Tesla: Well, you can decide for yourself. I said in 1904, that my scheme of "World Telegraphy" is easily realizable. It constitutes a radical and fruitful departure from what has been done heretofore involving the employment of a number of plants each of each of [which] will be preferably located near some important center of civilization. The news it receives through any channel will be flashed to all points of the globe. A cheap and simple device, which might be carried in one's pocket, may then be set up somewhere on sea or land, and it will record the world's news or such special messages as may be intended for it. Thus the entire earth will be converted into a huge brain, as it were, capable of response in every one of its parts. Since a single plant of but one hundred horse-power can operate hundreds of millions of instruments, the system will have a virtually infinite working capacity.
Seeker: Had you envisioned the world wide web as we have it now?
Tesla: No. I saw or foresaw the inter-connection of all civilized people all over the earth by voice and picture. I was also planning on providing a world-wide news service which would have delivered each day's news through a machine similar to today's facsimile machine, thereby making newspapers obsolete. My vision was more in line with what came to be called mass communications and the cellular age.
Seeker: You have written a number of articles suggesting that you planned to communicate with beings on other planets.
Tesla: After I received communication which I attributed to the planet Mars, I set my sights on developing a way to transmit intelligent signals and also power to neighbors in this solar system and beyond. Some of my first experiments involved the transmission of a thin ray of light to the part of the moon that was darkened. This was done with my associate Mr. Czito in 1918 for the purposes of demonstration. The point of energy was very easily seen, and this same beam could also be used with needle-nosed accuracy to transmit signals and energy to other planets as well.
Seeker: Was this a laser beam?
Tesla: Similar, but it is a different kind of energy that travels through a channel of less than one-half of one-millionth of a centimeter. This invention, which I will shortly announce to the world, utilizes a new source of power which is the same power that operates the universe. This cosmic energy, whose central source for the earth is the sun, is present everywhere and in unlimited quantities.
Seeker: Such as free energy?
Tesla: In a sense. One needs an apparatus to harness it. From the actual mechanical contrivance which I have developed, the power to drive engines and machines can be transmitted either by wire or by my wireless system, as preferred, from central plants to the other side of the world, to across the street, or a million miles away, whichever one prefers. These central plant engines that mechanize the cosmic energy will operate on an entirely new principle, thereby developing hundreds of thousands of horsepower, as much power as one desires. Any number of such central plants can be built, so there is no limit to the volume of power which it will be possible to develop for the turning of machinery -- for the running of trains and automobiles, the driving of ships, the operating of factories, the myriad different motor tasks now performed by engines and machines which derive their power from the regular fuels of industry. When this new power becomes commercially available, there will be no further necessity for depending on coal, oil, gas or any other of the common fuels.
Seeker: You say this new source will be come from the sun?
Tesla: Yes. And the stars. Having struggled with the problem for the last 103 years, I can state after prolonged investigation, that I have discovered a heretofore unknown source of power. The sun's potential is 216 billions of volts and like other heavenly bodies, it emits cosmic rays. When I first announced this fact, in 1896, it was scoffed at, but now cosmic rays are an accepted phenomena. However, present day scientists, blinded by relativity, and only measuring these rays on the surface of the earth, think that these rays are limited to the speed of light. This is not so.
Seeker: How fast do they travel?
Tesla: I have measured cosmic rays as far back as 1896 that travel 50 times the speed of light, and I believe that others travel 500 times. I have already designed apparatus to transmit impulses twice the speed of light to go to other planets and to nearby stars.
Seeker: And you have harnessed these cosmic rays?
Tesla: Of course. My investigations have brought out the astonishing fact that the effects of these rays at high altitudes are of an entirely different nature than here on earth. That is one of the reasons why present-day scientists have not measured the same results. They are looking too low to the ground. There are particles of matter projected from celestial bodies that are at very high temperatures and charged to enormous electrical potentials.This is the discovery which I wish to make known. The sun projects charged particles constituting an electric current which passes through a conducting stratum of the atmosphere approximately 10 kilometers thick enveloping the earth. The passage of the solar current involves the transference of electric charges from particle to particle with the speed of light, this resulting in the production of extremely short and penetrating waves which have a 2 billion volt differential from the dark side to the light side of the earth. This energy differential accounts for the aurora borealis and other phenomena. Just as a waterfall presents a constant flow of renewable energy, so does this process. My central plants harness this differential to provide an unending stream of energy derived from the wheelwork of the universe. I expect, this invention to be fully operational within a year.
Seeker: You were one of the first scientists to experiment with solar energy. Today, solar energy has been relegated to the margins of alternative energy research. In its place is the newest rage -- hydrogen power. What went wrong with solar? And do yo think hydrogen will be the next revolution in energy since fossil fuels?
