No SETI program has ever found a verifiable alien radio signal. For four decades, researchers have sporadically scanned the heavens for any radio signal that an advanced civilisation may have emitted into the vastness of the galaxy. Of course, we are still in the early days of SETI, and the lack of success to date cannot be used to infer that ET civilisations do not exist. Essentially all major SETI programs here on Earth are based on the reception of Hertzian radio waves. For this reason, little has been published on the complementary problem: What would it take to build a radio-transmitting system that would have even the slightest chance of being detected by a receiver tens or hundreds of light-years away? The exercise is not a mere abstraction - as SETI specialists have long realised, it would be impossible to mount a credible search and receiving effort without having some ideas about the transmission system and strategy that would likely be used on the other end.

Wireless transmission of intelligence is a modern satisfaction of one of the oldest craving of man, who has always sought the annihilation of distance by communication through space without material linkage over the intervening expanse. When radio was born around the turn of the 20th century, various inventors, who are not celebrated today, created their own peculiar radio technologies, which are largely ignored today. Among these inventors is Nikola Tesla. He said the radio physics of Hertz, still in vogue, was an 'aberration,' a 'fiction.' Maxwell's theory is insufficient to guarantee professional livehood in those disciplines. He described the scientific theory of wireless communication through the transmission of electrical energy by ether waves. Between 1878 and 1890 Hertz devised apparatus for achieving that result which was described by de Tunzelmann in a series of articles published in the London Electrician in 1888. Hertz recognised the importance of resonance and provided means for securing it by tuning both his transmitting and receiving circuits to the same frequency, by adjusting the capacity of each. Lodge, writing in the London Electrician in 1894, elaborated further on the discoveries of Hertz and on his own experiments along the same line. In 1892, Crookes published an article in the Fortnightly Review in which he definitely suggested the use of Herzian waves for wireless telegraphy and pointed out that the method of achieving that result was to be found in the use and improvement of then known means of generating electrical waves of any desired wave length, to be transmitted through the ether to a receiver, both sending and receiving instruments being attuned to a definite wave length. A year later Tesla, who was then preoccupied with the wireless transmission of power for use in lighting or for the operation of dynamos, proposed, in a lecture before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the use of adjustable high frequency oscillations for wireless transmission of signals. When Tesla left the Westinghouse plant in the fall of 1889, he had immediately turned to the next phase of his development of the alternating-current field a new system of distributing energy by means of high-frequency alternating currents which would be a far more magnificent discovery than his polyphase system. Within the next two years he had explored the principles by which energy could be distributed broadcast without the use of wires, and these he had demonstrated with powerful coils in his laboratory. The distribution of intelligence, later called 'wireless', was but a single phase of his world-wide system. Tesla described, in 1892, the first electronic tube designed for use as a detector in a radio system, and demonstrated its characteristics in his lectures in London and Paris of that year. The tube, however, had been developed in 1890. This, then, had been the situation in the scientific world when Tesla began his work in 1899. The plan for wireless communication which he presented in 1892 and 1893, as will be described in a moment, shows how his magnificent concept and tremendously advanced knowledge towered mountain high over all contemporaries. The man who, next to Tesla, is entitled to the greatest amount of credit is Sir Oliver Lodge, the great English scientist. Even Lodge, failed to grasp the fundamental picture that Tesla presented. Lodge, in 1894, had put a Hertz spark gap in a copper cylinder open at one end; and in this way he produced a beam of ultra-short wave oscillations which could be transmitted in any direction. In the summer of that year, in a demonstration before the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford, he send Morse signals, with an improved set, between two buildings separated by several hundred feet. It is little wonder, then, that Marconi, who started his studies of wireless in 1895, created no stir in the scientific circles in England when he came from Italy to London in 1896 with a wireless set that in every essential feature was the same as that demonstrated by Lodge in 1894. He used a parabolic reflector, so his set was little more than an electrical searchlight. He did, however, bring an alternative feature to replace the parabolic beam reflector. This was a ground connection and antenna, or aerial wire, for both sending and receiving set. This was exactly what Tesla had described in his plan published three years before. Marconi's patent which was granted July 13, 1897, disclosed a two-circuit system for the transmission and reception of Hertzian waves. The Tesla patent No. 645,576, applied for September 2, 1897, disclosed a four-circuit system, having two circuits each at transmitter and receiver, and recommended that all four circuits be tuned to the same frequency. Tesla's apparatus was devised primarily for the transmission of energy to any form of energy-consuming device by using the rarefied atmosphere at high elevations as a conductor when subjected to the electrical pressure of a very high voltage. But he also recognised that his apparatus could, without change, be used for wireless communication. Marconi succeeded in December 1901 in receiving at St. John's, Newfoundland, signals transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean from Poldhu in Cornwall, England. This achievement created an immense sensation in every part of the civilised world; and, though much remained to be learned about the laws of propagation of radio waves around the earth and through the atmosphere, it was the starting point of the vast development of radio communications, broadcasting in the next 100 years, in much of which Marconi himself continued to play an important part. The inescapable fact is that Marconi in his basic patent hit upon something that had eluded the best brains of the time working on the problem of wireless communication-Clerk Maxwell and Sir Oliver Lodge and Nikola Tesla. Genius is a word that ought to be reserved for the rarest of gifts. The fact is that Marconi did not have the 'flash'. The search was at the pinnacle of electrical knowledge. Among those were Tesla, Lodge and Stone, old hands and great ones. With them was Marconi, still young and obsessed with youth's zeal for the hunt. Marconi received many honours and several honorary degrees: awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1909 as inventor for the development of wireless telegraphy. Guglielmo Marconi died in Rome on July 20, 1937, and was accorded a state funeral by the Italian government. In 1943, only a few months after Tesla's death, the U.S. Supreme Court, yielding finally to the pressure of a suit fought over 27 years, declared that Tesla's radio patents were among those that had been infringed upon by Marconi and thus, in effect, wrote into the official record Tesla's status as a founder of radio. This was a purely symbolic victory, for Tesla's radio was suppressed, and the technology that developed is distinctly different in many essential respects.

