Complementary and alternative medicine History Medicine Physics Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Quackery so powerful that a famous physicist rolls over in his grave

Nikola Tesla was a physicist known to dabble in strange ideas, and that’s probably why pseudoscientists have appropriated them to justify quackery and fringe ideas. However, I doubt even Tesla can be used to justify the Tesla Purple Energy Shield and various other “Tesla Purple Energy” products.

Orac Note: While Orac is on vacation, he’s reprinting some of his “classics” (if you can call them that). He’s also trying (but not always succeeding) to pick posts that have never been “rerun” before. (Orac has his favorites, and every few years when he’s on vacation he can’t resist rerunning them.) In any case, I used to run a feature called “Your Friday Dose of Woo.” Basically, it was designed to feature the most spectacularly ridiculous pseudoscience and quackery I could find. It ran for two or three years, pretty much every Friday, until I got tired of being boxed in having to find something like this on Friday and not necessarily allowing myself to write about whatever I felt like. This particular “gem” (if you can call it that) was originally published over ten years ago. Hilariously, the main link is excluded from, but I think I quoted enough in 2007 for you to get the idea. Also, someone’s still selling Tesla Purple Energy products.

Pity poor Nikola Tesla.

A sure sign of the most potent woo is when the woo-meister responsible claims to base it on the work of a great scientists, particularly a great scientist who’s been dead well over 60 years.

Like Nikola Tesla.

The deader the scientist is and the longer he or she’s been dead, the more sure the woo-meister can be that only the few actual scientists who pay attention to woo and bother to refute will have the necessary background knowledge to refute it. Moreover, the longer ago the scientist lived, the less chance of any pesky relatives caring enough to tell the woo-meister that his or her appropriation of said dead scientist’s work is a load of fetid dingo’s kidneys. At least, that’s the only explanation that I can come up with when I come across woo like this week’s target, a particularly jaw-droppingly amazing piece of woo that has just about every scientifically fallacious appeal to “energy” and “vibration” that I’ve ever seen before. In fact, just when I thought the woo-meisters responsible for the Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ (dead link and excluded from but check out this credulous review) couldn’t plunge any deeper into the deepest depths of unreason, they not only got out a shovel and started digging, but they went out and got a backhoe, but even that wasn’t enough. No, they went and got dynamite and blasted away even deeper, in essence destroying the mountain of reason to strip mine the woo buried underneath it.

Poor Tesla. Yes, he had some strange ideas, but not this woo.
OK, I realize I may have gone too far with the metaphor, but woo as potent as this week’s target has that effect on me, and sometimes I get carried away. Be that as it may, even poor Nikola Tesla, who has been a favorite of woo-meisters for a century now because of the strange ideas he was prone to when he wasn’t doing brilliant science, certainly doesn’t deserve what the woo-meisters at Life Technology™ have done to his name, lending it to a piece of woo so amazing that, even now, weeks after having first encountered the wonder that is the Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ and filing it away in my Folder of Woo for later use, I’m still scratching my head about who comes up with this stuff. Worse, who actually lays out their hard-earned dollars to buy this stuff?

You know things are starting out bad when the text describing the wonders of Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ starts out like this:

“All matter comes from a primary substance, the luminiferous ether,” stated Nikola Tesla. He sensed the universe was “composed of a symphony of alternating currents with the harmonies played on a vast range of octaves,” wrote Margaret Cheney. “To explore the whole range of electrical vibration, he sensed, would bring him closer to an understanding of the cosmic symphony.”
From The excellent book ‘Tesla Man Out of Time’

Students of physics may recognize the above quote as simply stating a belief that “ether” existed. This was a legitimate scientific controversy at the time. Scientists realized that light traveled in waves, but what did the wave propagate in? It was hypothesized that electromagnetic waves (i.e., light) traveled through a medium known as the “ether.” Of course, it was ultimately shown as a consequence of the Michelson-Morley experiment, among others, that the ether didn’t exist, but you’d never know it from the quote above. As for the whole “electrical vibration and “cosmic symphony” thing, that’s obviously the embellishment of the biographer. Too bad the woo-meister didnt read further in the very same book, which is characterized in Wikipedia as saying this about Nikola Tesla:

In the years after, many of his innovations, theories and claims have been used, at times unsuitably and with some controversy, to support various fringe theories that are regarded as unscientific. Most of Tesla’s own work conformed with the principles and methods accepted by science, but his extravagant personality and sometimes unrealistic claims, combined with his unquestionable genius, have made him a popular figure among fringe theorists and believers in conspiracies about ‘hidden knowledge’. Some conspiracy theorists even in his time believed that he was actually an angelic being from Venus sent to Earth to reveal scientific knowledge to humanity [78].

