Tamara Wilhite: You have an impressive bio. You co-founded Q-Track before becoming principal scientist at Geeks and Nerds Corporation. What does that role entail?

Hans G. Schantz: As co-founder of Q-Track Corporation, I worked to commercialize the Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER®) Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technology I co-invented. As a principal in a small company, I had to wear many hats, IT Director, Business Development, IP Manager, Program Manager, Webmaster, and so on.

In January 2019, GaN (Geeks and Nerds) Corporation acquired Q-Track. Working with a larger and better financed company has been a pleasure. I’ve had a chance to focus on the research and technology development projects I enjoy while being on a larger team that takes care of the many business functions that were so distracting in a small company. My role is to provide technical leadership and support across a wide range of fascinating projects including cyber-electromagnetic effects, information security, quantum computing, and continuing to develop enhancements to NFER® technology.

Tamara Wilhite: What is the NFER® technology you helped invent?

Hans G. Schantz: NFER® RTLS uses near-field wireless signals to localize RF tags to a typical accuracy of 40cm or so (video). The low-frequency, long-wavelength signals penetrate through walls and diffract around obstructions far better than conventional microwave signals. NFER® RTLS has been deployed in the nuclear industry, health care, manufacturing, and safety applications. The largest deployment tracked soldiers in a 31-building, 500,000 sqft campus for Military Operations Urban Terrain (MOUT) training and achieved 1m accuracy 95% of the time.

Tamara Wilhite: You’re an RF (radio frequency) expert. Can you explain the hype and hysteria around 5G? To me, it seems like a rehash of the “be afraid of power lines” hysteria.

Hans G. Schantz: At high enough frequencies, past visible light and into ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays, you have to worry about high energy photons damaging tissues, scrambling your DNA, and causing cancer. A sunburn is a mild form of over-exposure to electromagnetic energy, and too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet energy can damage skin past its ability to repair itself. The result may be skin cancer. These hyper high frequency electromagnetic waves with hyper high energy photons are called “ionizing radiation.” In fact, Albert Einstein received his Nobel Prize for his theory of the photoelectric effect which explains how only very high energy photons are capable of ionizing atoms.

Radio waves, even the millimeter waves now used in 5G, are called “non-ionizing radiation.” Their photons don’t have enough energy to ionize atoms and damage DNA. Wireless safety has long been governed by the assumption that RF safety is a matter of keeping field strength low enough to avoid thermal heating effects. Stepping out in the sunlight, for instance, exposes you to a flux of electromagnetic energy of about a kilowatt per square meter, and your body is capable of handling the resulting heat load.

More recently however, more subtle non-thermal biological effects have been discovered. Tumor Treating Fields (TTF) in the 100-500 kHz frequency range have been found to inhibit the growth of certain cancers. Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) in similar frequency ranges have been used to help bone fractures heal and to treat depression with mixed results. These intriguing results suggest that low frequencies may have certain biological effects, and perhaps microwave signals pulsed at similar modulation frequencies could have similar biological effects. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear-cut understanding of how this all works. Given the prevalence of electromagnetic fields around us, the results – and potential harms – are likely to be minor, or at least rare, or we’d already have clearer evidence of them. Further scrutiny may be helpful, but there isn’t reason for alarm.

Tamara Wilhite: In addition to several patents and antenna books, you’ve written a fair bit of science fiction. How does your technology background influence your fiction?

Hans G. Schantz: My technical background was an inspiration for my fiction writing. Much of my novel perspective of how electromagnetics works is really quite simple physics that could and should have been discovered over a hundred years ago by the likes of Heinrich Hertz, Oliver Heaviside, George Francis Fitzgerald, and Oliver Lodge. What if my discoveries were really re-discoveries of work first developed back then, that was suppressed and covered up? What if the fact that Maxwell, Hertz, and Fitzgerald all died in their primes before completing their life’s work wasn’t merely a coincidence? Who were the people Heaviside claimed were harassing him, driving him into a hermit-like seclusion? Why did Oliver Lodge withdraw from physical pursuits in favor of psychical research? Why is so little of this in the books? Who altered history and why?

I started my books from the premise that an evil conspiracy hid the fundamental truth of how electromagnetics works, and acts to this day suppressing the truth and killing anyone who gets too close to their secrets. I feature my own real-world discoveries into the technical mysteries my heroes have to unravel. And the conspiracy premise has allowed me to weave into my story line a host of ripped-from-the-headlines current events about “Deep State” conspiracies using any means necessary to secure power.

I’ve also helped fellow authors incorporate some of my technical ideas in their speculative fiction, Fenton Wood, author of the young-adult Yankee Republic series, used a recent invention of mine, Narrowband Impulse Radio, to help his hero escape a maze in his The City of Illusions. In addition, I helped devise a new fictional technology for him, “explosive pumped flux compression generator initiated magnetohydrodynamic supercavitation,” to explain how a vehicle can travel through magma. Further, I’ve contributed some antenna designs and concepts to his fictional universe. I really enjoyed Pirates of the Electromagnetic Waves and the rest of Fenton’s writing, and I appreciated the opportunity to contribute bits of technically-inspired flair to his storytelling.