In 1927 Tesla said that broadcasting 'is now carried out with unfit apparatus and on a commercially defective plan.' Of radio technology generally he said in 1932 that 'the transmitting and receiving apparatus is ill-conceived and not well adapted for selection. The transmitter generates several systems of waves, all of which, except one, are useless. As a consequence only an infinitesimal amount of energy reaches the receiver, and dependence is placed on extreme amplification.' 'Radio experimenters of this age,' Tesla said of the hams of 1934, 'are following ancient theories.' By this he meant backward theories. His favourite backward theorist was Heinrich Hertz, who saw the phenomenon of radio as some kind of straight-line radiation akin to light. Tesla said Hertz theory was was 'one of the most remarkable and inexplicable aberrations of the scientific mind which has ever been recorded in history.' Tesla reports that he had carefully reviewed Hertz experiments, conducted comparative tests with his own brand of radio and had come to a different set of conclusions. In 1897 Tesla filed patent 645,576 and patent 649,621 of March 1900. Unlike other radio experimenters of the time who worked either with damped oscillations at very high frequencies, Tesla investigated undamped oscillations in the low HF range. While others principally developed Hertz's apparatus with a spark-gap. In 1899, Tesla moved to Colorado Springs for a variety of reasons; to ascertain the laws of propagation of currents through the earth and atmosphere. The plan was actually quite simple; he assumed that the earth had a resonant frequency and therefore could be measured and utilised as a gigantic carrier wave from which you could send electrical energy via the electromagnetic grid of the earth itself, or bounce it off the ionosphere or through the upper atmosphere. 'Oscillations of low frequency, are ever so much more effective in transmission, which is inconsistent with the prevailing idea,' said Tesla. Radio at low frequencies delivers more distance per watt. With a very low-frequency receiver, you can hear the sounds of natural radio. Tesla listened to the sounds of VLF radio and conjectured that among the disturbances were signals from other planets; ETs signals can be heard using nothing more than headphones connected between antenna and ground.The propagation of radio signals and wireless power Tesla saw as a matter of conduction. Tesla's radio-conductive path was not a circuit in the conventional sense but was modelled on the single-wire without-return principle that he demonstrated in his high-frequency, high-voltage lighting system. Radio-conduction can happen either through the earth or through the sky. Conventional theory never hints at radio propagation being anything like conduction but represents it as some kind of radiation. This is more than a textbook convention; a whole science of antenna design for the search of ETs is based on this assumption, which Tesla dismissed.

