What’s the “Pyramus Compound” and the “black goo” fake oil pitched by JR Crooks?

What's the "256 Billion Cash Grab" teased by Global Resource Hunter?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

It’s been a long time since I looked at a teaser ad from Global Resource Hunter over at Weiss Research, and it appears they’ve changed editors over the years — now heading it up is JR Crooks, who I don’t know much about (apparently his father is Jack Crooks, who I’ve seen mentioned a few times as a currency trader).

And, more to the point, a bunch of Gumshoe readers have asked me about the latest ad from JR Crooks, which is all about turning every dollar into $60 by riding a “soon to be legendary” wave as an innovation alters “every layer of society.”

So what’s he pitching? Well, we may not get a full answer for you today — the ad, which is selling Global Resource Hunter ($49) by pitching a “special report” called “The Pyramus Compound: Profiting From This $256.5 Billion Cash Grab,” is not all that detailed in hinting at the exact investments he’s recommending… but we can at least get you started, talk briefly about the “big picture” of the spiel, and name a few stocks that are likely in his report.

The ad starts this way, accompanied by a photo of a beaker 2/3 full of a black substance:

“Why the Pentagon, the Department of Energy, DARPA, and Boeing Are Racing to Harness This Fake Oil….

“The beaker of black goo you see on your screen right now is not petroleum.

“Yet it can produce fuel for the equivalent of $1 per gallon.

“Only it has no cartel controlling the price. It doesn’t require risky wildcatters and millions of wasted dollars to produce.

“And that’s just in liquid form …

“By processing it, this strange compound can be turned into a substance 14-times stronger than steel …

“A material firm enough to build airplanes and cars with …

“Along with becoming a carbon fiber nearly twice as strong as and more flexible than Kevlar.

“And that’s just the beginning of what it can do.”

And then he implies that there’s one company that will be at the center of this revolution (naturally, one presumes that this company will make you rich):

“It’s like going back in time to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and getting in on the game-changing resources that would come to shape the modern age …

“Except this is a one-stop shop.

“Believe me when I say that with one fell swoop, you’re going to get access to an innovation that will quietly alter every layer of society.”

Really? So what is this substance? Some more hinting:

“The Pentagon is on schedule to invest over $7 billion in the technology behind it …

“Why the Department of Energy recently commissioned a $17 million study to examine it …

“Why Boeing has started adjusting their aircrafts to use it …

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“Even how Ford has made plans to start building cars out of it.”

The projects hinted at here are, if my inferences are correct, all over the map — these are general “alternative fuels” and “alternative energy” and “biofuels” kind of things. The Pentagon does have a multi-decade $7 billion alternative energy program, the Department of Energy has granted a total of $17 million to biofuel projects (mostly at Universities) over two funding rounds over the last few years, Boeing is trying to work with biofuels developers to create a more jet-friendly alternative fuel (partly because oil sands and fracking are hurting the quality of kerosene, apparently because some of the additives survive the refining process), and Ford has used cellulose fibers as additives to its plastics in at least one car model.

Those are important trends, and materials science and chemistry are pushing the boundaries and unlocking a lot of potential in new materials and new energy sources from biomass, but the advancements and developments have not been (and will not be) all created by or dominated by one company. Not even close. Much of it is still at the level of basic science, funded as research projects by chemical companies, timber companies, governments and universities, among others. There are a few publicly traded companies that are more focused on this than others, more than likely, and I suspect those are among the stocks being hinted at by Crooks… but let’s keep sifting and see what we get in the way of clues….

Crooks implies that this potential is like the early days of the oil business after Spindletop, before Standard Oil was broken up… and the days of the Carnegie revolution in steel…. or the huge potential in General Electric in its early days….

“I won’t tell you the firm I have my sights on will zoom 6,700% … or 15,000%, or even 96,000%.

“But it could be on the very same path, as my research is already showing.

“It’s about to magnetize profits to itself from a slew of industries in one of the most ambitious potential cash grabs I’ve ever seen.

“They’ve already received explicit endorsement from both the United States Department of Energy and the Canadian government …

“All because they’re pioneering this special super-substance I call …

“The Pyramus Compound”

That’s a reference to Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, a Swiss botanist who was the first to name and identify Lignin, which is a binder for cellulose and helps to stiffen and protect cell walls in woody plants and algae (that may not be a scientifically accurate definition). It’s often considered a waste product and is an alcohol (timber processors will often call it “black liquor”), so it’s also sometimes burned to help supply energy for pulp mills.

Here’s some more on this “Pyramus Compound” …

“… the name comes from the scientist who first described his discovery of this black goo 200 years ago.

“I doubt he knew that his discovery would lead to potentially the biggest game-changer across numerous industries …

“And ultimately afford a single company the chance to ride a cash tsunami worth $256.5 BILLION….

“Unlike oil, The Pyramus Compound is abundant. It’s one of the most abundant resources on the planet….

“With The Pyramus Compound, we can produce fuel here, in the USA, for as little as $1 per gallon.

“Today, the international oil market is worth an unparalleled $550 billion.

“Just imagine this compound taking over even a portion of that market share … as I expect it to.

“Because not only is it cheaper than oil … able to produce the equivalent of a gallon of fuel for as little as a single dollar …

“Easier to acquire and produce in abundance …

“Not controlled by a hostile international cartel …

“But it can do much more than a barrel of crude.”

Since it’s really a stretch to tie all this stuff back to a single company, I guess the best way for us to look through it is by checking a couple of the sources Crooks cites to build our excitement level (and make it seem more real):

He says that Dr. Caidong Qin of Oxford University says it could “replace 15% of the world total consumption of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuels….”

I haven’t seen the original source of that quote, but it’s also cited here with the modifiers “on average, it could be assumed.” No indication of what the original source of that quote is, but it’s from 2009… Qin also has at least a couple patent applications for Lignin-derived fuels, though I haven’t seen much else attached to that name.

And then there’s another quote:

“I’m not alone in seeing the gravity of this substance. A leading body of architects put forth their findings after investigating how it could change the construction industry.

“As they wrote in The Journal of American Institute of Architects:

‘[the Pyramus Compound could] replace Petroleum-based chemicals.'”

That’s a quote from this article, about a University of Wisconsin research project.

And then Crooks follows that up directly with…

“The firm behind it … the firm I’ve been studying for months now …