The Philadelphia Experiment

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
January 1, 2015
Last Updated
September 26, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
16 min read
Posted in
Conspiracy Theory Analysis, Government

Throughout recent history, the United States has probably been at the center of more conspiracy theories and alleged cover-ups than anywhere else. The Philadelphia Experiment is an alleged event, wrapped in a conspiracy theory cloaked in mystery, and has more twists and turns than you could shake a smoking gun at. No surprise then that the story has endured over time and is still debated to this day.

An experiment that was said to have taken place during the Second World War has been linked to time travel as far into the future as the twenty-eighth century. Not to mention claims of people being “phased out of existence”, alternative timelines, and apparent secret projects that are both blood-curdling and darkly intriguing in equal measure.

Depiction of the Philadelphia Experiment - a Navy ship with electrical discharge

Depiction of the Philadelphia Experiment

While it’s never been confirmed and is usually believed to be nothing more than a hoax, one which the US Government denies vehemently, there are a lot of very interesting notions and stories out there. If the US had access to cloaking equipment more than 70 years ago, then what else can they have stored away in their magic box of toys?

Perhaps bizarrely, it was the release of a b-rated sci-fi movie in 1984 based on these alleged events that brought the once thrown away conspiracy back into the public arena – apparently helping to unlock the repressed memories of one key witness.

Before we get into that though, and the events that led up to it, check out the trailer of the aforementioned movie, “The Philadelphia Experiment” below.

The Need For “Invisible” Warships

As World War Two engulfed much of the planet as the forties struggled on, the crossing of the Atlantic for US Navy vessels carrying supplies to allied forces in Europe became an increasingly deadly journey. In 1942 alone close to one thousand US and allied ships were sunk by German submarines, their valuable cargo ultimately lost to the sea to add further insult.

To combat this, allied forces created smaller “escort destroyers” in the docks and shipyards of the upper east coast of the United States. One of these was the USS Eldridge. These faster, sleeker ships were much more easily controlled, and more importantly, they were a genuine threat to German submarines.

The USS Eldridge was also said to be “invisible” to her enemies. While a technique called “degaussing” was relatively widespread during the Second World War – a technique that manipulated the electromagnetic field around the vessel – some believe that the technology on the USS Eldridge went way beyond mere radar invisibility, and literally made it optically invisible.

It is claimed by people who subscribe to such theories, that the finest minds had worked on this device, including Einstein, who was genuinely “employed” by the US Navy at the time. It is also claimed that much of foundations of the work was based on the stolen papers of Nikola Tesla, who coincidentally or not had died only several months earlier in January 1943.

His paperwork and notebooks that contained his work and theories had mysteriously gone missing within hours of his death. [1] Rumors spread that the FBI had “confiscated” them, something that they deny to this day. They are still officially missing, but several informants have come forward stating that secret CIA time travel experiments have been conducted based on the information contained within Tesla’s private papers.

The Actual Philadelphia Experiment

As well as the skeleton crew that was on board the USS Eldridge at the time of the experiment, there were several military figures observing from a close, but safe distance.

The story suggests [2] that out of nowhere upon switching on whatever device they were utilising, the whole ship was engulfed in a strange green-tinged fog. A few moments later, before their very eyes, the entire vessel vanished in a flash of blue light. According to reports of the incident, it was claimed to have re-appeared in Norfolk, Virginia – two hundred miles away – where it remained in full view for all to see for ten minutes. It then disappeared from the Norfolk waters, and appeared again in the shipyards of Philadelphia.

Not only had it become invisible, the whole ship, including her crew, and seemingly teleported to another location and back again.

However, the horror that awaited those on board, as well as the witnesses to the events, was beyond comprehension. Some of the crew were said to be suffering from extreme nausea, while others had apparently turned “completely mad” and could not be calmed. Rumors had it that these men were secretly placed in asylums, their families told they had been lost at sea due to the war effort.

Those men it seemed were the lucky ones. Other crew members were said to be “embedded” into the steel of the ship itself, as if their molecular structure had been undone, and then entwined with that of the destroyer. Those that seemed to escape the incident unharmed were later said to be victims of “freezing” – an experience that saw them almost fade out of existence temporarily as if they were a hologram that was losing power.

The video below runs down the basic facts of the Philadelphia Experiment.

Morris K. Jessop And The Origins Of The Conspiracy

It was in the 1950s, with the alien and UFO craze in full swing across America, that the seeds of the Philadelphia Experiment conspiracy were planted.

