Category Archives: John Hutchison

Hutchinson hoax

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Given that Hutchison’s claims are outlandish and his credibility damaged by admitted fakery, it is likely that the effect named for him is complete claptrap. —Alan Bellows


“John Hutchison has not been able to convince the scientific community that he is anything more than a crackpot.”

The Hutchison hoax is named after an eccentric Canadian, John Hutchison, a fan of Nikola Tesla and Tesla coils. Hutchison claims to have discovered a number of weird things, such as the levitation of heavy objects and the fusion of metal and wood by forces heretofore undetected by normal scientists. Hutchison calls these weird things “the Hutchison effect.” Some of the things he calls weird seem to be explainable in terms of electromagnetism and other known physical forces, but he has more mysterious explanations, such as zero point energy and electromagnetic fields that cancel out gravity. Unfortunately, he seems to be the only one who can produce the effects, but not even he can replicate them—at least not in the presence of unbiased observers. His evidence consists mainly of his word and his videos.

One suggestion made by skeptics is that Hutchison uses an electromagnet on the ceiling, and places hidden pieces of metal inside objects so they will be attracted to the magnet. He could then film the objects with an upside-down camera as he powers down the electromagnet, making the objects on film appear to float up and out of the shot when in reality they are falling down to the floor. Many of the videos include conspicuous objects in the scene which do not move (such as an old broom), which could be deliberately attached to add to the illusion that the camera is not upside-down. Critics also point out that the videos do not show what happens to the objects after they levitate.*

His laboratory is his garage, kitchen, and other rooms in his apartment. Much of his apparatus seems to have come from military surplus stores.

Hutchison came on the scene around 1979, but he has not been able to convince the scientific community that he is anything more than a crackpot.

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