Tamara Wilhite: What is The Hidden Truth about?

Hans G. Schantz: In The Hidden Truth, the 9/11 hijackers destroyed the White House, killing President Gore. President Lieberman and Vice President McCain govern over a US very much like our own, except that Internet companies have been nationalized in a conglomerate called “Omnitia” run by the Deep State so as to monitor all communications and prevent any recurrence of a terror attack. It’s an alternate timeline with echoes of our own current events.

A young man, Peter Burdell, living in Appalachia, finds a dusty book in a forgotten library that doesn’t match the online scans from Omnitia. The book hints at century-old electromagnetic discoveries by Heaviside that don’t appear anywhere in the available literature. With the help of his family and his friend, Amit, a computer-savvy aspiring pick-up artist, Pete begins unravelling the conspiracy.

His discovery lands Peter in the cross hairs of the deadly cabal whose Deep State agents changed the past to control the present, so they can rule the future. Peter races against the odds to expose the conspiracy and uncover the answer to the most important question of his life:

What is The Hidden Truth?

In the second book in the series, A Rambling Wreck, Pete and Amit are off to Georgia Tech for the education they’ll need to defeat the guardians of the hidden truth. Peter discovers the battle for the future is being fought right on campus. Now he has to infiltrate a conspiracy, find new allies, thwart a social-justice-activist takeover of the school, and save his professors from assassination.

In The Brave and the Bold, Pete must leverage his summer intern position to infiltrate the Cabal’s Social Justice Leadership Forum on Jekyll Island, and disrupt their plans. The danger – and the opportunity – are far greater than he imagines. The sinister power behind the cabal – a power that aims to reshape society, destroy our civilization, and cast humanity into bondage – tolerates no rivals. Deep within the conspiracy’s stronghold Pete discovers not only the secrets by which they retain their power, but also a crucial vulnerability that could cripple the cabal with one decisive blow.

In my works, I enjoy distilling social justice doctrine down to its most contradictory and ridiculous form to provide an element of humor, but I never cross the line into merely making things up for the sake of ridicule. Every bit of the political or philosophic social justice doctrine the villains in my novels espouse came straight from the writings of real-world advocates. Because I catch trends before readers may be aware of them, the series often seems amazingly prescient and relevant to current events despite being set in an alternate timeline.

For instance, The Brave and the Bold features a Caribbean Island where the rich and powerful go to “indulge” themselves. A character arrested for procuring victims to be exploited on the island is arrested and is subjected to an involuntary suicide to keep him from spilling any secrets. My story came out almost a year before the similar events happened in the real world. I follow sources like Anonymous Conservative, Zero Hedge, Crazy Days and Nights, Neon Revolt, and others to draw from current thinking and hypotheses about the QAnon phenomena as well as the actions and behavior of deep state actors. From this inspiration, I extrapolate from those sources and weave it all into my stories.

Another fun aspect of my series is that while there is a cabal using deep state mechanisms to gain power over us, it turns out that there is yet another mysterious entity behind them, pulling their strings and working according to his own agenda gaining power over them. There are other groups pursuing their own goals, too: a secret order within the Dominicans that aims to protect scientists and preserve their knowledge, a Chinese tong that once served as the servants of the entity, but now seek to destroy him, the QAnons, a shadowy group called The Reactance that seeks out the cabal’s secrets, and a mysterious agent of chaos on the Georgia Tech campus known as George P. Burdell who frustrates the cabal’s schemes.

Tamara Wilhite: You’ve also contributed to a number of sci-fi anthologies like Planetary: Earth and Places beyond the Wild, a zombie anthology. Which one was the most fun to write?

Hans G. Schantz: My story, “Hidden Conquest,” collected in Planetary: Earth was the most fun to write. I’ve long been an admirer of the Fredric Brown or O. Henry short-short-story style in which you are both entertained and *think* you know what the story is about. Then, in the closing paragraph, you’re surprised to discover your premises were all wrong and the story is about something else entirely. A short-short (~2000) word story, “Hidden Conquest” assumes as a starting point that faster-than-light travel is impossible, that interstellar travel is extraordinarily difficult, and presents a way our civilization could nevertheless project power across interstellar distances to conquer other worlds.

“Timeline Zulu” is a much longer story. Set in the future of the Hidden Truth universe it tells how Pete travels to a strange timeline where Donald Trump is President and zombies run amok. It also details a novel (and entirely fictional) conception of how alternate timelines might work and interact. It’s a crossover story between my Hidden Truth universe and Daniel Humphreys’ Z-Day zombie thrillers. I never thought I’d like zombie stories, but Humphreys does a magnificent job focusing on how heroes rise to the occasion to take on existential threats. It was an honor to contribute a bit to his mythos and tie it in with mine.

