Close Encounters of the "Tesla" Kind

Russian countryside yields sometimes most improbable sights - abandoned artifacts and installations from bizarre military/scientific research, strangely futuristic forms left to rust and decay - to be found by a curious photographer.

"Master" stumbled upon this installation close to Russian city of Istra (50 km from Moscow) quite by chance, and these mysterious shots were percolating for a while around the web, until the answer was found. According to this little, cryptic, and quite secretive website, the weird alien-like towers are the Experimental Grounds for High-Voltage Generation, the only open-air kind in the world. Amazingly, it's still in use... as the powerful lightnings rip through the night and the darkened forest - much like in "The Prestige" movie.

High Voltage Cascade Transformers (for alternating current):

Towering High Voltage Pulse Generator:

This is it! Aliens' landing pad! (just joking) -

I wonder if people in these apartment buildings can see mysterious "flashes in the night"... -

(Images published by permission of Master-z-great)

Generator tower height: 43 meters
Maximum output voltage: 9 Megavolt
Record length of lightning discharge attained - 150 meters

Yes, be careful going around in that forest: 150 meters-long lightnings are no joke:

The structures were erected in the late 70s, and certainly are not in the best condition today. However, they are still in active use, according to official research papers:

The Institute has open-air, as well as indoor testing grounds:

The experiments are based on work of Nikola Tesla, who was considered to be something of a "mad scientist" in his later years (according to Wiki), but continued research with generators and multi-million volts transmitters until his death in 1943.

His tower generators, akin to one found in the Russian forest:


Similarly fantastic experiments are going on in the US

Consider High frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP. Their official site is full of helpful scientific info, but fails to mention the possible adverse effects that such high-powered installations can have on weather and atmospheric patterns.

HAARP Ionospheric Research Observatory in Gakona, Alaska - aiming to simulate and control ionospheric processes that might alter the performance of global communication systems.

(image credit: HAARP)

(image credit: ru_abandoned)

This ionospheric research project is a ready target for various conspiracy theories, discussing its possible use as a nefarious weapon, affecting the very Earth climate and causing earthquakes. You are welcome to form your own opinion on this, but I might say that Nikola Tesla would be quite at home there, happily uncovering new ways to energize the world.


or check out

Permanent Link...
Category: Technology,Science


Visual Caffeine #8
Visual Caffeine, Issue 8

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Visual Caffeine #7
Visual Caffeine, Issue 7

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Art Deco
Imperial Dreams: Art Deco Update

Wings, Gears, & Glamorous Ladies

1970s SciFi
DRB Pics-of-the-Day

Grand Space Adventure 1970s Art

"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly visual presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine, bringing you quality entertainment every time you open your "feed" reader or visit our site - About DRB

Connect with us and become part of DRB on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus; make sure to subscribe to our updates.



Blogger Sigivald said...

...fails to mention the possible adverse effects that such high-powered installations can have on weather and atmospheric patterns.

Perhaps because there really aren't any: "The intensity of the HF signal in the ionosphere is less than 3 microwatts per cm2, tens of thousands of times less than the Sun's natural electromagnetic radiation reaching the earth and hundreds of times less than even the normal random variations in intensity of the Sun's natural ultraviolet (UV) energy which creates the ionosphere."

And the total power is 3.6MW; at least two radio transmitters have been 2.5MW, and commercial radio in the US, on the high end, can exceed 100KW.

Given the aggregate of the radio output worldwide, I wouldn't worry about one 3.6MW array hurting the environment - they don't mention it on the website because there's no reason to believe it does so in any way.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Great info, Sigivald...
Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That first picture looks like it comes straight out of a Myst game.p

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Goofy sticking-out-tongue emoticon above was completely unintentional ;-0

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the damn C&C Tesla Coils all over again! Yargh!

Blogger ComputerKurt said...

"discussing it's possible use as a nefarious weapon"


Blogger Homage said...