Tesla: I don't know much about hydrogen power. One of the greatest problems with solar energy is in storing the energy. That is where the research should be focussed on. Although present day scientists see the sun as radiating energy, it is my belief that the sun is absorbing vast amounts of energy from elsewhere in the galaxy. I further believe that radioactive material is simply a target which is continuously bombarded by infinitesimal bullets projected from these same radiating bodies from all parts of the universe. These particles are a type of cosmic ray that vastly exceed the speed of light. The study of solar energy should not be abandoned. It is one of the greatest sources of renewable energy and provides solutions for many of the problems that vex our society.
Seeker: You refused to share the 1915 Nobel Prize with Edison. Why?
Tesla: Edison was a builder of better mouse traps. Every one of his inventions including the movie camera, the lightbulb, microphone, even his phonograph were simply improvements upon the discovery and the works of others. And for that, he deserves a dozen Nobel Prizes. I, on the other hand, was a discoverer of new principles. I discovered the rotating magnetic field which enabled AC to be harnessed for the first time. I discovered the concept of continuous wave oscillations which enabled voice, pictures and power to be transmitted by means of wireless, I discovered the principle of remote control, I made practicable the concept of artificial intelligence by constructing the first ever non-biological life-form which I called the telautomaton, I conceived of the idea of selective tuning and generated the patents which enabled an infinite number of wireless channels to be created, I invented the bladeless turbine which did away with propellers, I invented an oscillator which made the crank-shaft obsolete, designed an airplane that could take off vertically like a helicopter and tilt the propeller into the conventional horizontal position, I figured out how to use the principle of repulsion to construct particle beam guns that could protect a country's borders, sink ships and take down planes. All of these ideas are original to me. There are no precursors. I was not a mere inventor like Edison, but a creator of new principles. I have not less than four dozen of my creations identified with my name in technical literature. These are honors real and permanent which are bestowed not by a few who are apt to err, but by the whole world which seldom makes a mistake, and for any of these, I would gladly give all the Nobel Prizes which will be distributed during the next thousand years.
Seeker: And today, do you see any analogous situations?
Tesla: Certainly. There are many scientists who are overlooked for the work they do, and on the other side of the stick, there also individuals who call themselves scientists when they are really politicians. A number of these in this second group make statements supporting the tobacco industry. Others have been ousted from academia as rightly they should for fudging data because it supports their premise. There is a tendency in funding which precludes aiding for the independent scientist and a tunnel vision that latches on to such crazy notions as worm holes and black holes in space, neither of which exist in the real world but, rather exist in the imagination as theoretical constructs.
Seeker: What do you think of the inventor in today's society and his relationship to the corporate world?
Tesla: There is a concerted move to strip the inventor of his patents or provide a legal basis to use protected material, and a callous attitude that favors the corporate giants who purposely pirate or reverse engineer the inventions of individual inventors because they know it will be too costly for them to litigate. Part of the corporations' strategy is that in the long run it will actually be cheaper to take their chances on immediate profits and pay any legal loss if infringement can be proven. Many times it is nearly impossible to prove infringement even when it blatantly occurs. Just recently, Time Magazine ran an article about a man who was imprisoned because he utilized university facilities to design his creations and he was unwilling to hand the patents over to them. He preferred jail and lost his marriage in the process. One of the most successful inventors of the modern day, Jerome Lemulson, whose creations include laser memory cards, the audio cassette drive mechanism, stop-frame on video recorders and the floppy disk, spends 90% of his time in litigation! He does most of his creative work on trains on his way to court, and during off time during the trials! Gordon Gould, one of the key inventors of the laser didn't win his suit until he was an old man and so revenues gained were essentially useless to him. Edwin Armstrong, one of my protegés and inventor of AM and FM radio, had to sue David Sarnoff and NBC as they were using his FM frequencies in television transmission. Rather than admit their piracy, they simply accused him of infringement instead! Not only did he lose his entire fortune, which was over a million dollars, he lost his marriage and committed suicide by jumping out a building. NBC eventually compensated his family after his death. A similar thing happened to Robert Goddard, inventor of the rocket ship who was forced to sue the U.S. government for patent infringement. His suit, like Armstrong's wasn't settled until after his death as well.
Seeker: Why did the government (FBI) raid your lab and confiscate your notes after you d---- er, after it was reported that you had passed on? What do you think they were looking for? Were you hiding something?
Tesla: On the contrary. This was during the height of World War II and the fear was the Germany would win and take over the world. My plan was simple: have each country arm its borders with particle beam weapons. Had America, the Soviet Union, England and France listened to me, they would have been able to ward off theLuftwaffe, which was the most destructively successful element to any German invasion. After I disappeared in 1943, the FBI and U.S. War department raided my apartment to get the plans for this weapon for the simple reason that they did not want the Germans or any other country to obtain it. It was my idea to publicize the details of this invention, for I sincerely believed that if all nations had a foolproof way of protecting its borders, war would become obsolete.
* * *
Off in the distance, a helicopter caught the wizard's eye. He stared down the river at it as he pulled out a pocket watch. "I'm sorry, my young friend, but I have another appointment. Would it be all right if Czito showed you out?"
"Yes," the visitor said, "and thank you."
