History of John Andrews Water into Gasoline Mystery Part 2

About the mystery and history of John Andrew's amazing invention which converted water into a usable fuel.


A report of Andrews's convincing demonstration was sent to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels in Washington, D.C. Daniels wanted to see more, so he ordered further tests to be viewed by himself and a board of scientists and engineers. But by this time, Andrews had disappeared. According to one source, he had gone to Portugal to visit his birthplace; another source suggested he might be in England; still a third attributed his disappearance to an uneasiness about possible trouble with the government over the experiments. Naval intelligence reportedly tracked down numerous leads in search of the elusive Andrews; their only discovery was that the chemicals he had purchased were ordinary ones a high school student might use in a combustion experiment. Shortly after the out break of W.W. II, when the U.S. was confronted with a wartime fuel shortage, the search for Andrews was renewed, but it was again dropped after fruitless inquiries in Andrews's hometown of McKeesport.

However, James L. Kilgallen, correspondent for the International News Service, claimed to have had no such difficulty in locating the inventor. His curiosity was aroused in 1942 by a newspaper reference to navy reports of the "mysterious inventor" who had materialized during W.W. I with a water fuel and then suddenly disappeared. He set out to find Andrews, which he managed to do "without much trouble." The 55-year-old Andrews was living on a 145-acre farm in Roberts Hollow, Pa., with his wife and daughter. Andrews confirmed having given the 1916 demonstrations at the Navy yard but denied the newspaper story that he had gone to Washington, where the government agreed to his demand of $2 million for his process. "They didn't offer a penny and I didn't ask a penny," Kilgallen quoted him as saying. Andrews revealed in this interview that he did travel to England in 1919 to "do some business with his process," but was unsuccessful. He shelved the project and forgot the formula, but he was close to having it worked out again at the time of the interview, and he expressed willingness to pursue it if the government was still interested. He was also working on other projects in his laboratory, including a synthetic rubber that he would put up against "those of any research laboratory in the country." "I am working to help the government in every way possible," he said. "And I don't give a rap if I get a cent out of it."

Andrews never did make any money from his invention, and he was never again approached by the navy-or at least not officially. He died in 1953, at age 67, apparently without having revealed the secret of his process to anyone. And so the questions remain: what did he use to convert water into fuel? What was in the satchel that he took with him to the tests? What was the mysterious green fluid in the phial? Why was the navy never able to locate him? Was he a fraud, or was he a genius whose secret was either lost because of a navy foul-up and his own disinterest, or carefully suppressed by the military? Andrews and his secret remain an enigma, one worth exploring in this age of dwindling resources.

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