Tesla Death Ray Gun finally comes to life?

Dear Friend:

As you all know, Nikola Tesla was a very smart man. He had the ability to conceive, design, build, and test a new invention completely in his mind. As early as 1934, Tesla was telling the world about his death ray. nikola teslaOf course, most people back then thought he was half crazy - and his far out idea of a death ray machine probably did not help matters much. Of all his inventions, the Tesla Death Ray probably propelled him into the world of science fiction faster than anything else. The way I see it is... Tesla was just way ahead of his time. And, wouldn't you know it, time has finally caught up to old crazy Nikola! We all forget about the fact that every time we flip on a light switch or turn on a radio, we are using one of Tesla's inventions.

Maybe some of you have seen the new ray gun built by Raytheon - it's called an "active denial system". It was featured on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. OK... maybe it is not exactly the same technology as Tesla's, but it is a ray gun. I think Tesla was trying to use some kind of particle beam technology and the new Raytheon system probably uses microwaves. But... you have to give Tesla credit for being one of the first to come up with the idea!

Here's a few articles that you may find interesting...

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AP) -- The military calls its new weapon an "active denial system", but that's an understatement. It's a ray gun that shoots a beam that makes people feel aactive denial systems if they are about to catch fire.

Apart from causing that terrifying sensation, the technology is supposed to be harmless -- a non-lethal way to get enemies to drop their weapons.tesla ray gun

Military officials say it could save the lives of innocent civilians and service members in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The weapon is not expected to go into production until at least 2010, but all branches of the military have expressed interest in it, officials said.

During the first media demonstration of the weapon Wednesday, airmen fired beams from a large dish antenna mounted atop a Humvee at people pretending to be rioters and acting out other scenarios that U.S. troops might encounter in war zones.

The device's two-man crew located their targets through powerful lenses and fired beams from more than 500 yards away. That is nearly 17 times the range of existing non-lethal weapons, such as rubber bullets. tesla death ray

Anyone hit by the beam immediately jumped out of its path because of the sudden blast of heat throughout the body. While the 130-degree heat was not painful, it was intense enough to make the participants think their clothes were about to ignite.

"This is one of the key technologies for the future,'' said Marine Col. Kirk Hymes, director of the non-lethal weapons program at Quantico, Va., which helped develop the new weapon. "Non-lethal weapons are important for the escalation of force, especially in the environments our forces are operating in.''

The system uses electromagnetic millimeter waves, which can penetrate only 1/64th of an inch of skin, just enough to cause discomfort. By comparison, microwaves used in the common kitchen appliance penetrate several inches of flesh.

The millimeter waves cannot go through walls, but they can penetrate most clothing, officials said. They refused to comment on whether the waves can go through glass.

The weapon could be mounted aboard ships, airplanes and helicopters, and routinely used for security or anti-terrorism operations.

"There should be no collateral damage to this,'' said Senior Airman Adam Navin, 22, of Green Bay, Wis., who has served several tours in Iraq.

Navin and two other airmen were role players in Wednesday's demonstration. They and 10 reporters who volunteered were shot with the beams. The beams easily penetrated various layers of winter clothing.

The system was developed by the military, but the two devices currently being evaluated were built by defense contractor Raytheon.

Airman Blaine Pernell, 22, of suburban New Orleans, said he could have used the system during his four tours in Iraq, where he manned watchtowers around a base near Kirkuk. He said Iraqis constantly pulled up and faked car problems so they could scout out U.S. forces.

"All we could do is watch them,'' he said. But if they had the ray gun, troops "could have dispersed them.''

In the following article, I found the following paragraph particularly interesting especially in light of today's "global warming" issues...

"Heat to Kill All Peoples"

He pointed out that his theory means a future for the earth as different from the general belief as the future of the sun. It is generally held that life on the earth will cease when the sun grows so cold that the earth temperature drops to a point where life can no longer be supported. Dr. Tesla prophesies that life on the earth will cease because the planet will grow too warm to support life, and he believes that life will then begin on outer planets now too cold. He said that his discovery not only allowed him to predict a very different future for the heavenly bodies from that now generally expected for them, but also to calculate in a new way their age.

New York Herald Tribune
July 11, 1934


Death Ray Also Available as Power Agent in Peace Times, Inventor Declares

By Joseph W. Alsop, Jr.

