A visit to the former Steorn office

With Steorn’s assets set to be liquidated, but no sign of any public information about the liquidation schedule or process, it remains an open question whether the Steorn offices have yet been cleared out and what has become of the company’s property. Longtime reader and Dublin correspondent Aidan Sullivan sought to address these questions by stopping by Steorn’s office location this morning.

What he found was a hurriedly abandoned space. Peering through the windows, he could see bare rooms that showed signs of having been cleared out in a rush, such as broken glass strewn across a hallway floor. At least in the areas that he could view from the outside, Steorn’s property appears to have been removed from their old office space.

But Mr. Sullivan wasn’t the only one investigating Steorn at their former premises this morning.

He happened to run into a camera crew for the award winning Irish current affairs television program, RTÉ One’s Prime Time, who were on site recording for a segment about Steorn that is set to be broadcast this Thursday evening, December 8th, at 9:35 pm GMT. Viewers outside of Ireland should be able to view the segment through the RTÉ Player site.

Mr. Sullivan chatted with members of the camera crew during a break in filming, and found out some of what they have learned about Steorn’s current situation:

  • No liquidator has yet been hired to sell off Steorn’s assets. A shareholder meeting is scheduled to be called in the next few weeks to appoint a liquidator.
  • The program will not feature interviews with ex-Steorn staff. It will have footage of a German shareholder, a veterinarian, who has invested in a variety of potential clean energy technologies, and who has expected for years that the money he put into Steorn was lost.
  • The former financial controller at Steorn, Roger Hatfield, was apparently also a substantial investor in the company.
  • Prime Time failed to make contact with Pat Corbett, but did confirm that he raised 16 of the total 23 million euros of investment that has been poured into Steorn over the years.
  • Shaun McCarthy has recently moved, leaving his castle-style home in the Dublin suburb of Sandymount.
  • Prime Time hired an engineer to examine the Steorn patents; he found that they lack crucial information that would be necessary to replicate Orbo. The show’s staff find the convoluted Steorn saga to be bizarre.

Special thanks again to Aidan Sullivan for all of this information. When and if we learn anything more about Steorn’s planned shareholder meeting or their liquidation process, we’ll post it here.

UPDATE 12/11/16: The Prime Time report on Steorn is now available online, here.

19 thoughts on “A visit to the former Steorn office

  1. Any word on the liquidation? Will they be selling any of the old cubes? I’m not sure how long it takes. Or any of the former employees come forward?

    Seems this is the end. But getting one of their phones or cubes would be a nice conversation piece.

  2. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I really think that Steorn was on the level. They really thought they had something. (They didn’t, in case you think I’m a tinfoil hat wearer.) It is a case of mass self induced delusion, a sort of Stockholm syndrome between the employees and Sean, and I hope it is fully documented for future generations. It’ll teach us a lot about human nature.

    • The problem is Shaun lied so much that it makes it hard to not think they were hoodwinking everyone. He also talked a lot of bollocks and made things up as he went along. Just in this video interview when the interviewer asked Shaun if anyone believed in Orbo working he avoided an answer. Which is strange considering Pat Corbett said he used the Orbo cube for several weeks and when this whole thing started back in 2006 Shaun said 8 universities had validated the claim yet were never revealed. The developer’s clubs were all BS and no one could replicate the effect. The patents are bollocks and the jury assessment alone showed they had nothing. Even Phil Watson who was a strong supporter said that after extensive testing of Orbo he found nothing. So considering no one could find anything of substance what was there to believe in?

      • There was Sean to believe in. I think he was a sort of charismatic figure. Perhaps Pat Corbett and the others were too. And as I suggested on a previous post, I think that once the employees were on side, they had no place to go but deeper into the whole mess.

        • But that is how cons work. Some charismatic figure mesmerizes people into believing some alternate reality that defies their skepticism. Although, as an outsider I was never captivated by Shaun as his claim was without merit without proof or evidence which never materialized. Steorn was long on bombastic marketing but short on real science. His explanations on how Orbo worked changed with each iteration they proffered each completely unsubstantiated beyond “trust me.”

          • All good points. I still think they were simply deluded. They didn’t set out to con people: rather, things snowballed into that situation. There may have been an element of schizophrenia involved.

          • It’s interesting when you hear the one investor who spoke on Prime Time. He said that he saw it work – at one point. But when they made any model to be put into production the most they got out of it was a tiny trickle. Which would possible be left over residue. As you might get it you left a used battery on a radiator for a few hours.

            What was never clear was how that spinning wheel example with motors turned into a solid state battery which they later showed.

            I’m sure they knew in the end it did not work. All they had was jobs to protect. Why didn’t they use all that time to try and create something different? 14 years is a long time to produce nothing.

            Hopefully some of the former workers will come forward and give interviews – even anonymously.

            I guess this is the end of people claiming to produce something out of nothing – or is it?

    • What happened to all the Steorn testers with blogs? It should be pretty easy to find out if they were stooges or real people. What happened to the Bartender with the phone? Was she a paid liar ?

      I mean how come nobody looked into these people

  3. I saw the Prime Time special on RTE. They actually did interview Sean. He still believes the battery works. Apparently she put 250k into the venture and ‘would do it again’. But he admitted he took a salary. Which I had read was about 80k a year. So 80k x 15 years would mean he got about €1.2 million back (at least). Not to mention expenses and so on.

    The battery never worked, it never could. They managed to tap into a lot of dreamers when they danged the ‘big profits’ carrot in front of them.

    But 15 years of an easy job and good pay. Wouldn’t we all take that?

    Anyway, I’ll be there when they sell of the cubes for a tenner each. Will make a nice paper weight.

  4. It will be interesting to watch it. But it all seems clear now that it was all a large, long piece of make believe.

    It never worked. It never could. It never will.

    It’s interesting that the two guys behind it who always seemed to love to talk didn’t come forward now. Why not? If they really believed it.

    But it does seem that they got nice houses out of it. But who would give them more money in invest now? Oh wait .. the Irish economy is improving .. wait and see…

    Anyway, I’d still buy one of their cubes as a door stop.

  5. Hard to imagine one of those shabby little factoryettes could be the home of a AU$33 million company. Or that McCarthy allegedly employed 18 staff. It’s of interest that not one of those (phony?) staff have come forward or been named, or sold their story to one of the “red top” tabloids for a zillion pounds.

    Although it must have been an easy exercise to clean out the offices—a few dozen 9 volt batteries, a roll of bell wire, a handful of empty plastic cases, and an oscilloscope would take a bloke all of 5 minutes to stick in the trunk of his car LOL.

    • * It wasn’t AU$33 million; In Ireland they use the Euro. Only Australia uses the Australian dollar, that’s why it’s called the Australian dollar. Didn’t you know?

      * This is what the place looked like all along, we have known where it was and we have seen photos and video of it for a decade.

      * The “Red Top” tabloids are concerned with celebrities, racism, sports, and fake cancer causes/cures. They don’t care about this and they’re not going to pay.

      • @ SomeGuy… “It wasn’t AU$33 million; In Ireland they use the Euro. Only Australia uses the Australian dollar, that’s why it’s called the Australian dollar. Didn’t you know?”

        Uh, yes of course I “know”—duh. I used the current conversion rate [1 AUD = 0.707830 EUR] to give Aussie readers a better idea of the company’s value. So yes; Steorn did have AU$33 million invested over the decade of its existence. Apparently you’re not well versed in the international money market?

        • The exchange rate has not been the same for the decade of Steorn’s existence, converting it to an arbitrary currency for no reason is confusing and inaccurate. Any Aussie reader or reader from anywhere else can work it out themselves like you did.

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