In Episode #2 of Season Three of “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,” Jesse and the crew investigate another one of the more enduring conspiracy theories of the last 25 years: the so-called “Death Ray” conspiracy.
This theory alleges that the U.S. government, and now possibly other governments around the world, as well, has developed a super weapon that is capable of destruction ranging from individual assassinations to the nearly instantaneous demolition of buildings and cities.
Different theorists trace the origin of this “Death Ray” weapon to different sources, but Jesse and the crew focus in on the theory that ascribes the development of the Death Ray to 1980’s era “Star Wars” research. President Ronald Reagan, at the height of the Cold War, instituted a program called “Star Wars”, which sought to create a weapon defense system capable of intercepting and destroying missile attacks from foreign enemies, such as the former Soviet Union. However, according to conventional history, the program was abandoned due to prohibitive costs and the system was never completed.
Jesse and the crew point to the work of physicist Nikola Tesla as the original source for the scientific discoveries that were later used in the Star Wars program, which then led to the development of Death Ray technology. Tesla, a common figured cited in many technologically-related conspiracy theories, died in 1943 while living in the States, and according to historical documents, after his death the research he left behind was confiscated by the FBI.
Jesse and the crew begin their investigation with the man Jesse says alerted him to the Death Ray conspiracy, Dr. Fred Bell. Bell claims to have worked on a lot of top secret programs, including the development of the Death Ray. Bell, a former NASA scientist and later a technological consultant on U.S. black ops technology programs, not only claims that he worked on the development of the technology, but that their research had proved successful and Death Ray technology had become operational by the late 1980’s. Bell claims he has come forward to speak about his experiences because of the threat that such a powerful weapon presents. “I think it’s going to be used for very destructive purposes,” says Bell. When Jesse asks if such a weapon would be capable of taking out an entire building, Bell responds by saying “Building? An entire city!”
Bell begins to describe the different forms and applications of such technology. According to Bell, the first phase or level of such technology can be used on a less intense level and reduced to a pocket sized weapon for assassinations. He describes this weapon as a sort of hand-held microwave you can direct at a target, which penetrates the skin and stimulates the central nervous system. Bell claims such a weapon leaves no traces of a crime, and is the perfect weapon for “wet work,” a common CIA slang term used for assassinations.
The second phase or level of this technology Bell describes as a large scale weapon that can actually turn matter into anti-matter and cause massive, nearly instantaneous devastation. “Something that big you’d want to make sure it doesn’t get out,” says Jesse. Bell says that such technology could also be used to protect the perimeter of an entire city from outside attack. “Protection around a city- this is where things start falling into place,” Jesse explains in a voice-over. Jesse seems to believe Bell, but doesn’t know why Bell is willing to take the risk of talking about what he knows. “Doctor, everything you’re telling me seems to be classified, top, top secret. Aren’t you in fear for your life?” he asks. “No, because sometimes even they need favors from me. Sometimes something is necessary, and I’ll help with that.”
“So that’s a start. Small enough to kill a person, big enough to take down a city. We’ve got to find out who’s got their hands on this thing, and what it’s being used for,” says Jesse. After his meeting with Dr. Bell, Jesse reconvenes with the team to report his findings and discuss where to look next for answers. “Here’s what it keeps coming back to me, folks. In the 80’s, what was Reagan’s major focus? Star Wars. They spent billions of dollars doing this, but they never ever told us if they were successful, did they? It kind of just went away. It kind of just drifted off into the sunset. What if they were successful?” One of Jesse’s crew, advisor Michael Braverman, chimes in. “It’s basically Tesla 2.0.” Then, Sean Stone, son of filmmaker Oliver Stone and member of Jesse’s investigative team, asks “Is this technology worth killing for to hide?” Jesse responds, “Your point is great. Would death be in the equation to this keep secret? People die. They’ve died for a lot less to keep things secret. Let’s get on this.”
