DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE
SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
THE "PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT":
Office of Naval Research (ONR) fact sheet
UFO Research Guide
Photograph of USS Eldridge
Allegedly, in the fall of 1943 a U.S. Navy destroyer was made invisible and
teleported from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Norfolk, Virginia, in an incident
known as the Philadelphia Experiment. Records in the Operational Archives Branch
of the Naval Historical Center have been repeatedly searched, but no documents
have been located which confirm the event, or any interest by the Navy in
attempting such an achievement.
The ship involved in the experiment was supposedly the USS Eldridge.
Operational Archives has reviewed the deck log and war diary from
Eldridge's commissioning on 27 August 1943 at the New York Navy Yard
through December 1943. The following description of Eldridge's activities
are summarized from the ship's war diary. After commissioning, Eldridge
remained in New York and in the Long Island Sound until 16 September when it
sailed to Bermuda. From 18 September, the ship was in the vicinity of Bermuda
undergoing training and sea trials until 15 October when Eldridge left in
a convoy for New York where the convoy entered on 18 October. Eldridge
remained in New York harbor until 1 November when it was part of the escort for
Convoy UGS-23 (New York Section). On 2 November the convoy entered Naval
Operating Base, Norfolk. On 3 November, Eldridge and Convoy UGS-23 left
for Casablanca where it arrived on 22 November. On 29 November, Eldridge
left as one of escorts for Convoy GUS-22 and arrived with the convoy on 17
December at New York harbor. Eldridge remained in New York on
availability training and in Block Island Sound until 31 December when it
steamed to Norfolk with four other ships. During this time frame,
Eldridge was never in Philadelphia.
Eldridge's complete World War II action report and war diary
coverage, including the remarks section of the 1943 deck log, is available on
microfilm, NRS-1978-26. The cost of a duplicate film is indicated on the fee
schedule. To order a duplicate film, please complete the duplication order
form and send a check or money order for the correct amount as indicated on
the NHC fee schedule,
made payable to the Department of the navy, to the Operational Archives, at the above address.
Supposedly, the crew of the civilian merchant ship SS Andrew Furuseth
observed the arrival via teleportation of the Eldridge into the Norfolk
area. Andrew Furuseth's movement report cards are in the Tenth Fleet
records transferred to the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives and
Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. The cards
list the ship's ports of call, the dates of the visit, and convoy designation,
if any. The movement report card shows that Andrew Furuseth left Norfolk
with Convoy UGS-15 on 16 August 1943 and arrived at Casablanca on 2 September.
The ship left Casablanca on 19 September and arrived off Cape Henry on 4
October. Andrew Furuseth left Norfolk with Convoy UGS-22 on 25 October
and arrived at Oran on 12 November. The ship remained in the Mediterranean until
it returned with Convoy GUS-25 to Hampton Roads on 17 January 1944. The Archives
has a letter from Lieutenant Junior Grade William S. Dodge, USNR, (Ret.), the
master of Andrew Furuseth in 1943, categorically denying that he or his
crew observed any unusual event while in Norfolk. Eldridge and Andrew
Furuseth were not even in Norfolk at the same time.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has stated that the use of force fields
to make a ship and her crew invisible does not conform to known physical laws.
ONR also claims that Dr. Albert Einstein's Unified Field Theory was never
completed. During 1943-1944, Einstein was a part-time consultant with the Navy's
Bureau of Ordnance, undertaking theoretical research on explosives and
explosions. There is no indication that Einstein was involved in research
relevant to invisibility or to teleportation. ONR's information sheet on the
Philadelphia Experiment is attached.
The Philadelphia Experiment has also been called "Project Rainbow." A
comprehensive search of the Archives has failed to identify records of a Project
Rainbow relating to teleportation or making a ship disappear. In the 1940s, the
code name RAINBOW was used to refer to the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. The RAINBOW
plans were the war plans to defeat Italy, Germany and Japan. RAINBOW V, the plan
in effect on 7 December 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, was the plan the
U.S. used to fight the Axis powers.
Some researchers have erroneously concluded that degaussing has a connection
with making an object invisible. Degaussing is a process in which a system of
electrical cables are installed around the circumference of ship's hull, running
from bow to stern on both sides. A measured electrical current is passed through
these cables to cancel out the ship's magnetic field. Degaussing equipment was
installed in the hull of Navy ships and could be turned on whenever the ship was
in waters that might contain magnetic mines, usually shallow waters in combat
areas. It could be said that degaussing, correctly done, makes a ship
"invisible" to the sensors of magnetic mines, but the ship remains visible to
the human eye, radar, and underwater listening devices.
After many years of searching, the staff of the Operational Archives and
independent researchers have not located any official documents that support the
assertion that an invisibility or teleportation experiment involving a Navy ship
occurred at Philadelphia or any other location.
11 December 1998