Hertzian radio has us all conditioned to thinking in terms of aerial radio: 'the air waves,' 'on the air.' Extreme importance is placed on the antenna and its configurations, which can become Byzantine. But Tesla's radio is not aerial. It is ground-conduction. The lower end of the energised coil is rooted in the earth. Pure Hertzian radio has no such natural load. Modern radio regards earth ground as an electronic toxic waste dump to which noise is conducted. Tesla said radio 'should be designed with due regard to the physical properties of the planet and the electrical conditions obtaining in same.' As this analysis suggests, the use of Hertzian radio waves for sending a signal off into the galaxy for making interstellar contact is discouraging. The galaxy's enormous distances inevitably require fantastic measures-moreover, in galactic terms, 100 light-years is a minuscule distance. The time delay before a response to a message could be received might very well stretch into many centuries.

Tesla believed Hertzian aerial radio was a waste of energy. He suggests that there is some radiation component in a radio transmission but that it is a weak and incidental output. How much power must ET deliver to our distant receiving antenna to overcome this with Hertzian-like radio? To calculate that value, we first note that noise power in the receiver depends on the frequency range, also known as bandwidth, of the receiver. Thus, in order to detect the weakest possible signal, the bandwidth should be restricted to the smallest value that will accommodate the anticipated signal. The power needed from our distant transmitter to deliver wave-energy depends on how far away we are. It also depends on whether we are transmitting the signal in all directions, more or less, or beaming it in a narrow cone. For the distance, let us arbitrarily pick 100 light-years. Applying the inverse-square relation, we can calculate the power required from ET's transmitter radiating omnidirectionally at that distance; for comparison, it is more than 7,000 times the electricity-generating capacity of the U.S. These are not trivial results, unless supercivilisations have miraculously repealed the second law of thermodynamics, they would need to dump their waste heat. A portion of the HF signal transmitted by ET to existing electrons or ions making up their ionospheric plasma through a process called absorption, thus raising the local effective temperature on their planet. Work at active ionospheric research facilities like HAARP has shown that it is possible to raise this temperature by as much as 30% during transmission, which on long terms results in climate change effects, or global warming.

That ball sticking up in the air that is so symbolic of Tesla's radio: What is it? Some sort of antenna? Tesla never referred to it as an antenna but as an 'aerial' or 'air capacity' or as an 'elevated capacity'. Tesla did not see the elevated ball as a radiator, which is how the transmitting antenna or receiving antenna of conventional Hertzian radio is construed. On his Colorado magnifying transmitter, Tesla used a hollow copper sphere only 30 inches in diameter. Like his antenna it was thickly coated with rubber insulation. The notion of aerial capacity has little currency outside Tesla-land. What would antennas be like if they were reinvented, not as senders and receivers of Hertzian radiation, but as aerial capacitors? Tesla calculated the frequencies and pulsings of his transmitters with an eye to resonating the earth. Earth resonance is fundamental to Tesla's grounded radio and wireless power. Looking at the Colorado project from the technical point of view, Tesla was in an unknown field and clearly needed to experiment in order to determine a workable plan for distributing light, information and electrical power by means of wireless. As far as he knew, Marconi, who onley planned to transmit Morse code, was still making use of a primitive, yet effective contraption. Having experimented with Hertzian pulsed frequencies, he realised for a variety of reasons that continuous currents and his wireless model were vastly superior, the Tesla currents were much less susceptible to static interference. The most thoroughly examined frequency channel to date, around 1.42 gigahertz, corresponds to the emission line of the most common element in the universe, hydrogen- on the premise that if extraterrestrials had to pick some frequency to attract our attention, this would be a supposed natural choice.

