Newspaper and magazine articles related to Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla Articles

Newspaper and magazine articles related to Nikola Tesla

Ask Dr. Seifer About Nikola Tesla - 3rd Quarter 1997

July, 1997
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Dear Dr. Seifer:

It has been suggested that the huge explosion in Tunguska was caused by Tesla’s experimentation with electromagnetic earth resonance. I personally can not see how, as the Wardenclyffe Tower was not ready for such an experiment. However there is a letter that Tesla sent to Morgan explaining that he had tested a defensive weapon. So, did Tesla (as far as can be found) cause the Tunguska incident?

Yours faithfully,
G. Dingley
Rushden, Northants, U.K.

According to Tesla’s recollection in the Leland Anderson edition of Tesla’s testimony to his lawyer in 1916 (Nikola Tesla and His Work in Alternating Currents), the tower was used in some fashion until 1907. However, its larger functions actually became disoperational in 1903 when the Westinghouse company came in to remove vital equipment. Therefore, Tesla did not have the equipment to create such an explosion five years later. Further, according to Dr. James Corum, in a recent phone interview (June 5, 1997), the tower had the capability of producing only about 300 kilowatts (six times what many radio stations produce) and delivering 10 kilowatts of power to the opposite side of the earth. This would be approximately enough energy to light a light bulb. A tremendous feat in its own right, however, nowhere near the amount of power required to create the Tunguska explosion. Dr. Corum stated that the problem in transmitting the kind of tremendous power required is that the air around the transmitter breaks down, thereby rendering the machine inoperable. Recent estimates in the book The Day The Sky Split Apart by Roy Gallant (1995, Simon & Schuster), state that the Tunguska explosion created devastation in an area which approximated the size of Rhode Island and released energy 2,000 times greater than the atom bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima. According to Corum, it would be essentially impossible to transmit energy to achieve this result. However, Corum went on, if Tesla had the capability to release merely 1% of the earth’s magnetic charge, that could create the amount of energy necessary to achieve a Tunguska-like explosion. He did not think that Tesla did this, however.

Photographs taken from the site of the Siberian explosion reveal numerous trees flattened, much like the trees looked after the volcanic eruption of Mt. St. Helens. I do not believe that Tesla had the technology or the inclination to use Wardenclyffe to deliver the kind of energy necessary to create such a disaster. Tesla certainly discussed the idea of using a Wardenclyffe like tower to shoot down incoming aircraft, using a particle beam weapon. He also discussed the idea of creating earthquakes which could be engendered in a variety of ways, e.g., by bringing buildings down by placing oscillators on their main support beams, or by setting off gigantic dynamite charges timed to a resonant earth frequency.

So, where did the idea that Tesla caused the explosion in Tunguska originate? The answer is probably threefold: (1) through Tesla’s own writings whereby he says on May 3, 1907 in the New York World, just one year before the Tunguska explosion, that his “magnifying transmitter” has already produced 25 million horse power and that “a similar and much improved machine now under construction, will make it possible to attain maximum explosive rates of over 800 million horsepower.” Tesla also states in this article and in an article the following year in Wireless Telegraphy & Telephone (1908, pp. 67-71) that he will be able to direct electrical energy “with great precision” to any point of the globe. (2), Through Col. Tom Bearden’s writings and through the speculations of Bearden’s associate, and (3) through the writings of the late Dr. Andrija Puharich. It is Bearden’s contention that a so called “Tesla wave” disturbs the very fabric of space-time. Therefore, it could, potentially create an instantaneous disaster at some distant point. Bearden has also suggested that the Russians, during the cold war, experimented along these lines. Realistically, I would think that it would still be highly unlikely for such a weapon to presently exist. Rather, a large Wardenclyffe type tower might be able to disrupt the electrical grid at some prescribed target causing a blackout, or some similar phenomena. Even that technology is probably still decades or generations away.

Bearden, however, is not alone in these kind of speculations. A September 14, 1973 article in Nature by A.A. Jackson and M.P. Ryan speculates that the Tunguska event might have been due to the earth’s interaction with a mini black hole.

Influenced by Bearden’s writings and similar theories and also influenced by Tesla’s own assertion that a Wardenclyffe like tower could be used as a death ray, apparently Puharich was the first to suggest that Tesla caused the Tunguska explosion. At least, that is the contention of Tad Wise, author of the recent novelized Tesla biography. Wise told me last year that he was greatly intrigued by Puharich’s suggestion and therefore placed it in his book, Tesla. As his book is a novel, consisting of fact and conjecture, this was completely acceptable. However, it was taken as fact, particularly when Wise shared the same story aired on FOX-TV on a show concerning Tesla. (See also: Oliver Nichelson quoted in The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla by D.H. Childress, pp. 255-257)

It is my belief that the explosion at Tunguska was probably caused by a meteor or small comet. This view takes into account the eye-witness reports by local tribesmen of a fiery object with a long tail hitting or passing by the area in June of 1908. In 1986, Louis Frank from the University of Iowa, theorized that the oceans that make up the planet were caused by comets which bombarded the earth over tens of millions of years. Since comets are mostly ice, they would melt when entering the earth’s atmosphere. Although the theory was initially laughed at, according to the June 9, 1997 issue of US NEWS & World Report, NASA has been able to photograph “between five and 30 comets [some as large as a house] hitting the upper atmosphere every minute.” They then break up and eventually reach the earth as rain.

