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15 Chilling Myths About The U.S. Navy’s Philadelphia Experiment


For those readers who are unsure about just what the Philadelphia Experiment is, this story dates back to 1943. During the war, the USS Eldridge was commissioned from out of a naval yard in Newark, New Jersey in July of ’43. This is, after all, where the ship was built. However, it was said to be docked in Philadelphia by October and, one fateful night, the Eldridge vanished.

Where did it go? How did it vanish? Did the Russians have a hand in this? Were the Nazis after the technology? Did Einstein discover something he shouldn’t have? Well, the article is hardly going to be spoiled right from the get-go. This is just an introduction, not the entire piece.

So, that being said, below there are fifteen rather chilling, eerie, and bizarre…myths regarding The U.S. Navy’s Philadelphia Experiment. If only there were stunning photographic evidence of these odd happenings…but of course, how could it all be myth then?

15. People’s Bodies Fused With The Ship

A great many things are said to have resulted from the testing that occurred on the USS Eldridge, back in 1943. One of the more terrifying, unsettling, and indeed chilling of these occurrences is the particulate fusing of molecules from both the crew and the ship itself. As the ship underwent experimentation, it is said that the matter of the crew separated and mixed with the now fluid matter of the ship. This resulted in several members of the crew becoming embedded within certain sections of the vessel. Some had their feet fused with bulkheads, others their entire lower half within the hull, and still others lost hands, and other parts to the ship. Of course this is nothing more than a chilling myth (at least one should hope so). Regardless, the thought of hopping aboard a ship, and then moments later becoming part of that ship, unable to move, and unable to be recovered…it’s certainly a good plot point for a horror movie.

14. People Say Some Sailors Vanished From Sight During A Bar Fight

During the experiment, not only were people said to have been embedded within the steel of the ship, but it is suggested that some crew members simply vanished, never to be seen again. Disappearing and not being found again was not exactly an unusual occurrence in World War II, but on a ship still docked in Philadelphia? That’s not even the most eerie part of this vanishing thing. Some of the crew members who survived the experiment were said to have been at a pub one night. As sailors sometimes do, they get into a fight. Nothing shocking there, until reports came that some of the fighting sailors simply disappeared from sight. Now this sounds pretty crazy and surely impossible but…well it is crazy and impossible. Realistically, some of the sailors, who were involved in a fight, simply slipped out the back. These men who avoided the conflict were also a part of another mythical feat with regards to the USS Eldridge and her famed travels. But more of that further down.

13. The Invisibility Cloak

So the whole point of the Philadelphia Experiment was to create the ability to turn U.S. naval vessels invisible. Not just from radar, but from the naked eye as well. That was the crux of the experiment. Apparently, according to many believers (though very few of any people who might have actually been present during the experiment), The Eldridge did in fact disappear. From both radar and human vision.This, of course, like all mythical experimentation during those trying times of war, was quickly hushed up. Though it wasn’t exactly hushed up for the reasons one might think. One might be of the opinion that it makes sense to keep quiet about a newly discovered cloaking ability. And while this is true, this was not the reason for the hush up. Having only experimented with the developed cloaking technology twice, the navy shut down operations because of the terrifying results. Like, for example, sailors becoming one with their ship in ways that no one ever wanted to imagine possible.

12. UFO Theorist Contacted By Navy And His Apparent Suicide

M.K. Jessup was an interesting man to say the very least. Having written a fairly under-appreciated book about UFOs (one can see why it might have been under-appreciated), Jessup managed to get himself dragged into the whole mess of the Philadelphia Experiment. How? Well a certain man sent the Navy a copy of Jessup’s book, but with additional notes scrawled all over it about the possibility of propulsion technologies and the ability to cloak…with special mention of a certain U.S. experiment gone terribly wrong.

Having been approached by the authorities, Jessup distanced himself from the naval investigation into the experiment and the annotated version of his book. Instead, he started his own investigation, which may have turned up something rather riveting. But what he discovered will never be known. He is said to have set up a meeting with a good friend of his (a Dr. Valentine) to share his discoveries about the experiment. But he was found the following day in a park. His car was still running and he had run a hose from the exhaust into the cab of the car. The most accepted reason for this is a collapsing marriage, but there are those who think he may not have killed himself…someone found out what he knew, and didn’t want anyone else to hear it.

11. Carlos Miguel Allende

And who was the man who sent the annotated version of Jessup’s book to the Navy? This man, one Carl M. Allen, also known as Carlos Miguel Allende. Why this changing of his name? Absolutely no idea. This guy was a bit of a crackpot after all. Or at least that is the generally accepted notion for most reasonable people. However, Allen (or Allende if readers prefer) claims to have been an eyewitness to the haunting Philadelphia Experiment.