In 1955, author and researcher, Morris K. Jessop released his book, The Case for the UFO which was well received by the general public. The following year, Jessop received the first of what would be several letters and correspondence [3] from a man named, Carlos Allende (sometimes known as Carl Allen), who was writing in response to this book, in particular Jessop’s call for further study into Einstein’s Unified Field Theory. According to information that Allende apparently had, this theory had already been studied, and implemented by the US Navy.

From these series of communications, came the basis of the events of October 1943 in Philadelphia. He claimed to have been a crew member on the nearby “SS Andrew Furnseth”, and had gone unnoticed from his position on the ship’s deck. From there, he assured Jessop that he had witnessed the entire episode.

A painting of the alleged Philadelphia Experiment

Did the Philadelphia Experiment really take place?

Jessop quietly continued his research into the alleged “Philadelphia Experiment”, and was eventually able to attend the “Office of Naval Research” for further study. When he arrived, a US Navy officer handed him a copy of his aforementioned book. As he opened it and thumbed through its pages, he saw that careful annotations had been made throughout the manuscript. It appeared as though there were at least three different people having made these corrections to his work, but one of the handwriting styles he immediately recognised as being Allende’s.

Many theories were discussed within the notes, not least was the event that would become known as the Philadelphia Experiment. Jessop himself, a scientific, but ardent UFO researcher, continued his work for several more years.

A Shaping Of Reality By US Authorities?

This notion first came to light from a discovery made in a 2002 book written by James Moseley, and one by Karl Pflock back in 1957. The books state that Jessup was contacted by the Office of Naval Research due to a parcel they had received, which was a heavily annotated version of his UFO book mentioned earlier. Inside this book, there was a variety of different conclusions drawn and discussions held between three different individuals. One referred to as Jemi, the other two became merely known as A & B. They discussed many different theories, including discussing two forms of “people” who live in the outer regions of space!

However, most interesting in regards to this is their allusion to the Philadelphia Experiment. They suggested some kind of extensive knowledge about the event in their wording, and the book itself became published by the Office of Naval Research and sold in full color. The fact that the three individuals speaking within the book seem to be more than certain that what the theories suggest actually take place, it’s another part of the theory that helps to add some credibility – however minor.

Another key part of the discussion comes from the 1979 book The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility. Inside this book, the author Charles Bertliz speaks of a conversation recorded by Jessup which noted that Albert Einstein had, in fact, finished his unified field theory, but that “man was not ready for it”. While there’s no supporting proof or evidence to back this claim up by historians who follow the life and success of Einstein closely, it’s pretty tough to just disregard completely, is it not?

 “I’m On To Something Big!”

By early 1959, Jessop believed he had made a “breakthrough” in his research, and in April of that year arranged to meet fellow scientist, Dr. J. Manson Valentine, to discuss his work and how he should present it. It was a meeting he never made it to. Instead, he drove to Matheson’s Hammock Park in Dade County, Florida, and proceeded to take his own life by running a tube from his exhaust into his vehicle. His death was obviously ruled a suicide, but those that knew him, in particular those that knew of his work, had their doubts. [4]

The Valentines themselves expressed concern after his body was discovered, stating they had been trying to contact Jessop for three full days before his apparent suicide. They claimed to have been genuinely “worried about what he had told them” on his final phone call to Dr. Valentine, that he was “on to something big!”

The story took on many strange twists from this point, including Allende stating that he had in fact made up the entire story. He would then later claim that he had been telling the truth all along and his earlier confession should be disregarded. Hardly behavior that makes him a credible source or witness, but the letters he sent to Jessop are very interesting reading, as is his apparent death-bed confession on the issue.

For the most part, the conspiracy had been put to bed. Allende had been exposed as a fake and an opportunist, and Jessop had “committed suicide!” That was until the mid-eighties when a low budget sci-fi movie based on the events was apparently closer to the truth than perhaps even its makers realized.

The Bizarre Al Bielek And Ed Cameron Timeline Connection

Following his watching of the 1984 movie, “The Philadelphia Experiment”, Al Bielek began to experience memories of his life that he claimed had been intentionally hidden from him. As he accessed more and more of these repressed memories, he began to paint a picture that was more fascinating than any sci-fi movie the most imaginative writer could have written – and according to Bielek, it was all very true.

The events were so intense they had apparently “ripped a hole in space time in 1983” and Bielek himself saw his life interwoven with another person entirely, a man called Ed Cameron.