But, hey, no one ever expected the creator of such fine woo to read an entire biography, not when a single quote would do, and these woo-meisters milk that single quote for all it’s worth. On the other hand, apparently this device did exist 100 years ago:

Tesla understood that the cosmos is in resonance. Everything that exists possesses a unique vibratory rate which resonates with the heart of the cosmos. It was this discovery which inspired Tesla to invent The Tesla Personal Oscillator which became extremely popular at the time. It is claimed That The Tesla Personal Oscillator was the most popular gadget of 1907 and was widely used in The USA and Europe.

The Tesla Personal Oscillator resonated with the music of the spheres, the inaudible higher frequencies of the cosmos which have a profound influence on everything that exists on Planet Earth.

Tesla woo

OK, whatever. Telsa never, as far as I can tell, claimed anything of the sort for his oscillator, and if it did, Tesla was wrong. Tesla did have a thing for designing and building electronic oscillators (and even a mechanical oscillator, which was featured on an episode of Mythbusters), but even at his strangest I don’t think he made claims like the ones above. Here’s how this “purple energy shield” supposedly “works”:

The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ outer shell is made of aluminium, which is first anodised (electrolytic oxidation) and then colored. The spin of the atoms and electrons of the aluminium is thus changed in such a way, that The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ is said to vibrate in resonance with the fundamental energy (Chi, Prana, Orgon) of the universe. The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ coating was developed by Ralph Bergstresser after a patent and from the knowledge / information and ideas of Nikola Tesla, with whom he worked in the 1940s. With anodising, the field of the plating is changed and interacts with tachyons. The surface of the plating has a unique crystal-structure.

The chemical composition of the outer purple shell is the same as that of rubies and sapphires, which also consist of aluminium oxide. We know that rubies give energy and thus were called “life-stones” in the Middle-Ages.

Of course they do and were. And of course, this device doesn’t just “resonate” with “subtle energy” of the universe. Oh, no. That would be too commonplace as far as woo goes. After all, all sorts of woo claim to do that. To distinguish this woo from all the other energy and vibrational woo out there, this device has to have a gimmick, and, boy, does it ever! You see, it uses tachyons! I kid you not. Read on:

Tesla said, that when tachyons are slowed down, they produce energy fields of high density. As information carriers they are said to have a very beneficial effect on living organisms and to neutralize negative fields.

The idea is, that tachyons pass trough untreated aluminium plates without hindrance. By anodising the surface of the aluminium, they develop a field that slows down tachyons. Thus the aluminium surface gets charged with subtle energy/information.

The atomic structure of the outer shell of The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ has been altered, allowing the atoms and electrons of the aluminium to resonate in tune with the basic energy that causes the particles of every atom and molecule to be in constant vibration. Once the structure of the atoms of the aluminium have been altered, they will remain in that condition- possibly indefinitely. The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ creates a positive energy field around themselves that will penetrate any material substance by osmosis.

Contrary to other similar products The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ utilises high frequency tachyon energy and recharges itself continuously. it never needs to be recharged, upgraded or replaced. It will function perfectly indefinitely.


Just wow.

Whoever came up with this is wasting his time making these chotchkes all in order to separate the credulous from their $89.95. If he could really do what is claimed above, he’d be a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Physics, easy! Think about it. He claims to be able to alter the atomic structure of the aluminum in the outer shell of the shield to harness high-frequency tachyon energy. If that’s true, why on earth is he wasting his time with this woo? Why isn’t he making billions of dollars using this principle to generate electricity without oil or coal, vastly decreasing our dependence on foreign oil and providing pollution-free energy in the process?

These woo-meisters have such limited vision sometimes. If I could do what’s claimed for this device, I’d solve our nation’s and then the world’s energy problems and then retire to contemplate the tachyon energy. Or to count my money. Of course, there’s one potential problem that these guys don’t seem to consider, and I use science fiction books as my highly authoritative source for this: Bathing in tachyon fields can cause time to accelerate or to reverse, depending on the story. Really. I remember seeing it in SF stories. Using the shield, if you’re not careful, you could wind up either being a bawling infant (or even fading away back to a single cell and then nothingness) or aging, dying, and turning into a skeleton and then dust all in a matter of seconds. Or traveling faster than the speed of light, which would actually be something useful.

