THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT
by Mark Bean (Edited by Ken Wright)
The following account is the story - or legend - of what has become popularly known as the “Philadelphia Experiment,” also referred to as “Project Rainbow.” Much has been written about this topic and the purpose of this page is an attempt to separate fact from rumor. The Philadelphia Experiment was an attempt by the U.S. Navy to create a ship that could not be detected by magnetic mines and or radar. However, its results were far different and much more dangerous than the U.S. Navy ever expected. The technical data that has also been presented upon the subject hold far too much credence to be ignored. Many of the stories associated with this infamous experiment are wild: Whispers of men “freezing” in time for months, rumors of men traveling through time, and horror stories of men becoming stuck in either bulkheads or the main deck of the ship itself. Could any of this have actually occurred? Read the following account and decide for yourself.
“Project Rainbow” was an experiment conducted upon a small destroyer escort ship during World War II while the ship was in Philadelphia Harbor at the Navy Yard and while it was at sea. The purpose of the experiment was to make the ship invisible to enemy detection. The accounts vary as to whether the original idea was to achieve invisibility to enemy radar or whether the prize sought after was more profound: optical invisibility. Either way, it is commonly believed that the mechanism involved was the generation of an incredibly intense magnetic field around the ship, which would cause refraction or bending of light or radar waves around the ship, much like a mirage created by heated air over a road on a summer day. The legend goes on to say that the experiment was a complete success ... except that the ship actually disappeared physically for a time, and then returned. They wanted to “cloak” the ship from view, but they actually achieved was apparent de-materialization and teleportation instead.HISTORY
In the early 1930’s, the University of Chicago investigated the possibility of invisibility through the use of electric fields and magnetic fields. This project was later moved to Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Studies. The research went unnoticed and continued on until the 1940’s. The ship that was eventually used for the experiment, U.S.S. Eldridge (DE-173), was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on August 27, 1943 (Department of the Navy). According to Al Bielek, a man who claims to have been a crew member, the first tests performed were in July of 1943 and the final test was performed on August 12, 1943. However, others claim that the experiment took place on October 28, 1943. Substantial evidence points to the October date as being more accurate. The U.S. Navy has released the U.S.S. Eldridge’s deck log and war diary and at no time was the U.S.S. Eldridge in Philadelphia. However, the records could have easily been changed. The U.S.S. Eldridge’s war diary reads as such:
The U.S.S. Eldridge remained in New York and the Long Island Sound until September 16, when it left for Bermuda. From September 18 to October 15, it underwent training and sea trials. On October 18, it left in a convoy for New York and remained there until November 1. From November 1 to the 2, it went on a convoy to Norfolk and on November 3 left in a convoy for Casablanca. The U.S.S. Eldridge arrived in Casablanca on November 22 and stayed there until November 29, when it left for New York again in another convoy. The U.S.S. Eldridge arrived in New York on December 17. From December 17 to December 31, it traveled to Norfolk with four other U.S. Navy warships. Although this is not the entire war log, it is the log of the ship during the suspected time the experiment took place (October 28, as mentioned above).
It would seem that the U.S. Navy never did experiments on the U.S.S. Eldridge at any time, but the U.S. Government has been known to cover up because of national security before. An example of such a situation would be the Manhattan project. This secret project was the building of the atomic bomb and no word was ever said about it until it was obvious that we had an atomic bomb. The U.S. Navy, in a search for a plausible answer, has suggested that perhaps the Philadelphia Experiment was confused with experiments done attempting invisibility to magnetic mines. This was a process known as degaussing. The U.S. Navy defines degaussing as:
“...a process in which a system of electrical cables are installed around the circumference of the ship’s hull, running from bow to stern on both sides. A measured electrical current is passed through these cables to cancel out the ship’s magnetic field. Degaussing equipment was installed in the hull of U.S. Navy ships and could be turned on whenever the ship was in waters that might contain magnetic mines...”
The U.S. Navy performed another experiment on the U.S.S, Timmerman’s generating plant in the 1950’s. The experiment tried to obtain 1,000 Hz instead of the standard 400 Hz from the generator. It resulted in light discharges. These light discharges may have been witnessed by Carlos Miguele Allende and caused him to start writing letters to prominent men in the scientific community. The U.S. Navy believes that Allende mistook the experiment on the Timmerman for the Philadelphia Experiment.
