If, as this previously classified U.S. Navy document demonstrates, the government of the United States was constructing undersea installations a number of decades before the documentation was even prepared in the mid-1960s, perhaps someone else, someone from a world far, far away, has secretly been doing likewise. And just maybe they chose Puerto Rico as their base of operations.
The Mysteries of Montauk
Conspiracy theorists allege that, at a relatively innocuous-looking location on Long Island, New York — originally called Camp Hero, and later renamed the Montauk Air Force Station — highly classified research has, for decades, been undertaken into a dizzying array of far-out issues, including time travel, teleportation, invisibility, and mind control. Whether the tales are the absolute truth, overwhelming fiction, or a swirling, hazy combination of both, only one thing is certain: They absolutely refuse to roll over and die. In the more than two decades that have now passed since the controversial stories first surfaced, they have spawned a veritable industry, with books galore, lectures and conferences, television documentaries, and magazine articles all focused intently upon what has become known as the Montauk Project.
The Philadelphia Experiment
Before we get to the meat of what whole swathes of conspiracy-minded people are devoted to believing has been going on at the Montauk Air Force Station for years, we have to take a trip through time, back to the height of the Second World War, when strange and unearthly things were reportedly afoot in the heart of the Philadelphia Naval Yard. The bulk of the rumors and testimony suggests that the fantastic, Top Secret research allegedly undertaken at Montauk began as a direct outgrowth of an equally fantastic and highly classified project of the U.S. Navy. It has become infamously known as the Philadelphia Experiment.
The genesis of the story dates back to 1955, with the publication of The Case for the UFO by the late Morris K. Jessup, a book that delved deeply into two key issues:
1. The theoretical power source of UFOs.
2. The utilization of the universal gravitational field as a form of energy.
Not long after the publication of the book, Jessup became the recipient of a series of extremely strange missives from a certain Carlos Miquel Allende, of Pennsylvania. In his correspondence, Allende commented on Jessup’s theories, and gave details of an alleged secret experiment conducted by the U.S. Navy in the Philadelphia Naval Yard in October 1943. According to Allende’s incredible tale, during the experiment a warship was rendered optically invisible and teleported to and from Norfolk, Virginia, in a few minutes. The incredible feat was supposedly accomplished by applying Albert Einstein’s never-completed Unified Field theory.
Allende elaborated that the ship used in the experiment was the DE 173 USS Eldridge, and, moreover, that he had actually witnessed one of the attempts to render both the ship and its crew invisible from his position out at sea onboard a steamer called the SS Andrew Furuseth. From the safety of the Furuseth, Allende, in his own words, said he “watched the air all around the ship turn slightly, ever so slightly, darker than all the other air. I saw, after a few minutes, a foggy green mist arise like a cloud. I watched as thereafter the DE 173 became rapidly invisible to human eyes.”
If Allende was telling the truth, then the Navy had not only begun to grasp the nature of invisibility, but it had also stumbled upon the secret of teleportation. Allende claimed that the experiment rendered many of the crew-members as mad as hatters, and some even literally vanished from the ship while the test was at its height, never to be seen again — at least not in 1943. Others reportedly became fused into the metal hull of the ship itself, destined to die horrific and agonizing deaths.
It is a matter of official record that Carlos Allende did serve aboard the SS Andrew Furuseth during the time frame that he claimed to have witnessed the secret experiment. Crucial to the controversy surrounding the strange saga of the USS Eldridge is whether or not Allende was speaking truthfully, and if the case for the reality of the Philadelphia Experiment stands or falls on his words alone. The U.S. Navy’s position on the Philadelphia Experiment is that Allende’s story was completely bogus. But such was its allure, even the Navy admits, that it spawned a legend that just refuses to go away. However, despite the Navy’s assertions that the entire controversy can be traced back to Allende and no one else, that is most assuredly not the case.
Philadelphia Experiment investigators Bill Moore and Charles Berlitz uncovered a clipping culled from a presently unidentified newspaper of the 1940s that appears to confirm one of the strangest aspects of Allende’s account: namely, that some of the sailors who were onboard the Eldridge during the fateful experiment later vanished into thin air during a barroom brawl near the Philadelphia harbor.
Titled “Strange Circumstances Surround Tavern Brawl” the clipping reveals:
Several city police officers responding to a call to aid members of the Navy Shore Patrol in breaking up a tavern brawl near the U.S. Navy docks here last night got something of a surprise when they arrived on the scene to find the place empty of customers. According to a pair of very nervous waitresses, the Shore Patrol had arrived first and cleared the place out — but not before two of the sailors involved allegedly did a disappearing act. “They just sort of vanished into thin air…right there,” reported one of the frightened hostesses, “and I ain’t been drinking either!” At that point, according to her account, the Shore Patrol proceeded to hustle everybody out of the place in short order.
Although the origin of the clipping may remain elusive, the same cannot be said for every aspect of the story concerning the so-called barroom brawl. It was during 1949 that a sailor named George Mayerchak was confined to the Philadelphia Navy Hospital for a month with a particularly bad bout of pneumonia. While he was there, Mayerchak began to hear stories from enlisted sailors concerning a strange event that had occurred at a local tavern near the Philadelphia Naval Yard in late 1943—an event that very closely fitted the contents of the newspaper clipping described by Moore and Berlitz. When Mayerchak went public with his story, he disputed the claim that the sailors in question disappeared without a trace, however; rather, he maintained, it was his understanding that instead they had briefly, and fantastically, flickered on and off. For our purposes here, the most important aspect of Mayerchak’s recollections is that he heard these accounts no later than 1949—a full seven years before Carlos Allende told his amazing story to Morris Jessup.
Bill Moore also cited the testimony of one Harry Euton, who was reportedly involved in a Top Secret Second World War experiment to test a new concept of camouflaging ships against enemy radar. Euton told Moore that during the experiment something went catastrophically wrong and the ship literally became invisible to the naked eye from the second anti-aircraft mount to the rear of the vessel. As a result, it had no discernible bottom and no stern. Euton described to Moore the very strange and disorientating feeling of standing on the ship, but being unable to see it beneath his feet. He added that it was his automatic (and highly understandable) reaction to quickly reach out and grab something to keep him from falling: he clearly remembered holding tight to a cable or pipe, which felt normal, but which he could not see. Euton also told Moore that several crewmembers vanished in the blink of an eye, while others were still visible, but did not appear as they did normally — a potentially significant point upon which Euton steadfastly refused to clarify or even discuss any further.
Berlitz and Moore,