Starlite, GINGER & Indestructible Materials

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Anonymous

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Indestructible Materials - Starlite

I've been on the trail of a follow-up to this story without success, so I hope some of you can help me.

I recall several years ago there was a national newspaper story and documentary (maybe QED/Horizon episode) about a man who used to work as a barber. And somehow in his spare time, using amongst other things common haircare products, he created an "indestructible" material, which he christened "Starlight" (or "Starlite").
The inventor was very secretive about the formula for the material, and was extremely wary of big corporations taking it away from him despite several approaches. I recall some of the material was also subjected to a lab test in the documentary, and one of the scientists suggested it was a "smart" material, that somehow reacts against different stresses (heat, pressure .etc.) in different ways which gave it its indestructible properties.

Since then, I've heard nothing. Is the formula still under lock and key? Has the inventor taken the secret to the grave? Did a corporation finally get access to its secrets? Or was the whole thing an elaborate hoax which even the media succumbed to?

I'd be grateful to anyone who can shed any light on this.
 
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Anonymous

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Not sure if this is the same thing, but about 4 years ago I saw a documentary about an American guy who'd invented a new type of plastic, which was almost indestructible. He took it to a lab where it was held in the jet of a rocket and it emerged none the worse for wear. It was also incredibly durable (for a plastic), and harder than steel. Intriguingly, the guy said that the reason the big corporations / NASA etc. would never make anything that strong was that they had got some of the fundamental assumptions of chemistry wrong. He didn't say exactly how or what (possibly understandably) but he did say he had received death threats from a number of well-known organisations. I've often wondered what happened to this guy, but like you, DD, I've not heard of him since.
 

chickentoast

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Here's a tiny bit of info...

I'd forgotten about this. It had a rather brief hype, not anywhere near the level of GINGER, but it really interested me at the time. How could a coating of various relatively common houshold materials protect an egg from burning uder a welding torch?

I did a quick google search for "starlite and polymer" which resulted in this page:

http://www.charm.net/~dmg/mysteries/mystery1.html

It covers material from 1993 to 1997, nothing current. A further search using 'starlite and "Maurice Ward"' turned up a few other not so current pieces along the same lines, including this one:

http://www.alternativescience.com/flame-proof.htm

I have no idea what has become of this material. However, it seems that Mr. Ward was an avid harness racer in the UK during the late 90's, perhaps he's still doing that at least?

~c_toast
 
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Anonymous

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That's the guy. Sounds like he's either very rich now or still negotiating.
I recall seeing the programme that Mr. B also refers to - does Mr. Toast's post confirm we're thinking of the same thing?

And what was GINGER? I'd be interested to know.

Thanks guys.
 

chickentoast

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re: GINGER

GINGER is the code name for the sooper-dooper double extra mystery project in development by inventor Dean Kamen. I think there's a thread about it on one of the boards here. There was loads of hype on it about six months to a year ago - much speculation as to what GINGER could be, since Kamen has invented some really cool stuff in the past, including the stair climbing wheelchair that uses (I think) a gyroscpic balancing system. The what, why and how of GINGER should be out next year I believe. According to Kamen, GINGER will change the World.

By the way, it's Ms. Toast (unless you know something I don't!) :)
 
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Anonymous

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Ooops! :eek:
My apologies Ms. Toast.

I think I have heard of the GINGER thing now you mention it, only I've never heard it given that name. The BBC news site theorised that it's some kind of self-balancing super-scooter that would "revolutionise urban planning."

Or it could be another Sinclair C5.
 

_schnor

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Yes, I saw leaked pictures of that scooter, it's basically a big ball with a small platform around the middle that you stand on, with an engine at the back (as a counter balance I assumed) and you steer with a massive <struglging to find the right word> erm, pole that you steer with. How the hell it would revolutionise the planet is anyones guess :confused:

Indeed, various physicists reaconed you couldn't even drive/ride it, because in order for it to more forwards, it would have to rotate very quickly to balance out.

Anyone else remember that Indian chap a few years back who claimed he'd invented a new, cleaner, more efficient form of pertrol using (Colonel Sanders style) various secret herbs and spices? He seems to have "disappeared" too.
 

Breakfastologist

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Thing is, Dean Kamen has invented some awesome stuff, so I would be much more inclined to trust his view that an invention of his will change the world than most people who would make similar claims.

He may have lost the plot, but if he hasn't...
 