Come on, I’ve seen it in science fiction; it’s got to be true! Either way, my wild SF-based speculations about the dangers of this wondrous device strikes me as being just as valid as any rationale put forth for the healing benefits of the Tesla Purple Energy Shield™; so I’m standing by them.

So, what can the Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ do for you? Here’s a sampling:

The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ has been gifted to us at this time to serve this purpose. Within its beautiful ergonomic design lies the zeropoint energetic field that can be effectively utilized for:

  • Protection against EMF and electromagnetic radiation
  • Increases energy levels
  • Heals on all levels of mind body and soul
  • Delays fatigue
  • Increases physical strength and stamina
  • Enhances quality of sleep
  • Retards aging
  • DNA repair
  • Completely clears negative energies
  • Acts as a 24/7 psychic shield
  • Energises food and water
  • Beneficial energy for animals and plants
  • Improves intuition
  • Assists connection to the divine source
  • Increases psychic abilities
  • […]

  • The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ energy is said to be beneficial to all life…plant, animal or human. Science has proven that by projecting love or positive energy to a plant, the plant will flourish. The energy will also help pets and animals.
  • The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ is an antenna for cosmic energy (tachyons) which act as a harmonizing field for the mind body and soul.
  • […]

  • The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ connects to the healing flame of The Ascended Master Saint Germain. (Note, this is Orac’s second favorite thing this device does.
  • […]

  • The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ will support the immune system and physical healing (e.g. headaches, cuts, wounds, fractures etc.) Burns, cuts, aches and pains involve a sudden change to the normal vibration rate of tissue. The theory behind the healing properties is that the energy from The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ helps to accelerate the healing and thus return the injured area to its normal rate of vibration.

And here’s Orac’s favorite claim: that the Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ will increase your vibrational energy from 25,000 cycles per second to over 100,000 cycles per second. Hey, that’s got to be a good thing, right? After all, they have the before and after Kirlian photos to prove it

But that’s not all. Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ will bring to you the power of the Lost Cubit:

The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ incorporates an internal Ethero-Magnetic™ caduceus orgone generating coil which utilises the magickal and sacred ‘lost cubit’ measurement, a meaurement so profound that its precise value can not be found in ancient or modern literature. Only select few individuals and scientists are aware of its actual value…

The “Lost Cubit” was discovered in April of 2000 by german astrophysicist Hans Becker. The “Lost” cubit is a previously unknown cubit length which fills a harmonic gap between the “Sacred” and “Royal” cubits of Ancient Egypt. Research and calculations made by Becker indicate that the “Lost” cubit may well have been deliberately omitted from ancient records due to its powerful significance.
The “Lost Cubit” is derived from the sum of the polar and equatorial circumferences of the Earth, in inches, divided into the speed of light. It therefore relates to Earth natural harmonics in a special way. We believe that this discovery of Hans Becker, The “Lost Cubit”, is that long lost information that will, as research progresses, yield the secret keys to extraordinary health and extreme longevity.

This highly secret information was always strongly guarded by the priesthood of Egypt and was reserved only for high initiates and Phaoroh himself.
The Lost Cubit has a natural resonant frequency of 177 megacycles and in some as yet unknown manner, assists the user in changing his DNA at will, and thus turning on the “longevity” gene. This may be why there are no records of the length and function of the “Lost” cubit.

Or it could be because there’s no such thing. Sorry, I’m exhibiting “negative energy.” Let me fire up my Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ a minute. There, that’s better. I feel much mellower now. In fact, the mere Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ is no longer enough for me. I want more, more, more tachyon woo!

Fortunately, Life Technology is more than happy to oblige, with the Tesla Shield™ Ultra-Advanced Version 1.0. (It’s got a version number after it, just like a computer program, which means it must be good at manipulating information flow, right?) The “ultra-advanced version” incorporates a solid gold caduceus coil, precious and semi precious gemstones, monatomic elements (including Gold, Silver, Platinum, Osmium, Ruthenium, Rhodium and Palladium) in addition to the standard internal componentry, all for only $179.95. But, you know, even that’s not enough for me. Fortunately, Life Technology is more than happy to provide the ultimate in woo, the über-woo of über-woo, the Tesla Shield™ Hyperspace Version 1.0.

