Craving Energy and Glory, Pakistan Revels in Boast of Water-Run Car

Declan Walsh, New York Times, August 4, 2012

In a nation thirsting for energy, he loomed like a messiah: a small-town engineer who claimed he could run a car on water.

The assertion—based on the premise that he had discovered a way to easily split the oxygen and hydrogen atoms in water molecules with almost no energy—would, if proven, represent a stunning breakthrough for physics and a near-magical solution to Pakistan’s desperate power crisis.

“By the grace of Allah, I have managed to make a formula that converts less voltage into more energy,” the professed inventor, Agha Waqar Ahmad, said in a telephone interview. “This invention will solve our country’s energy crisis and provide jobs to hundreds of thousands of people.”

Established scientists have debunked his spectacular claims, first made one month ago, saying they violate ironclad laws of physics. But across Pakistan, where crippling electricity cuts have left millions drenched in the sweat of a powerless summer, and where there is hunger for tales of homegrown glory, the shimmering mirage of a “water car” received a broad and serious embrace.

Federal ministers lauded Mr. Ahmad and his vehicle, sometimes at cabinet meetings. {snip}

The country’s most famous scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan—revered inside Pakistan as the father of the country’s nuclear weapons program and reviled elsewhere as a notorious figure in the international nuclear black market—gave it his imprimatur, too. “I have investigated the matter, and there is no fraud involved,” he told Hamid Mir, a popular television journalist, during a recent broadcast that sealed Mr. Ahmad’s celebrity.


It shows “how far Pakistan has fallen into the pit of ignorance and self-delusion,” wrote Pervez Hoodbhoy, an outspoken physics professor, in The Express Tribune, a national English-language daily. He added: “Our leaders are lost in the dark, fumbling desperately for a miracle; our media is chasing spectacle, not truth; and our great scientists care more about being important than about evidence.”


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  • “It shows “how far Pakistan has fallen into the pit of ignorance and self-delusion,” wrote Pervez Hoodbhoy, an outspoken physics professor, in The Express Tribune, a national English-language daily. He added: “Our leaders are lost in the dark, fumbling desperately for a miracle; our media is chasing spectacle, not truth; and our great scientists care more about being important than about evidence.”

    Well now, their leaders are lost in the dark and fumbling desperately, but somehow the bottom of the barrel immigrant is supposed to make a great contribution to western society!?

    O.k., glad I got that straight. Now for a few hundred thousand of these genetic elites to bless the good ole USA. Joplin Mo. would be a great relocation target as this area is full of bigotry and hate. And diversity is just the answer.

    Yes, things are getting ugly, fast.

    •  more importantly, OUR leaders have fallen in the pit of ignorance and self-delusion.  Our leaders are fumbling desperately for a miracle, our media is chasing spectacle, not truth, and our social scientists care more about being important than about evidence.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    Well, we knew it would either be a black or a Muslim that finally did it…

    • Oil Can Harry

      Excuse me, but water cars were first invented 3,000 years ago by the black pharaohs who ran Egypt.

      They also invented airplanes but their technology was stolen by those white racists Wilbur and Orville Wright.

  • Easyrhino1

    And if his technology is combined with the flux capacitor, you can shoot into the future for mere pennies. 

  • So they finally got around to “discovering” the steam engine?  Well done!  

    • Rocky Bass,

      Remember the magic lady in South Africa that had the gov thinking she could milk diesel fuel from some rock?
      Hydrogen may one day be found to be the best energy storage technique but the old hydrogen/oxygen bond in water ALWAYS takes MORE energy to break than is returned by their rejoining in combustion. How many water powered cars are we to hear of??!?!? Really I think that was like my 56th right there, Oh yeah it was demoed. He could demo it again if only he could get the needed 5 million to build that last little part that broke or some such mess.

      • Carney3

        “Lady” in such a context is inappropriate.  Woman or female suffices.

    • ncpride

      You’re on a roll tonight. That’s 2 comments of yours that have totally cracked me up. Being that the news on AmRen is so distressing most of the time, it’s good to poke a little fun now and then.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    This sounds like that story AMREN reported awhile back about that African Witchdoctor who could find gas (?) with a magic stick and it would save all of their fuel shortages. I have a bridge here in the SF Bay Area I can sell you at a great price and you can charge everyone $10 for crossing it! So you get your moneyback real quick!

    • IstvanIN

       That was Zimbabwe and he even fooled Mugabe!

  • Chimp Master Rules

    Has anyone actually seen this car running on water?  And is this tap water or some concotion more example per gallon than gasoline?

    This reminds me of how indians go crazy whenever a white buffalo is born or how mexicans lose it when one spots the Virgin Mary on a piece od toast.

    People generally want to believe in miracles and fantasy . . . such as “multiculturalism works” or a country can be prosperous when only half of the people pay federal taxes.

  • The__Bobster

    Congratulations, Pakis, you just invented electrolysis. Why didn’t we think of it?

    Oh, yeah, we did!!

    Jan Rudolph Deiman and Adriaan Paets van Troostwijk used in 1789 an electrostatic machine to produce electricity which was discharged on gold electrodes in a Leyden jar with water.[2] In 1800 Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile, a few weeks later William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle used it for the electrolysis of water. When Zénobe Gramme invented the Gramme machine in 1869 electrolysis of water became a cheap method for the production of hydrogen. A method of industrial synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis was developed by Dmitry Lachinov in 1888.[3]

  • Greg West

    Good! Now that this is done we can stop all foreign aid to Pakistan and at the same tme he has single handedly made all of the middle eastern oil worthless.


  • JackKrak

    I’d prefer that the brightest, most inventive and most creative minds in Pakistan focused on more modest goals like forming a society that is not completely insane.

    Start small & build from there.

  • SLCain

    And american universities now often hire pakistani professors, many of them not very bright.

  • Carney3

    Let’s not get too smug. Our own government has been just about as gullible as these Pakistanis.

    The Hydrogen Hoax

  • Carney3

    If he was using ethanol as his fuel, that would actually make some kind of sense.  My minivan is flex fuel and runs on E85 (85% ethanol 15% gasoline) right now, and if E100 (100% ethanol) were available as vehicle fuel, it could use that too.

  • NikkiOwens

    Does it work with salt water? Because otherwise, this is no more useful than a regular petroleum-powered car. Fresh water will become just another expensive commodity, and then it’s all going to go Mad Max on us.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    I bought the rights to name a star in the sky, it was only $100! Yeah right!

    PT Barnum said it best “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  • refocus

    Can you show us some high quality video with A.Q. Kahn saying it works?