(Keely’s) revolutionary pioneering work has yet to be equaled or even understood by modern science. Dale Pond[i]

Dawn Stranges PhD


By Jeane Manning               


The story of John Ernst Worrell Keely stretches our boundaries, our willingness to admit even considering such a radical saga. He was a musician and carpenter who worked with sound and other forms of vibration to set machines into motion. He reportedly performed feats that twentieth century science is still unable to do.

For instance, Keely researcher Dale Pond learned that an apprentice spent six months with Keely learning how to build a motor. “Are you ready to run it?” Keely asked after the final adjustments were made. “Then go ahead and turn it on.”

The apprentice flipped the switch, but nothing happened. Keely walked over and put his hand on the fellow’s shoulder, and the motor started.

A motor built to respond to a specific individual’s touch? That was only one of the accomplishments attributed to Keely by writers of his day and historians.

His claims ranged far from what is acceptable in highly educated circles today. As a result, unscientific skeptics—those try to debunk without deeply investigating—make a joke of the nineteenth century inventor who may have been far ahead of both his era and ours.

However, people who really dig into his work say his understandings could change the world as we know it, when people learn to duplicate Keely’s discoveries and put them to practical use. And you don’t need to be an engineer or mathematician to get a sense of his basic principles.[ii]

We suspect that human society must mature first, and Keely’s insights such as the mind-matter connection could help.

Another reason to point you toward the Keely saga is that today’s experimenters do cite Keely’s works. Some independent scientists recognize that modern developments in fields such as quantum physics, acoustic levitation and ultrasonics vindicate Keely.[iii]

More importantly, his discoveries give humankind a glimpse of what is possible for a higher civilization. Keely’s body of knowledge is called the science of sympathetic vibrations. If you’ve seen a certain high school physics demonstration, you have seen sympathetic vibrations. It’s simple. Strike one of two tuning forks made for the same pitch, and the other vibrates.

On an esoteric level, Dale Pond says love and sympathetic vibrations are synonymous. He defines sympathetic vibrations as a common attunement, being in sympathy and sensing what is done to the other.Famous philosopher Rudolf Steiner predicted in 1913 that the science of the future will be based on sympathetic vibrations.

The late Jerry Decker’s website Keelynet.com stands as one source of research articles. Decker and fellow experimenters concluded that Keely had advanced beyond even modern physics. Unfortunately, Keely cheated on some of his demonstrations in order to raise money for his ever more intense researches, said Decker.

John Keely never said he would build a perpetual motion machine. Decker pointed out that Keely hotly denied having promised perpetual motion. Keely’s claim instead was that he could tap energy from the “interstitial regions of molecules and atoms.” Keely was not meaning atomic fission or fusion. Decker commented that “those of us who stay abreast of newer discoveries clearly recognize zero point energy and the tachyon field as being synonymous with (Keely’s references to) etheric force and ether.”

Keely further said he tapped energy from different levels—molecules, atoms or the ether. Each level offered more powerful energy, a higher quality, than the previous as the frequencies became higher.

Conventional atomic physics takes the sledgehammer approach—slam an atom with energy, break it, and see what is in it. This is the opposite of Keely’s approach.

He saw the atom as being like an orchestra, an assortment of vibrating parts producing various tones. This is now standard knowledge, but it was a revolutionary idea in Keely’s day. What set Keely apart was his ability to act as the conductor of this atomic orchestra; he could get the atom to do his bidding.

Dale Pond says that Keely discovered how to bring two vibrations together so that they formed a third, different vibration.

Pond gives an analogy. An opera singer shattering a wineglass with her voice represents the conventional sledgehammer approach. In contrast, Keely’s approach would be to melt and reshape the wineglass by adding a tiny amount of energy to just the right tone.

Clara: Keely’s benefactor

Dale Pond was the speaker at a Swiss Association for Free Energy conference in 1989 who introduced me to Keely’s works. Five years earlier he had dedicated his life to uncovering and understanding Keely’s concepts and making them available to everyone.

The aspect that first intrigued me was the story of a dignified nineteenth-century woman, a wealthy widow who eventually became Keely’s financial backer and biographer.Clara Bloomfield Moore intuitively understood Keely’s concepts, and she explains what Sympathetic Vibratory Physics means, in language for non-scientists.

Dale Pond quotes her, “This subject is vast, yet it is simplicity itself. Because as you will see, it mimics nature to a degree never before thought possible. Nature is simple, uncomplicated and straightforward…”

John W. Keely’s life story, however, is not simple and uncomplicated.

Keely: highlights

His life (1837-1898) predated and overlapped Nikola Tesla’s.

Musically sensitive and intuitive, Keely discovered by experimenting. His background allowed him to craft machines similar to musical instruments. As in the building of a violin, the machines were built to respond to tones that are in harmony, not conflicting.

In one of his inventions he freed the energy within water in a manner similar to work being done by today’s researchers, in which tiny bubbles are created in water by sound waves and energy is released when the bubbles implode.

Observers saw an engine run on the energy freed by this device, which Keely called his Liberator. One researcher told me that when John Keely built what he called a “hydro vacuo engine” with pulsating bulbs, it was probably based on the water hammer effect, the loud knocking sound heard in old plumbing pipes, before water hammer was officially recognized.

Our forthcoming book Hidden Energy reveals what that researcher believes may have been happening in the water: creation of clusters of electric charge whose actions tap into universal energy.[iv]

Keely’s machines depended a great deal on what he called the vibration tones of the builder—the person’s breathing and brainwave rhythms. It was as if a violin could only be played by the person who made it.

