In the summer of 1899, while alone in his Colorado Springs laboratory working with his magnifying transmitter, the inimitable Nikola Tesla observed a series of unusual rhythmic signals which he described as "counting codes." Having just detected cosmic radio signals for the first time, Tesla immediately believed them to be attempted communications from an intelligent life-form on either Venus or Mars, and later said of the experience, "The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another."
The next year, Tesla was asked by the Red Cross to predict man's greatest possible achievement over the next century. The letter below was his reply.
A much-needed transcript follows.
(Source: Tesla Society; Image: Tesla at work, via.)
To the American Red Cross, New York City.
The retrospect is glorious, the prospect is inspiring: Much might be said of both. But one idea dominates my mind. This — my best, my dearest — is for your noble cause.
I have observed electrical actions, which have appeared inexplicable. Faint and uncertain though they were, they have given me a deep conviction and foreknowledge, that ere long all human beings on this globe, as one, will turn their eyes to the firmament above, with feelings of love and reverence, thrilled by the glad news: "Brethren! We have a message from another world, unknown and remote. It reads: one… two… three…"