Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Philadelphia Experiment

summer of 1943--The experiment was allegedly based on an aspect of some unified field theory, a term coined by Albert Einstein to describe a class of potential theories; such theories would aim to describe — mathematically and physically — the interrelated nature of the forces that comprise electromagnetic radiation and gravity, in other words, uniting the fields of electromagnetism and gravity into a single field. According to some accounts, unspecified "researchers" thought that some version of this field would enable using large electrical generators to bend light around an object via refraction, so that the object became completely invisible. The Navy regarded this of military value and it sponsored the experiment.  Another unattributed version of the story proposes that researchers were preparing magnetic and gravitational measurements of the seafloor to detect anomalies, supposedly based on Einstein's attempts to understand gravity. In this version, there were also related secret experiments in Nazi Germany to find anti-gravity, allegedly led by SS-Obergruppenführer Hans Kammler.  There are no reliable, attributable accounts, but in most accounts of the supposed experiment, USS Eldridge was fitted with the required equipment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Testing began in the summer of 1943, and it was supposedly successful to a limited extent. One test resulted in Eldridge being rendered nearly invisible, with some witnesses reporting a "greenish fog" appearing in its place. Crew members complained of severe nausea afterwards. Also, reportedly, when the ship reappeared, some sailors were embedded in the metal structures of the ship, including one sailor who ended up on a deck level below that where he began and had his hand embedded in the steel hull of the ship, as well as some sailors who went "completely bananas." There is also a claim the experiment was altered after that point at the request of the Navy, limiting it to creating a stealth technology that would render USS Eldridge invisible to radar. None of these allegations have been independently substantiated.

August 27, 1943--The USS Eldridge was not commissioned until August 27, 1943

September 1943--it remained in port in New York City until September 1943. 

Image result for The Philadelphia Experiment

sometime around October 28, 1943--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 PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, sometime around October 28, 1943. The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge (DE-173) was claimed to have been rendered invisible (or "cloaked") to enemy devices.

The SDF-1 Macros Big Finish Story Art

October 28 to 26, 1943 (It's time travel.  That's not a typo in the dating)--DOCTOR WHO--"The Macros"--The TARDIS materialises on the USS Eldridge, after the Philadelphia Experiment has gone disastrously wrong. Most of the crew are dead, the ship is disintegrating, and the Doctor soon realises that the problem comes from another dimension...  The Macros, originally The Macro Men, was an unproduced story for Doctor Who written by Ingrid Pitt and her husband Tony Rudlin after the former played Solow in TV: Warriors of the Deep in 1984. Pitt also played Galleia in TV: The Time Monster in 1972. The couple first got the idea from reading Charles Berlitz' The Philadelphia Experiment, a story about an experiment conducted by the United States during World War II in the attempts to try and make the USS Eldridge invisible to RADAR. After meeting with Eric Saward numerous times, The Macro Men became The Macros and many revisions only resulted in a draft first episode script before all work was stopped.

1943 - Ensign Ian "Splicey" Price serves aboard the USS Eldridge during the Philadelphia Experiment, and is sent to Bethasda Naval Medical Center, where he is treated for the next 30 years, after demonstrating strange tactile control over magnetic metals.  Ian Price and his time onboard the USS Eldridge are detailed in the DELTA GREEN: EYES ONLY, Project Rainbow supplement for the Call Of Cthulhu Role Playing Game, set within the Cthulhu Mythos.  The book further explains that Ian's magnetic attraction was the result of the esoteric energies he was exposed to interacting with long-dormant genes manipulated by the K'n-Yani, who first appeared in Lovecraft's and Zealia Bishop's "The Mound" (1940). The Philadelphia Experiment is from real world urban legend.

After the discontinuation of the Philadelphia Experiment (a program during World War II to render battleships invisible to radar), the scientists involved in that program were relocated to Los Alamos but none ever made it there and were instead sent to Roswell. Less than nine months after the alleged UFO crash in Roswell, the USS Eldridge not only hid from radar screens but disappeared entirely from the Philadelphia Navy Yard only to reappear minutes later, hundreds of miles away, in Norfolk, Virginia. (TXF: "Død Kalm")

1955--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 alleged details of the story contradict well-established facts about USS Eldridge, and that the claims do not conform to known physical laws.  In 1955, astronomer and UFO buff 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 (who also identified himself as "Carl M. Allen" in another correspondence) who claimed to have witnessed a secret World War Two experiment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. In this experiment, Allende claimed the destroyer escort USS Eldridge (DE-173) was rendered invisible, teleported to New York, teleported to another dimension where it encountered aliens, and teleported through time, resulting in the death of several sailors, some of whom were fused with the ship's hull. Jessup dismissed Allende as a crackpot.

