
    medium.com

  • Quote

    Why was and how was the wire pulled out in the first place.

    Feynman did it for to make sure that the engine can run on its own. He even admitted it openly, because he didn't believe in perpetuum mobile.

  • Are there any publicly available records of court cases resulting from compensation demands from the injured parties, and the family of the deceased? The usual "legend" is that CalTech ended up paying compensation, rather than the demo organisers (Papp & his backer) or Feynman himself.


    However, I gather that the usual practice in the US is for lawyers of the injured parties to sue whoever they deem to have the deepest pockets, amongst all those involved in the tragedy, rather than pursue the party that might be deemed technically responsible through their immediate actions or decisions.


    Similarly, was there a California state "accident investigation body" that got involved? (e.g. a bit like the UK HSE, who will investigate and occasionally prosecute companies after industrial accidents.) And if so, has anyone ever turned up any public records of the findings?


    I guess nowadays that would be Cal/OSHA

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

    Edited once, last by Frogfall ().

  • From:

    Did Richard Feynman see Josef Papp's machine explode?
    Josef Papp was an inventor who received patents for engine technology. Wikipedia explains: The engine continues to be considered by many scientists as a…
    skeptics.stackexchange.com


    Quote

    from the San Bernardino County Sun 21 November 1968:

    The explosion of an experimental automobile engine that killed one man and injured eight others: apparently did not involve criminal negligence, sheriff's investigator Harold White said. An unidentified observer who removed the engine's control wires during a demonstration Monday apparently wanted only to assure himself the engine was not working off electricity, deputies said. A pressure buildup exploded the engine. Jack Hartman. 40, of Torrance was dead of schrapnel and a possible heart attack. One of the eight other victims, Joseph Auglclti, 52, of Palos Verdes, remained in critical condition Tuesday.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • OSHA did not exist in 1968 (it was established in 1970); therefore, that agency did not investigate the accident. The josephpapp tribute site contains public records but nothing related to your question. If their author(s) read this in the near future, they should post crime/investigation/legal docs if they are holding on (for whatever reason).

    Indeed, if OSHA had existed, it would have tested its very existence, which involved many corporations and their injuries.

    And given the age of this case, someone is probably holding on to media/documents that have never been released, and agencies may have destroyed the paper in the meantime.

    In California, there is CPRA and FOIA at the government level. As you suspect, not much was found, and you assume others who tried were there before. One can do a meta lookup (ask who/when asked for the same records), but that will take much longer—some can take months to wait, with no assurance if that person can be located.

    One can also litigate on the FOIA level, but in California, there is no recourse to fight to prove "it was misfiled; try harder."

    Also, California courts are not beholden to these protections. When people settle out of court, no one will ever know, and it's not on the ledger. It is also possible there was a threat of litigation through letters of action, and it was never actually filed in court. since the disaster was so damaging, it is sure to have been not just Papp but all these corporations to made it go away on all levels. This is what OSHA solved: to hold corporations accountable (demand improvement by legal enforcement and fines) by independent investigation, even if there is no crime.

    As one would suspect, this off-topic exists here, partially because it's where a connection could be found to finalize the story. Please read and come forward. Apart from agency docs, there is the rumored "disclosure letter" that the men signed as they entered the parking lot. It is not known if they waived liabilities.

    Dr. Feynman encouraged funding libraries, and here we are, resurrecting a piece found by the only place that tells this wild tale in an era.


  • I've not seen this image before. It is in one of the California newspapers that reported on the event.


    It looks like the device was based on the Volvo B18 engine, but with the cylinder head replaced by one of Papp's own design.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

    Edited 2 times, last by Frogfall ().

  • Indeed, that is the only known UPI photo from the modern era. It can not be officially posted via copyright, although in court, this case is all about fair use since it would be under the guise of justice, and they would have to be careful of the Streisand effect.

    The man in the photo is no longer with us (Bruce Pryor), and LACoFD reports (including the Hazmat division) were checked, but none were preserved. Indeed, there is the reporting being written after the radiation detectors.

    It is believed that UPI has more unpublished photos, but unless someone is in the media, they will not give individuals access (even at cost).

