After the complete failure of Steorn’s free energy claims over a span of a decade and the wasting of over $25 million USD of investors money he has found a new career. This one the bubble will burst much quicker
Shaun McCarthy, the “Willy Wonka of energy”, has worked on some far-out projects. He was behind the start-up Steorn, which claimed to have invented “free, clean and constant” energy through “a perpetual motion machine”. Very Wonka. McCarthy also worked on developing a mobile phone that did not need to be charged.
Terrific though he believed these innovations to be, they were not commercially viable. Steorn claimed to have raised €23m from investors, but the money was burnt up quickly, and the business went splat in November 2016.
I gather McCarthy has now got a new career as a cryptocurrency trader. Indeed, in a promo for a forthcoming event, he is described as “arguably Ireland’s top cryptotrader”. Given the low-key nature of cryptotraders, and their profits, who are we to argue?
Apparently McCarthy has been trading bitcoin for seven years. Having tried to violate a fundamental law of physics, a bit of bitcoin trading must be a cinch.
Our Original Story from July 2016
At the beginning of this year the great free energy reporter Stuart Campbell predicted I would be made foolish by 4 projects.
- The ELFE free energy flashlight from ADGEX . This failed and no one who received their product had any success. They discounted the lights from $99 to $9 a reflection of their true value of a normal flashlight.
- The Uplug free energy device which never materialized
- The O’Cube from Steorn
- The Gaia Rosch Bubble machine. Latest reports is Gaia can not get it to work and failed to deliver the product. They used up most of the funds from the deposits and no refunds are available.
I am desperately seeking Stuart for an update as his considerable expertise, inside knowledge would help cast some light on these monumental failures.
Update on O’Cube
Steorn, the free-energy company which has raised more than €23 million since it was founded, has told investors it is out of cash and facing wind-up unless it raises yet more money.
From an article in the The Irish Sunday Business Post :http://www.businesspost.ie/free-energy-company-steorn-to-tap-up-investors-again/
Last month, in a letter to shareholders, it told investors that it would be withdrawing from the sale of two consumer products it had launched before Christmas, the no-frills phone called the O-Phone (costing €480) and a USB charger called the O-Cube (costing €1,200). A large proportion of the shipped products didn’t work, according to correspondence seen by The Sunday Business Post. (editors note: their are none known to have worked)
“The company admitted in the letter to shareholders that it “has, again, failed to meet the expectations that we have set with investors and we have, again, failed to effectively communicate with our investors”. Management confessed in the letter that Steorn was “a prospect that has been oversold to its investors. . . based on a naive optimism on time frames for tasks to be completed”. A more realistic time-frame for creating its battery technology would be seven to ten years from now, it told its investors.”
Company has replaced founder Shaun McCarthy as chief executive
From “Dispatches from the Future”:
I could write an article but Michael Ferrier is a far better wordsmith than I could ever dream of being. My own personnel viewpoint is not far from his.
There are no known reports of shipped products that did work. The OPhones given to Steorn’s friends Rachel Wallace and Jennifer Roe were known to have failed, before reports on their progress abruptly ended. The OCube tested by Frank Acland failed, as did the OPhone internals sent to him after that. There were occasional comments left on Steorn’s Facebook page purporting to be from users whose products failed or who asked for a refund. The closest thing to a positive review of a Steorn product came before they began to ship, when Steorn investor Pat Corbett stated that an OCube had charged his phone repeatedly over the course of a month.
hese statements essentially put an end to any hope that Steorn will again attempt to ship a product in the near future, if ever. They concede that Steorn has acted in a way that shows incredible incompetence — developing, producing and even shipping a product before testing it well enough to find out that it is deeply flawed and incapable of working as designed in most, if not all, cases. Claiming that it would take seven to ten years to create the technology they were on the verge of shipping six months ago, seems tantamount to saying that they have nothing. By projecting such a long time frame, they may in effect be asking investors to give up on them and let the company fail. The main question that remains unanswered at this point is whether their behavior truly was driven by staggering ineptitude, or if this is just a cover story for the long con that so many of Steorn’s critics believe they’ve been engaging in all these years.
The article goes on to report that Shaun McCarthy is being replaced as CEO by Kilian McGrath, currently chief executive of Liquid Solutions, the e-cigarette company that Steorn had previously revealed that they were working with on an Orbo powered e-cigarette. McCarthy remains with the company as operations officer.