Yes! I knew all those tachyons would eventually lead to hyperspace. I’m so there! Just look:

The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ Hyperspace Version 1.0 incorporates all of the enhanced design and componentry characteristics of The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ Ultra Advanced Version 1.0, but more importantly The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ Hyperspace Version 1.0 integrates an internal radionics structural link to a RAD 5 Radionics Machine running at full power at the Life Technology™ laboratories 24/7/365.

The RAD 5 Radionics Machine is a state of the art remote influence / transformational radionics machine designed by the esteemed quantum physicist and radionics technology pioneer Karl Welz of Hyperspace Communications Technologies International ( The RAD 5 is undoubtedly the most sophisticated and powerful radionics machine available today. The integral radionics structural link enables The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ Hyperspace Version 1.0 to be permanently recharged by an unlimited source of subtle energy.
The upgraded internal componentry in synergy with the new integral structural link with the RAD 5 Radionics Machine enhances the subtle energy properties of The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ Hyperspace Version 1.0 by a factor of up to x100. Incredibly, Thats one hundred times more power than the original Tesla Shield™ ! Life Technology™ can confidently assert that The Tesla Purple Energy Shield™ Hyperspace Version 1.0 is the most powerful and advanced personal transformational energy tool available anywhere today.

All this for only $279.99! It’s a bargain! But even that’s not enough woo for me. Do you think there’s anything that can go along with such woo? Of course there is. There’s the Hyperdimensional Oscillator™:

The Hyperdimensional Oscillator is based on the famed Teslascope ,the device that Nikola Tesla invented to communicate with other planets. In effect it is a transducer, capable of converting the high frequency of cosmic rays to an energy field which can interface with the human mind. We can use these energies for healing the human body, or simply allow them to guide and instruct us as Tesla did. The possibilities of The Hyperdimensional Oscillator are indeed limitless and our research has merely scratched the surface of this incredible technology. Like Tesla himself, we have been guided in our research by higher forces and channelled information which has enabled us to build the Teslascope in miniature using 21st century electronic componentry.

Yes! Now my Tesla-woo is complete, and for only $89.95 more!

If he knew of this, Nikola Tesla would be rolling over in his grave–or what’s left of him, anyway. No, it would be more than that. Spurred on by the not-so-subtle energy of this woo, his remains, even though he was cremated, would reassemble themselves sufficiently to do backflips, after which they would emerge from Tesla’s final resting place (the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade) to find the owners of Life Technology™ and teach them just what “subtle energy” really is.

After all, tendency to woo or not, reduced to ashes in an urn or not, even a dead genius of a scientist has his pride. Bad woo like this would piss him off royally, I suspect.

ADDENDUM: And they’re still selling this sort of nonsense, at least as of 2015:

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

51 replies on “Quackery so powerful that a famous physicist rolls over in his grave”

I confess, when that bizarre photograph appeared a few weeks ago of Trump in Riyadh, laying his hand on a glowing ball in the company of a couple of Middle Eastern dictators, I thought of a Tesla plasma ball.

Orac writes,

He claims to be able to alter the atomic structure of the aluminum in the outer shell of the shield to harness high-frequency tachyon energy.

MJD says,

Medical science has altered the morphology (i.e., particle size) of aluminum/antigen complexes to harness higher collision- frequency interactions with antibodies.

The Coca Cola company has used aluminum as a containment means wherein the visible spectrum of the outer shell has been modified to appear red in color and become more appealing.

In summary, aluminum is an amazing substance but its use and benefits in the Tesla Personal Oscillator remains highly questionable – Thanks Orac!

These devices are so full of not even wrong that I don’t know where to begin. The “music of the spheres” idea goes at least as far back as the 17th century–Kepler was a believer. The idea, as I recall, is that there were supposedly only six planets because there are only five regular solids, with at least one version positing a different one between each pair of neighboring orbits.

I am agnostic as to whether tachyons exist, but if they do, the speed of light is a minimum speed for them. Slowing them down to light speed would require an infinite amount of energy, just as accelerating regular matter to light speed requires an infinite amount of energy. And they cannot carry information between points in our spacetime, because faster-than-light travel violates the principle of causality. That is, different observers may disagree on the relative timing of unrelated events, but if event A causes event B, then all observers will see A before B. If FTL travel were allowed, then some observers would see B before A.

I could go on, but I’ll stop here.

You know, Nicola Tesla was badder than I gave him credit for!
Why, he invented tachyon devices at least 20 – 24 years before tachyons were even theorized!

