Tech UPTechnologyWhat were the secret investigations of Nikola Tesla?

What were the secret investigations of Nikola Tesla?


Every morning, every time we get up and turn on the light, we pay homage to one of the most peculiar and mythologized inventors in history, an extravagant man almost 2 meters tall, with a high-pitched voice and the bearing of a stork born at midnight. from July 9 to 10, 1856 in the Croatian village of Smiljan, then belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was such a peculiar being from such a strange origin that one day the great Edison , unable to find any reference to his hometown, asked him if he had ever eaten human flesh .

“The progress of man vitally depends on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain”. Thus begins his autobiography Nikola Tesla. He was the fourth child in a family of five and if there is one thing that can be said about Tesla it is that he was in love with electricity and magnetism. For this reason, the international scientific community recognized his contributions by baptizing the unit of magnetic field intensity with his surname .

In 1875 he entered the Austrian Polytechnic School and 5 years later he moved to Budapest to work for the country’s telephone company. There he invented what for some is the first loudspeaker in history. But the restless little Croatian was going to stay. In 1882 he went to Paris to work in the European branch of the company of the world famous Thomas Alva Edison. Two years later he crossed the Atlantic and went to the company headquarters to meet with the great inventor. He only had with him a letter of recommendation from his boss in Europe, Charles Barchelor. The letter said: “I know two great men and you are one of them; this young man is the other.” Just as Tesla walked through the door of Edison’s office, the ‘great man’ was faced with a problem: the ship Oregon needed repairs to the dynamo that provided electricity to the ship and no engineer was available; so he sent Tesla.

That same night Tesla passed Edison and a group of his assistants on Fifth Avenue. “Look, here we have our Parisian taking a walk.” Then Tesla told him that he had already fixed the ship’s dynamo. As he walked away he could hear Edison say, ” It’s damn good .” He was not wrong, and the future would prove him right. The problem was that both were two gigantic totally opposite personalities; Tesla was cultured, refined, soft-spoken , fluent in several languages, and passionate about science. Edison was shameless, slightly rustic and with an open disdain and contempt for scientific theories: if they did not produce money they had no value. It was a matter of time before the two clashed, something that happened in the so-called “current wars”: Edison was in favor of direct current; Tesla, of alternating current.

Between 1892 and 1893, Tesla gave four lectures in Europe and America that made him the most famous scientist of the day. With devices designed, built and tested by himself at least twenty times, he dedicated himself to showing that alternating current could be controlled safely . He himself was subjected to a tension of two million volts until a halo of light appeared around him. He then explained that high-voltage, high-frequency alternating currents flow through the outer surface of the skin without causing damage.

In his demonstrations this “wizard of electricity” threw sparks from the tips of his fingers, lit light bulbs and melted metals by letting the electric current pass through his body, and when he snapped his fingers he produced a ball of fire that he held in his hand without warning. burn while talking about the mysteries of electricity and magnetism. The audience of the two continents, fascinated, raised him to the top.

But the aura of mystery that surrounds the figure of Tesla we owe to the dust raised around the year 1899 that he dedicated to his secret experiments carried out in Colorado Spring, where, for example, he had been experimenting with a disintegrator ray . Tesla himself spoke of a “teleforce” weapon.

He died on January 7, 1943 alone, in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel on Eighth Avenue. He never married and remained celibate all his life. His funeral was attended by more than 2,000 people and the pallbearers were Nobel Prize winners . His body was cremated and his ashes rest in a spherical urn, his favorite geometric object, in the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade.

But without a doubt, the one who has fueled the legend the most has been the US government itself. Upon his death, most of his files and apparatus were collected and stored by the Office of Alien Property Custodian , a government department that during World War I and II served as the custodian of property belonging to citizens of enemy countries. That he took care of his papers is something amazing, since Tesla had American nationality. When the Department of Defense contacted the FBI, his files were declared secret : in the words of J. Edgar Hoover, it was “the most secret case due to the nature of his inventions and patents.”

Most of his “sensitive” files were published in 1978 by the Nikola Tesla Museum under the title Notes from Colorado Springs 1899-1900 . However, as his biographer Margaret Cheney discovered, there is an important part of his archives that are “in the third of the three libraries that a well-known defense research agency has.” The first one is open to the public, the second has semi-restricted access and the third library can only be visited by intelligence personnel . There are the missing Tesla papers. What are they hiding? Only a few know.

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