FBI releases catalog of Nikola Tesla's writings seized after his death

FBI releases catalog of Nikola Tesla’s writings seized after his death

Report undercuts some of the more outlandish conspiracies surrounding Tesla’s later work - except for one remarkable coincidence

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Edited by Beryl Lipton

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released an additional 64 pages of previously-processed material regarding the scientist Nikola Tesla, including a catalog of his papers seized by the U.S. government after his death in 1943.

These papers and their seizure would be the source of much controversy for the Bureau over the decades. Following an unsubstantiated claim in Tesla’s biography that the FBI held onto Tesla’s most dangerous inventions lest they fall into the wrong hands (they remained the property of the Office of Alien Property Custodian until they mysteriously disappeared after the war), Director J. Edgar Hoover dealt with dozens of letters over the years demanding the papers be made public.

While some of Telsa’s later writings do certainly sound like they’d make for interesting reading …

it was the opinion of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer who evaluated the papers that there was nothing “of significant value to this country” …

and the miscellaneous technical apparatuses found in Tesla’s apartment were not actually prototype death rays but archaic electrical instruments.

So there you have it - while not completely solving the mystery of Tesla’s missing effects, this should at least undercut some of the more outlandish conspiracies surrounding Tesla, right?

Er, not quite. The name of that MIT engineer who looked over Tesla’s papers? That’d be John G. Trump

also known as Donald Trump’s uncle.

Read the full catalog embedded below, and the rest of the release on the request page:

Image via Wikimedia Commons