The myth and the truth about the Philadelphia experiment

The myth and the truth about the Philadelphia experiment

 Until now, some conspiracy theorists are sure — in 1943, American physicists and the military experimented, the results of which were so grandiose that they were classified for many decades.

What really happened there?

The Eldridge has a fairly ordinary biography of a warship, but there is one mysterious date in it - October 28, 1943. On this day, the destroyer, which had a crew of 181 people on board, was used at the US Navy base in Philadelphia to conduct a highly secret experiment.

The myth and the truth about the Philadelphia experiment

25 July 1943: Newark, N.J. - After being christened, the future USS Eldridge (DE 173) slides down the Federal Shipyard building way into Newark Bay. Bob Canchola, Contacts Research Associate, Navsource

The American military, who were interested in the works of the famous physicist Albert Einstein, set him the task of ensuring the invisibility of warships, at least on radar screens, and at most visually. Einstein believed that such a result could be achieved by using a high-power electromagnetic field generated around a material object in a certain way.

The great physicist himself was the "shadow curator" of the project, and his less well-known colleagues conducted direct experiments. Four powerful electromagnetic oscillators were mounted on the newest destroyer "Eldridge".

The first experiments were conducted in the summer of 1943, directly at the pier. The generators were not used at full capacity, but the results were encouraging. A side effect was the serious condition of many crew members — headache, vomiting, tissue burns.

The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge (DE-173) underway at sea, circa in 1944.

The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge (DE-173) underway at sea, circa in 1944.

Teleportation with severe consequences

The command of the US Navy, after hesitating, decided that the game was worth the candle. On October 28, 1943, at 9 am, the generators on the Eldridge were turned on at full power. Soon the destroyer was enveloped in a murky greenish haze, after which it disappeared-both from radar screens and the eyes of completely shocked observers.

But that was just the beginning. The Eldridge that disappeared in Philadelphia appeared out of thin air in Norfolk — at the main base of the US Navy in the Atlantic, which is about 300 kilometers from the site of the experiment. Then the ship "returned" to Philadelphia.

When the generators were turned off, and the observers, together with the scientists, boarded the Eldridge, a terrible picture appeared to their eyes. Part of the crew was killed, and the bodies of some sailors seemed to have "grown" into the hull of the ship. Those who escaped this fate received burns and were in a state of insanity. Several dozen people just went missing. No more than 20 crew members were relatively healthy.

This result convinced the naval command that it was time to wind down the experiments. The events of October 28, 1943, were strictly classified, and the secrecy stamp has not been removed until now.


15 January 1951: Boston, Mass. - Ceremony at the Boston Naval Shipyard, transferring the following ships to the Royal Hellenic Navy. USS Eldridge DE-173 along with the USS Garfield Thomas DE-193, USS Slater DE-766, and USS Ebert DE-768. The transfer, which was made under the provisions of the U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance Program, took place on 15 January 1951. The USS Eldridge DE-173 and the USS Garfield Thomas DE-193 served in the Greek Navy respectively as the HNS Leon (D-54) and HNS Panthir (D-67).Photograph source: U.S. Department of State Photo #306-PSG-51-686 (Box 45)- O'Donnell. U.S. Information Agency Photograph in the U.S. National Archives)

Dr. Jessup tears off the covers

In 1955, the American ufologist Maurice Jessup published a book called "the Arguments in favor of the UFO". After its release, the author received a letter from a certain Carlos Miguel Allende, who claimed that he had witnessed something that was not inferior in importance to the UFO mystery. And then Mr. Allende described the" Philadelphia Experiment " given above.

A couple of years later, Jessup's book was sent by parcel to the Office of Naval Research with notes in the margins, which related, among other things, to the mysterious fragment. Puzzled, the military called Jessup to explain what all this means. The ufologist said that the notes in the margins were made by the hand of Carlos Miguel Allende.

On April 20, 1959, Maurice Jessup committed suicide. Before that, he told friends that he was continuing " the investigation of the Philadelphia experiment." Moreover, the ufologist assured his friends that the military admitted to him in the Department of Naval Research that the experiment actually took place!

