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A Blast From The Past

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Adapted from Feed Line No. 5

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

As you probably know, in the 1890's unsung electrical genius Nikola Tesla developed a unique method of wireless transmission. Unlike the less experienced Marconi, Dr. Tesla knew that with his system he could send more than feeble dots and dashes of Morse code limited distances without the use of wire. With his four tuned circuits system, it was possible to transmit strong signals, wirelessly, that could be picked up on the opposite side of the globe. It was in 1899, from a 60 x 70 foot tar paper structure built near Colorado Springs that Tesla first demonstrated an even more advanced "earth-resonance based wireless system on a limited scale. A year later, financed by J.P. Morgan, he began building a more powerful version of his "magnifying transmitter" on Long Island, New York. While this facility was intended for commercial wireless transatlantic communications, it would have been used to demonstrate the feasibility of wireless power transmission as well.

In December of 1901 Mr. Marconi laid claim to having received signals sent from across the Atlantic and the public's attention was drawn away from the promise of Tesla's work. Subsequent cost overruns compounded by an economic down-turn slowed the construction of Tesla's Long Island laboratory known as Wardenclyffe, and by 1904 he was entering into serious financial trouble. In an effort to regain greater notice of his project Tesla announced to the press in 1907 and 1908 that, if need be, his wireless transmission system could be used for military purposes by electrically projecting explosive "wave-energy" to distant localities.

Meanwhile nearly halfway around the world, on June 30, 1908, an explosion estimated as having a force equivalent of 10-15 megatons of TNT flattened 500,000 remote acres near the Stony Tunguska River in central Siberia. Several explanations have been given for the Tunguska event. The officially accepted version is that a 100,000 ton fragment of Encke's Comet, composed of dust and ice, exploded over the earth's surface creating a fireball and shock wave, but, curiously, no crater.

Writing a few years later, Nikola Tesla asserted that his powerful transmitter could cause destructive effects at a distance and, as a last resort, it might be used as a weapon. Did the great 19th century inventor of alternating current power wirelessly induce an explosion with the force of a nuclear device from a point thousands of miles distant?  In an effort to answer this question, these and other related facts, plus many other unknown aspects of the inventor's later work, are investigated in Tesla's Fuelless Generator and Wireless Method.

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