Nicola Tesla 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943), a man known to be as often wrong as right in electromagnetic theories. Best known for showing Thomas Edison to be an idiot, in terms of how to properly deliver electricity over any significant distances (alternating current vs Edison’s direct current (Edison later recommended high voltage AC for the electric chair, just to show “how dangerous AC was and disingenuously, how safe (never demonstrated) DC was)).

Obviously, Tesla was made of tachyons. Really, really bored tachyons.
Or something. His electrical transmission by air over long distance suffered from some inverse square problem. 😉
As the inverse square law was known since 1604, you’d have thought that would’ve occurred to Tesla.

Oh, my bad. He’s an angle from the right of Venus or something. Good thing nobody shook his hand when he had freshly arrived – molten lead temperatures of his flesh would’ve been quite unpleasant.

Who actually lays out their hard-earned $89.95 to buy this?

Probably next to nobody. One of the things that have proliferated on the Web is the funny/sad/bizarre/hopeless get rich quick scheme. The startup costs are so invitingly small: a domain name, a cheap hosting service, a prototype product mock-up or two. But the would-be scammers are still probably maxing out credit cards or filching all family savings to fund their brilliant inspiration they’re SURE will conquer the world. Oh, the hubris of Big Dreams…. You can be confident that the vast majority of these clowns lose their nut within 18 months and run away with their tails between their legs, leaving a trail of disgruntled creditors behind. Pre-Internet, all traces of these scams would have disappeared, but now many of the Web pages remain, either floating in the ether or kept alive with a trickle of small payments hoping against hope that since i Built It They Will Eventually Come…

Whoever Life Technology was, I doubt he/they have any connection to Purple Light, the ‘sellers’ of Tesla Purple Energy products linked in Orac’s update note at the head of the post. The Purple Light site lists a street address in Serbia, and the cost of Purple Energy appears to have dropped significantly, as a Tesla Purple Disc sell for 9.95 Euro ($11.17). The description of it’s action is both more mundane and more contemporary:

Tesla Purple Disc is worn around the neck in most cases, although users often place it on acupunctural points on the body (painful areas) and in that way achieve the effect of Chinese traditional medicine. It can be also put underneat glass of water to energize it. It is important to be worn as much as possible, cause it speeds up spiritual growth.

… which is made easier by the fact it doubles as a fashion accessory, though the copy oddly fails to express that benefit. while I’m sure most minions will indeed believe that the Purple Disc does indeed achieve the effect of TCM, I doubt somehow ii will succeed in putting your local acupuncturist out of business.

@Narad #5, argh! Electric universe, nearly as bad as flat earth.
There are times that I honestly wonder if they’re *intentionally* going out of their way to get fairly basic physics concepts wrong.

@MJD #2:

Medical science has altered the morphology (i.e., particle size) of aluminum/antigen complexes to harness higher collision- frequency interactions with antibodies.

Those are particles of aluminium, not individual atoms.

The Coca Cola company has used aluminum as a containment means wherein the visible spectrum of the outer shell has been modified to appear red in color and become more appealing.

By applying paint to the can’s surface.

I suppose you could be taking the mickey with those examples, but given the rubbish you so often produce I honestly can’t tell.

Or traveling faster than the speed of light, which would actually be something useful.

In cases like this it’s always worth asking, what’s the acceleration? An FTL spacecraft is of little use if the crew become strawberry jam on the rear bulkhead.

Lee Valley will happily sell you a whole range of reusable anodized aluminum suppositories for very little money (warning: don’t use very little money in vending machines – it jams the works; stick with full-sized money), though none in purple. I suspect they would consider getting their supplier to make them in a custom color for a sufficiently large order, or you could get an anodizing shop to strip and re-anodize them.

Somewhere I have a lovely purple heatsink I anodized many years ago. The process is quite simple, but requires DC, not Tesla’s icky AC (make aluminum object anode in electrolyte of about 10% sulfuric acid, grow adequate oxide layer, dye with common organic dye, “seal” oxide by boiling piece in water). I tried to convince one of my clients to get some of the parts for their pipeline inspection systems anodized in purple, to no avail. It might have helped if I’d known about the magic properties of purpleness.

to properly deliver electricity over any significant distances

use DC, like this.

These devices are so full of not even wrong that I don’t know where to begin.

The grifters are not concerned with making enough sense to be wrong / right. They are not concerned with the meanings behind the words they steal. These are just Worship Words thrown into the incantation in the hope that a few suckers will find them convincing enough to send money.

