"Philadelphia experiment"

Tue Jan 7 15:46:56 EST 1992

Forwarded from SKEPTIC.  (Unless someone comes up with something startling
new, this will be my last on the subject.)

Bill Melchior
National Center for Toxicological Research
Jefferson, AR  72079
(501) 543-7206

wmelchior at ntdoc.nctnet.gov
From:	SMTP%"SKEPTIC%YORKVM1.bitnet at VM.USC.EDU"  7-JAN-1992 14:30:20.15
To:	Multiple recipients of list SKEPTIC <SKEPTIC at YORKVM1>
Subj:	Re:  "Philadelphia experiment"

From:         Thomas Faller <tomfal%TR6.WES.ARMY.MIL at VM.USC.EDU>

More on the "Philly Special"..

Seems that truth is stranger than explanation .. my source on this is an
article by John Keel, in _The Fringes of Reason_, ed. by Ted Schultz. Keel
seems to have been immersed in cult lore and UFOlogy for 35 years, and has
seen it all.
The part about a section in the Philadelphia shipyards being closed off is
apparently so. It was part of the Manhattan Project, to build the atom bomb,
and sailors had seen strange equipment and wires, odd-looking professors, and
yes, Einstein, come and go.
The explanation about "demagnetization of ships" was disinformation. It was
spread by the security people guarding the Project.
The rumor was set in motion by a lone sailor named Carl Allen, a.k.a. "Carlos
Allende", who sent the information about the cryptic goings-on and an article
about sailors being terrified by unknown electrical phenomena aboard a ship to
a popular UFO researcher, A.A. Merritt. Merritt edited a Sunday supplement
called _The American Weekly_. Merritt, a Fortean and science fiction writer,
connected these items with a bit of embellishment, and the legend was born.

An interesting point is that the part about the sailors being frightened is
originally from an article in _The Philadelphia Inquirer_, of August 1, 1904.
It had been reprinted, with garnish, during the 30's and 40's, and had caught
Allen's eye. The connection with Philadelphia came only through the original
publisher, but that was enough to become welded to the rest of the tale.

A reference given in the text of this article is:
  _The Philadelphia Experiment_
  William L. Moore
  1979, Fawcett Books, New York
available for $4.50, postpaid, from Random House, 400 Hahn Rd., Westminster, MD
21157      800/638/6460

I hope that this settles some of the argument. The rest, about top-secret
ships and the rest will need better documentation before it disturbs my sleep.

Tom Faller

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