Summer of 1943. In the midst of World War II, an American battleship tested a technology designed by Einstein himself and managed to become invisible and teleport. That is, at least, what some conspiracy theorists say. This is the true story of the USS Elridge, the ship that “traveled in time”.
The legend of the Rainbow Project
What is popularly known as the Philadelphia Experiment, alludes to an alleged dark program of the US Navy called Project Rainbow. Urban legend says the military was testing a generator of electromagnetic fields with which they sought to find practical applications to the unified field theory proposed by Albert Einstein. In one sentence, they tried to achieve invisibility.
Private technicians who did not know what they were installing provided two powerful generators, dozens of meters of electrical cable around the hull and other complex electronic devices to the USS Elridge, a 93-meter-long battleship. On July 22, 1943, the first supposed experiment took place. The generators activated an electromagnetic field that made the battleship disappear from sight for a few minutes surrounded by a greenish fog. Some sailors complained of strong nausea caused by the test.
The equipment was readjusted and the second test took place on October 28. This time, the whole ship completely disappeared and appeared at the navy base in Norfolk, 600 kilometers away and 15 minutes in the past. There he was sighted during that time. After that he disappeared again in the middle of a blue lightning to return to Philadelphia.
Official statements of the navy
According to urban legend, the consequences of this second experiment were so devastating for the crew that the Navy decided to cancel the project. Most of the sailors developed schizophrenia and some completely lost their judgment. Many were seriously injured as they materialized, and others, less fortunate, fused horribly with the ship’s hull. Some vanished days after the experiment and never reappeared.
This is, roughly speaking, the truculent history perpetuated by conspiracy theorists, ufologists, and some science-fiction films. The navy has always denied the existence of the Philadelphia experiment. In a statement released in November 2000, the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) completely denied the existence of any invisibility or teleportation program, as well as Einstein’s involvement. In a summary of the note published by Naval History & Heritage, it is said:
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has already explained that the use of forcefields to make a ship and its crew invisible does not conform to the known laws of physics. The ONR also asserts that Dr. Albert Einstein’s unified field theory has never been completed.
Between 1943 and 1944, Einstein worked as a part-time consultant for the navy in theoretical investigation of explosives and explosions. There is no evidence that Einstein worked on anything related to invisibility or teleportation.
Indeed, unified field theory was a concept coined by Einstein when he attempted to explain the gravitational field and the electromagnetic field by a single unified theory. He never succeeded, but many do not care that the laws of physics overturn a good story.
The letters of Carlos Allende
How did the Philadelphia Experiment come to light? The answer is through a series of letters sent by Carl Meredith Allen under the pseudonym of Carlos Miguel Allende. Supposedly, Allen was a merchant seaman who saw the USS Elridge disappear from his own ship, SS Andrew Furuseth.
With a somewhat peculiar prose and abundant spelling mistakes, Allen described the supposed experiment of teleportation in a correspondence maintained with the writer and ufologist Morris Jessup. Although the sailor never provided any reliable proof of what he was saying, Jessup was fascinated by the tale and included it in a book titled The Case for the UFO. Jessup failed to repeat the moderate success of this book and committed suicide four years later. The circumstances surrounding his death further fueled the theory that the experiment existed and that the government has since tried to cover it up. The urban legend of the Philadelphia experiment had been officially born.
The Truth About The Philadelphia Experiment
The Philadelphia Experiment is a complicated hodgepodge of Allen’s feverish imagination, Jessup’s credulity, real facts, and gossip about sailors. The first thing that does not agree are the dates. Official records say that the USS Elridge was launched on July 25, 1943, two days after the alleged first experiment. He officially entered service at the Shipyard of New York on August 27, 1943.
What is certain is that, in the 1940s, the US Navy experimented with invisibility. Of course, it was not invisibility to the naked eye. The USS Elridge and its twin, the USS Engstrom were equipped with a new system that surrounded the whole hull with electric cables. The technique was called Degaussing, and its aim was to reduce the magnetic field of the ship to avoid that it was an easy target of the mines and magnetic torpedoes used in the Nazi submarines. The technique became very popular in the 40’s and came to be applied to military and civilian vessels alike.
