Science? or Science Fiction?
QUANTICO, VA. OCT 27, 2022 - Under the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI today released copies of several documents which had been thought lost. These documents were part of Nicolai Tesla’s personal effects, and the papers themselves have been returned to his family and the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia. Among these documents was an odd communication, written on pages of lined school paper. These pages are, as far as experts can tell, a practical joke. Here is a transcript:
July 12, 1988
My name is Jerryde Willams, but if my plan works it may not matter. Hell, I might even create a paradox that means I won’t exist, but that’s a chance I have to take. The alternatives are just too dangerous.
Let me start at the beginning. I have worked in the FBI’s document offices for the last 25 years, and it wasn’t long after I was hired I found the box of papers.
As a probationary employee, I was often tasked with shit jobs, and the transfer of old financial documents was par for the course. I was working in the archive catacombs below HQ, loading document boxes onto a dolly; it was my job to haul these boxes up to the microfiche room, where the documents inside them would be photographed before they were sent to the burn room for incineration. It was manual labor, and I'd spent weeks shlepping boxes up from the sub-basement.
The last box in the set that day was a little different than the others. The archive tape sealing the other boxes was a dull and faded yellow, but on this one it was darker, almost brown. I turned the box around, and saw the label on the side.
.........[ N. TESLA 10/28/1945 ]........
I was intrigued. Setting the box back on the shelf, I hid it behind some budget boxes from the 1930’s. Little did I know just how fateful that decision would be.
After work, I made my way back down to the storage room where I had been working, and opened the box. Technically, I was breaking the law, but no one cared too much about protecting these old budget and accounting documents, and the security guards never even came down here. I split the tape seal, and inside I found manila file folders, aged and slightly brittle. Some had labels, penned in a spidery script.
Opening one at random, I found pages of hand-written notes and patent-worthy diagrams. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to study these papers in more depth, so that night I began smuggling documents out of the building, knowing it would cost me my job, and possibly my freedom, were I discovered.
It took careful execution; I limited my haul each time to no more than a single folder, or twenty or so loose pages. I got very good at hiding those thin bundles in the back of my pants. Security was pretty lax in those days, and no one ever thought to pat down my ass.
It took me months to complete my larceny, and I finished by tearing up the box itself, and taking the pieces out the same way.
I think it was when I examined the third or fourth set of documents that I realized some of the pages were copies; I recognized the telltale dark mimeograph fluid lines. It actually made me feel better. I wasn’t stealing state secrets or anything, since some of them had been copied, and besides, none of them had been stamped with a security designation.
It was soon after that I found some pages that made me wonder if they were all merely hoaxes. The first was a patent diagram for what was labeled a “Crystalline Mechanism for the Focusing and Controlled Release of High Intensity Electrical Energy.” I remembered reading rumors Tesla had been working on the development of a death ray for the military, and that his notes and research had never been found after his death. If what I was reading was real, then the conspiracy theorists were right; this secret research had been found and copies had been made.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I broke out in a sweat. If these documents were authentic, the powers that be would likely do whatever it took to keep them hidden, including making me disappear.
Secrecy became my mantra. I knew I should destroy the papers, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I had been reviewing Tesla's notes and diagrams for a couple weeks when I found a folder that would change everything. It contained a lengthy research paper titled simply TEMPORAL DISPLACEMENT. I sat down and began reading around 7:00 p.m. and when I looked up, thoughts whirling and eyes burning, I realized it was almost 5:00 a.m. The mathematics involved were beyond me, and the electronic and magnetic components were extremely sophisticated and complex, but the descriptions were laid out in a matter-of-fact way that begged for exploration and experimentation.
In order to learn more about the necessary subjects, I enrolled in night school, being careful never to complete any courses of study resulting in degrees or leaving an educational trail. I spent over twenty years learning and studying, and then almost four years gathering components. It took me several months and countless tries, but eventually I was able to open a portal into history, one which allowed me to traverse back and forth.
That was last week.
I started focusing the window around in history, careful to observe only. I was well aware of the proverbial butterfly-effect, and the potential for paradox was mentioned several times in Tesla’s papers. That was when I began to consider the implications of the time machine itself. With dawning horror I realized it was very possible that another copy of the research existed. There was no way I wanted this technology in the hands of anyone with an agenda who might change history irreparably.
So I developed my plan.
I am going to open a portal in Tesla’s hotel room on the day of his death. When I see him become unconscious, I will step in and remove the box containing the plans for the time machine. I intend to destroy all of the documents before they can be found by the government agents who will take possession of his papers.
I know this will create a paradox since I did find that box, but like I said, it’s a risk I am willing to take. If you are reading this note and you aren’t me, then I hope you will at least show it to me, and let me know it worked.
Ed. Note: No record of anyone, living or dead, by the name of Jerryde Willams has been found. The FBI denies ever having employed anyone by this name. They also deny that archived documents have ever been stored in sub-basements of any FBI building. We do know that there are several boxes of Tesla’s research still unaccounted for, but time travel machines seem very much beyond the scope of what even his genius could have developed.
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