The Philadelphia story starts with Dr. Morris K. Jessup. Dr. Jessup was an astronomer, an author, and the highly active president of a UFO club.

Morris K. Jessup was born on March 20, 1900 in Rockville, Indiana. Jessup served in WWI and later studied mathematics and astronomy at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, and later at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As a doctoral student in the late 1920s, he travelled to South Africa and worked at the Lamont-Hussey Observatory in Bloemfontein.

Back in Michigan, Jessup earned a doctorate in astrophysics in 1933. During these Depression years there were few jobs for astronomers or astrophysicists, so he worked for the US Department of Agriculture as part of a team of scientist going to Brazil to “study the sources of crude rubber in the headwaters of the Amazon.” A strange assignment indeed, since the headwaters of the Amazon actually would be situated in Peru, Bolivia, or Ecuador.


American Fortean Writers: Charles Fort, Jerome Clark, Morris K. Jessup, Gary Valentine Lachman, Ivan T. Sanderson, John Keel, Loren Coleman


Jessup during these years, and on subsequent journeys to Mexico and Peru, visited the massive ruins at Teotihuacan, and at Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Jessup concluded that these giant walls could not have been built by the Incas, as archaeologists commonly suggested. Rather, he formulated one of the earliest “Gods from Outer Space” theories, and went on to have a book which included the theory published in 1955. This book was entitled The Case for the UFO and it was published by Citadel Press in New York, a major publisher of books on the occult at the time. The next year, Jessup brought out two quick books for Citadel, The UFO Annual and UFOs and the Bible.

Jessup’s life was suddenly to involve a man who called himself several names, among them Carlos Miguel Allende and Carl M. Allen. Allende/Allen had written to Jessup in 1955 when The Case for the UFO had first come out. Jessup had written a quick note in return, and continued to work on his other books for Citadel and lecture around the US about UFOs and Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.

Jessup would tell audiences that, “If the money, thought, time, and energy now being poured uselessly into the development of rocket propulsion were invested in a basic study of gravity, beginning perhaps with continued research into Dr. Einstein’s Unified Field concepts, it is altogether likely that we could have effective and economical space travel, at but a fraction of the costs we are now incurring, within the next decade.”

Allende/Allen attended at least one of Jessup’s talks during 1955/56 and wrote Jessup a second letter. It was postmarked from Miami, on the letterhead of the Turner Hotel in Gainesville, Texas, and carried a Pennsylvanian rural address for return.

In these letters, we are given the first clues about the Philadelphia Experiment and what actually happened back in 1943.

The Allende Letters

Allende’s letters addressed to Dr. Jessup are important letters in reconstructing what actually went on in the government’s early time travel and teleportation experiments. Note that in the following paragraphs, Allende’s peculiar punctuation and syntax are unchanged. His use of all capitals and odd writing style are left intact. Following are some excerpts from his long letters:

Carlos Miguel Allende

R.D #1, Box 223

New Kensington, Pennsylvania

My Dear Dr. Jessup,

Your invocation to the Public that they move en Masse upon their Representatives and have thusly enough Pressure placed at the right & sufficient Number of Places where from a Law demanding research into Dr. Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory May be enacted (1925-27) is Not at all Necessary. It May Interest you to know that The Good Doctor Was Not so Much influenced in his retraction of that Work, by Mathematics, as he most assuredly was by Humantics.

His Later computations, done strictly for his own edification & amusement, upon cycles of Human Civilization & Progress compared to the Growth of Mans General over-all Character Was enough to Horrify Him. Thus, We are “told” today that that Theory was “Incomplete.”

Dr. B. Russell asserts privately that It is complete. He also says that Man is Not Ready for it & Shan’t be until after WWIII. Nevertheless, “Results” of My friend Dr. Franklin Reno, Were used. These Were a complete Recheck of That Theory, With a View to any & Every Possible quick use of it, if leasable in a Very short time. There Were good Results, as far as a Group Math Re-Check AND as far as a good Physical “Result,” to Boot. YET, THE NAVY FEARS TO USE THIS RESULT. The Result was & stands today as Proof that The Unified Field Theory to a certain extent is correct. Beyond that certain extent No Person in his right senses, or having any senses at all, Will evermore dare to go. I am sorry that I have Mislead You in My Previous Missive. True, enough, such a form of Levitation has been accomplished as described. It is also a Very commonly observed reaction of certain Metals to Certain Fields surrounding a current. This field being used for that purpose. Had Farraday concerned himself about the Mag. Field surrounding an electric Current, We today Would NOT exist or if We did exist, our present Geo-political situation would have the very time-bomish, ticking off towards Destruction, atmosphere that Now exists. Alright, Alright! The “result” was complete invisibility of a ship, Destroyer type, and all of its crew, While at Sea. (Oct. 1943) The Field Was effective in an oblate spheroidal shape, extending one hundred yards (More or Less, due to Lunar position & Latitude) out from each beam of the ship. Any Person Within that sphere became vague in form BUT He too observed those persons aboard that ship as though they too were of the same state, yet were walking upon nothing. Any person without that sphere could see Nothing save the clearly Defined shape of the Ships Hull in the Water, PROVIDING of course, that that person was just close enough to see, yet just barely outside of that field. Why tell you Now? Ver Simple; If You choose to go Mad, then you would reveal this information. Half of the officers & the crew of that Ship are at present, Mad as Hatters. A few, are even Yet, confined to certain areas where they May receive trained Scientific aid when they, either, “Go Blank” or “Go Blank & Get Stuck.” Going-Blank IE an after effect of the Man having been within the field too Much, IS Not at all an unpleasant experience to Healthy Curious Sailors. However it is when also, they “Get Stuck” that they call it “HELL” INCORPORATED” The Man thusly stricken can Not Move of his own volition unless two or More of those who are within the field go & touch him, quickly, else he “Freezes.”

