The man accused of placing a fake bomb outside a downtown Ithaca bank says he has invented a “free energy” device that will transform the world’s economy. He also claims to be the Antichrist.
In his book, YouTube video and various posts on the Internet published in recent years, Mathew Whitney, 37, has linked prophetic verse in the Bible’s Book of Revelation to his in-progress “Closed Loop Implosion Turbine” — a machine he said will revolutionize how power is transmitted and usher in the next world era.
Whitney was arrested and charged with “placing a false bomb or hazardous substance” in the second degree, a class E felony, according to a police statement released Oct. 31. The Oct. 11 bomb scare shut down several businesses in downtown Ithaca, drew multiple police agencies to the area and closed activity on the Commons for several hours.
In a message recently posted on Craigslist, a man claiming to be Whitney takes credit for the bomb scare and explains why he put the package at the Bank of America.
“Hurting people is the only way to get attention with today’s media bias,” says the message, which has since been removed. “I learned some things about being a terrorist: No terrorist wants to hurt people … I AM A TERRORIST, but … only to the FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY.”
Though The Sun could not prove that the post was written by Whitney, the message was nearly identical in several ways to Whitney’s many other writings. It began by downplaying the criminality of the bomb scare.
“Ithacan-Earthlings,” Whitney starts. “I’m M.G. Whitney, the menacing looking fella that left the metaphorical bomb on the wall at [Bank of America]. … It turns out that what I did is a class E felony, before 9/11 it was a class A misdemeanor, either way, in objective reality it was a cardboard Nike shoe box with a word sharpied on it.”
Adding that a copy of his book, Godlike: The Abomination, was left in the box on the Commons, Mathews writes, “How long does it take to evacuate the Commons? How long does it take to x-ray/sniff a potentially explosive package? Was anyone actually terrorized? No, just annoyed.”
The act appears to be part of Mathews’ efforts to garner attention for his work. Elsewhere on the Internet, Mathews pleads for people to help fund his energy projects.
“I would rather remain poor and anonymous, but … I MUST be rich and famous to do my job,” Mathews writes in a slide of a YouTube video. “I have been reluctant to make this video; I thought my book would go viral or my free energy device would get prototyped … All you have to do to support me or learn more is buy my book.”
While not knowing the specifics of Mathews’ individual proposal, many people think — wrongly — that they have found a way to transform energy processes, said Prof. Emeritus Theordore Loder, earth sciences, University of New Hampshire.
“I’m not saying this guy doesn’t have something; I haven’t seen it. But, frankly, I’ve been doing this for 50 years: I’ve had dozens and dozens of inventors who have had all sorts of claims … [and built] things that whir and buzz and make a lot of noise and go around,” Loder said. “People claim this all the time … but either they’re fooling themselves or they haven’t measured themselves properly.”
Whitney remained in jail as of Sunday night on a $15,000 cash bail, according to an officer at the Tompkins County Jail.