MIT Alleges Fraud Against Pons and Fleischmann in 1989
Research and Compilation by Steven B. Krivit x

Ronald G. Ballinger

On April 28, 1989, MIT professors Ronald R. Parker and Ronald G. Ballinger gave an interview to the Boston Herald and alleged that Pons and Fleischmann had committed science fraud. After the defamatory story hit the newswires, Parker denied making such accusations. An audiotape of this interview, however, supports the Herald and its journalist Nick Tate.

Ronald R. Parker

Parker-Ballinger Boston Herald Interview Transcript
Parker-Ballinger Boston Herald Interview Recording Side one 10Mb - Side two, 5Mb
Boston Herald Articles
Disputed Fleischmann-Pons Gamma Ray Spectrum

MIT Alleges Fraud Against Pons and Fleischmann
by Eugene Mallove, excerpted from "MIT and Cold Fusion- A Special Report"

Historically, it is evident that this Herald story helped unleash the tidal wave of negativity against Fleischmann and Pons and others who continue to work in the field. Ironically, Parker et al. accomplished what they really set out to do with that story, but at the time Parker attacked reporter Tate for allegedly mis-reporting what he had said during his interview. Tate came very close to being fired on the spot by his editor; he would have been fired had he not had an audio tape of the interview to confirm what he had been told by Parker. After all, it was an MIT professor’s word against that of a young reporter.

A frantic Ronald Parker, perhaps fearing that he would be sued by Pons and Fleischmann for the harsh words that were quoted a bit too explicitly for his taste, called me late on the night of April 30, 1989. He had me dispatch a press release to the wire services denying the impending Boston Herald story, the exact nature of which he had learned from a call from CBS television...

I had been up into the wee hours of the night of April 30-May 1, 1989, sending a press release dictated to me over the telephone at my home in Bow, New Hampshire by Professor Parker. I telephoned it to UPI, Reuters, and the Associated Press, and it denied what Parker had said in the interview with the Boston Herald’s Nick Tate. When I arrived at the MIT News Office early that morning after a sleepless night, we hastily put together a printed form of the press release to handle the approaching storm...

Of course, I had at that time no reason to doubt what he was telling me: that the story was a distortion. I would learn the stark truth about this deception only over a year later when Tate allowed me to listen to the actual tape...

On June 7, 1991 I resigned from the MIT News Office, to protest the outrageous behavior of the PFC and others at MIT against cold fusion... On the day of my resignation from my MIT News Office position, June 7, 1991, I publically disavowed this Press Release—an unintended falsification of the truth in which I was used as a dupe in part of an orchestrated campaign against cold fusion.

Mallove was the Chief Science Writer at the MIT News Office at the time of this controversy. He was one of the few people who spoke out, and recognized early on that something was wrong with the official "cold fusion" story that was being told by the scientists at his institution to the public.