-Savage and Tesla-

Discovered something interesting today, while reading Nikola Tesla's all-to-brief autobiography. Written sometime after the Great War, but before WWII, he talks about his life and mentions a variety of events, one of which remarkable only to the trained eye.
Bear with me here:

Clark Savage, Jr. - better known as 'Doc' Savage was easily the most interesting of the 'pulp heros'; he was a scientist who's achievements were rivaled only by the enigmatic Asian known as Fu Manchu, Ph.D.
While it was claimed that he spent his time 'righting wrongs' the activities of Doc Savage and his five 'associates' seemed primarily engaged in controlling 'mad' or 'fringe' science, usually when the criminal element had begun to exploit a given discovery or invention.
Doc Savage's activities required money. Vast amounts of it. Within a decade of taking possession of his murdered father's offices on the 86th floor of the 'tallest building in New York', it becomes apparent that Savage is buying large numbers of companies - ranging from hotels to airlines to manufacturing plants.
All of these operations must have generated profits. But in the beginning at least, in the 1930's, Savage's source of income was gold from the 'lost mines' in the banana republic of Hidalgo.
There is no Central American Republic called Hidalgo. All we know is that it was small, contains a native Mayan population, and has a gold mine. A large gold mine. Whenever Savage requires money, he makes a radio transmission. Shortly, a mule train enters the central city of Hidalgo, and packloads of gold is deposited in DocĂ‚’s accounts.
This arrangement was there from the beginning which by internal evidence was in 1931. P. J. Farmer argues for sometime in March or April.
A variety of questions immediately appear.Assumeing Doc is transmitting from New York, the radio equipment involved must have been state of the art in 1931.
First, it needed range, for dependable connection across thousands of miles.
Second, it needed security. It would have done no good if an unscrupulous enemy - and Savage had many - listened to the transmissions. Direction finding was a established art by that point, and the location of the transmitter, and hence the gold would have been discovered.
Or when a gold order was radioed, they could have been ready with a band of desperadoes to intercept the pack train.
Part of the security problem would have been handled by speaking in Mayan, or transmitting in code, but that would not deal with the DF aspect.

I found a hint.
Nikola Tesla was the inventor of the polyphase electrical system, of the first radio controlled machines, of the Tesla Coil, and many other machines and devices.
He was the inventor of radio - which led to a lawsuit that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Marconi lost - Tesla had been there first.
Tesla publicly operated radio controlled model boats in the Central Park Basin in 1898, referring to them as 'teleautomatons'... the term '‘Robot'’ having not yet been invented by Karl Capek.
In the Autobiography, Tesla talks about world wide communications, which had been his current preoccupation - remember Wardenclyffe? - and stressed that he had worked out a method of '‘individualism'’ which permitted uninterceptable transmissions.
Further, Tesla remarks that:
'“ ...As throwing light on this point, I may mention that only recently an odd looking
gentleman called on me with the object of enlisting my services in the construction
of world transmitters in some distant land. "“We have no money,"” he said, "“but carloads of solid gold, and we will give you a liberal amount."” I told
him that I wanted to see first what will be done with my inventions in America, and
this ended the interview.'“

'‘Odd looking gentleman'’ !
This would probably have been Major Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts, Savage's associate, electronics expert, and often described as looking like someone raised in a basement on a diet of mushrooms.
So did Savage use Tesla's system? I would imagine that Tesla would have bragged of it if he had, being a relentless self-publicist, rather than off-handedly remarking on one of many business meetings.

It has been argued that Tesla's 'world transmitters' were not radio stations as we think of them, but a rather more sophisticated idea based on ionospheric resonance.
Bill Beatty has a good essay
on the theory that may have been behind Tesla's transmitters. (Remarkably crackpot - free!)

...and on that note I have gone from fact to fantasy to speculation, and possibly back to fact.

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