ATG Investigation: The Oregon Files

In 1997-1998, the Oregon Department of Justice conducted a detailed investigation of scientific claims made by American Technologies Group (ATG) concerning IE crystals, the SuperGlobe laundry product, and The Force, their automotive combustion enhancer. Both products were being marketed in Oregon by TradeNet Marketing, a now defunct multilevel marketing company headquartered in Dunedin, Florida.

Below is a selection of documents released by the Oregon attorney general's office in response to a public records request concerning their investigation of ATG.

  • Letter: Robert Roth to ATG's counsel John Dab. (October 15, 1997)
    "We believe the structures Dr. Lo observed and photographed are artifacts commonly found in carbon support films. Finding them again in more samples supplied by ATG would not "demonstrate the presence of the IE crystal" hypothesized by Dr. Lo to explain his observations."

  • Memo: ATG's October 14, 1997 Letter and Enclosures. (October 16, 1997)
    The EPA says testing should be conducted with ozone and UV treatment to eliminate microbial contamination in water samples older than 48 hours. ATG says this treatment destroys the crystals. Structure probe says the "crystals" are microbes! Also, ATG is backing away from the term "crystals"; now it refers to "water clusters". But clusters are not crystals.

  • Affidavit of Andrew Blackwood, Vice President of Structure Probe, Inc. (October 28, 1997)
    "Having reviewed the supporting materials, I conclude further that there is no theoretical basis for believing that the structures described as "IE" do or could exist, let alone be stable, at room temperatures or anything approaching room temperatures... Based on my professional background and training and extensive experience with electron microscopy, it is my opinion that the structures displayed in photographs of the literature I reviewed in connection with the Report depict microorganisms."

  • Affidavit of Paul Engelking, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon. (October 28, 1997)
    "The existence of "IE Crystals" around ions, as described by Dr. Lo, is not supported by theory. One of Dr. Lo's calculations violates one of the three fundamental laws of thermodynamics and one of the four fundamental equations of electromagnetic theory... The experiments described in these documents either do not use appropriate controls and/or fail to describe the controls clearly."

  • Memo: Substantiation Documents. (December 2, 1997)
    "We thought back in June that only a combination of transmission electron microscopy and product performance testing (e.g., laundry effectiveness) would ultimately resolve our case. However, I believe Structure Probe rather ingeniously solved that problem by not simply failing to find "IE" in certain solutions but by finding structures similar to Dr. Lo's in local tap water. Structure Probe thus produced powerful evidence from which it may be concluded both that "IE" as described by ATG and Dr. Lo (that is, a new form of ice formed as Lo describes and stable at room temperatures) does not exist, and that there's nothing very special in what ATG and Lo claim is "IE." ATG is in the position of arguing that a substance which either doesn't exist, or appears in tap water that has been left to stand for awhile, has a variety of productive effects (cleaning laundry, increasing gasoline mileage, etc.)"
  • Memo: Substantiation ("Vol. 3") (May 13, 1998)
    Summary: ATG's Olga Berson attempts to refute Blackwood and other critics by citing various memos and reports that ATG claims support the existence of IE crystals. This memo takes apart each of Berson's arguments, showing that they are either irrelevant, rely on flawed experiments, or misinterpret the statements of others.

  • Memo: Admissibility of Expert Testimony After Daubert. (June 8, 1998)
    Memo explaining how the legal system determines what qualifies as expert scientific testimony

  • Memo: Legal Analysis Regarding Substantiation Materials. (June 8, 1998)
    Summary: Lo's theories are not accepted by the scientific community. His two papers on IE crystals were not rigorously reviewed. Modern Physics Letters is not a quality journal. Experiments were run without proper controls. Some of Lo's own measurements contradict his conclusions.

  • Letter: Dr. Natalya Afanasyeva to American Technologies Group. (July, 1997; submitted November, 1997)
    This document is exhibit F in Volume 3 of ATG's submissions discussed above. "I conclude that there are no microorganisms present in IE samples, and that associations formed in IE solutions are due to presence of organic compounds."

    This ATG web site is maintained by Dave Touretzky
    Last modified: Tue Feb 9 01:49:38 EST 1999