If a Man Freezes, His position Must be Marked out carefully and then the field is cut-off. Everyone but that “Frozen” Man is able to Move; to appreciate apparent Solidity again. Then, the Newest Member of the crew Must approach the Spot, where he will find the “Frozen” Mans face or Bare Skin, that is Not covered by usual uniform Clothing. Sometimes, It takes only an hour or so Sometimes all Night & all Day Long & Worse It once took 6 months, to get The Man “Unfrozen.” This “Deep Freeze” was not psychological. It is the Result of a Hyper-Field that is set up, within the field of the Body. While The “Scorch” Field is turned on & this at Length or upon a Old Hand.

A highly complicated Piece of Equipment Had to be constructed in order to Unfreeze those who became “True Froze” or “Deep Freeze” subjects. Usually a “Deep Freeze” Man goes Mad, Stark Raving, Gibbering, Running Mad, if His “freeze” is far More than a Day in out time.

I speak of TIME for DEEP “Frozen Men” are Not aware of Time as We know it. They are Like Semi-comatose person, who Live, breathe, Look & feel but still are unaware of So Utterly Many things as to constitute a “Nether World” to them. A Man in an ordinary common Freeze is aware of Time, Sometimes acutely so. Yet They are Never aware of Time precisely as you or I are aware of it. The First “Deep Freeze” as I said took 6 months to Rectify. It also took over 5 Million Dollars worth of Electronic equipment & a Special Ship Berth. If around or Near the Philadelphia Naval Yard you see a bunch of Sailors in the act of Putting their Hands upon a fellow or upon “thin air,” observe the Digits & appendages of the Stricken Man. If they seem to Waver, as tho within a Heat-Mirage, go quickly & Put YOUR Hands upon Him, For that Man is The Very Most Desperate of Men in the World. No one of those Men ever want at all to become again invisible. I do Not think that Much More Need be said as to Why Man is Not Ready of Force-Field Work. Eh?”

“This ‘Deep Freeze’ was not psychological. It is the result of a Hyper-Field that is set up, within the field of the body, while the ‘Scorch’ Field is turned on . . . “

“The Navy did not know that the men could become invisible WHILE NOT UPON THE SHIP & UNDER THE FIELD’S INFLUENCE . . . The Navy did not know that there would be men died from odd effects of HYPER ‘Field” within or upon ‘Field’ . . . Further, they even yet do not know why this happened and are not even sure that the ‘F’ within ‘F’ is the reason, for sure at all.”

“There was plenty of static electricity associated with it.”

“I actually shoved my hand, up to the elbow, into this unique force field as that field flowed, surging powerfully in a COUNTERclockwise direction around the little experimental Navy ship, the DE 173. I felt the . . . push of that force field against the solidness of my arm and hand outstretched into its humming-pushing-propelling flow.

“I watched the air all around the ship . . . turn slightly, ever so slightly, darker than all the other air . . . I saw, after a few minutes, a foggy green mist arise like a thin cloud. . . . this must have been a mist of atomic particles. I watched as thereafter the DE 173 became rapidly invisible to human eyes. And yet, the precise shape of the keel and underhull of that . . . ship REMAINED impressed into the ocean water as it and my own ship sped along somewhat side by side and close to inboards . . .

“ . . . in trying to describe the sounds that [the] force field made as it circled around the DE 173 . . . it began as a humming sound, quickly built up . . . to a humming whispering sound, and then increased to a strongly sizzling buzz – [like a] rushing torrent . . .

“The field had a SHEET of pure electricity around it as it flowed. [This] flow was strong enough to almost knock me completely off balance and had my entire body been within that field, the flow would of a most absolute certainty [have] knocked me flat . . . on my own ship’s deck. As it was, my entire body was NOT within that force field when it reached maximum strength-density, repeat, DENSITY, and so I was not knocked down but my arm and hand [were] only pushed backward with the field’s flow.

“Why was I not electrocuted the instant my bare hand touched that sheet of electricity, surrounding the field flow? It must have been because [I was wearing] hip-high rubber sailor’s boots and sou’wester coat.

“. . . Naval ONR scientists today do not yet understand what took place that day. They say the field was ‘reversed’. Scientific history, I later came to realize was made for the first time that day.”

Project Rainbow

Allende’s letters were heady stuff, indeed! Once can see how they piqued the interest of time travel researchers. They describe the alleged results of a US Navy time travel experiment now known as the Philadelphia Experiment. Several books, and at least one movie, have been made concerning this fascinating story. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, but sifting the truth from the fiction in terms of the US military and their alleged time travel experiments (as well as anti-gravity experiments, flying saucer building and possible extraterrestrial collaboration) is a difficult and time consuming task, if you’ll pardon the pun.

According to Al Bielek (an alleged survivor of the experiment who will be discussed in detail later), the Philadelphia Experiment had its origin in a feasibility study started in 1931 at the University of Chicago and later moved to Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Studies. At that time the project was known as “Project Invisibility,” and involved in the program at various times were renowned scientist that included Dr. Albert Einstein, Dr. John von Neumann, Dr. Nikola Tesla, a Dr. Alexander, and others.

