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     The Philadelphia Experiment and the
            Hutchison Effect

©05 The Media Desk

[NOTE: Both of the phenomenon discussed below are held to be true by their adherents, and labeled as frauds and hoaxes by their detractors. The Desk does not know which position is correct, if either, and is simply examining them in brief as part of a larger whole that is the wonder of our world.
    Enjoy. Dr. Leftover ]

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The Philadelphia Experiment

      Late in WW2 the US Navy supposedly had an interest in using high powered electric fields around ships to make them invisible to both radar and the human eye. This was based on research and discoveries made by Nicola Tesla and used some of electricity's more eccentric properties in combination with Einstein's Unified Field Theory.
      The story goes that using high output generators scientists created an energy field around the ship, the USS Eldridge a new convoy escort destroyer, that not only rendered it invisible, it actually teleported, albeit briefly, several hundred miles to Norfolk VA, in a great cloud of an eerie fog and shimmering light. According to the legend, some of the crew were killed and others driven insane by the experiment.
      The navy does admit that it was looking into using various technologies to modify a ship's electromagnetic signature in the water to confuse or foil magnetic anti-ship mines and possibly even torpedoes. This endeavor, called degaussing, met with mixed success.
      Several movies have been made and many books written about the "Philadelphia Experiment" or "Montauk Project". It has also been called "Project Rainbow" and several other code names. None of which appear to be accurate.
End overview of Philly Ex.

      This is a good one.
      And it is made all the better by official statements which basically have nothing to do with the topic at hand and built upon by some very interesting disagreements over basic details.
      For instance... The Dates of the supposed event.

      You'd think that something like the DATE the Navy made a destroyer disappear would be something that would be fairly easy to pin down. However, that's not the case.

      One investigator says the first test was -

At 0900 hours, on July 22nd, 1943...
On the 28th of October in 1943, at 17:15, the final test on the Eldridge was performed.

      While another makes the first run as...

It was the early hours of August 15th, 1943....

      And the navy says.....

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.

      Some claim it was in June, others say it was later in the autumn. But one thing is certain, the USS Eldridge did enter active duty with the Atlantic Fleet during the last year of World War Two. In late August of 1943 the ship had her sea trials, then training for the rest of the year, then it assumed regular escort duties for convoys heading for Europe.

      And then we have to look at what was actually done, if anything, on the ship.

      Most of the stories about the experiment involve the installation of several large generators and what might translate into miles of cables and other assorted hardware on the ship.
      If the Eldridge was an already outfitted man-of-war, then this would most certainly involve removing things like gun emplacements and their related equipment. That's not easy, or cheap, to do. Furthermore, if the ship were scheduled to enter active service on time and ready for action the time needed to do the modifications, run the tests, then reverse the process to re-equip the ship for battle would be asking too much of even a highly capable and motivated working group. Face it, if the experiment were to have taken place in the summer of 1943, would have had to have happened between the launch in July and the beginning of the sea trials in late August. Barely six weeks, not likely.
      Especially given that most accounts make it that there were several runs of the experiment. Some of them several days apart.

      Also coming into play in the problems with the using of a ship of the line for the experiment were the accounts of damage to the ship by the experiment itself.
      Some accounts tell of men being fused to the deck in what has since been called the Hutchison Effect where high powered electric fields, generated by equipment invented by Tesla, make metallic and non-metallic objects behave, well, weirdly.

Canadian inventor John Hutchison is credited with the discovery of a highly-anomalous electromagnetic effect which causes the jellification of metals, spontaneous levitation of common substances, and other effects resulting from what is believed to be a very complex scalar-wave interaction between electromagnetic fields and matter.

      If a warship had been subjected to electric fields that caused some of the metal of the decks and armor plating to come apart and even cause....

both temporary and permanent changes in the crystalline structure and physical properties of metals.

      .... putting that ship back in the fleet and eventually into harm's way might not be a smart thing to do.
      More on that a little later.

      The bottom line....

      When the Desk does articles into various mysteries it tries to follow a given format: What we know, what the original Legend says, and what the current Hype tells us.
      Well, with this one, they all appear to be the same thing. There doesn't seem to be any kernel of stipulated truth from which to work. With Mothman everybody admits something weird happened, they just disagree about what. With this one, nobody even does that.
      There is even some discrepancy on the name of the ship in some of the older documents, although since the movie came out, both sides have mostly adopted the Eldridge as the vessel for the deed.

"Professional liars who work for the U.S. Navy..."

      And now the cover-up, the denial of the cover-up, the denial of the denial, and so on.