Oh ha! I could swear that the “Tesla Personal Oscillator ” looks exactly like the little capsule that my FIL keeps his nitroglycerin pills in. Probably $2/each if you buy in bulk?

Oh, Nikola Tesla. So smart, so weird. He pops up as a character in a quite a bit of science fiction because he was just so weird that you could totally believe that he’s a time traveler, or a vampire, or David Bowie.
But this cheap con? It would probably annoy the heck out of him.

Where might something like this ht[]p:// given its use of a mix of things being done, and not being done, in clinical trials currently?

One might do well to separate the person you’ve run across* from whatever might be going on in the real world.

* See especially ht[]p://


.. ” I may have gone too far with the metaphor”

Oh, I disagree.
Going too far would have to include referring to pyroclastic flows or tsunamis, black holes or event horizons ..

but even then, maybe not.

Edison later recommended high voltage AC for the electric chair

However, what was actually used for the dirty deed was pulsed DC — It’s a damn shame what they did to that elephant.

His electrical transmission by air over long distance suffered from some inverse square problem.

I’m not so sure about that; syntony of the earth-ionosphere waveguide could effectively have any resonant antenna anywhere respond as if it is in the near field. Remember, Wardenclyffe Tower was to be studded with powerful UV sources ostensibly to cause a conduction current through ionization.

Since this was during World War I a rumor spread, picked up by newspapers and other publications, that the tower was demolished on orders of the United States Government with claims German spies were using it as a radio transmitter or observation post, or that it was being used as a landmark for German submarines. Tesla was not pleased with what he saw as attacks on his patriotism via the rumors about Wardenclyffe, but since the original mortgages with Boldt as well as the foreclosure had been kept off the public record in order to hide his financial difficulties, Tesla was not able to reveal the real reason for the demolition.
I don’t know if HAARP truely borrowed from Tesla but modulating the auroral electrojet (heating causes expansion) with hf gives a huge power gain sort of like an earth-sized super beta transistor — It is very good for a type of low frequency ground penetrating radar that can remotely image most places on earth now.

A couple of problems with Tesla’s using the ionosphere as a waveguide, wrong orientation to transmit into the layers, wrong frequencies and indeed, super wide band of frequencies, due to the nature of Tesla coil RF generation.
While one may actually manage to transmit,one would also interfere with anything within a few hundred miles.

Oh, HAARP is now shuttered, government wise. Transferred to the university. I suspect a fair bit of their research is somewhat outmoded, due to the growth of both communication satellites and the internet.

@ jrk

Huh? I don’t see any connection between the fake bomb detectors and the Tesla Personal Energy Shield (my bad in mis-stating the price as $89.95, as it was $179.95!).

I think you are actually underestimating human gullibility – the self-gullibility of would-be scammers, of which there are legions. I have no illusions about the vulnerability of the species to good scams – the ‘bomb detector’ is probably a good example – but successful scamming is one of those things to which many aspire but only a few succeed. I would guess that most folks who comment here are in career fields where there isn’t much of a fringe of posers and BS artists continually starting up big-dream schemes they think will grab some public that never get any traction because, well, they’re just bad. But my parents were professional musicians, and I went into the film/media stuff, and there are so many hapless wanna-bes in those that fields it would make your head spin. Most of them are more honorable than the wanna-be health con artists, but the unintentional comedy in the end product speaks to a similar psychology.

I’ve checked out several of the sillier woo-scams Orac has highlighted (e.g. QuantumMan, Coherence Apps…) and found no evidence the perpetrators ever made a dime. But given the amount – and worse, the venality – of BS humans beings do fall for, the fact we’re not so gullible as to fall for anything and everything offers little comfort or reassurance. The point, I guess, is that if we’re in the BS debunking business, we ought to be wise enough to distinguish what separates the effective scams from the hapless scam attempts. We can’t pull out the hook unless we know what the hook really is…,

penetrate any material substance by osmosis.

I remember reading this post way back when. Just… wow. Hardly the most woo-y part of the advertisement, but osmosis without a solvent. Just, wow. You’d think they would bother to at least understand the words they’re using, if not the physics.

I suspect a fair bit of their research is somewhat outmoded, due to the growth of both communication satellites and the internet.

Some of it is still relevant, for two reasons:
1. Submarines. If you want to communicate with them while they are under water, you need to use the ELF band, and you are depending on ionospheric properties to help you.
2. Transpolar airline routes. Satellites in geosynchronous orbit are below the horizon if you are poleward of 82 degrees geographic, so planes traversing this region have to use old-fashioned radio to communicate with ground dispatchers. When ionospheric conditions are such that they can’t use this fallback, the planes have to use longer routes, meaning more fuel burned.