Bielek claims that he took part in the study as Edward Cameron, a physicist and Naval officer, born on August 4, 1916. His younger brother, Duncan Cameron (born May, 1917), also took part in the experiment.

Originally a theoretical study in methods to produce an “invisible screen,” the first fully successful test in 1940 converted the program to a military project: “Project Rainbow.” The project was studied at Princeton with Nikola Tesla in charge of the time travel experiments and Albert Einstein consulting on the project. Actual tests of theories were to be undertaken at the Philadelphia Naval Yard starting in January of 1942, hence, “The Philadelphia Experiment.”

William Moore mentions in his book The Philadelphia Experiment that when he contacted the Navy about any records concerning a secret undertaking code named “Project Rainbow,” he was told by the Navy that no such designation as “Rainbow” existed within the Navy records. However, when Moore checked the National Archives and obtained The Inter-Services Code-Word Index (issued September 1, 1941), the code-word “Rainbow” was listed with a block number designation of 334, thereby proving the Navy absolutely wrong in their denial of any code-word designation concerning the word.

According to Bielek, as a military (Navy) program, a volunteer crew had to be trained and a ship selected – the Eldridge (DE 173). Equipment had to be ordered, built and installed for seaborne tests. Sea trials were conducted outside of Philadelphia, in the Delaware Bay area.

Bielek says that it was Tesla’s intention to turn a battleship invisible, but he deliberately sabotaged the January 1942 test, as he had decided that they wre not yet ready to try the dangerous experiment. At this point, Tesla was replaced by Dr. John von Neumann. Tesla had designed an analog system of invisibility, but Dr. von Neumann replaced it with a “digital-pulsed system.” This digital-pulsed system was later to be used in the Montauk Experiments, according to Bielek and Preston Nichols.

Four large coils of single-turn copper tubing were used to wind parts of the deck, and an antenna array was situated at the top of the highest mast of the USS Eldridge. It is interesting to note that during this year, 1943, no copper penny was issued. A steel penny was issued instead. Why? – Because all of the copper was being used in the copper cables used to wind the Eldridge, and other ships, for degaussing and invisibility experiments!

The first test was on July 22, 1943 with serious personnel problems resulting. Four coils radiating electromagnetic power were used to create the field around the ship. Invisibility was achieved, according to Bielek, but sailors on the ship got nauseous and reported an uncomfortable “sick” feeling.

The final test – 12 August 1943 – was an utter disaster to ship and crew. According to Bielek there was a sudden blue flash of light and the ship disappeared. The sailors on the ship, which included Edward Cameron and his brother Duncan, saw normal space-time disintegrate before their very eyes and they entered another dimension. The radios on board the ship did not work. The ship survived after its return to normal time and location in the Philadelphia harbor, but many of the crew were either insane, missing, or even fused with portions of the steel ship in the most gruesome and horrifying manner.

The US Navy continues to deny to this day that this project ever took place, while other authors (such as Preston Nichols) claim that Project Rainbow was coupled through hyperspace to another project in the future, the 1983 Montauk Project.

The Official Navy Press Release Concerning the Philadelphia Experiment

Starting in 1979 with the publication of William Moore and Charles Berlitz’s bestselling book, The Philadelphia Experiment, the whole subject of time travel and teleportation was thrust into the public arena. The film version appeared in 1984, and continued reference to the Philadelphia Experiment happened regularly.

The US Navy was suddenly deluged with requests for information on the alleged experiment, Project Rainbow and the USS Eldridge. So many requests were made to the Navy, that they created an official response, one that can also be found on the world-wide web if one searches for the words “Philadelphia Experiment.”

What follows is the official response drafted by the Navy:


The “Philadelphia Experiment”

Allegedly, in the fall of 1943 a US 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.

Secrets of the Unified Field: The Philadelphia Experiment, The Nazi Bell, and the Discarded Theory

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 the 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 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 claimes 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 Ordinance, 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.



he 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 US 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 1988

End of Official Navy Press Release

The Official Office of Naval Research’s Response to the Philadelphia Experiment

Department of the Navy – Navy Historical Center

901 M Street SE – Washington Navy Yard

Washington DC 20374-5060

Related resources: Philadelphia Experiment

Department of the Navy Office of Naval Research

Arlington, Virginia 22217

Information Sheet: Philadelphia Experiment

Over the years, the Navy has received innumerable queries about the so-called “Philadelphia Experiment” or “Project” and the alleged role of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in it. The majority of these inquiries are directed to the Office of Naval Research or to the Fourth Naval District in Philadelphia. The frequency of these queries predictably intensifies each time the experiment is mentioned by the popular press, often in a science fiction book.

The genesis of the Philadelphia Experiment myth dates back to 1955 with the publication of The Case for UFO by the late Morris K. Jessup.

Some time after the publication of the book, Jessup received correspondence from a Carlos Miguel Allende, who gave his address as RD #1, Box 223, New Kensington, PA. In his correspondence, Allende commented on Jessup’s book and gave details of an alleged secret naval experiment conducted by the Navy in Philadelphia in 1943. During the experiment, according to Allende, a ship was rendered invisible and teleported to and from Norfolk in a few minutes, with some terrible after-effects for crew members.

Supposedly, this incredible feat was accomplished by applying Einstein’s “unified field” theory. Allende claimed that he had witnessed the experiment from another ship and that the incident was reported in a Philadelphia newspaper. The identity of the newspaper has never been established. Similarly, the identity of Allende is unknown, and no information exists on his present address.

