Philadelphia Experiment Conspiracy Theory

The Implausibility of The Philadelphia Experiment Conspiracy Theory

The essence of the Philadelphia Experiment is that a US Marine Destroyer Escort rendered itself invisible in a Naval Experiment, in a Shipyard in Philadelphia. Most believe the story to be a hoax and the Navy has denied it’s plausibility saying that the story does not conform to known physics.

The Philadelphia Experiment US Naval Destroyer

The Philadelphia Experiment Theory

The theory began with a letter from an individual supposedly on board the destroyer, the USS Eldridge (DE-173), named Carlos Allende. He claimed that The Eldridge disappeared and reappeared in front of him, and then linked this occurrence to Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.

The scientific rationale behind the theory is that invisibility is possible using on the basis of Unified Field Theory, a class of theories describing the interrelated nature of electromagnetic and gravitational forces. Electrical Generators would bend light around large objects via refraction, rendering it invisible. Being a useful technique to have the Navy allegedly undertook the Philadelphia Experiment in 1943. There are few reliable accounts and testimonies.

There are a number of different variants as to what actually happened with the apparent disappearance of the USS Eldridge. Some say that the destroyer was rendered almost completely invisible, others that it was covered with greenish fog. Sailors are reported to have gone insane with one account indicating that a sailor’s hand got trapped within the ship when it reappeared. The bodies of the sailors were still on the ship when it went invisible, and sailors were reported to have been nauseous after the event. After the negative response from the sailors the experiment was stopped by the Navy. The Experiment did not go as planned due to the failure to properly calibrate all the equipment. There are many claims of adverse side effects on crew member such as some being turned inside out, disappearing and reappearing, begin nauseous, suffering from serious mental illnesses and subjected to brainwashing in order to keep the experiment a secret.

Another offshoot of the Philadelphia Experiment theory was that the Navy tried to repeat the experiment later on in the year with more success. In this report, the USS Eldridge actually teleported itself over 300 Kilometers away to Norfolk, Virginia, where it remained for a few minutes. Sailors aboard another destroyer, the SS Andrew Furuseth, viewed the Eldridge for a few minutes before it teleported itself back to Philadelphia.

Alien Contact

In 1955 a book was published titled The Case for the UFO, linking theories about how UFO’s might fly with Unified Field Theory. The book was written by an astronomer, Morris K Jessup.

Astronomer, Morris K Jessup
Morris K Jessup, Astronomer

This book has resurfaced in significance with the modern writings of James Moseley and Karl Pflock in 2002, who claim that Jessup was contacted by Aliens who made reference to the importance of Unified Field Theory in the propulsion of Flying Saucers. They allege that Jessup was also in contact with the Office of Naval Records, who first put him in touch with the Aliens by a book, to further investigate the merits of his theories so that the effects of invisibility, teleportation and space travel could be further researched by the Navy. Some also claim that the reason that Jessup was so aloof and heard to find was that he was assassinated by the Office of Naval Research as he knew too much about the Aliens and about the secrets of Unified Field Theory, teleportation and invisibility. Should it be leaked to the public that such technology was available and not being utilized to treat diseases, eliminate poverty or clean up the planet, it would result in a huge scandal, instead of being used solely for the purpose of espionage and warfare. Proponents claimed that his suicide was staged by the Office of Naval Research. However, it is widely accepted that he was failing in his writing career, that his wife left him, and when his sister was informed she simply asked: “How did he do it?”. This would imply that she was not surprised, Jessup, having a history of serious depression. At the time of the suicide, he had been in a serious car accident and was recovering very slowly.

References to the Philadelphia Experiment have appeared in much popular culture. The movies 100 Million BC, Outpost and Devils Pass all make reference to the Philadelphia Experiment. Notable TV shows which mention the Philadelphia experiment include the X-Files, Pawn Stars, Sanctuary, Warehouse 13 and the Macros. It has also appeared in the literary works of Clive Cussler’s Mirage, Jeff’s Smith’s graphic novel Rasl and Green Fire, as well as video games such as Assassins Creed and Half-Life.

Credibility of the Philadelphia Experiment Theory

The science does not back up what the Philadelphia Theorists are saying. If a working Unified Field Theory was put into place, the technology would be incredible. A working theory has yet to be discovered.

It is said that there was a correspondence between Carlos Allende and Morris Jessup before and after the Philadelphia experiment. Such correspondence would be the nail in the coffin for a theory such as this. Because the theory originates from one person and one person only. And then this person would have happened to be in touch for the main instigator of the theory. Allende is also said to have had a history of psychiatric illnesses and as a result fabricated the story on his own.

There are also some inconsistencies with regard to the timeline of the event. The ship was said to have remained in New York until September-October; however, the Philadelphia experiment took place in October 1943. The usual response from theorists, when met with this, is that it is possible that the shipping logs were falsified to cover it up. Possibly true but the onus of proof lies as always with the theory proponents. Navy veterans have also told a local Philadelphia newspaper that the ship never made port in Philadelphia.

For its part the Office of Naval Research (ONR) stated in 1966:

“ONR has never conducted investigations on radar invisibility, either in 1943 or at any other time “


It is true that the government does actively suppress it’s technology. It is general policy to keep the public as ignorant as possible for a variety of reasons, but it also important to keep technology a secret from their competitor countries who would then engineer similar technology. There are real conspiracies which have documents and have actually happened. Operation Northwoods, for example, where the CIA considered acts of domestic terrorism and blaming it on the Cuban populace to incite a war against communist Cuba is well documented and logical. And the US Public Health Service recruited up to 400 African Americans to test for the cure to syphilis and instead of actually treating them like they said they would, they treated them as guinea pigs without the use of penicillin which would have saved their lives. Thus there are a number of conspiracy theories which when looked at closely, are not really conspiracy theories at all – Just common sense and a necessary extension of human nature, including desire, motivation and fear of loss.

The Philadelphia Conspiracy Theory does not fall under this category of Conspiracy Theory. It rests on one person with no documentation and involves Aliens as well as technology that is simply not available at the present time.

Philadelphia Experiment Conspiracy Documentary

Here is a documentary from History Channel; True Story Of The Philadelphia Experiment (Documentary)