Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Under the Microscope - Examining All Things Closely Part 6 - True and False Witnesses

Joseph Herrin (04-26-2011)

II Timothy 3:13
But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves.
[Amplified Bible]

This post will look at one more aspect of arriving at the knowledge of the truth. It is necessary to distinguish between a true and a false witness. In the court system today it is common to call in “expert witnesses” to bolster an argument. Simply because someone is proclaimed an expert, does not mean that their testimony is true. This is certainly evident in the American court system where experts have declared that homosexuality is hereditary, rather than a choice, and proclaimed that babies in the womb are not human beings. It is quite possible to find an “expert” who will say anything that a person desires.

This tendency to call out expert witnesses, or big names, is also common among those who make unfounded claims about HAARP, the Large Hadron Collider, the Comet Elenin, Chemtrails, and a host of other subjects. I have encountered more than a dozen reports advocating that HAARP is causing earthquakes which have brought up the name of Nikola Tesla. The recent quote that I shared in one post on this series is typical of how the name of this man is bandied about as proof that HAARP is being used to create earthquakes throughout the world.

Brother, while our faithful and true Savior is still in charge it would be an interesting study for you to view the research of Nicola (sic) Tesla - evidence is overwhelming and accepted by the scientific community on his ability back in the 1920's to split the earth in two - he caused an earthquake in New York City in 1898 so severe the authorities were involved in making sure his machinery did not do it again.

Such statements as those above are quite astonishing for a number of reasons. This brother stated with great confidence that “evidence is overwhelming and accepted by the scientific community on (Nikola Tesla’s) abilitity back in the 1920's to split the earth in two.” This brother also writes with equal declarative force that Tesla caused an earthquake in New York City in 1898. These statements are astonishing, for if they are true, they are a tremendous revelation. To think that man has had the ability since the 1920s to create earthquakes, and to split the earth in two, is a profound matter. If a lone man, such as Nikola Tesla could split the earth in two nearly a century ago, what would prevent some suicidal terrorist from destroying the earth in this manner out of some impulse to annihilate mankind?

The statements are remarkable for another reason. I have tested these claims and found them to be false. They are the product of wild boasting initiated by Nikola Tesla himself, who was renowned, and often criticized during his life, for making wild, exaggerated, premature, and pretentious claims.

This brother who wrote to me did not originate these reports himself. I have encountered them in a myriad of sources on the Internet. His failure was not one of creating false claims, but rather of not investigating the claims to see if they were sound. The claims that Tesla could split the earth in two, and cause earthquakes back in the 1920s, appealed to the bias he had in his mind. He had already concluded that HAARP is a super weapon being employed covertly by the American government, so there was no pressing desire to probe too deeply to see if the Tesla claims were accurate. We must maintain a passion for truth, for without it, we too will fall into much error.

A sister in Christ, knowing of my interest in Nikola Tesla, sent me a biography of his life a couple years ago. The book is titled “Tesla - Man Out of Time.” It is authored by Margaret Cheney. The author performed a prodigious amount of research. In the Introduction to the book the breadth of her knowledge of this man and his work is made evident. The author writes:

In reviewing my own interest in Tesla, since high school days I was fascinated by his high frequency, high voltage researches for which he became world known. I was disturbed, however, by the inordinate difficulty in obtaining copies of his technical writings and, as well, identifying references to writings by others about Tesla’s work. This prompted what was to become a project of many years - that of producing an exhaustive catalog (published in 1979 as a bibliography...) of the writings by and about Tesla and his work. In the course of pursuing studies in electrical engineering, and continuing interest in Tesla’s high frequency, high voltage researches, my inquiries eventually led me to meet those who worked for him, such as his secretaries Dorothy Skerritt and Muriel Arbus, and laboratory technicians such as Walter Wilhelm.

This biography is clearly not the product of a momentary interest in Tesla. It was produced with access to an unusual degree of sources and people intimately related to the man. On top of this, the author has training in the field of electrical engineering. It is an excellent source book for discerning the origins of the mythology that has grown up around the man.