Image result for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Washington, D.C.

Spring 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.

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

1963--Vincent Gaddis published a book of Forteana, titled Invisible Horizons: True Mysteries of the Sea. In it he recounted the story of the experiment from the Varo annotations.

January 1967--THE INVADERS--"The Experiment"--This confirms that the Philadelphia Experiment was a real event.

Image result for historian Mike Dash

Through the late 1970s--The historian Mike Dash notes that many authors who publicized the "Philadelphia Experiment" story after that of Jessup appeared to have conducted little or no research of their own. Through the late 1970s, for example, Allende/Allen was often described as mysterious and difficult to locate, but Goerman determined Allende/Allen's identity after only a few telephone calls. Others speculate that much of the key literature emphasizes dramatic embellishment rather than pertinent research. Berlitz's and Moore's account of the story (The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility) claimed to include factual information, such as transcripts of an interview with a scientist involved in the experiment, but their work has also been criticized for plagiarising key story elements from the novel Thin Air which was published a year earlier.

1978--George E. Simpson and Neal R. Burger published a 1978 novel titled Thin Air. In this book, set in the present day, a Naval Investigative Service officer investigates several threads linking wartime invisibility experiments to a conspiracy involving matter transmission technology.

1979--Large-scale popularization of the story came about in 1979 when the famed linguist Charles Berlitz, who had written a best selling book on the Bermuda Triangle, and his co-author, ufologist William L. Moore published The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility, which purported to be a factual account. The book expanded on stories of bizarre happenings, lost unified field theories by Albert Einstein, and government coverups, all based on the Allende/Allen letters to Jessup.  Moore and Berlitz devoted one of the last chapters in The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility to "The Force Fields Of Townsend Brown," namely the experimenter and then-U.S. Navy technician Thomas Townsend Brown. Paul Violette's book Secrets of Anti-Gravity Propulsion also recounts some mysterious involvement of Townsend Brown.

January 1980--X-MEN # 129--Our Ivan Schablotski (with Kevin Heim) helped to draft CASTING LOTS:  THE ORIGINS OF THE LEGION OF THE STRANGE from Dennis E. Power and Dr. Peter Coogan, which you can find here.  The TVCU originally incorporated much of Power and Coogan's work when I first launched this website.  I have since stepped back from that a little just because their approach differs from my TV centered view that it happens as we see it on the screen.  But I have still accepted the Legion of the Strange as an acceptable way for the X-Men to fit in the TVCU, as you'll see in the upcoming "Marvels of the TVCU" found in my next book, TELEVISION CROSSOVER UNIVERSE:  WORLDS AND MYTHOLOGY II.  Not included in the linked article, Ivan had included originally that Kitty Pryde was the granddaughter of a survivor of the Philadelphia Experiment.  

1980--Observers have argued that it is inappropriate to grant credence to an unusual story promoted by one individual, in the absence of corroborating evidence. Robert Goerman wrote in Fate magazine in 1980, that "Carlos Allende" / "Carl Allen", who is said to have corresponded with Jessup, was Carl Meredith Allen of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, who had an established history of psychiatric illness, and who may have fabricated the primary history of the experiment as a result of his mental illness. Goerman later realized that Allen was a family friend and "a creative and imaginative loner ... sending bizarre writings and claims."

The Philadelphia Experiment Poster

October to November 1983--THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT--A United States Navy destroyer escort participates in a Navy "invisibility" experiment that inadvertently sends two sailors forty years into the future.


March 1984--WARLORD # 79--When Travis Morgan, Shakira, and Krystovar are yanked out of their own time-stream, they meet their future-selves and a time-hopping scientist who was involved in the infamous Philadelphia Experiment in 1943.

1984--The story was adapted into a 1984 time travel film called The Philadelphia Experiment, directed by Stewart Raffill. Though only loosely based on the prior accounts of the "Experiment", it served to dramatize the core elements of the original story. 

1990--Alfred Bielek, a self-proclaimed former crew-member of USS Eldridge and an alleged participant in the Experiment, supported the version as it was portrayed in the film. He added details of his claims through the Internet, some of which were picked up by mainstream news outlets.

