The Philadelphia Experiment From A-Z

Effects of the Experiment on the Crew

“The experiment Was a Complete Success. The Men were Complete Failures.” – Carl. M. Allen

Bethesda Naval Hospital

Bethesda Naval Hospital

The aftereffects of the experiment first came to light through the letters Carl M. Allen wrote to Mr. Jessup. Allen described some of the more bizarre things that happened to the men. In the end all personnel were quarantined at Bethesda Naval Hospital; some were released and given the classification “Mentally Unfit for Duty”, regardless of their “real” status. I think the Navy did this so that if anyone “talked” they could just pull out the “He’s insane” documents, and simply say, ‘He is crazy, here are the papers to prove it, we’re the Government…. what would we know / care….’

“The only thing I ever heard about the crew of the Eldridge was that they were kept at Bethesda Naval Hospital out of communication with everybody for the remainder of the war.” – Frederick Tracy

“Psychic ability seemed to have been generally sharpened, while many retained the effects of transmutation from the experiment, temporarily disappearing and reappearing, either at home, walking on the street, or sitting in bars or restaurants, to the consternation of onlookers and waitresses. Twice the ship’s binnacle suddenly burst into flames while being taken ashore, with disastrous results to the carrier.” – Dr. Valentine recalling his talks with Dr. Jessup. [1]

It was said the experiment was rushed along at the time (because of the war) and the Navy would never budge from their rigid set of test dates. The scientists requested more time to figure out how to properly protect the people from the hazardous effects of the electromagnetic fields generated for the experiment, but the request for more time was denied. The Navy seemed more interested in getting the equipment working than in worrying about the “lab rats” running it.

According to Carl Allen’s letters to Mr. Jessup, this is what happened to the men exposed to the electromagnetic field:

  • Some men would “Freeze”, “Get Stuck”, or “Go Blank”, etc. Most of the men would simply be unable to move, and referred to it as “HELL Incorporated.” The men are usually aware of the passage of time, and were in some sort of a coma. If a man remained in a “Deep Freeze” for more than a day he usually went insane. It took six months and five million dollars worth of electronic equipment to “Unfreeze” the first “Frozen” crewman.
  • Two men “Froze” and caught fire. They burned for 18 days. {Like Spontaneous Human Combustion}
  • Some men would “disappear” or appear to be in a “heat mirage” while not under the effects of the Field.
  • Some men were just “missing” after the experiment and were never found.
  • One sailor walked through a bulkhead (in plain view of witnesses) and was never seen again.

In Colin Wilson’s “Enigmas and Mysteries” he related that according to a report 16 crew members died and six went insane.

In 1945, a guard (only remembered as “Jim” by Patrick Macey) for classified audiovisual material saw part of a film viewed by a group of Navy brass. He recalls:

“I remember only part of the film, as my security duties did not permit me to sit and look at it like the others… I do remember that it concerned three ships… it showed two other ships feeding some sort of energy into the central ship. I thought it was sound waves, but I didn’t know, since I, naturally, wasn’t in on the briefing.

After a time the central ship, a destroyer, disappeared slowly into a transparent fog until all that could be seen was an imprint of that ship in the water. Then, when the field, or whatever it was, was turned off, the ship reappeared slowly out of thin fog.

Apparently that was the end of the film, and I overheard some of the men in the room discussing it. Some thought that the field had been left on too long and that that had caused the problems that some of the crew members were having.” – Jim [2]

“we know he {Tomas Townsend Brown} was depressed {in 1943} over the effects on the crew of the experiment and the subsequent experiment that took place on the sea.” – Charles F. Berlitz [3]


In as early as 1930 scientists found that people subjected to high-frequency electromagnetic fields (between 380 to 500 mHz for different subjects) would experience a definite pulsing in the brain, ringing in the ears, hallucinations, and other strange sensations.

Studies were also conducted in noise abatement using infrasonic and ultrasonic sound waves. Some of the reactions in the subjects were: fatigue, tension, loss of balance, headaches, nausea, and fainting spells. [4]

Dr. A. Frey, M. Messenger, and E. Eichert proved that radio fields can simulate the neurons in the brain. By modulating microwaves with pulse generators, they could easily produce recognizable sounds such as: bongo drums, electric saws, lawnmower, engines, etc. [5]

With this in mind one could summarize that the men of the experiment could have had mass hallucinations, magnifying a simple ship experiment into the present legend.

“During my service on the A/T Leon I had some reports from crew members stating that they had seen something mysterious like an illusion (i.e. some type of ghost), or they reported that they were missing things (objects, possessions), nothing of value which would suggest that a thief was on-board. Usually they would find the lost objects after a couple of days in a different place than they had placed them. We used to make jokes between us about the ‘ships ghosts’ that changed the place of things.” – Commanding officer who served on the A/T Leon [6]

[1]“The Bermuda Triangle” by Charles Berlitz, Pg 115

[2]“The Philadelphia Experiment” by Bill Moore & Charles Berlitz, Pg 240-241

[3]Transcript from “Eye of the Storm” Narrated by Stan Deyo

[4]“Aliens From Space: the Real Story of Unidentified Flying Objects” by Donald Keyhoe, Pg 28

[5]“Is Anyone Out There” by Jack and Lawton Stoneley, Pg 152

[6]Interviewed by George Pantoulas

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