AOH :: PERFLUOR.TXT|
Perfluorocarbons and the "Breathing Pool" - on breathable liquids a'la "Abyss"
| File Name : PERFLUOR.ASC | Online Date : 09/19/95 |
| Contributed by : Bert Pool | Dir Category : BIOLOGY |
| From : KeelyNet BBS | DataLine : (214) 324-3501 |
| KeelyNet * PO BOX 870716 * Mesquite, Texas * USA * 75187 |
| A FREE Alternative Sciences BBS sponsored by Vanguard Sciences |
| InterNet email email@example.com (Jerry Decker) |
| Files also available at Bill Beaty's http://www.eskimo.com/~billb |
This is an article that originally appeared in the April/June 1994 issue of
_Ufologist_ magazine, published by North Bridge Corp, Palatka, Florida. It is
uploaded with the permission of the author and the publisher. Copyright 1994
North Bridge Corporation.
PERFLUOROCARBONS AND THE BREATHING POOL
By Ron Holtz
In _Secret Life_, author and abduction researcher David Jacobs describes an
experience of some abductees being invited or coerced into a pool filled with
an unusual liquid. The abductees report being fully immersed for perhaps
several minutes in this clear, green-colored liquid which they find they can
breath normally, without distress. Jacobs describes this "breathing pool"
experience as "common", but does not mention how common it is, and gives only
In fact, breathable liquids have been a part of human technology since the
mid-1960s. These liquids, known as perfluorocarbons, or PFCs for short, are
basically hydrocarbons with some of the hydrogen replaced by fluorine. They
have the property that large amounts of oxygen and other gases can be
dissolved in the liquid. Some PFCs can hold as much as 65% oxygen, three times
the concentration of oxygen in air. In addition, the oxygen-carrying
capability also makes PFCs attractive as blood substitutes.
The work on breathable liquids was pioneered in 1965 by Dr. Leland Clark at
the Medical College of Alabama and later at the Children's Hospital Medical
Center at the University of Cincinnati. The concept gained public attention in
the late 1960s through a televised demonstration showing a rat being placed
into a jar of clear liquid. After thrashing around initially in an instinctive
response against drowning, the rat calmed down and started breathing the
liquid, seeming quite content to do so.
These early liquid breathing experiments used liquid known as FX-80, or
perfluorobutyltetrahydrofuran. The problem encountered in these early animal
experiments was that the rats would die after an average immersion of four
hours. The longest survival was 20 hours. Even after breathing the FX-80 for
only one hour then being removed, the rats would die within a few weeks.
On a possibly more sinister note, some experiments done in 1967 at the
University of Pennsylvania showed that if rat brain tissue, as opposed to the
whole rat, was immersed in FX-80, the electrical activity of the brain tissue
persisted for several hours. In other words, immersion of brain matter in
liquid perfluorocarbons could keep the isolated brain tissue alive, at least
The first known human tests of PFCs occurred in May of 1989, in an radical
procedure on a premature infant with damaged lungs at the Saint Christopher's
Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. A baby girl, born 28 weeks prematurely,
was dying as a result of a combination of underdeveloped lungs, a common
disability with premature infants, and damage to the lungs from the
conventional high-pressure oxygen treatment. When the doctors estimated that
the infant was only moments away from death, they filled the infant's lungs
with oxygenated perfluorocarbon. Remarkably, the infant's condition improved
and she lived another 19 hours.
Perfluorocarbons continue to be the subject of much active research, both as
breathing liquids and as blood substitutes, along with other applications.
Medical uses of PFCs may include treatments for smoke inhalation or other lung
damage or disease, in certain eye surgeries, and as contrast-enhancing media
for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lungs. Some of the common PFCs are
known as FC-75, Vitreon, Fluorsol-43, and others.
There has been speculation about possible use of PFCs by the military to
assist in deep sea diving. At great depths, the pressure of the sea will
collapse the lungs. In addition, there's considerable danger of gas bubbles
forming in the blood as one surfaces, the disorder known to divers as the
"bends". By filling the lungs with a breathable fluid, the internal and
external pressures can be equalized, preventing lung collapse, reducing the
risk of the bends, and allowing for much deeper diving. In the 1989 movie,
_The Abyss_, Bud Brigman, the character portrayed by actor Ed Harris, uses a
special diving suit filled with breathable liquid.
