The strange life of Nikola Tesla often reads like a the science fiction story of a typical mad scientist. The claims that Nikola Tesla's personal files mysteriously disappeared after Tesla's death and various government conspiracies surrounding the alleged the lost files sounds like an episode the television show the X-files.
Why would the FBI care?
As Nikola Tesla celebrated his seventy-eighth birthday in 1934 he made headlines by announcing he had invented a death ray that could stop at army from 200 miles away. Convinced that he had the plan to build the ultimate defensive weapon, in 1937 Tesla sent proposals to several nations asking for financing on what called a peace beam. Of all the countries to receive his proposal, the Soviet Union seemed the most interested. According to popular stories Tesla received $25,000 from the Soviet Union.
Nikola Tesla died in January of 1943 at the height of World War II. Tesla's estate, which possibly included the high tech plans for a weapon of war, was due to be inherited by Sava Kosanovic, an up-and-coming Yugoslav official with suspected connections to the communist party in his country.
Although the FBI did not take possession of Tesla's belongings after his death, there is documentation on the events after Tesla's death on the FBI vault website describing the events that took place. Near the beginning of the more than 250 pages of the FBI vault file on Nikola Tesla you will find an FBI document dated January 12, 1943, a few days after Tesla's death, that states the property of Nikola Tesla was seized by taken to Alien Property to the Manhattan Storage and Warehouse Co.
The removal of the property was done in a very orderly fashion, in the presence of several witnesses, and a certificate of ownership was issued to his nephew Sava Kosanovic.
Why the Office of Alien Property?
The description of the seizure of Tesla's property by the FBI report seems to imply that the government wanted Tesla's belongings removed before anyone else had a chance to get them, and the Alien Property Custodian was the quickest way to take possession of the property, as stated in the FBI document, "Alien Property Custodian feels that no other agency will be able to get to this property for at least two days." Alien in this case means foreigner, not someone from out of this world.
The Office of Alien Property Custodian established in 1917, under authority of the Trading with the Enemy Act to assume control and dispose of enemy-owned property in the United States and its possessions arising from World War I. In 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt re-established the Office of Alien Property. During World War II to gather the real and intellectual properties belonging to enemies. In 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson abolished the office.
Just reading between the lines, it seems that the FBI was glad that they were not the ones who took possession of the files. If you read through the more than 250 pages of the FBI vault file on Nikola Tesla you will find numerous letters by the FBI repeatedly denying taking anything from Tesla's apartment after his death. The FBI seems happy to say, no, wasn't us, we didn't do it.
Where are the "lost files" of Nikola Tesla?
Contrary to many conspiracy theories the so called "lost files" made their way home to Belgrade, Serbia, in 1952. it's not exactly clear why it took so long for the estate to be released. A full report written by Sava Kosanović's secretary Charlotte Muzar on the disposition of Tesla's papers and personal effects documents the details of Tesla's entire estate shipped to Belgrade in 1952. The estate currently resides at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia. The museum website does not offer a lot of specific details on the contents of the archive.
You will find several references to "Nikola Tesla’s Archive" om the UNESCO website (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) which includes the Tesla archive on its Memory of the World Register. According to the UNESCO website, "The Archive, in Belgrade, has a collection of 160,000 pages of patent documentation, scientific correspondence, scientific papers, manuscripts, technical drawings, scientific measuring data, personal documents, and legal papers and around 1,000 original photographs of Tesla’s experiments and inventions."
FBI conspiracy theories according to the cult of Nikola Tesla
People with vivid imaginations and a lust for conspiracy theories have linked the work of Nikola Tesla to numerous secret projects. The same names, with similar stories, show up on countless conspiracy theory websites. Many of websites that talk about particle beam weapons and invisible ships, also talk about another favorite topic of conspiracy theories, UFOs and Roswell, New Mexico.
The problem with researching many topics regarding Nikola Tesla is that claims are made by fan sites, and the only references that turn up on an internet search are other fan sites repeating the same claims. Many of the claims of the cult of Tesla illustrate the truth by consensus power of the internet.
One such internet legend is that in 1945 an operation on particle beam weaponry code-named "Project Nick" was conducted by the U.S. Air Force, and was based of the "missing files" of Nikola Tesla. Since details of the alleged project were never published, "Project Nick" is another interesting story to add to the conspiracy theories about the lost files of Nikola Tesla. According to various websites "Project Nick" was heavily funded and placed under the command of Brigadier General L. C. Craigie to test the feasibility of Tesla's beam weapons concept.
General Laurence C. Craigie was a career Air Force officer, and the first U.S. military jet pilot in 1942, when he flew the Bell XP-59. General Craigie must have been the target of the X-files of his day, as his name also appears on some conspiracy theory websites for having knowledge of alien bodies at Area 51 in Roswell, New Mexico.
Over the years anytime the subject of particle beam weapons is mentioned the stories of the alleged secret files of Tesla are brought up. In 1958 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiated a top-secret project code-named "Seesaw" at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory to develop a charged-particle beam weapon. Documents that acknowledge that there was a proposed weapons system code-named "Seesaw" were declassified in 2010, but make no mention of the work of Nikola Tesla.
Even though Nikola Tesla never published any theory of magnetic resonance nor publicly discussed his principles of optical invisibility, his name is often linked to Operation Rainbow Project, also know as the Philadelphia Experiment. The alleged military experiment that took place in October 1943 claimed to have rendered invisible the U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge.
Learn more at GeekHistory.com
We have been attacking the many myths and misinformation created by the internet through out our websites. The strange life of Nikola Tesla often reads like a the science fiction story of a typical mad scientist.
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