Next, Jesse sends June Sarpong, a member of his team, to begin investigating the alleged source of Death Ray technology: Nikola Tesla. June meets with Michael Pravica, a man the narrator describes as “the world’s leading expert on Nikola Tesla.” According to Pravica, Tesla wanted to create free energy for all of humanity, but his efforts were thwarted by financiers who knew they couldn’t profit off such technology, and rescinded their funding of Tesla’s work in this area. The type of energy Tesla was working with, according to Pravica, was “directed energy”- a form of a beam of concentrated energy that can be directed at a target. According to Pravica, Tesla, himself, claimed to have invented a death ray based on such energy. However, on its website, the FBI denies that plans for Death Ray technology were confiscated and developed, and lists the Death Ray conspiracy on its top ten myths about the FBI. “Yeah, it seems like a case of denial. Modern warfare has Tesla’s footprint all over it,” asserts Pravica. “There’s no question in my mind those ideas were snapped up.” Pravica thinks that modern applications of directed energy technology are in use today, and may have been responsible for the destruction of TWA Flight 800 in 1996, as well as the crashes of the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. “The space shuttles, really?” says June. “It’s a theory,” replies Pravica.
Meanwhile, Sean Stone and Jesse’s son, Tyrel Ventura, head to Mexico to meet with a man who claims to have been a victim of Death Ray technology, military veteran Wilfred Lyne. Lyne had claims to have had top secret clearance in the Air Force, then retired and wrote a book called Pentagon Aliens, claiming most UFO’s are government craft. It is for this revelation that he believes the government has sought revenge against him and has been using low-level “Death Ray” technology to attack him. “I moved out back this way because I’ve was having trouble with these things. Yeah, shooting me. Yeah, I had to get away from the windows,” says Lyne. “There were bright flashes, and I got sick. I started getting headaches and I had a red splotch on my back.” Lyne goes on to describe the types of weapons that he believes are being used against him. “Basically, they call them stealth murder weapons.” According to Lyne, in such cases a coroner will not be able to detect the use of such a weapon, and will designate death by such a weapon as “death by natural causes.” “At low frequency, they can make your heart explode, make your lungs blow up, they can make you combust, spontaneously. Spontaneously combust,” contends Lyne. “Nobody is safe if they want to kill you, whoever ‘they’ is. It’s some kind of a shadow government that’s above our regular government, because I don’t think military people access to this information.” Lyne then suggests to June that they try to meet with Lt. Col. Thomas Bearden, a retired US Army Colonel and directed energy expert. Is he the possible link between Tesla and Star Wars technology?
At the follow-up meeting, Tyrel tells Jesse about a researcher he knows who once talked to Bearden. “He put so much fear into her, she quit,” Tyrel says. Some believe that many of those who have dared to look into directed energy, have been killed. “If people have died over this, its means you’re getting close to the truth,” says Jesse. June then heads to Alabama, where Bearden lives, to secure an interview. However, after June approaches the house and knocks on the front door, within minutes the police arrive asking her to leave.
Back in the conference room again after her failed journey to Alabama, June hands out files on people who have died that were associated in some way with directed energy weapons. Sudden heart attacks, rare illnesses, and mysterious accidents have befallen many of those who tried to pry the lid off the Death Ray conspiracy. According to June, two of the people who may have died as a result of such inquiries are Dr. Brian O’Leary, a former NASA astronaut, and Ariel Louise, grand-niece of Nikola Tesla. O’Leary was an astronaut but quit NASA, and became an expert on directed energy. O’Leary moved to Ecuador, and claimed that two of his colleagues in the States were killed for their work on directed energy. Shortly thereafter, O’Leary acquired a fast-moving cancer and died within months. Less information is provided on Ariel Louise, but it is claimed she died under similarly mysterious circumstances as a result of her investigation into directed energy weapons. June describes a technology that Bearden wrote about called the “ECM Venus Technique”, which will stop someone’s heart while making it seem like death by natural causes.
