Thursday, April 6, 2017

E is for Experiment: Turning the USS Eldridge invisible

Today I present a "Cliffs Notes" version of the Philadelphia Experiment, compiled from here:

In the fall of 1943, this navy destroyer was docked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard where it underwent a special test to render the Eldridge invisible to radar. Massive Tessla coils were placed on the ship creating an eletromagnetic field to divert radar waves from the ship.

Image: Owen Phairis, a six-inch Tessla coil

After this contraption was activated, the ship was engulfed in a green haze and vanished from sight. Wow, invisible to both radar and eyeballs. Awesome!

But that's not all. The ship wasn't just invisible, it teleported to Norfolk, VA for a few minutes before reappearing in Philly. And that's when things got gruesome.

Image: from the 1984 film, The Philadelphia Experiment

Crew members came back embedded in the bulkheads, decks, and railings. Many went insane. Others remained invisible to anyone except other crew members. Attempts to bring these unfortunate souls back into the correct time and place set their bodies on fire for 18 days.

There's a couple of movies based on this conspiracy theory released in 1984 (see trailer here) and 2012 (see trailer here).


E is also for EGADS, I totally forgot about the IWSG. If you don't know, this a remarkable collection of writers of all types that get together on the first Wednesday of the month to release their writerly woes and triumphs to the blogosphere. Headed by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, this group also boasts its own IWSG Goodreads Book Club, websight (Insecure Writer’s Support Group), publishes anthologies featuring its members, and will have a pitch party this July. Please join us!

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Chris D. Votey, Madeline Mora-Summonte,Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!

This month's optional question is: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

Why, yes. A couple of years ago, I promoted a collection of sci-fi stories and although I gave away many copies of individual tales, sales were less than brisk for the overall collection. I should be promoting something this year, but I'm way behind on my to-do list and just couldn't get things ready in time. 


Ever heard of the bizarre story of The Philadelphia Experiment or seen one of the films?


  1. Wow. I'm someone who likes a good conspiracy theory, but this one's really out there!

  2. The Eldridge sounds like the making of a cheap horror movie that is funny to watch... and then there are those who believe.

  3. I love this one! :D It sounds like it would be easily disproved, but it is great move material...

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF - Weird Things in Folktales

  4. Whoa, that one went a bit OTT! or should that be UTR? Under the Radar. Haven't heard of it or watched the films (1943 is a little bit before my time) :) But it sounds like it would make a great horror film if one were willing to suspend disbelief...


  5. I have seen one of those movies :) I had no idea there was a conspiracy theory to go with it.
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - Dragon Diaries

  6. This is hilarious. I had no idea this was really a thing people believed!

    26 Things To Hate About Writing: E is for Edits

  7. Gives a whole new meaning to the name 'Eldridge Cleaver'! Ew!

  8. I would love to see a video of all this or pictures or an eye witness account. There has to be something out there, right?!? ;)

    I love conspiracy theories so much.

  9. So that was the Philadelphia Experiment. I'd always heard of it, never knew. It amazes me what people believe sometimes, but people often tell me I must be from another world.

  10. And that really happened? WOW! That's crazy. And to be a crew member embedded in something...OUCH!

  11. Did anybody actually BELIEVE this? I mean, yes, there are still people who believe we never went to the moon, but tat's something you can argue about, but this is bizarre!

  12. I saw the 1984 movie. As I recall, I enjoyed it. I wonder if it would hold up now.

  13. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Wow, people coming back embedded in the bulkhead is pretty creepy. But The War of the Worlds had people believing aliens had landed. Count me as one who wonders if something like this would be believed now.


  15. I saw the movie and remember body parts embedded in the metal hulk of the ship. Fact or fiction: the world may never know.

  16. I haven't seen the movie yet, but after reading this, it is on my list for this weekend. wow...

  17. Never heard of the Philadelphia Experiment, but now I am totally intrigued. I will look up the films.
    Looks like they teleported into some alternative reality.

    Faamiti and Forelsket: Exotic Words with no English Equivalent

  18. I've heard of the Philadelphia Experiment but didn't know what it was all about. Egads, indeed - that's a horrible story! Those poor souls! Not sure I would want to watch the movie, no matter how intriguing...

  19. I really liked the 80s movie of this :) I don't remember it being that gory though - maybe they glossed over the burning bodies.
    Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves

  20. Holy Moly! I'd never heard about that before. That image from the film was darned grim!

  21. Wow, I hadn't heard of this, I will definitely check it out now!
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Writing Dragons Blog | AtoZ 2017 - Dragons in Our Fandoms

  22. That's pretty bonkers!

    Seems like embedded crew member and bodies burning for 18 days (?!!) would be pretty hard to cover up. Then again, conspirators are masterful at that kind of thing.

  23. I remember hearing about this one back in college, but I didn't know there were movies based on it.

  24. I'd heard about the Philadelphia Experiment, but didn't know what it was really about. That creepiness is right up my alley! I may have to dig into it a little more....

  25. This really happened? I've seen the movie but I had no idea some experiment like this was really carried out!

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