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Myths and Rumors persist in the tale of legendary inventor Nikola Tesla

By David Jerale


TWP20There has been a great increase in the popularity of inventor Nikola Tesla in recent years; well deserved, as Tesla’s work helped shape the modern world.  However, his return to the spotlight has brought with it fabricated or exaggerated claims about his achievements and intentions, some of the most persistent surrounding Tesla’s biggest failure: the Wardenclyffe tower.

The site has recently been purchased, thanks in part to a fundraising effort promoted by online comic author Matthew Inman, with intentions to convert it into a museum. 

One particular myth about the Wardenclyffe facility often repeated by conspiracy theorists is that Tesla would have been able to produce and distribute limitless, wireless power worldwide. Upon discovering this, the conspiracy theorists say, Tesla’s investors, led by J.P. Morgan, withdrew funding from the project. This explanation of Wardenclyffe’s failure is wrong.

Between 1861 and 1865, based on earlier experimental work by Michael Faraday and others, James Clerk Maxwell developed a theory of electromagnetism, predicting the existence of electromagnetic waves, of which radio waves are one variety. Maxwell’s work in electromagnetism became known as the “second great unification in physics,” after Isaac Newton‘s unification of terrestrial and celestial mechanics, as Maxwell’s equations demonstrated that electricity, magnetism, and light are all manifestations of the electromagnetic field.

In 1879, David Edward Hughes discovered that a telephone receiver connected to a microphone of his design would generate a signal wirelessly if a spark was generated. Using more rigorous scientific techniques than Hughes, Heinrich Hertz verified Maxwell’s theory  experimentally between 1886 and 1888. It was his experiments that would inspire later developments in radio by Nikola Tesla, Sir Oliver Lodge, Stepanovich Popov, and Guglielmo Marconi, among others.

At the turn of the 20th century, both Marconi and Tesla began investigating the possibility of sending a wireless signal across the Atlantic–Tesla began planning the Wardenclyffe Tower in 1898, and after a letter to J.P. Morgan in 1900, received agreement from Morgan to finance the project, though with the warning that he would not provide any funding beyond $150,000. Tesla had planned to transmit power wirelessly in addition to sending communication, but he did not advertise this to Morgan initially. 


Tesla’s Wireless Transmitter Concept

On December 12th, 1901, just as construction on Tesla’s project was beginning, Marconi claimed to have successfully transmitted a signal– Morse code for the letter “s”– across the Atlantic. While Tesla’s facility was still under construction, Marconi was using his system to relay messages between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII.  It was at this point which Tesla sent a series of letters to J.P. Morgan soliciting additional funding for the project, despite the fact that Morgan had already warned Tesla with his initial investment that he would provide no further financing.  

In Tesla’s third letter to Morgan in 1903, he finally reveals his intent to use the facility to transmit wireless power, saying “. . . If I would have told you such as this before, you would have fired me out of your office. . . . Will you help me or let my great work—almost complete—go to pots? . . .” Morgan responded on July 14th “I have received your letter… and in reply would say that I should not feel disposed at present to make any further advances.”


J.P. Morgan

Quotes from Morgan as stated by conspiracy theorists suggesting that wireless power would be impossible to meter, and therefore, would be a bad investment are taken out of the proper context; Tesla had tried to convince Morgan to further invest in his project by revealing the capability to transmit power, which Morgan simply did not find an attractive proposition, but in no way was wireless power the reason for Morgan not investing, as he had already told Tesla that he did not intend to invest more than the original agreed upon amount. The “Rich Man’s Panic” of 1903 made it difficult for Tesla to acquire investment from other sources. His lack of funding was exacerbated further by the expiration of his patents for AC motors and other methods of power transmission. 

Wireless power, due to the aforementioned facts, could only be said to have killed Wardenclyffe if it was the cause of the additional expense of the project compared to Marconi’s radio system.

As for the claims that this power was “free energy” not just in its inability to be metered but also its generation, it seems that they stem from ignorance of how Tesla had designed the facility; the transmitter was to be powered by a 200 kilowatt Westinghouse alternating current generator driven by a Westinghouse auto compound engine. Some conspiracy theorists claim instead that it was to be powered by Tesla’s apparatus for the utilization of radiant energy,” but again, the conspiracy theorists fail to understand that “radiant energy” isn’t “energy all around us,” but rather, is defined as energy in the form of electromagnetic waves– in essence, what Tesla patented is no more a “free energy” device than a solar panel is.

In fact, in the patent, Tesla specifically mentioned that “The apparatus being arranged as shown, it will be found that when the radiations of the sun or of any other source capable of producing the effects before describe fall upon the plate P an accumulation of electrical energy in the condenser C will result.”  This isn’t nearly as mind-blowing as somehow tapping into the æther for an unlimited power source would be, but then again, isn’t it par for the course for conspiracy theorists to pretend reality isn’t interesting enough?

Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest inventors of the 20th century– one of the greatest of all time, even.  Because of this, I would like to echo the sentiment of Brian Dunning, producer of the Skeptoid podcast, in saying that spreading falsehoods about Tesla is “an insult to the man and his accomplishments.”  

What is implied by inventing stories about the man?  Are his accomplishments somehow insufficient?  Are they somehow uninteresting enough that History Channel needs to insert the claims about free power, death rays, and an earthquake machine into their programming to make it worth watching?  It almost seems as if, in coming out of obscurity from popular culture, Tesla is more forgotten than he was buried within physics textbooks, and that is a real shame.



  • sandyabrams

    So you are saying that there really is no power supply that he invented that needs no electricity or gasoline or other standard fuel to power it? Is the story of the car that he drove up and down the East Coast without needing to gas up or power up untrue? Thank you,


    • Gridley Wu

      Yes, there really is no power supply which Tesla, or anyone else, invented which needs no electricity or gasoline or other standard fuel to power it. The laws of physics prevent such things. Energy is always required to do work, and that energy must have a source. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”, especially in physics.