In 1956 a copy of Jessup’s book was mailed anonymously to ONR. The pages of the book were interspersed with hand-written comments which alleged a knowledge of UFO’s, their means of motion, the culture and ethos of the beings occupying these UFO’s, described in pseudo-scientific and incoherent terms.

Two officers, then assigned to ONR, took a personal interest in the book and showed it to Jessup. Jessup concluded that the writer of those comments on his book was the same person who had written him about the Philadelphia Experiment. These two officers personally had the book retyped and arranged for the reprint, in typewritten form, of 25 copies. The officers and their personal belongings have left ONR many years ago, and ONR does not have a file copy of the annotated book.

Personnel at the Fourth Naval District believe that the questions surrounding the so-called “Philadelphia Experiment” arise from quite routine research which occurred during World War II at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Until recently, it was believed that the foundation for the apocryphal stories arose from degaussing experiments which have the effect of making a ship undetectable or “invisible” to magnetic mines. Another likely genesis of the bizarre stories about levitation, teleportation, and effects on human crew members might be attributed to experiments with the generating plant of a destroyer, the USS Timmerman. In the 1950’s this ship was part of an experiment to test the effects of a small, high-frequency generator providing 1,000 hz instead of the standard 400 hz. The higher frequency generator produced corona discharges, and other well known phenomena associated with high frequency generators.

None of the crew suffered effects from the experiment.

ONR has never conducted any investigations on invisibility, either in 1943 or at any other time (ONR was established in 1946). In view of present scientific knowledge, ONR scientists do not believe that such an experiment could be possible except in the realm of science fiction.

08 September 1996

End Report

According to the official Navy line, Project Rainbow had to do with plans to defeat the Axis, and invisibility experiments were never carried out. The descriptions of the experiments they do admit to are interesting, however! Also interesting is the Office of Naval Research’s reference to its handling of a copy of Jessup’s book The Case for the UFO received from an anonymous sender. Other sources say there is more to this story than has been related.

The Varo Edition

Riley Crabb, the former director of the Borderland Research Sciences Foundation in California, was one of the first people to write about the Philadelphia Experiment. He published a mimeographed booklet in 1962 entitled M.K. Jessup, the Allende Letters and Gravity. According to Crabb, an annotated copy of The Case for the UFO was addressed to Admiral N. Furth, Chief, Office of Naval Research, Washington 25, DC, and was mailed in a manila envelope postmarked Seminole, Texas, in 1955. In July or August of that year the book appeared in the incoming correspondence of Major Darrell L. Ritter, USMC, Aeronautical Project Office in ONR. When Captain Sidney Sherby, a newcomer, reported aboard at ONR he obtained the book from Major Ritter. Captain Sherby and Commander George W. Hoover, Special Projects Officer, ONR, indicated interest in some of the notations the book contained.

The paperback copy of Jessup’s book was marked throughout with underlinings and notations, evidently by three different persons, for three distinct colors of ink were used – blue, blue-violet, and blue-green. The notations in Jessup’s book implied intimate knowledge of flying saucers, their means of propulsion, their origin, background, history, and even the habits of the beings occupying them. In the annotated bits in the margins of the book were references and unusual terms such as mother ship, home ship, dead ship, great ark, great bombardment, great return, great war, little-men, force fields, deep freezes, measure markers, scout ships, magnetic fields, gravity fields, sheets of diamond, cosmic rays, force cutters, inlay work, clear talk, telepathing, nodes, vortices, magnetic net, and other strange references.

Hoover and Sherby invited Jessup to visit them at the Office of Naval research in Washington in the spring of 1957 to discuss the book they had received. They handed Jessup the annotated copy and asked him to examine the handwritten notes.

“This book was sent to us through the mail anonymously. Apparently it was passed back and forth among at least three persons who made notations. Look it over, Mr. Jessup, and tell us if you have any idea who wrote those comments,” one of the officers said.

As Jessup looked at the book, he was troubled at what he saw. Due to the uniqueness of Allende’s spelling and grammar, it became almost immediately evident to Jessup that the letter-writer Allende was possibly one of those who had worked on the annotation of his book, and was very likely the same individual who had originally mailed the volume to the Navy in the first place. The many references were startling and showed that the writer(s) were extremely knowledgeable in the subject of UFO folklore, mysticism and physics. Further troubling was the fact that the Navy took such an interest in these strange ramblings. Jessup finally told them that he had received two letters from one of the writers in the book, Carlos Allende/Allen.

“Thank you, Mr. Jessup,” he was told. “It is important that we see those letters.” Hoover then told Jessup that he was arranging for the printing of a special edition of the book “for some of our top people,” and that he would be sure to arrange for Jessup to get a copy.

Jessup returned to his home and supplied Hoover and Sherby with copies of the letters. The two officers then arranged for the Varo Manufacturing Company of Garland, Texas to produce a mimeographed edition of the book. Brad Steiger, a well-known author on occult and paranormal issues, claims that the Varo company is engaged in “secret government work.” This special edition of Jessup’s book, with the handwritten notes in the margins, became known as “the Varo annotated edition,” or just “the Varo edition.”



It is interesting to note that the Navy would not ordinarily pay attention to such a thing, but they did take note of this submission and what was written in the margins. Why would they have paid any attention to someone whose name they should not recognize unless they were perhaps affiliated with the Philadelphia Experiment?

