What’s Hidden In The Tesla Files?

On the morning of January 7th, 1943, inventor Nikola Tesla was found dead in his room at the Hotel New Yorker The following morning, Sava Kosanović was one of the first people to reach the room

According to him, someone had already gone through his uncle’s personal files As a result, some papers and a black notebook were already missing Who took the files? And what is hidden in those mysterious papers? Between 2016 and 2018, the FBI released the files from their top-secret investigation into Tesla’s personal papers The FBI files reveal that the scientist assistant, Boyce Fitzgerald, informed the police department that on the day of Tesla’s death, his nephew and another man, Kenneth Swezey (/swɛzi/), went to Tesla’s New Yorker room and went through the physicist’s papers Fitzgerald also told the police that Tesla had just completed and perfected his experiments on the wireless transmission of electrical power, the so-called “death beam”

Tesla first announced this technology on July 11th, 1934, when he told the New York Sun and The New York Times that he was developing a new weapon to end war forever The press called it the ""peace ray"" or “death ray” Tesla made many further statements on the death ray, each time claiming he was closer to its demonstration Tesla intended this beam to be available to all countries and to be used purely for defense It could melt enemy airplane motors before they approached the coast and blow up hostile bombers

Tesla hoped that, with immovable wireless power plants set up on all the world’s national boundaries, no country would be able to attack another ever again If one country had sole control over it, such a weapon could put a country in a position of supremacy over all others Fitzgerald also declared that all the “death beam” information could be found in the scientist's personal effects Therefore, if Fitzgerald’s testimony is true, it could mean that Tesla’s nephew lied about not going into his uncle’s room until the day after his death In this way, he might have been the one who took the papers he claimed were missing

Fitzgerald’s testimony to the police may have aroused the interest of the FBI However, the FBI’s very involvement in the investigation is suspicious Thanks to the last 64 pages of their own files released in 2018, we now know that the day after Tesla’s death the FBI took charge of the operation and the Justice Department’s Alien Property Custodian Office, the APCO, seized all the files On January 26th and 27th they asked an MIT electrical engineer, John G Trump, the uncle of President Donald Trump, to examine the papers

The papers were assigned to the APCO, in charge of foreigners cases, but Nikola Tesla became a naturalized US citizen in 1891 Therefore the APCO jurisdiction over the papers was unjustified It is most likely the FBI did not have the authority to seize Tesla’s papers quickly enough, so they used Tesla’s immigrant background as an excuse to ask the APCO to intervene so that they could prevent the death-ray papers falling into the wrong hands

Nevertheless, Nikola’s nephew, who was an up-and-coming Yugoslav official with suspected connections to the Communist party in his own country, was awarded custody of his uncle’s property by an American court in January 1943 However, he had to claim it multiple times without success over the following years The FBI feared he would use the papers as an international bargaining chip They even considered arresting him to assure that the contents of the papers would not leave the United States, at least until the APCO was sure there wasn’t any meaningful revelation they could use They finally dropped the papers in September 1951, after a careful examination of the papers by the “Project Nick” experts

“Project Nick” was born just after the end of World War II at the Patterson Airforce Base in Dayton, Ohio, to test the feasibility of Tesla’s concepts We don’t know how the papers were outsourced since it has always been a secret project and the results of the experiment were never published We only know that the project was discontinuous and, eventually, it came to nothing Well, almost nothing As a matter of fact, some of the papers went missing

Of the 80 trunks, only 60 arrived safe and sound at the final destination and nobody knows what happened to them since then Once in possession of the documents, Tesla’s nephew handed them over to the Belgrade University Faculty of Electrical Engineering and, the following year, the files were moved to the Tesla Museum These government actions make it seem like the US were willing to do whatever it took to delay the disposal of the files

They even went against their own law, ignoring the judgment of the Court It’s not surprising then, that, once the USSR received the remaining files from ""Project Nick"" the regime seemed particularly focused on the papers They blamed the US for the missing papers and they were determined to outmatch them

That’s why, during the Cold War, the US feared the Soviets might achieve a technology breakthrough Now, we have two of the biggest nations of the world competing for some potentially world-changing papers but, can we be sure Tesla’s last projects actually worked? After he was hit by a taxicab in 1937, Tesla never really recovered from the accident His advanced age, 81, at the time of the accident might have affected his already weak psychology

In fact, it is known that he developed a peculiar obsession for pigeons in the early nineteen-twenties and, according to his journal, he even fell in love with one of them Furthermore, some of his ideas have since been scientifically discredited For example, Tesla believed he could build a machine able to project people’s thoughts, a sort of Thought Camera The idea that a picture could be recorded from the human retina was not unusual in Tesla’s time, and he probably based his Thought Camera on the work of German physiologist Wilhelm Kühne , the greatest pioneer of optography But Kühne himself couldn’t prove the concept and it has been repeatedly debunked by scientists

Moreover, according to Dr John G Trump’s report in the declassified files, after two days of evaluation, he concluded that “[Tesla's papers were] primarily of a speculative, philosophical and promotional character [They did] not include new sound, workable principles or methods for realizing results” This means that there’s no concrete proof his later inventions could be effective, including the “death beam”

Not everyone agreed with Trump Brigadier General LC Craigie was in charge of “Project Nick” and he firmly believed the beam weapon was real and could work Is it possible that Tesla’s “death ray” works and someone with access to the missing files could use it? One of the most recent and creative online theories claims that President Donald Trump holds the papers safe, and is just waiting for the right moment to use them

Previously, theorists believed the FBI had them and kept them top-secret Over the years the Bureau has denied any involvement in the investigation but in 2016 they issued a statement in which they admitted their involvement in the case during the primary investigations However, they still denied having ever been in possession of the papers, which they said have always been under the jurisdiction of the APCO The declassified FBI files give us an insight into the strange events surrounding Tesla's personal papers in the days and decades after his death But we still don’t know why it took them so long to release the files and why they finally did it

Besides this, the documents are only partially readable, making it difficult to fully interpret the events So, is there something else the FBI doesn’t want us to know? Is there someone out there in possession of the missing papers, that could prove Tesla’s thesis?

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