  • Frogfall

    It is logical that Papp would have replaced the head, as his engines were sealed (no air intake or exhaust valves). The engine was reported to be a Volvo engine that was modified by Tom and Bob Rohner. There is a picture on the Internet that purports to show Papp and the engine. There is also a picture that purports to show the gun barrel pealed back like a banana after the failed demonstration for the navy. These two explosions were what peaked my interest in the Physics behind the engines. I was really put off by Feynman's unprofessional behavior that day.

  • Молодцы ребята, вы подняли хорошую тему. У меня не было реактора, который не пропускал воздух и я на этом обложился, но это самое главное. Нужно найти реактор не пропускающий воздух из стекловолокна или керамики со всеми прибанбасами как у меня. Главное пропустить электричество везде, что бы поймать шаровую молнию. Двигатель Паппы и был заложен и он промахнулся, я лучше нашел двигатель. Но для этого надо будет сделать такой двигатель и мы получим реактор намного лучше чем двигатель Паппы. Там мы закрутим шаровые молнии и это даст нам новую энергию и она даст нам альтернативный двигатель. Вот так все просто, читайте мой форум и вы все поймете.

  • It is logical that Papp would have replaced the head

    Of course it is. My post was just pointing out the actual model of Volvo engine used, which can be handy when looking any any of the old photos of the Papp engine - in order to recognise what features were just simply stock. For instance, was he taking electrical timing signals from the stock distributor, or had he added sensors elsewhere for that? The electrical control side of this device is just as much a mystery as everything else.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams


  • This photo from the start of the demonstration does indeed show that electrical signals were being taken from the Volvo distributor - although, of course, we have no idea what internal modifications might have been made. For instance, was he also using the normal points as a trigger (this was before the era of mass-produced electronic automotive ignition timing systems).


    Also note the two observers from the California Highway Patrol. Were these the "deputies" referenced in the other newspaper report?


    Quote from San Bernadino County Sun

    An unidentified observer who removed the engine's control wires during a demonstration Monday apparently wanted only to assure himself the engine was not working off electricity, deputies said.


    The fact that there were CHP observers might have influenced the decision of the police investigator to decide (rather quickly, IMO) that there was no criminal negligence involved, on behalf of the inventor. If the investigator hadn't ruled that out, the CHP observers might have been dragged into any negligence claims by the victims & families, on the grounds that they should somehow have acted to stop an "obviously unsafe" demonstration.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

    Edited 2 times, last by Frogfall ().

  • Also note the two observers from the California Highway Patrol. Were these the "deputies" referenced in the other newspaper report?

    Another reason this incident of a future onlooker is so unbelievable in terms of circumstances.

    In 2023, CHP records were also checked via CPRA, and that agency quoted purge protocols, and no records exist. Again, it doesn't mean someone earlier on could have caught the report if it existed.

    Their uniforms appear like those of the Highway Patrol of the era. Additionally, Johnny's account of the newspaper confirms the "Highway Patrol" in the quote under the photo. He even writes about his interaction with the patrol officer attempting to get the gate unlocked.

    A later write-up by David Ansley wrote, "[Roser had] hired armed guards," which is confirmed in the photo. However, there is still a possibility they were private security (which would place the men in a tough situation of tension with their employer). So, hence another conflict in this drama.

    If we assume it was CHP, then the odds are much in favor of Dr. Feynman doing nothing wrong of actions. But then again, in 1968 America (in LA, mind you), hiring public servants (more than one) for public peace for private gain (on private property) was not normal; in fact, it was rare. If truly CHP it means Roser had money (and certainly here, he had money and a reputation on the line) with significant police connections.


    More tension.

    Edited once, last by surreal ().

  • If we assume it was CHP, then the odds are much in favor of Dr. Feynman doing nothing wrong of actions.

    I would suspect that it means the opposite. As a "famous professor", Feynman was probably used to throwing his weight around - and so felt comfortable acting like a dick, regardless of who else might be there. By his own account, he turned up that day to make a nuisance of himself, and hence "expose the hoax".


    The "unidentified observer", in the above quote, was most likely Feynman. Whether he physically "held the wire" or not - he was interfering with the demonstration.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • Хорошую тему вы подняли и я с уверенностью могу сказать что мы найдем шаровые молнии в реакторе. Шаровая молния даст электро-движущую силу, которое даст напряжение для статора, лругих путей у нас нет. Реактор с ротором нас спасут, для этого нужны конденсаторы, кто бы смог нам помочь с конденсаторами, мы найдем новую энергию!