Since the book allegedly involved the military and their apparent knowledge of technical details concerning UFOs, the Varo edition of The Case for the UFO caused considerable interest within the fringe community of researchers who were studying the UFO enigma.

Brad Steiger says that Riley Crabb sent correspondence to him on September 24, 1962, where Crabb clears up the mystery of how he knew of the original Varo edition. It was a copy that the Navy originally gave to Jessup, and apparently was given to Crabb by Jessup. This copy, however, rather mysteriously disappeared in April, 1960, when Crabb mailed it to himself from Washington.

In elaborating further about the original Varo edition, Crabb wrote to Steiger, “It may be the CDR Hoover, or some other open minded officer in the Office of Navy research asked Varo to print the notes and the book; on the other hand , maybe Bob Jordan or some other official at Varo, in Washington at the time, sniffed a possible research and development project, and volunteered to do it. Anyhow, I understand that 25 copies reproduced on standard letter paper, 81/2 x 11, probably on Varo’s own little litho press, and plastic bound, pretty close to 200 pages. Michael Ann Dunn, the stenographer who did the editing, explains why in the introduction. She’s married now, living in Dallas, and won’t answer her phone. Garland (where Varo is located) is a Dallas suburb. Varo, by the way, is a small manufacturing firm in electronics and up to its neck in space age business.

Crabb, in M.K. Jessup, the Allende Letters and Gravity, reprints Michael Ann Dunn’s Introduction to the Varo edition. She identifies three different people as making the notations, each in different colors of ink, and refers to them as “Mr A,” “Mr. B,” and “Jemi.” It was assumed that the third person was “Jemi” because of the direct use of that name in salutations and references by Mr. A and Mr. B throughout the book.

Dunn speculates on the possibility that two of the persons are twins, since there are two references to this word, appearing on pages six and 81 of the original. “The assumption that Mr. A is one of the twins may be correct. On page 81, Mr. A has written and then marked through, ‘ . . . and I Do Not Know How this came to Pass, Jemi.’ Then he has written, ‘I remember My twin . . . ‘ We cannot be sure of the other twin.”

“It is probable,” Ms. Dunn continues, “that these men are gypsies. In the closing pages of the book Mr. B says, ‘ . . . only a Gypsy will tell another of that catastrophe. And we are a discredited people, ages ago. Hah! Yet, man wonders where “we” come from . . . ‘ On page 130 Mr. A says, ‘ . . . ours is a way of life, time proven & happy. We have nothing, own nothing except our music & philosophy & are happy.’ On page 76 Mr. B says, ‘Show this to a Brother Gypsy . . . ‘ On page 158 the reference to the word ‘we’ by Mr. A could refer to the ‘discredited people.’ Charles G. Leland in his book, English Gypsies and Their Language, states that the Gypsies call each other brother and sister, and are not in the habit of admitting to their fellowship people of different blood and with whom they have no sympathy. This could explain the usage of the term in the closing notes, ‘My Dear Brothers,’ and perhaps the repeated reference to ‘vain humankind.’”

The paperback copy of The Case for the UFO apparently passed through the hands of these men several times. Says Dunn, “This conclusion is drawn from the fact that there are discussions between two or three of the men, questions, answers, and places where parts of a note have been marked through, underlined, or added to by one or both of the other men. Some have been deleted by marking through.”

The Varo edition of Jessup’s book may have alarmed certain commanders at the Office of Naval Research. Perhaps they thought that a very serious security leak was occurring, and Jessup had found out too much concerning the Navy’s secret time travel and teleportation experiments.

Murder: Men in Black Style

Sadly, the Allende letters and Varo edition of Jessup’s book were the beginning of the end for him.

Gray Barker reports in his 1963 mimeographed book The Strange Case of Dr. M.K. Jessup that he first learned of the annotated copy when he was talking to Mrs. Walton Colcord John, director of the Little Listening Post, a UFO and New Age publication in Washington DC sometime in the early 1960s. Speaking over the telephone, Mrs. John told Steiger of a strange rumor going around, to the effect that somebody had sent a marked-up copy to Washington, and that the government had gone to the expense of mimeographing the entire book, so that all the underlinings and notations could be added to the original text. This was being circulated rather widely, she told him, through military channels.

In late October of 1958 Jessup travelled from Indiana to New York, and sometime around Halloween, Jessup contacted Ivan T. Sanderson, the founder of the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained (SITU). During this meeting, Jessup told Sanderson his bizarre story, and gave a copy of the Varo edition to him, one of three given to him by ONR.

Jessup also confided in Sanderson things of a confidential nature, probably about the Philadelphia Experiment and time travel. Jessup also apparently thought he was being followed or at least his mail was being tampered with.

Jessup had apparently made several further trips to the offices of ONR after the printing of the Varo edition. Hoover and Shelby reportedly made efforts to track down Allende/Allen, with Hoover checking out the rural Pennsylvania address, which turned out to be bogus.

Meanwhile, Jessup had disappeared, and his publisher made efforts to contact him. Eventually, it was discovered that Jessup had driven directly to Florida from New York, where he had intended on living. He was apparently fleeing his home in Indiana, possibly believing he was being watched. He had had a car accident as well, but had survived. He had been in the hospital for an extended period.

Then on April 20, 1959, he was found dead in his parked car in the rural Dade County Park near his Coral Gables home. A rubber hose ran from his exhaust pipe into the nearly closed back window of the car. His death was ruled as self-inflicted carbon-monoxide poisoning.