"Not at all." The wizard extended his hand. As the seeker reached out, a spark flew between them. The ancient cognoscenti's fingers were long and wiry, his grip electric. "It's been a pleasure."
"Yes, it has," the seeker replied.
As the visitor exited the strange building, he noticed a military insignia on the aircraft as it landed on a helipad two blocks north of the bridge. The traffic was ghastly and he could see no more, so he turned west and walked back toward his hotel.
* * *
1. Dr. Tesla at 77 seldom sleeps. New York Times, 7/11/1033, 19:5; Tesla, 76, reports his talents at peak. New York Times, 6/10/1932, 19:1.
2. Tesla seeks to send power to planets. New York Times, 7/11/1931.
3. Electricity's value cited in war on cancer. New York American, 9/7/1932.
4. Nikola Tesla correspondence, 3/2/1942, Leland Anderson files.
5. Tesla said Edison was an empiricist. New York Times, 10/19/1931.
6. Tesla, Nikola. The problem of increasing human energy. The Century Magazine, 6/1900.
7. Tesla, Nikola. The transmission of electric energy without wires. Electrical World & Engineer, 3/5/1904, pp. 429-431.
8. On orthorotational speeds exceeding lightspeed, see George Gamow's 30 Years That Shook Physics. Also, Marc Seifer's article "Taking on Einstein," Extraordinary Science, Jan/Feb/Mar 1996, pp. 38-43.
9. Seifer, Marc. The Universe is a Holarchy. MetaScience Quarterly, 1, 1, 1979, pp. 92-100.
10. Adapted from Kennedy, John. "When women is boss -- an interview with Nikola Tesla. Colliers, 1/30/1926.
11. "A Machine to End War," interview with Nikola Tesla by George Sylvester Viereck, Liberty, 2/9/1935.
12. Tesla, Nikola. Pioneer radio engineer gives views on power. In J.Ratzlaff, (Ed), Tesla Said. Milbrae, CA: Tesla Book Company, 1984, pp. 240-242. Also discussions with Professior Edwin Gora, Physics Department, Providence College, 1988.
13. Tesla at 79 discovers new message wave. Action Telegram, 10/2/1936. Device to harness cosmic energy, New York American, 11/1/1933, 1:1; Nikola Tesla address before the press, 7/11/1936, from K. Swezey papers, Smithsonian Institute. Dr. Tesla predicts linking planets, New York Times, 7/11/1937, 1: 4,5; Nikola Tesla at 79. New York World Telegram, 7/11/1935.
14. Tesla letter to R.U. Johnson, 3/1916, Butler Library, Columbia University, NY.
Seifer, Marc. Wizard: The Life & Times of Nikola Tesla. New York, NY: Citadel Press, 1999.
Seifer, Marc, and Behar, Michael. "Electric Mind", Wired Magazine, October 1998.
Tesla. 1893 The Researches, Writings & Inventions of Nikola Tesla,T.C. Martin, (Ed). New York, NY: Electrical World Publ.
Tesla. 6/1900 The Problem of Increasing Human Energy. The Century Magazine, June, 1900, pp. 175-211.
Tesla.1919 My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla. Ben Johnston, (Ed.), Williston, VT: Hart Publ, 1981.
Tesla. 1937 The New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-dispersive Energy Through the Natural Medium. In Raucher & Grotz, pp. 144-150, 1984.
Tesla. 1956 Nikola Tesla: Lectures, Patents & Articles. Belgrade: Nikola Tesla Museum.
Tesla. 1961 Tribute to NIkola Tesla: Letters, Articles,. Belgrade: Nikola Tesla Museum, 1961.
Tesla. 1979 Colorado Springs Notes & Commentary. Alexander Marincic, (Ed.), Belgrade: Nikola Tesla Museum, 1979.
Tesla. 1981 Solutions to Tesla's Secrets. J. Ratzlaff (Ed), Milbrae, CA: Tesla Book Co.
Tesla. 1984 Tesla Said. J. Ratzlaff (Ed), Milbrae, CA: Tesla Book Co.
Marc J. Seifer, Ph.D. editor of the Journal of the American Society of Professional Graphologists works for the Attorney General's Office in Rhode Island as a handwriting expert. He has lectured at the United Nations, West Point, in Jerusalem, Zagreb, at the University of Vancouver, Cambridge University, Oxford University, at seven International Tesla Society conferences in Colorado Springs and at numerous conferences throughout the United States. Featured in The New York Times, New Scientist, The Washington Post and on the back cover of Uri Geller's book Mind Medicine, his publications include articles in Civilization, Lawyer's Weekly and Wired. His works include STARETZ ENCOUNTER (novel), THE BIG FRAME (true crime), INWARD JOURNEY: FROM FREUD TO GURDJIEFF (metaphysics) and WIZARD : THE LIFE & TIMES OF NIKOLA TESLA (Citadel Press/Kensington). WIZARD was boxed and starred in Publisher's Weekly, called "a serious piece of scholarship" in Scientific American, RECOMMENDED by Choice, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science.