That Nikola Tesla was a creative genius is beyond question. He is the originator of the polyphase electrical system of alternating current that powers the homes, businesses, and industries of the world. He also was a pioneer in radio, and was the first to demonstrate the potential of radio as a medium to remotely control objects. In 1897, just a few years after the invention of radio broadcast, he demonstrated its use with a radio controlled boat demonstration at Madison Square Gardens. He was a leader in x-ray technology, and fluorescent and neon lighting systems. He has approximately 700 patents to his name worldwide (many are duplicated among nations.) He has approximately 40 U.S. Patents.

I found the biography of Nikola Tesla to be highly informative. I learned much about the man’s triumphs, as well as his failures, idiosyncracies, and prideful behavior. Nikola Tesla was a visionary, but many of the things he envisioned were no more than speculation. For example, he said it was an absolute certainty that intelligent life existed on Mars, and advocated construction of some type of radio communication to make contact with the intelligent beings that lived there. When Einstein published his Theory of Relativity, Tesla said Einstein was wrong. Tesla promised to produce his own competing theory, but never did.

Tesla did not fully understand the dangers of x-rays, believing that they were therapeutic and health inducing. He often exposed himself to x-rays intentionally, believing he was receiving some healthful benefit. The author of his biography writes:

Tesla, entranced with the novel and mysterious force, was one of those who at first refused to believe there was a danger. Convinced he had discovered a way of “stimulating” his brain, he exposed his head repeatedly to radiation.

“An outline of the skull is easily obtained with an exposure of 20 to 40 minutes,” he wrote...

He noted strange effects: “... a tendency to sleep and the time seems to pass away quickly. There is a general soothing effect and I have a sensation of warmth in the upper part of the head.”
[Pages 103-104]

The claims of Tesla causing an earthquake are derived from an event described in Tesla - Man Out of Time in the following words:

One day in 1898 while testing a tiny electromechanical oscillator, he attached it with innocent intent to an iron pillar that went down through the center of his loft building at 46 East Houston Street, to the sandy floor of the basement.

Flipping on the switch, he settled into a straight-back chair to watch and make notes of everything that happened. Such machines always fascinated him because, as the tempo built higher and higher, they would establish resonance with first one object in his workshop, then another. For example, a piece of equipment or furniture would suddenly begin to shimmy and dance. As he stepped up the frequency, it would halt but another more in tune would take up the frantic jig and, later on, yet another.

What Tesla was unaware of on this occasion was that vibrations from the oscillator, traveling down the iron pillar with escalating force, were being carried through the substructure of Manhattan in all directions. (Normally earthquakes are more severe at a distance from their epicenter.) Buildings began to shake, windows shattered, and citizens poured into the streets in the nearby Italian and Chinese neighborhoods.

At Police Headquarters on Mulberry Street, where Tesla was already regarded with suspicion, it soon became apparent that no other part of the city was having an earthquake. Two officers were dispatched posthaste to check on the mad inventor. The latter, unaware of the shambles occurring all around his building, had just begun to sense an ominous vibration in the floors and walls. Knowing that he must quickly put a stop to it, he seized a sledgehammer and smashed the little oscillator with a single blow.

With perfect timing the two policemen rushed through the door, allowing him to turn with a courteous nod.

“Gentlemen, I am sorry,” he said. “You are just a trifle too late to witness my experiment. I found it necessary to stop it suddenly and unexpectedly and in an unusual way.... However, if you will come around this evening I will have another oscillator attached to this platform and each of you can stand on it. You will, I am sure, find it a most interesting and pleasurable experience. Now you must leave, for I have many things to do. Good day, gentlemen.”
[Pages 115-116]

The author cites as her source for this story, another biography that came out shortly after Tesla’s death. The biography originating this story was written by John J. O’Neill and titled “Prodigal Genius.” I am not sure what source Mr. O’Neill used, as I do not have his book. Unfortunately, this is third hand reporting at best, most likely derived from some account that Nikola Tesla gave to a reporter, as he was frequently in the company of reporters, and widely quoted.

