Below is a proposal drawn up by Robert Thomas on behalf of his friend, collaborator and sometime employer Richard Heene, father of Balloon Boy. Heene was trying to sell a reality science series to the producers of Wife Swap after he appeared on the show.
Of particular note is item 16, proposing an episode buit around a publicity stunt involving a "homemade flying saucer."
ABC Reality Series Proposal
Breakdown of Experiments
1. Why does water go down the drain clockwise in Australia and counter-clockwise in America? We will explain and demonstrate the Coriolis Effect (Coriolis Effect Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_effect) through various experiments with rotating fluids as well as the movement of physical objects. One such physical device that we will build and demonstrate is the Foucault Pendulum (Foucault Pendulum Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foucault_pendulum).
2. Can we intensify a dust devil, using a lawnmower alone? We will attempt to create/amplify various dust devils by way of dragging a group of running lawn mowers over loose topsoil. The hypothesized result of this will be the formation of a dust cloud full of charged particles (the charge is induced when the mower blades collide with the small particles of dust). These charged particles provide the proper conditions for vortices to form.
3. Can we make a dust devil inside of a two-liter bottle? Yes, we can and will create a dust devil inside of a two-liter bottle, with the use of a small Van De Graff generator and various types of charged particles (iron shavings, sand, etc.).
4. Can we make clouds in the back yard, using a 1,000,000 volt Van De Graff Generator? We will lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil and with aid of a powerful Van De Graff Generator (Van De Graff Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_de_Graaff_generator)
5. Rocket Experiments: The kids will each make a highly unusual rocket, and we'll see which one can fly the highest. For example, we will build a spherical rocket out of paper machete and an array of model rocket engines.
6. Ghost Hunting: We will experiment with new methods of detecting Ghosts/Inter-dimensional entities. We will combine a high-powered Laser, a Mirror and a Chaladni Plate (Video about Chaladni Plates and Resonance:
). The Chaladni plate will cause the mirror to resonate, which will in turn, cause the laser to reflect the resonance pattern throughout our immediate environment. With aid of steam/fog (from humidifiers and fog machines), we will be able to create an illuminated grid of bright laser light. We will experiment with the frequency and will utilize various harmonics to investigate the potential of inter-dimensional entities or other bizarre phenomenon.
7. Long Drive: How long can we drive before having to pee? This experiment will be mostly for laughs, but will demonstrate the possibility of solving this widespread issue with the help of a clever invention.
8. Detecting Magnetic Fields in Tornados, Dust Devils, and Hurricanes. We will actively pursue meso-cyclones and will analyze these vortices with various scientific instruments (magnetometer, EMF Receiver, etc).
9. Balloon Launch: Message in a Bottle- Helium 1(normal, consumer grade helium) vs. Helium 3 (Used in weather balloons-they could end up in China!).
10. Homemade Tornado in a glass jar using a welder. We will place a large speaker magnet in a glass jar and will attach positive and negative electrodes in their proper place. We will then fill the jar with saltwater and will apply sufficient electrical current to hopefully induce a vortex in the saltwater with no moving parts.
11. What happens to a house in a 100-mph wind? We will build a scale-model of a real house and will rent a trailer for our truck. We will then tow the house and trailer at 100-mph to see how the structure holds up.
12. Can we successfully videotape the inside of a tornado? We will place a camera in a weighted box made of bulletproof plexi-glass and will place the device in the path of several large tornados. The footage will be nothing short of extraordinary.
13. Motorized Gyroscopic Flying Ball (Magnus Effect).
14. Why do the rocks move at Racetrack Playa? We have soil samples in Colorado that we can experiment with. We will attempt to prove/disprove various theories relating to the phenomena, including Electromagnetic Fields, Vibration and Wind.
15. Can human thought frequencies manipulate the Electricity/Plasma output of a Teslacoil? We will attach an EKG Brainwave Monitoring Device to an amplifier and a Tesla Coil. The individual wearing the EKG device will meditate and attempt to send his/her thoughts into space through the high-frequency Tesla Coil.
