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Zydro: Back in business?

Mindy Ragan Wood / Red Dirt Report
Devices being tested.
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CHICKASHA, Okla. – The owner of Zydro Energy Device (ZED) Wayne Travis, says he is pursuing testing on his renewable energy theory now that the FBI has closed their investigation.

Last year, Red Dirt Report published the findings of the FBI’s search warrant affidavit filed in Grady County. Their investigation focused on how Travis managed Zydro funds and the investment terms between himself and investors.

Red Dirt Report was unable to verify the investigation is closed. Calls were not returned to the FBI’s public information office nor the United States Attorney’s office. “They returned all my files and apologized. I’ve never heard of the FBI returning evidence if they’re going to file charges,” said Travis.

He did admit that the Oklahoma State Securities Commission, a regulatory agency that enforces all aspects of securities business, is reviewing the Zydro case. Travis said he and his legal team are cooperating fully and they expect it to be resolved without incident soon. His criminal attorney, Mack Martin could not be reached for comment.

Red Dirt Report submitted an open records request to the securities commission but has not received a response.

The money

Travis said there was a reasonable explanation for the FBI’s concerns when they raided his business in the fall of 2015. “I can see why they were concerned,” he said. “The money looked bad.”

The startup company was first known as Hydro, but then changed to Zydro. Currently on the Oklahoma Secretary of State website, his companies are listed as Hydro Energy Revolution, LLC (May 2010, inactive), Perpetual, LLC and XP Energy Corporation (July 2016).

On the suspicion radar in the search warrant was the movement of “at least $300,000” from the Hydro and Zydro bank accounts to the Wayne S. & Sandra A. Revocable Living Trust, established in 2009. The account showed from 2011 to 2014 there were over $760,000 in expenditures, including thousands of dollars in cash withdrawals, medical expenses, tuition, credit card payments, mortgage payments, and even a cruise.

“I am sure our financial transactions were very confusing since we used two accounts to manage separate types of expenses. Both accounts were funded to support all activities; balances were transferred between accounts to meet the needs of the current expenses.

“Following our financial advisors’ recommendations, I converted my accounts to trusts, this appeared to be closing accounts, when in fact it was upgrading the security of the accounts. Tuition, medical, and vacations were approved expenses. We have since combined the accounts to remove the confusion.”

The machine

The ZED technology is still under testing. The end goal is to create a power plant using his technology. His theory uses the conservative force of gravity and buoyancy in a specific process he believes will work to generate clean, renewable energy production.

Heated debates as to whether it can or cannot work have exploded on energy forum sites like where dissenters hash out what they perceive are flaws to his logic. One such debate also erupted after Red Dirt Report published the initial article on the FBI investigation September 2015.

Travis believes in something he calls, “new physics” or “non-entropic mathematics,” which critics say do not support the laws of thermodynamics upon which physics rests. They decry the absence of a working model as proof of concept or a white paper, which is the demonstration of the theory on paper.

However, Travis provided a white paper which he said should demonstrate the basic principle of his theory. Red Dirt Report submitted it to St. Gregory’s University Physics Professor, James Meyer. He has a bachelor’s degree, masters, and PhD in physics. After reviewing YouTube videos, the white paper and a document called “The ZED Riddle Explained,” he had this to say:

“I see no advantages in the machinery,” said Meyer. He also pointed out that his theory appears to violate the first law of thermodynamics, one of the four laws of physics which states energy can neither be created nor destroyed (it can only change forms). He referred to the “non-entropic mathematics” as gobble-de-gook.  

It’s not the first time that Travis has heard it. “The question that a professor is going to ask is how are you making energy? The answer is no single part of the machine makes energy, none of it. It’s the process. This process isn’t in the white paper. I have to show it to them. I can prove it to any engineer, any physicist that walks through my door,” said Travis.

Travis said he has an open-door policy and has turned many skeptics into believers. Red Dirt Report asked to speak with credentialed engineers and physicists whom Travis said have assisted him throughout the formulation and testing of his technology. An engineer did respond by email, but did not want to go on the record.

Travis explained that coming out in support has not led to peer acceptance in the science community.

“You have to see it here to understand it,” said Travis. “Any engineer you put in here will be discredited on the outside. It doesn’t matter how high his credentials are, he’s put into the discredited box. I’ve watched it, every single person gets discredited,” said Travis. “It was a hard lesson to learn.”

What can he do without their endorsement? “The only conclusion we came to was to get past that by putting the product on the ground,” said Travis, referring to a fully functioning model. Although he told Red Dirt Report he had been recently funded at $250 million to move forward, Travis later said he expects to be funded by the end of this quarter.  

Red Dirt Report found three U. S. patents, but a patent is not a proof of concept or a guarantee that an invention or concept works. Travis said he is internationally patented. He is not a physicist, but said he has worked in various aspects of machining, industrial work, and hydraulics.

Red Dirt Report reached out to former state Senator Ron Justice and former state Secretary of Energy, Mike Ming. Justice responded that Travis did speak with him and Ming in 2013, but that neither he nor Ming endorsed or financially supported his work.

Ming is now employed by GE Global Research Oil & Gas Technology in Oklahoma City. Red Dirt Report left a message for Ming, but he did not respond.  

Gravity and buoyancy technology research do not appear to be listed on the United States Department of Energy website as a field of current study or technology.

The “madness”

A community of inventors, physicists, engineers, and machinists are pursuing what critics in the science community call madness. The idea that gravity can be used to create renewable energy has failed for centuries and many who try are decried for breaking the laws of physics.

If Travis succeeds, however, his supporters say it would be a breakthrough in energy technology that could solve the world’s crises perpetuated by dependence on fossil fuels.

A documentarian, filmmaker, and film professor at OCCC, David Greene has been documenting Travis’ progress. He has a degree in physics, but has never been employed in that field.

“I wouldn’t call myself a working physicist or anything like that,” said Greene. He first heard about Travis through a friend who is an investor. “I can’t absolutely say this works,” said Greene. “Either Wayne Travis is changing the world, or he’s going to stumble and fall. Either way, it’s quite a story. I hope he’s changing the world. It’s not going to be accepted until it’s proven,” said Greene.

Travis has over 200 investors and dozens of them emailed Red Dirt Report. All of them appeared to be people of faith, pledging their faith in God and Wayne Travis. Many said they know their investment is a risk and that his technology may not work; they cling to the hope that it will.

“I would say about 10 percent of my investors really understand it,” said Travis who revealed that most of his supporters are people of faith. 

Faith or fact, Travis isn’t giving up and seems to draw some encouragement from inventors of the past. “The Wright brothers were flying for a year before a physicist would admit it,” said Travis.

Both critics and supporters are waiting for the proof. Watch Red Dirt Report for any updates to this story. 

Photos by Red Dirt Report's Mindy Ragan Wood.

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About the Author

Mindy Ragan Wood

Mindy Ragan Wood is a freelance writer and editor with a special interest in investigative and...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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