It has been claimed that the Philadelphia Experiment was partly an investigation into how Albert Einstein’s “Unified Field Theory for Gravitation and Electricity” might be used to advantage in the development of electronic camouflage for ships at sea. Einstein allegedly published his Unified Theory around 1925 - 1927 in German, in a Prussian scientific journal, but it was later withdrawn as incomplete. This research was aimed at using intense electromagnetic fields to mask a ship from incoming projectiles, mainly torpedoes. This was later extended to include a study of creating radar invisibility by a similar field in the air rather than in the water.THE STORY
The story begins in June of 1943, with the Destroyer Escort, U.S.S. Eldridge, DE-173, being fitted with tons of experimental electronic equipment. This included, according to one source, two massive generators of 75 KVA each, mounted where the forward gun turret would have been, distributing their power through four magnetic coils mounted on the deck. Three RF transmitters (2 megawatt CW each, mounted on the deck), three thousand “6L6” power amplifier tubes (used to drive the field coils of the two generators), special synchronizing and modulation circuits, and a host of other specialized hardware were employed to generate massive electromagnetic fields which, when properly configured, would be able to bend light and radio waves around the ship, thus making it invisible to enemy observers.
The “experiment,” said to have taken place at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and also at sea, took place on at least one occasion while in full view of the Merchant Marine ship S.S. Andrew Furuseth, and other observation ships. The S.S. Andrew Furuseth becomes significant because one of its crewmen is the source of most of the original material making up the PX legend. Carlos Miguele Allende, also known as (A.K.A.) Carl Michael Allen, wrote a series of strange letters to one Dr. Morris K. Jessup in the 1950’s in which he described what he claims to have witnessed: at least one of the several phases of the Philadelphia Experiment.
At 0900 hours, on July 22nd, 1943, the power to the generators was turned on, and the massive electromagnetic fields started to build up. A greenish fog was seen to slowly envelop the ship, concealing it from view. Then the fog itself is said to have disappeared, taking the U.S.S. Eldridge with it, leaving only undisturbed water where the ship had been anchored only moments before.
The elite officers of the U.S. Navy and scientists involved gazed in awe at their greatest achievement: the ship and crew were not only radar invisible but invisible to the eye as well! Everything worked as planned, and about fifteen minutes later they ordered the men to shut down the generators. The greenish fog slowly reappeared, and the U.S.S. Eldridge began to re-materialize as the fog subsided, but it was evident to all that something had gone wrong.
When boarded by personnel from shore, the crewmembers above decks were disoriented and nauseous. The U.S. Navy removed the crew from that original experiment, and shortly afterward, obtained another crew for a second experiment. In the end, the U.S. Navy decided that they only wanted to achieve radar invisibility, and the equipment was altered.
On the 28th of October in 1943, at 17:15, the final test on the U.S.S. Eldridge was performed. The electromagnetic field generators were turned on again, and the U.S.S. Eldridge became nearly invisible. Only a faint outline of the hull remained visible in the water. Everything was fine for the first few seconds, and then, in a blinding blue flash, the ship completely vanished. Within seconds it reappeared hundreds of miles away, in Norfolk, Virginia, and was seen for several minutes. The U.S.S. Eldridge then disappeared from Norfolk as mysteriously as it had arrived, and reappeared back in Philadelphia Naval Yard. This time most of the sailors were violently sick. Some of the crew were simply “missing” never to return. Some of the crew went crazy. The strangest result of all of this experiment was that five men were found fused to the metal within the ship’s structure.
The men that survived were never the same again. Those that lived were discharged as “mentally unfit” for duty, regardless of their true condition.
So, what had begun as an experiment in electronic camouflage, ended up as an accidental teleportation of an entire ship and crew, to a distant location and back again, all in a matter of minutes!