      • Dem274

        Oh yeah… He used the earth as a capacitor, also the coil was built over a aquifer, the movements of negative ions over the conductor rod, built a charge on the coil top. Your brain uses the flow of ions to create flow of charge between synapses. Also we are building nano carbon machines powered by the flow of negative ions over the face. You let them go in canals of flowing water. Also today, we have cold fusion, 17k replications of it.. All this what I mentioned does not violate the laws of physics, Tesla just found a big well of energy, that is unlimited…

        • Tesla found a big well of energy, but it is not unlimited. That well is the earth’s magnetic field, and tapping it to any significant degree would be FAR worse than tapping into the big well of stored solar energy known hydrocarbon deposits we are currently tapping into. (I still see no evidence that global warming is bad: you lose low lying real estate, but gain currently frozen real estate.) Weakening the earth’s magnetic field that protects us from the solar wind would be VERY bad. We don’t really want to put his system into production.

          Now tapping into the energy of the solar wind without weakening our magnetic shield – THAT could be revolutionary. But matching the efficiency of plants for solar power would be equally revolutionary.

          • Demi Gee

            You’re aware energy doesn’t disappear right? It replaces itself, Solar wind and pollution are the only forces that can tamper with Earth’s magnetosphere. The most damage thousands of these rigs could do is randomly make passers-by look like hedgehogs.

          • Energy doesn’t disappear, but it becomes less available. This is called entropy. Suppose you have a dish full of granulated salt – it is available. Suppose your kid dumps it on the ground, and stirs it into the dirt. The salt has not disappeared – it is still there. But it is less available. This is what happens to available energy when it is used.

            Energy tapped from the earth’s magnetic field does not disappear – but it is no longer in the earth’s magnetic field. That is the problem. Generally, energy that we use becomes heat energy, and is radiated into space.

          • 1787LIVES

            the earth is it’s own generator, magma containing metals rotating around an iron core is in part at least a source of our magnetic fields. I believe tesla designed his three phase motors after it.

      • Vitaliy Shtym

        the definition of free is misunderstood here. Tesla was using the energy that is around us, he was not creating it. He basically made a receiver of energy. Think like solar panels…

        • James White

          Exactly! Thank you for using your brain. The term “free” was actually used in regards to money. Tesla insisted he had created a form of energy distribution which would not cost anything. The energy was to be extracted from the natural world and sent across the globe by means of electrical resonance.

          • 1787LIVES

            your explanation is correct even if it remains to be seen if the theory has merit.

        • dinkster

          Think like solar panels? You mean those semiconductor devices that use the energy from photons to excite charged carriers from the valence band to the conduction band, creating a hole in the crystal lattice that is subsequently replaced by charge from a ground source, thus moving electrical charge in a circle?

      • Guest

        people like you are the biggest idiots out there. The “laws” of physics aren’t laws, they’re just man made ideas that theorize and represent the best of certain dynamics that we’ve come across as of yet. They do not encompass anything that is next, or discoveries to be made, I’m absolutely positive that if ever exposed to any of the wreckage or reverse engineered tech from roswell and bits brought to Cheyenne mountain you’d say it “violated” (how dare they) the “laws” of physics, which is hilarious because it’s just what closed minded people like you know about, not what actually is. There is always more to learn and to find, you won’t seek to learn and find if you think that the tiny piss pot of what we’ve discerned so far represents the total reality of what there is to know.

        • Stefan Cuevas

          Those aliens would be constrained by the same laws of physics that we are. The total energy of the universe is conserved, for humans or for aliens. Upon further analysis any paradox found in an alien device would be resolved with the conservation laws. Laws are not theories. Laws are empirical descriptions, very much like “natural law” is an empirical description of human interaction. Theories are substantiated by laws or other empirical descriptions. Ohm’s law for example, is an empirical description only suitable for certain circuitry. Until we observe a violation of conservation laws, we must assume that they are true axiomatically. Why? Well that is how inductive logic (science) works. You can only assume what you measure. If the alien device does not adhere to conservation laws, that might require a better understanding of the circumstance, but we can’t speculate and assume such a device exists for epistemological reasons.

          • James VanLanduyt Jr

            Empirical evidence is not absolute. There is always the possibility, however remote, that an exception will apply. Utilize these concepts as “Laws”, but always remember there are always exceptions.

      • Cornhusker jones

        people like you are the biggest idiots out there. The “laws” of physics aren’t laws, they’re just man made ideas that theorize and represent the best of certain dynamics that we’ve come across as of yet. They do not encompass anything that is next, or discoveries to be made, I’m absolutely positive that if ever exposed to any of the wreckage or reverse engineered tech from roswell and bits brought to Cheyenne mountain you’d say it “violated” (how dare they) the “laws” of physics, which is hilarious because it’s just what closed minded people like you know about, not what actually is. There is always more to learn and to find, you won’t seek to learn and find if you think that the tiny piss pot of what we’ve discerned so far represents the total reality of what there is to know.

        • dinkster

          K, I’ll just go ahead and lean on this massive pile of empirical data and say thermodynamics is pretty accurate. It is better than making hand wavey arguments about Roswell wreckage.

          • turibe

            I’m disappointed in the number of ridiculous comments. Thank you, Dinkster for being at least one other person who sees reason.

        • Thomas

          Thank You Cornhusker, You are right in the money. The so called laws
          of Physics are man’s interpolation of how things work. It changes all
          the time when we find something new. The world went from flat to round
          in just a couple years. Freaking people are morons. No Perpetual
          motion ? “Things in Motion stay in Motion” Forever !! Unless something changes it.

      • Amigi

        Please, dont speak anymore. Your ignorance of Tesla’s work is showing.

    • Sandy Selak

      YES he did drive with it with his two nephew Savo + Peter Kosanovic, I talked to Peter until his death in 1998. IT IS true but they want to now lie about it… Savo is the older brother of Peter & they were both in the car when Tesla assembled, and then dis-assembled the black box.

  • ErikTheRed

    Great article, thanks!