      This is where it starts to get fun.
      Some of the articles on the subject were written by people that others claim don't exist or were never part of the crew of the ship. Still others claim that the crew for the sea trials and the experiment worked for the scientists and were not Navy regular seamen so they aren't on the official crew manifests.
      There are those that claim a massive conspiracy to cover the entire incident with a blanket of disinformation and confusion.
      It is even possible the incident is an invention of Mssrs Morris Jessup and Carlos Miguel Allende, et al. Jessup just have happened to have written a book called The Case for the UFO when he was contacted by Allende with the story of the Philadelphia Experiment. Who then dropped out of sight to be replaced by Carl Allen.
      What can only be called a phenomenon grew from there into a meaningful industry complete with debunkers and debunkers of the debunkers. And the occasional film crew to record the whole thing.
      Of course both sides are fairly regular guests on late night talk shows and have a whole rack of books and videos for sale touting their side of the argument.
      And, of course, sometime next month there will be another round from the other side carefully taking apart whatever was said by the other side last month. Again, all for sale, major credit cards accepted, and operators are standing by.
      In the end, both sides are building on a rather tenuous foundation of rumors and supposition that cannot be substantiated one way or the other. Which only serves to keep the entire thing alive because the experiment itself, if not the results of it, IS in the realm of possibility and does sound like something that the Navy would have tried during the war. Remember, at the same time this supposedly happened, something called the Manhattan Project was alive and well and splitting atoms elsewhere in the country.

      Now, what might have happened IF they had wired up a boat and flipped the switch? Let's look at it point by point and decide.

  • Could it have produced anything like what is claimed in the accounts on board the ship? Yes and no. We're about to look into the Hutchison Effect here shortly. IF that had happened, it is hard to say what the effect would have been on the ship and the crew, but most probably, it would not have been pretty. It would take A LOT of electricity to do it, but if they had enough juice, yeah, it could have.
  • Could it have produced the glowing fog that was to have surrounded the ship? Yes, most likely from the immediate superheating of seawater from the magnetic field, for evidence of that happening you don't have to look any further than your nearest appliance store which is selling a magnetic induction stove top.
  • Could it have made the image of the ship waiver to those watching it? Possibly, energy fields and excessive heat have been known to interfere with line of sight observation. If there was a sudden cloud of superheated steam around the ship as well as the energy field, the ship itself may have been partially obscured to sight.
  • Could it have made the ship invisible? No. That can be ruled out as impossible given our current understanding of the processes involved. It might have looked funny or even have been hard to see given the local conditions. Did the good ship Eldridge actually vanish like an old car in a Vegas stage act- no.
  • Could it have teleported the ship anywhere? Again, no. The Hutchison Effect and the effects of Tesla's coils simply don't have the power given Einstein's theory to move that amount of solid matter through any amount of the space/time continuum. Yes wormholes exist, no they probably didn't make one in the Philly shipyard with WW2 era equipment.
  • Could it have been, as the Navy claims, a degaussing experiment that somehow got all twisted and exaggerated beyond all reason? Sure. It is likely, given everything else, that something happened, and probably involved a LOT of electrical current. But. Just what is open to speculation, and there are plenty of people out there speculating on it. The equipment for the degaussing operation would look a lot like the Philadelphia Experiment equipment, and if they were trying to scale it up for say an aircraft carrier, it might need a lot of power. And if that went wrong.... well.... welcome to Philadelphia.

      Not only has the Philadelphia Experiment been linked to UFO's, or the back engineering of UFO technology- a la Roswell, it has been associated with everything from the Bermuda Triangle to David Icke and those true believers that follow him.

Sidenote to explain obscure reference.
      David Icke, born 1952, is a New Age pioneer who blends a wide array of fanciful ideas covering everything from reptilian super-beings, ancient mysticism, Masonic paranoia, anti-Semitism and more into a New World Order baiting philosophy that some have remarked as being either the work of a true genius or one of a serious nut. Or perhaps both.
      He puts out a book every year or so with a new, and usually fantastic, claim about something that is 'proof' that his theories are correct and we are facing the end of the world.
      Icke is last rumored to still be living and working in Canada where he is evidently a hit.

End note

      As far as can be easily told....

      There is NO ACTUAL HARD PROOF that what is called the Philadelphia Experiment ether happened, or that it didn't.

      In 2000 the former USS Eldridge was dismantled and scrapped in Piraeus, Greece.

The Hutchison Effect

      And here we come back to Nikola Tesla.

