Allegedly, in the fall of 1943 a U.S. Navy destroyer was made invisible and teleported from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Norfolk, Virginia, in an incident known as the Philadelphia Experiment.
Records in the Operational Archives Branch of the Naval Historical Center have been repeatedly searched, but no documents have been located which confirm the event, or any interest by the Navy in attempting such an achievement.
The ship involved in the experiment was supposedly the USS Eldridge. Operational Archives has reviewed the deck log and war diary from Eldridge’s commissioning on 27 August 1943 at the New York Navy Yard through December 1943. The following description of Eldridge’s activities are summarized from the ship’s war diary.
After commissioning, Eldridge remained in New York and in the Long Island Sound until 16 September when it sailed to Bermuda. From 18 September, the ship was in the vicinity of Bermuda undergoing training and sea trials until 15 October when Eldridge left in a convoy for New York where the convoy entered on 18 October. Eldridge remained in New York harbor until 1 November when it was part of the escort for Convoy UGS-23 (New York Section).
On 2 November the convoy entered Naval Operating Base, Norfolk. On 3 November, Eldridge and Convoy UGS-23 left for Casablanca where it arrived on 22 November. On 29 November, Eldridge left as one of escorts for Convoy GUS-22 and arrived with the convoy on 17 December at New York harbor.
Eldridge remained in New York on availability training and in Block Island Sound until 31 December when it steamed to Norfolk with four other ships. During this time frame, Eldridge was never in Philadelphia.
Supposedly, the crew of the civilian merchant ship SS Andrew Furuseth observed the arrival via teleportation of the Eldridge into the Norfolk area. Andrew Furuseth’s movement report cards are in the Tenth Fleet records in the custody of the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Admnistration, (8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001), which also has custody of the action reports, war diaries and deck logs of all World War II Navy ships, including Eldridge.
The movement report cards list the merchant ship’s ports of call, the dates of the visit, and convoy designation, if any. The movement report card shows that Andrew Furuseth left Norfolk with Convoy UGS-15 on 16 August 1943 and arrived at Casablanca on 2 September. The ship left Casablanca on 19 September and arrived off Cape Henry on 4 October.
Andrew Furuseth left Norfolk with Convoy UGS-22 on 25 October and arrived at Oran on 12 November. The ship remained in the Mediterranean until it returned with Convoy GUS-25 to Hampton Roads on 17 January 1944.
The Archives has a letter from Lieutenant Junior Grade William S. Dodge, USNR, (Ret.), the Master of Andrew Furuseth in 1943, categorically denying that he or his crew observed any unusual event while in Norfolk. Eldridge and Andrew Furuseth were not even in Norfolk at the same time.
The Philadelphia Experiment is an alleged military experiment that is said to have been carried out by the U.S. Navy at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania some time around October 28, 1943. The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge was claimed to be rendered invisible (or “cloaked”) to enemy devices.
The story is thought to be a hoax. The U.S. Navy maintains that no such experiment was ever conducted, and details of the story contradict well-established facts about the Eldridge itself, as well as commonly accepted physics.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has stated that the use of force fields to make a ship and her crew invisible does not conform to known physical laws. ONR also claims that Dr. Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory was never completed.
During 1943-1944, Einstein was a part-time consultant with the Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance, undertaking theoretical research on explosives and explosions. There is no indication that Einstein was involved in research relevant to invisibility or to teleportation. ONR’s information sheet on the Philadelphia Experiment is attached.
The Philadelphia Experiment has also been called “Project Rainbow.” A comprehensive search of the Archives has failed to identify records of a Project Rainbow relating to teleportation or making a ship disappear. In the 1940s, the code name RAINBOW was used to refer to the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis.
The RAINBOW plans were the war plans to defeat Italy, Germany and Japan. RAINBOW V, the plan in effect on 7 December 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, was the plan the U.S. used to fight the Axis powers.
Some researchers have erroneously concluded that degaussing has a connection with making an object invisible. Degaussing is a process in which a system of electrical cables are installed around the circumference of 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 Navy ships and could be turned on whenever the ship was in waters that might contain magnetic mines, usually shallow waters in combat areas. It could be said that degaussing, correctly done, makes a ship “invisible” to the sensors of magnetic mines, but the ship remains visible to the human eye, radar, and underwater listening devices.
In 1955, Morris K. Jessup, an astronomer and former graduate-level researcher, published The Case for the UFO, a book about unidentified flying objects that contains some theories about the different means of propulsion that flying-saucer-style UFOs might use.
