The earthquake machine of Nikola Tesla!

Nikola Tesla is known for his work on electricity and energy. He created alternating current, which made long-distance power transmission possible and worked on wireless communication and energy transfer. Brilliant intellect, yet weird. Because of his mysterious nature, conspiracy theorists may find him fascinating. As a result of Tesla’s work, UFOs were contacted, the Tunguska explosion was produced by a death-ray, and an earthquake generator was also developed.

Tesla's electro-mechanical oscillator, steam-powered electric generator patented by Nikola Tesla in 1893.
Tesla’s electro-mechanical oscillator, steam-powered electric generator patented by Nikola Tesla in 1893. © Image Source: Wikimedia Commons | Enhanced by MRU (public domain)

This one is founded on a real-world occurrence. A gadget that Tesla referred to as an “electromechanical oscillator” was patented and invented by him. He postulated that since every substance in the universe possesses a “resonance frequency” that is unique to itself, this property can be manipulated. His device was designed to produce a mechanical resonance matching that of any object.

Conspiracy theorists consider the circumstances surrounding this invention to be legendary. Tesla established a laboratory at 46 East Houston Street in Manhattan. It is said that one day, while he was conducting experiments with his mechanical oscillator, he matched the frequency of the oscillator to the resonance frequency of the building he was in. All of the structures in the area were constructed out of the same materials, which were primarily brick and wood, and they were significantly less robust than modern steel and concrete structures.

Tesla sitting in front of a spiral coil used in his wireless power experiments at his East Houston St. laboratory
Nikola Tesla sitting in front of a spiral coil used in his wireless power experiments at his East Houston St. laboratory © Image Credit: Tonnelé and Co. (Public Domain)

The machine got stuck in the On position, and while he tried to turn it off, the buildings all around 46 East Houston began to shake, more and more violently, until residents called the police to report an earthquake.

Some people were close enough to hear the machine, and they followed the bass, vibrating noise it was making to a room. When they broke down the door, they found Nikola Tesla frantically trying to destroy the machine by pounding on it with a sledgehammer. He succeeded just as they were about to approach him, and at that moment, the noise and the trembling both ceased, and the buildings became stable.

Even though the machine had yet to cause damage to any of them, but Tesla wrote letters to various business interests declaring that had he had kept it running for an additional minute or so, the walls would have started to crack, and the buildings would have collapsed.

This anecdote may not be true. Tesla claims it to be in his writings, but skeptics doubt whether he was telling the truth, or whether the writings are forgeries. This conspiracy theory became so prominent that it made it onto an episode of Mythbusters.”

The machine was built according to Tesla’s specifications, switched on, and used to try to bring down a bridge. The mechanical resonance theory proved true: an “I” beam began to oscillate until it was waving like a pendulum, 16 feet with each oscillation, but the bridge did not appear to weaken or shake violently, and no damage was reported. But the experiment failed to consider the building materials of Tesla’s day.

This theory includes some very strong supporting evidence in the form of the catastrophic collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the year 1940. On November 7, the bridge started to wave and sway so violently that it resembled the slithering of a snake. This was captured on film, and it was well documented by a large number of witnesses.

Because there was no audible vibration, the scientists concluded that the wind was to blame for blowing over and under the bridge at the precise moment of the bridge’s mechanical resonance. What happened is legendary: the film of the bridge collapsing can be found on YouTube, among other websites.

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapsing in 7 November 1940.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapsing in 7 November 1940. © Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

The entire structure disintegrated in an instant and plummeted into pieces in the water of Puget Sound. This is a lesson that is currently taught all around the world to architects and engineers.

Conspiracy theorists have also questioned whether the Mythbusters show designed the device correctly. The fact that no one is currently working on building the device and using it for the purpose of terrorism is cause to believe that although the patent exists, and there are schematics available for free on the Internet, the U. S. government must have hoarded Tesla’s invention at his death when the FBI broke into his NY apartment and stole all his work from his safe.

It is true that the FBI has not published any of these works, and they continue to refuse to do so. There is a good chance that the electromechanical oscillator is one of them. What do you think?