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History's Mysteries - The True Story of the Philadelphia Experiment


The Philadelphia Experiment is an alleged military experiment supposed to have been carried out by the U.S. Navy at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sometime around October 28, 1943. The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge was claimed to have been rendered invisible (or "cloaked") to enemy devices.

The story first appeared in 1955, in letters of unknown origin sent to a writer and astronomer, Morris K. Jessup. It is widely understood to be a hoax; the U.S. Navy maintains that no such experiment was ever conducted, that the details of the story contradict well-established facts about USS Eldridge, and that the alleged claims do not conform to known physical laws.[4]

Origins of the story

In 1955, astronomer and UFO researcher Morris K. Jessup, the author of the just published book The Case for the UFO, about unidentified flying objects and the exotic means of propulsion they might use, received two letters from a Carlos Miguel Allende[5] (who also identified himself as "Carl M. Allen" in another correspondence) who claimed to have witnessed a secret World War II experiment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. In this experiment, Allende claimed the destroyer escort USS Eldridge was rendered invisible, teleported to New York, teleported to another dimension where it encountered aliens, and teleported through time, resulting in the deaths of several sailors, some of whom were fused with the ship's hull.[6] Jessup dismissed Allende as a "crackpot".

In early 1957, Jessup was contacted by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Washington, D.C., who had received a parcel containing a paperback copy of The Case for the UFO in a manila envelope marked "Happy Easter." The book had been extensively annotated in its margins, written with three different shades of pink ink, appearing 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 referred to each other as "Gypsies" and discussed 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. There were oblique references to the Philadelphia Experiment (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 concluded a large part of the writing was Allende's, and others have the same conclusion, that the three styles of annotations are from the same person using three pens.

The ONR funded a small printing of 100 copies of the volume by the Texas-based Varo Manufacturing Company, which later became known as the Varo edition, with the annotations therefore known as the Varo annotations.

Jessup tried to publish more books on the subject of UFOs, but was unsuccessful. Losing his publisher and experiencing a succession of downturns in his personal life led him to commit suicide in Florida on April 30, 1959...

Personnel at the Fourth Naval District have suggested that the alleged event was a misunderstanding of routine research during World War II at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. An earlier theory was 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 origin 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 (DD-828), whereby a higher-frequency generator produced corona discharges, although none of the crew reported suffering effects from the experiment...

Researcher Jacques Vallée describes a procedure on board USS Engstrom, which was docked alongside the Eldridge in 1943. The operation involved the generation of a powerful electromagnetic field on board the ship in order to deperm or degauss it, with the goal of rendering the ship undetectable or "invisible" to magnetically fused undersea mines and torpedoes. This system was invented by a Canadian, Charles F. Goodeve, when he held the rank of commander in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, and the Royal Navy and other navies used it widely during World War II. British ships of the era often included such degaussing systems built into the upper decks (the conduits are still visible on the deck of HMS Belfast in London, for example). Degaussing is still used today. However, it has no effect on visible light or radar. Vallée speculates that accounts of USS Engstrom's degaussing might have been garbled and confabulated in subsequent retellings, and that these accounts may have influenced the story of "The Philadelphia Experiment."


Posted by George Freund on August 16, 2019 at 8:37 PM 69 Views