TheHoodedClaw2

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Wouldn't hold my breath for GINGER to be that earth-shattering. Dean Kamen is a very clever guy, but his genius is akin to that of the dreaded Gates. Adaption, promotion, marketing. Hey, but at least one of my relatives has a much more comfortable (and hopefully prolonged) life due to one of Dean's inventions.

Now if GINGER was going to be a zero-point warp-enabled time-machine/teleport utility belt with built-in video-conferencing infra-goggles, then that would be worth the hype.

But I'm thinking Sinclair C5.

(and I'm claiming the record for the sentence with the most hyphens - ever!!)
 
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Anonymous

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I got your answer

I remember seeing this on the news a few years ago. Since that time, I have asked people about it and they would look at me like I'm crazy. Since I had forgotten the guys name, (Maurice Ward) and the substance, (Starlite) I wasn't having any success googling any information about it. I was beginning to think I dreamed it all up. However, a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a website that was keeping updates on this guy and his substance. The website is: http://www.charm.net/~dmg/mysteries/mystery1.html.

Some of the things done using the substance just seems improbable to me now. Remember the egg that was coated with the Starlite and held up to a torch for a couple of minutes? The egg was then cracked and there it was, raw as if heat had never touched it. This substance would not only be incredibly heat resistant, but its insulating properties would be phenominal. A substance that amazing couldn't be bought out by any company. It would be like an abacus manufacturer giving Microsoft hush money, so that it could continue making abacus'
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for everyone's help on this, though it seems that more recent information than 1997 isn't readily available. For such a potentially beneficial substance to remain under wraps seems to be a terrible waste, though something must have happened in the last four years...?
 

harlequin2005

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From memory, two people know how to make Starlite, Maurice Ward, and hid daughter. On Horizon (Nova) years ago, he was interviewed about Starlite, with his daughter. He was refusing to patent it because then he would have to release the formula into the public domain. Hence nothing moving since. His daughter however, when not being humiliated, basically said that as far as she was concerned, she'd sell the recipe and head somewhere warm...

8¬)
 
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Anonymous

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GINGER

I would just like to add that the thing about the souped-up scooter was just idle speculation on the part of some news sources. They atttempted to extrapolate what Ginger might be based on his last big invention..the wheelchair thing.

If I recall correctly, the original comment about GINGER changing urban planning came from Steve Jobs or one of the other big money guys who were let in on the secret in order to solicit investment dollars for development, and his comment was that GINGER was going to be so revolutionary that people would 'move to be in a city that offered it'..not that they would plan cities around it...although either statement tells you pretty much nothing.
 
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Anonymous

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Dont no anythink about this starlight thinge but i just got emailed information about a smart like material that reacts against different stresses etc. All the information should be available and on the web soon:

Do you believe in the events that happened at Roswell in 1947?

The time has come to reveal one of the most important UFO related revelations in recent history. You are about to learn about a US Government Project where science-fiction becomes science fact!

UFO Website Cosmic Conspiracies has uncovered proof that the US Military are using back-engineered flexible 3d morphing metals, similar to those described from the Roswell crash. Over the coming weeks, starting from today, we will be releasing government documents, including pictures and videos of this material.

Colonel Philip J. Corso. who was said to have witnessed the material whilst in charge of the Foreign Technology desk in the US Army's Research and Development division at the Pentagon said in his book 'The day before Roswell'....
Quote: “An unknown quantity of very small to hand-sized pieces of a very thin and very light “metal” that displayed both solid and “fluid” qualities. The colour of dull aluminium, a piece of it could be wadded up like a ball in one’s hand [without any sensation of weight] and, when placed on a flat surface, it unfurled [“flowed like water”] to its original flat, seamless shape without a mark on it. Also extremely tough, it could not be cut, scratched or burned.

This description fits very closely to evidence that our investigations have uncovered. The US Government, along with such establishments as NASA, MOOG, M.I.T. and several top US Universities are researching what is termed as 'smart materials' that can morph into any 3d shape on the introduction of either heat or magnetic forces. These metals are being used to create such things as exo-skeleton bodysuits for landtroops and brain chips that allows the wearer to be able to telekenetically work machines he is using by the use of brainwaves. Space lasers, aircraft and other vehicles will also benefit from this new material.

We have a simulated video sequence on our site released by NASA that shows aircraft flapping its wings like a bird! and trucks that can change shape. This project is not something of the future, but has been in existence since the mid 90's. Our investigation has revealed that most contractors are working on 3 year projects, and a vast majority of these have finished their work already.

