Nikola Tesla, the man of mysterious intellectual capabilities shook the foundation of science at the turn of the 20th Century, as he redefined the technological world with the electromagnetic transmission of energy—the spark of an idea that lit the globe with the gleaming monument of electricity.
Tesla gave us the knowledge to harness the energy contained within nature in the form of electricity. That is why, when you flip a light-switch, thank Tesla for his gift of alternating current—the breakthrough in electrical engineering that offered us the ability to generate and transmit energy across great distances.
1.Tesla Thought He Received a Message From Martians
Documented in the writings of Tesla is a letter sent to the Red Cross Society, which speculates his possible encounter with an alien signal transmitted across space. This “one, two, three”– as he described it—distinguished the signal he received from a place in space, maybe Mars? Then, he thought, this must mean there is a civilization much like our own on the red planet, and this would explain the source of these signals.
–Despite this consideration, modern rovers display the footage of a barren land on the Martian surface.
Perhaps it was another inventor’s experimental signal being transmitted through the airwaves or the evidence of another little thing called cosmic rays—the remnants of high-speed, high-energy particles that reach Earth from deep locations in space.
2. Tesla Performed Electricity Demonstrations for Guests like Mark Twain
In response to the widespread fear of the dangers of this new unknown technology electricity, Tesla calmed the frightened reactions of crowds through entertaining and informative scientific demonstrations. Much like the performance of an artist or magician, Tesla displayed the power of his inventions with admirable showmanship in hopes that this fear would be replaced by inspiration and wonderment for the latent force contained within our reality.
–Amongst the guests of honor that came to pay him a visit was the famous American writer Mark Twain—good friend of Tesla’s.
3. Tesla Opposed Drones Before They Were Ever Invented
Despite the fact that Nikola Tesla was the first to construct a drone-like device–and his own curiosity entertained the thought of saving humanity from itself with the use of robotic technology as a means to arm all nations and end war in a gallant global ‘touché’— he was actually opposed to the use of such devices for the promotion of bloodshed and the continuance of organized warfare.
After a request from dear friend Mark Twain that he may have permission to use Tesla’s mechanized ship design for large-scale production of similar robotic war ships, Tesla expressed his opposition to such use of his inventions, claiming he would not much like to be the inventor who is remembered for the production of wide-scale destruction—having inherited this disdain for war from his father. He expressed these opinions after constructing the first ever remote control device—a small mechanized ship with three blinking lights to line the top.
–Because of this, Tesla did not push the development or large-scale production of drones.
“At present we suffer from the derangement of our civilization because we have not yet completely adjusted ourselves to the machine age. The solution of our problems does not lie in destroying but in mastering the machine.” –Nikola Tesla
4. Tesla Manifested His Vision Using “The Secret” Before It Was Mainstream
Before the 21st Century brought us the series and bestselling book “The Secret”—a treatise to the power of the mind and the manifestation of thoughts and dreams—Nikola Tesla manifested his own vision. In his youth, Tesla once heard of the grandeur and beauty of Niagara Falls and was captivated by its natural wonder. Before he ever set out on his journey to America, Tesla began to consider the implications of wielding the power of the falls to generate electricity for all to use.
After 30 years, his vision became a reality, as Tesla did just that. In 1895, the construction of Tesla’s design was completed with the grand opening of the Westinghouse Niagara Falls Power Plant—the first hydroelectric power plant that sparked the electrification of all civilization and lit the early 20th Century streets of New York City.
–He would later reflect on this accomplishment as a true testimony to the power of thought and the manifestation of his own vision.
5. Tesla Shook Buildings with the Tune of A Frequency
After the mysterious destruction of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge aka “Galloping Gertie”, some speculating bystanders knew no source to blame but maybe… a meddling dark wizard or the mothman? Not much was—and still is—known about frequencies. Yet the science wizard Tesla could’ve easily explained—the collapse of the bridge is caused by an external frequency interfering with the structural frequency of the bridge due to the natural resonance between the two. Tesla uncovered this fact with an experiment in his lab that shattered the windows of nearby buildings and shook the floorboards of his lab right below his feet.
With Tesla’s oscillator, he had discovered the concept of resonant frequency, as he had unknowingly tuned his invention to the same frequency of the structures surrounding him. In this “eureka” moment after discovering the dangers of what he had done, he took a sledge hammer to his own invention just before the police arrived.
–After the startled officers investigated the scene, Tesla replied that they had just missed the most remarkable experiment.
6. Tesla Represented the Earth Before the Establishment of Greenpeace
“The pollution of our beaches such as exists today around New York City will seem as unthinkable to our children and grandchildren as life without plumbing seems to us.” –Nikola Tesla
–Also, his car the Tesla model runs on electricity–go figure.
