When future historians look back on the recorded history of the human race, what will stand out as the most important event? According to Nikola Tesla, the most important event will be the day when we will know exactly what “electricity” is. Will we then know how to have ample electrical power from new energy systems and live in harmony with nature? More about that later in this column, but first let’s look at where we are today:
Predictions about “Peak Oil” are flooding bookstores and talk shows. Peak Oil means the time when worldwide oil production stops increasing and begins decreasing—at the same time as China and India enter the westernized higherconsumption scene. Predictions are dire. This month the Vancouver International Film Festival screened a few films about oil, and I sat through “Crude Awakening” and a four-hour epic from France on the history of oil politics. The audience stumbled out of the theater with stunned expressions.
On the talk show circuit, sincere scholars of scarcity, such as Richard Heinberg, are doing their best to get people to wake up and face facts about the decline of easily-accessed oil and other resources. Maybe a wake-up is the first step toward a more conscious civilization. I wonder if humankind may need a reality jolt in order to rise up and create a society at a more mature level—of responsible stewardship of earth. Our societies have been fighting wars rather than admitting responsibility and uniting to face today’s crises together. That surely will have to change before we can have the gift of energy abundance.
Heinberg also talks about the need for returning to community—cooperation among neighbors in a bio-region and creating self-sufficient sustainable lifestyles. That’s certainly crucial to a vision of a more conscious civilization, but other thinkers see further expanded possibilities:
While acknowledging the dangers society faces, Thomas Valone’s successful Conference on Future Energy (www.IntegrityResearchInstitute.org) last month provided much hope for solutions to the energy problems. You can read Sterling Allan’s excellent summary of the conference at the PESwiki web site. CoFE’s roster of speakers was weighted with numerous Ph.Ds, from Valone to banquet speaker physicist Fabrizio Pinto, a zero-point-energy researcher and entrepreneur. Does that mean any increase in credibility in the eyes of the public? Not unless the news about non-conventional energy research gets much wider exposure to the public.
A Tesla 150-Year Congress near Heidelberg is one of two venues in Germany where I’ve been invited to speak next month. At the Tesla memorial I’m focusing on an important presentation given by Dr. Peter Lindemann at this year’s TeslaTech meeting in Utah. You can get the DVD of his talk—Tesla’s Radiant Energy—through his website (www.free-energy.ws).
Since his web site is titled free-energy, let’s see how Lindemann defines that controversial phrase. He simplifies the definition of free energy to “any energy that is provided by the natural world.” That definition in itself is wise strategy because it avoids the skeptical haggling and niggling over concepts such as “zero-point energy of the quantum vacuum” or far-out vocabulary such as Wilhelm Reich’s “orgone energy.”
Lindemann keeps readers in a spacious comfort zone by mentioning that in science, energy is defined as the ability to do work, and free energy is called by many names such as renewable, alternative or non-conventional energy, and reminding us that examples of free energy technologies include a wind generator or solar panel.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg, he says. “Free energy also includes amazing technologies like a car powered by a water fuel cell, a battery charger powered by the earth, or a home furnace powered by permanent magnets. The best free energy systems deliver energy at no on-going cost to the user, without detrimental effects to the environment, and at extremely low costs for the maintenance of the equipment.”
Well said. It takes a gifted communicator to slip past the mental barriers out there.
And that’s what it takes to change our misconceptions about Nikola Tesla and his claims about Radiant Energy and his magnifying transmitter. I cringe when viewing television shows that impress their audiences with a dominant image of Tesla as a mere hurler of lightning or Mad-Scientist inventor of beam weaponry. The more I learn about his benevolent later inventions and tie that together with the appreciation of nature that he relished from childhood onward, the more I realize he’s been seriously misread and misrepresented. If Tesla had hired a public relations consultant—let’s make that a humanitarian p.r. consultant—the world might be a better place. Society might have gone in a more benign direction than toward destructive energy technologies of fossil fuels and nukes.
Lindemann says bluntly that Tesla lost the first industrial-standards war, a struggle that we don’t even hear about. You’ve heard about the Battle of the Currents which pitted Edison’s DC electrical technology against Tesla’s AC technologies. Yes, Tesla won that battle. But the rest of the story is that afterward Tesla came up with something much better than his 60-cycle AC polyphase electricity system. Lindemann says, “We were taught nothing about the Battle of the Closed Path and Open Path Systems—and Tesla lost!”
Powerful industrialists and bankers in New York had by then figured out how to make their fortunes by stringing copper wires across the continent and selling AC electricity to everyone, as they do to this day. Tesla’s more advanced concepts about uni-directional impulse currents were pushed aside.
What exactly have we lost, through the marginalization of Nikola Tesla’s later ideas?
The answer is stunning. Lindemann, exploring a path of discoveries laid out in Tesla’s writings and illuminated more recently by author/researcher Gerry Vassilatos, presents a case for the possibility of a True Electric Age. Tesla wanted to give us not only abundant power for heating, electricity and transport; he also wanted to give us a safe-to-handle harmonic-resonance form of electricity instead of the dangerous and sometimes life-destroying electromagnetic current we use.
Huh? The very idea of a different form of electricity, one that doesn’t shock and kill, is just not considered in any mainstream textbook. We know about different quantities of amperage and voltage, but the vast majority of us know nothing about a different quality of electricity.