But some, including Ivan T. Sanderson, believed that Jessup had not killed himself, but instead had been “suicide” by the Men in Black who had taken a deep interest in his contact with the Carlos Allende and his knowledge of the so-called Philadelphia Experiment.

Ivan T. Sanderson and Ian Fleming

In a curious side note, the popular James Bond “007” author, Ian Fleming, is strangely linked to the Philadelphia Experiment. According to Preston B. Nichols and Peter Moon in their book Pyramids of Montauk (Sky Books, 1995), Ian Fleming knew certain information about the Rainbow Project, the secret endeavor that was to ultimately lead into what is known today as the Philadelphia Experiment.

Fleming had worked with Aleister Crowley on the Rainbow Project (acknowledged by the Navy to be a plan to defeat the Axis in WWII), his part being a secret mission to meet with Karl Haushofer of the Nazi party in order to get him to convince Rudolf Hess to defect. Fleming met with Haushofer in Lisbon, Portugal, early in the war and persuaded the influential German occultist to talk with Hess on behalf of Crowley. Both Haushofer and Hess admired Aleister Crowley a great deal, according to Nichols and Moon.

In August of 1964, say Nichols and Moon, Fleming was planning to fly from his home in Jamaica to New Jersey to meet with Ivan T. Sanderson, a biologist and former British Intelligence agent. As a zoologist, Sanderson had written a number of books, including one on Bigfoot and Yeti, and appeared frequently on radio shows and even Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.

Sanderson had become intensely interested in the paranormal, and was a personal friend of Morris K. Jessup, as noted above. Sanderson often talked with his friends about UFOs, the Philadelphia Experiment, cryptozoology and other arcane subjects. Like Fleming, Sanderson was a British expatriate.

According to Nichols and Moon, Sanderson had been corresponding with Fleming, exchanging key information about the Rainbow Project; perhaps the involvement of Crowley, and how it related to the Philadelphia Project. Perhaps Fleming had some inside information as to the secret technology to make battleships invisible, teleport them, and ultimately on UFO technology in general.

In any event, Fleming never made it to his rendezvous with Sanderson. He died of a sudden heart attack on August 12, 1964 at his home in Jamaica. Nichols and Moon point out that this is the 21st anniversary of the Philadelphia Experiment (August 12, 1943). Was Ian Fleming killed because he knew too much about such things as the Kennedy assassination, the Philadelphia Experiment and the genesis of UFO technology?

Al Bielek and the Philadelphia Experiment

According to a Mufon Metroplex presentation on Bielek posted online at

“Alfred D. Bielek, was born in August 1916 as Edward Orville Cameron, son of Alexander D. Cameron, Sr. He attended several Universities, graduating with a PhD in Physics (1939). Enlisting in the Navy, along with his brother, they eventually became directly involved in the “Philadelphia Experiment,” the story of how he – Edward Cameron – was eventually removed from the project and became Alfred D. Bielek is a bizarre story of government brainwashing and manipulation, and destruction of a career. The story of his brother is still more bizarre as well as tragic.

Mr. Bielek is today a retired electronics engineer with 30 years of a consulting career behind him.

Bielek claimed at the conference (1989 in Pheonix, Arizona) that he had survived being teleported through a time warp to the future, as depicted in the 1984 movie The Philadelphia Experiment, which experience he remembered only after viewing the movie in 1988. Bielek further claimed that he had been brainwashed by an ultra-secret agency that had created another time travel experiment called The Montauk Project.

According to the Mufon report, Bielek claims the idea for the movie was placed in the hands of Thorn EMI (the British producer of the film The Philadelphia Experiment) by a time traveler. According to Bielek, thorn Instruments, an old English manufacturer of labware from the early 1800s, bought into EMI which had in its archives a story of a disappearing ship with a picture of the time traveler who brought it to them.

In the picture, taken in 1890, were the Wilson brothers of Thorn (who purportedly placed the manuscript in the company’s archive vault), Aleister Crowley (infamous occultist), and the “traveler,” a person identified as Preston Nichols. Preston Nichols is a past president of the USPA (United States Psychotronic Association), and has written several books on the Montauk experiments. Supposedly Mr. Nichols was shown the picture by Thorn EMI’s Chief Archivist, but was not allowed to take a copy. The picture showed him about 10 years older than he was at the viewing in 1989.

In 1986, Bielek had recalled memories of a site in Montauk, Nichols’ main line of study. In Bielek’s story, he and his brother (as Duncan and Edward Cameron) time travelled to 1983 Montauk as an unexpected outcome of the 1943 Philadelphia Experiment. According to Bielek, every 20 years on the 12th of August, the magnetic energy peaks (i.e. 1943, 1963, 1983, 2003, 2023) to allow a synchronicity. In Montauk, the Camerons were to take part in scientific studies, however, Bielek says his brother lost his “time lock,” aged about 1 year per hour and died shortly thereafter. He then said his brother was later reborn. Bielek himself was brainwashed, and treated to an age regression, whereby he returned to infancy and was brought up as Al Bielek.

An interesting bit of information was noted by Dr. Bruce Goldberg in his book Time Travelers from our Future which may involve the notion of “synchronicity.” Although the dates do not follow exactly, they are very close and may support Bielek’s claim. Says Golderg:

“One rather interesting aspect of the Philadelphia Experiment that is not often reported is what occurred in Philadelphia thirty-nine years before that fateful day in 1943. Late in July of 1904 a ship called the Mohican reported experiencing an unusual gray cloud that appeared to attach itself to its hull and created unexplainable electrical effects, such as uncontrollable spinning of compass needles and the magnetization of metal objects on board. A series of violent electrical storms were noted in the Philadelphia at the same time, along with strange lights moving around the city. Some reports sited a strange ship in the Atlantic, not far from the location of the USS Eldridge in 1943. Was the USS Eldridge moving back in time by thirty-nine years?”

