Brad And Sherry's
Mystery Machine Identified!

By Jeff Rense

Well, the mystery is solved!
(Or 'sol-ved' as Inspector Clouseau would say.)
Some weeks ago, Brad and Sherry Steiger agreed to allow posting of a strange photo of a mysterious machine or device on the Steiger website at The announcement was made during one of Brad's regular guest appearances on the program and an appeal went out for help in trying to identify the device...if it could be identified at all. Webmaster James Neff did a brilliant job of presenting the image including zooming close-up of four key visible sections of is and a colorized version which added startling depth and dimension to it.
Brad received a number of email from people, offering their view as to what the device might be or where it might have come from. But none were correct.
First, let's take a look at the James Neff's colorized version of the mystery photo...

As many of you know, the photo was given to Brad and Sherry by an acquaintance. Reportedly, this 'machine' was unearthed in the Western US...and then re-buried. The source told Brad and Sherry it was understood there had been several of these 'machines' - perhaps six - all buried at the same general location. From the photo, it appears the area is arid and sandy.
Interestingly, it is said there are strange glyphs over much of the object. Here is a photo of a rubbing of a few of these alleged symbols that Brad and Sherry also posted on their site (most people who view these glyphs recognize many of the characters to be arabic)...
The Sleuth Who Solved The Mystery
Regular visitor James Carmody saw the picture and heard Brad issue an appeal for help in trying to identify the 'machine' ... is it a human-made object or is it a piece of equipment from elsewhere...or another time, long ago?
Jim has some brilliant friends in the scientific community and sent the link of the picture to them with the challenge:
"So, you engineering guys, what the hell is this??"
In short order, Jim received the following reply from one of his engineer friends:
To: James Carmody
From: name confidential
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002
Jim -
Below is copied out of a response from a friend of mine who works at one of the national labs. I have asked if there is any more detail info available. Will let you know if I get more.
(here is what the 'friend' said:)
"Well, I just happen to know what this is, I look at it every day. It is part of a failed science project LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Lab) did, called the Magnetic Fusion Project. Your tax payer dollars at work."
He "looks at it every day." he seeing the mystery machine itself? Or, perhaps a photo of it?
Jim took went to the LLNL site and found an entry for 'MFE Magnet' on the Lawrence Livermore Timeline page of past projects from the 1980s.
If you click on 'MFE Magnet', the following remarkable answer to the mystery appears...
MFE Magnet
"The Magnetic Fusion Energy Program's huge Yin-Yang magnet was installed in 1981 to produce the strong magnetic field needed for fusion experiments. The fusion reaction releases a large amount of energy that would be used to heat steam and turn conventional electrical generators."
So, Brad and Sherry's mystery machine was a failed, secret program to develop magnetic fusion as alternative energy technology!
Here is the full page explanation of this formerly secret MFE Magnet project:
Lawrence Livermore Timeline-1980s
MFE Magnet
(Excerpted from: "Swords into Plowshares and Beyond," Science & Technology Review, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, January 2001.)
Another early energy effort was research on magnetic fusion energy. This research had been part of the Laboratory since its founding in 1952 and grew under Director Batzel's directorship. In the magnetic confinement concept, the fuel is trapped in a magnetic force field long enough to achieve fusion. These systems use large electric currents traveling through huge magnet coils to produce the immensely strong magnetic fields needed. The Laboratory experimented with confining the fuel with giant magnets in experiments such as Levitron, Baseball I and II, TMX (Tandem Mirror Experiment), 2XIIB, and MFTF (Mirror Fusion Test Facility), culminating in the MFTF-B, initiated in 1981. The magnet system for MFTF-B was the largest superconducting system ever built. Shortly after the system was completed in 1986, DOE, faced with budget reductions, decided to focus its magnetic fusion energies on a different technology--the tokamak. The Laboratory then became a contributor to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project to design and build the world's first full-scale magnetic fusion reactor.
More recently, Livermore fusion energy scientists are revisiting the spheromak concept. A tokamak's magnetic fields are generated by large, external magnetic coils surrounding a doughnut-shaped reactor, with other magnets in the hole in the donut. In the spheromak configuration, the plasma fuel produces some of its own confining magnetic fields, requiring only an external set of coils and making for a much more compact machine capable of producing a higher-temperature and higher-density plasma.
I received this final comment from James Carmody...
"Apparently, it may have been buried to cover up a multi-billion dollar failure..."
Buried in the Western US. Perhaps with several other prototypes.
So, the mystery is no more. The bizarre 'machine' is a perfect example of an exotic, declassified so-called secret 'black' scientific program.
Fascinating to think about the ramifications had the MFE Magnet project been a success. Magnetic Fusion Energy.
But what about those strange 'glyphs' reportedly scrawled on it? Graffiti of some sort? A prank? Time may tell...
My thanks to Brad and Sherry for releasing their photo for posting.
And to Jim Carmody for solving the enigma.
-- Jeff Rense


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