TRAIL FROM TESLA TO STAR WARS
After she returned home to Vancouver, Canada, Manning reported to a
new friend who wanted to hear about the Tesla conference. He was
John Hutchison, an inventor who had discovered an anomalous
"anti-gravity" effect some years earlier while he had been restoring
antique electrical equipment and building Tesla coils. During the
previous years, unofficial delegations from Canadian and United
States military groups had visited his laboratory to see the
Now he was working alone; the visitors had
apparently learned all that they came to learn. His requests for
copies of the videos they filmed in his laboratory were met with
"sorry; we destroyed all those videos because there wasn't anything
He didn't believe it.
John Hutchison told Manning some of the amusing twists of his search
for reports about his experiments.
"I was phoning the Pentagon and
asking for 'John South', because I was told that was the name of one
of the guys who were here in my lab. By chance a secretary put me
through to the man I described, and it turns out his name was Col.
The name would come up again more than five years later, as Manning
gradually found out what else could be done with "Tesla technology" -
so-called nonlethal weaponry. John Hutchison described Col.
Alexander as a handsome, personable man who was a fun guy to be
around throughout the days of the "anti-gravity" experiments in the
Hutchison had leisure time to chat with Manning in a now-silent
laboratory. He shared Tesla lore about beamed weaponry, and told her
that the Soviet Union was mysteriously experimenting with
radio-frequency signals, beaming them toward North America.
Beginning in late 1976 he had been one of many ham radio operators
who began picking up the 10-Hertz (cycles, "beats" or pulses per
second) frequencies on radio receivers.
Hams called these signals
"the Soviets' Woodpecker" because of the sharp tapping they heard
from the extremely low frequency (ELF) waves. Some researchers
speculated that the Woodpecker signal was a Tesla-type weapon for
mind control, because the ELF was at a frequency which could
resonate with neurons in the human brain, and the transmission could
be a carrier wave that was modulated (varied in amplitude, frequency
or phase) to carry a hidden effect.
"Spoo-kyyy," she joked, dismissing what seemed to be a paranoid
29 Frederic Jueneman, "Innovative Notebook", Industrial Research
magazine, February 1974.
Manning learned more about
Nikola Testa two years later, after another symposium in Colorado
Springs. One of the papers in the proceedings of that meeting was by
a historian and psychology professor, Dr. Marc Seifer. She would
recall it years later when learning about unpublicized experiments
in lighting up the upper atmosphere.
Seifer gave Tesla credit for inventing fluorescent lights, just as
the revered American inventor Thomas Edison is the inventor of the
incandescent light bulb. The biographer notes that Tesla and Edison
clashed over Edison's insistence that the country should stick to
his direct current (DC) technologies for electrical lighting and
power distribution. Tesla's AC system was better because AC
electricity can travel hundreds of miles over power lines at high
voltages, while a wire carrying DC would be unable to light bulbs a
mile away from the generating plant.
Strangely, Edison was the one who was lionized in American history
books. One of the stories that is told and retold, for example, is
how he sent men to the Amazon to look for materials for the best
filament for his light bulb. Edison's persistence is highly praised.
However, most people today are unaware that Tesla's demonstrations
showed the filament to be superfluous - not needed for electric
lights. Using very high-frequencies (increased vibrations of the
electrical current), he showed that the action of the air was more
important than the filament. And thus he out-'Edisoned' Edison, said
Seifer pulled together parts from 53 reference works, in his
presentation "Nikola Tesla: The History of Lasers and Particle Beam
For an example of Tesla research, two brothers, both
scientists, traveled to the Tesla Museum in Yugoslavia and read
materials not available in North America.
They suggested that Testa's particle-beam work evolved from his pioneering experiments
with X-rays, as well as from his idea of lighting up the skies with
his "magnifying transmitter" by beaming up electrical energy to the
stratosphere (a level of the atmosphere above the clouds - about
seven to thirty-one miles above the ground).
"That would be some light-up display!" Manning thought as she read
However, she wondered about the wisdom of treating the
upper atmosphere as if it were merely gases in a giant fluorescent
She winced as she read a list of military uses for Tesla's many
inventions: earthquake contrivances, world radar, particle beam
weapons and brain wave manipulation.
"One or more magnifying
transmitters could theoretically send destructive impulses through
the earth to any location," said Seifer. "For instance, a
well-placed jolt of many millions of volts could theoretically
destroy the communications network of any major city."