The proposed timeline of Al Bielek and Ed Cameron [5] is an intriguing one, not least because it takes some getting your head around. It is probably best that we pick up the timeline from 1943, when the Philadelphia Experiment was said to have taken place, and when according to Bielek, he was serving on the USS Edridge.

Al Bielek speaking

Al Bielek speaking

After the experiment began, the ship had in fact been sent forward in time forty years to 1983, and not simply teleported to another location in the United States. Bielek and the crew were catapulted there with it, only he was now Ed Cameron and was with his (Ed’s) brother, Duncan, along with the other unfortunate skeleton crew who had been kept on board as the experiment took place.

Bielek, as Cameron, claims to have witnessed the grim realities of the molecular and physical breakdown of other crew members, and in a panic, leapt from the side of the ship with his brother, expecting to hit the water below.

They instead found themselves falling through “perpetual clouds” in a strange nothingness. Confused, disorientated and scared, they soon blacked out. They awoke to find themselves in a hospital, covered in strange burns.

The Floating Cities Of The Twenty-Eighth Century

Even stranger was the fact that the year was 2137. Ed and Duncan Cameron spent several weeks at the hospital, being treated for radiation burns – burns that according to Bielek (who was now Ed Cameron) had been sustained in hyperspace, the nothingness they experienced when they had leapt from the USS Eldridge. The short video below features Bielek speaking of this experience.

Following this brief stay, and for reasons unknown even to himself, Cameron was then sent hurtling forward even further in time – this time, to the year 2749. He spent two years in the twenty-eighth century, even claiming that he worked as a tour guide during his stay.

During the many lectures and interviews that Bielek gave from the early nineties until his death in 2011, he claimed he had clear “memories” of his time in the future. He claimed that the entire planet was controlled by a “synthetic computer system” and that humans for the most part inhabited floating cities that moved around the planet and were controlled entirely by “the system”.

The Synthetic Computer Systems Ruling Humanity?

He also claimed that there were several “independent” floating cities that had their own independent computer systems to keep order. This synthetic computer system was described by Bielek as a huge crystal that communicated with people telepathically. This particular assertion is interesting given recent advancement in the use of crystals for storing data in computers.

Governments – at least as we understand them today – do not exist in the twenty-eight century. He also revealed that the population of the planet had been drastically reduced to 300 million, and then intentionally held at that figure permanently. He spoke of some people choosing to live outside of these computer ruled cities, almost as rebels or a resistance of sorts. Perhaps most chilling, is that Bielek claims that no-one he spoke to in the twenty-eighth century seemed to know who had built the computers that ruled them, nor why.

The short videos below sees Bielek concentrates exclusively on his time spent in the twenty-eighth century.

Back To 1943, Regressed Existence and Project Montauk

Following his two year stay in in 2751, Cameron was suddenly pulled back through time to 1983, where he was back in the company of his brother Duncan. According to Bielek, the two brothers were then debriefed and “convinced” to travel back in time to 1943. Both brothers were still employed by the US government to work on top secret projects, but Ed Cameron was considered a “threat” to the projects. So much so that Bielek claims he was “regressed out of existence”, right back to the year 1927 and into the body of one, Al Bielek – hence the connection that Bielek believes he has with Ed Cameron.

Only after his repressed memories came back to him did Bielek understand why he could understand adult conversations before the age of one – even though he himself as a baby could not yet talk. He believes it is because he had the “soul” or the “memories” of Cameron within his genes.

Bielek worked as an electrical engineer as a young adult, but claimed his regressed memories revealed that he had been approached to work on “secret” projects for the US government as far back as the 1960s. The work he did undertake – sometimes but not exclusively at the Montauk base – was carried out in what Bielek describes as an “altered state!”

In Pursuit Of “Light And Dark Energy” 100,000 Years In The Future!

Some of his further claims were that he had been sent to Mars by teleportation to obtain “light and dark energy”, while another time he was sent to the year 6037 on another secret mission. He even stated that he was sent as far as 100,000 years into the future on a mission to a remote research station.

Perhaps of more concern, certainly if you believe there is any truth at all to his claims, are the assertions that the number of missing children and teenagers in the United States are a result of top-secret experiments that use these youngsters as guinea pigs, or to carry out such secret missions as the ones that Bielek himself took part in.