The following comments by Vanguard Sciences’ Jerry W. Decker were posted on the In-Search-Of web site. They are “based on personal studies in a variety of subjects including the Philadelphia Experiment and attendance at [Bielek’s January 13, 1990] lecture.”

“Mr. Bielek is a most engaging speaker. He presents a wide range of popular references during his talks and weaves quite a web. However, the information available prior to the 1983 movie, The Philadelphia Experiment does not concern the prospect of time transport. The stated focus of the Philadelphia Experiment project was ‘achieve radar invisibility.’ Mr. Bielek states that his ‘memories began coming back AFTER seeing the movie in 1988.’ I got the impression that he incorporates new topics into his storyline as fast as he hears them, claiming that his ‘memory suddenly came back on that.’ Another major flaw was the statement that Nikola Tesla was in association with and in charge of the project. This is highly incredible since the experiment occurred in July, ’43 and Tesla died in January 7, 1943 in New York City. Yet another reference which is difficult to believe is that Gustave LeBon was a consultant and worked with Tesla and Einstein on the project.”

In Search of the Truth on the Philadelphia Experiment

As noted, “the Philadelphia story” has drawn a huge amount of attention, and several researchers have tried to follow the trail of tantalizing clues to the end. The following is taken from an Internet posting by Henry Ritson at

The “Philadelphia Experiment” is a compelling piece of fringe-science conspiracy theory, that proposes that experiments into invisibility during the second world war led to warships disappearing and re-appearing up and down the coast of America, with a good deal of inter-dimensional teleportation thrown in for good measure. Henry Ritson rolls up his sleeves, heads off in search of hard evidence, and finds it has vanished without a trace . . .

My search begins . . .

My fascination for the so-called Philadelphia Experiment started with the need for an entertaining academic diversion within Cambridge University library. I was stuck there on glum English Sunday, in search of enlightenment about the effects of the introduction of the Sweet Potato on the culture of highland New Guinea. After several hours of less than fascinating study, it struck me that, whilst surrounded by every single document ever to have been published within the shores of the British Isles (as indeed I was) there was probably some subject considerably more exciting and challenging here that I could be searching for . . . I was, as ever, in the company of Sparky, who was a theoretical Physicist . . . Sparky sent me looking for information about the Philadelphia Experiment . . .

I was enthralled.

This was much more like it. Abandoned or covered up evidence of top secret military research that could change the world as we new it. Kewl! And here was I, surrounded by everything that existed in the public domain. I abandoned the “Sweet Potato Revolution” in great haste and went a-hunting. So what did we find? The definitive version of the “Philadelphia Experiment” story was contained in the well-thumbed paperback, The Philadelphia Experiment by Charles Berlitz (the man who has made the most money out of the Bermuda Triangle outside of the Bermuda Wreck Retrieval Company). And the story goes like this . . .

How good are the sources?

In search of sources within Berlitz’s book, and other documents, there seem to be three main types of primary sources.

1. Very intense and mysterious letters.

2. The “retired military man who comes out of the woodwork to give tantalizing details.” . . . there area few ex-military men who will back-up the writings of Mr. Allende, and thus corroborate the story, usually with the advantage of rather more detailed technical information.

3. Official Navy documents. I do find the navy documents fairly convincing, but after the four different official explanations of the Roswell crash, I’m waiting to see if we get another official statement on the Philadelphia experiment yet. What the navy documents do add, is some rather valid points on the subject of degaussing . . . The military are professional deny-ers, and deny things as and when it suits them, even in the face of astonishing amounts of evidence.

All in all, the Philadelphia Experiment remains an enigma. It has all the traits of a classic piece of contemporary folklore – a root in historical fact, a suggestion of immensely exciting and dangerous scientific advances, possibly military cover-ups, a hint of aliens (for good measure) and an almost total absence of reliable primary sources with which to ever prove what actually did happen.

A complete benign account was given by writer Jacques Vallee in an article in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, (Volume 8, Number 1, Spring, 1994) entitled “Anatomy of a Hoax: The Philadelphia Experiment 50 Years Later.” He interviewed a sailor who was allegedly at sea with a sister ship of the Eldridge during 1943. The following can be found on the Internet at

What Actually Happened in Philadelphia?

A letter from Mr. Edward Dudgeon:

“I am a sixty-seven year old retired executive. I was in the Navy from 1942 through 1945,” began Mr. Dudgeon’s letter (Dudgeon, 1992). He confirmed the idea of an actual, secret technical development was correct, but he said it was wrong about a radar test. The truth, as he patiently wrote, was simpler.

“I was on a destroyer that was there at the same time as the Eldridge DE 173 . . . I can explain all of the strange happenings as we had the same secret equipment on our ship. We were also with two other Destroyers and the Eldridge on shakedown in Bermuda and return to Philadelphia.”

An interview with Mr. Edward Dudgeon:

“What was your training?” Mr. Dudgeon was asked.

“I studied electronics at Iowa State. The Navy sent me to electronics school after boot camp. I graduated with the title of ‘electricians mate third class’ in February of ’43, and then I went aboard ship in June 1943,” answered Mr. Dudgeon.