The same concept could be used, in principal, to allow people to withstand
very high-g accelerations, for example for space travel. Immersion in a
vessel of breathable liquid would enable a space traveler to breath under very
high-g accelerations that would otherwise crush them. This concept was used
in the novel _The Forever War_, by Joe Haldeman, first published in 1974.
A number of other science fiction authors have employed the liquid breathing
theme, as well.
Liquid breathing also was featured in a short-lived television series titled
_UFO_, originally produced in Britain, but which aired in the USA during the
1972-73 season. In this case, however, it was invading aliens, not humans, who
were wearing space suits filled with liquid.
In the case of the "breathing pool" experiences described by David Jacobs, the
abductees are immersed, naked, in an open pool of the breathable liquid. The
aliens remain outside the pool, and the immersion is only for a moment. It is
unlikely, therefore, that if these experiences are real, that they are
associated with high-acceleration space travel. The absence of medical
apparatus and the short duration of immersion does not seem to indicate that
the immersion is a medical treatment, either.
Another property of perfluorocarbons that is of great technological
significance but that is not as generally known is their property of low
surface tension. That is, the PFCs wet surfaces readily, unlike water which
tends to form droplets. PFCs tend to spread out and form a layer that does
not drip off. This property is what allows the breathing liquids to fill the
lungs completely. The wetting property is also consistent with the "breathing
pool" experiences of abductees discussed by Jacobs. One experiencer reported
that, after leaving the pool, the liquid formed a film on the body which had
to be wiped off.
Because of the breathability of the "breathing pool" liquid, and it's wetting
property, it seems inescapable that this liquid is, in fact, a
perfluorocarbon. The purpose of the "breathing pool" exercise is not clear,
however. As argued previously, it does not seem likely that this immersion is
being performed for high-g space travel, or for a medical treatment procedure.
There is another possible explanation, assuming the experience as described is
real. The wetting property of PFCs makes the particularly suitable as an
immersion media for high-precision volume measurements. When an object (or a
person) is immersed in a fluid, that object displaces an amount of that fluid
equal to the volume of the object. For example, drop a rock into a glass of
water and the level of the water rises. The level of the fluid in a container,
such as a pool, can be measured, and the change of the level when something is
immersed can be used to determine the volume of the immersed object. A crude
form of this experiment is used in some health spas to estimate body tissue
volume which can then be compared to an "ideal" body volume for a person of
that weight, and an estimate of the percentage of a person's weight due to fat
can be determined.
If a person is immersed in water with the intention of determining the volume
of body tissue, there is an error in the measurement caused by the fact that
lungs are still full of air. Even if one exhales as much as possible, there is
still some residual volume of air present in the lungs. The only way eliminate
this source of error would be to totally collapse the lungs, which of course
would kill the subject, or to replace the air with a breathable liquid.
The "breathing pool" experience as described in _Secret Life_ is entirely
consistent with a high-precision body tissue volume measurement of the type
just discussed. This explanation fits the facts very well, and could be
interpreted as supporting the reality of the experience.
On the other hand, breathable fluids have been featured in advertising,
movies, science fiction stories, and even a television series about UFOs, in
addition to a number of published articles about real perfluorocarbon
experiments. Consequently, it may be possible that the "breathing pool"
experience, which was apparently recalled under hypnosis, could be the result
of confabulation. This aspect of the abduction experience must therefore be
regarded as inconclusive unless other supporting evidence is forthcoming.
David M. Jacobs, _Secret Life_, (Simon & Shuster, 1992).
"The (Liquid) Breath of Life", Science, 8 Sep 1989, p.1043.
"Revival of Mammals Breathing Organic Liquids Equilibrated with Oxygen at
L.E. Clark and F. Gollan, Science, 24 Jun 1966, p. 1755.
"Erythrocyte Substitute for Perfusion of Brain",
H.A. Sloviter and T. Kamimoto, Nature, Nov 4 1967, p.458.
The entire AOH site is optimized to look best in Firefox® 3 on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986- AOH
We do not send spam. If you have received spam bearing an artofhacking.com email address, please forward it with full headers to firstname.lastname@example.org.