There are powers governing this world with the ability to conduct mystifying experiments— there are government operations so elusive that alien encounters, top secret military endeavors and advances in science and technology can be swept under the national rug and hushed up as quickly as speculation stirs. The secrets of our higher powers can destroy mankind as swiftly as it can save it from destruction. One famous case involves the mysterious Philadelphia Experiment: a military project so baffling, it’s nearly an urban legend.
A Canon-class destroyer called the USS Eldridge will forever go down in history as the most mysterious ship that ever vanished. A top classified military experiment was underway to envelop the ship in a force field rendering it completely invisible, both to radar as well as the naked eye. On October 28th, 1943, the test reportedly took place in front of hundreds of people, yet the accounts were canned, and the incident reduced to hearsay. On record, the United States Navy denies all accounts of the event whatsoever, so whether the Philadelphia Experiment is a top-secret technology trial or merely a case of science fiction, remains a popular topic of debate. Here are ten fascinating facts about the inconclusive Philadelphia Experiment.
10. Confined to Conspiracy
For decades the experiment has been reduced to stories of urban legend and conspiracy theory. After all, how could military masterminds execute the invisibly of an entire ship to gain immunity from torpedoes and mines. Such a simple task could be achieved through minimalizing and bending the magnetic field surrounding the ship— a project conducted at a naval shipyard in Philadelphia; this much is known to be true. The rest has been heavily debated across conspiracy circles and fanatics of legend and lore.
According to Navy personnel, the reason for the USS Eldridge appearing in both Philadelphia and Norfolk Virginia on the same day is due to an access channel. The passageway was not permitted for use by any other ships, but the access allowed for the craft to travel the distance in under 6 hours— thirty hours faster than the ordinary route. To this day, the Navy insists that they never made a ship disappear and that the story behind the Experiment is nothing but crazy theories and accounts by the clinically insane. The do admit, however, to a project involving technology that would make their ships undetectable of German electromagnetic weaponry.
9. The Act of Invisibility
Attempts at invisibility have been a coveted government goal for years. And this has not been limited to government operations only, but humanity as well favor notions of faintness. We see this in films such as The Invisible Man, The Invisible Woman, Harry Potter and his invisibility cloak, and countless magicians who expertly craft the trick in order to awe their audiences. Let’s recall the technology employed by a German aircraft in 1944 with the invention of the first stealth jet. In another instance, rumor had it that the Nazi’s had been evolving other like forms of technology that the United States were trying to seize for themselves.
8. The Brains Behind the Project
For questions about how a team of men could render a ship invisible, researchers turn to Einstein’s Unified Field Theory. As old journals would have it, Einstein’s theory was left untouched; in fact, the philosophy he spent the last years of his life on is attributed to the technology backing the USS Eldridge’s mystic disappearing act. Einstein determined that gravity and electromagnetism are completely independent of one another and he fought to combine the two into one theoretical scheme. While the mastermind never finished his work, sources believe that a scientist working for the Navy was able to complete Einstein’s concept and crack the code behind it all. The outcome? A hands-on application resulting in the Philadelphia Experiment.
7. Secrets of the Suicidal
It was all fun and fantasy until a real account emerged from an astronomer by the name of Morris K. Jessup. A seeker of the unknown and unexplainable, Jessup published his book The Case of the UFO, and cautioned of the powers associated with government influence. He warned of the number of top-secret projects carried out by military powers and how weak society was under their thumb.
Soon after the book was released, Jessup began receiving dozens of letters rambling on about Einstein, electromagnetic forces and classified Naval projects. One particular topic of conversation was the Philadelphia Experiment; unfortunately, investigators cannot rely on this eye witness any longer, as his unexpected death in 1953 was ruled a suicide.
6. The Man Behind the Letters
The mysterious man behind the letters written to Jessup wrote under the pseudonym Carlos Allende. The source, Carl Allen, provided a full testimony highly detailing his eye witness experience with the scientifically structured ship. According to Allen, he personally witnessed a secret World War II project at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. During the experiment, the witness claimed that the destroyer escort USS Eldridge became invisible before it teleported to New York and after that, teleported to another dimension. In this final destination, Allen claims the ship encountered aliens during its stint in time travel.