The television show Myth Busters examined Tesla’s claim. They have posted a quote attributed to Tesla, though it differs in many key details from the citation above.

"I was experimenting with vibrations. I had one of my machines going and I wanted to see if I could get it tuned with the vibration of the building. I put it up notch after notch. Suddenly, all the heavy machinery in the place was flying around. I grabbed a hammer and broke the machine. Outside in the street there was pandemonium. The police and ambulance arrived. We told the police it must have been an earthquake. I told my assistants to say nothing.
[Source: http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/08/episode_60_earthquake_machine.html]

Note some of the key differences in these two reports. In the first one, Tesla is alone in his workshop. In the latter one assistants are present. In the first account there is no mention of Tesla intentionally trying to get the building to resonate. Instead, it is described as an innocent and unintentional accident. In the second account, Tesla says he was deliberately seeking to find the resonance of the building at which it would vibrate. In the first report there is mention of one piece of equipment after another beginning to resonate, with no mention of any of the resonance producing violent results. In the second we have the words, “Suddenly, all the heavy machinery in the place was flying around.” In the first account two policemen arrive. In the second police and an ambulance arrive. In the first account Tesla admits that his oscillator experiment went awry. In the second we have him telling his assistants to say nothing. (In other accounts found online he tells the police it must have been an earthquake that caused the disturbance.)

In reading the book on Tesla’s life, there are a multitude of examples of him declaring astonishing things, or promising extraordinary accomplishments, which he never brought to fruition. The man was given to frequent, and extreme exaggeration. Whether this account above was the product of his disingenuous boasting, or whether others embellished the story, is difficult to tell. What is evident from these two accounts, is that the stories do not harmonize (pardon the pun).

It is interesting to read, or watch, the account of the Myth Busters experiments. Their conclusion is that this story is false, for they were unable to duplicate anything near the results spoken of in this description. You can view the videos of the program episode and judge for yourself.


You can also find at the following link a newspaper article written by Earl Sparling that appeared in the New York World-Telegram July 11, 1935. Sparling was invited with many other reporters to Tesla’s birthday party in 1935, where he recounted this story to them.


Tesla’s boast to the reporters that he would have $100,000,000 in two years time due to his inventions are indicative of the type of wild boasting he was prone to. Tesla died a relative pauper, while promising investors throughout his lengthy career that he would make them rich from promised inventions that were never produced.

It should be understood that Tesla’s tendency to make such boasts was partially a product of his need to attract investors so that he could continue his research. Throughout his life, Tesla depended upon the benevolence of investors to continue his experiments, and was frequently begging investors for money, including J.P. Morgan, while promising them immense returns in a short amount of time. Having sold his patents for the polyphase alternating current system to Westinghouse early on, Tesla struggled for money the rest of his life.

Another motive for his boasting was that Nikola Tesla was a vain and proud man. Tesla had many legitimate accomplishments. Some of them, such as the invention of radio, were attributed to others, such as Guglielmo Marconi. This greatly chafed Tesla, who wanted to be recognized for his inventions. For many years, Thomas Edison, who was already well known and financially well off, derided Tesla’s A.C. power system. Edison was staunchly in favor of direct current power. Edison waged a tireless war to discredit Tesla and A.C. power, even using such cruel demonstrations as electrocuting animals in public with A.C. currents to lead people to believe it was dangerous. Edison even electrocuted an elephant in one demonstration, filming the event to scare people away from A.C. power.


Tesla’s response was to become a promoter of his own achievements, both real and imagined. Tesla boasted of being able to create death rays that could knock whole squadrons of airplanes from the sky at a distance of 200 miles. He predicted that in a short time he would be able to transmit energy across any terrestrial distance without wires, and without any appreciable loss. Tesla’s claim that he could split the earth in two appeared in an article February 1912, in the magazine The World Today. The article authored by Allan L. Benson was titled “Nikola Tesla, Dreamer.”