Steorn has also appointed James Meenan, a former vice president with Merrill Lynch, as their investor liason. McGrath and Meenan are expected to meet with shareholders in an attempt to raise the funds that Steorn will need to survive. This step of hiring someone with high level experience in investment banking seems to me to indicate that, despite the stated 7 to 10 year time frame, they may actually be making an honest attempt to raise more money, rather than giving up.
The article also has some interesting, and equally dispiriting, news about Steorn spin-off company HephaHeat. Last we had heard about them, they were said to have signed contracts worth 25 million euros per year with two of the biggest water heater manufacturers in the world. Now, HephaHeat has told its shareholders that “because of our company size we are challenged by [scarce] capital and human resources” and that it remained “dependent on support from its shareholders for its continued existence.” On a positive note, though down a few pegs from their former 25 million euro glory, HephaHeat “has joined up with Sony and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon to launch a sous vide cooker co-designed by Dundon, built to work in conjunction with an app designed by Sony for use on its Xperia phones. The app was launched at the Taste of Ireland food festival earlier this month.” (See 1, 2, neither of which mention HephaHeat.)
In my view, Steorn has long been a fascinating conundrum. They were either incompetent and deluded, nefarious con artists, or inventors of a revolutionary free energy source. None of these explanations seemed to fit all the facts. In the run up to their attempt to ship the OCube, the biggest reason I allowed myself some hope that they had what they said they had was the amount of confidence and reckless abandon with which they were working to bring it to market. If you see a car zooming toward a brick wall in a public performance, you’ve got to believe they’ve tested this car and know something non-obvious about that wall’s weakness, because the alternative is that they’re suicidal.
Then Steorn hit the metaphorical wall, in a spectacular, fiery blaze. The products that they explained as being so simple and reliable in their videos, the products that they paid to have thousands of Orbo powerpacks produced for and at least dozens of aluminum cases — these products turned out to contain increasingly complex multi-tiered setups involving 9 volt batteries and covered in epoxy goop, and they altogether failed to work. Somehow, Steorn had allowed themselves to spend lavish amounts of money designing, producing, promoting, and beginning to ship products that, it appears, were entirely useless. How could this have happened? It’s either a breathtaking degree of incompetence coupled with naive overconfidence, or outright criminal fraud.
At this point, I’m not closed to the possibility that they have something that works, or produces some unusual effect, but with the level of incompetence we’ve witnessed, I think the chance of that is very slim. More likely they’ve been seeing some sort of effect that through a combination of ignorance and starry-eyed optimism, they just don’t understand yet. It may be that one or more people at Steorn are engaging in fraud, but to my eyes it’s not likely that many of them are; there were just too many signs of them putting in an honest, confident effort in their run-up to launch. There are even some signs that strike me as indicating that Shaun McCarthy isn’t involved in fraud here; for example, the way he was forthright, chatty and casually confident on social media right up until around the time Frank Acland’s tests on his second device started failing. Then he disappeared from all social media, both company and personal. I may be wrong, but I interpret that as a sign that he was suddenly taken by surprise by the vast failure unfolding in front of him.
But these are just speculations, informed by what we’ve seen and by my own biases. In truth we still don’t know what’s going on with Steorn. I wonder if anyone does, even among those who work there. All we can do is continue to wait, and it’s looking more likely than ever that this story approaches its end.
Original Story (RG March 2016)
In the words of Gomer Pyle “surprise, surprise,vsurprise” This is just a brief update and some reference sites for those interested in following the O-Cube saga
The good news is they are offering a full refund and or the option of a free Ophone if your prepared to wait another 6 to 8 weeks
I am not so sure the second offer is a good one, given the two test phones failed being tested by Rachel Wallace and Jennifer Roe. Frank Acland also tested the Ophone circuit which also failed along with his O-Cube. To Steorn’ s credit they have been very honest and helpful to Frank. They are also being very open about the problems. The question still has to be asked about the chances of this product becoming a reality given the track record of other Steorn claims in the past. I wish them the best of Irish luck.
The following is a recent letter to customers.
Frank Acland’s Testing
The following link will take you to Frank’s E-Cat world site where he conducted a very public test of the O-Cube and then followed with the testing of the Ophone charging parts
The following site list a lot of data of the testing
This is his latest video report