Neither Lenard, Crookes, Roentgen, Tesla or other researchers knew what they were dealing with in terms of 'rays' up to that time. They, as well as other investigators, were at the forefront of investigation, undertaking researches to answer the fundamental questions of the nature of rays and particles. In the 1897 Academy of Sciences lecture, Tesla demonstrated a source of powerful rays which he described as more powerful than any before available. The source of the rays was an arc between closely-spaced electrodes in vacuum, now recognised as extreme ultraviolet radiation. What was Tesla really looking for in his research and experimentation with vacuum discharge tubes? His statements about using the tubes in the receiving and detection of wireless signals offers clues. In his lecture before the Academy, Tesla often referred to Lenard- and Roentgen-streams and tubes; he obviously considered Lenard and Roentgen to hold equal priority in the discovery of the X ray. The Lenard or Crookes tube, as well as Lenard's experimentation, were of particular interest to Tesla in that cathode rays (streams of electrons) actually emanated from the aluminium window opposite the cathode of the tube and proceeded a few centimetres into the air. The speculation about Tesla's moving electrons is, perhaps, only the beginning of the story to understand ETs transmitters. Tesla's December 2, 1896 communication to the Electrical Review refers to a 'material stream' projecting from the single-electrode bulb and he later remarks, 'Roentgen gave us a gun to fire-a wonderful gun, indeed, projecting missiles of a thousendfold greater penetrative power than that of a cannon ball, and carrying them probably to distances of many miles, with velocities not producible in any other way we know of'. Tesla's experiments in Colorado demonstrated his understanding of how to separate the mass of heavy and light gas molecules such as mercury and hydrogen by means of high voltage potential. Tesla undoubtedly tried mercury ions in his June 26, 1899 antenna. If so, he must have noticed a strong charge separation when using AC current, not DC, and instructed everyone to keep it confidential. Many hypothetical scenarios come to mind, but one thing is clear: Tesla was trying mercury and hydrogen plasmas that generate ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet rays always accompany mercury plasma in a vacuum. These experiments would lead to a mercury rectifier. The result was Tesla's sought after sinusoidal Power Wave. Now let us speculate on evidence indicating that Tesla may have had a mercury rectifier inside his antenna. At high voltage and power, the mercury arc or plasma would generate much heat. Maybe that is why Tesla chose heavy iron pipe for his antenna. At high temperatures iron retains its strength, unlike copper or tin. After hydrogen and electrodes were installed, the hole could be plugged up with a device that would monitor to what extent the inside of the antenna was being evacuated. With Tesla's mercury rectifier, oscilloscope, and calorimetric chamber Geissler tube, it would have been possible for him to monitor the evacuation of the antenna and to see that the necessary sine wave was produced for propagation through and around the earth. The selection of optical magnification must have been the World's first oscilloscope for amplitude selection or vertical gain. The clockwork would be the horizon scan rate or frequency. Tesla must have wanted to be very secretive not to have patented this wonderful test instrument and the mercury rectifier, because Tesla was using DC for wireless transmissions. However, Tesla's special instrument to exactly determine wavelength and phase seems to correspondence with the Antikythera device. This ancient Greek clockwork was not intended that could work out and exhibit the motions of sun and planets. Evidence suggest that it was quite different from planetary models known to us. What the Antikythera device for determining wavelengths and phase shows is that the ancient world did in fact have higher science than we had previously given it credit for. At the Hathor Temple at Dendera, Egypt, is found an unusual depiction of what appears to be an ancient electrical device. In the petroglyph, attendants are holding two 'electric lamps' supported by 'Djed' pillars and connected via cables to a box. The Dendera wall carving may be a Crookes Tube to generate powerful ultraviolet rays to conduct lower frequencies into the atmosphere. Such device of the petroglyph is known as Tesla' invention and applications of 'Single Electrode X-Ray Directed Discharges for Power Processing, Terrestrial Resonances and Particle Beam. Research indicates that Tesla was looking for methods of moving electrons with such devices as open-air diodes or even relativistic electron-beam (REB) diodes, which, if viewed as they are built today, including power supply, resemble closely a Tesla Coil and a Crookes Tube. So as the Egyption illustration suggest. Intragalactically speaking, this simple machine is all what ET needs for interplanetary communications in the universe to contact us. The Great Pyramid remind us in each essential part to Tesla-like technique. Suppose that the upper shafts were filled with mercury and hydrogen to generate ultraviolet rays. The coffer (capacitor bank) inside the King' chamber was specifically tuned to frequency 'A' 438 cycles per second. So far known is this a lower harmonic of a so-called 'atmospheric' frequency. Other evidence are the 'take of angles' for multi-hop transmissions to ionospheric layers. Did you now, that the mysterious 1947 Roswell ultraviolet morse-radio signal includes the wavelengths of the Great Pyramid and even those of the Dendera device and that Tesla with his Colorado transmitter in Dec. 1900 archived communications with an extraterrestrial transmitter, at that time on surface of Mars. (prof. Pickering, Harvard Observatory, Jan 16, 1901, New York Times- and Philadelphia North American, May 18, 1902. 'Lord Kelvin believes ET now signalling America.')

