Introduction to Tesla

Reprint located on a number of websites, the author is not noted.

Nikola Tesla was an electrical inventor, and lived during the late 1800's into the mid-1900's. He was a brilliant person, yet was an enigma to practically everyone. Known for his eccentric lifestyle, Tesla nevertheless maintained a rather high social profile, despite his prolific inventiveness. Tesla had a good number of friends, one of which was Samuel Clemons, also known as Mark Twain.

Tesla's main claim to fame lay with his invention of the alternating current motor. Tesla believed that alternating current was vastly superior to (Edison's) direct current, but the problem was the lack of a practical motor. Alternating current is practical because of the fact that it can be altered or converted to suit a variety of situations. For example, if the voltage is made quite high, then the current necessary for a specific level of power is very low. This low current then becomes very efficient when sending electrical power over very long wires. (This is the reason why the power lines running across the countryside are at very high voltages.)

Tesla also worked with radio-frequency electromagnetic waves, and despite the claims made by Marconi, actually did invent the idea of Radio as we know it today. (There are numerous patents which bear this out.) In working with radio waves, Tesla created the Tesla coil as a means to generate and receive this form of energy.

Tesla went on to experiment with actual wireless transmission of electrical power. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, he built a laboratory to develop this. The Colorado Springs lab contained the largest Tesla Coil ever built, even today. Called the 'Magnifying Transmitter', it was capable of generating some 300,000 watts of power, and (reportedly) could produce a bolt of lightning 130 feet long. According to local acounts, Tesla actually managed to successfully transmit about 30 to 50 thousand watts of power without wires using the 'Transmitter'.

Tesla was also a great mechanical engineer, and patented dozens of devices ranging from speedometers to extremely efficient electrical generators. One unique device was his bladeless turbine. Instead of using fan-type blades, Tesla's turbine utilized solid disks of metal, and relied on what is called the 'boundry-layer effect'. His turbine ran on either compressed air or steam, and was so efficient that a device held in the hand could produce well over 10 horsepower! Today, this bladeless technology is being used in a special type of non-clogging pump designed for the oil industry. (In fact, the thicker the stuff it pumps, the more efficiently it pumps it!)

Tesla had a knack for visualizing inventions in their final, finished form. He also would envision a great many other ideas and concepts, which only later in this century would come to pass. One such idea was the creation of a large ring that would encircle the earth. Built on scaffolding, once completed, the scaffolding would be removed, and the ring would remain stationary. 20th century geosynchronous satellites work in a similar way.

Tesla was also responsible for a great many other inventions and devices that we take for granted today. He postulated the ability to locate objects in the air or in the ground by using radio waves. Today, we call it RADAR, and when used to peer into the human body, MRI. Tesla also created radio-control devices. His work with special gas-filled lamps set the stage for the creation of fluorescent lighting.

Tesla eventually died, literally pennyless, on January 7th, 1943. On the following day, agents of the War Department and FBI seized Tesla's laboratory and all of his personal effects. They have never been returned or accounted for. It is rather sad that a man who gave the world so much, received so little for his efforts. History books have been unkind as well. Even today, many texts still credit Marconi with the invention of radio, despite the Supreme Court decision which overruled the Marconi patent, awarding it to Tesla. In many parts of this country, people still refer to the electric utility as the 'Edison Company', even though they use the Tesla-Westinghouse alternating current system, NOT Edison's direct current. At the Niagra Falls power generating station, a small statue of Tesla is purposely left unilluminated at night. It has been said that Tesla is the Forgotten Father of Technology. Tesla himself once commented "... The present is theirs. (skeptics of the day) The future, for which I really worked, is mine." How true indeed.

Excerpts from DOCUMENT DECLASSIFIED BY The US Atomic Energy Commission on 12-10-94, subsequently reclassified on 12-29-94:

Report by unnamed research associate with US Dept. of Energy 1976

... 1899 research financed by John Jacob Astor. Tesla's Colorado Springs tests were well remembered by local residents. With a 200 foot pole topped by a large copper sphere rising above his laboratory he generated potentials that discharged lightning bolts up to 135 feet long. Thunder from the released energy could be heard 15 miles away in Cripple Creek. People walking along the streets were amazed to see sparks jumping between their feet and the ground, and flames of electricity would spring from a tap when anyone turned them on for a drink of water. Light bulbs within 100 feet of the experimental tower glowed when they were turned off. Horses at the livery stable received shocks through their metal shoes and bolted from the stalls. Even insects were affected: Butterflies became electrified and "helplessly swirled in circles - their wings spouting blue halos of 'St. Elmo's Fire.'" The most pronounced effect, and the one that captured the attention of Department Of Defense, occurred at the Colorado Springs Electric Company generating station. One day while Tesla was conducting a high power test, the crackling from inside the laboratory suddenly stopped. Bursting into the lab Tesla demanded to know why his assistant had disconnected the coil. The assistant protested that he had not done anything. The power from the city's generator, the assistant said, must have quit. When the angry Tesla telephoned the power company he received an equally angry reply that the electric company had not cut the power, but that Tesla's experiment had destroyed the generator! While running his transmitter at a power level of "several hundred kilowatts" high frequency currents were set up in the electric company's generators. These powerful currents "caused heavy sparks to jump thru the windings and destroy the insulation." When the insulation failed, the generator shorted out and was destroyed.

1935 statement to Liberty magazine: "My invention requires a large plant, but once it is established it will be possible to destroy anything, men or machines, approaching within a radius of hundreds of miles". He had created a device which, according to contemporary reports, used a powerful ultra-violet beam to make the air conducting so that high energy current could be directed to the target. He said: "My apparatus projects particles which may be relatively large or of microscopic dimensions, enabling us to convey to a small area at a great distance trillions of times more energy than is possible with rays of any kind. Many thousands of horsepower can be thus transmitted by a stream thinner than a hair, so that nothing can resist". Apparently what Tesla had in mind with this defensive system was a large scale version of his Colorado Springs lightning bolt machine. As airplanes or ships entered the electric field of his charged tower, they would set up a conducting path for a stream of high energy particles that would destroy the intruder's electrical system.

There is another, more powerful system alluded to in Tesla's writings. When Tesla realized, as he pointed out in 1900 that "economic forces would not allow the development of a new type of electrical generator able to supply power without burning fuel" he "was led to recognize [that] the transmission of electrical energy to any distance through the media as by far the best solution of the great problem of harnessing the sun's energy for the use of man." His idea was that a relatively few generating plants located near waterfalls would supply his very high energy transmitters which, in turn, would send power through the earth to be picked up wherever it was needed. The plan would require several of his transmitters to rhythmically pump huge amounts of electricity into the earth at pressures on the order of 100 million volts. The earth would become like a huge ball inflated to a great electrical potential, but pulsing to Tesla's imposed beat. Receiving energy from this high pressure reservoir only would require a person to put a rod into the ground and connect it to a receiver operating in unison with the earth's electrical motion. As Tesla described it, "the entire apparatus for lighting the average country dwelling will contain no moving parts whatever, and could be readily carried about in a small valise." However, the difference between a current that can be used to run, say, a sewing machine and a current used as a method of destruction, however, is a matter of timing. If the amount of electricity used to run a sewing machine for an hour is released in a millionth of a second, it would have a very different, and negative, effect on the sewing machine.

If the sending of currents through the earth is possible from the viewpoint of modern physics, the question remains of whether Tesla actually demonstrated the weapons application of his power transmitter or whether it remained an unrealized plan on the part of the inventor. Circumstantial evidence points to there having been a test of this weapon.

1900: Tesla returned from Colorado Springs after a series of important tests of wireless power transmission. It was during these tests that his magnifying transmitter sent out waves of energy causing the destruction of the power company's generator. He received financial backing from J. Pierpont Morgan of $150,000 to build a radio transmitter for signaling Europe. With the first portion of the money he obtained 200 acres of land at Shoreham, Long Island and built an enormous tower 187 feet tall topped with a 55 ton, 68 foot metal dome. He called the research site "Wardenclyffe." As Tesla was just getting started, investors were rushing to buy stock offered by the Marconi company. Supporters of the Marconi Company include his old adversary Edison. On December 12th, Marconi sent the first transatlantic signal, the letter "S," from Cornwall, England to Newfoundland. He did this with, as the financiers noted, equipment copied from Tesla's pending patents, but on a smaller scale. Thinking that government employees have betrayed his secrets to Marconi and Edison, Tesla becomes secretive, banning all government researchers and officials from his site, and refusing to publish his work.