We know this all sounds pretty farfetched, but we have all the evidence that will be posting starting from today. For instance, the exoskeleton designs are on our site already. All this information has come from an official .gov site and we have been approved to release this information by the project leader.

To quote Anna McGowan, who is the program manager for the Morphing Project at NASA's Langley Research Center.

She says "Imagine seeing a bullet shot through a sheet of material, only to have the material instantly "heal" behind the bullet! Remember, this is not science fiction. Self-healing materials actually exist, and LaRC scientists are working to unravel their secrets. What we did at NASA-Langley was basically dissect the material to answer the question, 'how does it do that?'" McGowan said. "By doing so, we can actually get down to computational modeling of these materials at the molecular level. Once we understand the material's behavior at that level, then we can create designer 'smart' materials,"

What is interesting about the above quote is the fact that she mentions that NASA-Langley are breaking down the materials to see how they work... why would NASA be taking apart something that they alledgedly built to find out how it works? In otherwords, this leads us to believe that the materials being dissected are actually 'alien artifacts' taken from Roswell or some other similar UFO event.

For anyone informed about the events that happened at Roswell, this description fits perfectly into what Corso and many other witnesses described at the time.

But the biggest clue that perhaps this material is from Roswell is the fact that one of the contractors involved is none other than WRIGHT PATTERSON AIRBASE, the very place where it is alledged that the Roswell wreckage was transported to. As you probably already know, there's a hangar at Wright Patterson Air Force base that contains very highly classified material, believed to be Roswell or other ET remains, so tightly controlled that even Barry Goldwater, a US Senator and Major General in the USAF Reserve, was denied access.

WE HAVE IN OUR POSSESSION OVER 130 DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF WHAT THE MATERIALS LOOK LIKE AND HOW THEY WORK. ALL PROJECT LEADERS AND CONTRACTORS WILL BE NAMED BY US. WE EVEN HAVE THE TIMESCALE AND BUDGET CAPS READY FOR RELEASE. WE HAVE BEEN GRANTED PERMISSION BY A MILITARY SOURCE TO RELEASE THIS MATERIAL AS WE SEE FIT AND REPORT ON THE PROJECT AND SHOW THE EVIDENCE.

This evidence proves that the Roswell incident was more than an urban myth and was definitely not a weather balloon.

UFO Magazine said: 'it is this so called ‘memory metal’ that our investigation today refers to as the ‘Holy Grail’ of Roswell since a piece of it, if found, would in our view constitute irrefutable proof that an extraterrestrial spacecraft had been recovered.' (UFO Magazine Sept/Oct 2000 p62)

We believe that we have uncovered this 'Holy Grail' and urge you to view the evidence for yourself at:

http://www.ufos-aliens.co.uk

Many Thanks,

Dave, Andy and Martin at Cosmic Conspiracies
http://www.ufos-aliens.co.uk
UFORCE International Director(UK)


All taken from the brilliant peeps at Cosmic Conspiracies
 
A

Anonymous

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But if you go to the thread about thunderbirds, you will find a link to a site. Do a bit of epxploring there and you will find an article about starlite. Invented by a male hairdresser :rolleyes:
 

harlequin2005

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Care to post it here? It keeps the information in on place then

8¬)
 
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Anonymous

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Whatever happened to Wards heat resistant paint

taken from here

A little later that year the whole nation had an opportunity to see for themselves the effectiveness of Maurice Ward's new paint on BBC Television when it was featured on "Tomorrow's World". Presenter Michael Rodd showed viewers an ordinary chicken's egg that had been painted with the new coating. The paint was so thin it was not visible. Rodd then dramatically donned welder's visor and gauntlets, lit up an oxyacetylene torch, and played the flame directly onto the egg for several minutes.
Anyone remember this being on TW and what has become of it.
 

mejane

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The product was called Starlite and seems to have succumed to the Curse of Tomorrow's World and disappeared into the great unknown.

There was a brief discussion of it on another MB I visit occasionally:
http://www.cfis.org/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000604.html

Jane.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks. There is a lot of fighting over the authenticity of this product I notice. The only way for this to be cleared up would be for Maurice Ward to publish the formula on the net. Then we could all coat our houses with the stuff :blah:

No worries about the firemen strike then :furious: :no-no:
 

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I remember this. The inventor was in negotiations with NASA for the formula, apparently.
The only other person who knew the formula was his daughter.
I suspect the secret has probably died with its creator (assuming he is dead), because he wouldn't divulge the formula until he had been paid a stupendous fee.
Anybody know if he's still alive?
 
