Throughout time, experiments have helped us find out if something is considered true. Popular experiments include The Marshmallow Test and pushing your friend in a shopping cart downhill to test speed. The Philadelphia Experiment was something so peculiar, people still bring it up today.

You can’t see me

In the summer of 1943, World War II was going down between the Allies and Nazi Germany. That year, the United States Navy wanted a way to get the upper hand on their enemies. After some long thinking, they decided to create an invisible ship. While a majority of the crew agreed to it, a few members simply shook their heads in disbelief.

The USS Eldridge was the prime choice for this experiment. After they equipped the vessel, they decided to test it out for any kinks. The ship, which was originally stationed in Philadelphia, vanished and reappeared into the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia. One individual named Carl M. Allen admitted to seeing this experiment in action. “Any person within that sphere became vague in form, but he too observed those persons aboard that ship as though they too were of the same state, yet were walking upon nothing. Any person without that sphere could see nothing save the clearly defined shape of the ships hull in the water, providing of course, that the person was just close enough to see yet, just barely outside of that field,” Allen wrote in a letter to U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research.

An aggressive way of contacting someone

Allen didn’t stop just with a simple letter. He continued sending messages to whoever was in his radar. One person, in particular, was astronomer Morris K. Jessup. In 1955, the Indiana native wrote the book The Case for the UFO, which deals with the supernatural. Jessup gained messages from Allen about the invisible ship, but he simply wrote them off. Unfortunately, he was contacted about the ship again, but it wasn’t from Allen. In 1957, the Office of Naval Research delivered an unusual present to Jessup. He received a copy of his own book covered in highlight markers.

After further investigation, Jessup determined that those annotations were done by Allen. The consistency of Allen paid off in a small way. Unfortunately, Jessup found his writing career going down the drain following his book’s release. Due to immense stress, he committed suicide on  April 30, 1959, at the age of 59. A few people, however, assumed his suicide was connected to him having vital knowledge about the experiment.

Was it all just a fib?

Following Jessup’s suicide, various writers started releasing their own stories of the experiment. The biggest story released was Charles Berlitz’s The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility. This one managed to tie in some old Albert Einstein theories. As expected, Hollywood couldn’t wait to get their greedy paws on a film adaptation. Unfortunately, this movie flopped harder than an Uwe Boll project. Even with the film tanking, an unnecessary sequel was made in 1993.

Throughout the cash-grabbing, many people have been calling this experiment a complete lie. Several people present at Fourth Naval District stated that no ships disappeared into thin air. That specific ship simply went on a routine run. Even folks that were on that ship confirmed they didn’t magically appear in Virginia. Many people have been blaming the gullibility of everyone for this story’s rise in popularity. One person simply messaging random folks about a story can be seen as psychotic. It can be even worse if they’re the only one talking about it. Unfortunately, some nutjobs are still writing conspiracy theories about this experiment as we speak.