Philadelphia Experiment II (1993) - Plot Summary Poster

November 1993--THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT 2--David Herdeg's participation in a failed 1943 experiment in radar invisibility has propelled him 40 years into the future. An aberration in his genetic makeup enabled him to pass through the portal of time. It has also made him sensitive to any alteration to the time continuum. Another disasterous experiment in 1993 sends a stealth aircraft through the time portal, into 1943 Germany. Simultaneously, Herdeg is pulled into the portal, and finds himself in the terrifying 1993 that resulted from a Nazi victory in World War II.  The alternate timeline is of course the TVCU Multiverse's Naziverse, aka Earth-X or Earth-10.  From Caeric ArcLight: In THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT 2, there's a discussion of Superman - "The Man of Steel" - retiring because adamantium is tougher than steel.

Image result for X-FILES--"Dod Kalm"

March 10, 1995--X-FILES--"Dod Kalm"--In the Norwegian Sea, chaos erupts on board the USS Ardent, an American destroyer escort. Due to mysterious yet unspecified events, half of the Ardent's crew board lifeboats and abandon ship against the captain's orders. Eighteen hours later, they are spotted by a Canadian fishing vessel; however, in that short span of time, the young crew members have undergone rapid aging.  Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) visit the ship's sole surviving crew member, Lt. Harper, who has been quarantined at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Scully finds that Harper, despite being in his twenties, has aged to the point of being unrecognizable. Mulder explains that the Ardent vanished at the 65th parallel, a location with a history of ship disappearances. Mulder believes that a "wrinkle in time" exists there, and that the Ardent was the subject of government experimentation related to the Philadelphia Experiment from World War II.  Series creator Chris Carter asked Howard Gordon to write "Død Kalm" because the X-Files had been given access to a Canadian navy destroyer for the previous episodes "Colony" and "End Game." The episode was originally intended as a way to give the production crew a rest after several "demanding" episodes had been shot. Before the script had been finished, Carter mentioned that he believed the episode would be a "great rest for everyone." In the book The Unofficial X-Files Companion, N.E. Genge notes that aspects of the episode bear striking resemblances to the Philadelphia Experiment, the alleged naval military experiment.

September 1996--The Office of Naval Research (ONR) stated in September 1996, "ONR has never conducted investigations on radar invisibility, either in 1943 or at any other time." Pointing out that the ONR was not established until 1946, it denounces the accounts of "The Philadelphia Experiment" as complete "science fiction."

April 1999--A reunion of Navy veterans who had served aboard USS Eldridge told a Philadelphia newspaper in April 1999 that their ship had never made port in Philadelphia. Further evidence discounting the Philadelphia Experiment timeline comes from USS Eldridge’s complete World War II action report, including the remarks section of the 1943 deck log, available on microfilm.

Image result for 1999--INTRUDER film

1999--INTRUDER--One of the characters from the 1999 film Intruder was part of the "real events" of the film The Philadelphia Experiment and the events of the Intruder are the result of this scientists further work following those events.

The Triangle Poster

2005--THE TRIANGLE--A shipping magnate hires four experts from various fields to investigate what happened to his ships that went missing in the Bermuda Triangle. The team discovers a threat that might unravel time itself and cause the world to end.  The Secretary of the Navy, Doug Weist (Barrie Ingham), lost his leg in that Philadelphia experiment.

100 Million BC Poster

2008--100 MILLION B.C.--A scientist leads a team of Navy SEALs back in time to the Cretaceous Period to rescue the first team he sent back during the 1940s. Things go wildly when he accidentally brings a giant dinosaur back into Los Angeles.  THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT is referenced in 100 Million BC when the soldiers are discussing stealth technology researches conducted by the US military



