The Philadelphia Experiment Story
The Philadelphia Experiment story is one of time travel, teleportation and deep-rooted conspiracy. Officially, it’s a footnote in U.S. history, with the true story of events obscured by rumors spanning over the decades.
On the surface, we appear to have a strange but plausible experiment that ended in disaster, and has likely been blown far out of proportion.
As the story goes, during the deep days of World War II, a US Navy Destroyer allegedly vanished from the waters outside of Philadelphia, only to reappear instantaneously hundreds of miles away. It was an accident, an error in an experiment only intended to hide the ship from view, but the result was fantastic and terrifying.
Surely this is a case of exaggeration and myth gone wild. The technology to create such an event isn’t available today much less seventy years ago, if it is even possible at all. But as we dig deeper, we see a picture of government cover-ups, other-worldly intervention and the arrogant misuse of powers we have yet to understand.
Eventually, we are led to wonder if there could be more here than a tall tale. Is it possible the events of the Philadelphia Experiment really happened?
Secret Projects and Government Cover-up
If the story is real, the implications are incredible. As regular citizens, we surely realize there are top-secret government projects in the works all the time. Area 51 may or may not be a haven for UFOs, but surely it and facilities like it house incredible government projects that are not yet ready for the public eye. Some may never come to light.
To complicate the matter further, the Philadelphia Experiment is said to have deep roots in the Montauk Project, an alleged top-secret government program.
Is the Philadelphia Experiment tale a case where the government tried to cover up such a project, only to have the true story leak out?
The idea that the US Navy experimented with teleportation and perhaps even time travel back during World War II only leaves us guessing at the incredible science that has evolved in the time since. Over the years brilliant inventions from minds like Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla have been alleged to have links to the project, furthering the mystery.
If the events of the Philadelphia Experiment did happen, did the government or perhaps the nation's top scientist shut the project down out of fear? Would the US government really refuse to capitalize on such powerful technology?
How do we know about any of this anyway?
The story allegedly began when a man named Morris Jessup went to his mailbox on January 13th, 1955, not likely expecting anything out of the ordinary. What he found would shock him. A letter from a man named Carlos Allende described a US Navy experiment that had gone horribly wrong and had been kept secret for over a decade.
Allende had written the letter after reading a book Jessup had authored, in which Jessup discussed Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory as a potential means of spacecraft propulsion.
Allende outlined an experiment called Project Rainbow, what would later be known as The Philadelphia Experiment. It was an exercise conducted in 1943 by the U.S. Navy using Einstein’s Unified Field Theory to cloak ships and hide them from view.
Here Allende made an outlandish claim. He said he had witnessed the destroyer U.S.S. Eldridge appear and again disappear while he was standing on the deck of a nearby ship.
If that's not interesting enough, here's what puts this tale over the top: The Eldridge had been moored in Philadelphia. Allende’s ship was in Norfolk, Virginia, 200 miles away. In other words: In an attempt to make the Eldridge invisible, the Navy had inadvertently teleported it from one harbor to another!
Allende went further to describe the lingering effects of the experiment on the crew of the Eldridge, which caused them to disappear and reappear without warning at later times.
Intrigued, Jessup encouraged correspondence with Allende, but soon began to question his honesty and discontinued the friendship. It may have ended there, if not for a strange copy of Jessup’s book that landed in the hands of the Office of Naval Research.
Someone had heavily annotated the book in different color pens. Whoever it was referenced the Philadelphia Experiment, and seemed to possess highly sophisticated scientific knowledge. Jessup could name one of the writers as Allende, but the identities of the other two remain a mystery.
Conspiracy Theory Run Amok
A conspiracy theory has gone hand-in-hand with the Philadelphia Experiment story from the beginning. If the government really does or did, possess this technology surely, some people reason, they are hiding it from the people.
And, as usual, where there is paranoia there will be fabrication. Various versions of the tale have surfaced over the years, each more bizarre than the last. In some, sailors aboard the Eldridge materialized with body parts fused to parts of the ship or reappeared across the globe in another country. In other versions, the Eldridge travels back in time.
