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Death ray? Nikola Tesla, weapons of mass destruction, and murder

Written By | Jan 15, 2018
death ray

Did scientist Nikola Tesla invent a secret death ray?

WASHINGTON, January 15, 2018: What we know is that in the early morning hours of June 30, 1908, an explosion rocked the Tunguska region in Russia’s Eastern Siberia, flattening roughly 770 square miles. Was it an asteroid? A comet? Or a death ray?

Tunguska region of Siberia.

Scientific expeditions to the area subsequent to the event suggest it may indeed have been struck by an asteroid or comet fragment. Elevated levels of radiation found in plant and soil samples indicate that Mother Nature is quite capable of throwing natural atomic weapons from deep space our way.

death ray

Conjectural illustration of rumored Tesla death ray.

But others disagree with this theory. They believe the Siberian explosion was an experiment that proved the effectiveness of a legendary scientist’s “death ray.” That possibility is why FBI agents were dispatched to collect that individual’s scientific papers upon his death in 1943, lest they fall into the hands of Hitler or Stalin.

The scientist in question was none other than Nikola Tesla, a rival of Thomas Edison and the father of the modern electric motor, alternating current and the high-voltage Tesla coil.




The Discovery Channel mini-series “Tesla’s Death Ray: A Murder Declassified,” which is airing Sunday nights on that channel, suggests this visionary scientist may have been dispatched with extreme prejudice over due to his pursuit of high-tech weapons.

death ray

Scientist Nikola Tesla. Did he invent a secret death ray?

According to a recently declassified memorandum written by FBI Special Agent Fred B. Cornels, electrical engineer Bloyce Fitzgerald, a long-time associate of Tesla, said upon the inventor’s death in 1943:

“He had become a confident of TESLA and knew that TESLA had and was carrying on extensive experiments for transmitting electrical power by wireless and with propelling electrical rays possessing sufficient power to destroy implements of warfare, such as airplanes and submarines.”


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Three years earlier in 1940, a memo to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover expressed concern over the inventor’s “teleforce” weapon, which Tesla claimed could “bring down a fleet of 10,000 enemy airplanes at a distance of 200 miles” and “cause armies to drop dead in their tracks”:

“It would be a measure of foresightedness to insure his [Tesla’s] constant guarding against his being molested, possibly kidnapped and tortured, by alien enemies for the purpose of seizing the secret of such an invaluable instrument of war and/or defense.”

“Did Tesla invent the world’s first weapon of mass destruction?” asks military investigator and series co-presenter, Jack Murphy. “And, was he murdered for it?”

Murphy, historian Cameron Prince and engineer and Tesla technology expert Aron Koscho travel the world in search of the answer. This is a story that’s well worth following.

Air Time: “Tesla’s Death Ray: A Murder Declassified” airs Sunday nights on the Discovery Channel or via the Discovery GO app.



Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.