In addition to this claim (which flip flops from witnessing either the first or second experiment), it has been rumoured, at least in some circles, that perhaps Allen was involved in the death of Jessup. Before the very first public mention of the experiment, Allen had been writing to Jessup for some time. In fact, he had been in contact with Jessup well before he ever sent the annotated version of Jessup’s The Case For The UFO to the navy. But Jessup came to think of Allen as a crackpot (for good reason), and Allen spurned by the man he sought out for help…just may have been involved in shutting up an expert so that he could be the sole voice for uncovering the “truth”.

10. Did The Russians Have Cause?

Russia had its fair share of experimentation during World War II (much like the Allies and Nazi Germany). One of their more infamous and perhaps near equally mythical experiments was the Russian Sleep Experiment. The disturbing claims of the Philadelphia Experiment reached Russian ears and there was a fear of Russian spies infiltrating technological secrets for cloaking development.

This ties in with both M.K. Jessup and Carl M. Allen. It was assumed by some that Jessup was indeed posing as an apparently fictitious Carlos Miguel Allende. Discovering that he had knowledge of the experiment, there were supposed attempts of kidnapping on Jessup by the Russians. This rumour goes even further through the mill to suppose that the death of Jessup was neither suicide, nor the doing of Allen. Instead, it is suggested that American authorities conspired to kill Jessup to prevent secrets being leaked to the Russians.

9. The Navy Denies It All… But A List Of Crew Members Is Impossible To Find

Now surely this cannot come as any surprise. Especially given that this story is in no way as popular as it could, or would, be if it had fully come out to be true. But all the same, the United States Navy has fully denied any allegations that any sort of experiment of invisibility ever took place. Of course, if it were true, it does make complete sense that the Navy would still say that it wasn’t.

It is fairly easy to source photos of supposed crew members of the USS Eldridge, but much more difficult to source a list of the personnel who served on Eldridge when it was commissioned in 1943. Why would this be? Conspiracy theorists would conclude that photos are easily discovered in order for the Navy to “prove” that there were indeed people who worked on the ship. But finding a crew list is more difficult because of the Navy’s attempt to silence survivors as well as their families. Either way, the fact that the crew of the Eldridge is very difficult to find…could very well be indicative of some sort of foul play. Can’t forget that it wouldn’t have been the first time American authorities silenced people.

8. The Ship Could Travel Through Time And Teleport

In addition to becoming invisible to both radar and optics, the USS Eldridge was apparently also capable of both teleportation and time travel. Now, given how there is no such thing as either teleportation or time travel outside of such classics as Back To The Future and Star Trek, it might be hard to consider this a plausibility. That being said, it might be interesting to know just what was rumoured to happen anyway.

Upon execution of the experiment, not only did the USS Eldridge disappear, but it also apparently traveled over two hundred miles, reappearing in Norfolk, Virginia. In addition to the teleportation, it is also said that the Eldridge also traveled ten seconds back in time. Just how this is assumed to have occurred is anyone’s guess, but given that the ship arrived in Norfolk, and then promptly teleported back raises some creepy questions. If it traveled ten seconds back in time, how is it that it didn’t appear next to the Eldridge from the past? Which would cause a constant chain of time traveling USS Eldridges?

7. The Green Fog

Creating the image in one’s head, one must not forget this little detail to properly envision the ship disappearing: teleporting, time traveling, and reappearing with maimed and vanished crew members. As the electromagnetic fields that were used to cloak the ship started working, the ship didn’t so much as disappear. It didn’t actually become fully invisible. The ship was still traceable via an eerily green fog. Just how anyone got a good glimpse of this fog, given that the teleportation happened simultaneously to the invisibility and the time travel, is anyone’s guess. That being said, imagine just what it would be like to witness a ship and its crew vanish into a green fog as an electromagnetic current swept over them. Now imagine the dissipating fog and the horrifying results of the experiment there for all to see at dock. No matter how brief and how unabashedly fake the Philadelphia Experiment clearly was, it is bone-chilling to think about seeing men sticking out of parts of a ship as it emerges from a green haze. Or imagine being an enemy of the United States…watching a mysterious green fog rushing towards you.

6. Some Of The Crew Members Went Completely Insane

Aside from the fact that the only actually certifiable people involved in this whole mythical story are M. K. Jessup and Carl M. Allen, insanity was another result of the infamous experiment. So that means that not only did men get fused to the ship, or completely vanish (as well as endure severe bouts of nausea and disorientation), but some also went completely bonkers. This isn’t necessarily a chilling point, though fused bodies, vomit, and raving mad crew members, all emerging from an electromagnetic fog of eerie green does summon up a chilling image.