  • The "unidentified observer", in the above quote, was most likely Feynman. Whether he physically "held the wire" or not - he was interfering with the demonstration.

    You bring up a good point. It's unclear why the media did not identify the observer when searching for a particular person.


    Yes, one can speculate why, as to his "weight" in history, but there is no evidence to confirm that.

    But this newspaper somehow identifies the observer. An explanation is that they wanted to tell the truth. If one reads the paper, it is clear how the newspaper reporter leans. If Feynman were wrong, the newspaper would have written it, right?

    Now consider the paper's readership at the time (mainly Japanese Americans), what America did to that community with internment, and what Dr. Feynman contributed to. Why not rip him apart? The answer is that they don't and, instead, report burdens on the demo hosts.


    This newspaper is an enigma, historically "bonkers," with a recall of a filming TV cameraman.

  • surreal - the above newspaper quote was from the San Bernardino County Sun, not from the Gardena Valley News.


    There were 35 people at that demonstration, it isn't unreasonable if reporters couldn't obtain everybody's name before filing their copy. Speed to print is often more important than accuracy, in a competitive newspaper market - and local press reports are notorious for being unreliable.


    I'm not sure why you feel the need to deny evidence of interference by Richard Feynman in the day's events - considering he spoke and wrote about it himself on more than one occasion.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • I'm not sure why you feel the need to deny evidence of interference by Richard Feynman in the day's events - considering he spoke and wrote about it himself on more than one occasion.

    I'm resisting the temptation to throw in because I believe the exchange was somewhat glorified.

    If a recording of Dr. Feynman speaking about this event or a transcript exists (and where), please point me to it. I only know of one place where  he remembered it . If his actions become clear or new media clarifies potential wrongs, items will be corrected.
    .

    Let me go back to this - if Feynman were indeed a dick in the parking lot, GVN would have written it more descriptively (taking the wire) -- and professionally. The reporter had days to reflect on the event since the paper was a weekly. They published Thursday that week, when Monday it happened, and the actual reporter was also injured.

    We also had printed evidence of the politician asking about shielding that very night George Haley, Roser's connection to Papp.


    Now, Dr. Feynman remembered his actions 20 years after via the skeptic write-up; let's say his recall was a little more "assertive" in his understanding compared to what occurred.

    Perhaps he could have acted professionally with the others back then. No doubt, others also asked questions and pointed things out (not only Feynman). Money is on the line for TRW, Rockwell, maybe even Mattel, etc., so why not inspect what will be invested, ask hard questions, and challenge a little? The claim of Roser/Papp was fantastic.

    My thinking is Dr. Feynman may not have been acting on student information but also in situ with CalTech/JPL, not acting on his own (being there for dick's sake), just like Mr. Hartman was acting for Mattel.

    It was confirmed there is a printed connection with the engine and with CaltechJPL.

    We will be unsure of Dr. Feynman's interference because this was declared an accident. That is, until a tape or an original draft from Ralph Leighton is released (if it exists), or someone in the community can further with what is written with public records.

    Of course, if Feynman is caught futzing with the engine wires while Papp is attempting to right it for protection in a struggle, then we know it was a conspiratorially declared accident, and it must be reported. But the evidence between the papers conflicts, an interview with Infinite magazine conflicts, and now this newspaper, and there is no smoking gun.

    This is an educated guess, but Feynman, with an ego and being a humanist, wanted his Blondlot / Wood moment written after the fact, hence why the story got somewhere... printed posthumously. He may not have suspected its weird cultural connection to toys, newfound technologies, and a future where almost anything can be found worldwide, talking about the very thing 55 years later.

    I come to this conclusion because his first book, transcribed by Mr. Leighton, contains excerpts and musings on the very thing ( Blondlot / Wood ). He may have been fascinated by a public righting by science. I assume Dr. Feynman, also a human, felt horrible about what occurred, as it was unexpected.

  • Supposedly a check for $350,000.00 was hanging in the balance. It was lost as a result of the explosion. That magazine in red at the bottom of this page had at least one story about Papp's Engine. Before you buy into an attempt to change history I suggest you study the history. This site also had a discussion about Papp's Engine, which is why I chose it for my research. There is a lot available on the Internet about events involving Papp and his engine.

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