Back in the conference room, Braverman introduces the work of John Hutchison, a self-taught scientist from Vancouver who claims to have expanded on the work of Tesla in the field of directed energy. In the early 1980’s, Hutchison came out with videos of metal bending and melting, objects defying gravity and displaying other odd behaviors, apparently without any prompting other than from Hutchison’s Tesla-inspired devices. “He’s actually is one step beyond Tesla. He’s created this thing called the Hutchison effect,” explains Braverman. Jesse and the team watch some of the videos, while the voice-over narrator describes the footage as having been “vetted.” (It is suggested readers examine the videos themselves to determine if they’re credible.) “Look at this… it’s crushing and twisting!” exclaims Jesse. While watching one of Hutchison’s videos, Jesse stops dead in his tracks. “Now wait a minute people, hold on, when I went to that warehouse in new York city on 9/11, that’s exactly how that metal looked in the warehouse. Just like that. It looked burnt. It looked twisted like that metal in the warehouse.” “Can you imagine if you had this on a larger scale? What you could do to a whole building?,” wonders Sean Stone. “Look, It’s obvious people, we’ve got to find John Hutchison. He’s got the most knowledge of what we’re talking about here. And I want to tell you right now- be careful. Let’s be careful,” warns Jesse.
Jesse, himself, then heads to Minnesota where Hutchison and his wife now live. “John Hutchison, he’s about to get the Ventura treatment!” says Jesse. The narrator describes Hutchison as possibly a key player in the plot to use a Death Ray weapons against us. “This all looks crazy, but Hutchison’s experiments led him to a job with the US military. His research became the basis of the Star Wars program… the one that supposedly never got off the ground,” says Jesse.
Jesse arrives at Hutchison’s house, where Hutchison continues to work on his own, independent directed energy research. According to Hutchison, directed energy weapons are in use today, and may have been used in the war in Iraq. “In or around 2006, Donald Rumsfeld and others wanted me to work for them again. And I respectfully declined.” Jesse then tells Hutchison, “I want to see the proof.”
Hutchison takes Jesse inside and wants to show him a demonstration of directed energy using what Jesse refers to as a “super-charged vandergraph generator.” Jesse notices a shock he receives from the device, joking “lucky for me it’s set to ‘low’.” “You were just hit a directed energy weapon,” explains Hutchison’s wife. On a larger scale, such a device can be used for assassinations. “They call them ion cannons… body disintergration, basically,” explains Hutchison. “This is it- the technology they developed for Star Wars,” asserts Jesse.
Hutchison then shows Jesse a small, hand-held laser type object, that starts burning through a metal pipe. “It’ll burn right into you,” warns Hutchison. “Jesse, you’ve gotta really see what’s in the front yard.” Hutchison proceeds to show Jesse his own homemade Death Ray, mounted on top of an old SWAT bus. Hutchison hopes that such technologies can be used for good, such as cleaning up oil spills.
Hutchison then goes on to back up the claims that scientists and others associated with Death Ray research have been killed, claiming he knows of 10-12 who worked on the Star Wars programwho are now dead. “Car crashes, O.D.’s, suicides, heart attacks- all scientists working on Star Wars research. Oh yeah, there were headlines and investigations, but they called it all a coincidence,” says Jesse. Hutchison was friends with Brian O’Leary, and knew Ariel Louise, who he claims stalked him. Hutchison says that Louise actually died the day he and his wife got married. In the end, Jesse seems to believe what Hutchison is telling him. “John Hutchison isn’t crazy. I’ve seen all his gadgets work with my own eyes. And it’s got me thinking- the Death Ray may already be at work.” “It could actually take out a whole continent,” explains Hutchison.