What is perhaps more chilling is the idea that in order to ensure silence of the crew, no matter how crazy they may have ended up being…it is rumoured that the American authority’s idea of silencing these men had to do with putting them down, not just holding them, or paying them off. Who knew that a fake experiment could drive people insane? Other than the conspiracy theorists who were already borderline bonkers to begin with.

5. Einstein’s Involvement

Fact: Albert Einstein was indeed employed by the Unites States Navy during the time of the supposed Philadelphia Experiment in 1943.

Fact: there was a code-named undertaking called Project Rainbow that began during the war by the CIA, and was aimed at reducing radar visibility.

There has been a vast amount of likely fiction built around these facts. It has been suggested that the Philadelphia Experiment itself was code-named Project Rainbow, for example. And given Einstein’s many theories for weapon designs on torpedoes and similar enhancements, it is assumed that he employed a theory for the invisibility of the USS Eldridge. Using his unified field theory, it is suggested that the genius Albert Einstein used natural electromagnetic and gravitational force in order to generate the horrific effects of the ultimate experiment. Given his remorse for having ever suggested to the U.S. that they begin researching nuclear weaponry, it seems unlikely that he would be at ground zero of such a horrific experiment, but if it truly did happen…It’s more than likely that he was a part of it.

4. The ONR

It is no surprise that the navy denied anything to do with such an experiment. However, in spite of the fact that they refused to accept any sort of notion that such an experiment took place, or any responsibility for the results…they were still interested. Upon receiving the annotated version of Jessup’s book, thanks to the very eccentric scribblings and ideas of Allen, the Office of Naval Research contacted M. K. Jessup. But why would they care? If there was no such thing as the Philadelphia Experiment to begin with, then why bother contacting a seeming crackpot? Apparently this was regarding a private interest from certain ONR officials. A specific initiative was underway by specific people within the organization. What initiative was it that was so important? No idea. No one knows. This, of course could mean one of two things. Either there just isn’t anything to know…or there is some darker secret out there. It is factual knowledge that the ONR did contact Jessup. So why contact the kook unless there was some sort of truth to the whole horrifying story?

3. Philly Experiment 2012

To be fair, this is not a chilling myth about the experiment itself. This is more a chilling myth that making a film about a so clearly bogus experiment is a good thing. As it turns out…it is not a good thing. Perhaps the only good thing about the 2012 film The Philadelphia Experiment is the fact that Malcolm McDowell features in it (which is not a plus for his career by any means). Regardless, the story goes that the Navy attempts to revive the experiment decades later. This only results in them bringing to the future the original USS Eldridge, and the crew that had suffered the events of the first two runs of the experiment in 1943. It’s not by any means a riveting story, unless one gets off watching hilariously horrible films. This flop-film-making myth did not originate with this 2012 trash movie. Oh no. There was a film made in 1984 about the experiment as well. But this film involved two of the disappeared sailors being sent forty years into the future. Perhaps they should have warned people to not make such garbage films about silly events.

2. SS Andrew Furuseth

There are two supposed runs of the experiment from 1943. Carl Allen was said to have been present for at least one of these (though sometimes it is suggested that he witnessed both). Regardless, the SS Andrew Furuseth featured prominently in the story of the infamous experiment. This is one of the vessels on which Allen served during his time in the Marchant Marines. That much is at least fact. Another fact to do with this ship is that it was indeed docked in Norfolk, Virginia at one time or another during the second World War. Several crew members, including Allen, have claimed to have seen the sudden appearance and disappearance of the USS Eldridge in Norfolk. That would be indeed a chilling near confirmation of at least some of the claims of the experiment…if it didn’t transpire that crew members only came out about this siting after Allen went public. And if the skipper of the vessel didn’t put to rest that the two ships never crossed paths at any time in the war.

1. The Claims Of Robert Goerman

At 7:05 in the above video, one can begin having an inkling as to just how cracked one Robert Goerman is. To his credit, that there is this article regarding the Philadelphia Experiment is largely due to him. That’s not necessarily a good thing though. Without him there might be fewer crackpot theories in the world, and perhaps the memory of many who died at sea during World War II might not be so overshadowed by a sensationalized, albeit fictional experiment.

That’s not to say that the Allies didn’t work towards cloaking devices and radar invisibility. They surely did, but none of the above horrifying events happened out in such a way. The History Channel doesn’t help either, by giving people like Goerman even a dash of credit for their silly ideas. Of course…perhaps the most chilling notion of this entire article is that, all along, these people might have the chance that they are in fact right. And we are simply ignorant and imbecilic by comparison. The available facts don’t seem to suggest that, but all the same, there is always that frightening possibility.