DATELINE: More Tesla Myths Tested
The opening episode of the Tesla’s Death Ray: Murder Declassified is the sort of use of science that Tesla might have laughed about and agreed it was the right way to go.
Unfortunately, the series from 2018 is the brainchild of three non-experts who never do give their credentials other than the obvious. To call the episode “Mad Scientist of Long Island,” may seem a bit disrespectful, sort of like using the Tesla coils as a backdrop in a Frankenstein movie.
The show takes great pleasure in pointing out that the FBI released hundreds of Tesla-related documents in 2016, and these guys were on the spot with a desire to re-create the mythic “death ray,” and prove the scientist was murdered at age 86.
If you’re looking for murder, it isn’t in the opener. Instead, the hotshot hosts are ready to gallivant around the country to prove the existence of a Death Ray weapon of mass destruction. In doing so, they do uncover some interesting interview subjects.
First up is an old man named William Turbo (no pun intended) who is the grand-nephew of Tesla, perhaps the last man alive who actually met and knew the scientist. His memory as a nine-year old is quite distinct: Tesla was in chaos as far as his filing and notes were concerned, even a child saw that.
Mr. Turbo gave the show the idea to look for tunnels under Wardenclyffe. And, they are off to the races.
A second pit-stop is with the great-grandson of Stanford White, the notorious architect murdered because of his pedophile relationship with actress Evelyn Nesbit, now purported to be one of Tesla’s best friends. Sebastian White reveals that Tesla stayed in the home of Stanford often—and was seen wandering in the garden at 3 am because of his insomnia.
The grounds of Wardenclyffe are off limits for digging, but the town gives permission to dig outside the private property where sink holes indicate a tunnel may be located.
Tesla would have loved the ground-penetrating radar and other means of using electrical impulses to look deep underground. He also would have loved sending these ‘researchers” on a wild goose chase.