The mission resulted in the death of several sailors who reportedly fused to the ship’s hull during transport. Another account features Allen’s statement of the spectacle while he was serving aboard the SS Andrew Furuseth; here, claims consist of the viewing of the USS Eldridge appearing out of thin air. Allen went on to tell the tale and quickly became known as the sole originator of the Experiment story. Unfortunately, Allen’s claims were belittled to mental illness in which critics insisted him insane, before dismissing his account as a cry for attention. Even Jessup discredited the letter writer’s accusations, writing off the man as a “crackpot.”
5. Another Claim to Fame?
A crazy claim comes from a man known as Al Bielek, or Ed Cameron. Allegedly Bielek was with his brother diving around the ship on the day of its experiment. Not only did the pair see the project unfold, but both brothers were supposedly teleported into the future, to the year 2137. After remaining there for approximately two whole years, Bielek and his brother Duncan were transported back to the year 1983. The man since published two books to actualize the experience but was rejected by skeptics, who claim the time traveler as either a con-artist or lunatic.
4. The First Go
The events surrounding the Philadelphia Experiment are not limited to one instance only. While the second experiment is the most famous, the first is fascinating also. After all, who would have thought that a large vessel would possess the capability to vanish and reappear only moments later? While the US Navy insists the project impossible since claims fail to conform to physical laws, maintaining the experiment never took place, there are those who swear by the occurrence. After the USS Eldridge disappeared and reappeared on July 22nd, one pressing question irked those involved in the sighting, or lack thereof— for what happened to the ship and where did it go?
3. Two Time’s a Charm
To compliment the first experiment, the Naval conducted a second test in order to do something with the ship after it gained invisibility. According to eye witness accounts, on October of 1943, the USS Eldridge miraculously appeared out of nowhere in the waters of Norfolk, Virginia. Sources claim the massive ship materialized before disappearing again moments later. Somehow, someway, the US Navy managed to transport an invisible boat 300 miles from its original location.
2. Situations and Side Effects
While the first situation involving a bizarre bar fight is purely based on personal account, it is still an event reported by more than one eye witness; further, the account is featured in the letters written by Carl Allen. Sources say a wild bar brawl broke out between two sailors involved with the experiment and before the incident was resolved, both men vanished into thin air.
In addition, the side effects were mentally crippling to crewman who worked on the Philadelphia, and the cognitive aftermath is far more troubling than a debatable bar scuffle. Speculation claims that the technologies tied to the disappearing canon class were abandoned after sailors fell violently ill or went completely insane. The experiment had traumatic consequences on the workers with some saying that after its reappearance, many men were frighteningly fused with the ship.
1. The Government Never Lies
The notion of invisibility and transport of a 500-foot, 9000-ton Naval fleet sounds highly far-fetched, which is why the government would never admit to pulling off such a feat. It doesn’t help that many conspiracy theorists have been proven true over time; for example, the government undergoing the training of cats as spies during the cold war, a syphilis study which resulted in the denial of hundreds from treatment, and the government performing chemical weaponry tests on its own citizens.
As far as records go, the Ship’s archives indicate that the USS Eldridge was never in Philadelphia nor Norfolk at any time in October of 1942. In fact, the boat was supposedly stationed in Bermuda for the first half of October and in New York for the second. Conspiracy theorists will be quick to remind that the log of a ship can be altered at any time; in addition, it would be rough to try and track the movement of an invisible ship. Therefore, the exact whereabouts remain largely debated.
So where is it now? Probably in the year 2056! All sarcasm aside, the USS Eldridge succumbed to a dreary fate. Official documents log the ship’s journey to Greece where it was renamed the HS Leon. The vessel was mandated for several Cold War missions before being decommissioned and sold off for scrap metal.
Our conclusion? Considering the governments ability to classify top secret events and keep the public at a silent standstill, and considering their known ability to lie, it wouldn’t be so far-fetched to render the Philadelphia Experiment as fascinating as it is factual.