16. Can we attract UFO's with a homemade flying saucer? We will modify a weather balloon, so that it resembles a UFO and will electrically charge the skin of the craft (Biefield-Brown Effect). We will capture the footage on film, and will utilize the media as a means with which to make our presence known to the masses. This will not only provide us with incredible footage, but will also generate a tremendous amount of controversy among the public, as well as publicity within the mainstream media. This will be the most significant UFO-related news event to take place since the Roswell Crash of 1947, and the result will be a dramatic increase in local and national awareness about The Heene Family, our Reality Series, as well as the UFO Phenomenon in general.
17. Why do fish swim in perfectly synchronized schools, and does this behavior relate to electromagnetic phenomenon? We will observe schools of fish in a controlled environment, and then will modify the local electromagnetic field to see if their schooling patterns change.
18. Can we make an Antigravity Levitator using poor-man's Liquid Nitrogen? We have already built an array of solenoid coils, which could potentially demonstrate electro-gravitic levitation, when cooled to the proper temperature and fed the proper frequency of direct current. (Video and Explanation of the Device:
19. Can we launch a model rocket into space using a weather balloon and a remote launch pad? The weather balloon and attached rocket (with cameras attached) will ascend to 110,000 feet and will burst at the exact moment that the attached Rocket is launched. Onboard rocket-cameras and a GPS locator will capture the action. (To give you an idea of the incredible view that this experiment will capture, here is a video:
20. Build giant, rotating magnet, to determine if a miniature tornado can be produced with the proper rotational velocity and magnetic flux. We have already successfully carried out and documented this experiment, with fantastic results.
21. Where does the human spirit go at the time of a person's death? At the time of death, humans lose an average of 8-grams. We'll get a terminally ill and willing volunteer, who is ready to depart, and who is willing to provide their passing as a means with which to better understand the human spirit through scientific analysis of Electromagnetic Phenomena.
22. Can we make a battery that charges itself out of rock crystals? (We will be working with John Hutchinson [Hutchinson Effect Explained: http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/Thinktank/8863/HEffect1.html].
23. Can we change the Physical Properties/Levitate/Render Invisible various objects, with the use of high frequency, Electromagnetic Harmonics? (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5722629372257156662).
24. Can we catch fish with a remote controlled boat and attached fishing line? This experiment will be just for laughs, but could prove to be quite successful. (Video of RC Boat Fishing:
25. We will demonstrate what it feels like to be in the eye of a storm, using a semi-clear, round, livestock water tank, and high-speed, rotating donut floor. We will rotate the floor, which has fins attached, and the result will be a massive vortex in the water tank. We will then lower a chair into the middle of the vortex and allow the team to take turns sitting in the middle of the vortex, without getting wet. We will illuminate the water with various LED lights for aesthetic improvement. (Here is a video demonstrating a water vortex. Just imagine one with faster rotation and a chair in the middle:
26. Can we detect magnetic/electrical impulses from the human brain, as we try to read each other's minds? We will experiment with binaural beats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_beats) and attempt to synchronize our brainwave patterns, so that we can try to communicate telepathically with one another. (NewScientist Article on Mind-Reading Headsets: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17009-innovation-mindreading-headsets-will-change-your-brain.html).
27. Can we replicate Benjamin Franklin's Electricity Experiment, by launching a balloon, connected to the ground with a wire and solenoid (remotely controlled for safety) in a lightning storm? Various theories suggest that Franklin never carried out his famous lightning kite experiment, so we will be the first to successfully carry out this experiment and capture it on film for the world to enjoy.
28. Can we illuminate a light bulb and various other electronic devices, by wirelessly transmitting electricity through the earth itself? Nikola Tesla successfully carried out this experiment in Colorado Springs in 1899.
