Nikola Tesla, renowned as one of history's greatest inventors and visionaries, left a lasting impact on the world with his groundbreaking contributions to science and technology. However, the circumstances surrounding his final years and the fate of his work after his death remain shrouded in mystery. While much of Tesla's work eventually entered the public domain, some of his materials seem to have been lost or remain classified by the government. This article delves into the enigmatic story of Tesla's final days, his untimely death, and the puzzling disappearance of his papers.
Following Tesla's passing, the U.S. Government swiftly took possession of his belongings to prevent them from falling into enemy hands during a time of heightened tensions. While the authorities' intention was understandable, it resulted in limited knowledge about Tesla's last projects. Although some of his work was eventually released to the public, there are still missing pieces that remain undisclosed.
The circumstances surrounding Tesla's death are intriguing. In 1937, at the age of 81, Tesla was struck by a taxicab while crossing the street, leaving him with severe injuries, including a damaged back and broken ribs. Strangely, Tesla chose not to seek medical attention, and the extent of his injuries remained unknown. The accident likely had a profound psychological and physical impact on Tesla, further reinforcing his reclusive nature.
In his later years, Tesla became increasingly isolated and spent most of his time alone in his room at the Hotel New Yorker. He received few visitors and had specific dietary preferences, including vegetarian-style meals prepared by the hotel's chef. When interacting with hotel staff, Tesla maintained a distance of at least three feet, emphasizing his desire for solitude. Sadly, Tesla's life ended as it had been lived, in seclusion, when he was found dead in his hotel room on January 8, 1943.
The cause of Tesla's death was determined to be coronary thrombosis, a condition characterized by a blood clot in the heart's blood vessels, leading to heart failure. It is usually associated with factors such as atherosclerosis, high LDL cholesterol levels, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and hypertension. However, Tesla's lifestyle choices did not align with the typical causes of coronary thrombosis. He abstained from tea and coffee, quit smoking in his twenties, and followed a low-cholesterol diet. The impact of his earlier accident and subsequent reclusive lifestyle likely contributed to his declining health.
As Tesla's life drew to a close, his ideas became increasingly fantastical. He claimed to have invented a "Death Ray" on his seventy-eighth birthday and displayed signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, such as his fixation on the number three. Tesla had also been working on a Dynamic Theory of Gravity, attempting to explain gravity through electrodynamics and criticizing Einstein's theory of relativity.
Tesla's preoccupation with developing a teleforce weapon, referred to as the "Death Ray," consumed much of his attention in his later years. He believed it could be used to create an invisible defense system known as the "Chinese Wall" to protect the United States. However, the details of his work on this project remain elusive.
After Tesla's death, the U.S. Government promptly acquired his papers, designating them as highly classified. Dr. John G. Trump, an electrical engineer and President Donald Trump's uncle, was tasked with reviewing the papers for tangible value. He concluded that the majority of the material was speculative and philosophical rather than containing practical breakthroughs.
Tesla's extended family, particularly his nephew Sava Kosanovic, fought to reclaim his personal effects. Eventually, some of his belongings were returned to the family, and declassified documents revealed the FBI's concerns about Kosanovic's intentions and the potential for Tesla's work to fall into enemy hands. The court battle finally resulted in Kosanovic being granted ownership of Tesla's belongings, which were then sent to Belgrade.
However, a perplexing aspect of this story is that out of the approximately 80 trunks containing Tesla's effects, only 60 arrived in Belgrade. The missing trunks raise questions about whether the U.S. Government retained some of the information and effects for undisclosed purposes.
Conspiracy theories surrounding the whereabouts of the missing material have circulated for years. It wasn't until 2016 that the FBI declassified around 250 pages of Tesla's captured works. Despite this release, it is evident that some of his material is still unaccounted for. Speculation suggests that the U.S. military may have pursued Tesla's ideas on particle-beam technology in the post-war years, and it is even believed that Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative program, known as "Star Wars," drew inspiration from Tesla's "Death Ray."
The possibility that the government continues to employ Tesla's work for classified research and development could explain the ongoing absence of his original works. This notion fuels speculation and further adds to the intrigue surrounding Tesla's legacy.
Nikola Tesla's final years were marked by isolation and obsession, leading to a sad and solitary end. The fate of his papers and inventions after his death remains a subject of fascination and speculation. While some of his work has been made public, significant portions are still missing or classified. The mysterious circumstances surrounding Tesla's life and the enigmatic disappearance of his papers continue to captivate researchers, conspiracy theorists, and enthusiasts alike. The enduring legacy of this brilliant inventor and the secrets that may still lie within his lost works ensure that the intrigue surrounding Nikola Tesla will endure for generations to come.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Nikola Tesla's Files After His Death (Interesting Engineering)