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Nikola Tesla once picked up a strange signal that he thought could be alien

By T.K. Randall
March 17, 2024 · Comment icon 65 comments
Nikola Tesla
Tesla dreamed of a way to transmit electricity wirelessly. Image Credit: Warwick Goble
The inventor and engineer picked up a mysterious signal in 1899 that he could not find an explanation for.
There are few people who have contributed more to the widespread implementation of electricity in the modern world than Tesla - a man whose accolades range from pioneering the use of alternating current to conducting experiments designed to transmit electricity wirelessly through the air.

Even today, a great deal of mystery and intrigue surrounds exactly what Tesla had managed to achieve and the extent to which his inventions have helped to shape the modern world.

Back in 1899, for example, Tesla became aware that his equipment had picked up a strange signal that, according to his written records of the incident, seemed to have unnerved him greatly.

"Even now, at times, I can vividly recall the incident, and see my apparatus as though it were actually before me," he wrote. "My first observations positively terrified me, as there was present in them something mysterious, not to say supernatural, and I was alone in my laboratory at night."

The signal, which comprised of a series of beeps, did not seem to have a known source of origin.
"It was sometime afterward when the thought flashed upon my mind that the disturbances I had observed might be due to an intelligent control," he wrote.

"Although I could not decipher their meaning, it was impossible for me to think of them as having been entirely accidental. The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another."

So did Tesla really pick up a signal sent by intelligent extraterrestrials ?

In later years, astronomers determined that what the inventor had picked up was most likely "intense kilometric (VLF) emissions originating from Jupiter", rather than an intelligent alien signal.

Even so, the precise nature and origins of Tesla's mystery signal continue to intrigue even to this day.

Source: IFL Science | Comments (65)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #56 Posted by Hazzard 13 days ago
Zetorian, are you seeing this??!  Someone is stealing your entire concept!!
Comment icon #57 Posted by TrumanB 11 days ago
Tesla gave an interview to some Serbian papers from Chicago claiming that he found a way to communicate with aliens. He allegedly invented some gadgets to establish communication with extraterrestrials from Venus. This interview is from his late phase so we don't know how sane he was those days.
Comment icon #58 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 11 days ago
Well, if Tesla was talking about extraterrestrials from planet Venus [eyeroll], then I would have to say his "sane" phase has slipped him by. 
Comment icon #59 Posted by psyche101 11 days ago
Comment icon #60 Posted by astrobeing 11 days ago
Why? At that time many people believed that Venus had a balmy tropical climate since the clouds that covered the planet were assumed to be water. They weren't shown to be carbon dioxide until 1932. There's an entertaining book on Venus by Patrick Moore called The Planet Venus that chronicles the many theories that scientists had about Venus before we knew anything about the place. Hey, the planet is the same size as Earth and is just a little closer to the Sun so why wouldn't there be life on it?
Comment icon #61 Posted by Antigonos 11 days ago
And Skeptic said Tesla was much smarter than him so the BS has officially come full circle.
Comment icon #62 Posted by the13bats 10 days ago
I heard a bird once thought it was a cat
Comment icon #63 Posted by psyche101 10 days ago
LoL The pigeons Tesla used to feed are smarter than OMS
Comment icon #64 Posted by astrobeing 9 days ago
I liked how Tesla's solution to his large unpaid hotel bills was always to move to another hotel.
Comment icon #65 Posted by psyche101 8 days ago
No wonder OMS is such a fan

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