In 1899, Nikola Tesla was testing a transmitter he had built to track storms 620 miles away, when he suddenly believed he had received some sort of transmission from an unknown source.
He thought it was an extraterrestrial signal originating somewhere within our solar system, possibly coming from Mars. Tesla’s transmitter was ultra sensitive enough to receive radio waves from far beyond Earth.
Nikola Tesla firmly believed that it was absurd to think that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe. He also believed that intelligent beings would naturally look for ways to communicate with other intelligent beings.
Tim R. Swartz, a well-known Nikola Tesla biographer, says there may have been a connection between the futuristic inventor and intelligent aliens, according to his semi-autobiographical book The Lost Papers by Nikola Tesla. Here’s what he says:
“He said it sounded like people talking to each other. He took notes saying that he was actually hearing intelligent beings from another planet talking to each other, although he didn’t know what language they were speaking in. But he felt he understood them.”
When interviewed in February 1901 by Collier’s Weekly (American magazine founded in 1888 by Peter Collier), Tesla gave this account and recorded his belief in extraterrestrials. Here, in his own words, he described:
“While I was improving my machines for producing intense electrical currents, I was also perfecting the means to observe small effects. One of the most interesting results, and also of great practical importance, was the development of certain devices to indicate at a distance of many hundreds of miles an approaching storm, its direction, speed and distance covered.
It was in carrying out this work that I first discovered these mysterious effects which have aroused such unusual interest. I had so perfected the aforementioned device that from my laboratory in the mountains of Colorado I could observe all the electrical changes that took place within a radius of more than 620 miles.
I will never forget the first sensations I experienced when I realized that I had observed something of incalculable consequences for humanity. I felt as if I was present at the birth of new knowledge or the revelation of a great truth. My first observations positively terrified me, for there was something mysterious in them, not to say supernatural, and I was alone in my laboratory at night; but at that time the idea that these disturbances were intelligently controlled signals had not yet presented itself to me.
The changes I noticed were occurring periodically and with such clear precision, in terms of number and order, that they were not traceable to any cause known to me. I was familiar, of course, with the types of electrical disturbances produced by the Sun, Aurora Borealis, and terrestrial currents, and I was absolutely certain that these variations were due to none of these causes.
The nature of my experiments precluded the possibility that the changes were produced by atmospheric perturbations, as has been erroneously asserted by some. It was some time later when the thought came to my mind that the disturbances I had observed might be due to intelligent control.
Although I could not, at the time, decipher their meaning, it was impossible to think of them as having been entirely accidental. The feeling that I was the first to hear a greeting from one planet to the other has been steadily growing in me. A purpose was behind these electrical signals.”
The crucial point was that although Nikola Tesla could not decipher the meaning of the messages he received, he believed that aliens were interested in Earth and, being more technologically advanced, left their mark on our planet. He was absolutely convinced that somewhere in the universe there were intelligent life forms and that they were trying to communicate with us.