Myth Blaster – Mystery of the USS Eldridge


In July of 1943, an escort destroyer USS Eldridge pulled into the Delaware Bay area for a US Naval experiment that involved the task of making the ship invisible. The project’s official name was Project Rainbow, but was nicknamed later as the Philadelphia Experiment. Reportedly the ship was not only made invisible but transported it from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Norfolk, Virginia and then reappeared again in Philadelphia.

Myth Blaster Verdict: False
Subject of books, film and documentary; the Philadelphia Experiment is officially determined as a hoax while there are stubborn theorists who insist it is just another cover up. No doubt there were strange stories concerning the experiment, subject material for science fiction, which began becoming popular in the film making business by the 1950s; but the facts explain it differently.
The USS Eldridge, DE-173, was a Cannon-class destroyer escort ship of the United States Navy built during World War II named for Lieutenant Commander John Eldridge, Jr., a hero of the invasion of the Solomon Islands. [I]
Launched in July of 1943 and commissioned on August 27th 1943 with Lieutenant C. R. Hamilton, USNR in command, the ship served in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean to protect convoys. On January 15th 1951, the destroyer escort was transferred to the Greek government under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program where its name was changed to the HS Leon, D-54. It was decommissioned on November 5th 1992 and on November 11th 1999 it was sold as scrap to the V&J Scrapmetal Trading Ltd company. [II]
The experiment to make a ship invisible by a cloaking device was denied by the US Navy; however a degaussing experiment/test did take place; a method of repelling magnetic mines away from the ship. This is undoubtedly how the rumor was started concerning Project Rainbow and the USS Eldridge.
Project Rainbow was real but was an experiment involving the U-2 aircraft built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation for the CIA to perform reconnaissance spy missions over the Soviet Union. The USS Eldridge at the time was serving in the Greek navy.
Reportedly, Albert Einstein was advising and assisting the US Navy at the time with Top Secret experiments. [III]
It appears that the tale of the ship teleportation may have come from a procedure that took place aboard the USS Engstrom (DE-50) that was docked alongside the USS Eldridge in 1943. Researchers like Jacque Vallée describe the operation as involving the generation of a powerful electromagnetic field on board the ship in order to degauss it making it undetectable to magnetic mines and torpedoes. [IV]
Surviving members of the original crew of the USS Eldridge state that the destroyer escort had never been in Philadelphia.
Horrific tales also emerged that when the ship disappeared in a fog of green smoke and returned, sailors aboard sickened and a few had been embedded in the metal bulwarks and other structures of the vessel.
Two principle characters of the developed story were Morris K. Jessup and Carlos Miguel Allende, alias Carl Meredith Allen. Jessup was an amateur astronomer and author of The Case for the UFO. Allende claimed to know what had happened to the ill-fated sailors. Jessup followed up on the story intending to make money with the project, but didn’t and after his divorce from his wife and a history of depression, he committed suicide in 1957. [V]
Research Links


The Philadelphia Experiment (Internet Movie Database – IMD)
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