For supporters of the version about the reality of the" Philadelphia experiment", Jessup's death is proof of the truthfulness of this story. They say that the military decided to get rid of the persistent seeker of truth.

It is unclear, however, why they waited for several years? And wouldn't it have been easier to send Jessup to prison as a spy — in the Cold War era, such things were practiced all the time.

Those who knew Maurice Jessup did not see anything strange in his suicide. The ufologist had serious problems with finances, troubles in his personal life, and all this against the background of not the most stable psyche.

The authorities are all lying

However, his tragic death fueled interest in the "tragedy on the Eldridge". Over time, the account of the new researchers of the" Philadelphia experiment" went to dozens, and then to hundreds. Someone found indirect hints about the experiments onboard the Eldridge in Einstein's correspondence, others found some witnesses, others tried to establish who the mysterious Carlos Miguel Allende really was. The latter put forward a version that Carl Allen was hiding under this pseudonym, who really served at the base in Philadelphia in the 1940s. True, Allen suffered from a real mental disorder and only a person who also did not have a doctor's certificate could consider him an objective witness, but enthusiasts for solving secrets did not pay attention to such trifles.

Representatives of the US Navy did not react to what was happening for a long time. Only the most persistent ones, who bombarded the department with requests, were briefly answered — no experiment was conducted on the destroyer "Eldridge" in 1943.

But in the 1980s, against the background of the release of a movie that, unlike the Soviet one, was called the Philadelphia Experiment at the American box office, something incredible began in the US media. "Testimonies" and" proofs "began to be published en masse, and the" cherry on the cake " was an interview with a certain Alfred Bilek. This citizen stated that in 1943 he served on the Eldridge, and experiments were actually conducted on it. Bilek claimed that he personally moved to the future, though not for long, and at the same time met with aliens.

For several more years, the naval command held the defense and then declassified documents from the 1940s related to the Eldridge, including its logbook. Not only was there no mention of the experiments in the documents, but it also turned out that the destroyer did not exist at all and could not have been at the bases in Philadelphia during the specified period.

But lovers of secrets are strong people. "The authorities are all lying," they said, accusing the US Navy of falsifying documents.

"This was invented by someone who got high on dope"

In 1999, the fleet command made another attempt to "close the topic". The journalists were introduced to the members of the crew of the destroyer "Eldridge" in 1943, who was still alive at that time.

Cheerful old men, who were clearly flattered by the attention of the press, did not leave a stone unturned from the legend. They recalled with pleasure the times of service, but declared that there was no "green haze" and there were no sailors embedded in the bulkheads, and no one moved anywhere in time and space. The veterans also said that there was no Alfred Bilek in the Eldridge team. But the most spectacular was the performance of the sailor Ed Wise. The former brave sailor, who was preparing to celebrate his 75th birthday, said: "I think that someone came up with this after getting high on dope."

The Sevastopol experiment of Comrade Kurchatov

But what could be the reason for the birth of such a strange legend?

And here it is worth remembering the father of the Soviet atomic bomb, Igor Kurchatov. At the very beginning of the war, in August 1941, the outstanding physicist arrived in Sevastopol, where he and his colleagues had to find a method for protecting Soviet ships from German magnetic mines. The demagnetization technique developed by Kurchatov's group, known as the "LFTI system", provided almost complete protection of the fleet from mines of this type. In 1942, Igor Kurchatov was awarded the Stalin Prize for this work.

But the magnetic mines of the Third Reich posed a great threat not only to Soviet ships but also to the fleets of the other countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.

Therefore, American physicists also experimented with various options for protecting ships. Most likely, it was such work at the base in Philadelphia that greatly surprised American sailors and gave rise to rumors that eventually turned into a legend about the "Philadelphia experiment". And what is your version?

About author:

Ufologist, PhD, blogger, I go on my own expeditions for UFOs. I use scientific methods to investigate the UAP phenomenon

Serg Toporkov

Ufologist, Ph.D., blogger, I go on my own expeditions for UFOs. I use scientific methods to investigate the UAP phenomenon. Write to me

Related tags:

Philadelphia experiment  Eldridge  myth  true  conspiracy  1943

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