It was during my first visit to the historic Montauk Lighthouse that I noticed the huge radar dish which immediately identifies the base. I must have been about eight years old and remember asking my parents about the monstrous structure. My father said it was part of a system to detect incoming enemy aircraft or missiles. As a retired Air Force Officer, he would know about that. However, I’m certain that he had no idea what future (or past) events would give that base such an infamous reputation.
I had plenty of friends that worked in the Long Island technical community. During the days of the Cold War, those jobs were everywhere if you qualified. Part of qualifying sometimes meant having a parent or other relative already on the inside. David was a good example. His father worked for the government or government contractors since the days of the Second World War. That helped David put his engineering degree to good use for the same company where his dad worked until his death a few years back.
I thought I had a good working knowledge of the Philadelphia Experiment up until 1987. After years of researching it and speaking with second and third hand witnesses, I was about to get a bit closer. David asked me to come and give a lunchtime talk about UFOs for his coworkers. His company sponsored these midday events once a month for employees who cared to attend. It was all about lessening stress in a very stressful work environment.
After discussing UFO reports and sightings on Long Island for about fifty minutes, I asked if anyone had comments or questions. There were plenty. Most came from people that had seen UFOs themselves. For some reason, there weren’t many skeptics in the room. One guy asked me about the Philadelphia Experiment. In turn, I asked if everyone in the room was interested enough in the subject for me to spend another twenty or thirty minutes talking about it? They were.
I gave the group a kind of thumbnail sketch about the infamous World War II Navy project, then proceeded to explain how a simple program to degauss battleships turned into a massive project to make ships invisible. I explained how there was credible evidence to believe that scientists and engineers working out of Princeton under Einstein had actually made a ship invisible and opened a sort of space time portal during a series of experiments.
The experiments took place in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and along the east coast of the United States. The trial and error process saw a test crew placed aboard a battleship escort vessel for sea trials of the new technology. A technology which didn’t always work correctly costing lives and creating more questions than answers.
David called later that night to thank me for speaking at the lunchtime event. He said everyone that came to the event talked about it for the rest of the day and those that didn‘t attend, wish they had. I thanked him and admitted that I came away with as much information as I had imparted in terms of UFO sightings. After some friendly chatter, he invited me to his house on Saturday and said he had wanted to discuss something about my investigations. He asked if I would come alone and I agreed.
Saturday arrived and found me standing at David’s door around two in the afternoon. He opened the door and invited me in. My friend looked spent. I sat down in his living room and waited while he ran down to the basement to get something. He reappeared moments later with a large lockbox, opened it and handed me an old photo album. Then he dropped the bomb.
David’s father was a gifted engineer and had a knack for designing complicated machines and electronic devices. Radio and electronics were a hobby for him, but he was better at those things than most professionals. I assume both talents came in handy for the Philadelphia Experiment.
David asked me to listen while he read from the journal. It was a diary that his father kept during the early 1940s. He carefully chose sections that could be read, ignored others and explained that there were things he couldn’t share with me. I understood and was grateful for what he was willing to reveal.
He read about ten hand-written pages. Although no names or specifics were mentioned, the diary did note that he was at Princeton working on a project special project during World War II. He was one of several young prodigies personally recommended by Albert Einstein and engaged by the Navy. They were developing a system of magnetic detection devices to protect our harbors against infiltration by ships and submarines. These would be part of a multi-faceted system which would include radar, hydrophones, magnetic detection devices and more. That was what they told him.
Everything changed when he arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. The group from Princeton was told to develop a system which would demagnetize ships and make them radar invisible. David skipped over a lot. When he resumed reading, his father was in the middle of an experiment with one of the moored ships. There were no crew members on board, just several carefully chosen junior officers that acted as caretakers.