Historic Hysterics #2: Teleporting Boats!

By Alyson Draper ~ Web Editor

Photo (above) of USS Eldridge during World War II. Photo retrieved from https://www.military.com/off-duty/2020/05/04/truth-behind-wwiis-creepy-philadelphia-experiment.html on Aug. 17, 2021. 

It’s known today that the U.S military is no stranger to weird experiments, especially during WWII and the Cold War. Today’s story is about the Philadelphia Experiment and the USS Eldridge. According to witnesses, the USS Eldridge was able to turn fully invisible and teleport to Norfolk, Virginia, all while returning to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, within the same day. 

The story first came to light in 1955 when Carl M. Allen, a former merchant marine, wrote about his experience in a book that was sent to a known ufologist by the name of Morris K. Jessup who published the writing in “The Case of the UFO”, in 1956.

Photo of the cover, “The Case for  The UFO”. Photo retrieved from Amazon.com on Aug. 17, 2021. 

Allen’s report is one of the only eyewitness accounts of the supposive experiment, and it goes as follows. Allen had said that the work to make the USS Eldridge invisible was working as planned, with the ship being able to fully cloak itself by turning semi-transparent and creating a dense greenish fog around it. This was achieved by bending the light in and around the ship, rendering it was invisible. The experiments came to a halt while working with the ship in October of 1943. 

A blue light enveloped the ship and suddenly it was gone. The USS Eldridge had completely disappeared, but this time it wasn’t invisible. 

At that same time the crew of the USS Andrew Furuseth docked in Norfolk saw the USS Eldridge appear in the harbor. 

The crew of the USS Andrew Furuseth then watched the ship for a few minutes before it teleported again, back into its home harbor in Philadelphia, the location where the crew of the ship had seemed to experience something truly earth shattering. 

Some men were fused within the metal walls of the ship, with body parts sticking out, while others lost their minds, muttering to themselves and having to be discharged from the Navy that same day. 

Sadly, none of this is true.

According to ship logs, the USS Andrew Furuseth was not in Norfolk at the time of the supposed teleportation, meaning that they would be unable to witness the USS Eldridge appearing out of thin air. 

When the USS Eldridge was in Norfolk it was able to make the round trip back to Philadelphia up through the Chesapeake bay, meaning that the USS Eldridge had made a day trip from its home port to Norfolk. 

When the Navy looked into this story published in “The Case of the UFO”, the Navy asked Jessup if he knew anything about the author of the original account. Jessup pointed out Allen, who had his identity found by the Navy, caved under pressure and explained that the story was a hoax. 

Key words: History, World War II, conspiracy theory, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Navy 

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