1904: Tesla writes for the Electrical World, "The Transmission of Electrical Energy Without Wires," noting that the globe, even with its great size, responds to electrical currents like a small metal ball. Tesla declares to the press the completion of Wardenclyffe. He successfully transmits power into the earth and "reads" it at testing stations in Canada and Colorado.

1904: The Colorado Springs power company sues for electricity used at that experimental station. Tesla's Colorado laboratory is torn down and is sold for lumber to pay the $180 judgement; his electrical equipment is put in storage.

1905: Equipment is stolen from the Colorado location. Witnesses implicate 2 employees of George Westinghouse of Westinghouse Electric. They are arrested, post bond, and vanish. Neither are ever seen again. The equipment is never recovered.

1907: When commenting on the destruction of the French ship Iena, Tesla notes in a letter that he has built and tested remotely controlled torpedoes, but that electrical waves would be more destructive. "As to projecting wave energy to any particular region of the globe ... this can be done by my devices," he wrote. Further, he claimed that "the spot at which the desired effect is to be produced can be calculated very closely, assuming the accepted terrestrial measurements to be correct."

1908: Tesla repeated the idea of destruction by electrical waves on April 21st. His letter to an associate stated, "When I spoke of future warfare I meant that it should be conducted by direct application of electrical waves without the use of aerial engines or other implements of destruction." He added: "This is not a dream. Even now wireless power plants could be constructed by which any region of the globe might be rendered uninhabitable without subjecting the population of other parts to serious danger or inconvenience." One month later, the event in Siberia occurred:

June 30, 1908: An explosion estimated to be equivalent to 10-15 megatons of TNT flattened 500,000 acres of pine forest near the Stony Tunguska River in central Siberia. Whole herds of reindeer were destroyed. The explosion was heard over a radius of 620 miles.

When an expedition was made to the area in 1927 to find evidence of the meteorite presumed to have caused the blast, no impact crater was found. No meteorite was found. When the ground was drilled for pieces of nickel, iron, or stone, the main constituents of meteorites, none were found down to a depth of 118 feet. Many explanations have been given for the Tunguska event. The officially accepted version is that a 100,000 ton fragment of Encke's Comet, composed mainly of dust and ice, entered the atmosphere at 62,000 mph, heated up, and exploded over the earth's surface creating a fireball and shock wave but no crater. complementary versions of the disaster see a renegade mini-black hole or an alien space ship crashing into the earth with the resulting release of energy. Associating Tesla with the Tunguska event comes close to putting the inventor's power transmission idea in the same speculative category as ancient astronauts. However, by looking at the above chronology, it can be seen that real historical facts point to the possibility that this event was caused by a test firing of Tesla's energy weapon.

The explosion in Siberia occurred at 9:05pm e.s.t. on a day when Tesla had sent all of his employees home for the evening and locked the compound. He had remained in the laboratory. At the moment of the event, power outages occurred simultaneously in New York and along the eastern seaboard. Tesla went to New York the following day where he obsessed over news reports from the region for several days before returning home.

In 1907 and 1908, Tesla wrote about the destructive effects of his energy transmitter. His Wardenclyffe transmitter was much larger than the Colorado Springs device that destroyed the power station's generator. His new transmitter would be capable of effects many orders of magnitude greater than the Colorado device. In 1915, he said he had already built a transmitter that "... may be used to destroy property and life."

The evidence is circumstantial but, to use the language of criminal investigation, Tesla had motive and means to be the cause of the Tunguska event. He also seems to confess to such a test having taken place before 1915. His transmitter could generate energy levels and frequencies that would release the destructive force of 10 megatons, or more, of TNT. The nature of the Tunguska event, also, is not inconsistent with what would happen during the sudden release of wireless power. No fiery object was reported in the skies at that time by professional or amateur astronomers as would be expected when a 200,000,000 pound object enters the atmosphere. Finally, there is the absence of an impact crater. Because there is no material object to impact, an explosion caused by broadcast power would not leave a crater. Given Tesla's general pacifistic nature it is noteworthy that this event occurred in the most uninhabited place in the northern hemisphere. Not a single human died in the explosion. It is difficult to believe that fate alone chose such a remote locale.

The theory that N. Tesla is responsible for this event is fraught with credibility. Perhaps, Nikola Tesla did shake the world in a way that has been kept secret for over 80 years.

From the time Tesla ceased to cooperate with the US Government, he was branded as a "mad scientist". However, one by one his inventions have found their way into the public sphere.