Gustave Eiffel met Jules Verne along with Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison at his Tower apartment to start a secret society of optimists. Plus Ultra was founded at the 1889 World's Fair in Paris. The organization's purpose is to create, moderate and expand upon new scientific advancements for humanity. Key members of Plus Ultra included Ray Bradbury, Amelia Earhart, Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, and other key scientific figures. Walt Disney was a member of Plus Ultra.
In the early 1900s, Nikola Tesla discovered an alternate dimension, an ideal place for Plus Ultra to establish a experimental community of tomorrow. Opening a way into this dimension would be a focus of experimentation afterwards, with the Tunguska Event of 1908, a powerful explosion in the Siberian woodlands of unknown origin, actually being caused by Plus Ultra experimenting with an atomic weapon to open a way into the dimension. When safer methods for entering were developed, they began work on the city. Testing specialized aircraft developed for entering the dimension resulted in the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, who became stranded in the dimension for a brief time and became a secret agent of Plus Ultra upon her return to Earth.
In 1939, Plus Ultra was gearing for a public reveal of their city at the 1939 New York World's Fair. However, a conflict with Nazi spies led by an ex-Plus Ultra scientist, Werner Rotwang, resulted in the city becoming heavily damaged. Between this and the looming threat of World War II, Plus Ultra cancelled their event.
The Tomorrowland '59 expansion at Disneyland was actually about training future society members for the journey to an alternate-universe that had been found by Plus Ultra. The blueprints for the expansion held key technologies that enabled the journey, including Supra Transport.
Key VIPs who were encouraged to join Plus Ultra were given a special VIP audio tour of World's Fair attractions - such as Ford's Magic Skyway, and It's a Small World. For those that couldn't attend the fair, a double-grooved LP was given with the details.
- Nikola Tesla, inventor
- Thomas Edison, inventor
- Gustave Eiffel, architect and designer of the Eiffel Tower
- Jules Verne, writer and futurist
- H.G. Wells, writer and futurist
- Amelia Earhart, aviator
- Leó Szilárd, inventor
- Albert Einstein, inventor
- Howard Hughes, aeronautics engineer, businessman, philanthropist
- Fritz Lang, film director noted for the 1925 silent sci-fi classic Metropolis
- Samuel Langhorne Clemens AKA Mark Twain, writer
- Orson Welles, actor, director, writer, and narrator of Plus Ultra recruitment content for the 1939 New York World's Fair
- Ray Bradbury, writer and futurist
- Walt Disney, American entrepreneur, business magnate, animator, voice actor, producer, director, writer, founder, theme park magnate, and futurist
To be recruited into Plus Ultra, one had to meet certain criteria and guidelines in order to join or be asked to join. Recruiters and scouts were given these rules and sent out into the field. They were:
- Identify artists with a gift for positive, optimistic future-thinking.
- Must be amenable to working in mediums not yet discovered.
- Communication skills a huge plus.
- Avoid artists whose work focuses on anger, despair, hopelessness.
- Identify brilliance based on innovation and insightfulness.
- Look for those who are already solving the problems of the future.
- Make sure projects are not burdened by contemporary theories.
- Avoid entrants fixated on financial gain.
- Focus on applicants with expertise in space and para-phasic travel.
- Avoid those who did not pass security clearance.
- Befriend faculty at institutes of higher learning.
- Favorable locations include MIT, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon.
- Candidates will possess qualities of optimism and confidence in the future.
- Initial contacts should be in technology, science, and humanities divisions.
- Avoid those who display traits of cynicism, doubt, bitterness.
- Hint at technologies beyond the currently possible.
- Solicit constructive feedback at the ends of [Science Factual] episodes.
- Encourage viewers to submit their own visions of tomorrow.
- Avoid those who take a dim view of the future and/or the Science Factual program.
- Plus Ultra is latin for "further beyond".
- Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison were rivals, so the implication is that Plus Ultra was such an important project that Tesla and Edison were willing to call a truce on their rivalry and work for a common goal, or the rivalry between the two was not as bitter as media makes it out to be.
- Plus Ultra is also a catchphrase of the manga series My Hero Academia, which debuted in 2014; one year prior to Tomorrowland.