Jessup speculated that antigravity, or the manipulation of electromagnetism, might be responsible for the observed flight behavior of UFOs. He lamented, both in the book and during the publicity tour that followed, that space flight research was concentrated in the area of rocketry, and that little attention had been paid to other theoretical means of flight, which he felt might ultimately be more fruitful.
Jessup emphasized that a breakthrough revision of Albert Einstein’s “Unified Field Theory” would be critical in powering a future generation of spacecraft.
On January 13, 1955, Jessup received a letter from a man who identified himself as one “Carlos Allende.” In the letter, Allende informed Jessup of the “Philadelphia Experiment,” alluding to two poorly sourced contemporary newspaper articles as proof. Allende directly responded to Jessup’s call for research on the “Unified Field Theory,” which he referred to as “UFT.”
According to Allende, Einstein had developed the theory, but had suppressed it, since mankind was not ready for it—a confession that the scientist allegedly shared with the mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell. Allende also said that he had witnessed the Eldridge appear and disappear while serving aboard the SS Andrew Furuseth, a nearby merchant ship.
Allende named other crew members with whom he served aboard the Andrew Furuseth, and claimed to know the fate of some of the crew members of the Eldridge after the experiment, including one whom he witnessed disappearing during a chaotic fight in a bar.
Although Allende claimed to have observed the experiment while on the Andrew Furuseth, he provided no substantiation of his other claims linking the experiment with the Unified Field Theory, no evidence of Einstein’s alleged theory, and no proof of Einstein’s alleged private confession to Russell.
Jessup replied to Allende by a postcard, asking for further evidence and corroboration. The reply arrived months later, with the correspondent identifying himself as “Carl M. Allen.”
Allen said that he could not provide the details for which Jessup was asking, but he implied that he might be able to recall some by means of hypnosis. Suspecting that Allende/Allen might be an impostor, Jessup discontinued the correspondence.
The Office of Naval Research and the Varo annotation
According to a 2002 book by the popular writers James Moseley and Karl Pflock, in early 1957, Jessup was contacted by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Washington, D.C., and was asked to study the contents of a parcel that it had received.
Upon his arrival, Jessup was surprised to learn that a paperback copy of his UFO book had been mailed to the ONR in a manila envelope marked “Happy Easter.”
The book had been extensively annotated in its margins, and an ONR officer asked Jessup if he had any idea as to who had done so.
Moseley and Pflock claim that the lengthy annotations were written with three different shades of pink ink, and they appeared to detail a correspondence among three individuals, only one of which is given a name: “Jemi.” The ONR labelled the other two “Mr A.” and “Mr B.” The annotators refer to each other as “Gypsies,” and discuss two different types of “people” living in outer space.
Their text contained non-standard use of capitalization and punctuation, and detailed a lengthy discussion of the merits of various elements of Jessup’s assumptions in the book. Their oblique references to the Philadelphia Experiment suggested prior or superior knowledge. (One example is that “Mr B.” reassures his fellow annotators who have highlighted a certain theory which Jessup advanced.
Based on the handwriting style and subject matter, Jessup identified “Mr A.” as Allende / Allen. Others have suggested that the three annotations are from the same person, using three pens.
The annotated book supposedly sparked sufficient interest for the ONR to fund a small printing of the volume by the Texas-based Varo Manufacturing Company.A 2003 transcription of the annotated “Varo edition” is available online, complete with three-color notes.
Later, the ONR contacted Jessup, claiming that the return address on Allende’s letter to Jessup was an abandoned farmhouse. They also informed Jessup that the Varo Corporation, a research firm, was preparing a print copy of the annotated version of The Case for the UFO, complete with both letters he had received.
About a hundred copies of the Varo Edition were printed and distributed within the Navy. Jessup was also sent three for his own use.
Jessup attempted to make a living writing on the topic, but his follow-up book did not sell well. His publisher rejected several other manuscripts. In 1958, his wife left him, and his friends described him as being depressed and somewhat unstable when he traveled to New York.
After returning to Florida, he was involved in a serious car accident and was slow to recover, which added to his depression. He was found dead on April 20, 1959, and the death was ruled a suicide.
Misunderstanding of documented naval experiments
While personnel at the Fourth Naval District have suggested that the questions surrounding the alleged event arise from routine research which was performed during the Second World War at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, it was previously believed “that the foundation for the apocryphal stories arose from degaussing experiments which have the effect of making a ship undetectable or ‘invisible’ to magnetic mines.”
Another possible genesis of the stories about levitation, teleportation and effects on human crew might be attributed to experiments with the generating plant of the destroyer USS Timmerman, whereby a higher-frequency generator produced corona discharges, though none of the crew reported suffering effects from the experiment
By Stargazer Nation, Before its News;