Release Date: June 1, 2010 (Contemporary Setting, between Nightside novels Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth and Hell to Pay)
Series: Secret Histories
Horror Crosses: Nightside; Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde; War of the Worlds (novel); Gravel; Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; The Monkey’s Paw; Hellraiser; Frankenstein (many of them); Stephen King Universe (the works of Stephen King)
Non-Horror Crosses: The Coming Race; Excalibur (Marvel Comics); Wizard of Oz; Shadows Fall; I Dream of Jeannie; Doctor Who; Wolf of Kabul; Maltese Falcon; Doom Patrol; The Time Machine; Chronicles of Narnia; Lone Ranger; Area 52; The Men Who Stare at Goats; A Midsummer’s Night's Dream; The Avengers (television); Philadelphia Experiment
The Story: Many of the Drood agents compete in a competition where the prize is the knowledge of a legendary past agent.
Notes: There are numerous references to Green’s other series, the Nightside. Harry Fabulous appears, selling the Hyde drug and Martian Red Weed. Later, the agents battle a user of the Hyde drug. It’s mentioned that the War of the Worlds Martians once attempted to invade the Nightside. The Tower of London is guarded by SAS Combat Sorcerers, who come from the Gravel series. There is an appearance of two of Pickman’s paintings from Lovecraft’s Pickman’s Model. There is a mummified Monkey’s Paw. A puzzle box (from the Hellraiser series) appears. There was a factory in Cuba using Frankenstein monsters as slave labor. Later, several of the monsters are seen doing karaoke in the Nightside. A representative of Vril Power, Inc. appears. There is also a representative from MI13. This agency comes from the Excalibur comic from Marvel Comics. Eddie Drood is familiar with the existence of Oz. Shadows Fall is mentioned and indicated to exist in the far future of the Green Universe. However, many Green stories also have Shadows Fall interacting with other realms in the present and Shadows Fall is a reality of characters who are imaginary in the “real world”. In fact, Shadows Fall may be the same realm also called the Land of Fiction and Imaginationland. Likely time is irrelevant in that realm and exists in all times at once in relation to the Horror Universe. One of the Droods mentions Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie. Jeannie’s cousin, from the animated Jeannie, has previously crossed with Scooby-Doo in the New Scooby-Doo Movies. The Travelling Doctor is mentioned. Doctor Who? The Wolf of Kabul is also mentioned. He is a character from a military themed comic of the same name. There’s another reference to Green’s favorite thing, the Maltese Falcon. There is an appearance of the Painting that Devoured Paris from Grant Morrison’s run on the Doom Patrol. A stuffed Morlock appears. Eddie is familiar with the talking beavers of Narnia. Eddie’s ally Honey wonders why the Lone Ranger really used silver bullets, implying that Tonto knew of their use against the supernatural. Area 52 is mentioned. There is a reference to a U.S. government project training soldiers to be psychics, including walking through walls and knocking over goats. This is a reference to the film The Men Who Stare at Goats. Eddie has a history with the elf Peaseblossom from A Midsummer’s Nights Dream. The Droods keep watch over Crouch End Towen from Stephen King’s Crouch End. The Nightside’s Walker uses a sword cane which he claims to be a British spy tradition. Of course he’s referring to John Steed of the Avengers. When I originally wrote this up for the HCE, and even for the 2nd edition, I missed that Green also through in a reference to the Philadelphia Experiment. When I interviewed Simon R. Green last year, he did tell me he was sure that as thorough as my adviser John D. Lindsey was, I probably still missed something. His explanation was that they opened a door to a Faerie dimension and got magically tortured by elves, who thought it was great fun.

Release Date: April 3, 2012 (See notes for setting)
Series: The Time Travel Guide
Horror Crosses: Evil Dead; Alien
Non-Horror Crosses: Terminator; Doctor Who; Back to the Future; Forbidden Planet; The Time Machine; Time Cop; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; Star Trek; Timeline; Stargate; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure; Hot Tub Time Machine; Star Wars; Futurama; Donnie Darko; Time After Time; Lost; Philadelphia Experiment; 12 Monkeys; Quantum Leap; X-Files; Gundam; Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers; Voltron; iRobot; Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (films); Superman (Christopher Reeve films); Land of the Lost; Battlestar Galactica; Star Trek (reboot); Planet of the Apes; Call of Duty; Muppet Show; Pokemon
The Story: Not so much a story, this is an actual guide for new time travellers written by some guys who live at some point in the future, but who came back in time to publish the book (presumably to avoid an amateur time traveller from screwing up their timeline).
Notes: This story implies that all of the above crosses exist. However, because of the nature of time travel, it’s possible that some of the above may be in divergent timelines while others are part of the main Horror Universe timeline.

December 2, 2012--Caeric J. ArcLight informed me that he was on the ship from "The Philadelphia Experiment".

Image result for 2012 remake of the PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT

Alternate Realities--

TVCU-2--There is a 2012 remake of the film. The remake is a TV movie, so it's likely the official version also for Toobworld/Earth-Prime Time.

Final Thoughts: Although there seem to be alternate explanations for what happened in the Philadelphia Experiment, all of which connect back to the TVCU, I like to think all of them are valid. After all, it's all wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.

1 comment:

  1. I heard about this theory from a news article but never happened to get more details about it but today thankfully came across your article. I am now a keen follower of your posts.