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Obituaries:Howard Johnson

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Howard Johnson in ~2006
Howard Johnson in ~2006

Howard Johnson of Blacksburg, Virginia passed away on the evening of Jan. 2, 2008. He was one of the most famous names in the field of Magnet Motor research, in which magnets are the only motive force.

Our condolences go to his family.

If you have more info, please feel free to post it here.


Obituary Links


  • Who, or what company is carrying forward his research on magnet motors?
  • When will the episode of Energy From The Vacuum - which features Howard Johnson, be released? ( "With the camera running, legendary magnets guru Howard Johnson, the unofficial “father of spintronics,? reminisces in Virginia about his life's work researching pure magnetic motors, prior to giving us a conducted tour of his workshop and his inventions." (from EnergyFromTheVacuum) )
    • January 10th 2008 Anthony Craddock announces: "An extended interview with Howard, and a conducted tour of his Lab, will be featured in an upcoming "Energy from the Vacuum"TM Episode. The DVD should be released within a month or so."
      • Energy From The Vacuum Science Series - Part 4- Howard Johnson - Trailer on YouTube [1]


Technical Secrets

On Jan. 8, 2008, ALF wrote:

This is a tremendous loss. I was not able to meet with him before he passed away. I do not know who is continuing this work. He had said to me back in October of 2007, "Al, I don't think the world is quite ready for this."

He left me with some technical secrets, and I hope to find the notes soon. But he said not to worry about it because "if people would simply read the 'instructions..." and then chuckled. I guess it's because there we numerous attempts to duplicate the motor which was actually sorely described in his patent, yet nobody seemd to be able to apply the basic principles of operation etc. It all seemed very second nature to him and he could not understand (I think) that many people were not well versed on magnetic theory.

Also I might mention that he pretty much set this work aside for more important endeavors becuase all the people who ever approached him were simply trying to capitalize on the technology. It was all greed driven in his eyes and he was looking for someone who actually wanted to help make the world a better place. I think that when he said "the world isn't ready..." is that he meant that people were only wanting to bleed it dry.

He was prepared to assist a sincere person but we never seemed to be able to find one. But he said once: "Someone will figure it out and when they do, they will unlock the secret of the snowflake. This is supposed to be a clue... hint hint."

Secret of Snowflake

On Jan. 9, 2009, Esaruoho wrote:

The mention to secret of snowflake can be traced from the REXResearch article on Howard Johnson:

So, in 1942 using the Bohr model of the atom, and knowing that unpaired electron spins created a permanent magnet dipole, I kept wondering why we couldn't use these fields to drive something. I was sure that the magnetic effect of the spins was similar enough to the field of a current in a wire to do the same thing. I had no knowledge of electron spins stopping and knew no method that I could exert to stop them, so I decided to try to work out a method to use them.

((segments skipped, time passes))

"It was about this time that I mentioned the fact that just as I believed electron spins made permanent magnets, I also believed that they were responsible for the 60° angles in the structure of snowflakes giving the six-spoked wheel, the six-sided spokes, etc. The dean of the school where I was teaching said, "Maybe so" and ask me if I knew that snowflakes were mentioned in the Bible as being important. I told him, "No, I didn't know that," but I looked it up. It said: "Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail? Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war."
"My comment was, "Well, maybe this is more important than I thought." So I went ahead and worked on it another ten years.
"I went to the Library of Congress and looked up snowflakes. I found a wonderful book there by Dr. Bentley of New Hampshire. He has spend many years making these studies, and he had learned a lot, as well as turning out one of the world's most beautiful books. He had found that snowflakes have gas pockets oriented on 60° angles and that the gas has a higher percentage of oxygen than air. That's one reason why snow water rusts so well. This higher concentration of oxygen also interested me because oxygen is more attracted to a magnetic field than other gases."

Energy From The Vacuum Series

On Jan. 10, 2008, Anthony Craddock wrote:

We are saddened to announce the passing of Magnets pioneer Howard Johnson on 3rd January, 2008, aged 88.

A retrospective can be seen at

An extended interview with Howard, and a conducted tour of his Lab, will be featured in an upcoming "Energy from the Vacuum"TM Episode. The DVD should be released within a month or so.

On March 16th, 2008, Esa Ruoho wrote:

Tom Bearden

I personally saw and closely examined one demonstration rotary Johnson permanent magnet motor some years ago, and toyed with it for about one hour. It would definitely self- rotate as long as you wished to permit it to turn. It was not a powerful device at all, but just a small laboratory "proof of principle" prototype. It had cost Johnson an enormous amount of time, labor, and optimization to get the critical adjustment required of his two magnet assemblies. But the device had no power source other than the permanent magnet assemblies themselves. Johnson's nonlinear rotor and stator magnets interacted with each other in a manner to break local symmetry. So his machine was an open system and therefore a permissible overunity device; it was not a perpetuum mobile. (from old article)

Howard Johnson Features

At PESWiki

Other Sites

  • Howard Johnson - feature at
  • "An extended interview with Howard, and a conducted tour of his Lab, will be featured in an upcoming "Energy from the Vacuum"TM [number 3] Episode. The DVD should be released within a month or so." (Tony Craddock; Jan. 10 2008)
  • The Secret World of Magnets - Discovering Magnetism with Howard Johnson; originally published in 1970; 54 color pages.


Two people who were close to Mr. Johnson recently are Tom Bearden and Alan L. Francoeur <al.f {at}>, both of whom allegedly witnessed at least one of Johnson's motors in operation.

See also

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- PESWiki home page

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