Dr. Nikola Tesla, inventor of polyphase electric current, pioneer in high frequency transmission, predecessor of Marconi with the wireless, celebrated his seventy-eighth birthday yesterday by announcing his invention of a beam of force somewhat similar to the death ray of scientific romance.

It is capable, he believes, of destroying an army 200 miles away; it can bring down an airplane like a duck on the wing, and it can penetrate all but the most enormous thicknesses of armor plate. Since it must be generated at stationary power plants by machines which involve four electrical devices of the most revolutionary sort, Dr. Tesla considers it almost wholly a defensive weapon. In peace times, he says, the beam will also be used to transmit immense voltages of power over distances limited only by the curvature of the earth.

As an hors d'oeuvre to this Jules Vernean announcement, Dr. Tesla disclosed that he has lately perfected instruments which flatly disprove the present theory of the high physicists that the sun is destined to burn itself out until it is a cold cinder floating in space. Dr. Tesla stated that he is able to show that all the suns in the universe are constantly growing in mass and heat, so that the ultimate fate of each is explosion.

Dr. Tesla refused to describe specifically the instruments in question in both discoveries, or even to disclose the principles upon which they are built. He said that at some date soon he expected to make the full details public in scientific journals or before scientific bodies. Since he considers the beam of force a defensive and therefore a pacifist weapon, he hopes to be able to present it in full for the first time at the disarmament conference at Geneva. He also said that minor parts of each of the discoveries are still in the theoretical, or blueprint stage, but he pointed out that his method of work has almost always been purely mental.

The aging inventor, a tall, thin, almost spiritual figure in the sort of brown cutaway suit that older men wore before the World War, received interviewers in one of the public rooms in the Hotel New Yorker, where he lives. Before he would speak of his present work he reviewed his past achievements, which entitle him more than Edison, Steinmetz or any other, to be called the father of the power age. He has 700 patents to his credit and not a few of them are for epoch-making discoveries, but over and over again he has been ridiculed as a lunatic. He recalled this and his work together as if to prepare the way for his announcements.

He came to the idea of a beam of force, he said, because of his belief that no weapon has ever been found that is not as successful offensively as defensively. m e perfect weapon of defense, he felt, would be a frontier wall, impenetrable and extending up to the limits of the atmosphere of the earth.

Creates Rays in Free Air

Such a wall, he believes, is provided by his beam of force. It is produced by a combination of four electrical methods or apparatuses. First and most important is a mechanism for producing rays and other energy manifestations in free air. Hitherto vacuum tubes have always been necessary. Second is an apparatus for producing unheard-of quantities of electrical current and for controlling it when produced. The current is necessary as power for the first mechanism. Without this, no rays of sufficient strength could be produced. The third is a method of intensifying and amplifying the second process, and the fourth is a method of producing "tremendous electrical repellent force."

"These four inventions in combination enable man to loose in free air forces beyond conception," Dr. Tesla remarked mildly. "By scientific application we can project destructive energy in thread-like beams as far as a telescope can discern an object. The range of the beams is only limited by the curvature of the earth. Should you launch an attack in an area covered by these beams, should you, say, send in 10,000 planes or an army of a million, the planes would be brought down instantly and the army destroyed.

"The plane is thus absolutely eliminated as a weapon; it is confined to commerce. And a country's whole frontier can be protected by one of the plants producing these beams every 200 miles. Nor should they be much more costly than an ordinary power plant..

It Is an Electric Gun

The beam of force itself, as Dr. Tesla described it, is a concentrated current - it need be no thicker than a pencil - of microscopic particles moving at several hundred times the speed of artillery projectiles. The machine into which Dr. Tesla combines his four devices is, in reality, a sort of electrical gun.

He illustrated the sort of thing that the particles will be by recalling an incident that occurred often enough when he was experimenting with a cathode tube. Then, sometimes, a particle larger than an electron, but still very tiny, would break off from the cathode, pass out of the tube and hit him. He said he could feel a sharp, stinging pain where it entered his body, and again at the place where it passed out. The particles in the beam of force, ammunition which the operators of the generating machine will have to supply, will travel far faster than such particles as broke off from the cathode, and they will travel in concentrations, he said.