The video below is a three-hour interview with Bielek, so it might be best to come back to his later. It is interesting listening though and attempts to put across as much information as possible regarding the alleged Montauk Project.

A Strange Turn In An Already Strange Case

Indeed, Things take a slightly strange turn, though, when you look into events that come after the Philadelphia Experiment. Is it strange that name most commonly linked to being in charge of said experiment, Dr. John van Neumann, was also in charge of a similar project in the future known as The Montauk Project?

The project specifically looked into how our minds deal with the consequences of time travel. According to reports, he tried to link the mind with a computer and found great success in trying these out, and it was through this research that Van Neumann made his assertion that the mind could create matter from absolutely nothing, if given the right circumstances.

He also claims to have sent Preston Nichols through a time continuum twice, which was backed up by Duncan Cameron in 1985. [6]

Duncan Cameron worked for the National Security Agency – we’ve heard a lot about them in recent times, haven’t we? – so it’s one of the first times that any kind of reference has been made officially about the Montauk Project.

That the Philadelphia Experiment continues to enthrall people still today is perhaps a testament to the multilayered aspect of the conspiracy. Indeed, one of the things that makes it so hard to just debunk, though, is when people like Bielek – a phD in Physics, so obviously an intelligent individual – vouch for the assertion that time travel is possible and indeed has been used in the past.

The Many (Purposeful) Reasons To Dismiss The Incident

The majority of people will dismiss the theory as the main body of evidence is the unqualified and unproven testimony of one man, which usually would not be enough for a rumor of this scale to carry legs. It was penned by Robert Goerman in a 1980 edition of Fate magazine that Carlos Allende was Carl Meredith Allen, from Pennsylvania, who was well-known in the local area to have significant psychiatric problems. Therefore, it’s easy for people to dismiss the theory based on the fact that he was essentially written off as crazy.

A depiction of a floating city

Might the future see “floating cities” roaming the skies of the planet?

Another key part of the evidence is the fact that when the story first started to really sprout its own legs, it was noted that Allen was extremely difficult to actually locate or speak to. However, Goerman was able to find out his real identity – a family friend – within just a few phone calls. Therefore, the lack of genuine first-hand professional research into the claims made, or even the author of the claims, further discredits the story.

Microfilm also exists to try and further discredit the theory, giving full action logs of the USS Eldridge during the Second World War, making the entire theory itself difficult to follow. Of course, that could very well be the point and by absolute design. After all, as we have examined on many occasions previously, disinformation and hiding such outlandish claims within equally outlandish claims is pretty standard procedure.

A Pause For A Moment’s Contemplation!

Of course, the most plausible theory here comes from a rather simplistic way of looking at the situation – if the American government has been bold enough to carry out all sorts of alleged incidents over the years, what makes time travel or cloaking so out there?

Depending on your opinion of the US Government, it can really to shift your view in one way or another that makes you think that it might be more possible than we are actually being informed. After all, it’s well-known that plenty of experiments take place every single year that the general public have little to no actual knowledge about.

A picture of a melting watch with a "roof" of 1's and 0's

Has time travel been the subject of secret experiments?

Is it really so far-fetched to think that at one stage, during a period of intense war that was increasingly on the balance, the Americans look to try and find a savior of sorts? The power of teleportation during the Second World War would have finished the war in brutal speed, as nothing would have been able to combat this kind of brutal power & efficiency.

One thing that can be said about the war is that it allowed technology – specifically industrial military technology – to progress at a never seen before rate. As all of these new advancements were made, how likely is it that at least one faction in the war were working on something a little more groundbreaking rather faster and tougher tanks, and more accurate assault rifles? It’s really not too insane to imagine that there might be divisions during the war that looked purely at the highest end of technology.

Whether or not they were successful changes the theory entirely, of course, but it still stands to reason that at one stage there were discussions about how technology that would change the world forever could be researched and then armed.

A Conspiracy That Seemingly Feeds Itself

Would it not seem quite obvious that if we have had the potential for time travel and cloaking for the last six or so decades, that we would have used it in a mainstream environment? These are just two of the technologies that people are absolutely desperate to get their hands on, and that could genuinely effect the way that the world operates for the better in so many ways.

The actual consequences of the events development into a genuine conspiracy theory is one that can be quite tough to fathom. Not only does it add to the swelling ranks of conspiracy theories out there in modern society about the dirty and devious things that go on that none of us ever truly find out the truth over, but it creates another layer of mistrust towards very important parts of technological development.

