Wireless Caused Iena Disaster?

Tuesday, March 19, 1907
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The New York Times March 19, 1907 WIRELESS CAUSED IENA DISASTER? French Expert Thinks Outside C u r r e n t Communicated High-Tension Spark. LOCAL SCIENTISTS' VIEWS They Bay If the Theory ln Correct lt lndlcatss Gross Careleuness on the Vessel. TOULON, Mnrch 18,-M, Naudlll. U19 wlreless tclonaph expert, has nrtvnnred n new theory rognrdlng the muse of: the (llsunter In the battleship lénn, whose nfterpnrt wan drutroyml by the exploslon of n mugnzlnc on March l2. M. Nsudln says that at the tlme of the explosion It was noted that powerful wlrz-less currents wrru vnsslnl: und he llollevlm that the \'t-s:4<~l‘s Illulntlérl in the dry' dock hero rf-sullod lu the sc- curnulntlrm of secondary Hsrtzlnn ynwes ln the "ll" powder mnguslne (rom the nhlp‘s wireless npnnrntun and that sn nut- slds current communlcntcd s hlgh-¢Qhlf°!l spark. Pmf. Mlbhssl X. Pupln of Cdlumlxln Ilnl- verslty, who has been deeply lnteresled ln the development uf wlrt-less tolegruphy nnd has made many experiments wlth va- rlcus nppurotus, sold last night: " lf explyaslves urs lu-pt ln mstnllltr cnlses and grounded there could be no r-xplonilon caused by wlrolssn waves, but lf explo-` elves are not kept ln mstalllc cusvs snd zrounded, It mlght happen. Fallum to store explnslvcs nn A battleship ln MW other way would bu the hlzhest dekrec ul' carelessness. I should sly. Of course. I have no lnlurmltlon dbout the ronlllllons on the lérm at thotlms ct thc dlsuater." Dr. Lee De Forest told a"l`n|l:s reporter lnst nlght thnt he eonsklered the theory or M. Naualn ss zé the cause or th* Iénn dlnzulter Improbable, but ndmltted .that under certnln copdltlons lt mlght be écr- rect. lie lsld: " The thinnest sheet ot metal completely lncloslns' s space ls sn absolute burr!" to electrical wlwes, nc matter how ln- tnnse. It ls nnsurd to suppose, then, tlhst any spark could have been caused wllhln 'the msgnllne of the lens by waves sent out from some wireless transmltter out- slds the shlp. " It ls. however, ponlble thnt hlghlpo- tentlsl. hlgh-frequency currents could be induced ln the slcctrle light wires ‘cn bound from the 'klck-buck' ol |. powerful lnductlon coll or transformer feeding: sn csclllntlng circuit shd supplied from the ssme source of rlectrlc current. It ls ulsdeoricclvsble that from uuch slcdtrlc llght w1rds htultily lnsulstod from the heel walls ot the maxulns and not pro- tected ln iron oondults, spsrlts could wma.. Dr. be Forest sdded that lt wus almost lncoucelvsble that such an exploslon should occur unless the French were grossly negllgent ln their mt-than of mr. Ing the II-na. \‘v'hllq lt vu possible, he sald, that u dsfecllvely Insulated wire was ln clqse contact vrlth the powdéi. lt vnu hlghly l\'¥\l7\"0bBble, He recalled the experiments of Nltcl; Tesls with s dlr1|'lbls_torpedo about the tlms ct tne Spanish-American vrsrl. 'llesls then considered the problem of the uss ot wlreleu ulegriphy for directing tor~ pedoes and vdlsohsrglrif them. It vu Teslrs theory that s torpedzh mun- msnls could be controlled hy mquts of wsves ot electrical energy, and hs nude msny axnerlments to thls end. but with no pracllcul results. Al lhlt tlme Tests msde the statement that ln the :sms muxner he could groggggt s wsve of sultlcient lntensltpto clause 1' slpsrk ln_ n shlD'l mlllllhb and explodlelt. hst sutement ill rldlculed by cthgr el9Cll’1$~l $190115