Lack of energy stifles invention
IT WAS the new energy machine set to change the world and 100 people turned up to Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club to see how it worked.
The machine's inventor, Italian physicist Andrea Rossi, was scheduled to explain the process to the eager crowd from the other side of the world via Skype on Friday night.
But a "technological mishap" brought it all unstuck - Mr Rossi never rang.
Meeting organiser and Byron New Energy Charitable Trust founder Sol Millin didn't call the scientist because, he said, Mr Rossi was a busy man and he did not want to disturb him.
"He was waiting 12 hours before he should have been," Mr Millin said yesterday. "He stayed up for an hour awaiting the call but he ended up going to bed."
Mr Rossi's invention supposedly uses a process known as cold fusion to create large amounts of energy from almost nothing. Mr Millin describes it as "the most important discovery of our time".
"I think it's about as important as when we found fire," Mr Millin said.
Dick Smith had been so interested in the claims that he sent a scientific advisor, Ian Bryce, to assess them on Friday night.
Mr Smith was going to donate $200,000 if the presenters could convince the sceptical Mr Bryce that the machine worked.
The Sunday press were similarly unimpressed, and quoted Mr Smith saying, after the presentation, he was "suspicious" and intended to keep his money in the bank.
Mr Millin yesterday remained adamant the machine worked and claimed he and Mr Rossi were portrayed unfairly.