In 1995, Mike Marcum, nicknamed "Madman," attempted to build a time machine on his porch in Stanberry, Missouri. He called the device the Jacobs Ladder.
Mike Marcum's time machine used a modified Compact Disc laser to reduce air resistance between two poles, creating a continuous arc. When he activated the device, he observed something unusual.
Mike Marcum noticed a circular, vortex-shaped heat mark on his time machine, similar to what one might see on hot pavement. To test the effect, he threw a sheet metal screw through the vortex. He claimed that the screw vanished for a brief moment before reappearing a few feet away a second later.
Mike Marcum, who was 21 years old and studying electricity at the time, was known for his intelligence among his friends. He attempted to build a time machine with the goal of obtaining the winning lottery numbers from the future, but he faced the challenge of needing a large amount of power to make it work.
After conducting additional tests, the CD laser on Mike Marcum's time machine caught fire. He decided that if he were to rebuild the machine, he would use larger transformers.
Since purchasing transformers was too expensive, Mike Marcum decided to find an alternative solution. He stole six large transformers, each weighing over 300 pounds, from a power station in King City, Missouri. The transformers were located at the St. Joseph Light and Power generating station.
During his experiments, Mike Marcum caused a blackout in his neighborhood. He was subsequently arrested in his home on January 29, 1995, by Gentry County Sheriff Eugene Lupfer, who had a warrant for his arrest due to the theft of the transformers.
After serving several months in prison, Mike Marcum was released and invited to be a guest on Art Bell's Coast to Coast Radio program. During the show, he shared his story of the screw and his plan to build a time machine, and vowed to do so legally in the future.
Mike Marcum told Art that he still wanted to create another experiment, but he was lacking both funding and spare parts. During the interview, he provided his phone number and received a constant stream of calls for three days. The show helped Marcum significantly, as many listeners provided him with ideas, funding, and spare parts to help him pursue his work.
With the assistance and donations of his listeners, Mike Marcum was able to create a more powerful and larger time machine for his next project. The new machine was designed to run at a 3 megawatt rate, significantly more powerful than the original engine which ran at the kilowatt rate. Marcum intended to test the machine on himself.
In addition, Marcum included a rotating magnetic field in his new time machine, similar to the one used by the US military in the Philadelphia Experiment. He believed that rotating magnetic fields were more effective and efficient.
Art Bell invited Mike Marcum back to his show about a year later, during which Marcum claimed to be working on a more advanced time machine. He said that the electromagnetic vortex was large enough for a person to enter.
During the interview, Marcum stated that he was close to achieving the necessary voltage to run the machine. When asked what he would take with him on his journey, he replied that he would only bring his cell phone. At the end of the show, he decided to give his address instead of his phone number, and invited anyone interested to search for his house on Google Earth.
During Marcum's second and final appearance on Bell's show in 1996, he claimed that he was 30 days away from completing his "legal" time machine.
In 1997, Mike Marcum vanished and has not been seen or heard from since. Shortly after his disappearance, a listener called Art Bell's show to share a strange story he had come across. In the 1930s, police found a dead man on a beach in California.
The caller reported that the man, who was crushed to death in a strange metal tube, was unrecognizable. A mysterious device was found near the body, which the caller described as resembling a cell phone.