    What could he have invented if JP Morgan actually funded him further….. That is the question. Einstein was funded by the US Government and he created the Nuke.

    • Stefan Cuevas

      Einstein didn’t create the nuclear bomb, and the ideas of his that contributed to Quantum Theory (which led to the understand of nuclear interactions) were made when he lived in Germany/Switzerland.

  • Guest

    Yes, there really is no power supply which Tesla, or anyone else, invented that needs no electricity or gasoline or other standard fuel to power it. The laws of physics prevent such things. Energy is always required to do work, and that energy must have a source. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”, especially in physics.

    • Danny F. Quest

      Solar comes to mind .. ? You have to work for a tan ?

      • The energy isn’t free though. It’s coming from somewhere. Also, you can’t harness that energy to be put to good use without expending energy somewhere. Do you even science brah?

        • Danny F. Quest

          the sun uses thermonuclear Fission of hydrogen atoms to create energy (not free, will not last forever).. Not Hydro-carbon fossil fuel that have a finite limit used to control and extort humanity .. You have any idea how many people have been killed trying to expose this scam Austin ?? — Yea I science !! I Investigate too !!

          • Danny F. Quest

            you ever seen the movie chain reaction .. ? that was 96 .. I’ve met honest hard working people who have worked on Hydrogen fusion .. there is more energy in a glass of water then all the Shale Stone In Nebraska ,, But Less profit for the big 6 .. so which one you think were going with ?

          • Danny F. Quest

            Ohh and the original Diesel engine was designed to run off of Peanut oil .. “Yes, there really is no power supply which Tesla, or anyone else, invented that needs no electricity or gasoline or other standard fuel to power it.” <– 🙁 You should have one of your shills write an article about that then !! Ohh and yea Mr. Diesel was Killed and patent was stolen .. sheese

          • Danny F. Quest

            Did a little research and I was kinda wrong ,, but here’s a clip from wiki . ” It is often reported that Diesel designed his engine to run on peanut oil, but this is false. Patent number 608845 describes his engine as being designed to run on pulverulent solid fuel (coal dust). at the request of the French Government ran on Arachide (earth-nut or peanut) oil and worked so smoothly that only a few people were aware of it. The engine was constructed for using mineral oil, and was then worked on vegetable oil without any alterations being made.” Something to talk about ..

          • Danny F. Quest

            See Fellow libertarians we can grow and produce our own Fuel … !! Liberty .. Liberation .. Freedom

          • Stefan Cuevas

            Nuclear Fusion, not fission.

    • James White

      No one EVER claimed it was free energy. It was free as in NOT COSTING MONEY. The energy was to come from nature, the term “free energy” was used to mean that it could be produced and distributed without cost to the end user.

    • Victoria Kushnir

      i have in my hand a flash light. turning a crank 50 times will allow me 8 hours of light. i walk at least 2 miles in the course of my day. if i had a pair of shoes that could store energy like the flashlight i might be able to reduce my fossil fuel consumption (undoubtedly a large contributor to radiant heat in the atmosphere not to mention other nasty poisons). i could take them off at night and plug them into my television or computer. my grandchildren surely would be able to power heaters for a greenhouse or a refrigerator or car. we never maximize the energy we receive from food and waste a good portion of our precious energy every single day. resurgence in the interest in Tesla is a positive regardless. if we minimize Tesla’s achievements, and think of him as a joke, we may miss the next great untraditional thinker that saves us all from our own incredible waste.

      • Victoria Kushnir

        and feeding people who let their money work for them so they don’t have to, is an incredible waste of our resources.

  • Transpower

    There is “free energy” in cosmic rays–and the flux is constant day and night.

    • dinkster

      well it isn’t free because you still have to create a collector and energy harvester.

  • Wesley Bruce

    Well put I’ve researched this field and think you nailed it. A wireless energy transmitter can work but uses the power fed into it in such a way that the output can’t exceed the input. It still can be useful because it can power hard to reach things and could be crowd funded. IE the billing problem is gone even if it were real.

    The eCoupled system is the most commercial equivalent today its from research company Fulton Innovation (part of the Amway R &D arm Alticor ).

    • Vapemans

      You are only fooling yourself. And apparently would be better suited to Hotel Management, then Electrical Engineering.

      Stick to what your good at, and it is apparent you are no good with Electricity, or its very nature.

  • um123

    make is more clear for high school students

  • um123


  • um123


  • um123


  • Danny F. Quest

    Your article sucked and was completely under researched… Telsa was talking about resonant frequencies in the ionosphere as a source of “Unlimited Energy” Your just trying to make the word “free” energy sound bad.. and although you are correct in saying no energy can be free you come off sounding like another pro-capitalist libertarian shill .. @austin Where u find these people ?

    • We are all libertarian pro-capitalists. The article was heavily researched and well-cited. You sound like an anti-capitalist conspiracy theory socialist shill.

      • Death

        So because this guy comments on your article with a differ of opinion (or even difference of understanding Teslas ideas) you cry conspiracy theorist? It doesn’t appear that Danny Quest was stretching his imagination in any sense. Surely you’re not saying “agree with me or you’re a conspiracy theorist”, right?

        Furthermore, isn’t it oxymoronic to call this “conspiracy theorist” an anti capitalist shill? A shill is basically a swindler. The only way to call him an anti-capitalist is if it’s because he does not want electricity to be controlled and monetized by a private owner for profit. So if he’s a swindler who doesn’t want someone profiting from electricity because he feels we should all have it for free, who’s he swindling? I even read some of his other comments and whether he’s right or wrong is besides the point. I could point out a couple of things that he was wrong about, but his heart seems to be in the right place. What if some how a company took control of all of the trees and grass on earth, and all of the oxygen was controlled and monetized for profit from a private owner. And you had to buy your oxygen to breathe. It’s impossible, but what if? And then when you went to say “Hey this isn’t right man!” people told you, “It sounds like you’re an anti-capitalist shill.”?

