Skip to main content

The Fascinating Mystery of the Philadelphia Time-Travel Experiment

Ravi loves writing within the realm of relationships, history, and the bizarre—where boundaries are blurred and possibilities are immense.

Did the US Navy really achieve time travel with this experiment?

Did the US Navy really achieve time travel with this experiment?

It Was an Unbelievable Experiment

It was the summer of 1943 and the United States had completed two bloody years in World War II with the American destroyers fighting tooth and nail with the Nazi U-boat submarines to gain supremacy over the seas.

In the meantime, American scientists were conducting some classified experiments in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. As part of these experiments, a newly commissioned destroyer called the USS Eldridge was been equipped with several high-power generators and several other electromagnetic equipment as part of a top-secret mission to win the battle of the Atlantic.

The objective of the experiment was to create a technology that would make naval ships invisible to enemy radar. The experiment was reportedly a success and it was time to test the system with the crew on board in broad daylight. The D-day was Oct. 28, 1943, when the switches were thrown on the powerful generators that hummed into action.

What happened next is not clear and would baffle scientists and fuel decades of wild speculations, conspiracies for the next 75 years to date.

The objective of the experiment was to create a technology that would make naval ships invisible to enemy radar.

The objective of the experiment was to create a technology that would make naval ships invisible to enemy radar.

The Philadelphia Time-Travel Experiment

Once the switches were triggered, witnesses came up with different observations that were further distorted and magnified over the decades. However, the general consensus was that an eerie green-blue glow surrounded the hull of the ship. Then suddenly and unexplainably, the ship disappeared not only from radar but vanished in thin air along with the crew!

Then hours later, it resurfaced back in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia and within a short while again resurfaced back in Philadelphia. More than the ship, the shocking images were those of the crew who appeared completely disoriented and had terrible burns on their faces and bodies.

Most shockingly, a few crew members were found partially welded in the steel hull of the ship; still alive, but with legs or arms sealed to the deck.

Some had gone insane. Some developed a mysterious radiation illness later and most of them suffered severe physiological trauma throughout their lives. So goes the story of the failed Philadelphia Experiment widely cited as one of the most secretive government experiments with teleportation and time travel. After the failure, all records were obliterated as the USS Eldridge was transferred to Greece in 1951 and sold for scrap in the 90s.

Science fiction? An experiment that went horribly wrong? The Philadelphia Experiment has survived in the minds of amateur paranormalists and conspiracy theorists for the past 75 years despite several government denials and clarifications over the years.

An eerie green-blue glow surrounded the hull of the ship. Then suddenly and unexplainably, the ship disappeared not only from radar but vanished in thin air along with the crew!

An eerie green-blue glow surrounded the hull of the ship. Then suddenly and unexplainably, the ship disappeared not only from radar but vanished in thin air along with the crew!

A Mystery Man Called Carlos

The man who kept the Philadelphia Experiment alive all these years was a mystery man called Carl M. Allen, who would go by the pseudonym, Carlos Miguel Allende. In 1956, Allende sent a series of letters to Morris K. Jessup, amateur astronomer and author of the book, The Case for the UFO. In those letters, he criticized Jessup stating that his understanding of unified field theory was wrong.

The unified field theory is an attempt to tie together all known phenomena to explain the nature and behavior of all matter and energy in existence. In the mid-19th century, James Clerk Maxwell formulated his theory of electromagnetism found in all matter.

Scroll to Continue

Later Albert Einstein developed general relativity; a theory of gravitation found in all matter. The unified theory says that electromagnetism and gravity are nothing but different aspects of a single fundamental piece of matter. Albert Einstein reportedly tried to prove it but failed.

The unified theory has many fantastic practical applications like unlimited clean energy, powerful weapons, and the most extraordinary, the ability to time-travel or teleport any matter.

Coming back to Allende, his letters to Jessup claimed that the unified field theory has already been proved and it was put to experiment on October 28, 1943, when the US ship USS Eldridge was made to time travel all the way with its crew to Virginia by the United States Military who are now trying to cover it up.

Jessup was later ‘questioned’ by the Navy’s Office of Naval Research, who had received an anonymous package containing Jessup’s book with annotations detailing the unified field theory along with the intricate details of the secretive Philadelphia experiment.

Who wrote those detailed annotations on Jessup’s book and who sent it to the Navy’s Office of Naval Research? Allende did not contact further nor could his identity be found.

Jessup later took his own life in 1959 but the detailed annotated book survived and became the source of truth for hundreds of conspiracy theorists later who claimed that the government was conducting a clandestine undercover operation during World War II era, and the aftermath of this experiment was undoubtedly frightening.

More than the ship, the shocking images were those of the crew who appeared completely disoriented and had terrible burns on their faces and bodies. Most shockingly, a few crew members were found partially welded in the steel hull of the ship.

More than the ship, the shocking images were those of the crew who appeared completely disoriented and had terrible burns on their faces and bodies. Most shockingly, a few crew members were found partially welded in the steel hull of the ship.

Any Logical Explanations?

In 1994, the French astrophysicist Jacques F. Vallee published an article in the Journal of Scientific Exploration titled ‘Anatomy of a Hoax: The Philadelphia Experiment Fifty Years Later.’ The article spoke about the memoirs of Edward Dudgeon who served as a mechanic in the USS Eldridge at that time.

According to Dudgeon, the explanation about the ‘experiment’ was far more mundane in reality. Dudgeon was asked to install a device on the ship that would scramble its magnetic signature using a technique called degaussing.

A degaussed ship would not be invisible to radar but would be undetectable by the U-boats' magnetic torpedoes. Degaussing involved wrapping the ship in large cables, charged with high voltage charges. ‘It was a standard practice of defense against U-Boat attack,” he said.

As to the ‘green glow’, there was an electric storm or St. Elmo's fire at that time due to which the ship appeared ‘wrapped’ in a green glow.

In another turn of events, The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1999 contacted the sailors who were there in the USS Eldridge at that time. As per the surviving sailors, the ship was never docked in Philadelphia. Indeed, it was in Brooklyn on its supposed ‘date of disappearance’. The ship's log also confirmed this. Further, the captain said no experiments were ever conducted on the vessel.

Despite these confirmations, people continue to believe otherwise and the mystery remains and continues to be debated to date.

Sources

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.

© 2021 Ravi Rajan

Related Articles