Douglas Coulter used to work in the government intelligence community. Now, living as a recluse in Floyd, Va., in an area where he says they practice “libertarian communism,” he’s a self-professed DIY engineer, gunsmith, race car driver and more.
“My title now is, I guess, philosopher king,” Coulter told Motherboard on a visit for its “Outsiders” series.
This interesting individual is someone it’s worth taking 7 minutes to learn about.
He lives in a solar powered house, lights his cigarettes with a blow torch and runs an open-source engineering consulting firm.
“We essentially exist to reveal trade secrets,” he said of his company. “Secrets allow the electrical plating company to sell you three gallons of copper plating solution, which is $6 worth of chemicals, for $500. What I’ve managed to do is collect a bunch of other guys like me and get them to tell their secrets.
“I teach you. You teach me. I think that’s the way it was meant to be.”
Among these secrets is how to make guns and ammo … and “nuclear stuff.”
“The clicks I hope you’re hearing are fusions taking place in my fusion reactor,” he said in the video.
Out of consideration of Motherboard’s crew, he had the machine set “really low because I’m trying not to fry these nice camera men.”
Coulter said he thinks that the reactor could be scaled to “replace all the electrical companies on the entire planet, all the gasoline companies on the planet.”
The main issue with nuclear fusion reactors at this point is they take in more energy than what they put out.
Coulter’s perspective though is “if not me, who?”
“Big science has been failing at this miserably. They aren’t able to do anything quickly. It’s always meetings and bureaucracy, and here it’s just ‘can I make fusion work?’”
Coulter said he thinks his idea could bring fusion energy into a viable place.
“We’re no longer talking decades now, we’re talking years,” he said. “We put in heavy water or protons and lithium and we’re going to come out with more power than what we put in.
“If this works, I’m about to anger several trillion-dollar-a-year businesses.”
And yes, he made his idea open-source information, not because he’s afraid of it getting stolen from himself, but because “I care if they steal it from you.”
Take the roughly 7 minutes to watch Coulter show off his “den of creative chaos,” talk about his fusion reactor activities and show off a gun that could “take out the stop light in the town 12 miles over”:
In the video, Coulter said he worked his whole life to get to where he is right now.
“I’ve made my dreams come true by hard, honest work,” he said. “I have no regrets, other than I smoke. I would rather I not smoke.”