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Anonymous

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I remember!

Wasnt he an ex-hairdresser or something and was messing about with some of the (very strong) chemicals they sometimes use?

I rember this and was also wondering what happened to him!

Bigdunk

PS. Maybe he did sell it to Nasa and thats why we haven't heard of it!!!!
 

rynner2

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Bump! Two threads merged. (We don't want too many barbers experimenting with dangerous chemicals...)
 
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Anonymous

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The programme about Starlite was called "Plastic Fantastic".

Also, some background on the man who invented the flameproof paint (I forget his name), he was a worker at a paint factory. One day while cleaning out old paint cans he made his discovery. Burning is the best way of getting rid of paint and this was exactly what he was doing, he used a wooden stick to move the paint cans around and noticed that it didn't burn. He had been using the same stick for some time, and this is how he made the connection between a mix of paints being fireproof.

My opinion is that home chemistry is a very inexact science, and the reason we don't see these materials in production is because they are almost impossible to replicate exactly due to the inaccuracy of the initial processes. Another problem is mass production of chemicals is completely different to the production of small amounts, mass production is much more difficult it many cases. It is entirely possible that these materials are in development and may be for some time to come.
 
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Anonymous

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An original article from 1993

Wonder Plastic Baffles World
Home-lab invention shields atomic blast.

A former Yorkshire hairdresser has baffled military and scientific
establishment s across the world by producing a magical piece of
plastic that is so tough it can withstand the heat of a nuclear
explosion. Experiments at the Ministry of Defence's Atomic Weapons
Establishment in Foulness, Essex, and by Nato scientists at the US
missile range at White Sands, New Mexico, have shown that the substance withstood simulated nuclear flashes which generated temperatures of more than 1000 degrees C.

The tests' results, published for the first time in International
Defense Review, published by Jane's, are leading chastened scientific
communities on both sides of the Atlantic to a strange and humbling
conclusion: that an English inventor without a degree tinkered around
in his laboratory for a few years to stumble on a secret to which
nuclear physicists spent decades searching the answer. Once dismissed as a crank with a plastic bee in his bonnet, Maurice Ward now finds himself the toast of the military-industrial complexes of Britain and America with the polymer he calls Starlite. He is talking to French defense consortia and has been whisked to Japan on a first class, all expenses paid visit. Where Whitehall's portals were once shut in his face, doors marked 'most secret' are now readily opened and he has the run of Cambridge University's famous Cavendish laboratories where Rutherford heralded the nuclear era by splitting the atom. Now that the veil of scepticism is lifting over Mr Ward's invention, everyone wants a piece of the action and it is not hard to understand why.

If Starlite works as well as the tests suggest so far - and more
experiments are still being scheduled - it could have enormous
implications for the civilian and defence industries. Nobody, least of all Mr Ward, really knows how Starlite works (only selected members of his family know the full ingredients), but the properties which his mysterious plastic displays are impressively self-evident. Mr Ward first brought them to public notice three years ago on BBC's Tomorrow's World programme when he coated the shell of a raw chicken's egg with his substance. Despite blasting the egg with an oxyacteyline [that's how it's spelled in the article] welding torch, it remained uncooked, undamaged and could be handled with bare fingers immediately afterwards.

Since then, Starlite has been subjected to ever more stringent tests,
including being zapped by one of the MoD's most powerful laser weapons at its signals and radar establishment at Malvern in Worcestershire. In October 1990, a quarter of a millimetre's thickness of Starlite contained the energy of the equivalent of 75 nuclear flashes for 30 seconds. But whatever Starlite - a name thought up by Ward's eight-year-old granddaughte r Kerry - is subjected to, it remains undamaged. Only minute pockmarks are discernible on the plastic coating. The energy hurled at the polymer does not bounce off but is absorbed and diffused at extraordinary speeds through a process which scientists are still grappling with.

Ward, who turned to producing plastics 20 years ago after pondering
their curious qualities while perming women's hair, was first struck by the potential of his material while watching the Manchester airport disaster on TV. 'I thought then that an aircraft coated with my material could have saved lives.' Apart from aeroplanes, Mr Ward
believes the polymer could also boost safety in trains, cars, ships and spacecraft. A dab of the substance, he suggests, might do away with the need for all those bothersome heat deflecting tiles which keep falling off Nasa space shuttles. Perhaps most exciting of all is the prospect of 'clean' nuclear energy. Ward thinks it is not too improbable to forsee a scenario where his product could be used to contain the energy released by nuclear fission. But aside from these civilian applications which Mr Ward, who describes himself as a 'good
Yorkshireman' and an old fashioned moderate socialist, is happy to
contemplate, there are clearly significant military uses as well.
Warships and bombers could be treated with the material as could
front-line battle and weapon stations.

