May PUF: Trump and Tesla on page 72

Deck: 

Tesla died at the height of World War II. The FBI became quite concerned. Truckloads of Tesla’s papers and other property were impounded by the government, then meticulously inspected by John Trump. You mean that John Trump? I do.

Today in Fortnightly

The May issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly was mailed to you yesterday! Jam-packed with 19 thought-provoking articles and columns from our industry's intellectual leaders. 

Here's a fun morsel from page 72:

On January 7, 1943, Tesla died in his room at The New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. He died at the height of World War II, with the Battle of Guadalcanal still raging. 

The FBI became quite concerned. Agents based in New York notified FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and even Vice President Henry Wallace. Truckloads of Tesla's papers and other property were impounded by the government, then meticulously inspected by John Trump. 

John Trump? You mean that John Trump? I do. 

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The MIT professor was The Donald's uncle. The loquacious presidential candidate has mentioned his uncle multiple times on the campaign trail.

The government chose John Trump to judge if any of Tesla's things were critical to national security. But, Trump had a longstanding grudge against Tesla. 

Five years earlier, Trump built a van derGraaf generator at MIT. It was, as we might say now, huge. A veritable Trump Tower. 

Tesla humiliated Trump, however, demonstrating two small coils could deliver the same energy and efficiency. We know Trump's nephew, The Donald, wouldn't have taken kindly to an insult like that. 

In his last years, Tesla was working on a death ray, a particle beam weapon called Teleforce. It would have been devastating, it was feared, if plans for a workable death ray fell into enemy hands, and equally valuable if found by our government. 

Conspiracy theories about what happened next continue to this day. 

Some say Tesla's nephew Sava took the plans before the FBI got to The New Yorker Hotel. Some say that while Trump claimed he discovered nothing of importance to national security, the government sequestered Tesla's property and secretly resumed the research. 

Why was Trump, an otherwise obscure civilian, sitting right next to General Eisenhower when Paris was liberated? Why did the top secret military departments, who supposedly reverse-engineered alien UFO technology at Rosewell, use Tesla's papers? 

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. 

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Our best issue ever? The May issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly? You be the judge.

Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly

E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com