        My point is there comes a point where you can be against for profit private owners, and still be pro capitalist. Everything isn’t black or white. There’s nothing wrong with electricity being free for every one if it’s possible. And who ever is profiting from it now (Buffett and the like) can kick rocks and focus on their other for profit ventures.

        To be honest though, the main thing that made me comment is that you’re held to a different standard than he is. I won’t scrutinize his comments so much. Comments like his are a dime a dozen. But yours….you’re the writer here. You made the article. If someone calls you a name, and then you throw one right back, then you’re no better. You’re supposed to have a little more class, that’s all….and maybe you don’t. I wouldn’t know because the only thing I know about you is what you wrote in your article and then how you responded in the comment. But I do know this….if you want to succeed, than be above the bickering…because people will pick you apart for one tiny sentence you wrote.

        • Danny F. Quest

          Hey I just seen this ,, thank you Joe ! @auggyp:disqus is my friend And I respect the work he does ! I just like giving the people a different perspective ,, and in all fairness I called the Writer a capitalist shill first so it was kinda a rebuttal 🙂 God Bless and Happy Holidays !!

    • James White

      I thank you sir for using your brain. The word “free” here was used with regards to money. Tesla said he found a way to use electrical resonance between the ground and the ionosphere to transmit energy around the world. This article is an attack on open minded people and frankly, almost a joke.

  • Leon Maliniak

    You Guys just don’t get it. NO wonder no engineer has been able to resurrect and complete the unfinished work of this man’s genius in over 100 years…OR THEY HAVE AND ARE NOT TELLING US ABOUT IT. .

    TESLA never said he was creating energy out of nothing. What he said is that he was going to TAP INTO the energy which is already existing all around us both from the energetic particles coming from the Sun and the electrical potential between the IONOSPHERE and the ground, here on earth, and out in space, from the limitless energy permeating the cosmos from all the obvious sources.

    Thus, no laws of physics are been broken and the first law of thermodynamics is safe. He is NOT creating energy out of nothing.

    Whereas it is a weak analogy, the comparison to a SOLAR PANEL is at least conceptually correct. Solar panels collect certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation and turn them into electricity, but very inefficiently, whereas TESLA’s plan was to collect particles of more energetic wavelengths and his device to transform them into electricity was much more efficient and as I understand it, it could always be “BUMPED UP” to millions of volts using his step up transformer…the Tesla coil.

    He already registered a PATENT for this device to collect radiant energy and when a man who has 178 of the world’s most important patents to his credit, and another 700 improvement patents, tells me he CAN collect radiant energy and convert it to electricity AND transmit it wirelessly…I WOULD TEND TO BELIEVE HIM and not his critics.

    He already had a working prototype for transmitting energy WIRELESSLY in Colorado Springs before he built Wardenclyffe and from what I understand, being just a dumb retired LAWYER and not an electrical engineer, is that in this initial configuration he DID draw power from an existing power plant but then STEPPED UP THE POWER with a form of his TESLA COIL.

    After that he transmitted this energy wirelessly through the EARTH through some sort of standing wave which would then have to be “picked” up by a receiver “tuned” to the correct wavelength, like a RADIO, and this would be converted to electricity at the receiver.

    THAT PART I DON’T UNDERSTAND AND APPARENTLY NEITHER DOES ANY ELECTRICAL ENGINEER…but if he said HE could do it…it most probably was true.

    The next phase of his design, as I understand it, was that the tower in Wardenclyffe acted as a COLLECTOR of radiant energy which secoondary and tertiary coils stepped up in voltage which was then to be RE-TRANSMITTED through the ground to remote locations and that a tower of this size could have transmitted over great distances.

    I refuse to believe that this man, who was such a great genius, was so far ahead of his time that even after more then 100 years, no other engineer has been able to decipher or replicate his work. I prefer to believe that by now they HAVE in fact finally done so but that for some mysterious reason they are not making it available to the public.

    What convinces me of this conclusion is the existence of devices like H.A.A.R.P. and the flying discs of the Germans in WWII who already had flying saucers based on TESLA science…this is no “conspiracy” theory…it made it to a two hour special on the HISTORY channel and is a scientific fact.


    Given the fragility of the existing electrical grid and its vulnerability to many nefarious actions which can easily knock it all out, and other more innocuous dangers like a simple SOLAR FLARE, which would leave us all in the dark and bring our whole modern world to a standstill, it is incumbent upon us to DEMAND that the authorities and scientific communities put their urgent efforts into perfecting TESLA’S system for wireless transmission of energy AND his designs for tapping into the free energy all around us.

    NO WONDER ALIENS HAVE EVER MADE “FORMAL CONTACT” WITH US…they see we are still using STRINGS attached to ENDLESS wooden poles to transmit power…we are so primitive to them that it would be like us talking to ants.

    • Terry Maccarrone

      We will see the truth of your words very soon…..the planet is alive.
      Alien..other thinking…mentours are here to unfold the mystery in our technology

    • Al Laurance

      The problem is the big oil and energy corporations would never let this come to fruition.

      • Vapemans

        that indeed has BEEN the problem for the last 100 yrs. but that tide is quickly turning.

      • Anthony Lucas

        Don’t let them here u say that. They’ll hunt u down

    • Just Sayin’

      Ever notice how anyone capitalizing CERTAIN WORDS in an argument seems INSANE regardless of what they are SAYING?

      • No Comment

        Really? Is it kind of like when people put certain words and phrases in BOLD (i.e. as done in the article) ?

        • Volk

          Boldness indicates a link, except when it’s a name. Click some of the bold stuff.

      • Rudolf F. Borsics

        You prefer red or underline etc.?

      • XtremezMoez

        You are the only one who seems insane.

      • Point

        The use of all-caps is a technique of debate used when one is unable to demonstrate one’s argument through logic and evidence.

        It is an ineffective technique.

      • Mark Sanders


    • Robert Talada

      “it made it to a two hour special on the HISTORY channel and is a scientific fact.”