One of the methods of destruction currently being being tested are the so-called 'soft-kill' weapons. In this sci-fi world, generals are
testing the efficacy of frying soldiers' blood and brains with lasers. Military experts say that apart from killing this method also has the capability of wiping out the software and electronics which run sophisticated tanks and artillery stations. A conventional weapons would destroy the tank but a laser would merely render it inoperable, leaving most of the machinery intact so it could quickly be repaired and used by the 'home team'. Maurice Ward's Starlite would render tanks and other weapons systems impervious to such laser attacks.

Mr Ward is now being advised by Professor Sir Ronald Mason, until 1983 the MoD's chief scientific adviser, who sees the transition between civilian and military applications for Starlite as a 'seamless robe'.
He envisages the first uses for the aircraft and maritime markets and
claims it could easily be employed on space vehicles. 'Maurice is very enthusiastic and sometimes speaks scientific cobblers, but there is no doubt that this is really the most remarkable material,' he says. The MoD has only said that the material could have 'interesting
potential'. With such a scientific heavyweight as Sir Ronald on board, Mr Ward's prospects for success now seem good. It did not always appear that way. 'Yes, they used to laugh at me a bit in the beginning,' says Mr Ward, 'but they are taking me seriously now all right. 'After one test at the Cavendish the other day, one of their chaps said to me that the results were so beyond what he expected that there had to be an error in the computer. We looked again but there wasn't. Now he believes me.'

If Mr Ward is able to take comfort from the cold facts of his apparent success, he could do worse than point future sceptics towards that classic 1950's Ealing comedy, The Man in the White Suit. In it, Alec Guinness plays an eccentric inventor who manufactures a fantastic material which cannot be damaged and always stays white. At first no one believes him, then the giant corporations try to ridicule him. In the end they all clamour round trying to get him to sign up. If life continues to imitate art in such a bizarre fashion, Mr Ward is definitely set to have the last laugh.

John McGhie, The Observer, Sunday 11 April 1993.
 

naSTEe

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seems the "inventor" is just another greedy bastard, waiting for the right price, the only way to beat the large corporations, is to publicly release the formula, so we can all make it in our kitchens, and as all ready said, "paint our houses with it"
 
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Anonymous

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Re: An original article from 1993

Dark Detective said:
If Mr Ward is able to take comfort from the cold facts of his apparent success, he could do worse than point future sceptics towards that classic 1950's Ealing comedy, The Man in the White Suit. In it, Alec Guinness plays an eccentric inventor who manufactures a fantastic material which cannot be damaged and always stays white. At first no one believes him, then the giant corporations try to ridicule him. In the end they all clamour round trying to get him to sign up. If life continues to imitate art in such a bizarre fashion, Mr Ward is definitely set to have the last laugh.
IIRC the white suit spontaneously disintegrates at the end. Not a good omen for the Starlite guy. ;)
 

Daftbugger1

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As I'm a materials scientist I thought I'd better post.

Starlite, as far as I know, this is bollocks. The only thing that may come close is if he managed to make a silicon polymer, which no one else has successfully managed.

As for the 'Roswell' metal. Shape memory alloys do indeed exist, you've probably seen the ads on telly for them bendy glasses. You can get ones that do the same when you heat them up. It's all based unequilibrium structures. I won't go in to detail here, 'cause it's boring. The 'indestrucibility' is, IIRC, because they are based on titanium alloys.
 
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Anonymous

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I always thought that the Roswell material was probably just partial memories of the mylar used to make the corner reflectors for the balloon payload.
 

Daftbugger1

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Fortis said:
I always thought that the Roswell material was probably just partial memories of the mylar used to make the corner reflectors for the balloon payload.
Quite possibly.

The earlier post in this thread seems to have got a number of new technologies confused.
There are such things as 'smart materials'. Piezoelectric crystals can change shape when an electric current is applied, or produce an electric current (a spark) if you change their shape.
I think along with super elastic alloys and shape memory alloys it mostly covers what he descibed, it certainly isn't alien technology.

The guy with the flame retardent paint was on 'What's the Big Idea?' (shown on the Discovery Channel) recently. He got backing from his bank, by coating a cheque with it and trying to set it on fire in front of his bank manager.
 
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