'The ground should be made with great care with the object of reducing its resistance,' said Tesla. To ground his Colorado magnifying transmitter, Tesla buried a 20x20 inch copper screen 12 feet down in the arid soil. A follower of Tesla, James Harris Rogers, (patent 1,349,104 of 1918.) patented a radio system in which both sending and receiving antennas were sunk completely underground or underwater. Rogers had its own doubt about Hertzian radio. The U.S. Navy used secretly in WWI the Rogers underground system and archieved superior signal strength. An editorial by the famous editor Hugo Gernsbach in the March 1919 issue of the Electrical Experimenter predicted that 'the greatest pride of the radio amateur, the aerial on top of his house is doomed. As for commercial stations their towers are doomed shortly for the scrap heap.' Tesla himself had said,' The great amount of energy which can be conveyed to a receiving circuit by conduction through the ground, makes it appear possible that the necessity of elevating terminals... may be dispensed with. Gernsbach, who published much on Tesla in his time, said, 'All our pet theories on wireless are thrown into chaos,' and predicted 'a war to the knife between our wave-propagation theorist and the new school of ground-impulse savants.'

Beneath Tesla's Wardencliffe tower for earth resonance, a shaft descended 120 feet into the earth. Out from the feet of the 12x12-foot shaft, side tunnels extended radially. They were carbon-blackened and hence conductive. Situated near the Long Island shore, the giant transmitter was thus grounded to the oceans. The shafts to quiver the globe were filled with water and oil and connected with mechanical and electrical oscillators. The Crookes lamps of the Egyptian Dendera device are supported by supposed 'Djed' columns. Though the device from the petroglyph may have been exotic, but simple. In fact it is an engine dynamo. The device which we are concerned with is what Tesla called his 'greatest achievement in the field of engineering.' It is a mechanical oscillator-generator which Tesla planned to use in his proposed World-Wide system of Tele-Geodynamics or the art of producing terrestrial motions at a distance. Tesla's Electric Generator patent 511,916 of 1894, where an electric generator is placed on top of the mechanical oscillator, shows and explains the relationship and interaction of the forces involved of the Dendera device. If the oscillations of the reciprocating motion coincide with the oscillations of the electrical system of the generator, then both systems are in resonance. When this happens maximum output on the generator can be expected. If this push continues to add to the amplitude of the swing, dangerously high magnitudes result in the system. But just before this point of overload and self-destruction, this energy can be transferred onto the Earth. Then these vibrations (if proper tuned) will transmit through the entire structure of the Earth to its remotest boundaries and without attenuation. In Tele-geo systems for communications, the earth is made part of the apparatus, whereas in present acoustic technology transmitting and receiving is like our electromagnetic wireless Hertz system where all energy is supposed to radiate from the antenna. The Hertz system as used today, electromagnetically, sonically, acoustically or in any other way, is an isolated system which wastes its energy in the moment it operates. All Tesla systems make use of the inherent ability of nature, in this case the earth, with an efficiency of 100%.

Seti search is based on the use of Hertzian dish antennas which only detect a minute fraction of the total energy reaching the planet. But by the means Tesla developed he would be able to concentrate the larger portion of the entire energy transmitted to our planet in his receiver. Excess energy from the large ball capacitor, the Earth, would provide the magnification expected from the transmitter with grounded electrode used as a conductor to earth. Thus increasing antenna length to the size of earth, to one or more of his frequency 'modes', and the chances of affecting the circuit thereby increased many millionfold. It is a popular error to believe that aliens mode of wave propagation is settled on the radio physics of Hertz. Early element radio devices like Tesla's are fascinating and worthy of study because they remind us that other radio technologies can be so simple and accessible. Searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have at least partially scanned for Earth-level radio transmitters out to 4,000 light-years away from our planet and for advanced civilisations out to 40,000 light-years. The lack of signals is starting to worry many scientists. Where are they? Are we after all alone in the galaxy. ' The true wireless' worker, with lack of funds, never give up hope. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is for the future!

Radio signals from (Grounded) Low Frequency Experimental Radio people and those detected in crop circles (ELF with higher harmonics in MHz.), and if possible with the exact measurement of the investigated crop circles (with mention of latitude and longitude of reception) can send by e-mail for further research to Martin van Wieringen.

Martin van Wieringen 2001.

  • References:
  • Trinkaus, George, 'Radio Tesla', 1993.
  • Tesla, Nikola, 'Colorado Springs Notes', Beograd 1978.
  • US Patent N. Tesla No. 645576 of March 1900 and patent No. 649621 of May 1902.
  • Kovac, Ron, Extraordinary Science article, 1994.
  • Pond, Dale, 'Nikola Tesla's Earthquake Machine', 1995.
  • Anderson, Leland, 'Nikola Tesla: Lecture before the New York Academy Of Sciences', 1994. for ancient Greek clockwork p. 62.
  • Anderson, Leland, 'Nikola Tesla on his work with alternating currents and their applications to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power.' 1992.
  • Cases adjudged Supreme Court of the United States v. Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, 1942.