I’ve only heard about it through interviewing inventors such as Johann Grander of Austria, whose unusual method of generating electricity had also created a safe form of current. Several sources claimed that a hair dryer running on Grander’s magnetically powered generator was thrown into a bathtub full of water, and the dryer continued to blow and spray out water. In Austria I saw a photo in which someone reached in and plucked that spraying hair dryer out of the water—without being harmed. Don’t try this at home, kids. Ordinary electricity would have electrocuted the person. Unfortunately Grander learned, through incidents in his life, that powerful industrial interests wanted him to shelve the invention, and he did. A few years ago he said he is waiting until humankind displays a higher level of spiritual readiness before he would release his free-energy invention.
More than a century ago, Tesla worked with a kind of current that would light lightbulbs and run motors with one wire—in other words, in circuits with no return wire. Today’s electrical experts would not believe what he was doing, but in Tesla’s view he was working with a more natural form of current. His benign current oscillated by itself at very high frequencies (up to millions of alternations—or vibrations-per-second) without using mechanical devices to oscillate it.
Practical use of a benign form of electricity did not cease with Tesla’s death, however. Peter Lindemann’s book The Free Energy Secrets of Cold Electricity unravels the mystery of how Edwin Gray produced free energy. Lindemann says that Gray discovered that the discharge of a high-voltage capacitor could be shocked into releasing a huge radiant electrostatic burst, and Gray learned how to capture the energy spike in a special device. The non-shocking form of energy that came out of Gray’s device powered motors and appliances and charged batteries. Gray died in his shop in 1989 in Nevada under mysterious circumstances.
To show that Tesla’s famous Magnifying Transmitter did produce a different form of electricity, Lindemann features on the cover of the above book a photograph of a radiant energy discharge—coming from a Tesla Magnifying Transmitter built by genius electrician Eric Dollard. To put it into size perspective, know that the coil has a wooden top eight inches across. The etheric discharge has the same blue dartlets described by Tesla.
I remember viewing videotaped experiments on a 1988 Borderland Science Research Foundation (BSRF) video which Lindemann mentions, and in recent years I again bought the two BSRF videos—“Tesla’s Longitudinal Electricity,” and “Tesla’s Transverse & Longitudinal Electric Waves.” (With titles like that, no wonder the research remained so long cloistered in fringe-science circles.)
On one of those videos, the black-bearded Dollard and his associates show the one wire connecting two pancake coils built to Tesla patent specifications. They point out the apparatus that creates “disruptive discharges” to run the experiment. A light bulb glows while connected in a closed loop across the secondary of a flat coil. Then you see Dol-lard reach over and grab the wire, lift it out and the light bulb stays lit! It’s running as a one-wire power transmission; no closed loop. The light bulb continues to receive plenty of current.
In another demonstration, a BSRF duo make electrical contact and light an ordinary filament light bulb in their hands. Note they are not holding a fluorescent bulb. Lindemann, who was also filmed in that video, says there was no electricity-as-we-know-it lighting the bulb. He has lit bigger filament bulbs in his hands, standing near a magnifying transmitter. “You feel nothing. You don’t feel any kind of shock when you make and break the contact. It’s completely clean; the light bulb just goes on, and goes off. There’s no arcing, nothing!”
He includes images from that video in his Radiant Energy speech and says the filmed demonstrations were nothing compared to what Tesla had in mind for us. Tesla had a completely different form of electricity—not electromagnetic waves—and he wanted to run the industrial age on that different form. The standard adopted for the industrial age, however, is to use transverse electromagnetic waves as our only type of electricity. What Lindemann and a few others define as Tesla’s “longitudinal electrostatic compression waves,” on the other hand, is the form of electricity that has been “frozen out of the market.”
Meanwhile we all live in a sea of energy, which Lindemann explains as being the electrostatic field of the planet, made up of what Tesla saw as a neutral-particle flux. Earth, air and sunlight are full of it. However, “as long as we build circuits that are referenced to ground in a closed loop, the ‘natural medium’ is prevented from producing a potential gradient in our circuit that we can draw energy from.” Lindemann says we are acting like birds sitting on a high-voltage line and wondering where all the energy is.
For our entertainment and to make learning easier, in his Power Point presentation Lindemann inserted excerpts from a fictitious book “Tesla Vocabulary For Dummies.” His slides included relevant quotes from Tesla’s writings and put them in a perspective we can understand. Lindemann communicated a lot in one hour—what Tesla must have meant by the phrase “radiant energy,” how Tesla achieved radiant-energy effects and what it could have meant for us if society had adopted Tesla’s model of electricity.
As for the 1893 statement about the great day it would be if we ever figure out what electricity is, in 1900 Tesla said, “Whatever electricity may be, it is a fact that it behaves like an incompressible fluid and the earth may be looked upon as an immense reservoir of electricity.”
This is definitely outside the standard view. Lindemann acknowledges that the statement does not compute if we are only talking electron-theory. Tesla was not talking about the standard theory which is so well accepted that today’s experts don’t have the humility to admit that their gospel of electrons is only a theory. It has been a successful theory, resulting in an overflowing Pandora’s shipping-crate of highly praised technologies. But that doesn’t mean we know everything about electricity.