Although the above may seem fantastic, one must remember, that in the 1940’s the atomic bomb was also being invented.THE WITNESSES
Carlos Miguele Allende was born on May 31, 1925. On July 14, 1942, Allende joined the Marine Corps and was discharged on May 21, 1943 (Taken from the book titled The Philadelphia Experiment, pg 99). He, then, joined the Merchant Marine and was assigned to the S.S. Andrew Furuseth. It was upon this ship that he claimed to see the U.S.S. Eldridge in action. Allende’s story was bizarre; he stated that he had witnessed the U.S.S. Eldridge being transported instantaneously to Norfolk from Philadelphia and back again in a matter of minutes. Upon researching the matter further, he learned of extremely odd occurrences associated with the project and wrote a basic summation of his newly learned knowledge in a letter to Dr. Morris K. Jessup. Dr. Jessup was an astronomer and Allende had been in the audience of one of Dr. Jessup’s lectures. Apparently having some respect for the man, he decided to entrust Dr. Jessup with his knowledge. The letters were written oddly: with capitalization, punctuation, and underlines located in various places. The letters were, also, written in several colors. In his letters, Allende revealed horrifying details of the Philadelphia Experiment to Dr. Jessup. Because Dr. Jessup was something of a believer in odd phenomenon he did not entirely dismiss the ideas presented to him. He wrote back to Allende and requested new information. The return address upon the letter never existed according to the mail-service, yet, Allende still received Dr. Jessup’s reply. Allende responded with more detailed letters but the correspondence eventually discontinued because Dr. Jessup dismissed it as a hoax. During the time of Dr. Jessup’s and Allende’s correspondence, Dr. Jessup had just recently published his book titled “The Case for UFO’s.” After Allende had written to Dr. Jessup, this book was sent to the U.S. Navy and had hand-written notes inside the book. The notes were in the same writing as in the letters sent to Dr. Jessup and eventually Dr. Jessup was asked by the U.S. Navy to view the notes.
Dr. Jessup recognized the writing immediately, but he was somewhat astonished, as he had concluded earlier that it was merely a hoax to trick him. The notes in the book were more detailed than in the letters and were highly insightful, so Dr. Jessup eventually believed them and researched the matter. Unfortunately, Dr. Jessup could not find any new leads. Only one tantalizing clue had shown up. Two crewmen had been walking in a park when a haggard looking man approached them. The man told them a fantastic story about an experiment done in which most of the crew died or suffered terrible side effects. He said that the government then claimed the entire crew was insane so that when they came forward, they would merely be dismissed as a group of crazy people who had merely concocted some fantastic story. After the conversation, one crew member was convinced while the other was not. Eventually, the member that had been convinced contacted Dr. Jessup and told him the story. Although this was a substantial lead, Dr. Jessup was not getting very far and he found that his reputation in the scientific community was worsening. Faced with overwhelming odds, Dr. Jessup eventually committed suicide on April 20, 1959, believing “another existence of universe being better than this miserable world” (The Philadelphia Experiment, p. 79). Some believe that his suicide was actually an assassination by government agencies to keep the experiment quiet. Unfortunately for Dr. Jessup, a major clue in the puzzle turned up shortly after his death. This clue was a man by the name of Alfred D. Bielek.
Al Bielek’s story is even more bizarre than Allende’s. He claims that he was transported in time to the future and that here in the future he was brainwashed by the U.S. Navy. This brainwashing led him to believe that his name was Alfred Bielek, rather than his true name, Edward A. Cameron. Upon discovering his true identity, he tracked down his brother who had also participated in the experiment. Bielek claims that his brother time traveled to 1983 and lost his “time-lock.” As a result, his brother aged one year every hour and eventually died. Bielek then claims that his brother was reborn. Needless to say, only a small group of people believe Bielek's story. Nearly everyone thinks that his stories are based on some truth, but he’s exaggerating the truth for personal reasons. This popular opinion seems to be reinforced when Bielek starts remembering things only after having seen the movie “The Philadelphia Experiment.” Bielek has a Ph.D. in Physics, so he does have some technical experience. He is also a retired electrical engineer with thirty years of experience. Because of his obvious intelligence and skill, he cannot be discounted entirely. Bielek stated that aliens provided the technology used in the Philadelphia Experiment. However, the germanium transistor, which was what Bielek said had been used, was invented by Thomas Henry Moray.
Bielek also stated that Dr. Albert Einstein, Dr. John Von Neumann, and Dr. Nikola Tesla were involved in the project. Some controversy has arisen as to the participation of Tesla because he died in New York City on January 7, 1943, which was only a two-month period of time after the project took place. Einstein, on the other hand, suggested such a project as this to the U.S. Navy on several occasions. Because of this, he was probably involved in the project. As for Von Neumann, there is no evidence to refute or promote his active participation in the matter. There is evidence that supports the fact that he later continued on the experiment at a different time.
The principle that lay behind the Philadelphia Experiment was the Unified Field Theory. This theory states that gravity and magnetism are connected, just as mass and energy are connected through the formula E = mc2. The official record states that Einstein never solved the Unified Field Theory. However, the very nature of the Philadelphia Experiment suggests otherwise. It is suspected that Einstein’s Unified Theory has become a government secret because it demonstrates that both time travel and interstellar space travel can be performed by manipulating space-time. Space travel can be accomplished without the assistance of a rocket engine.EVIDENCE
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