WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO

'STARLITE'?



The question first posed in 1997:

What's the explanation behind the 1993 invention and subsequent disappearance of 'Starlite'?

In 1993 several newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Europe reported that Maurice Ward, a former British plastics factory owner, had invented a lightweight plastic/ceramic composite material capable of astonishing resistance to super-high temperatures. The material, which he called 'Starlite', amazed researchers:

   A 'Starlite'-coated egg was unaffected after 4 minutes
   of direct exposure to a 1200-degree blowtorch flame.

   A simulated 10,000-degree nuclear flash test, at White
   Sands missile test range in New Mexico, also had little 
   effect on 'Starlite'.  

   High-powered laser blasts had little visible effect on 
   samples of 'Starlite' material.

Test results were reported during 1993 in Jane's 'International Defense Review', 'Chemical and Engineering News', and 'Business Week' (see citations below), and a demonstration was shown on British television.

Mr. Ward had refused to patent the substance so as to avoid revealing his formulation process. Speculation was that 'Starlite' consists of a combination of more than 20 components, primarily organic polymers, borates, and ceramics.

Despite the obvious commercial, defense, and life-saving properties of this new material, research initially showed no further evidence of 'Starlite' or 'Maurice Ward'.

What happened to Maurice Ward and Starlite?


Anyone with information is invited to contribute via e-mail; UPDATES will be posted here periodically.
(Note: see below for updates)

If you have additional information, send to rickhower@earthlink.net.



UPDATE1:
Received a report that there was a short piece about 'STARLITE' on NBC's 'Dateline' television show in 1995....need more information about this...

UPDATE2:
Received a report that the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA were near agreement with Ward in 1994 but that NASA refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

UPDATE3:
In mid-1996 it was reported that a New Jersey Company would use a "low grade version" of Starlite in the manufacture of a commercial product. The company, Burley Products Inc., would only say that it would be a 'household product'.

Maurice Ward, Starlite's inventor, still refuses to disclose any information about his plastic's composition. According to an article in the British newspaper "Daily Mail", Ward remains tremendously afraid that someone will steal his formula or that he'll be duped out of appropriate compensation. He has, however, revealed that Starlite requires 21 different ingredients that can be processed in a blender.

UPDATE4:
A number of unverified reports have been received indicating that certain governments or companies have stolen or duplicated the formula and manufacturing process for Starlite. The most interesting report was that Starlite, or a duplicate material, is being manufactured for the U.S. government at a secret installation in the eastern United States. This report could not be verified.

UPDATE5:
Apparently Maurice Ward himself is now among those who have viewed this Web page, and several reports were received in early 1997 from an intermediary with the following information:

UPDATE6:
Received reports in early 1997 that several U.S government agencies are still working with Maurice Ward, including the FAA, Navy, and NASA.

UPDATE7:
Received reports in early 1997 that several large U.S. aerospace companies are actively investigating Starlite, and that the Canadian government had been actively working with Starlite but has ended the project.



Other web sites with Starlite information (both of these are essentially just summaries of 1993 news reports):

Publications with articles concerning Starlite:


Note: This 'Starlite' web site was maintained at
http://www.charm.net/~dmg/mysteries/mystery1.html
from 1997-2002; it was moved to this site in March of 2002.

© 1997-2002 by Rick Hower
Last revised: March 17, 2002