      Because everything on the history channel is undeniable fact lol please…

      • Sambo Caesar

        Yeah there was some great spooky music in that “documentary.”

        • Dallen G

          That’s right, any background music or post-production effects to enhance viewing whatsoever negate all statements, claims, or proclamations contained in a documentary. That is a scientific fact, coded as such: [IF (“documentary(x)”) contains=(“bgmusic” “ppeffects”) THEN statement=(“null”)]

      • Anthony Lucas

        U idiot he was using the history channel as additional evidence not as an excuse

      • Thomas Cirnowitz

        According to the history channel, people in ancient civilization were all lazy assholes who sat around scratching their butts, and never could have built monuments or invented agriculture without help from wise alien overlords. I personally take offense to this because some of my ancestors lives in ancient civilizations, and they did build things, on their own, without any help from aliens.

        • Joseph Slabaugh

          Please provide a name and documentation 🙂

        • sheckyshabaz

          How in the hell would you know what your ancestors did or didn’t do or how they learned how to do it? Did they leave you written records? Just stop.

      • Dave

        I’m not saying it was aliens… But it was aliens. *holds hands up, and squints slightly while sporting insane birdsnest of a hairdue and fake tan*

      • sheckyshabaz

        Your assumption of what he said is wrong. He never said that it was a scientific fact because it was on the history channel. He said it was on the history channel “AND” is a scientific fact. He was making two statements in the same sentence with the obvious attempt at using the word “AND”.

    • dinkster

      “You Guys just don’t get it. NO wonder no engineer has been able to
      resurrect and complete the unfinished work of this man’s genius in over

      Better get on that then, us stupid engineers certainly are not keeping it a secret.

      • Joseph Slabaugh

        What have you done to help humanity, specifically?

        • dinkster

          Built test and calibration equipment for hellfire missile test systems. Good stuff.

          • an0id

            Those are usefull ill give him that. /almost/ as usefull as providing food and electricity to the people of earth working to eliminate need; subjectively abolishing greed, theft, want and conflict. but your missiles are cool.

    • Anthony Lucas

      True dat I was thinking the same thing man

    • T Sage

      I agree with you for the most part. And it’s bs that the author of this article insinuates that JP Morgan was in a tight situation with money. Him, Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie were rich beyond our imagination. At this point in Tesla’s career, he was worldwide renowned for his contributions to the scientific community and countless successes. Therefore, it would be incredibly stupid and irrational for Morgan to not invest as much as needed into the project, so he must have been up to something.

      • Bassack Obassa

        What I got from the article is that JP Morgan simply did not want to invest more than the original amount. That doesn’t seem stupid or irrational to me.

    • David Wilson

      Lol “free” energy? The U.S. would be in ruins, no way in hell will the gov allow any sort of free energy, and even if it was unlimited there will still be a price tag on it.

    • Byron Brubaker

      Tesla was trying to monopolize electrical transmission and got served. He wasn’t a “Morgan.”

    • Joseph Slabaugh


      I believe you mean “NEVER”?

      But yes, I agree with most of what you said.

      • dinkster

        Well that’s because you are woefully ignorant of basic principles of physics. There is a remedy for that.

        • Joseph Slabaugh

          And what would that be? Death?

          • dinkster

            No. Just read and study and learn math. The op lost coherency in his second paragraph. If you put a load from the ionosphere to ground in order to create work, the charge will move to equilibrium and you won’t get any more energy out of it. Once the earth is charged what do you do with all those electrons? If everything is negatively charged, what happens to our planet?

          • Joseph Slabaugh

            Sounds like you have a lot of negatively charged feelings for op.

          • dinkster

            Science has nothing to do with feelings.

          • Alex Martin

            That´s for damn sure

          • 1787LIVES

            there are those that believe the earth with it’s iron core and metal/rock magma flow around it beneath the crust creating magnetic fields have the same basic parts as an electric motor. They also think that the equilibrium you speak of as the charges move creating lighting is proof that there is an energy source within the earth itself which may have the possibility of being tapped. Also, some who have studied Tesla wonder why he built the sphere that produced lighting and some see it as being representative of the earth to Tesla and that he studied it for potential understanding of how that could be achieved.

          • dinkster

            I understand most physicists believe that energy source is heat from nuclear fission.

    • an0id

      Myth busters did a special on tesla’s “earthquake machine”. however anyone with any attention to detail would have noticed that the experiment (while they deemed it a success) was vastly incomplete. I believe for reasons better left off public television and as tesla had stated; we are simply not ready and ~ we should probably be doing without these technologies at the moment. Im quite happy not letting crazy people build battleship size deathrays.

    • Point

      What you describe, my friend, is not scientific. It is faith, much like any religion.

      You provide unambiguous proof of this in your statement, which I quote here:

      “I refuse to believe that…no other
      engineer has been able to decipher or replicate his work. I prefer to
      believe that by now they HAVE in fact finally done so but that for some
      mysterious reason they are not making it available to the public.”

      So you are, in fact, discarding empirical evidence, and saying you prefer to believe in a myth. Just like the christians.

  • carrie

    If it didn’t work then why were they so threatened that they seized his work and had to make a smear campaign against him? I am not drinking your Kool-Aid. No way!

    • Boom!

      Because there was some war going on ,WW2, if you remember and the mentally ill old Tesla described he made some kind of Death ray which if you know how war works, would help US against its enemy.

  • stephancom

    A year or so ago, I came up with my own cockamamie idea for doing nuclear fusion cheaply. It doesn’t matter whether or not my idea would have worked. Let’s assume it does. Let’s assume any of the hippie crystal tesla free energy ideas work. Mr. Fusion is possible, in principle. In any case, what they all boil down to ultimately is a magic box with a power outlet on it, right? A little box you plug stuff into and it runs forever.

    So we start making these magic boxes. Everyone in Finland starts running their space heaters 24/7 for free. Everyone in Saudi Arabia starts running their air conditioner 24/7 for free.

    Do you see the problem?