A depiction of an artificially intelligent silver head

Are the capabilities of secret intelligence departments far more advanced than we think?

How can a government possible devote its time and resources into something so hugely important without some kind of public backlash now? Would things like the Philadelphia Experiment not only raise questions as to why this hasn’t been revealed sooner?

These might sound like basic consequences of the story being told, but it really does change the entire format of the development of new technology. If we believe that things are only developed and improved for covert military use, then it’s going to be tough to find the support and funding for new technologies in the future as public opinion is going to be hampered by theories like this.

However, with all that said and done, it is not completely beyond the realm of possibility that these discoveries are kept well and truly behind closed doors.

Real Invisibility Technology – More Credence To Bielek And The Philadelphia Experiment?

Of course, the one thing that hurts Bielek’s credibility more than anything else is his offering no physical proof of his journeys in time. He also offers no explanation as to how some of his wilder claims, such as “existence regression” were achieved. He countered these accusations by asserting that he can only access what his brain allows him to, and furthermore that those memories have been intentionally hidden from him through the altered state his mind was in at the time.

That being said, certain elements of the claims are perhaps worth delving a little deeper into. While we have looked at time-travel and mind control in previous articles, the question of invisibility is an interesting one, especially given “known” developments in this field.

There are some reports of actual invisibility cloaks having been developed very recently by a Canadian company, who perhaps unwittingly became intertwined somewhat with the strange death of Elisa Lam, who was discovered naked in a sealed water tank on top of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles in 2013. There are an absolute plethora of theories as to what happened to the young Canadian, one of which is particularly relevant to the alleged technologies involved with the Philadelphia Experiment.

The Invisible Light Company – Development Right Under Our Noses?

The Invisible Light Company appeared to have been operating out of a room at the Cecil Hotel at the time of Lam’s stay. It seemed that she had taken a particular interest in their activities, even posting pictures online in social media forums of what they were working on. One of these technologies was said to have been cloaking devices.

She had also used social media to share a story that the company were about to be commissioned by the Pentagon to develop these cloaking devices. Had they been testing them at the Cecil Hotel? Lam’s last known movements were recorded in the security camera of an elevator of the hotel. It is haunting, spine-tingling footage to say the least.

Lam acts as though she can sense someone close to her, even appearing to follow an unknown and invisible entity’s movements with her eyes while pressed against the wall of the elevator. Some people feel that Lam’s actions – particularly in the hallway around the two-minute mark – appear as though there are two “invisible” people who are manipulating and bending her arms. Did she get too close to a technology so secret, it would be worth killing for?

You can check out the security video of the last known footage of Elisa Lam below – right around the two-minute mark is where Lam appears to be “grabbed” in the hallway. Could it be that she is being “apprehended” by an invisible assailant?

Where Do We Go From Here?

If there is any truth in secret technologies being developed – and most people, even those in the mainstream accept that governments are usually twenty or thirty years ahead of where the public thinks they are – then maybe the claims of secret projects such as Montauk are also true. It wouldn’t be the first time such wild theories have turned out to grimly true.

Perhaps a further reason for concern is that still to this day there are an extraordinary amount of children and teenagers who go missing in the United States. Bielek was making such claims before the internet, and before many had pieced together that there was a larger problem of missing young people than had previously been imagined.

It’s a subject that brings a lot of volatility to the surface with people unsure one way or another as to what the truth might be. After reading through the various screeds of evidence and all of the testimony, myth, debunking and everything else that comes with this theory it is hard to discern one way or another what the actual truth is. It really does come down to your interpretation of conspiracies, in our opinion.

This documentary below looks at the Montauk base as well as such secret projects as the Philadelphia Experiment and is interesting viewing to say the least.


1 The Mysterious Disappearance of Nikola Tesla’s Files After His Death, Christopher McFadden, Interesting Engineering, February 22nd 2019
2 The Philadelphia Experiment Timeline, The Philadelphia Experiment From A-Z
3 The Carl Allen Letters, The Philadelphia Experiment From A-Z
4  UFO researcher Morris Jessup: Murdered For What He Knew?, Nick Redfern, Mysterious Universe, January 13th, 2021
5 Exopolitics: Stargate to a New Reality: Essays and Interviews with Experts in the Field of Ufos and Related Phenomena, Volume 2, Paola Leopizzi Harris, ISBN 978145 6722197 (page 107-109)
6 The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time, Preston Nichols and Peter Moon, ISBN 978096 3188908

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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