Recently finished "The Fantastic Inventions of Nicola Tesla by Nicola Tesla". Any book called "the fantastic inventions of me by the author" can't be too ortho. Though it holds some interesting information, toward the back of the book it leads into the description of Tesla in Atlantis. That can't be good.
I've also been reading "The Problem of Increasing Human Energy" by Nicola Tesla (note quotation re-location). More challenging than the former, it flits from one good idea to another. Well, one seemingly good idea to another. The level of understated hyperbole is tiring--one thing that made Fantastic easier to swallow.
Tesla. Marconi. Flying saucers from the Andes. It was all okay until they said Atlantis. Why? Why is Atlantis a deal killer? I could pretend I never heard it. But I did. Why are flying saucers okay and why is Atlantis crazy? I don't know.
There was something I read earlier that talked about Tesla in his last hotel room. It talked about his pigeons. "The only friends he had left." There's something so much better about that than ATLANTIS.
Okay, back to Atlantis. It comes down to this. I can pull off the subterranean city. I can't pull off Atlantis. That's the gist. I can't suspend anyone's disbelief that far. "Ariel, The Water Princess" or whatever that Disney mess was called. That is the sort of thing that takes place in Atlantis, not this novel. I don't want anything to do with Atlantis right now.
I read today about the idea of Tunguska being attributed to Tesla. Now that is a conspiracy of a different flavor. For those of you who didn't read the recent Nat'l Geographic on comets destroying the earth, Tunguska is a region in Siberia that was flattened by a comet that burned up in the atmosphere before reaching the earth. Or that's what the folks who write Nat'l Geographic articles for the CIA say. Hundreds of reindeer, herders, hundreds of acres of forest incinerated. The article by Oliver xxx claims that Tesla was in a bad way in 1908. Creditors, lawyers, former employees suing the pants off him. His lab in Colorado Springs leveled and sold for scrap (philistines!). And Marconi, that Marconi, getting credit left and right for things that were old hat to the T Man.
Oliver says that Tunguska was leveled by Tesla's Death Ray. He proposes that, in a fit of hunger for fame and glory, Tesla fired the ray at the north pole, just as Admiral Perry was just about to become the first American to land. Think of it: "Tesla beats Perry to the North Pole!" The world would be his oyster! Tesla was in a weakened mental state, so perhaps poor judgment would have allowed this flailing grasp. Who knows. Certainly no one has owned up to it. Oh, Tunguska is in the same great circle as Long Island. Long Island, of course, is where the iconic, JP Morgan-funded, Waldenclyffe Tower stood from where he would have sent the charge.
Could all those early Superman animated shorts have been wrong about the mad scientist?
Tesla's ardent pacifism is one other point to consider. The underground city in the Andes (Venezuela, as stated in the former book) was supposed to have been Marconi's idea. Others have guessed (during red zinger breaks at the Atlantis Lives! Meet Up) Tesla was drawn to the utopian city, urged to fake his own death (like Marconi) and ride Marconi's design for anti-gravitic flight over the Equator. Let's think on it. Marconi was taking orders from Mussolini. The Pope (Jorge Luis XI) had Mussolini yank Marconi's leash when the Italian Death Ray was shown off. Other accounts of la Ciudad Subteranea describe U-boats with German scientists heading for the coast of South America. The notes that latin american journalists wake up with in their hands give one, unequivocal message. No war. Who has co-opted whom? It's all so sloshed together now. That's food for fiction.
I was going to say, good for fiction.
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