Some of the oddest claims came from a man named Al Bielek, who announced in 1990 that he was a survivor of the experiment. Rife with government conspiracy, lost identities, and alien involvement, Bielek’s claims are often cast aside by even hardcore Philadelphia Experiment believers.
Unfortunately, these outlandish tales serve only to muddy the actual facts of what occurred that day, which may have been strange enough to begin with. Time travel is theoretically possible, according to Einstein's theories anyway. So if experiments were conducted on the manipulation of spacetime the results could have been staggering.
But even Einstein was still forming and polishing many of his theories, up until the day he died. Today we know much of what he said was true. How close to the mark were they back then?
Did the Philadelphia Experiment Open a Worm Hole or Black Hole?
One theory often bantered about is that the experiment conducted back in Philadelphia in 1943 somehow opened a small wormhole or black hole that warped spacetime, thus moving the Eldridge from Philadelphia to Virginia in the blink of an eye.
It’s an interesting idea, and if even remotely true it seems unlikely that, even if a few sailors were knocked around in the process, the United States would have given up on the expansion and perfection of such technology. Controlling a device like this would mean Allied aircraft and warships could appear anywhere around the globe at will. This would have been priceless at a time when the outcome of World War II was far from certain.
According to Einstein’s Theory of General Relatively, wormholes are possible. Theoretically. And since the aim of the Unified Field Theory was to rectify General Relativity with the theory of Electromagnetism, it seems reasonable that this was grounds for serious advancement.
But it also seems very odd that the United States Military would scrap work on such a device simply because it was too dangerous, and then go on to create the most devastating weapon in the history of the world. It seems reasonable that if they were working on a device capable of teleportation, either the work continued in secret, or possibly even still continues to this day.
The idea of a black hole is less compelling. Had the Philadelphia Experiment resulted in the creation of a singularity in the Philadelphia harbor, it too would have ended World War II. For all of us. Black holes lead nowhere, so the Eldridge, along with the rest of our solar system, would have been crushed into infinitesimal nothingness.
Philadelphia Experiment Debunked
Even if we believe that Einstien's theories could have been put into practice, that a ship can be rendered invisible, or that it may even be possible that a ship could teleport from one city to another, more mundane details might ultimately doom the story.
Skeptics argue that the U.S.S. Eldridge, according to Naval records, was nowhere near Philadelphia during the time period when this experiment allegedly took place. In fact, according to both Naval records and veterans who served aboard ship, the Eldridge never docked in Philadelphia.
Conspiracy theorists, of course, will only point this out as more evidence of a government cover-up.
Less debatable is the fact that no universally accepted “Unified Field Theory” exists. Einstein’s work was left open-ended, and the subject continues in debate among modern physicists.
Which brings up another interesting conspiracy theory: Some say Einstein did in fact discover a Unified Field Theory, but destroyed it following the results of the Philadelphia experiment, believing mankind was not ready.
For this to occur, and for the government to allow it, we have to assume to the results of the experiment were far more horrific that even the worst reports would indicate.
The Legend Lives On
Over the years, the true story of whatever happened on that fateful day has been jumbled up to the point where the Philadelphia Experiment is considered more fiction than history. Maybe that's exactly how the government wants it. In the spirit of true conspiracy theory, there are those who believe the government intentionally muddied the waters to hide the true story of the Philadelphia Experiment.
Perhaps, as some claim Einstein stated, it was because our world was not yet ready for such powerful technology. Or, maybe this technology is still in use today, and the government would prefer the world knew nothing about it. Maybe the technology used in the Philadelphia Experiment came from an other-worldly origin and needs to be protected. Whatever the reason, many believe the story of the Philadelphia Experiment is rife with conspiracy.
Does it make sense? Could it have really happened? What is our government hiding? Despite logical evidence to the contrary, many cling to the idea that the Philadelphia Experiment was not only possible but really happened. It hints at clandestine powers, conspiracy, and government cover-up.
Maybe we’re compelled to hope for the impossible, and wish for the whimsical. Or, maybe, the believers are right, and the U.S. Navy really did partake in top-secret experiments on that day, so long ago.
