Tesla on Time magazine cover.

There are two sides to the human drama when it comes to the life of Nikola Tesla.

There is the side that is decidedly scholarly and academic with his innovative inventions that revolutionized the world…and then there is the opposite side of the coin, which is more provisional and includes the theory that the East European immigrant to the United States was possibly born on another planet and left on the doorstep of a family here, and that his discoveries were so far ahead of their time that upon his death his papers were gathered up and smuggled off by some super secret agency to a hidden location so that they could not be confiscated by Cold War enemies.

Far right photograph of Nikola Tesla in the lobby of a Hotel New York 1934

Nikola Tesla’s name should be legend, and his legacy of inventiveness should be known to grownups and children of all ages. He stands as a monument to what a single human can create over a lifetime, but he has been misused and denied, even vilified by those who seek to repress the world’s greatest inventor’s deserved accolades for bringing mankind into the 20th century equipped with the tools necessary for a life made much easier through technology. More technological advances have been made in the last 200 years than ever before in recorded history as we know it, and it was Nikola Tesla who led the way with so many original inventions that we presently take for granted. But we don’t hear about Tesla in the public schools, and the mainstream media rarely acknowledges that he even existed.

In spite of those injustices, there still exists a die-hard core group of Tesla enthusiasts, people who take the time to explore what is known about this genius of humble origins and what he truly accomplished in his lifetime. For that admittedly specialized audience, Timothy Green Beckley’s Global Communications/Inner Light publishing company has just released a new assemblage titled “The Experiments, Inventions, Writings and Patents of Nikola Tesla,” originally published in a time when Tesla was making his early reputation as part of the revolutionary New Wave of electrical engineering inventors.

Beckley’s new 500 PAGE, LARGE FORMATTED SPECIAL EDITION draws on the work of another electrical engineer, the British-born Thomas Commerford Martin, who sings the praises of Tesla while compiling the actual patents registered in Tesla’s name for groundbreaking electric motors and other machines the world would quickly become dependent on.

In his introduction, Beckley provides a very abbreviated biography of this historic figure, pointing out that Tesla “actually discovered Alternating Current, produced the first electrical motor, invented the radio (he preceded Marconi by several years) and the arc light, broadcast the first television signals and even created an artificial earthquake that virtually rocked Manhattan. The device – which shook buildings and shattered windows for miles – was an apparatus so small that it could be placed in a person’s pocket. Later, before his passing, Tesla stated that this device was so powerful he hoped it could prevent another World War.”

In unveiling this massive tribute to Tesla, the book’s editor also adds this interesting aside: there are some who believe that Tesla’s patents have secret codes hidden within them, so if you feel you have “cracked the code,” by all means let him know! Beckley, it should be emphasized, was way ahead of his time in his praise for the man he says was definitely “out of place in his time.” When he published his first work on Tesla in the 1970s, Beckley points out that there was hardly anything in print on Tesla’s amazing life and his radical inventions. Today, there are numerous works one can reference, though Beckley maintains that the books issued by his publishing outfit go that “extra mile” in presenting the inside story of this controversial figure.

After Beckley’s introduction, the book moves on to an article by Nikola Tesla himself, published in the “New York American” on February 7, 1915, in which Tesla discusses some of the philosophical ideas that were a driving force for his work. The article is called “How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destinies.”

“Every living being is an engine,” Tesla writes, “geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surroundings, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance. There is no constellation or nebula, no sun or planet, in all the depths of limitless space, no passing wanderer of the starry heavens, that does not exercise some control over its destiny – not in the vague and delusive sense of astrology, but in the rigid and positive meaning of physical science.

“More than this can be said,” Tesla goes on. “There is no thing endowed with life – from man, who is enslaving the elements, to the humblest creature – in all this world that does not sway in turn. Whenever action is born from force, though it be infinitesimal, the cosmic balance is upset and universal motion results.”


From his early 20th century perspective, Tesla is waxing poetically mystical about the notion of “the interrelatedness of all things,” or what has more recently been called “The Butterfly Effect,” in which the infinitesimal fluttering of a butterfly’s wings on one side of the world unleashes a tsunami on the other side. Nothing escapes the laws of cause and effect, no matter how tiny or seemingly insignificant.

The next section of “The Experiments, Inventions, Writings and Patents of Nikola Tesla” is a short biography of the inventor written by T.C. Martin that traces the genius’s life from his birth in 1857 in a borderland region of Austro-Hungary, of the Serbian race, through his education in Croatia and his eventual arrival in America when he began to work for Thomas Edison. Tesla soon left Edison’s employ, seeking to further his own ambitions and promote his new ideas himself. One such idea was Alternating Current, which was a tough sell at the time because few electrical engineers had ever used it and were for the most part unfamiliar with its value or even its essential features.

