Tesla, "Man of the Future," in the lobby of the New Yorker hotel, where he kept to himself for years.

If you missed Part I in this series click here:

According to writer and Tesla expert Tim Swartz, what Tesla is describing is to our current age the familiar concept of the particle beam weapon.

“The concept of the Death Ray,” Swartz said in an interview conducted for the book, “was nothing new back at the turn of the century. There were a number of scientists working on the idea. I recently saw a photograph that showed British scientists in 1924 working on a Death Ray. There was no description, but it looked almost like they were working on a form of laser beam. So it wasn’t science fiction. It’s just that the technology at the time wasn’t up to the requirements to make a Death Ray feasible. There was no power source available to energize a beam to make it effective.

“But Tesla was probably one of the first scientists,” Swartz continued, “to come forward with something new in terms of actually building a Death Ray. In the mid-1930s, Tesla laid out his preliminary design for accelerating microscopic particles of mercury and tungsten to incredible velocities. Tesla preferred that his beam be composed of a long train of single particles in order to minimize any scattering due to collisions within the beam.”

In the interview, Swartz goes on to explain other technical details about how Tesla would have succeeded where others were failing in their attempts to develop a Death Ray. The U.S. government may also have been impressed with Tesla’s progress. When the inventor died in 1943, the feds raided his laboratory and hotel room, seizing the papers and notes he had left behind. FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the government’s main interest in seizing Tesla’s papers was for the design of his Death Ray.

Before his death, a financially ailing Tesla had tried to sell his invention to various countries, including the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but was told they weren’t interested, perhaps because they were already doing their own experiments with particle beam technology and believed their own designs were superior to his. But building such a weapon may have turned out to be more difficult than they had anticipated, thus they confiscated Tesla’s notes in hopes of getting a better idea of what progress he may have been making with the problems involved. There are conflicting stories about it, but some believe Tesla’s papers were then returned to the government of his native Yugoslavia, which allowed the Soviet Union easy access to them and may have helped them leap ahead of the U.S. in particle beam technology.

I asked Swartz if what we are dealing with are scientists who basically picked up the ball from Tesla and ran with it.

“Yeah,” he replied. “You know, after World War II, both the United States and the Soviet Union were in a Cold War. They were developing missiles and atomic weapons and they were also trying to come up with anything else that could give them an edge over the other. The whole idea originally of the Tesla-based energy weapons was that they were to be used as a missile defense shield that could knock missiles or planes out of the sky before they had a chance to explode over your territory. So both the United States and the Soviet Union and probably other countries – China, maybe even Israel – were working on these same devices.

“Now, whether or not they’re currently very effective,” Swartz added, “is still open to conjecture. It’s my opinion that if these Tesla-based energy weapons WERE that effective, we would be seeing them used more often and not being kept secret. If somebody really had a controllable particle beam energy weapon, based on Tesla technology, I think they would be all too happy to let the rest of the world know that they’ve got this weapon.”

Swartz acknowledged that, on the other hand, the rumored secrecy around the Tesla Death Ray might in fact be all too real.

“One of the reasons you would want to keep it secret,” he said, “is that that’s your ace. You’re going to keep that hidden until the very last minute. And you’re not going to use it unless you really, really have to. Then, when you really have to, you strike your enemy down. Boom! ‘Don’t mess with us. We’ve got this!’ So if there was any reason to keep something like this secret, that alone would be it. But again, probably one of the major reasons that this technology is being kept secret is that it’s not an easy technology to control. You could just as easily kill yourself in operating something like this than kill someone else.”

And what does all this have to do with the Columbia disaster?

According to Swartz, “A radio operator by the name of Marshall Smith has reported that on the day that Columbia was going down, HAARP was doing what he called their ‘missile defense radio transmissions.’ Now, a lot of researchers have asserted that the HAARP facility in Alaska is the U.S. version of a Tesla electromagnetic energy weapon, albeit more sophisticated than the ones that the Soviet Union was working on, and going quite a ways beyond Tesla’s original concepts.

“HAARP allegedly takes this idea one step further,” Swartz went on, “and uses different frequencies of electromagnetic energy, radio frequency, to achieve the same effects. So you transmit your energy into the atmosphere and focus it at a distance, which then enables it to be aimed anywhere on the globe. Some people have speculated that the HAARP facility, at least in part, is a missile defense installation, or at least an ‘experimental’ missile defense installation, using radio frequencies to try to knock missiles out of the sky.”

Returning to the story told by Marshall Smith, Swartz said, “Smith, who has been a licensed commercial radio engineer since the 1960s, reported that on the morning of Saturday, February 1, 2003, HAARP was transmitting from 4:15 AM to about 7:20 AM PST in missile defense mode. That was the first HAARP transmission since late 2002. Columbia re-entered the atmosphere over California at 5:53 AM PST, right in the middle of HAARP’s transmissions.

“Smith speculates that this may have been an accidental testing – or maybe deliberate, though I’d hate to think that – but an accidental testing of HAARP’s antimissile defense capabilities. The space shuttle accidentally got in the way and was brought down. I find it very interesting that the radio frequencies that Tesla talked about using for his electromagnetic defense shield are the same frequencies that HAARP was broadcasting on the morning that the shuttle came down.”

 Swartz said he prefers to believe the tragedy was an accident, but admits we will likely never know for sure.

“Nobody’s going to come forward and say, ‘Oh, by the way, we accidentally killed seven astronauts because somebody left the transmitter in Alaska on a little too long.’ But if that’s the case,” he said, “it also shows how effective this Tesla-based technology can be over great distances.”

The idea that the Columbia disaster may have been a deliberate act is not an easy one to deal with for Swartz. It forces one to consider uncomfortable theories of political conspiracy or terrorists operating at a frightening level of technological expertise. The possibility that a terrorist organization like Al Qaida could get hold of a particle beam weapon is very “James Bondian,” Swartz said, and he is probably correct that such scenarios fall outside the realm of believability very quickly.

In any case, to those interested in reading about these and other ideas in more detail, don’t hesitate to check out the Global Communications reprint of “Nikola Tesla’s Death Ray and the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster,” as well as other books on Nikola Tesla the company has published. Obviously, none of these books can give the reader definitive answers, and may not even always ask the right questions. But they can appeal to the imagination, they can entertain, and they can provide a look at Tesla as a primary architect of our current technological age without what some consider the obligatory reining in of the childlike urge to explore these mysteries with an open mind and a willingness to believe in what we are so often told is impossible by debunkers and the people for whom repressive secrecy is a necessity they have forgotten is ultimately evil.

[To read more by Sean Casteel, visit his website at]


Nikola Tesla’s Death Ray And The Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster:                      Updated Edition

The Secret Space Program: Who Is Responsible? Tesla? The Nazi? NASA? Or A Breakaway Civilization?

The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla: Time Travel, Alternative Energy and the Secret of Nazi Flying Saucers



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