30 Dr. Marc J. Seifer, "Nikola Tesla: The History of Lasers and
Particle Beam Weapons", Proceedings of 1988 International Tesla
Seifer had been intrigued
by issues that emerged from his investigation:
- Particle beam weaponry was such a
high-level secret that President Jimmy Carter, for example, "was
screened from vital technical developments by the bureaucracy of
the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency" (according to General
George Keegan, former head of Air Force Intelligence) - Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio, was mentioned, in
regard to the air force base's use of bright young geniuses to
attempt a breakthrough in Tesla technology
Based on FBI files as well as other literature,
"Great support is lent to the hypothesis that Tesla's work and
papers were systematically hidden from public view in order to
protect the trail of this top secret work, which today is known as
It was a paradox, Nikola Tesla's name was indeed invoked when
describing proposed technologies that are as potentially
planet-cleansing as "free energy" non-polluting power generation. At
the same time he was credited with inventing weapons which could be
used for the Strategic Defense Initiative (S.D.I., popularly known
as Star Wars).
And his "wireless power" engineering experiments may
have led to a disaster in Siberia, Manning later learned from
scientist Oliver Nichelson. Tesla's love of nature seemed to be a
contradiction to his desire to arrogantly manipulate it - to light up
the sky. Over the next nine years, she had occasions to think about
the deep frustration in Gregory's eyes at the Tesla conference as he
described the professor's attitude of "We'll just have to try it,
and find out."
Meanwhile one would-be god of the elements wasn't pulling any
punches. A Texan, Dr. Bernard Eastlund, aimed his sights high-up to
the ionosphere. In 1990 Gregory sent Manning a copy of a 1987 patent
which cited Nikola Tesla under the heading "prior art". He suggested
she send for the audiotape of a National Public Radio interview with Eastlund.
Manning was astonished when she read the patent, titled "A Method
and Apparatus for Altering a Region of the Earth's Atmosphere,
Ionosphere and Magnetosphere". Whichever way she looked at it, the
proposed high-power beaming of radio frequency energy into the upper
atmosphere sounded insane. For example, the patent said the
technology could manipulate global weather systems. Gregory had been
sending her articles which indicated that electric forces do affect
the weather, so it came as no surprise.
More horrifying, she remembered what a brilliant physicist by the
name of Walter Richmond had written about a possible technology
which sounded very much like Eastlund's concept. The late Walter
Richmond and anthropologist Leigh Richmond wrote a book titled
Lost Millennium, using the novel format to get their ideas out to
the world. A disastrous technology described as a "solar tap" in the
book was startlingly similar to aspects of Eastlund's patent.31
Walter and Leigh Richmond. The Lost Millennium. Interdimensional
Sciences Inc., Lakemont, Georgia 1967.
heaters beam power from antennae on the ground up to the ionosphere,
and the Richmonds' "solar tap" concept goes the other direction, both
involve connecting the earth with the ionosphere. The novel
described a solar tap that just wouldn't quit. It began from a
technology that started on the ground, from which engineers beamed
up a pathway for some of the ionospheric electricity to ride back
This planetary short-circuit usually blew out in a fraction
of a second, but one day the fictional engineers made a fatal
mistake. They kept a solar tap going while a solar flare surged into
the ionosphere and then to the ground via the ionized pathway of the
"And the surge of power from the tap became an avalanche. An
avalanche at the pole in the vertical plane of the planet's magnetic
field where the winds of magnetism would not rise to blow it out.
One trillion watt-seconds of energy unleashed their fury on the
polar cap in the first flash... Even as it discharged, the ionosphere
was recharged from the solar furnace.
The first flash became a
mighty roar that poured an increased and now steady stream... of
energy through the now-stabilized short circuit. Kilocubit after
square kilocubit of frozen wasteland boiled. Watt after watt of
ever-increasing avalanche energy lit the polar cap with a glare that
had never before been seen..."
Could such a disaster happen in real life?
Manning reread the
introduction to The Lost Millennium. It said that in 1962 Walter
Richmond was researching atmospheric electricity and developed the
theory of what the couple called the solar tap - a source of abundant
power from the electrical current that exists as a "potential"
between the ground and the ionosphere.
"The physics is exact. The
power is there for the tapping".