29. Laser Paint Brush: With the clever combination of a video projector, a laptop, and a powerful laser, we will build a laser paintbrush and will paint the side of a dark Colorado mountain. Here is an example of a similar device:
30. Laser signal to the International Space Station: We will contact NASA regarding a controlled experiment with high-powered lasers and the international space station. Basically, the crew of the ISS will be informed that we will be shining a bright green laser at the space station, at nighttime when it passes overhead. The ISS crew will report whether or not the green beam was visible from their orbiting vantage point. The laser we will be using has a range of over 500-miles, so the result has the potential of being successful. This will also be a tremendous opportunity for the kids to talk to NASA astronauts who are actually in space.
31. The Infamous Double Slit Experiment: We will prepare and demonstrate just how strange the quantum world really is. (Here is a video explaining the experiment:
32. Super cooling Experiment: We will create instant ice by super cooling pressurized water down to -6 Fahrenheit. When the water is poured out, it will freeze instantly, an effect that is very entertaining to watch. (Video of the Experiment:
33. Clouds in a Bottle: With nothing more than household materials, we will successfully create clouds in a bottle. (Video of the experiment:
34. Superconductive Levitating Hoverboard: We will build a small Hoverboard out of superconductive ceramic disks and will build a magnetic skate park for the device to levitate over. The model will not be to scale, but will definitely demonstrate the possibilities of this unique technology. (Video of a Superconductive Levitating Train:
35. Diet Coke & Mentos Effect: When Diet Coke and Mentos mix, the result is explosive (and we're not talking about flavor). We will build an array of Mentos Rockets and will launch them in unison. (Video of Diet Coke & Mentos in action:
36. Resonating Corn Starch: When Corn Starch and Water are mixed, the result is a strange substance called Non-Newtonian Fluid (Non-Newtonian Fluid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Newtonian_fluid). This special fluid demonstrates very interesting characteristics when placed in a vibrating medium, such as a speaker. We will prepare non-newtonian fluid and will demonstrate the result of various harmonic frequencies on the substance. We will then add drops of food coloring to demonstrate the fluid motion and fractal forms found within the resonance. (Videos of vibrating Non-Newtonian Fluid:
37. Cymatics: We will demonstrate how various materials react to harmonic tones induced by a Chaladni plate. This experiment will demonstrate how different substances and objects respond to vibration, along with the sacred geometric forms that certain harmonic tones produce within each substance. We will expand upon this concept by adding food coloring to follow the micro-vortices as they transform into larger-scale fractal forms. (Video demonstrating Cymatics:
38. Liquid Magnets: We will demonstrate the process of synthesizing Ferrofluid (Ferrofluid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrofluid) and will then demonstrate how this amazing substance responds to magnetic fields. In order to fully demonstrate the capabilities of this substance, we will build a magnetic sculpture that will fascinate our viewers. (Video of a Ferrofluid Fountain:
39. Levitating Water Fountain: We will build a fountain, which utilizes properly timed strobe lights and falling water, to create the illusion of levitating droplets of water. (Video demonstrating the concept:
40. Diamagnetic Antigravity Chamber: We will build an electromagnetic resonance chamber, which comprises of a concentrated array of highly concentrated electromagnetic waves. These EMF waves levitate diamagnetic objects placed within the chamber. (Videos demonstrating the effect:
41. Magnetic Super Crystals: We will utilize the previously mentioned Diamagnetic Antigravity Chamber to grow crystals in a simulated microgravity environment. We will also diamagnetically levitate a sphere of water and will freeze it in its levitating form. (NewScientist Article About Magnetic Crystal Growth: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12467-magnetic-gravity-trick-grows-perfect-crystals.html).
42. The Weightless Guinea Pig: Scientists have already successfully demonstrated that creatures such as frogs and grasshoppers levitate within a diamagnetic levitation chamber. Thus far, they have yet to levitate a guinea pig. Fortunately for us, we have a cute and willing participant named Gizmo, who has agreed to be the Guinea Pig in this experiment (pun intended). Gizmo will be equipped with a custom space suit (complete with a bubble helmet) and will be the first Guinea Pig in history to experience the feel of a true spacewalk. No animals will be harmed in this experiment, but we can't guarantee that Gizmo will still find her exercise ball entertaining after the fact. (An article about levitating animals: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20031020/ai_n11421813/).