It took Tesla some time to perfect his AC creation, but when official tests were made in the winter of 1887-8, an electrical expert named Professor Anthony confirmed that Tesla’s AC gave an efficiency equal to that of direct current motors.

“Having noted for years the many advantages obtainable with alternating current,” Martin writes, “Mr. Tesla was naturally led on to experiment with them at higher potentials and higher frequencies than were common or approved of. Ever pressing forward to determine in even the slightest degree the outlines of the unknown, he was rewarded very quickly in this field with results of the most surprising nature.”

Martin, being at the time slightly acquainted with Tesla’s work, urged Tesla to repeat his results before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

“This was done in May, 1891,” Martin continues, “in a lecture that marked, beyond question, a distinct departure in electrical theory and practice, and all the results of which have not yet made themselves fully apparent. The New York lecture, and its successors, two in number, are also included in this volume, with a few supplementary notes.”

Skipping ahead to that watershed moment in Tesla’s public life, he told his New York audience that, “There is no subject more captivating, more worthy of study, than nature. To understand this great mechanism, to discover the forces which are active, and the laws which govern them, is the highest aim of the intellect of man.

Giant Tesla coil California Institute of Technology

“It has been a great step towards the understanding of the forces of nature and their multifold manifestations to our senses,” Tesla lectured on. “It has been for the enlightened student of physics what the understanding of the mechanism of the firearm or of the steam engine is for the barbarian. Phenomena upon which we used to look as wonders baffling explanation we now see in a different light. The spark of an induction coil, the glow of an incandescent lamp, the manifestations of the mechanical forces of currents and magnets are no longer beyond our grasp; instead of the incomprehensible, as before, their observation suggests now in our minds a simple mechanism, and although as to its precise nature all is still conjecture, yet we know that the truth cannot be much longer hidden, and instinctively we feel that the understanding is dawning up on us. We still admire these beautiful phenomena, these strange forces, but we are helpless no longer; we can in a certain measure explain them, account for them, and we are hopeful of finally succeeding in unraveling the mystery which surrounds them.”

It is readily apparent that Tesla was not only an inventor for the ages, he was also an inspiring philosopher of science. One cannot but be stirred by his prophetic statements about science taking us out of the darkness to a new technological world of light and beauty and his sincere belief that mankind was quickly beginning to grasp the secrets hidden in nature and would become able to master those secrets for the greater good. While admittedly we are a long way from a technological paradise – we’re more likely to continue for a while in our present technological dystopia – it is nevertheless wise to heed Tesla’s words of hope about the infinite possibilities open to mankind. His enlightened, science-based optimism still offers encouragement to a beleaguered world.


But there is also a downside to Tesla’s work. In a September 22, 1940, article in “The New York Times,” Tesla announced the invention of a Death Ray, intended to shoot down airplanes.

“Nikola Tesla,” the article begins, “one of the truly great inventors, who celebrated his eighty-fourth birthday on July 10, tells the writer that he stands ready to divulge to the United States government the secret of his ‘teleforce,’ of which he said, ‘Airplane motors would be melted at a distance of 250 miles, so that an invisible “Chinese Wall of Defense” would be built around the country against any enemy attack by an enemy air force, no matter how large.’

“This ‘teleforce’ is based on an entirely new principle of physics that no one has ever dreamed about, different from the principles embodied in his inventions relating to the transmission of electrical power from a distance, for which he has received a number of basic patents.

“This new type of force, Mr. Tesla said, would operate through a beam one-hundred-millionth of a square centimeter in diameter and could be generated from a special plant that would cost no more than $2 million and would take only about three months to construct. A dozen such plants, located at strategic points along the coast, according to Mr. Tesla, would be enough to defend the country against all aerial attack.

“The beam would melt any engine, whether diesel or gasoline, and would also ignite the explosives aboard any bomber. No possible defense against it could be devised, he asserts, as the beam would be all-penetrating through wood and metal alike.”

The article goes on to provide a little technical information on how the Death Ray actually works. It involves a combination of four new inventions, two of which had already been tested at the time the article was written. One is a method/apparatus that eliminates the need for a “high vacuum.” Secondly, a process for producing a “very great electrical force,” and thirdly, a method of amplifying this force. The fourth innovation is a new method for producing “a tremendous repelling electrical force.” That last would act as the projector or the “gun” of the system. The voltage for propelling the beam to its objective would attain a potential of 80 million volts. That enormous voltage would cause microscopic electrical particles to be catapulted on their mission of defensive destruction. Tesla told the reporter he had been working on the invention for many years and had made a number of improvements on it over that time.

