Declassified files on Nikola Tesla published by the FBI reveal that the famous inventor’s rumored Death Ray technology actually exists and was hidden from the public after his death.
The declassified files, published after 73 years as a Freedom of Information release, provide vindication for conspiracy theorists who have long claimed that many Tesla innovations were suppressed by the powers that be, claims that scientists and mainstream media have rubbished as wild conspiracy theories – until now.
In the 1930s Tesla reportedly invented a particle beam weapon that some, ironically, called a “peace ray,” says Lauren Davis at io9. “The device was, in theory, capable of generating an intense targeted beam of energy” that could be used to dispose of enemy warplanes, foreign armies, “or anything else you’d rather didn’t exist.” According to the official version of events all these years, the Death Ray did not actually exist. But the declassified documents now suggest otherwise.
At the turn of the century, Tesla was the toast of America, the land to which he had emigrated from Serbia in 1884. Celebrated by the press and showered with gold medals, honors, and awards from prestigious institutions, he threw dinner parties at New York’s finest restaurants, entertained crowds with showy electricity demonstrations, and listed J.P. Morgan, John Jacob Astor, and Mark Twain among his many famous friends.
It was Tesla’s genius that solved the problem of how to distribute electricity safely and efficiently to homes, shops, and factories—something that had defeated Thomas Edison. With that innovation, he was instrumental in ushering in the new industrial age. He also gave the world its first, functional electric motor: Whenever a vacuum cleaner to life, a laptop powers up, or an overhead light is turned on, the technology used owes its existence to Tesla.
Quite the legacy. But the declassified FBI files prove these famous innovations are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tesla’s genius.
A few days after Tesla died on January 8th, 1943, his possessions were seized by officials from the bizarrely-named government Office of Alien Property. Three weeks later, all of Tesla’s property and documents were given a thorough examination by a group of FBI agents that included none other than John G. Trump, the uncle of Donald J. Trump.
The public were told that rumors of Death Ray technology, among other ‘out there’ innovations, were nothing more than that: Rumors. Nothing to see here, the FBI said at the time. Move along.
But the official dismissal of the contents of the papers Tesla left behind did not sit well with many folks throughout the next 73 years. As if the FBI and government would be willing to admit that it found plans for, let’s say, the Death Ray that Tesla was working on in the last years of his life. That kind of situation is ground zero for conspiracy theories.
Until now Tesla researchers and enthusiasts have had to make do with a few partially released, hard to track down documents that only hinted at what might be the truth about the extent of the genius inventor’s work. What became of Tesla’s most secret tech – or if it even existed outside the imaginative world – was largely a mystery, with most scientists and mainstream media rubbishing rumors about Tesla’s Death Ray as wild conspiracy theories.
So did Tesla really develop the Death Ray?
The declassified FBI documents prove that Tesla’s Death Ray is not just a product of overactive science fiction writers’ minds, but is real Tesla tech. What’s more, the White House was “vitally interested” in the effects of the Death Ray, with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Vice President, Henry Wallace, mentioned in the declassified FBI records as having advisors discuss “the effects of TESLA, particularly those dealing with the wireless transmission of electrical energy and the “death ray.”
“During his lifetime had conducted many experiments in connection with the wireless transmission of electrical power and what is commonly called the “death ray”…. he had been in telephone communication with … one of the advisers to the Vice President Wallace … the government was vitally interested in the effects of TESLA, particularly those dealing with the wireless transmission of electrical energy and the “death ray,” one declassified FBI document says.
Page 5 of one of the FBI’s declassified files on Nikola Tesla, describing his infamous ‘Death Ray’ technology
What happened to this technology after the White House took an interest in it – and then denied its existence until today, branding anybody interested in it a “conspiracy theorist” – is not discussed in the declassified files.
The files are available to view at the FBI vault here.