43. Telekinesis-Fact or Fiction? In this experiment, we will attempt to demonstrate the movement of physical objects by way of mind power alone. We will use a multitude of scientific equipment to record and document the data (if any result is successful). We will build a psi-wheel (Info about psi Wheels: http://psiwheelmindpowered.blogspot.com/). , In order to eliminate the risk of wind currents being the cause of any movement. (Video of purported telekinesis being performed:
44. The Power of Steam: This experiment (the Campfire Generator) is going to be a hands-on approach to re-inventing steam-driven technology, so that it can be applied to modern technological applications. In this experiment, we will build a device, which will generate electricity with a campfire and water alone. Normally the two don't mix too well, but this device will be sure to empower (literally) a multitude of outdoor activities.
45. Tesla CD Turbine: In this experiment, we will demonstrate how common household items (such as a cd case) can be utilized to create a powerful turbine. The Tesla CD Turbine is a miniaturized version of the bladeless, centrifugal flow expander, invented by Nikola Tesla. (Tesla Turbine Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_turbine). The Tesla CD Turbine is capable of producing upwards of 18,000 RPM (that's 300-revolutions per second!). This device could easily be used as a method of generating a tremendous amount of electricity, and can be built for very little money. (Video demonstration of a Tesla CD Turbine:
46. Studying Solar Flares and Sunspots: In this experiment, we will utilize special optical experiments and telescopes to observe the sun. We will explain how the sun works, and what it is made of. We will also discuss the potential of a powerful solar flare and how it could affect our electronics here on Earth. (Video clip showing rotating sun and flares:
47. Astronomy Observations: In this experiment, we will observe the heavens through powerful telescopes, and will explain how scientists theorize the universe began, where our solar system is located within the milky way, and what the universe might look like on a much larger scale. (Video demonstrating the true structure of our Universe:
48. The Constellations: In this experiment, we will study the heavens and will outline the main constellations. Once the constellations have been described, we will explain where each name/character came from and the underlying symbolism involved.
49. Does The Moon Have an Atmosphere? In this experiment, we will attempt to prove or disprove the alleged existence of thin clouds above the surface of the moon. We will then explain why only one side of the moon faces the Earth, along with scientific theories behind the creation of our celestial neighbor.
50. The Theory of Everything: In this experiment, we will explain Garrett Lisi's Theory of Everything (Ted Video about The Theory of Everything: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/garrett_lisi_on_his_theory_of_everything.html). We will then attempt to prove/disprove the validity of his theory by studying natural phenomena and applying our observations to the Theory of Everything.
51. The Large Hadron Collider- Atom Smasher, or Black Hole Factory? In this experiment, we will describe the inner workings of CERN Laboratory's Large Hadron Collider. We will explain how the device operates, what it is attempting to discover, and potential catastrophic results of running the colossal 6-billion dollar machine. (Video about the Large Hadron Collider: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/brian_cox_on_cern_s_supercollider.html). (Video describing the potential downfalls of this device:
). We will build a small-scale particle accelerator and will attempt to analyze the influence that such a device has on its surrounding environment (such as the middle of the ring).
52. Bee-on-a-leash: In this experiment, we will capture several bumblebees, and will place them in freezer for 10-minutes. This is not enough time for the bees to die, but will temporarily render them unable to move. During this precious timeframe, when the bees are frozen, we will tie dental floss to them. This floss will act like a leash and will be quite the shock for the bumblebees when the thaw out. This should be a hilarious experiment. (Video of a Bee on a Leash:
* We have plenty of more experiments to offer, but for the time being we wanted to provide you with enough for a calendar year.