As the investigation proceeds, Jesse notices similarities between the effects of directed energy weapons and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and goes public with his beliefs on the “Alex Jones Radio Show.” “There was something else in play there, Alex. There was a weapon in play. I can equate to being like a microwave,” explains Jesse. “Those towers literally disintegrated, they went into dust.” Jesse caused controversy a few years ago when he backed nanothermite as the cause of the destruction on 9/11, and his new stance has his son, Tyrel, concerned about his reputation. “You can’t change your theory half way through!” yells Tyrel. “Are you crazy?” “No, I’m not crazy,” says Jesse. “When new evidence comes forward, you have to consider it!” “I’m talking about credibility. You’re talking about laser beams!” exclaims Tyrel.
However, Jesse believes he has someone who can explain it all: Dr. Judy Wood, author of the book Where Did the Towers Go? “As it turns out, there’s a book that explains it all,” says Jesse. Dr. Judy Wood has degrees in civil engineering, physics, and engineering science, and Jesse feels she’s a credible expert on the subject of 9/11. Jesse, Tyrel, and Dr. Wood examine photographs and video from the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. One of Wood’s arguments is that there wasn’t the amount of rubble after the collapse that one would expect from such a large building. “Where’s the rest of this material?” she asks. “It’s not on the ground. Where are they? They’re gone!” says Jesse. According to Wood, the remaining material at the site was only 2% of original building height, while one would expect the material would have been 12.5% of original building height. “There ain’t enough rubble,” says Jesse.
The next issue Wood brings up is the issue of the dust sent into the air from the explosions. In controlled demolitions, the dust doesn’t rise about the original height of the building. However, it did on 9/11, which makes Wood believe that directed energy weapons, not nanothermite or other demolition materials, were used to take down the towers.
Wood also points to the magnitude of the seismic impact caused by the collapse of the Towers on 9/11 as evidence for use of a directed energy weapon. The towers created a 2.3 magnitude when they collapsed, similar to the magnitude created by the demolition of the Kingdome Arena in Seattle, Washington. However, the seismic impact should have been 30 times larger than that of the Kingdome, since the Towers were much more massive. Wood also believes that such an explosion and collapse would have crushed the parking garage under the complex, but it didn’t. “Why wouldn’t this be part of the pancake? Isn’t that a fair question to ask?” states Jesse. Wood also points to cars that were parked blocks away, but somehow were melted from the event. “It’s not a kinetic energy device, it’s a directed energy device,” explains Wood.
Tyrel Ventura then asks Judy if she’s received any backlash or repercussions from her work. According to Wood, she has. Her research assistant, the only person working with her on the 9/11 case, was murdered- shot on a sidewalk without explanation. “It sure seems like bad luck has hit everyone working on the Death Ray,” says Jesse.
The episode concludes with some disturbing news involving one of the people interviewed during the investigation. Two days after meeting with Jesse, and less than 12 hours after posting a picture of himself and Ventura on his website, Dr. Fred Bell collapsed and died in his hotel room. Tyrel then interviews Bell’s fiancé, Mikelle Williams, the only witness to his death. “It looked like he was having a seizure or something. And I was screaming and trying to call 911.” Williams claims security ushered her out of the room, and by the time she arrived at the hospital Bell was dead. Bell was 68 years old, and in reasonably good health. “The coroner says… ‘natural causes’,” Jesse gravely states.
At the end of the investigation, Jesse and the crew seem unnerved by what they’ve found, and the death of Dr. Bell only cements such feelings. In his final words of the episode, Jesse sums up the reality-altering experience. “Every once in awhile something happens that shakes me to the core. Dr. Fred Bell dying two days after our interview was one of those moments. The coroner says it was natural causes. Maybe it was. But it sure seems like a lot of people involved with Death Ray technology wind up dead. Is the Death Ray being used as a weapon? I have no doubt. Was it used to take down the towers on 9/11? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you, it’s the most logical explanation I’ve heard so far. I may never know the truth about what happened on that day, but I won’t stop trying to find out. Until I do, I’m Jesse Ventura, and this is ‘Conspiracy Theory’.” Tune in next week for a recap of Season Three, Episode #3: Time Travel.