As Dr. Tesla explained it, the tremendous speed of the particles will give them their destruction-dealing qualities. All but the thickest armored surfaces confronting them would be melted through in an instant by the heat generated in the concussion.

Some Parts Still Unmade

Such beams or rays of particles now known to science are composed always of fragments of atoms, whereas, according to Dr. Tesla, his would be of microscopic dust of a suitable sort. The chief differentiation between his and the present rays would appear to be, however, that his are produced in free air instead of in a vacuum tube. The vacuum tube rays have been projected out into the air, but there they travel only a few inches, and they are capable only of causing burns or slight disintegration of objects which they strike.

Dr. Tesla declared that the two most important of the four devices involved in his force beam generator, the mechanism for producing rays in free air and the mechanism for producing great quantities of electrical current had both been constructed and demonstrated by actual experiments. The two intensifying and amplifying apparatuses are not yet in existence but he displayed the most perfect confidence that when they are, they will work as he expects them to do.

"These effects,. he said, "are of the kind that can be calculated with the most positive accuracy. Like many other things I have done they require no previous experiment once they are properly conceived. There are a few details to be finished - my calculation might be perhaps 10 per cent off at present - and then the whole thing will be presented to the world. It has always been my practice to give the world a sort of preview of what I am doing so that a reception is prepared."

"I should also say, and this is perhaps as important as anything else about it, that in this apparatus all limitations as to electric force and the quantity of electricity transmitted have been removed."

It was evident that Dr. Tesla's work on the force beam as a peace-time means of power transmission was far less advanced than his work on it as a defensive weapon. He did not describe the nature of the receiver which will transform the force beam into useful power, though he declared that he had designed one, nor was he able to show just how the dangers of having such death-dealing but invisible beams traveling through the air could be surmounted.

Dr. Tesla was far less definite in his description of the experiments which led to his revolutionary prediction of the future of the sun and its system than he was when talking of the force beam. He had, he said, detected "certain motions in the medium that fills space, and measured the effects of these motions.. The results of the experiments had led his "inescapably" to the conclusion that such bodies as the sun are taking on mass much more rapidly than they are dissipating it by the dissipation of energy in heat and light.

"Heat to Kill All Peoples"

He pointed out that his theory means a future for the earth as different from the general belief as the future of the sun. It is generally held that life on the earth will cease when the sun grows so cold that the earth temperature drops to a point where life can no longer be supported. Dr. Tesla prophesies that life on the earth will cease because the planet will grow too warm to support life, and he believes that life will then begin on outer planets now too cold. He said that his discovery not only allowed him to predict a very different future for the heavenly bodies from that now generally expected for them, but also to calculate in a new way their age.

Nor were these two discoveries, of a force beam and a new future for the universe, the only new things Dr. Tesla had to offer. The completely new and unlimited source of energy which he stated he was at work on is, he said, still under examination by him. Since he first spoke of it great strides have been made, and the complete announcement of it is to be expected in a comparatively short time.

Finally there was the electric bath. The idea of a bath of electricity to cleanse the person far more completely than water ever could has always been at the back of Dr. Tesla's mind. Many years ago he built a machine which performed the function successfully, but, because it cost too much and was not without its dangers, he dropped it as impractical. Lately he has improved it so much that he feels it is now fit for general use.

Works Twenty Hours Daily

"You may think this is a lot of work for an old man like me to have on his hands,. he said with a little smile. "You may think I have too many big things - I have told you three - on my hands. But I have worked for sixty years now, and I have such a store of ideas that I can see clearly. I have concentrated on my subject. My brain works better now than it ever did when I was a young man. I am capable of far more than I was in what they call 'your prime."'

He smiled again. The white, parchmenty skin, drawn tight over a finely built bony structure, creased round his eyes and mouth. He admitted to being a little thinner than last year, but, he explained, every one dries up, as time goes on, and there is nothing in being thin that can interfere with work.

He was asked a question about birthday celebrations and congratulations. He had received congratulations from all over the world, he said, but the one which pleased him most was from his sister in Jugoslavia, Mrs. Marica Kosanovic, who is three years younger than he and "the smartest in all our family." He talked for a while of his family, recalling all the inventors there were - five recorded - and students in his ancestry.