    Waste heat. It doesn’t go away. The problem is not finding an inexhaustible energy source… the problem is finding an inexhaustible energy SINK. Before you can give everyone in the world magic power outlets, you need to give them black holes, as well, to dump the waste heat into.

    So… Perhaps “they” are suppressing these inventions, and for a very good reason, to prevent an ecological nightmare beyond imagining. Melt the icecaps, then boil the seas.

    Thermodynamics is a harsh mistress.

    • Micah

      Air conditioners expel excess heat into the outside atmosphere, that’s how they cool off your house. Space heaters do basically the same thing in reverse, they take heat energy which is created at the power plant, turned into electrical energy, and then turn it back into heat energy.

      One forest fire in Colorado (where I’m from) releases more heat into the atmosphere than all the space heaters combined, I guarantee you. If what you are saying is true then we should ban all hobo campfires, too. The equilibrium of our fine planet isn’t so easily manipulated as everyone would like to pretend.

      • stephancom

        leaving out nuclear energy, all the other sources you name release energy that was originally put into the system by the sun. I’m using space heaters and air conditioners as a convenient catch-all for all potential uses of energy that people might conceive of for all potential uses of free energy. You do make an interesting point inasmuch as the earth must radiate energy in balance with what we receive from the sun, so we’ve reached the limit of my knowledge on that detail. Perhaps you’re right – but remember that the campfire releases energy – and carbon – the was taken in from natural sources. We would be adding to that a boundless amount of other energy. You could be right, but my gut says you’re not.

      • Thomas Cirnowitz

        If people had unlimited free energy, they would build unlimited amounts of space heaters, eventually they would build enough space heaters that they would produce more heat that the Colorado wildfires.

    • Keith Lombard

      you make an astute observation most are not actually smart enough to grasp. there are people who have figured out plenty of things,that in the right hands could benefit humanity,but it is knowledge humans as a species are not responsible enough to use properly,and in the wrong hands could literally destroy the planet. i personally know of some theories i will not even discuss or mention,because i don’t even want people to start thinking about it or discussing them…somethings are just better left unknown,because reality is never as idealistic as folks hope it will be.

      • Keith Lombard

        and a little bit of knowledge in the hands of a fool is a dangerous thing indeed.

  • James White

    You have completely misunderstood the term “free energy”… This is not meant to suggest some kind of violation of the conservation of energy. “Free” in this sense means FREE, that is, not costing money. You attempt to make yourself out to be a sensible man but in your desperation to dispel other’s ideas you show your true colours. Tesla himself used the term “free energy” so why do you take such issue with it? He proposed a device which could provide the world with a form of energy distribution which would cost them nothing, by using resonance to send the electrical power through the cavity between the ground and the ionosphere. Is it not possible, that by JP Morgan abandoning him, the world has lost one of the most valuable pieces of technology it has ever known? You are in no more position than I am to dispute that. Good day to you.

    • cvr527

      Stated just like a small child scolded by their parent.

  • Micah

    You guys, every bit of energy we’ve ever used has been free. How many of us made the sun? What about the stars? Well hydrocarbons and petrochemicals are just stored solar energy. The water cycle that allows hydro power-plants to work is powered by the sun, non-stop evaporation and condensation charges the water molecules with the energy to escape gravity long enough to fall back into a river and repeat the process.

    Every bit of energy is FREE! Tesla just had an idea, and ideas, for better, more efficient, more profitable ways to harness it for humankind. This is the spirit of all inventors, and of Tesla’s fans. We will go on to test the borders, push the boundaries, and try new things, while we let the crotchety pen-pushers sit in a lab and catch up mathematically to what we know intuitively.

    I’m not saying we abandon the established laws of science in favor of hokey pseudo-science. The laws of science are useful in predicting outcomes, doing tests, and engineering products to work. But if we never think outside of the current laws, never have the courage to question them, we are only limiting ourselves.

    Copernicus was laughed at in his time, and so will all people who try to change the status-quo, especially by people who put Capitalism so far above everything else that they don’t understand that certain acts of humanitarian good are not excluded in a Capitalist system, especially if the private property owner, like Tesla, is willing to give it away for free.

    • cvr527

      “especially by people who put Capitalism so far above everything else that they don’t understand that certain acts of humanitarian good are not excluded in a Capitalist system,” Capitalism is not the correct word; greed is the correct word, and it is not exclusive to capitalism. If Tesla had been a better capitalist, he would not have had to ask Morgan to fund his project.

      • Micah

        You can’t quantify people as “better” or “worse” in terms of capitalism. Capitalism is a system that many people adhere to. one of the foremost tenets of that system is that individuals are free to make their own decisions, and use their own property as they please, whether they want to share that property with the world, or keep it all for themselves.

        By your definition, if you were a better capitalist, you would be out doing something productive to create wealth for yourself instead of typing comments on the internet, so I guess it’s even

  • Terry Maccarrone

    Energy is never destroyed, created, free, or confined…entropy…allows its expansion and contraction. This process allows us to transfer it to any use.
    quantum view points out the observation is part of measurement.
    nothing is created or destroyed only observed.
    What we don’t see does still exisit but we cannot measure it.

  • Debra

    I’ve been learning about Mr. Tesla in my engineering coursework. He was a very interesting and brilliant man. Some of his ideas were truly genius at work. It’s a shame that he has been so forgotten since so many of his ideas power our world today and allow us to live in comfort and ease. I’d love to see the History channel put out a program that is factual and that chronicles his life as well as his inventions and ideas. Just the reality of his life’s work is wonder enough.

  • Amigi

    A/C current can be looked at two ways: one, that the generator/turbine “create” the energy; or two, that the generator/turbine act as a vacuum and suck the energy through the ground ( the electrical definition of ground ). Tesla’s W Tower, or Ground Pump, was designed to test the second theory.

    • dinkster

      Electricity moves via electromotive force, or, potential. The generator doesn’t create anything, it coverts energy from kenetic forces, mechanical energy, to electrical charge. Switch mode power supplies with a diode and lc tank “suck” charge from the ground all the time using the principles of inductance, L*di/dt. Just give it up.