      Tesla (1856-1943) himself was a certified genius, he was also a touch insane.
      He discovered or perfected many different types of apparatus to generate or use electricity including the production of Alternating Current which now powers our world, the Telsa coil better known as a standard prop in Sci-Fi movies, he developed (in 1898!) effective remote radio control for objects such as boats and torpedoes as well as demonstrating various types of magnetic fields. Some of his over 100 patents were for electric spark plugs for gasoline engines, various types of electric motors and even two related to an unusual type of airplane issued in 1927.
      He worked with such notables as George Westinghouse and vied with Thomas Edison, his former employer, for the acceptance of AC current over Edison's favored Direct Current (DC).
      And while Tesla noted some of the properties of some of his inventions, such as the effects of certain rays produced by a special tube he invented, later to be known as X-rays, that they could pass through objects and even burn the skin, he never pursued it to its conclusion. Instead he simply noted it, and moved on.

      Later, in this case some eighty years later, others would look into his inventions and see what could be made from them.
      Which is where John Hutchison comes in.
      Others had taken the Tesla coil and made sparks with it. Many others. However, when Tesla himself was working on the thing he made one somewhat larger than anybody else ever has and hit it with so much electricity the load blew up the local power company's generator. Which Tesla then had to fix.
      He had put a three foot diameter copper ball on top of a 140 foot mast and charged it from a giant primary coil.
      What did it do? Well, it created actual lightning bolts. Not little sparks that make one's hair stand on end when you walk by the Tesla coil at a middle school science fair. These were huge arcs that jumped to grounding rods some 135 feet away from the ball. The thunder from the massive discharges could be heard several miles away. The resulting blackout told the town of Colorado Springs that their resident mad scientist had struck again.
      Up until the 1980's slightly tamer mad scientists had put only a fraction of the power Tesla had used to somewhat smaller balls. They used smaller coils, and less line load. Hutchison didn't instead he threw 50,000 volts at them.
      He used multiple units, with stacked coils.
      Hutchison was studying something Tesla had worked with, and as usual, never followed through on, longitudinal or 'scalar' electrical waves, a 'new type' of energy wave that according to some is somewhere between science and magic. [A longitudinal wave can be thought of as a compression wave traveling through a stretched out spring with no up and down or side to side movement of the spring itself. A sound wave through air is longitudinal versus an ocean wave through water.]
      When those powerful electric fields were introduced to unsuspecting objects it produced some amazing effects.

      The problem is that reproducing the Hutchison effect has been somewhat difficult. The equipment is expensive and difficult to regulate during the experiment. The voltages used are dangerous in and of themselves and generating them can be a chore in and of itself. That and nine pound cannon balls are hard to come by.

      What would happen if you were able to duplicate the experiment?
      Weird things.
      Metals melt without becoming hot. Dissimilar materials meld in unusual ways, such as wood becoming imbedded and amalgamated with aluminum while remaining otherwise intact. And, as was mentioned above, metal looses its molecular structure and falls apart. And objects levitate.
      It is the anti-gravity properties of these high level electric fields that have captured most of the public's attention and imagination. Small vehicles called 'lifters' tethered to (but not supported by) their electric supply by very thin wires are able to float without any means of support.
      Constructed of balsa wood, wire threads and foil, the triangular and hexagonal craft can be made to hover for hours on end powered only by the 25,000 volt power supply on the other end of the thin wire.

You can get lifter plans free of charge here-
      Just don't blow up your TV or computer monitor using an 'on the cheap' power supply.

      Some reports have lifters constructed of multiple triangular cells that are capable of moving over one hundred pounds. But of course a larger lifter moving a greater weight requires even more power.
      And here comes the tie-in to the Philadelphia Experiment.
      It is possible that if you have enough power and a large enough platform under just the right conditions, you might generate a great enough field to... say deform deck plating or levitate a ship. Or maybe even affect our perception of or the actual passage of- time.

      In short. What Tesla discovered and later Hutchison rediscovered and those guys from American Antigravity are working to prefect... the US Navy made have accidentally stumbled across in 1943.

      Truth is very often stranger than fiction.


ASSORTED LINKS articles on
Philadelphia Experiment
Hutchison Effect
Nikola Tesla

Other links
Philadelphia Experiment researcher Philly Cover up debunking page.

American Antigravity's Hutchison page

More on the Hutchison Effect Tesla Bio

Tesla's patents at

The Desk's look at: the Voynich Manuscript. Another mystery that remains unsolved.

The Desk article about The Count of Saint Germain. A "man who never dies and knows everything".

The Desk's Non-Fiction Articles

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