(Died: April 13, 1989)
Independent Researcher, Inventor
Interests: Noble Gas, New Energy Age: 55
Joseph / Josef Papp was an engineer from Tatabanya, Hungary, who was awarded U.S. patents related to the development of an engine, and also claimed to have invented a jet submarine.
On August 11, 1966, a fishing boat off Brest, France spotted someone floating in the water, clutching an inflatable life raft. They fished him out and found that he was dressed like a pilot with a flight helmet and goggles. He was barely coherent and badly bruised. When questioned, he identified himself as Canadian Josef Papp and claimed to have just bailed out from a submarine. When asked where the crew was, he replied that he was alone in his submarine and had just crossed the Atlantic in 13 hours.
Papp, a Hungarian-Canadian engineer, claimed to have built a special high-speed submarine in his garage that was propelled by a special underwater jet engine. However, on his maiden voyage across the Atlantic he encountered a stability problem and the submarine sank. The media ridiculed him, calling him a madman, a liar and a fraud. He protested against these accusations and even wrote a book entitled The Fastest Submarine, which described the design process, construction and the voyage in his own words. What the book does not describe is how the submarine in question worked. Nor did Papp ever reveal this secret or attempt to prove that it could indeed work. The media found it all too convenient that the submarine had sunk, that two plane tickets to and from France had been found in his pocket, and a man resembling him had been seen boarding a plane to France some hours earlier. So the story of Josef Papp fell into relative obscurity, as did his book. The submarine was never found.
Papp's alleged submarine was built as an elongated cone, looking like a long needle with a cylindrical engine compartment in the rear. The pilot sat nearly flat on his back in front of this compartment, with a small periscope built into the hatch. Papp's theory was that the sleek shape would create a sheath of air around the submarine, like a supercavitating torpedo, allowing it to reach 480 km/h (300 mph), which he claims it did.
The engine was supposed to run off of very little fuel. Papp was notoriously paranoid, keeping his workshop under lock and key and covering every component in plaster to stop people from taking photographs. As a result the media claimed that his submarine was made of papier-m?ch?.
However impressive the photographs of his "submarine" may have been, David Ansley in the San Jose Mercury News reported that "The London Daily Mirror said Papp admitted it was a stunt, that he couldn't bear to admit to his friends that the submarine wouldn't work."
The Papp Engine
Aside from the submarine debacle, his primary claimed accomplishment was the development of an engine that ran off a mixture of noble gases consisting essentially of an inert gas mixture of helium, neon, xenon, krypton and argon, with argon constituting approximately 17% of the mixture by volume.
Papp was issued several U.S. patents for these inventions, including his noble gas fuel mixture. The existence of these patents appears to contradict claims that Papp took his "secret" fuel mixture to his grave.
The engine continues to be considered by many scientists as a hoax. Papp's poor physics theoretic background is demonstrated in the abstracts of the patents which have been criticized by Richard Feynman. Mr. Papp presented to an audience, including Feynman, an ill-fated demonstration in 1966, in which his engine exploded, killing one man and seriously injuring two others.
Feynman's conclusion was that Papp was a fraudster and the explosion an attempt by Papp to avoid discovery. After the accident, Caltech (Feynman's employer at the time) chose an out of court settlement of a suit brought by Papp against Feynman. The police investigation following the accident showed no wrong doing on the part of Papp, such as explosives being preplanted in or near the engine.
A company called Rohner Group LLC claims to have rebuilt the Papp engine. Robert Rohner of Rohner Group LLC gave a live demonstration July 27 2012 at TeslaTech conference.
- "Method and Means of Converting Atomic Energy inot Utilizable Kinetic Energy," USP #3,670,494 (1972).
- "Inert Gas Fuel, Fuel Preparation Apparatus and Systen for Extracting Useful Work from the Fuel," US #4,428,193 (1984). [Noble Gas Engine]