Oh, HAARP is now shuttered, government wise.

LoL. The Voice of America transmitter in Delano, CA has shut down but propaganda still thrives. There are HAARP-based ‘ionospheric heaters’ scattered all over America and around the world — The one in Peru is four times the area of the Gakona, AK HAARP. Interestingly, A line pulled from the China one to the Peru one also exactly intersects the Delano transmitter.

@Eric Lund, submarine communications for emergency action messages are sent via extremely low frequency transmitters, which penetrate the earth and water.

@Tim, while there are indeed ionospheric heaters all over the globe, even in Russia, HAARP was originally operated by the US government for ionospheric research. That program has ended and now University of Alaska Fairbanks owns and operates it.
The fencepost radar in Texas is part of spacewatch, which monitors everything baseball size and larger in earth orbit.
As for drawing lines, I’m reminded of much the same arguments about Ley lines, doesn’t make them real. Drawing arbitrary lines between locations still makes them arbitrary. Try doing the math behind it, then we can talk. We’re talking about waveguide action and skip, not magical lines someone connects mythical dots with.

@Rich Bly, just not a good idea in space. Charged particles and dense metals generate some really energetic radiation spikes. Bremsstrahlung isn’t anything to toy about with. 😉

@Tim, I dunno, one could get to listen to radio without having to purchase batteries. 😉

…Tropicana field in Florida is a secret HAARP station…

The ball field? Really?

Has anybody thought of setting up an antenna and spectrum analyzer somewhere in town and capturing a mega-watt spike? You probably wouldn’t even need much of an antenna.


You know if add lead to tinfoil hat it works much better at blocking all those evil EMF rays. Also, buy yourself a large degausing loop to keep the those magnetic lines from interfering with your brain functions. You might add a lightning rod and ground cable just in case.

if add lead to tinfoil hat it works much better at blocking all those evil EMF rays

Lead? That is not a very good conductor the same with tinfoil — As tin is a weak semiconductor, lead on tinfoil is liable to serve as a detector causing one to hear voices.

Tinfoil is crinkly loud, does not breath well, and is socially unacceptable. I recommend copper mesh.

,You’d think they would bother to at least understand the words they’re using, if not the physics.

New comparison: Criticising med-scammers for knowing and caring nothing about the meaning of the physics or chemical terms they steal to ornament their bafflegab is like criticising televangelists for mis-quoting Gospel. To an extent, it is missing the point. Med-scammers are not aiming for accuracy, any more than the likes of Falwell and Swaggart are concerned with the values of Christianity.

Moreover, the longer ago the scientist lived, the less chance of any pesky relatives caring enough to tell the woo-meister that his or her appropriation of said dead scientist’s work is a load of fetid dingo’s kidneys.

You forget about the Serbs who will get into a rage if anyone says that Tesla was a Croat, and the Croats who will get into a rage if anyone says that Tesla was a Serb.

Well, never mind any sign of antennas fed by co-ax as big around as your leg, or readouts from any sort of test equipment, that YouTube convinced me.


At first I wasn’t sure whether Tim was a Poe, but I recognized the facility in Peru he mentioned. Jicamarca is run by the National Science Foundation, Cornell University, and the Instituto Geofísico del Perú. I was unaware that it was part of the HAARP conspiracy theory, but Googling “jicamarca haarp” yields, in addition to the Wikipedia page for the observatory, a bunch of documents in both English and Spanish on Jicamarca’s role in the conspiracy theorists’ version of HAARP.

There is no government or scientific installation too small or insignificant, or even extant, that it can’t be incorporated into a conspiracy theory. Indeed it is more often seen as an asset than a liability.

The ionospheric heating facility of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaska (62.4°N and 145.2°W) has been actively used to generate ELF/VLF (3 Hz–30 kHz) radiation by modulation of the overhead auroral electrojet currents for more than a decade

Earth-penetrating tomography is a startling potential use of ionospheric heating. The method would work by beaming radio energy into the Auroral electrojet, the curved, charged-particle stream formed at high latitudes where the solar wind interacts with Earth’s magnetic field. The radio energy then disperses over large areas through ductlike regions of the ionosphere, forming a virtual antenna that can be thousands of miles in length.

They’re up in your Heavisides tomigenin your drug tunnels.

