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The Tesla Memorial Society
21 Maddekat, Southwyck Village
Scotch Plains, New Jersey 07076
William H. Terbo
Executive Secretary
  Maria Godfors
Nikola Tesla: 1856 - 1943

Masters of the Ionosphere

BBC Documentary


BBC TV produced Masters of the Ionosphere for their Horizons Science Series in 1996. The 49-minute program was introduced on British national television in February of that year and distributed worldwide over the next year or two. The Arts & Entertainment Networks acted as co-producer and presented it several times in North America. I had the opportunity to participate in the production of this program.

The program credits Nikola Tesla as the pioneer who first conceived of using the effects of the ionosphere for long distance transmission of radio (and power) with an ultimate application as a part of his Wardenclyffe tower project. Little matter, a hundred years ago, that he (or Marconi) did not fully comprehend the sophistication of the ionosphere and its ability to reflect radio waves. Tesla saw the potential and utilized it first in his plans.

Nathan Williams, a BBC researcher (and program Assistant Producer) first contacted me in the late summer of 1995. I provided him with a number of Tesla sources and later made two telephone interviews, each more than an hour in length. On Sunday, November 19th 1995, I spent the day interviewing and filming with the program Writer and Producer, Tim Haines, and his BBC TV production crew in Manhattan. We worked both indoors and later in Bryant Park and at the Nikola Tesla Corner (Avenue of the Americas at 40th Street). If my on-camera voice seems a little higher pitched than usual, it’s because it was very cold that day and I had to run back and forth to the van to warm up between shots. The program master was shot in 16mm film. My copy is a NTSC version of the original.

While I appear in about a half dozen short non-technical clips in the program, I take it as a special honor to share appearances with the likes of Professor James Van Allen and Sir Bernard Lovell. The program also gives special attention to one of the most fascinating Tesla-like thinkers, Nicholas Christofilos, father of modern ELF technology, who died in 1972. Other experts include Dr. Bernard Eastlund and Professor Dennis Papadopoulos.

William H. Terbo
Executive Secretary


TMSqy (2005)

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