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Just Pie in the Sky?

Just Pie in the Sky?

By Mike Davis

Len Stutter, 37, of Basingstoke, claims to have discovered long-lost research papers belonging to Croatian inventor, Nikola Tesla. The papers, found in a charity shop by Mr Stutter whilst holidaying in the Balkans, suggest that Tesla, in addition to his ground-breaking experiments with electricity and radio, was hoping to perfect a technique for broadcasting food.

Should the papers prove genuine, Tesla’s so-called ‘Chow Ray’ could revolutionise the way the world looks on hunger. A series of broadcast towers, stretching around the globe, would enable the instantaneous transmission of foodstuffs to anyone who had a receiver unit.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesperson told us, “Obviously, it would not be possible to broadcast just any sort of food. The papers we have been allowed to view suggest the system is based on UHF frequencies, like television signals, and thus the moisture content of the food would be critical. Too much water and the food would cook during transmission.

“Biscuits would work, as might hard cheeses or Pringles. Soups and cooked pasta would be right out of the question. Shame really, I’m quite partial to a good spag bol. In any event, there is still a lot of developmental work to be done.”

FBI documents released under the freedom of information act confirm that the US government investigated this research in the early 1940s with a view towards creating a system that could beam food directly to troops in the field.

For some time, rumours have circulated concerning a failed attempt, in 1943, to broadcast food to a US Navy ship at the Philadelphia shipyards. The secret experiment is said to have gone horribly wrong, resulting in the ‘disappearance’ of several dozen hamburgers and the death of some sailors.

A UN spokesperson told us that they, too, had seen extracts from the papers and would be watching developments with interest. A major problem identified by their scientific experts, however, is one of cost-effectiveness. Professor Griffin of the UN Technical Projects Section explained, “Using current technology, the transmission of a 70p loaf to Kenya, for example, would cost £15,000. This is a bit of a setback for the Chow Ray enthusiasts. It is hoped, of course, that as technology improves, costs will fall and the technique will become viable.”

If this has whet your appetite for more, why not try:

- Spoof - Drawing the short straw
- Straight - Who was Tesla?
- News - The perfect bacon sarnie
- Reviews - Sushi shaped gadgets
- Strange - Other odd food technology - the foodstuff thrower

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29 Apr 2010
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