Nikolai Vasilev, in his introduction to the Gallant book, hypothesizes that the Tunguska comet actually skipped along the atmosphere like a rock on a lake, which created an explosion two or three miles above ground, and that the object never actually hit the earth. He notes that in 1989, an asteroid traveling at 40,000 mph, missed the earth by a mere four hundred thousand miles. The moon is 240,000 miles from the earth. As no meteor or comet fragment has been found at the Tunguska site, Vasilev’s theory holds merit, although it may have been an asteroid rather than a comet.


Dear Dr. Seifer:

I recently read that Tesla, in 1942, was asked to participate in the Navy’s Philadelphia Experiment also known as Project Rainbow and was given blueprints of the naval warship named the USS Eldridge. Was he a participant? I would appreciate anything you could tell me pertaining to this.

David Nicklas,
Renfrew, PA

The Philadelphia Experiment took place in 1943 and was written about in the popular book of the same title by William Moore and Charles Berlitz. (See also, Tesla’s Egg of Columbus and the Torsion Tensor for the Philadelphia Experiment, by James and Kenneth Corum, published by the International Tesla Society). This experiment supposedly dealt with time distortion effects as well as the more conventional idea of stealth technology, the ability to make a ship or airplane invisible to radar. There are a number of ways to foil radar, one being the creation of an electromagnetic shield around the object in question which the radar cannot penetrate and the second being the absorption of radar waves. Kevlar can achieve this. Radar works much like sonar by bouncing off the intended target. If the beam does not bounce back to the receiving equipment, the ship or plane becomes “invisible.”

During 1943 at the height of WWII, the USS Eldridge, a US warship, supposedly disappeared on a radar screen off the east coast near Philadelphia and reappeared hundreds of miles away near Virginia Beach. The most likely explanation, of course, is that the shielding of the radar waves was successful. However, a great myth has also arisen to suggest that the ship, encircled with electromagnetic radar absorbing energy, actually dematerialized and then rematerialized hundreds of miles away. Numerous scientists, including myself, opt for the less exotic interpretation.

As Tesla died in January of 1943, it would have been impossible for him to have participated in the actual experiment. However, another question arises and that is: Was Tesla involved in radar and stealth experiments with the US Government? As far back as 1917, Tesla was working with John B. Flowers, in inspector of airplanes and engines at a Naval facility in Philadelphia, and Flowers, in turn, was trying to interest the US government in Tesla’s wireless inventions. Tesla also wrote in the Gemsback magazine articles at that time about protecting homes with special lightning rods and also the idea of stealth technology. In “Tesla’s Views on Electricity and War,” Tesla wrote about using radar to locate submarines and U-boats. “However,” he said, “a means would soon be found of nullifying this magnetic
detector....They might make the...hull out of non-magnetic material.... It is a good rule to keep in mind that for practically every good invention, there has always been invented an opposite and equally efficient counteracting method.” (Electrical Experimenter, August 1917, pp. 229-230, 270).

Tesla also stated at the turn of the century that his Wardenclyffe tower could locate objects anywhere on the earth and also measure the size of the earth accurately. In communication with the War Department and the US Navy, one way or another for over 40 years, Tesla was ostensibly sending ELF (extremely Low Frequencies) or similar waves around the entire planet. Thus, it is more than likely that he had a means, at least in theory, for measuring these waves and also for knowing when the waves were interfered with and where this occurred. This technology eventually became a part of military worldwide radar experiments.

One problem with conventional radar is that the curve of the earth limits the distance with which radar can travel. In the 1950’sand60’s,theUS Navy was involved in an operation known as Project Seafarer, which was a world-wide radar experiment utilizing ELF waves which penetrated the oceans as well as the atmosphere around the entire planet. This certainly was linked to Tesla technology. The Navy supposedly abandoned the experiments because the ELF waves interfered with radio and television stations. However, it seems likely that some derivative form of world-wide radar may still exist. Whether Tesla actually worked on radar or stealth experiments with some faction of the US government is unknown to me. It would not surprise me, however, if Tesla had secret patents along these lines which have yet to see the light of day. Tesla was a close associate of John Hays Hammond, Jr., (circa 1909-1913), the father of military radioguided weaponry systems, who worked in the patent office at that time. During WWI and WWII, Hammond set up a top secret military think tank at his home in Glochester, Massachusetts. As early as WWI, Hammond was creating radio guided torpedoes for the US government. One of the biggest problems was having an enemy send a counter signal to the torpedo, with the possibility of turning it around on the firing ship or to simply miss the intended target. Radar and stealth go hand in hand. There is little doubt that Hammond (who died in the mid-1950’s) and his associates were instrumental in aspects of what became known as stealth technology. That would be the most likely link between Tesla and the Philadelphia Experiment.

A special thanks to Dr. James Corum for his help in aspects of these answers.

Dr. Seifer desires to answer your questions concerning the life of Nikola Tesla. Please send your question to the Editor: Tesla, a Journal of Modern Science % International Tesla Society - PO Box 5636, Colorado Springs, CO 80931. He is also the author of the book “WIZARD: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla” released in 1996 by Birch Lane Press. This book, published in hardback at $32, is the most authoritative tome on the life of Tesla done to date. He has received rave reviews for the content and presentation of factual information found in this book. It is available from the Tesla Resource Center of the International Tesla Society - 1-800-397-0137.


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