During the 1992 International Tesla Symposium, the authors took the opportunity to once again visit the site of Tesla’s Colorado Springs laboratory and nearby Prospect Lake, where many of Tesla’s experiments were conducted in 1899.

While walking around the Monument in War Memorial Park our conversation turned to the book by William Moore and Charles Berlitz on the Philadelphia Experiment.

A colleague at Battelle had introduced us to the story in fall of 1989. One of the presentations at the last ITS Symposium concerned the topic, and as we walked we began to ponder out loud how we might rationally explain such an experiment.

The following is the result of our reveries.

The world of magnetic, today is extremely complex.

During the 1940’s and 50’s high field magnetic became “big physics”, and it would be impossible for the authors in this small space to even attempt a modern analysis of this topic.

Instead, we believe that there is some merit to employing the sort of physical arguments, both classical and relativistic, that would have been available by scientists of the decade preceding the Philadelphia Experiment.

This is not a discussion of anything even remotely like the Navy’s new “Sea Shadow”.(7)

It has been asserted that the initial Philadelphia Experiment took place “sometime between July 20 and August 20, 1943. 11(8)  Simply put: in the experiment(s) a big coil of wire was wrapped around a large ship.

The ship became invisible in a foggy green mist and a lot of people on board were hurt. (Some thought they went through a rip in the fabric of the space-time continuum, were teleported from the Philadelphia shipyards to Norfolk, Virginia, and saw alien humanoids).

The respected names identified with the experiment include Albert Einstein (1879-1955),* Rudolph Ladenburg (1882-1952), John Von Neumann (1903-1957) [and his Gottingen dissertation advisor, David Hilbert (1862-1943)], Nikola Tesla (1856-January 7, 1943), Oswald Veblin (1880-1960), Burtrand Russell (1872-1970), Gabriel Kron (1901-1968), Vannevar Bush (1890-1974) and a host of other recognized men of renown whose common interest seem to include, among other things, an historical association with things of interest to the Navy, and submarine detection in particular.

The Department of the Navy has officially identified the experiment as mythical, having its genesis in a 1955 book on UFO’s,(9) not Naval science.(10) Perhaps the story really was mythological. However, if that’s the case, then our hats are off to the brilliant scientist that spun this gossamer web of fantasy – for no ordinary laymen could have done it.


*Einstein served as a consultant for the R&D Division of the US Navy Bureau of Ordnance from May 31,1943-June 30,1946. Interestingly, according to the FBI Einstein file [QC 16 ESU55; OCLC #13720407; Title #3892869], Einstein was in Philadelphia during the time of the alleged Philadelphia Experiment. (On the evening of August 10, 1943 he spoke before the Philadelphia section of the “Friends of Soviet Russia”.)


1994 Tesla Symposium at Colorado Springs

Why Tesla?

Polyphase Currents and Rotating Fields

Tesla’s Reflections on Radar and Ships Wrapped in Coils of Wire


Sommerfeld on Electromagnetic Stealth During WW-II

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