"As for celebration," he added, "my only celebration is a little work, and these small disclosures of results."

New York Times
September 22, 1940

"Death Ray" for Planes

Nikola Tesla, one of the truly great inventors who celebrated his eighty-fourth birthday on July 20, tells the writer that he stands ready to divulge to the United States Government the secret of his "teleforce," with which, he said, airplane motors would be melted at a distance of 250 miles, so that an invisible Chinese Wall of Defense would be built around the country against any attempted attack by an enemy air force, no matter how large.

This "teleforce," he said, is based on an entirely new principle of physics that "no one has ever dreamed about." different from the principle embodied in his inventions relating to the transmission of electrical power from a distance, for which he has received a number of basic patents. This new type of force, Mr. Tesla said, would operate through a beam one one-hundred-millionth of a square centimeter in diameter, and could be generated from a special plant that would cost no more than $2,000,000 and would take only about three months to construct.

A dozen such plants, located at strategic points along the coast, according to Mr. Tesla, would be enough to defend the country against all possible aerial attack. The beam would melt any engine whether Diesel or gasoline-driven, and would also ignite the explosives aboard any bomber. No possible defense against it could be devised, he asserts, as the beam would be all-penetrating.

High Vacuum Eliminated

The beam, he states, involves four new inventions, two of which already have been tested. One of these is a method and apparatus for producing rays *** of energy *** eliminating the *** high vacuum; the second is a method and process for producing "very great electrical force"; the third is a method for amplifying this force, and the fourth is a new method for producing "a tremendous electrical repelling force." This would be the projector, or gun, of the system. The voltage for propelling the beam to the objective, according to the inventor, will attain a potential of 50,000,000 volts.

With this enormous voltage, he said, microscopic electrical particles of matter will be catapulted on their mission of defensive destruction. He has been working on this invention, he added, for many years and has recently made a number of improvements to it.

Mr. Tesla makes one important stipulation. Should the government decide to take up his offer he would go to work at once, but they would have to trust him. He would suffer "no interference from experts."

In ordinary times such a condition would very likely interpose an insuperable obstacle. But times being what they are, and with the nation getting ready to spend billions for national defense, at the same time taking in consideration the reputation of Mr. Tesla as an inventor who always was many years ahead of his time, the question arises whether it may not be advisable to take Mr. Tesla at his word and commission him to go ahead with the construction of his teleforce plant.

Such a Device Invaluable

After all, $2,000,000 would be relatively a very small sum compared with what is at stake. If Mr. Tesla really fulfills his promise the result achieved would be truly staggering. Not only would it save billions now planned for air defense, by making the country absolutely impregnable against any air attack, but it would also save many more billions in property that would otherwise be surely destroyed no matter how strong the defenses are as witness current events in England.

Take, for example, the Panama Canal. No matter how strong the defenses, a suicide squadron of dive bombers, according to some experts, might succeed in getting through and cause such damage that would make the Canal unusable, in which case our Navy might find itself bottled up. Considering the probabilities in the case even if the chances were 100,000 to 1 against Mr. Tesla the odds would still be largely in favor of taking a chance on spending $2,000,000. In the opinion of the writer, who has known Mr. Tesla for many years and can testify that he still retains full intellectual vigor, the authorities in charge of building the national defense should at once look into the matter. The sum is insignificant compared with the magnitude of the stake.

Philadelphia Inquirer
October 20, 1940


"The beam would melt enemy airplane motors before they approached our coasts and blow up hostile bombers."

The man was old, but the fervor in his eyes was ageless. Deep-set, they looked out beneath the bushes of his brows.

"If only they will let me try out my new teleforce'. exclaimed Nikola Tesla, who has been called one of the greatest electrical inventors since Benjamin Franklin flew his kite. "If only they will let me show how this Nation can be made invulnerable to air attack!.

Thus, just the other day, spoke the man who years ago helped to harness Niagara Falls, through his discovery of the principle of the rotary magnetic field. The man who is known as the father of modern methods of generating and distributing electrical energy. Who in 1904 predicted that the human voice one day would girdle the globe, and whose famed Tesla coil helped to make that prediction of radio come true.

Today, at 83, Nikola Tesla lives in a New York hotel and dreams of making America one vast, impregnable fortress. He says that he can do this.

