Bernard J. Eastlund (1938 – December 12, 2007) was an American physicist who received his B.S. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University. In 1970 he received a Special Achievement Certificate from the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission for co-invention of the "fusion torch."
Eastlund attended MIT, receiving a B.S Physics degree in 1960. In 1965, he received a Ph.D. in plasma physics from Columbia University, and spent 3 years as a post-doc fellow there. Eastlund became a staff member at the fusion office at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (USAEC) in 1968. The USAEC recognized Eastlund's paper, "The Fusion Torch" co-authored with William C. Gough, with a Special Award in 1970. Scientific American magazine published a review of fusion programs by Eastland and Gough in 1971.
In 1974, Eastlund left the USAEC and co-founded Fusion Systems Corporation, which focused on ultraviolet-based curing technology with applications in the packaging and manufacturing industry. Fusion Systems technology was used for fast-drying industrial requirements such as labels on Coors beer cans and furniture varnishes. The company sold in 1997 for $193 million.
In 1979, Eastlund left Fusion Systems to become Vice President of Energy Research for BDM Corporation. Eastlund served as a member of the Board of Directors and also as treasurer at Fusion Power Associates. After leaving BDM, Eastlund worked for Atlantic Richfield Corporation. In 1987 he founded Production Technologies International Corporation and in 1996 he founded Eastlund Scientific Enterprises Corporation. In 2003, Eastlund was awarded a U.S. House of Representatives Certificate of Recognition for contributions to homeland security technology.
Eastlund was in favor of funding research into weather modification and control that could reduce the impact of severe weather. He envisioned "concepts for electromagnetic wave interactions with the atmosphere that, among a range of jobs, could be applied to weather modification research" and that such research could mature to a new science in 10 or 20 years.
In later years, he continued to collaborate with Gough and George Miley on their fusion torch concepts. Eastlund died December 12, 2007 at his home in St.Louis, survived by his wife, Sherrie, and several children.
Eastlund authored 53 peer reviewed scientific papers and 23 US patents for applications such as well-drilling, sterilization of medical devices, high intensity lighting, and atmospheric plasma heating.
One of Eastlund's patents (US4686605 A) described an adaptation of concepts first proposed by Nikola Tesla. Eastlund's "Method and apparatus for altering a region in the earth's atmosphere, ionosphere, and/or magnetosphere", described as "grandiose", proposed a 40-mile square, HAARP-like radio transmitter that used Alaskan natural gas to generate current to create electromagnetic radiation that would excite a section of the ionosphere. Eastlund's patent speculated on "possible ramifications and potential future developments" including magnetotelluric surveys, local weather modification, and missile defense. Eastlund later claimed that HAARP was built using his patents, prompting conspiracy theorists such as Nick Begich to claim that HAARP is capable of secretly controlling the weather. According to HAARP program manager John L. Heckscher, "HAARP certainly does not have anything to do with Eastlund's thing, that is just crazy. What we have here is a premier scientific research facility with military applications."
- "In Memoriam: Bernard J. Eastlund". Fusion Power Associates. US Department of Energy Office of Fusion Energy Sciences. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- David, Leonard. "Science and Space". USA Today. USA Today. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Böttcher, M., Eastlund, B., & Miller, B. 1997, in Fourth Huntsville Gamma-Ray Burst Symp., ed. C. A. Meegan, R. D. Preece, & T. M. Koshut (New York: AIP)
- Eastlund, Bernard J. (January 31, 1970). "Low Mode Coherent Synchrotron Radiation and Pulsar Phenomena". Nature. 225 (5231): 430. Bibcode:1970Natur.225..430E. doi:10.1038/225430a0. S2CID 4264829.
- "Rice University Department of Space Physics and Astronomy – 4.2.6 High Energy Astrophysics" (PDF). AAS.org. American Astronomical Society. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Eastlund, B.J.; Miller, B.; Michel, F. Curtis (1997). "Emission from Closed and Filled Magnetospheric Shells and Its Application to the Crab Pulsar". The Astrophysical Journal. 483 (2): 857–867. Bibcode:1997ApJ...483..857E. doi:10.1086/304292.
- Taylor, Keith. "Team – Bernard J. Eastlund". Fusion Torch. Fusiontorch.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- "Patents by Inventor Bernard J. Eastlund". JUSTIA Patents. Justia.com. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Eastlund, Bernard J. "Method and apparatus for altering a region in the earth's atmosphere, ionosphere, and/or magnetosphere". IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. Google Patents. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
- Mark Farmer. Popular Science. September 1995 ed. Bonnier Corporation; September 1995. ISSN 01617370. pp. 79–.
- Dunning, Brian. "Skeptoid #122: HAARP Myths". Skeptoid. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Naiditch, David. "Is Baked Alaska Half-Baked?". Skeptic Magazine. The Skeptics Society. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Street, Abe. "The Military's Mystery Machine". Popular Science. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Zey, Michael G. The Future Factor: Forces Transforming Human Destiny Transaction Publishers; New edition (30 April 2004) ISBN 978-0-7658-0591-1 p. 39