Engineering his machines was not a simple matter of tuning electrical coils; the machines were much more sensitive.

Although he reached an advanced understanding of the science of vibrations, even Keely did not fully understand why his inventions worked. He also failed to develop machines that other people could operate.

Troubles begin when money walks in

Speculators formed a company and pressured Keely for quick results so that they could make bundles of money. They squeezed him financially and psychologically.

The history of the Keely Motor Company is a main reason why Keely was considered a fraud.

Keely began experimenting with vibrations and energy in the early 1870s. By 1874, he had gained some mastery over a force which he called the ether, but he had run out of money. Acquaintances offered to organize a company so that Keely would have the funds to develop an engine.

Financiers unfortunately expected immediate success.

Years rolled by without Keely being able to produce a reliable motor, while his business partners manipulated and sold stocks. In 1879, the company faced bankruptcy. Keely consented to a complicated consolidation plan, assigning two other inventions to the company in return for a fraction of the stock and a small amount of cash.

Three years later, some stockholders sued Keely for not fulfilling the contract. One stockholder who was not involved in the suit wrote a letter to the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin defending Keely. The stockholder said the money all stockholders had invested went not to Keely and his work, but instead dishonest promoters within the company had sold stocks and pocketed the proceeds.

This view was echoed by Clara Bloomfield Moore. She wrote that the business plan was prepared by schemers, and that public statements that Mr. Keely has been supplied with large amounts of money from the company were untrue.

Despite this support, the Keely Motor Company fiasco sent the inventor to prison briefly in 1888. “Mr. Keely is his own worst enemy,” wrote Moore. “When suspected of fraud, he acts as if he were a fraud.”

She was referring to an emotional outburst in which Keely destroyed instruments that it had taken him years to make. Moore said that Keely did this because he could not handle the insulting suspicions of arrogant skeptics, but his behavior resulted in the suspicion that his instruments are only devices by which he deceives his patrons. She knew otherwise.

In 1890, a publication called New York Truth seemed to reflect the opinion of the time. “While Keely was hampered by mere tradesmen…more anxious for dividends than discoveries, he could do little save turn showman and exhibit partial control of the harmonies of nature.”

Keely discovered more than forty of what he called fundamental laws of nature, Pond tells us. Keely also created frequencies at an extremely high range, and he worked in the fields of acoustical motors, ultrasonics, and control of extreme pressures and vacuums. Remember, his work was done in the nineteenth century!

Debunkers don’t dig deep

Debunkers thrive on the Keely story, amusing their readers with his extraordinary claims and the unusual names of his inventions—Disintegrator, Sympathetic Transmitter, Vibratory Accumulator, Tubular Resonator…

His critics perpetuate an error claiming that hydraulics or compressed air powered Keely’s exotic inventions. They base their story on the fact that, after Keely’s death, excavators found a large hollow steel ball underneath the floorboards of his laboratory.

Jerry Decker explained that the big sphere was a discarded piece of equipment from Keely’s early experiments.

“He had advanced far beyond requiring a storage device for the etheric vapor (that powered his strange devices) and now generated it on the spot instead of requiring an accumulator.”

Decker and Pond each wanted to duplicate Keely’s demonstrations, but found that much of the information had been lost or destroyed. They studied what remained and concluded that portrayals of Keely as a con man are mostly erroneous.

And some of Keely’s demonstrations were copied by Nikola Tesla using electric currents instead of acoustics

Decker said detractors fail to recognize that:

-Keely’s claim of disintegrating mass with standing waves is now a commercial process.

-Keely’s production of light in water is now an accepted part of science called sonoluminescence.

-Keely pioneered acoustic levitation—using sound waves to lift something. That effect has been verified since then by NASA and other scientists. “Though Keely went far beyond this brute force technique,” Decker noted.

-Keely reported using geometries that intensify sound pressures without adding more energy. Decker said the company MacroSonics patented and uses that technique.

-Keely found that cold temperatures can accompany certain sets of vibration. That discovery is now patented as an acoustic refrigeration and cooling system, Decker reported.

-Keely said sound can be used to heal the body. He had further observations about restrictions in the brain cutting back the energy of nerves and resulting in physical problems. When medical researchers do more experiments in this area, Decker predicted, they will learn to work on the cause rather than just its effects.

-Keely developed complete systems, not just isolated devices. The extremely sensitive tuning of his devices acted to amplify the energy of the operator.

“He found a definite mind/matter link, which was a major reason he could not release it to the public,” said the late Jerry Decker.[v]

Deeper inquiry

We want to encourage learners to explore further than this brief article.We believe any intelligent person could benefit from Keely’s understanding of the subtle nature of vibration, cycles and rhythms—and of relations between the worlds of matter and of mind.

Theo Paijmans of the Netherlands wrote a biography, Free Energy Pioneer: John Worrell Keely.[vi]

Dale Pond’s books, website svp.com, and Pond Science Institute in Colorado are the go-to source of Sympathetic Vibratory Physics information, as well as its tie-in with Nikola Tesla’s work and other wisdom.[vii]

[i]Pond, Dale, The Physics of Love: The Ultimate Universal Laws, The Message Company, Santa Fe NM, 1996 p.1


[iii]Pond, Dale, The Physics of Love: The Ultimate Universal Laws, The Message Company, Santa Fe NM, 1996 p.1

[iv]Moray King interviewed by Jeane about his book Water: The Key to New Energy. 

[v]Decker, Jerry, Vanguard notes, Keelynet.com. Jeane no longer has the URL specifying the location of this note.

[vi]Paijmans, Theo, Free Energy Pioneer: John Worrell Keely, Illuminet Press, 1998.