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The Philadelphia Experiment: Fact or Fiction

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philadelphia experimentIn October 1943, the U.S. Navy allegedly conducted a “Philadelphia Experiment” using the U.S. Naval Destroyer Escort, the USS Eldridge, at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

As the story is told, Naval scientists, under the consultation of Albert Einstein, were able to render the naval destroyer virtually invisible to enemy equipment and human eyes. During a later attempt to duplicate the experiment, the USS Eldridge not only disappeared, but also teleported to Norfolk, Virginia, nearly 200 miles away.

The arrival of the teleporting ship to Norfolk was even witnessed by the crew of a civilian vessel. In both experiments, the equipment used to achieve each of these outcomes were designed around Einstein’s Unified Theory. Or at least, that is how the story goes.

The Philadelphia Experiment – The Reality

The idea is so fantastic and there are enough facts surrounding the myth to give it a feeling of feasibility. This is why many writers and conspiracy theorists took the idea and ran with it. However, there is no hard evidence to substantiate those fantastic claims.

philadelphia experiment

The “evidence” that is presented to prove the existence of the experiment is circumstantial at best, but more often it is simply contradictory. The fact is the USS Eldridge was an actual naval destroyer escort. The ship’s World War II action report and war diary coverage, including the remarks section of the 1943 deck log, is available to the public on microfilm at the Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command.

The Unified Field Theory

Another fact is that Albert Einstein was a consultant for the Navy during the time of the alleged experiment. His Unified Field Theory was a theory coined by Einstein to describe his attempt to unify the general theory of relativity with electromagnetism. Finally, the USS Eldridge was equipped with a “cloaking” device. These supposed facts are only half-truths and cannot support the tales of invisibility teleportation.

The other halves of these half-truths clearly prove the conspiracy theory surrounding the Philadelphia Experiment is a flawed theory. Though Einstein was at the Naval Base conduct research, it had nothing to do with Unified Field Theory. Einstein was actually working on theoretical research involving explosives and explosions. Einstein was never able to complete his Unified Field Theory.

Even today, there is no accepted Unified Field theory. It remains an open line of research.

Examining the Other Evidence

Another flaw in the theory is the idea of those civilian witnesses. The witnesses in question are the crew of the merchant vessel SS Andrew Furuseth. Using the movement report cards of the SS Andrew Furuseth along with the USS Eldridge’s information on microfilm, it is obvious that the two vessels were never in Norfolk, VA at the same time. Furthermore, the Master of Andrew Furuseth in 1943 wrote a letter categorically denying that he or his crew ever observed any unusual events while in Norfolk.
philadelphia experiment
The final hole in the theory of the myth is the onboard “cloaking” device. This is not so much of a device as it is a technique. The true name of the technique is degaussing. Degaussing is the process of decreasing an unwanted magnetic field to a very small “known” field, referred to as bias, to avoid triggering enemy mines.

These mines operated by detecting increases in magnetic field when the steel in a ship concentrated the Earth’s magnetic field over it. The original method of degaussing was to install electromagnetic coils into the ships, known as coiling. Yet, coiling or degaussing only made the ship “invisible” to the mines. It was still detectable by radar, underwater listening devices and definitely the human eye. On top of that, degaussing had nothing to do with moving or teleporting the ship in any way shape or form.

Short of calling the Experiment a hoax (which it obviously is) and to give its proponents the benefit of the doubt, let’s just describe the myth of the Philadelphia Experiment as a misunderstanding of the new technologies of the time. And like all myths, it grew more fantastic with every retelling of the story.

Originally published on

  • Anonymous

    We don’t know what happened.

    This is very far from both “it was real” and “it was a hoax”.

    You can not derive conclusions from not knowing.

    What is most likely also doesn’t prove anything.

    The discovery of the nuclear explosion was not likely to most people. Flying machines sounds perfectly unlikely, radio sounds like total bullshit.

    Unknown things are not what they seem.

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

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Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

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Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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