Tesla cautioned that if the government took him up on his offer to build the Death Ray that they would have to trust him to accomplish his task and that he would not suffer any interference from so-called government “experts” who don’t know what they’re doing. The writer says that, given the billions already being spent on national defense and with the possibility of war looming, the government should risk a paltry $2 million and take Tesla at his word, given that the inventor already had a long history of being ahead of his time with so many things.

The “New York Times” writer, whose byline unfortunately did not appear with the article, seems to very much respect and admire Tesla, saying that the inventor retains his “full intellectual vigor” at the advanced age of eighty-four.

Would Tesla’s Death Ray have made the country impregnable against attack by air? Since Tesla could have had such a device up and running in three months, that would have been plenty of time to defend Pearl Harbor from the Japanese surprise attack that came a little over a year after the article was published.

One should also note that Tesla intended the Death Ray to be a defensive weapon, not an offensive weapon of mass destruction. Nevertheless, as is argued in the Global Communications earlier release, “Nikola Tesla’s Death Ray and the Columbia Shuttle Disaster,” which I coauthored with Commander X, perhaps the government or some shadowy New World Order-inspired earthly organization, or even a sinister alien power, secretly built a working version of Tesla’s Death Ray and used it to shoot down the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003.

What would have been their motive in doing so? Perhaps for the same kind of self-sabotage purposes involved in 9/11, as many conspiracy theorists still advocate more than ten years since the World Trade Center towers went down. By creating a continual climate of crisis and terror, the Secret Government can slowly erode our freedoms in the name of “taking care of us” and “shielding us” from enemies that may not even exist. We can only speculate upon the various theories for now, but there is no doubt that something conspiratorial and sinister is behind the allegations.


Yet another interesting take on the life and work of Nikola Tesla can be found in “The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla” by world-renowned Tesla expert Timothy R. Swartz. Among the numerous fascinating Tesla anecdotes Swartz relates is the story of how Tesla began to receive alien signals through a crude early version of radio.

The device had originally been intended to detect thunderstorms from a great distance, and Tesla said that while operating the machine he could “feel the pulse of the globe, as it were, noting every electrical charge that occurred within a radius of eleven hundred miles.

“I can never forget,” Tesla continued, “the first sensations I experienced when it dawned on me that I had observed something possibly of incalculable consequences to mankind. I felt as though I were present at the birth of a new knowledge or the revelation of a great truth. My first observations positively terrified me, as there was present in them something mysterious, not to say supernatural.”

Tesla did not hear actual alien “voices.” What he heard were “intelligently controlled” radio noises whose repetitive precision could not have been the result of nature, such as disturbances caused by the sun or the Aurora Borealis or earth currents. He at first assumed the signals came from Mars, commonly held at the time to be the most likely location of intelligent life in the solar system. He later changed his opinion and said the signals were more likely coming from much closer to the Earth, perhaps the moon or nearby outer space.

The work of Nikola Tesla is a large part of the numerous threads woven into the complex tapestry that forms our present day technological world. For longtime students of Tesla as well as those just now coming to the subject, the new book “The Experiments, Inventions, Writing and Patents of Nikola Tesla” is a must-have addition to your library. While the book obviously breaks no new ground in terms of current technology, it is of immeasurable historical interest to see Tesla’s early patents, including the original schematic drawings, gathered together in one place along with the texts for his visionary lectures.

And if you’re interested in something a little more theoretical, think about also purchasing “Nikola Tesla’s Death Ray and the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster” and read how Tesla’s genius was a sword that cut both ways, being responsible for great good while at the same time being put to egregious misuse.

Also, don’t forget Tim Swartz’s “The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla,” one of Global Communications’ bestsellers, and for good reason. The book includes material on Tesla found nowhere else, taken from journals and papers long thought to be lost forever or in some cases not known to exist at all until their discovery in Newark, New Jersey, by Dale Alfrey, who unknowingly purchased several boxes of Tesla’s work for twenty-five dollars.

Tesla’s work brought forth both blessing and disaster, and we have yet to see the end of his inventions’ potentials.


[If you enjoyed this article, please visit Sean Casteel’s “UFO Journalist” website at to read more of his articles and interviews or to purchase his books.]


The Experiments, Inventions, Writings And Patents Of Nikola Tesla: Master Of The Cosmic Flame Authored by Nikola Tesla, Editor-in-chief Timothy Green Beckley, Volume editor William Kern

The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla: Time Travel, Alternative Energy and the Secret of Nazi Flying Saucers by Tim R. Swartz Tesla/dp/1606110543/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340070773&sr=1-1&keywords=9781606110546

Men Of Mystery: Nikola Tesla and Otis T. Carr: Weird Inventions Of The Strangest Men Who Ever Lived! by Timothy Green Beckley and Tim R. Swartz

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