In July 1943, the destroyer U.S.S. Eldridge pulled into the Delaware Bay area for a United States Naval experiment that involved the task of making the ship invisible. The project's official name is Project Rainbow, but was nicknamed and more commonly known as the Philadelphia Experiment.
Much has been written and speculated about the legendary experiment into invisibilty, but sorting fact from fiction is a near impossible task, especially with the recent influx of misinformation and deliberate disinformation that has been spread by those connected to the U.S. Intelligence community and professional skeptics.
There is much controversy over what exactly happened, but one thing is for sure. For some reason, soon after the test was completed, a massive blanket of secrecy and denial was placed over what happened in Delaware Bay. It is thought that a huge scientific breakthrough was made, and the ship was accurately transported over space and time, disappearing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and reappearing in Norfolk, Virginia. Whatever did happen is still not known, but different theories are discussed below:
The "Official" Navy Record
The Navy admits that the U.S.S. Eldridge took part in an experiment that involved wrapping wire around the hull of the destroyer in an attempt to cancel out the magnetic fields of the metal on the ship. This is known as degaussing. This would render the ship "invisible" to underwater magnetic mines that rely on proximity sensors to trigger the detonation. These sensors operate by detecting magnetic fields around ships. Without the magnetic field, the ship would be able to pass through regions mined with these sensors, invisible to enemy mines, but not to radar or vision.
The Navy's report is very plausible, and doesn't mention any exotic results or circumstances. But could this just be a believable account to drop the interest by the general public, leaving only the true minority of investigators in doubt?
Some scientists have developed the theory that the Navy was working on a way to make the ship invisible to vision. However, it didn't involve warping space time or any complex task of a similar nature. This theory suggests that the Eldridge was equipped with high frequency generators that would heat up the surrounding air to cause a mirage, making the vessel invisible.
This phenomenon is naturally occurring, and there have been cases where entire islands have disappeared from view in the right weather conditions. The high frequency generator would heat up the surrounding air and the water (creating a green-colored fog that was said to have engulfed the ship), causing a mirage to form, concealing the ship from view.
The generator would also account for the sickness (physical and mental) of the crew after the experiment. A high freqency generator can cause serious harm to a person's wellbeing, especially at close range. This is more plausible than the degaussing theory, and would also explain the crew's sick condition as a result of the test.
The main problem with these theories though, is that it doesn't explain how the U.S.S. Eldridge was seen in Norfolk, Virginia by the civilian crew of the SS Andrew Furuseth, when the ship disappeared from view in Philadelphia in a space of only about fifteen minutes. There are also details such as crewmen being fused to the hull of the ship and some not even reappearing.
Transported across space and time?
The most interesting theory about the Philadelphia Experiment is that the destroyer did in fact disappear and was teleported across space and time. Supposedly, there was a great number of ingenious scientists (including Tesla and Einstein) that were taking part in the experiment. However, Nikola Tesla was supposed to dead at the time of the Naval experiment.
The theory is that light has to be bent around the ship to make it invisible. To accomplish this, the Navy wrapped the ship's circumference in wire and passed a measured current through it. This caused a huge oscillating magnet to form a magnetic field around the ship, not only bending the light, but space and time as well. The physics of the experiment are reminiscent of Einstein's Unified Field Theory that once you bend light, you are also unwittingly bending space and time as well.
The first time this experiment was undertaken, the ship didn't completely disappear, and an imprint of the hull could be seen sitting in the water. The second time, the ship totally disappeared in a green fog and was sighted in Norfolk, Virginia.
A haunting fact is that when the ship reappeared, the crew were all in a state of disorientation. Some were mentally ill, while other crewmen didn't even return. There were also crewmen that returned embedded in the hull. Later accounts arose about the crewmen, including a former crew member who was involved in a bar fight, and all the participants froze in time, as reported by a local newspaper! There were also accounts of people who were on the ship, spontaneously combusting.
The mystery remains
It is still not known what happened that day in 1943, mainly due to the lack of witnesses coming forth who served aboard the Eldridge. There is also no documentation available to the public which details Project Rainbow. It may have simply been a degaussing experiment. But how did the destroyer appear seconds later in Virginia? Its possible the answer will never be known, but the mystery may be solved when scientists rediscover what happened in Delaware Bay.