Pons and Fleischmann were, and are, highly respected physicists, and their explorations were into an unexplained phenomenon whose existence is by no means a new discovery. Peculiarities in electrolytic reactions involving hydrogen (heavy water or not) have been documented by the Royal Society in the 1800’s. Verifiable scientific papers even published this year continue to document anomalies.
Whether Drs. P&F were “premature” in their going-public with the information is debatable. But what is known is that their findings were immediately classified and the Dr’s were basically told to shut up. Since they both work for a University, which receives a lot of “black” money as most Universities do, they willingly did so. (They continue to discuss and publish, but carefully limit themselves.) But the discrediting was basically a cover story. (Not surprising, really. And maybe even smart.)
The antique documents and proceedings remain. And, enough parallel research is going on elsewhere, including parts of the world that are outside of the authority of the U.S. Defense Department, to confirm that something as-yet unexplained is going on here. No one, publicly at least, is yet sure exactly what. All of this is “good science.”
Kindly don’t overlook the importance of discovery, of absolute surprises, of completely-unexplained experimental results, in all of science. No one “expected” a Leyden bottle on the other side of a laboratory to spark when a bottle on the other side was discharged. It was, for a very long time, an “unexplained phenomenon” before it became … Radio.
Even in the research areas of “hot” fusion, there are a lot of absolutely-counterintuive, counter-theoretical things. For example, no one knows why a fusion reaction becomes much easier to generate in the presence of atoms of iron. No one can offer a theory that encompasses “nuclear catalyics,” least of all one involving iron (which is the “least energy state” atom), but … there it is. Documented. Verified. Unexplained.
In this world where we tend not to look for anything without explaining it first, I find this rather refreshing. A mystery!