Tamara Wilhite: What writers had the most influence on you and why?

Technically? I mentioned how much I appreciate Fredric Brown and his mastery of short, decisive story telling with a surprise twist. The pulp writer, Lester Dent, creator of Doc Savage, had a marvelous formula for writing 6000-word short stories in four parts with surprising twists between each section and escalating action. I use it as a guideline for writing chapters in my novels. Of course, Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey has influenced my writing. I particularly enjoyed Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters, and Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat. Frameworks like those should of course be treated as suggestions, not straightjackets.

Stylistically? There’s Fredric Brown, again. Also, I’m very fond of Robert Heinlein’s juveniles. He had a wonderful talent for telling compact, action-packed stories about heroic young heroes learning how the world works and acting decisively under the influence of a mentor to do the right thing. I’d like to think there’s some of that DNA in my own writing.

Another big influence was Ayn Rand. I enjoyed both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged for her portrayal of the lone individualist heroic creator, but I came to realize her portrayal overlooked how friends and family can help creators achieve their goals. In a way, The Hidden Truth is something of a complement to Rand or perhaps a contrast against her thinking, because it explores how a competent and capable hero can collaborate with others to achieve greater heights than would be possible on his own.

A contemporary author I also admire is Jim Butcher. His hero, Harry Dresden, is a private investigator and wizard who tackles villains far more powerful than he is, and triumphs through skill, courage, and an absolute refusal to give up or surrender his values. The Dresden Files universe is full of supernatural cliques, cabals, and alliances pursuing contradictory agendas. I’ve tried to incorporate that kind of richly textured background of competing interests into my own fiction.

In my non-fiction writing, I’ve learned from the masters of my field: men like Maxwell, Hertz, Heaviside, and Lodge who had a comprehensive knowledge of the history of their science and wove their historical and philosophic thinking into their technical writing. That’s an approach that’s out of style these days. I think it helps bring science to life to know something about the people who discovered it, the choices they made, and the premises that guided their decisions and conclusions.

Tamara Wilhite: What are you working on now?

Hans G. Schantz: My current project is a book called Fields & Energy: How Electromagnetics Works. My career in applied electromagnetics has led me to a novel understanding of how electromagnetics works. Conventional wisdom of how reality functions has oscillated from Democritus’ atomism, to Aristotelian plenums, to Newtonian point particles, to Maxwellian fields, and finally back to atomic theory, quantum theory, and contemporary particle theory. As we peel back the layers of the onion and better understand reality, we oscillate from atoms or particles, to fields or plenums, and back as a way of explaining everything around us. I believe reality isn’t particles, nor is it fields. The answer is that reality is both fields and particles working together.

Nearly a hundred years ago, de Broglie demonstrated that basic quantum mechanics could be explained by quantum fields guiding particles. Championed decades later by David Bohm, the Bohm-de Broglie pilot wave theory is often dismissed as an ad hoc and arbitrary construction, a “screwdriver theory” of quantum mechanics concocted to soothe the reactionary few physicists unable to mentally cope with the fundamental incomprehensibility of quantum mechanics.

On the contrary, I’ve found that classical electromagnetics works just like pilot wave theory. Fields guide energy. Fields trade or exchange energy. Fields do their thing and go their way. Energy does its thing and goes its way. They are two separate phenomena that interact with each other, yet remain distinct. Pilot wave theory isn’t an arbitrary, ad hoc construction, but rather the logical extension of how classical electromagnetic theory works to the quantum realm. The fundamental confusion of quantum mechanics is it insists electromagnetics has to be one thing – a photon – that somehow encompasses both wave and particle properties in mutually contradictory ways.

The project is taking longer than I’d hoped, but I’m making good progress and continuing to find more and more evidence for my perspective.

I recently signed with Silver Empire Press. They’re home to a number of my favorite indie authors including L. Jagi Lamplighter, author of the charming magic school series “Books of Unexpected Enlightenment,” Declan Finn, author of the “St. Tommy” series, Daniel Humphreys, who’s added a fantastic urban fantasy series, “Paxton Locke,” to his oeuvre, and many more. They’ve made hardcovers available of my novels, and they’ve agreed to publish Fields & Energy, as well.

I’m also working on the final installment of the Hidden Truth Series. Writing a series is a challenge because it involves story telling on many levels. There’s the immediate conflict or problem to be resolved in a particular chapter while advancing the larger-scale problem or conflict in the novel. In turn, each novel has to advance the overall story arc of the series. My first three novels encompass Act One, Act 2A, and Act 2B. The final novel, A Hell of an Engineer, is the Act 3 conclusion of the story. It’s well-outlined and I’ve written a couple of chapters already, but I’m trying to get Fields & Energy done first.

Tamara Wilhite: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

Hans G. Schantz: My pleasure, and thanks for your interest.