Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats set his invention on the table, but it was not grand -- just a little silver motor that neither sputtered nor purred.
Yet this little motor, claimed its inventor, runs on water, can power a compact car and will, if anybody gives it a chance, eliminate the world's dependence on oil and reduce air pollution and global warming and, in the end, save consumers millions of dollars and preserve the planet for our children.
NakaMats, who also claims to hold more patents than anyone in history, showed off his latest invention, the engine that runs on water, in Baltimore yesterday during a press conference on the 20th floor of the World Trade Center next to the harbor downtown.
As sunlight splashed blindingly on the water below, NakaMats, 62, a self-proclaimed genius, presented the engine but refused to start it or explain how it works. He deflected questions deftly until, finally, one of his hosts in Baltimore, Bob Hieronimus, stepped forward to say that NakaMats has discovered FTC something that no other scientist in the world knows.
"Water is more than H2O, is what he's saying," pronounced Hieronimus.
"There's something else in water besides H2O," Hieronimus repeated.
4 Neither Hieronimus nor NakaMats would elaborate.
Hieronimus and his wife, Zoh, had invited NakaMats to Maryland after learning that the Japanese Thomas Edison, as NakaMats is called, had "something to offer the world," Bob Hieronimus said.
Bob Hieronimus hosts a radio talk show on the American Radio Networks, which is not broadcast on any station in Maryland, that explores such subjects as the occult, UFOs and the survival of civilization. Zoh Meyerhoff Hieronimus is founder and executive director of the Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center, an holistic health-care center in Baltimore.
In the past several days they have introduced NakaMats to business people, scientists, university officials and government leaders around the state, hoping to put together a team that will work with the inventor on marketing his engine.
Yesterday, at the World Trade Center, they met with J. Randall Evans, secretary of the state Department of Economic and Employment Development. After presenting NakaMats with a proclamation signed by Gov. William Donald Schaefer designating yesterday "Dr. NakaMats Day," Evans said he was skeptical about the water-powered engine.
NakaMats refused to explain or demonstrate his engine, a silver cylinder 6 inches high that weighs 4 1/2 pounds, for fear of giving away the secrets behind its 19-year development, the inventor said. He added that he had no plans to patent it for the same reasons.
Evans said that without a patent NakaMats would have trouble attracting investors. But still, Evans said, it had been an honor meeting "a legend."
NakaMats claims to hold 2,360 patents, more than anyone else, including one for the floppy disk for computers. However, Brian Doyle, an IBM spokesman at corporate headquarters in New York, said yesterday that two employees of IBM had invented the floppy disk, and that in 1972 a patent for the floppy disk had been issued to IBM.
"We have licensed patents from him," Doyle said of NakaMats. "But we invented the floppy disk. I think I can say that unequivocally."
NakaMats, an author who has received many awards and been featured on TV shows and in business magazines, claims also to have invented the digital watch, foods that stimulate the brain, a household pump that nearly every Japanese family owns, a putter that improves a golfer's score and the Cerebrex chair, which supposedly enhances everything from memory to creativity.
The engine that runs on water, he said, could be his greatest invention yet. But yesterday, the little motor to save the world, so close to the harbor, so close even to a drinking fountain, sat idle for want of fuel.