After a short hiatus, a 40-year old fraud has recently resurfaced. It claims, without evidence that it is supported by the Philippines current president, Rodrigo Duterte, and, with pseudoscientific ‘evidence’, that of Ferdinand Marcos Junior, known as Bong Bong. It is a fabulous tale of riches that will propel the Philippines into superpower status when deposits of an isotope of hydrogen, called deuterium, is mined from ‘pools’ at the bottom of the Philippine Trench.The scam is so old, getting on for half a decade, that is can certainly be regarded as a part of Philippines history.It is a tale of pseudoscience, greed, and gullibility supported by blatant fabrication that has lasted since the 1980s and continues today.
What seems to have begun as a scheme to scam overseas Filipino workers appears to have changed tack to become a scheme to scam government funds.According to Bongbong Marcos: “Hydrogen is being processed from deuterium which is heavy water or hydrogen water without oxygen. This is obtained from the deep trenches of the world and the world’s largest deposit of deuterium is in the Philippines.” (1) Mr Marcos wanted the Philippine government, Filipino taxpayers, to pay for extracting and exploiting this remarkable resource.” For now, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was unaware that what he said, was actually pseudoscientific drivel and that he, and his advisors, had not done their due diligence on the proposal.Another apparent believer in deuterium mining is Roy Cimatu, Philippine Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources who ordered the Mining and Geosciences Bureau to explore deuterium mining in 2017, long after Bongbong Marcos’s proposals were debunked by scientists. Mr Cimatu is a retired general, not a scientist.We have reached out to the MGB for clarification.Let us set aside discussion of the accuracy of Bongbong’s statement for the time being – it is part of the Deuterium scam canon in a nutshell (A term I use deliberately). Of course, it helps to know what deuterium, ‘heavy hydrogen’, is, so it is best to start there.