The plot starts in the 1980’s with the release of "The Philadelphia Experiment", a science-fiction movie drama.
It continues with a book, "The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility" in pocket novel form, by Charles Berlitz and William Moore, who obviously meant to tell a true story.
From this dubious start, the legend grew over the years. Self alleged witness appear. A sequel, the Montauk Experiment, brings the story further, in spite of the official denial by the US Navy.
Project Rainbow was allegedly an experiment conducted upon a small destroyer escort ship during World War II, both in the Philadelphia Naval Yard and at sea; the goal was to make that ship invisible to enemy detection. The accounts vary as to whether the original idea was to achieve invisibility to enemy radar or whether the prize sought after was more profound: optical invisibility. Either way, it is commonly believed that the mechanism involved was the generation of an incredibly intense magnetic field around the ship, which would cause refraction or bending of light or radar waves around the ship, much like a mirage created by heated air over a road on a summer day. The legend goes on to say that the experiment was a complete success... except that the ship actually disappeared physically for a time, and then returned. They wanted to "cloak" the ship from view, but they got de-materialization and teleportation instead...
According to the Navy, the only goal of the experiment was to surround the ship with a magnetic field strong enough to cast away floating mines.
Read what happened according to the legend.
At this time there are several books, 2 Hollywood movies, many web sites, and a handful of "I was there!" claimants who are making their living telling spellbinding stories about the Philadelphia Experiment. But COULD it have happened? Does the Physics of the 20th century allow for a mechanism that could have been used way back there in 1943?
A first positive track to follow is the life and discoveries of Nikolai Tesla, the Man Out Of Time, allegedly involved in the experiment, together with Einstein and Von Neumann.
Rick Andersen has some indications that the Philadelphia Experiment has some connection with today's nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.
Invisibilty technology, An Optical and Radar Invisibility Technique Deduced from the World War II "Philadelphia Experiment" Legend, by the unreachable Alexander Strang Fraser.
A letter, allegedly casting doubts on the suicide of her husband, lecturer on the Philadelphia Experiment from his wife.
Groom Lake Colonel, "reveals it all".
Tired of answering the same questions over and over to private investigators of all kinds about the alleged "Philadelphia experiment", the Office of Naval Research of the US Navy published a "once and for all" answer on its web site.
The Montauk Project is allegedly a sequel of the Philadelphia Experiment. Though, the connection seems rather less than obvious.