NORTHERN New South Wales inventor and rainmaker Peter Stevens is looking for backers to help break the drought with technology.
Despite an unsuccessful, problem-plagued rainmaking mission to Richmond Shire in July this year, Mr Stevens wants to give it another shot – and he guarantees rain.
He recently demonstrated his Rainmaker device from the backyard of a Gold Coast property where he lives, claiming some success in helping it rain over the Blue Mountains while the bushfires were raging.
Apparently Mr Stevens’ Rainmaker works like a long range radio transmitter – it can bounce its “rainmaking frequency” off the ionosphere to virtually any location.
He said the technology was based upon principles of electromagnetics and electrostatics. When focused in one area, the frequency ionises the atmosphere and creates a vortex, which draws in atmospheric moisture and eventually rain clouds.
Mr Stevens said the technology was developed by fellow inventor and ex-Royal Australian Navy technician Jack Toyer in the 1970s, drawing on the controversial ideas of American theorist Walter Russell.
Tamworth-born Mr Stevens, whose father was an inventor, met Mr Toyer in Casino in 1985 at a Northern Rivers Inventors Association meeting.
On June 19, 1987, the Northern Star newspaper at Lismore asked in bold headlines if Mr Toyer’s rainmaking activities had caused a flood.
Mr Stevens said the Rainmaker had, in fact, caused three floods – although “nothing serious”.
“We turned it on three times and we had three successes in a row – three floods in a row,” Mr Stevens said.
He said the Rainmaker’s ideal “shooting range” was about 150km, but targeting Sydney from the Gold Coast was well within the Rainmaker’s capacity.
“It’s where you happen to be that helps, with a good clear, panoramic view of the sky.
“I like to be about 150km from the target locality so I can bounce it (the frequency) straight into them,” he said.
He also built another rainmaker during visits to the United States in 2007, 2009 and 2011 and claims to have made it rain in the officially rainless Death Valley, Nevada.
Mr Stevens said his only unsuccessful rainmaking mission was the one to Richmond Shire this year.
The machine was left turned off by mistake for six hours. There were also other technical issues and a promise of finance was not forthcoming.
Mr Stevens said rain was recorded on the weather radar, but it was too light to make any impact.
Nevertheless, Mr Stevens still guarantees he can make rain and said they had done so at Charleville and Bourke in January.
“In January Bourke hit 54.4 degrees. We started shooting on January 9 and two days later we had rain.
“We also fired out at Charleville and we had rain on the mirror pretty effectively within 12 hours.”
Mr Stevens said ionisation could last in an area up to 28 days.
Supportive and sometimes skeptical newspaper reports have reported his successes over the past 20 years, most notably with western NSW cotton growers in the 1990s.
But when the cotton growers told Mr Stevens they didn’t want the rain, he “packed up his machine in disgust” and became a full-time carer for a family member.
It wasn’t until 2006 that he dusted of the equipment and reassembled it.
But he told Queensland Country Life he needed some decent financial backing in the order of $10,000 to go out to the drought-stricken western Queensland areas.