You Won’t Believe But Nikola Tesla Actually Predicted Drone Warfare In 1898


Nikola Tesla was a genius who was way ahead of his time. Apart from his extensive work on alternating current and electrical systems, Tesla also predicted future inventions like televisions and smartphones. As far as the drones are concerned, Tesla thought they would wreak havoc on the society and would bring about the destruction of humanity.

Nikola Tesla Predicted Drone Warfare in 1898_Image 0

Image Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

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Tesla was granted a patent titled ‘Method Of And Apparatus For Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles’ on November 8, 1898. The patent details a system that could drive vessel or vehicles without using any wires or conductors. The vessels were operated by:

‘producing waves, impulses, or radiations which are received through the earth, water, or atmosphere [as long as the vessel] remains within the active region or effective range.”

Nikola Tesla Predicted Drone Warfare in 1898_Image 1

Image Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

The above description refers to the radio waves that were discovered in 1867 and were not actively used for communication purposes until 1890. Tesla describes the radio waves as:

‘electrical oscillations which do not follow any particular conducting-path, but propagate in straight lines through space.’

Nikola Tesla Predicted Drone Warfare in 1898_Image 2

Image Source: Drone Warfare

However, Tesla went on to forecast a drone warfare in future and predicted that the sheer ‘certain and unlimited destructiveness’ of the drones would guarantee peace among nations.

Nikola Tesla Predicted Drone Warfare in 1898_Image 3

Image Source: Drone Warfare

Even though Tesla painted this scenario more than 100 years ago, the UAVs used in the War on Terror have killed thousands of people, most of them innocent civilians. Even the loss of innocent lives on such a massive scale did nothing to establish peace as Tesla predicted. The same peace was achieved by the atomic bomb which kept both the US and the USSR from engaging in a full-scale war during the Cold War era.
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