  • We transmit power wirelessly today via microwaves. This is different than Tesla’s idea of using the earth for a giant resonant ground loop, but is actually more efficient, and microwave power beams are focused to a particular spot. Disadvantages of MPT are rain fade, and safety concerns (although the beam is designed to use large antennas with a diffuse beam, and power levels for any birds or parachuters in the beam are less than leakage from a microwave oven).

  • mrhdiver

    Scalar energy.

  • Kelba Macinbu

    This article is disappointing. It DOES include lots of nice research and such. But it’s conclusions are too conservative. Maxwell’s original paper (which for some reason is hard to find), described energy moving through the ether, a physical medium. The ether was “discredited” by the Michaelson-Morley experiment. That experiment was incorrectly (or perhaps intentionally) set up on the wrong axis, and later Russian and German scientists proved it wrong. Maxwell’s beyond brilliant thesis stated that the medium (not space-time) is under tremendous stress. That stress can be released under certain circumstances. That’s where “free” energy will be found. The existence of HAARP proves that Tesla was right about being able create standing waves that would guide ionospheric electrons into usable patterns. That said, that’s a AAA battery compared to what Maxwell was originally getting at. Maxwell’s original paper describes 24 equations with 12 unknowns, including *scalar* components that describe the level of stress in the physical medium. The “public consumption” version (in vector algebra) describes only 4 equations with 2 unknowns… That’s where the solution to this “conspiracy theory” will be found. Einstein admitted in 1921 that he could not find a way to get rid of the ether in a talk with Wolfgang Pauli (“No Time to Be Brief: A Scientific Biography of Wolfgang Pauli”).

  • Vapemans

    WOW, what a piece of Reversed, Reversed Propaganda this piece is.

    You can rest assured, this Site, is OWNED by Controlled Opposition.

  • Vapemans

    Fact is the MARCONI Radio System was all TESLAs work, IT was proven that Marconi stole Dr. Tesla’s Ideas, and used All of Teslas work in the process. That is why the RADIO Patent was STRIPPED from Marconi for perpetration of Fraud and Stolen Technologies, and given Rightfully to Dr. Tesla a long time ago.

    But you dont hear that do you? Infact, the Patent was rightfully restored to Dr Tesla in the 1940s, after his Death ironically. But you only heard how Marconi Invented the Radio, and that Propaganda is STILL BEING TAUGHT TODAY.

  • Dredge

    If I could tap into all the mental energy in this forum I could probably power a light bulb for at least three seconds!

  • NikolaTesla

    What a dis-information piece:
    Westinghouse betrayed his friendship to NT to get out of trouble with Morgan/Edison, because the $1/hp royalty would have made him the richest man; Morgan/Edison tried to undermine AC by buying a generator to start electrocution in N.Y.; what happened to his electric car;
    how about his Colorado Springs work the light bulbs 26 miles away;
    do you understand what cosmic radiation is;
    how about a spinning magnetic ball in a charged ionosphere;
    he created earthquakes in his lab’ search Malaysia article in Nov. 13, 1997 Wall Street Journal
    Golka could not reproduce his work in the 80s, spending AF, & NSF funds out the ears to harness fusion
    So please stop trying to undermine what NT did!
    BTW the supreme drunks gave the USN a way out for violating Marconi’s patents, because NT already had invented the oscillator & gave it to the world, thus Marconi patent was null & void!

  • NikolaTesla

    When water is micro waved in a pyrex pot, what happens if a wooden ladle is not set in the pot? How does a Tesla pump work?

  • Kat Day

    Sinkholes? As the French say, in every crime, Cherchez la femme. Nutritionists say in every illness seek the liver and say in every technological mystery look for Nikola Tesla. Wireless resonating through the earth?

  • Byron Brubaker

    Morgan was more interested in railroads & paintings than investing in ‘ideas’ but anyways…Tesla’s patents on utilization of radiant energy isn’t hard to replicate if one understands that most of the device already exists in the form of 12 volt inverters and the condenser was a capacitor of high absorption i.e. dielectric pressure…much like our “vacuum of space” is; dielectric pressure of the innards of a black hole. Duh, genius.

  • Robert M

    Yawn… Corporate smear on Tesla continues. Innovation has been squelched in America for far too long. Energy costs touch every aspect of our lives. When those costs go down, we will have a Renaissance. The profiteers won’t like that though so we must be kept in the dark ages. This author’s agenda rang through loud and clear and the agenda was not bringing truth to us but smearing Tesla and the History Channel.

    • John Ash

      Wow. You guys actually exist.

  • LouisPh


  • George E. Tarrant III

    The hints are in his work. A tesla coil or common L/C circuit is a resonator. Ever see fluorescent bulbs light up when they come near a tesla coil yet they don’t actually have any conductors in the circuit? It’s all about resonance and the harmonic sciences. Study more music theory as if it were the physics of magnetic fields.

  • Guest

    I read a book about Tesla a few years ago, and he firmly believed (from what the book implied) that the Earth was a big ball of energy that only needed to be plugged in to. Also, Thomas Edison ripped off a lot of Tesla’s work, after letting Tesla work with him. So really, Tesla should be getting credit for things that others stole from him. The guy was a genius, but unfortunately, when moving to the United States, he did not catch on right away on the importance of patents. I heard-and maybe someone can educate me on this one-that Tesla died broke and destitute. I agree with you, Leon (Maliniak)….I think Tesla was so far ahead of his time, that he is still ahead of our current time.

  • Ognar

    Tinfoil Hats for sale Autographed by Tesla, don’t be the last of your friends to buy one! Comes with a certificate of authenticity from the Franklin Mint. On sale today for the low, low price of $350.00 or two for $600.00 They make excellent Christmas presents and can be worn year round. Avoid the rush and get yours now!

  • nitemarejim

    Don’t you know trying to prove that a conspiracy is false is part of the conspiracy, by “planting” false and misleading information?