"Tesla claims that in a few weeks he could set the earth's crust into such a state of vibration that it would rise and fall hundreds of feet and practically destroy civilization.  A continuation of this process would, he says, eventually split the earth in two."

This was nothing more than another wild boast by Nikola Tesla. The same article includes quotes from Tesla where he boasts of using a turbine he has invented to power ships across the Atlantic at 50 mph, and saying he has in mind another turbine that will enable a ship to make the Atlantic crossing in 16 hours. He “guarantees” that he will adapt one of these turbines to a Wright biplane and fly it at 200 mph.


Tesla fulfilled none of these boasts. The author of the biography I read went into some detail regarding Tesla’s turbine. He never could bring it to production as the qualities of the metals available at the time were causing the turbines to fail when subjected to high speeds and stress.

The author of the biography I have in my possession recounts the things that Tesla told Allan Benson. Following is an excerpt from the book.

Nor was this all. He boasted to Benson that he could split the earth in the same way - “split it as a boy would split an apple - and forever end the career of man.” Earth’s vibrations, he went on, have a periodicity of about one hour and forty-nine minutes. “That is to say, if I strike the earth this instant, a waver of contraction goes through it that will come back in one hour and forty-nine minutes in the form of expansion. As a matter of fact, the earth, like everything else, is in a constant state of vibration. It is constantly expanding and contracting.”

“Now, suppose that at the precise moment when it begins to contract, I explode a ton of dynamite. That accelerates the contraction and, in one hour and forty-nine minutes, there comes an equally accelerated wave of expansion.  When the wave of expansion ebbs, suppose I explode another ton of dynamite, thus further increasing the wave of contraction. And, suppose this performance is repeated, time after time. Is there any doubt as to what would happen? There is no doubt in my mind. The earth would split in two. For the first time in man’s history, he has the knowledge with which he may interfere with cosmic processes!”

When Benson asked how long it might take to split the Earth, he answered modestly, “Months might be required; perhaps a year or two.” But in only weeks, he said, he could set the Earth’s crust in such a state of vibration that it would rise and fall hundreds of feet, throwing rivers out of their beds, wrecking buildings, and practically destroying civilization. To the relief of ordinary citizens, Tesla later qualified his claim. The principle could not fail, he said, but it would be impossible to obtain perfect mechanical resonance of the Earth.

[Pages 116-117]

Tesla never publicly demonstrated the ability to bring a building down with one of his oscillators, much less the ability to cause the entire surface of the earth to move violently. For those who would link Tesla’s claims of splitting the earth in two to HAARP, it should be noted that Tesla’s oscillator that is reputed to have shaken buildings was electro-mechanical. It applied a mechanical force to an object to make it vibrate. His theory of splitting the earth also depended upon tremendous mechanical pressure being applied through the exploding of dynamite. The HAARP system has no such apparatus for applying a mechanical force to the earth. It has a microwave heater able to alter the temperature of localized areas of the ionosphere, but this is quite different from the technology described by Tesla to split the earth in two.

I am not advocating that everyone who encounters speculative claims about the government causing earthquakes, hurricanes, and other calamities, should spend a lot of time researching these things as I have here. What I do suggest is that the saints not embrace, or disseminate, these claims apart from fact checking the evidence, and testing the legitimacy of the arguments.

If you have the time, and the leading, then investigate these matters. If you don’t, it is best to not adopt a position on them until you have done so. There are many false witnesses in the world. Even the most famous names, or the most brilliant minds, can be fountains of speculation and false claims. I have erred in the past by being too quick to embrace some report or idea. I hope through my experience to be able to encourage others to avoid doing the same.

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
c/o Fair Harbor RV Park
515 Marshallville Road
Perry, GA 31069-3016

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