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The Philadelphia Experiment


76 years ago today in the US Navy docks in Philadelphia a strange secret experiment took place. The equipment being tested was intended to surround the ship with special force field that would render the ship invisible to radar. Very useful in the middle of WW2. However according to many accounts, when the test began the USS Eldridge, a large destroyer, suddenly started to glow green and completely disappeared before the very eyes of hundreds of incredulous witnesses watching from other ships or on the dockside. Subsequent reports stated that the Eldride appeared in the Norfolk Navy Yard ,100's of miles from Philadelphia at around the same time, before disappearing from there. Two sailors from the ship appeared mysteriously in a harbourside bar before, once again disappearing. When the ship finally re-appeared in the harbour at Philadelphia, sailors where fused within the metal structure, many were driven insane and some never reappeared. Watches on the crew were said to be 10 minutes out of sync with the actual time, implying the ship had travelled through time. The Government, fearing a huge scandal in the middle of WW2, covered up the whole thing and many of the more vociferous witnesses died under mysterious circumstances or were transferred to more dangerous assignments.

Despite the Government's efforts, the story started to come out and several accounts were published in the 60's and 70's. Hollywood made a fairly successful Sci-Fi film, produced by John Carpenter in 1984. Officially the government has continued to deny the experiment ever took place, despite the film, several books and continued interest in the story. Some conjecture is that Einstein was involved and that the experiment was really about using time/space dimensional physics to cloak the ship to make it completely invisible, not just to radar, but it went horribly wrong. Others posit that the ship was actually transported to an alien dimension and that the crew went mad because of the effects on their mind from witnessing another civilization.

Of course, it is complete bollocks. The truth is that a man named Carlos Allende (real name Carl Allen), who claimed to have witnessed the experiment from aboard a merchant marine ship nearby, sent a copy of a UFO book by author Morris Jessop, to the US Navy's Office of Naval Research. He had heavily notated the text with handwritten annotations in three ink colours, all detailing the supposed events of the experiment and other strange suppositions about aliens and other dimensions. In 1953 the ONR wrote to the author to ask him if he knew anything about it and he recognised the handwriting as someone who had been writing to him regularly who he had dismissed as a 'crank'. The ONR decided to publish a few copies of the notes for researchers and these eventually found their way into Mysterious Tales type literature in the 1960's. The rest is exaggeration upon exaggeration, culminating in a Hollywood sci-fi movie.

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