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Waynesboro, Va. (AP)-- Bill Ditgood may have just solved all the world's energy and pollution troubles with just a little ingenuity and several weeks spent tinkering in his garage. His new device, called the Ultrajuice, a shoebox sized metal apparatus with a simple wall outlet built into the side, puts out power suitable to run all the appliances in a standard household without any resultant pollution or future replacement costs. Most importantly, it makes electric companies and electric bills a thing of the past.

Scientists from around the country have gathered at the humble abode of Ditgood to put the remarkable new Ultrajuice through its paces. Physicist Joe Libble of the Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the many scientists who, though he cannot deny the evidence presented, still wonders how everything he learned in introductory college physics could be proven suddenly so wrong. Says Libble, "The Ultrajuice is truly astounding! I placed a load of 900 amps across its two terminals, and the damn box didn't even get warm! What's more, it didn't make a noise. It just sat there, quietly making clean power. Ditgood is going to be a trillionaire!"

Chemist Adolph Arian of the Utah Institute of Technology, who for the past six years has been one of the few torchbearers in the field of Cold Fusion, another "free-energy" field, claimed today that it was pointless now to continue to try to confirm the existence of Cold Fusion. Tears ran from Arian's eyes as he said, "The Ultrajuice is just too darn good. ...My education and resumé, I'd like to throw it all away and have just a tenth of Ditgood's intelligence."

Ditgood's invention has utterly stunned the academic and scientific communities. Ditgood has lived his whole life in Waynesboro, a humble and somewhat seedy blue collar town, and there is no evidence that he graduated from Waynesboro High School, which he attended in the 1970s. Working mainly as a plumber, Ditgood dabbled in the energy field largely as a hobby, mainly in attempt to avoid having to pay electric bills.

The exact mechanism inside the Ultrajuice is a closely guarded secret, and only a few scientists have been allowed to peer inside. All who have say that Ditgood's mechanism is brilliant. Says Armand Pfister of MIT, "It's sublimely elegant, and it doesn't require any expensive materials or tricky machine work. What's more, it contains nothing that you have to worry about it leaking out in a hundred or a thousand years."

Ditgood guesses that an average Ultrajuice will cost about $150 to manufacture, and that it will then last for "many" years. How many? Says Otto Ptomistique of Virginia Polytechnic, "Maybe a million years, or until someone runs over it. Really, it's so chemically inert and physically rugged, I don't see it needing to be replaced once it's installed in your basement."

Perhaps a new age is being ushered in with the Ultrajuice. Rose Seevjeiw of the Reykjavik Academy of Science writes in the upcoming New England Journal of Science,

Overnight all of our gasoline powered cars are rendered obsolete. All of our electric power lines can come down. All of our hydroelectric dams can be dynamited. No longer must we foolishly pollute the air with evils known and unknown. And no longer is humanity chained down by the needs of available power. The Ultrajuice, weighing in at just twenty pounds, supplies enough power to propel a large aircraft, let alone the family car. What is more, the Ultrajuice is inexpensive and durable. It is likely that soon our automobiles will have infinite range, infinite life, and infinite power as well. Thus we, mankind, will have infinite power.

Environmentalist are among the biggest friends of the new Ultrajuice. Says I. M. Sewgreen of the group People for a Clean Earth, "Finally we have something to point to when Rush Limbaugh asks us what the alternatives to oil and nuclear are."

The Ultrajuice does, of course, have some detractors. Andy Billows, the President of Mobile Oil, the value of whose stock plummeted 80% following the announcement of the Ultrajuice, contends, "I've seen it all before...first it was solar, then geothermal, now it's this confounded contraption. It's just a fad. It won't last."

The Ultrajuice is having a destabilizing effect throughout the world as the price of oil futures falls sharply, down to as low as five cents a barrel for deliveries made in Summer, 1997. The future of some Arab states has been placed in serious jeopardy by the prospect of a greatly decreased need for oil in the world. Some, however have predicted that the Ultrajuice will have a net positive effect on the arid Middle East. Futurist and Middle East Specialist Edward Josephs, Ph.D., of Oberlin College, claims, "With desalinization plants running on Ultrajuices, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula can be brought under the plow and cultivated for the good of mankind, leading to a restructured but altogether healthy economy." Some have even proposed using Ultrajuices to thaw the Antarctic Continent from its ice-bound slumber so that it too might be populated and farmed.

Though now an instant media star, Ditgood remains humble. He has decided not to move out of his cramped house on Lew Dewitt Blvd., though he does plan to buy a new car to replace his aging 1992 Buick. He also recently bought his wife, Annie, a new diamond wedding ring to replace the silver one, all that he could afford, that he bought her back in 1974. As for the possibility of movie contracts, a book, and all the wealth of the world's substantial and growing energy needs, all Ditgood would say is simply, "We'll see."

The Ultrajuice weighs only 20 lbs and is roughly the size of a shoebox (AP Laserphoto).

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