7. Tesla’s Research Was Stolen, Destroyed and Seized Countless Times (Once by the FBI)
Most don’t really mention much about Tesla’s numerous patents used in technologies across the world, those to develop the radio, experiments with X-rays, on the wireless transmission of energy, and the application of frequency to affect the ionosphere—thus, the weather. (It all sounds so very HAARPy–but that’s probably because it is). Tesla often experimented with high frequencies.
Yet most of his test models, papers and works were destroyed at the pinnacle of his career, when Tesla’s lab burnt to the ground over the course of just one hour. This loss of work was quite discouraging, but disheartening was the lack of recognition and proper pay for the empires he had single-handedly prompted into initiation. Despite the fact that several of Tesla’s patents were used by inventor of the radio Marconi—copyright infringements-in-all—this man was still awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of radio inventions. This pattern continued to hint the consistent (intentional?) dismantling of any trace of Tesla’s name, fame and legacy.
In fact, it was so important to evaluate each and every paper of Tesla’s research—out of fear that he might possibly be a ‘communist’ due to war paranoia, or rather it became a perceptional questioning of his motive between the newspaper headlines of his inventions of the so-called “Death Ray” and questionably ‘suspicious’ country of origins—that entire boxes of Tesla’s papers were seized by the FBI immediately following his death. It’s okay though, right?–NBD. After all, they gave them back (certainly after makin’ copies) and inspecting all works to assure that these materials in the wrong hands would not pose a threat to national defense.
–Yet, if there was an actual weapon that could beam aircraft out of the sky (as outlined by the so-called “Death Ray”), the FBI would surely not have disclosed this intelligence to the world. After all, such inventions would grant the US the polished edge of the world stage.
8. Tesla Literally Unleashed the Power of the Elements
Not only did Tesla generate electricity with the waters of Niagara Falls, he also developed a machine that could produce a static discharge to invent an artificial lightning.
During Tesla’s experiments with lightning in Colorado Springs, his machine produced millions of volts and cracked with thunder heard 15 miles off into the distance–no doubt the rumble of over 100 feet long discharges of lightning flashing overhead his lab. Tesla blew out the circuits of the entire town of Colorado Springs with these experiements. He also claimed the wireless transmission of energy was a very real scientific feat—and the result of this transmission of energy was seen in the trace of an aurora glowing atop the transmission tower.
9. Tesla Entertained the Idea of “Life-Force”, Mind Power and ‘Akash’
Nikola Tesla thought science could only entertain those spiritual ideas pertaining to the concept of ‘akash’ and explored these conceptual curiosities by seeking the guidance of a guru. The wisdom of the guru—as other spiritual teachers also considered it—relayed that the transmission of thoughts between people or telepathy was granted by high frequency brainwave states. Tesla dreamt that he might one day find a way to capture the photograph of a thought, and considered the ‘akash’ or quintessence to be an entertainable subject in science.
Tesla always had a fascination for psychic phenomena, and considered the possibility that two people might actually be able to share thoughts based on the resonant frequency of brainwaves. This consideration came as a product of a dream Tesla recalled in his memory—the vision of angels flying overhead, then the sorrowful face of his mother on one of the angels—which revealed to him that his mother was dying. To his astonishment, the vision was true.
–Tesla considered the coincidence between such a dream and an external event in reality to be a possible indicator to confirm the connection between the minds of two people in the resonant frequency of their thoughts.
10. Tesla Was Outright Antagonized by Rival Inventor Thomas Edison
The invention of electricity was a battle between the two types of generated currents: direct current of Edison’s invention and alternating current of Tesla’s design. Edison saw how the efficiency of Tesla’s design could be the cause for his ruin and campaigned against alternating current tooting the dangers of its use and performing demonstrations for the public by electrocuting live animals. Edison also made statements to the public that alternating current would be most optimal for the electrocution of prisoners.
–Even though Edison was kind of a jerk, Tesla won in the end.
Imagine how Tesla the ‘father of robotics’ felt when presented the “Edison Award” after the totality of his life’s work of engineering electrical inventions, device patents and mechanical systems that fueled the world’s electricity went virtually unrecognized all but for the subcategorized award established in the name of his rival’s memory. At the same time, another took a Noble Prize for radio inventions provided by Tesla’s patents.
Learn more about the inventors brawl between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison with the babbling narrative contained within Episode 6 of Online Series Drunk History.
–Laugh because even if it isn’t historically accurate, it is kinda, in some small way, true.
photocredit: Windell Oskay, Recuerdos de Pandora, An Eye for a Mind, Jonathan Crawshaw, Jenni C, Moyan Brenn, Tom Hart, outtacontext, Saket Vora, JASON SEWARD, Mark Mathosian