Such massive amounts of power would be distributed by broadcasting
"which Nikola Tesla had proven could be done, before 1911".
two scientists believed that automobiles, industries and homes could
be tuned into broadcast power, just as radios are tuned to certain
frequencies. The bad news was that unless carefully handled,
broadcast power would resonate with the structural steel of
buildings in a destructive way, Richmond said.
Manning's attention was caught by the scientists' own life story. In
1963 the Richmonds' took their research papers on the solar tap to
then-President John F. Kennedy's science advisor. They planned to
also take them to the United Nations Science Advisory Committee.
Instead they received a shock from their government.
"Our papers were placed under the Secrecy label (Secrecy Act
legislation) and we were offered a government contract for research,
which we refused. It would have placed us under the Secrecy
Syndrome, in which we had refused for some years to take part, Leigh
wrote. We were told to sit down and shut up, in no uncertain terms."
The vision of the fictional solar tap lingered in Manning's mind.
The book described an experiment-gone-wrong that started an
unquenchable avalanche of electrons. A character in the book said
"the power's there. Enough to blow up the Earth if it's misused."
Is this what the late
Walter Richmond knew, that had to be placed under the Secrecy Act?
If the electrical power of the ionosphere avalanched onto Earth in a
continuous flow, his book's character said, it would,
"burn hell out of the spot where it touched Earth Empty the
capacitor that's the ionosphere, and feed directly from the solar
wind. Earth's an electrical motor...When the motor began to run
wild, it would increase its rotational speed...Eventually the Earth
would explode from increased centrifugal stress."
Manning read the novel's description of the fiery, steamy noisy
destruction of a planet.
"A shock wave, racing at the speed of
sound...toppling great cities..."
Destruction continued for days,
and the planet "whipped about on its axis like a thing tortured."
The Richmonds' novel vividly raised questions about the wisdom of
pulsing a radio-frequency beam which could make an ionized (and
therefore electrically-conducting) channel between earth and the
Even if there were no danger of accidentally tapping into the
ionospheric powerhouse and getting zapped in return, disrupting a
part of the upper atmosphere violently is in itself a dangerous
experiment, she later was told by independent scientists.32
Ionospheric heaters were nothing new, Manning had learned from
articles sent her from Gregory. However, Eastlund's invention made
it possible to stab the ionosphere with a much more powerful and
more focused beam.
A few years later Gregory telephoned and said in a choked voice,
"The maniacs are actually going to do it. In Alaska."
The U.S. Navy and Air Force would be paying a contractor,
Technologies Inc., to build a super-powerful ionospheric heater - an
array of antennae - in the Alaskan bush outside of Anchorage. Over
the next year Gregory mailed her articles, on ionospheric heaters
and related topics, which he found in science journals dating back
to the 1970's. He gave her the phone number for a man named Clare Zickuhr in Anchorage.
Gregory became increasingly angry and
pessimistic about the state of his planet's health, and eventually
sent his entire file on ionospheric heaters to her.
"I give up. I've
written to everyone I could think of. You're a journalist; do
something with this."
His words and the thought of what he called "mad science in our sky"
weighed on her, but she was again employed as a reporter for a daily
newspaper in a British Columbia city and had no time for starting
any campaign. One day she photocopied excerpts from the file, wrote
an introductory page, and gave the packet to the managing editor at
the newspaper. He sent it to the newspaper chain's columnist in
Ottawa, but the man never published a word about ionospheric
In early 1994 she telephoned a reporter at the Anchorage paper;
Gregory had said the man was writing an article about the project
that would beam so much power up to the ionosphere for military
32 Dr.Richard Williams, Physics and Society and interview with Adam Trombly, physicist.
In a discouraged tone of voice the reporter said that his
editor was not interested in art investigative story of any depth
about the project; the stance of the paper was that the military's
infusion of money would provide jobs. Manning photocopied her
now-thick file on the topic of ionospheric heaters and electric
weather forces and sent it to the reporter anyway.
Her next call was to Clare Zickuhr. A year later, she would be in
Alaska interviewing him and others who were concerned about the
"skybuster", as Dr. Richard Williams of Princeton had named the
proposed super-powerful ionospheric heater.
The sequence of events
that took her to Anchorage began when Dennis Specht, an anti-nuclear
activist then living in Alaska, sent a news item to an Australian
"(HAARP) should be carefully studied by large groups of independent
Dr. Patrick Flanagan