As Edward Dudgeon, one of the sailors aboard the USS Elridge, explains, the degaussing system was installed by outside contractors. Not knowing exactly what they were installing together with the jokes of sailors who spoke of a system to “make the boat invisible” was enough to trigger the gossip. To this was added the fact that the ship did carry secret experimental equipment. It was, in particular, a new type of sonar and a system to sow loads of depth called Hedgehog.
The “lightning” spoken of in the urban legend about the Philadelphia experiment may be as simple as the discharge of ionized plasma known long ago as San Telmo fire.
As for the mysterious disappearance of the USS Elridge, Dudgeon explains that the origin of that part of the urban legend is due to an incident at the base of Norfolk. The Elridge landed at the base to get supplies, but soon he released moorings and returned to Philadelphia, where he arrived in less than six hours. According to the navigation charts of the area, this crossing was impossible because it was necessary to take a large detour to avoid German submarines and minefields. In fact, the ship used the channel Chesapeake & Delaware, that allows skipping the detour to the peninsula.
Dudgeon explains how until his departure and the one of a companion by the back door during a tavern fight encouraged the rumors of sailors of the USS Elridge that disappeared. Neither Edward Dudgeon nor his companion bar was old enough to drink, and when the fight broke out, the taverna took them out the back door to avoid problems with the authorities. To many, Dudgeon’s entire account is the cover of a mad experiment.
On January 15, 1951, the USS Elridge was transferred to Greece, where he served under the name of Leon. The ship left the service in 1999 and ended its days peacefully in a scrapping. It served to attenuate the legend of the Philadelphia Experiment that a group of veterans of the USS Elridge offered an interview in 1999 in which commented the history fun. The most fanciful prefer to believe that the US navy managed in a delusional pseudo-scientific combo invisibility, teleportation and time travel, but decided not to move forward because some sailors died.
Poltergeist Girl of Battersea
The Guinness Book of Records for some time used to include a section for “most durable ghosts”, among those listed was a poltergeist known as “Donald” or “Spooky Willie” who was and is the only known paranormal entity to have written and sent letters to the living.
It did this through the possession of a 15 year old girl named Shirley Hitchings who in 1956 lived in the community of Battersea in South London. Introducing the Poltergeist Girl of Battersea…
You can find the poltergeist known as “Donald” or “Spooky Willie” by looking up either “Eland Road Poltergeist” or “Battersea Poltergeist”, but each will tell a very different story as Donald has plagued more than one family living in the home at 8 Eland Road.
The first of these was in 1928 when 86 year old Henry Robinson was the sole occupant. An invisible entity began harassing him in all the usual ways that one would expect from a poltergeist, including tipping over dressers, smashing windows, and just generally being violent and aggressive.
Henry Robinson was invalid and completely incapable of opening his dresser let alone tipping it over. Mr. Robinson had lived in the home on his own with common visits from his sister for 25 peaceful years prior to these events.
They began without warning and as far as could be discerned, without cause, and lasted only three months before stopping completely. In those three months the actions of the Eland Road Poltergeist were witnessed by more than a dozen people, including a police constable who had chunks of coal thrown at him by an invisible force.
Spooky Willie would remain silent for twenty eight years following Henry Robinson’s experiences with the entity, until what was described as an “ocean of mailed correspondence” began flowing from the home of Shirley Hitchings at 8 Eland Road.
In cases of possession what is first looked toward for evidence is the victim’s ability to speak in languages unknown to them. Despite that the communications were in written form and in English, this is still the case with the poltergeist’s possession of Shirley Hitchings.
The letters were written in a form of English which drew heavily on French influences and hasn’t been in use since the time of Louis XVI. What’s stranger is that the letters were not signed “Donald”, but were signed Louis Capet, who was in fact the second son of Louis XVI.
Those that were aware of and still followed Henry Robinson’s ordeal were stunned and left without the slightest theory as to how the home and location of one of England’s most notable poltergeists could now be the seat of an entity exhibiting an entirely different demeanor and calling itself by a name never before mentioned.
Recipients of these letters ranged from random people no longer present at the addresses mailed to, to current dignitaries, and even included Lord Brabazon, the first Englishman to pilot a heavier-than-air machine.
The content or subject matter varied so wildly it would be impossible to summarize all of the letters. Many were simple meanderings, while others were demands and pleas for recognition, but without any description as to what one should recognize.
The letters continued to be sent for three years, but within the first year another phenomenon began. One night in 1956 Shirley Hitchings’s bed burst into flames while she was asleep, miraculously Shirley was not so much as singed.
