POPQuiz #1 Answers: The Bucharest Files

If the truth is out there, then great researchers can help you find it. And sometimes, they find more than you expect.  Image by  Pawel86  from  Pixabay

If the truth is out there, then great researchers can help you find it. And sometimes, they find more than you expect.

Image by Pawel86 from Pixabay

POPQuiz #1 Answers: The Bucharest Files

Ready to see how your answers compare with ours?

POPQuiz 1 - Challenge Recap

At least two Romanian inventors, one past, one present, have both developed a type of device that would be illegal in one small town in France.

Video records of one such device exist.

The Challenge Parameters

  1. Name the inventors.

  2. Do they have patents or published applications? Reference relevant document numbers.

  3. (Extra Points) Find video records.

  4. (Extra, Extra Points) Name the French town.

OUR Answers

Flying saucers, disc-shaped craft, UFOs…hidden in a wilderness of terms, perhaps, but pretty hard to miss once you see your first ones.

Flying saucers, disc-shaped craft, UFOs…hidden in a wilderness of terms, perhaps, but pretty hard to miss once you see your first ones.

The truth is out there.

Here’s what we were looking for…

  1. Inventors

    • past: Henri Marie Coandă

    • present: Razvan Sabie and/or Iosif Taposu

  2. Patent Documents

    • past: we were thinking US 2988303, US 2939654, but would consider others by Coanda

    • present: WO2017105266 (A1) or family members, i.e., CA3045761, CN108473199, EA201800376, EP3390224, JP2019503941, RO131966

  3. Video records

  4. French town

In other words, we were focussed on Romanian inventors who had invented flying saucers.

We specified “one past, one present” in the question because we were hoping that you would find the work of Henri Marie Coandă, a beloved Romanian inventor who was a pioneer of aerodynamic engineering. We didn’t actually expect to find additional Romanian inventors of flying saucers until we started looking for more information about Coanda’s work.

And the French connection? That was a surprise, too.

The other surprise?

The fact that Vice.com would publish a detailed article about Sabie and Taposu’s ADIFO flying saucer on the same day (August 7, 2019) as this, our first POPQuiz challenge.

The Vice article mentions patent documents for the ADIFO device, and also refers to one patent from Henri Coandă.

No wonder one of our respondents, Peer Froehling, noted that there was no need to go into patent databases to find the answers. Yes. The truth was already out there, and it was probably trending.

As with many things intellectual property, it appears that timing is everything.

here’s what YOU Found

Despite the unanticipated spoiler-y goodness of the Vice.com article (and it is a wonderfully detailed article), we were gratified to have so many of you contribute your answers to our first POPQuiz. Some of you sent your answers to us directly, using the SurveyMonkey questionnaire, while others shared directly over social media.

Most of the respondents we saw found Sabie and Taposu’s ADIFO device and at least one associated video. And almost everybody found the French town with the prohibition against flying saucers.

The following users found the answers closest to what we were looking for, finding both the past and present inventors we had in mind, and also identifying the video demonstrations of the ADIFO device and the flying-saucer prohibiting French town:

  • Citing US 2108652 by Henri Coanda
    Peer Froehling

  • Citing a more extensive list of Coanda’s patents, including US 2939654 and US 2988303
    Rebecca Ashton

    Rosanna Lindquist
    Henk Pattyn

    In terms of what we were hoping to see, Rebecca, Rosanna, and Henk probably had the most thorough lists of potential “flying saucer” patents, as well as the other answers we expected.

we also learned some new things

It turns out that there are even more Romanian inventors that have patent publications relating to flying saucer-like devices. Miriam Schwamborn and Anders Olsson, for example, identified at least one additional Romanian inventor of flying saucers, and there are few other suggestions from other respondents that I still need to check out.

Other respondents also cited patent documents and historical inventors in the area of helicopter or drone-style devices similar to the ADIFO device, identifying art that would definitely be appropriate if one decided that the hovering nature of the device was its most important characteristic. These answers also made a great deal of sense, although the inventors cited by some of the respondents weren’t clearly Romanian. (I’m willing to be corrected, however.)

One respondent, Mikk, also noted that there is a much wider prohibition in France about drones in general. In that case, naming any single French town in particular might mean very little.

Other Ideas

We also found that there were some very different approaches and interpretations that could present equally valid solutions. For instance, check out Yateen Pargaonkar’s thorough and creative take on the problem on Linkedin, and note that he also found a French prohibition against a technology in a completely different domain. His post is an excellent illustration of a seasoned and tenacious patent researcher’s thought process, and it’s a great reminder that there is more than one way to answer a question given our minimal – or shall we say opaque – description of the technology involved.

Respondents Akash and Poonam Thakur also demonstrated that there might be other valid ways to answer our questions. Both identified the same Romanian or Romanian-born inventors of hoverboard technologies. Surprisingly, those technologies also happened to be subject to a ban in a different French town, Sagatte. (What is up with that, little French towns?) Now that was unexpected and cool, especially given that hoverboards are also the sorts of things we imagine would be right at home in a world full of flying saucers.

The truth was out there.

And it was a surprising mix of the expected, unexpected, and the delightful. Thanks to everyone for playing in our first POPQuiz.

Extra note, August 10, 8:05 pm PDT:

What do you think about the answers to the first POPQuiz?

We’ve got room for comments below, and we’d love to hear them. Especially since a lot of us enjoy using research to back up your arguments. Always more fun (and more diversions) that way.

Thanks to Christopher Baldwin for making the first comment. What do you all think: do you agree with his argument that we should count Nikolai Tesla as Romanian?

Cathy Chiba2 Comments