I was going through my garage last night and found an old box of files I kept of magazine clippings. There were are all sorts of interesting nuggets in there, especially this one:
Popular Science, Oct. 1992, the article Pyramid Power. In this case, the power of pyramids in question is their ability to provide drinking water. Here’s a sample:
Squeezing blood from a stone is beyond the scope of modern science, but a trio of engineers in Seattle claim they have figured out how to get water from rocks. Jose Vila, a retired Boeing Co. engineer, says that pyramids made of loosely piled stone can be used to capture enough moisture to provide ample drinking water for a small community. Such pyramids, called aerial wells, use the daily cycle of solar heating and night-time cooling to create condensation.
Aerial wells are actually a centuries-old idea. In the late 1800’s, archaeologists at the site of the ancient Greek city of Feodosiya, in what is now Ukraine, discovered the 2,500 year old ruins of a water supply system consisting of 13 limestone pyramids, each nearly 40 feet tall. Based on the size of its tile pipes, the system may have produced as much as 14,000 gallons of water a day.
I kept waiting to hear more about it, and finally in 1995 I made some calls, checked white and yellow pages and found Jose Vila himself and called him up. He took down my address and sent me a letter and some background research. He was applying for an additional $250,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation at the time. I got the impression from talking with him, that he was quite elderly. So if he is deceased that may explain the lack of follow up R&D, as I have found only one mention of it on the entire net.
Just imagine if you could build an aerial well, producing for you lots of water out of the air like Tatooine Moisture Vaporators, giving you lots of water where there may be little or none available through traditional welling.