These are amazing! The only gripe I have is that you appear to have caught the disease that makes people, when they're sharing superb photos, feel that viewers will click out if there aren't some "funny" captions.

Trust me, you don't need "funny" captions!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

See the Russian site in Google Earth. Use this co-ordinate:

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Wow Jim

this is impressive. Nothing escapes all-seeing eye.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, that picture of Tesla sitting in the middle of the room with all the electricity surrounding him is a double exposure. Nobody would survive something like that.

And that giant Tesla Coil near the bottom was going to power the entire world, until Tesla ran out of funds for complicated reasons. (Partly due to the fact that they thought he was mad.) He swore to his dying day that it would've worked. He turned it on just before it was destroyed despite the fact that it was incomplete and it created an aurora in the sky. Makes you wonder...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually theres nothing particularly dangerous about high voltages - the spark that happens occasionally when you touch a car or doorhandle an be in excess of 30,000 volts. As my electronics teacher used to say, "Its the Volts that make your hair stand on end, but its the Amps that kill you" Mr. Tesla would have been quite save so long as the amperage was low enough. The sparks are spectacular but mostly harmless. Better to worry about the carcinogenic ozone given off.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found it on Google maps:

Blogger Elisabel said...

I always thought electronic plants where creepy .... but nw i know i'm not the only one


Anonymous Paddy said...

"It's the Volts that jolts, but the Mils that kills"!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who says something like "Volts jolt but amps kill" hasn't a clue what they're talking about. Ohms law says that volts and amps and proportional to each other by resistance. When producing voltages, current is limited by resistance. In terms of personal safety, current is limited by the resistance of the body which is not nearly high enough to protect you against any level of high voltage.

Anonymous UFO said...

i would really like to know the truth about tesla and his discoveries... but they're mostly gone...

Anonymous UFO sightings said...

Nice pictures you got there mate, interesting post too, really got me thinking about Tesla again.

Appreciate it.


Anonymous Honest Abe said...

Real Alien Footage right in front of our eyes and we choose not to recognize it , great post!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this site has nothing to do with tesla or his coils, this is a marx generator, an entirely different way to make high voltage.

Anonymous Carl Thomas said...

Looks like something out of a 50s SF film.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Don't miss: The Ultimate Guide to NEW SF&F Writers!
Fiction Reviews: Classic Cyberpunk: Extreme Fiction
Short Fiction Reviews: Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (with pics)
New Fiction Reviews: The Surreal Office


Abandoned, Dieselpunk
DRB Pic-of-the-Day

Abandoned: Streamlined Three-wheeler

Visual Caffeine #6
Visual Caffeine, Issue 6

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Visual Caffeine #5
Visual Caffeine, Issue 5

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Hellish Weather on Other Planets

Wild, Untamed, and Uncut

Medieval Suits of Armor

Metal Body Suits vs. Weapons of Medieval Destruction

World's Strangest Theme Parks

Amusement to the (twisted) extremes!

Enchanting Victorian Fairy Tale Art

"Then world behind and home ahead..."

Adorable Pedal Cars

Collectable Pedal Vehicles Showcase

Japanese Arcades: Gundam Pods & Other Guilty Pleasures

These machines have gone up to the next level

Modernist Tallinn Architecture

Delicious blend of old and new!

Early Supercomputers: A Visual Overview

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons"

Futuristic Concept Cars of the 1970-80s

French, Italian & Japanese rare beauties

Epic 1970s French Space Comic Art

DRB Time-Slice: Valérian and Laureline

The Trees Are Escaping! The Abandoned Prison in French Guiana

"Great Escape" from the Devil's Island

(with previews, fast loading):


Link Lattes

Feel-Good & Biscotti Issues

Feel-Good! | airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | books | cool ads | funny pics | famous | futurism | food
gadgets | health | history | humour | japan | internet | link latte | military | music | nature | photo | russia | steampunk
sci-fi & fantasy | signs | space | sports | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird | abandoned