I was unaware that it was part of the HAARP conspiracy theory, but Googling “jicamarca haarp” yields, in addition to the Wikipedia page for the observatory, a bunch of documents in both English and Spanish on Jicamarca’s role in the conspiracy theorists’ version of HAARP.

Hey, I”m getting 1410 results for jicama plus HAARP.

This global electromagnetic resonance phenomenon is named after physicist Winfried Otto Schumann who predicted it mathematically in 1952. Schumann resonances occur because the space between the surface of the Earth and the conductive ionosphere acts as a closed waveguide. The limited dimensions of the Earth cause this waveguide to act as a resonant cavity for electromagnetic waves in the ELF band. The cavity is naturally excited by electric currents in lightning. Schumann resonances are the principal background in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum from 3 Hz through 60 Hz,[2] and appear as distinct peaks at extremely low frequencies (ELF) around 7.83 Hz (fundamental),[3] 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8 Hz.

In the normal mode descriptions of Schumann resonances, the fundamental mode is a standing wave in the Earth–ionosphere cavity with a wavelength equal to the circumference of the Earth. This lowest-frequency (and highest-intensity) mode of the Schumann resonance occurs at a frequency of approximately 7.83 Hz, but this frequency can vary slightly from a variety of factors, such as solar-induced perturbations to the ionosphere, which compresses the upper wall of the closed cavity.

theyer upin yous Heaviside diddling with your circadian rhythm.

theyer upin yous Heaviside diddling with your circadian rhythm.

Why? What’s their payoff?

And how do they avoid ‘inflicting’ their evil schemes on their wives, mothers, friends, and even themselves? I guess they are just some heartless sumbitches. And what happens to these evil government people when they retire? I assume they are taken care of for life. If so, how do I apply for an opening. Being Orac’s minion is a fine hobby, but I’m hoping that being a world domination minion pays better.

I spent a few years pushing electrons for various government customers as a contractor, and was invited to join them, but they never mentioned any openings for a minion.

cause this waveguide to act as a resonant cavity for electromagnetic waves in the ELF band

Given the tiny magnitude of the Schumann resonances (despite an entire planet of lightning activity pumping energy into them), I’m going to guess that (1) the ionosphere is not a very good resonator, and (2) no human input is going to make much difference.

HAARP had moderate impacts over rather small areas of the ionosphere. Quite a few of their reports are published.
But, as mentioned, electrical storms pump more energy into the ionosphere than HAARP’s measly 360 KW.

@HDB: It’s a combination of that, and the fact that lightning isn’t very efficient at exciting waves in the relevant frequency range. The Schumann resonances are a geometrical property of the Earth-ionosphere system, and they don’t correspond to any characteristic frequency of the ionospheric plasma. Lightning does a better job of exciting what are called whistler waves, which are in the VLF range. It’s much easier to get ionospheric electrons to shake at those frequencies.

Why? What’s their payoff?

IDK, maybe it is because They Live, we sleep.

…no human input is going to make much difference.

Didn’t you see the video at #28?

I mean, sure, there’s no such thing as ghost, but what else could it be? I has to be mega-watts of RF going into dozens of undercover antennas fed by invisible co-ax. Why else would they build a sports stadium right there in town, if not to join up with a grid of other sites, no two of which have a common design?


I’ve seen that movie. It’s almost embarrassing to say I sat thru the whole thing.

i hope it gets the MST3K treatment some day – it’s the only way I could watch it again and not open a vein.

If I act now, can I get a second one?
And will they also throw in a cubit??

Would you settle for a cucurbit, MarkN?
Dibs on the term “qucurbit” to describe a method of performing quantum computing that involves super-cooled quantum-coherent pumpkins and cucumbers.

HDB, are you sure that ‘qucurbit’ (or ‘cukorbit’) isn’t a long-deceased film director, with toothmarks?

If I were designing a large public monument I would definitely specify all the measurements in cubits. Then when it fell down I could describe the event as “A disaster of Biblical proportions”.

@ Wzrd1 #4

Obviously, Tesla was made of tachyons. Really, really bored tachyons.

And shortly after inventing the variable nuclear grenade, he ran away to his private asteroid and watched time wars in parallel universes.

@HDB: I know you’re joking, but if you take the Bible literally, then π = 3. In the passage where they are building the First Temple, a cylindrical object is described as having a diameter of 10 cubits and a circumference of 30 cubits.

This has nothing to do with the Indiana Pi Bill, which proposed a different incorrect value of π.

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