  • Patrick Kniesler

    Are you saying that he wasn’t planning to connect his tower to a normal coal or oil power generation station and pump electricity into the sky with it? Because that would create free and unmeterable energy for anyone with the right antenna in the area – according to the non-conspiracy explanations I know of.

    He wasn’t talking about free energy from space collection to send down wires to homes. He was talking about sending power into the ionosphere to be collected in wireless fashion. As far as I know.

  • tarrowood

    Never seen this many comments on a TLR post before. This is what happens when you “attack” one of the gods of the internet I suppose.

  • I have now read some of the other comments and although it is difficult to decipher or understand why they are not in the chronological order of the dates they were posted, the follow up I have is that people who make comments about my ” formatting” or BOLDING or make other personal insults and defamatory remarks are just wasting our time because they do not say one word about the merits and substance of what we are talking about…so I will ignore them…as should all of us.

    The bottom line is for us to try to figure out if TESLA could really do what he said he could about WIRE-LESS TRANSMISSION OF ENERGY and the capture of FREE energy from the limitless energy all around us, including from the SUN and also form the cosmic background radiation.

    When it comes to trying to make a conclusion about TESLA’s credibility in talking about the feasibility of these technologies, I always tell people; ” when a man with over 700 patents for the most important inventions in human history, most of which have been commercialized, says that he was also able to generate electricity without wires or harness free radiant energy…I PREFER TO BELIEVE HIM then the nobodies with ZERO patents to their name “.

  • Byron Brubaker

    FYI, you don’t need to wait for a ‘tower’ to be built. Patent#685,957; Smack an electrolytic capacitor with a hammer to induce internal pressure; make it ‘free-charge’ more.

  • Alex Martin

    Yes, a solar panel is a “free energy” device, thanks for that brilliant analogy. First off, educate yourself on the difference between Induction and Absorption. To induce energy of high frequency radiation from the ionosphere to the grounded tower, as Tesla intended by design, is beyond compare to the flat absorbion of low frequency radiation that passes through the atmosphere. How about going into scientific depth instead of writing off pathetic conspiracy nuts like a typical journalist leech. I give you a C-. Just fractional facts, cheap and hardly worthy of Tesla or any credit to Science.

    “These radiations are generally considered to be ether vibrations of extremely small wave lengths, and in explanation of the phenomena noted it has been assumed by some authorities that they ionize or render conducting the atmosphere through which they are propagated. My own experiments and observations, however, lead me to conclusions more in accord with the theory heretofore advanced by me that sources of such radiant energy throw off with great velocity minute particles of matter which are strongly electrified, and therefore capable of charging an electrical conductor, even if not so, may at any rate discharge an electrified conductor either by carrying off bodily its charge or otherwise.” – Nikola Tesla (Patent: Apparatus for the utilization of radiant energy)

  • Mi Pen

    Solar panel energy might be free..but the Solar panel is definitely not free. Plus high energy Solar panels eventually wear out and have to be replaced.

    Nothing is free not even water…after all with no food energy in your body how would you collect it?

  • Leon Maliniak

    At least this is a relatively ” polite” forum compared to some of the forums I participate in on other subjects.

    Some people here still don’t understand that TESLA did not mean that the energy he was planning to transmit for FREE came out of nothing…he was not planning to violate the laws of thermodynamics. He just meant it is ” freely” available all around us and that all we have to do is TAP into it and harness it…which I absolutely am 100% sure of that he had already achieved in his prototype smaller scale facility in Colorado Springs and which he would have achieved on a larger scale in his Wardenclyffe facility.

    I have several friends who are electrical engineers who have vehemently disagreed with TESLA claims on this subject with comments like ” transmitting through the earth would cause a LOSS which would make this useless and impossible”. to which I respond;

    ” speaking as a former trial lawyer for thirty years, if we were in a court of law, when an expert witness whose commercialized , ” REAL” and working inventions gave us the 20th century and who has 178 primary patents and hundreds of improvement patents totaling over 700 patents, tells me that he transmitted energy wirelessly and that he can harness RADIANT energy…I WOULD TEND TO BELIEVE HIM over some other witness whose next patent will be his first.”

    TESLA having actually produced all of the other ADVANCED technologies and electrical devices he first had patents issued for gives him the un-impeachable credibility and status to justify all of us to accept that he could have also eventually commercialized and scaled up the other inventions he patented,, like WIRE-LESS TRANSMISSION OF ENERGY and the CAPTURE OF RADIANT ENERGY.

    What upsets me is that no other engineers have being able to replicate his work till now…I THINK…unless they have and have just decided ” it’s not good for us to have free energy ” !

    The other possibility is that after MARCONI stole 17 of TESLA’S patents to base his radio device on, that from then on TESLA deliberately failed to disclose one ” key ” element in all his future patents to prevent a repetition of this type of infringement.

    The SUPREME COURT of the USA, in an action by MARCONI to get the radio patent granted i his name, REFUSED and gave them to TESLA, stating that MARCONI based his patents and designs of 17 prior patents of TESLA.

  • 1787LIVES

    I marvel that the author used the words conspiracy theorist. I am not surprised that Westinghouse for instance, a man who controlled at the time all of the nations copper wire producing capabilities, would be against the wireless transmission of power. Why is the idea that Tesla who only cared about money insofar as he was able to continue his work could not get funding from Morgan or that Westinghouse would cut him off as those men were experts in the field of money as Tesla was in the fields of electricity. They wanted a return and did not believe they would get it with Tesla. Of the hundreds of thousands of scientist and engineers today employed, a small number of them actually ever either improve a technology or come up with a new concept. You can educate a scientist and engineer but you can’t endow them with genius. In most cases you can’t even get them to recognize and appreciate genius in an actual genius. It is petty and pathetic that so many refuse to recognize what is truth and even go so far as to denigrate it.

  • sheckyshabaz

    For a lot of people who claim to know science in this discussion board you sure do use a lot of assumptions