Surely unbelievable things must happen in this world from time to time. As with any other fantastic tale, it is important to view the Philadelphia Experiment with a healthy dose of skepticism, and a human dose of wonder.
More Weird Science and Theories
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- Nemesis Theory: Is there a Second Sun in Our Solar System?
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
DarthDominus81 on April 21, 2019:
Fallen angels.....they are the answer. Their motives and intellect and capabilities are far, far, FAR beyond the most slightest understanding of even the most brilliant minds in this world's history. What they DO reveal are only the "baby version" , simplified so our feeble minds can even grasp them on a scale equal to a grain of sand.
DarthDominus81 on April 21, 2019:
This actually happened.
There IS much physical proof and documents....and video.
One mistake people of today make is in assuming that the technology we have NOW could not have possibly existed many, many decades ago.
Well, it DID exist....and still does.
The government knows most people would never believe it, even if it physically stood before them and slapped them sideways.
Reader, WOULD YOU BELIEVE SOMEONE WHO MADE CLAIMS OF BEING FROM MANY DECADES AND DIMENSIONS FROM THE PAST, EVEN WHEN THEY SHOWED YOU UNDENIABLE REAL PROOF THAT WHAT THEY WERE TELLING YOU IS 200% TRUTH?
I have much evidence and information to reveal.
Asra on December 12, 2018:
Maybe the US government wants to develop it. But it doesn't make sense to hide the theory because the world is not ready for it.
cryptid (author) from USA on January 18, 2013:
Sirah: That was a cool movie but I don't quite see it, except for the obvious comparison between Bruce Willis and Albert Einstein. :-)
Siranh on January 18, 2013:
that reminded me of the 12 monkeys !!!
cryptid (author) from USA on April 28, 2012:
Thanks Teresa. You're right: legends have to start somewhere. We can only guess at the "facts" that led to this story!
Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on April 28, 2012:
Very interesting Cryptid but all legends tend to have some grain of truth. Deciphering the truth from the embellishments if often impossible. Well written hub and interesting!
cryptid (author) from USA on April 25, 2012:
Thanks dmop! We'll probably never know the whole truth behind it!
dmop from Cambridge City, IN on April 25, 2012:
I have read and heard a great deal about this, and find it very intriguing. With the advancements in recent years in quantum physics I find it likely that the story is true at least to some extent. I think Einstein was right, we aren't ready nor are we ready to responsibly use nuclear power, but we do it anyway at the cost of thousands if not millions of lives. Good article, voted up and interesting.
cryptid (author) from USA on April 25, 2012:
Scott: Agreed. However, when it comes to this story I always wonder if there is a grain of truth that led up to it. For instance, we know today that the military is experimenting with light manipulation and reflection as camouflage. Wound't it be interesting if they had been experimenting with it way back then?
scottcgruber on April 25, 2012:
Interesting stuff. Definitely strikes me as urban legend rather than secret military history, but certainly a great story.
My rule of thumb: if either pseudoscience or a conspiracy have to be cited to explain the lack of evidence for something, the something is probably BS.
cryptid (author) from USA on April 25, 2012:
Thanks WD. I never heard that about the sawfish. LOL!
WD Curry 111 from Space Coast on April 24, 2012:
I barely remember hearing about this, somewhere. I just dismissed it along with reports of sawfish cutting through the hulls of ships to eat the sailors. You did a great job of journalism. You really made it intriguing.
cryptid (author) from USA on April 24, 2012:
Thanks Matthew and Chris. I guess my main hangup with this story is the pseudo-science always used to explain the process. The connection between the bending of light to hide a ship and the teleporting of a ship seem in no way connectable. Then again I'm not Einstein. :-)
Thanks for reading!
Chris Achilleos on April 24, 2012:
Very interesting and informative hub cryptid. I have heard of this experiment before as well as different views of it. Isn't possible that Einstein's Unified Field Theory still exists but protected so we could never find out? Voted up, interesting and sharing!
Matthew Foreman from Las Vegas on April 24, 2012:
Based on information I have came across regarding the experiment I tend to believe it's true, maybe not all details/claims of it but the I believe the general story. This is likely one of many cutting edge experiments that have gone on in the world that most people have no knowledge of.