Tesla is used to skeptics who, he says, laughed at him back in the old days when he worked at Orange, New Jersey, with Thomas A. Edison. Tesla helped Edison design motors and generators. Then of course there was a great deal of laughing in 1904 over Tesla's idea that the human voice would one day wing around the world.

Today, trembling with excitement, this slim old man tells how his newest invention (he holds 700 patents) can melt airplane motors at a distance of 250 miles away from the American coastline, so that invading aviators would drop into the sea.

"My new teleforce," he declares, "is based on an entirely new principle of physics that nobody ever has dreamed of. It is different from the principle embodied in my inventions relating to the transmission of electrical power from a distance, for which I hold a number of basic patents."

For years Tesla worked on the problem of transmitting electrical power from a distance, without bringing this dream out of the laboratory into the workaday world. But he was not alone in his belief that it eventually will be done. The great Marconi, shortly before his death, predicted that the day would come when power would be directed through the air with little loss. And like Tesla, Marconi was reported to have been working on a war-ray. His, it was said, would when perfected be able to stop airplane and other motors many miles before invading forces could reach their goals.

For U. S. Alone

Marconi said little about his mysterious ray, nor will Tesla discuss the details of his. It is his secret and he will not reveal it, he says, except to the United States Government, for he is afraid that it might be stolen by enemies of America, within and without. But of what it will do, he speaks freely.

"This new type of force," he said the other day, "would operate through a beam one one-hundred-millionth of a centimeter in diameter. It could be generated from a special plant that would cost no more than two million dollars and would take only about three months to construct.

"A dozen such plants, located at strategic points along the coast, would be enough to defend this country against all possible aerial attack. This beam would melt any engine, whether Diesel or gasoline-driven." (Marconi's partly-perfected beam was said to be ineffective against Diesel engines). "It would also ignite any explosives aboard any bomber. No possible defense against it could be devised, as the beam would be all-penetrating."

Four recent inventions, Tesla says, are used in the generation of the ray. Two of them already have been tested, it is said. One of these is an apparatus for producing rays "and other manifestations of energy. in free air, instead of in a vacuum.

The second is a process for producing "A very great electrical force.. Next is a method for amplifying this force and finally there is a new method for producing "A tremendous electrical repelling force.. This, Tesla declares, would be the projector, or gun, of the teleforce system. It would operate on a potential of 50,000,000 volts.

Dramatically, Tesla describes how this titanic voltage would hurl into space billions of microscopic electrical particles of matter that would bring down invading airplanes as insects are dropped by a spray gun.

All this, Tesla says, he is offering to the United States, the land which welcomed him as an immigrant boy from Austria-Hungary in 1884. But there must be no "red tape," if he is to go to work setting up the first power plant. There must be no "interference from experts.

Offers like this have been made before, and tests have proved many so-called "death rays" useless. But some authorities, remembering the great achievements of Nikola Tesla, believe his claims should be investigated. Why, they ask, should such a ray be considered impossible in a world where radio is a commonplace? They recall the case of Henry Fleur, who was prosecuted in San Francisco by disgruntled investors who claimed he had bamboozled them with a death-ray machine intended to kill insects.

In the courtroom, Fleur turned his machine on a couple of termites. They died in seconds. -A lizard and a snake also were killed by the ray, though it look longer. Fleur was released. He said that he never would experiment with his apparatus to make it a man-killer.

Inventor's Offer

Then there is Dr. Antonio Longoria, who says that he destroyed a death ray machine which he invented in 1933, because it was too dangerous. Of this machine, Albert Burns, president of the Inventors' Congress in 1934, said that he had seen it kill pigeons, rabbits, dogs and cats at considerable distances. Now Dr. Longoria said that he is willing to re-assemble his apparatus in the event that the United States is subjected to an unwarranted attack. He claims that it worked by changing the red corpuscles of its victims' blood to white. And he says that it might be adapted to stall the motors of airplane engines in flight.

If such things are possible, some authorities ask: why not give Nikola Tesla the chance he asks to try out his defensive death ray? True, he has been called the greatest dreamer among the inventors who created the present electrical era. But many of his dreams came true. Perhaps, they say, this one might come true, too - and build a wall mightier than any in the world around America's borders.


Bill Anderson