Indeed, there were those whose sensitivities alone could discern the invisible “structure”, that geology-surpassing structure which remained rigid and invariant with time. These natural sensitives could sense those geographic locations which could never receive radiowave signals of any kind. Such “blind spots” could never be rationalized through the models afforded by electrical science. How curious it is that quantitative science, claiming to be completely objective in its assessments of natural phenomena, relies on human assessments to establish its dogmas. The rules by which quantitative science constrains reliance on human senses are proposed by those who use those senses to make their assertions! In truth, the implementation of biological and organic sensors has exonerated the ultimate sensitive value of the human sensorium above all inertial measuring instruments. Therefore, those who demonstrated excessive sensitivity in discerning the best location for ground conduction and VLF signal stations were to be commended and not rather derided. Implementing these sensitive means, the geomantic art, their subsequent stationing of groundlink relays produced operative results which are yet considered anomalous. In this unique technology the exchange of telephonic signals had been established, in many instances, entirely without the need for external battery power. The ground telephonic exchange systems of Nathan Stubblefield (1872) were known for their extreme power, rich tone, and vocal clarity. His system operated 24 hours a day without need for battery replacement or excessive maintenance.
Experimenters, including Marconi, now began observing and collating these transmission anomalies. While the collations of experimenters were based entirely on the need to know, those of Marconi were based entirely on the need to succeed. Business was his goal. The improper positioning of a VLF wave launch cite would be financially ruinous. Not one such failure could be allowed, therefore his methods required empirical testing. In this empirical testing, those ordinarily experiential discernments were completely endorsed. This is why empirical experimentation far surpasses thought experimentation, producing results which intertwine with yet unknown natural realities, those which surpass theoretical perspectives. From the very moment in which his first VLF mammoth was keyed, Marconi recognized the insidious influences of this strange and parageological subterranean structure; an influence which prevented VLF signalling with certain European stations, while opening strangely powerful links with others.
Marconi found that TransAtlantic communications suffered greatly in transit along strict east-west directions, Further complicating this observation, were those north-south communications paths which produced uncommonly great signal power. This mystery further constrained his selection of VLF station sites. Because of his reliance on wave radio methods, his creation of special world-wide “radio circuits” was thoroughly plagued with natural resistances and impediments. VLF signal paths were obviously and rigorously tied to parageological features, and required his engineers to find those limited sites where the “mystery structure” merged on sea level coastlines. Marconi found these constraints especially frustrating when attempting the construction of his world wide VLF “circuit”. Besides these rigorous constraints, imposed on him by mysterious natural principles, the actual construction of his large installations posed a seemingly insurmountable engineering problem. Fitting the giant structures into the superficial geology was an engineering task requiring new techniques, skills, maneuvers, and components. Large aerial supporting pylons, continuing in orderly rows for one mile into the sea, may yet be found offshore on both coasts of North America. Receiving sections were necessarily placed several miles adjacent to the transmitter site, for fear that the delicate apparatus would simply be incinerated by the transmitter output; an early observation of the “jamming” effect Military signal corps maintained these formats, observing similar geomantic principles for deciding the placement of their VLF wave stations.
Because of this exceptional “geophysical access” to the environment, Marconi was able to discover several natural phenomena which influenced both his VLF transmissions and signal receptions. These influences seemed especially powerful during certain times of the day, a feature which Marconi secretized. Signal anomalies commenced almost immediately with the first application of current in each Marconi VLF Station. Transmission intensities were found to vary forty times within a single minute of signalling. Marconi had also long observed the “distortion” of TransAtlantic signals, a phenomenon which shifted the frequency of signals transmitted and received. This was yet another secret which remained “Company business”. These were, in his thought agenda, likened to industrial secrets. He did not permit his operators to share these “operating secrets of the art” with the outside. Marconi kept these phenomena secret, sharing them only among his operators, out of fear. The fear was that his wealthy patronage, for whom the wireless financial reports rendered service, would drop his systems in favor of the much older established wired telegraph lines.
At the time, Marconi did not really offer a competitive advantage against those TransAtlantic telegraph cable companies. His construction and maintenance costs were far less lucrative than he would ever admit, a fact which was never mentioned when Tesla was upbraided for the cost of the Wardenclyffe Power Broadcasting Station. Furthermore, for all their size, excessive power requirements, and costs, Marconi VLF stations were useful only in telegraphic communications. They were slow, capable of transmitting a few words at most per minute. Telegraph operators required a very “steady hand” when sending signals through these gigantic systems. The entire aerial system glowed and buzzed with a deadly violet corona with each dot or dash. The entire structure sizzled and actually rang with each signal. Anyone who knew the code could hear whatever was being transmitted merely by listening and watching. Those who wished to “steal” insider financial reports would simply need a good telescope.
VLF wave signals arrived in European stations with greatest difficulty at certain hours of the day. These signals were often totally distorted by unknown cause, the result of wave transmission modes on which Marconi insisted. Stubbornly ignoring he “fundamental obvious”, Marconi looked everywhere for answers to these perplexing natural interferences. Tesla had already foreseen these foibles, constantly deriding Marconi in his very technical and pointed public statements. Where publishers would permit him a platform to express these views, Tesla made the best use of his moment. Tesla already knew that Marconi was unable to exchange signals at certain hours of the day. He also peered into the Marconi “secrets” and exposed the probable fact that certain VLF frequencies would most likely give the Marconi Company a most difficult time because of natural static and other prevalent interference. Marconi hated these technical truths, unerringly accurate in their assessments of his best efforts. Indeed though coastland weather on either sides of the Atlantic might be clear, storms prevalent in the intervening seas could introduce “natural noise”. Signals, though sent out with greatest available power, would become a crashing incoherence once passing through a midoceanic storm.
- CHAPTER 5
- CHAPTER 7