Taking the reasonable precautions, Shirley’s father, Mr. Hitchings removed all matches and other instruments for the lighting of fires from the home. When a cloth was left on a heated grill and lit fire he then kept all appliances unplugged. That did not help. The family’s crock-pot over heated and lit on fire while unplugged and not in use.
Shirley never commented on or explained the fires and in fact generally was unaware of what might be causing them paranormal or otherwise, but four months into the outbreaks she would stun those following the case further by stating that the poltergeist, which she named as “Donny” was her boyfriend.
She did not mean that she had a boyfriend named Donny that was playing tricks, or even that she had had a boyfriend that died. She meant that she had started dating the poltergeist. This might have even been plausible as strange phenomenon began following her everywhere she went.
Her father, Mr. Hitchens, who was no doubt going a bit crazy by this point gave in to friends and family’s demands to hire spiritualist Harry Hanks in an attempt to rid Shirley and the house of “Donny”. It appeared to have worked as the strange phenomenon, the fires, all of it ended that night, except for the letters which would continue for another three years.
Nobody actually witnessed Shirley, “the Poltergeist Girl of Battersea” writing or mailing the letters, which was odd in and of itself, but they were written in her hand writing. There are so many possibilities as to what was happening at 8 Eland Road.
It could have been one entity claiming to be two, or that the home is haunted by two distinct entities, or even that Shirley Hitchens was a powerful medium channeling the spirit of Louis Capet while the poltergeist of Donny haunted the home.
This is the reason that to this day the “Eland Road Poltergeist” and “Battersea Poltergeist” are one of the most studied historical hauntings.
Paranormal Investigator Lorraine Warren Passed Away at 92
Lorraine Warren is known for her investigations of the Amityville Horror house and the haunted Annabelle doll.
Lorraine Warren in the Warren’s Occult Museum with the haunted Annabelle doll
Lorraine Warren passed away last night in her home at the age of 92. Lorraine professed to be a professed to be clairvoyant and medium. Along with her husband Ed, a demonologist, Lorraine founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952 and conducted numerous investigations of paranormal claims such as the Amityville Horror house, the Enfield Poltergeist, and Annabelle the haunted doll. They claimed to have investigated more than 10,000 cases, some of which The Conjuring movies are based on.
Chris McKinnell, Lorraine’s grandson and the director of The Warren Legacy Foundation for Paranormal Research, shared a heartfelt message on Facebook this morning:
“Last night my grandmother, Lorraine Warren, quietly and peacefully left us to join her beloved Ed,” McKinnell wrote. “She was happy and laughing until the very end. She was my angel and my hero, and she will be deeply missed. Please join us in celebrating her life and honoring her beautiful soul. Remember to treasure those you love while you can. Thank you and God bless you all.”
Woman Snaps Photograph Of Hellhound In The Shadows
While visiting a frequent haunt of hers, a woman named Stephanie Smith was out taking photos of different 19th century architecture in the Roundhay Park area, located in Yorkshire. Little did she soon realize, that she captured something rather unusual with her camera.
It wasn’t until later (when she looked back at her photos) that she noticed what resembled a canine type beast, lingering in the shadows near a decorative castle built back during 1811. The myth of these type of hellhounds, dates back throughout history from folklore stories.
Typically, all of these hellhounds are described being about the same with their characteristics. There is one strange phenomenon known to linger in this area among others. It has been given the name “gytrash”. This demon dog, has been feared and talked about for many years.
When Stephanie examined this photo closely, she began to notice this dark figure in the shadowy part of one area. Stephanie said, “I froze when I realized the shadow was some sort of animal, it took me a moment to figure out what it was but once I could see the head, ears, tail, and legs, there was no mistaking it was a demon dog”.
After brightening up the image, further details can be seen. This figure does resemble that of an animal. Whether or not it actually is a demon dog is up for interpretation. Whatever it is, this shadowy figure looks out of place for such a bright sunny day. Most paranormal type activity occurs during the late night hours and not typically during the day.
Stephanie also added, “It took me a moment to figure out what it was. The gytrash is usually taken as an omen that something bad’s going to happen to you or to someone you know. So, I’m shocked that I’ve got a photo of it.”
One can only wonder if this hellhound was ready to pounce upon its next victim. A man unknowingly wanders by, without a care in the world. His fate may have been sealed otherwise.
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