“Can you give me the name of the vessel?” Mr. Dudgeon was asked.

“Oh yes, the DE 50, USS Engstrom. It was a diesel electric ship, as opposed to the DE 173, the Eldridge, which was steam electric. These ships were run by the electricians. Our ship was put in dry dock so they could install high-torque screws,” Mr. Budgeon answered.

“Why the special equipment?” Mr. Budgeon was asked.

“The new screws made a sound of a different pitch, which made it harder for the submarines to hear us. They also installed a new sonar for underwater detection, and a device we called a ‘hedgehog’ which was mounted in front of the forward gun mount on the bow. It fired depth charges in banks of twenty-four to thirty in a pattern, and could cover 180 degrees as far as about a mile away.

That was one of the secrets . . . the Germans hadn’t deployed radar at the time. We were trying to make our ships invisible to magnetic torpedoes, by de-Gaussing them. In fact four ships were outfitted at the same time – the 48, 49, 50 and the Eldridge, in June and July of 1943. The Navy used to de-gauss all the ships in dry dock, even the merchant ships, otherwise the vessels acted as bar magnets which attracted the magnetic torpedoes.

There was nothing unusual about the Eldridge. When we went ashore we met with her crew members in 1944, we had parties, there was never any mention of anything unusual. Allende made up the whole thing,” answered Mr. Budgeon.

“What about the luminous phenomena he described?” Mr. Budgeon was asked.

“Those are typical of electric storms, which are very spectacular. St. Elmo’s fire is quite common at sea. I remember coming back form Bermuda with a convoy and all ships being engulfed in what looked like green fire. When it started to rain the green fire would disappear,” Mr. Bludgeon replied.

“Who was Allende? Did you ever meet him?” Mr. Budgeon was asked.

“I never did meet him. From his writings I don’t think he was in the Navy. But he could well have been in Philadelphia at the time, serving in the merchant marine. He could also have been aboard a merchant ship we escorted back to the Philly-Norfolk area during a storm,” replied Mr. Budgeon.

“What about the claim that generators were placed into the hold?” Mr. Budgeon was asked.

“Aboard all diesel-electric and steam-electric destroyers there were two motors that turned a port or starboard screw. Each motor was run by a generator,” Mr. Budgeon replied.

“What was the procedure when the Navy de-gaussed a ship?” Mr. Budgeon was asked.

“They sent the crew ashore and they wrapped the vessel in big cables, then they sent high voltages through these cables to scramble the ship’s magnetic signature. This operation involved contract workers, and of course there were also merchant ships around, so civilian sailors could well have heard Navy personnel saying something like, ‘they’re going to make us invisible,’ meaning undetectable by magnetic torpedoes, without actually saying it,” was Mr. Budgeon’s reply.

“What about the smell of ozone?” he was asked.

“That’s not unusual. When they were de-gaussing you could smell the ozone that was created. You could smell it very strongely,” Mr. Budgeon replied.

“This doesn’t tell us how the Eldridge disappeared into thin air, or what actually happened in the tavern in early August 1943,” stated the interviewer.

“That’s the simplest part of the whole story,” Mr. Dudgeon replied. “I was in that bar that evening, we had two or three beers, and I was one of the two sailors who are said to have disappeared mysteriously. The other fellow was named Dave. I don’t remember his last name, but he served on the DE 49. The fight started when some of the sailors bragged about the secret equipment and were told to keep their mouths shut. Two of us were minors. I told you I cheated on my enlistment papers. The waitresses scooted us out the back door as soon as trouble began and later denied knowing anything about us. We were leaving at two in the morning. The Eldridge had already left at 11 PM. Someone looking at the harbor that night have noticed that the Eldridge wasn’t there any more and it did appear in Norfolk. It was back in Philadelphia harbor the next morning, which seems like an impossible feat: if you look at the map you’ll see that merchant ships would have taken two days to make the trip. They would have required pilots to go around the submarine nets, the mines and so on at the harbor entrances to the Atlantic. But the Navy used a special inland channel, the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal, that bypassed all that. We made the trip in about six hours.”

And so we have a convenient alternative explanation to the Philadelphia Experiment. Mr. Dudgeon’s explanation of the degaussing procedures tie in well with the official Navy version. However, according to the Navy, the Eldridge did its training maneuvers in Bermuda in September and October of 1943, and did not go to Philadelphia thereafter. How did Mr. Dudgeon’s ship accompany the Eldridge to Bermuda and Philadelphia in July and August? Mr. Dudgeon’s account does not really explain the Allende/Allen letters, nor the mysterious deaths involved, including those of Morris Jessup and Ian Fleming. Is there more to the Philadelphia Experiment that the US Navy and their paid researchers want us to know?

As a final note on the history of the Philadelphia Experiment, it was reported in the Bucks courier Times on Wednesday, March 24, 1999 that a reunion of survivors of the Philadelphia Experiment would be having a reunion sometime that week. Said the headline: “Invisible Ship Crew to Hold Reunion: About 15 members of a ship made famous by a supposed experiment in invisibility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during World War II are gathering for the first time in 53 years.”

No follow-up article has been reported, so we don’t know whether the legend of the Philadelphia experiment has been put to rest or not. Probably not. Myths and legends die hard, especially ones that span different periods of “time” as the Philadelphia Experiment and the Montauk Project have been claimed to do.

Said one researcher into the whole mess, “It will all be exposed and uncovered – in due time.”



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