The Top 10 Stupidest/Weirdest Theories About Flight MH370

lost numbers

We all know the first part of the story: Early in the morning on March 8, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, just one hour into its flight, lost radio contact with air traffic controllers. After going silent in the Gulf of Thailand, the plane unexpectedly veered west and flew back across Malaysia, heading into the Strait of Malacca. As indicated by primary radar returns, it was last charted heading northwest towards a navigational waypoint called IGREX, near the Andaman Coast of Phuket. However, ACARS reports indicate that Flight 370 remained in the air for at least 4 hours after losing radio contact, and the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch collaborated with the satellite company Inmarsat to track the plane as far as the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia – meaning the plane was airborne for at least 8 hours after losing radio contact. As there are no potential landing sites anywhere near this location, it is assumed that Flight 370 crashed into the ocean. Despite extensive searches, not a single piece of debris has been found. Another search is scheduled for August. There were 277 passengers and 12 crew members aboard, making Flight MH370 the largest aerial disappearance in history.

mh370 map

Flight MH370’s last known movements (Daily Mail)

Contradictory and false information given by Malaysian authorities led many people to suspect that Malaysia knew exactly what had happened to its plane, and was suppressing the truth for reasons unknown. In Beijing, victims’ family members have protested and staged vigils outside the Malaysian Embassy, demanding the truth. One of the first Western conspiranoids to contribute a theory was Rupert Murdoch, who tweeted that jihadists had hijacked the plane to “make trouble for China.” Rush Limbaugh chimed in that the plane may have been shot down by some “hostile little country.” Then the professional conspiranoids took over. Here, in no particular order, are ten of the goofiest narratives they came up with to explain the disappearance of Flight 370.

10.   Scientific Sabotage

Retired Delta Air Lines Captain Field McConnell believes Flight 370 was hijacked to obtain information about pending technology patents from some of the passengers, Chinese employees of Freescale Semiconductor, an Austin-based microchip company. According to McConnell, Freescale has developed a classified technology that uses paint and electronics to turn regular jets into stealth aircraft. He points out that a patent (#8671381) related to integrated circuits and semiconductor wafers was approved just days after the plane vanished. McConnell and others have claimed that the rights to this patent were supposed to have been split five ways: 20% to Freescale Semiconductor, and 20% each to four employees who were on the plane. 

This theory isn’t completely out in left field, since rashes of odd scientist deaths related to innovative or secret technology have occurred a few times. In the ’80s, over a dozen British scientists involved in defense research died rather weird, untimely deaths; several of them worked for Marconi. But there have also been red herring Dead Scientist memes floating around in the conspiracy world for years, including the Dead Microbiologists meme that began shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The list of dead microbiologists thought to have some knowledge of U.S. and/or Iraqi bioweapons became so absurdly long that even community college biology teachers ended up on it.

Field McConnell’s theory crumbles under scrutiny. Not one of the names listed on patent #8671381 appears on the passenger manifest released by Malaysian authorities. To date, there is no evidence that any of the people listed on the patent worked for Freescale or that the patent has anything to do with Freescale.

It must also be noted that McConnell and co-researcher David Hawkins have one of the most batshit insane, least coherent websites on the entire Internets: Abel Danger. Don’t believe me? Try reading whatever the hell this is. The entire website is like that – lesbian assassins taking over the world, word salad, Floyd Cramer videos. Field McConnell is also the author of the self-published tome Lesbian Cults, Pedophile Oaths and the Guild of Patented Hits. I challenge you to read more than two pages of it on Amazon without getting annoyed. Can’t be done.

The Scientific Sabotage theory has been embraced by Henry “Lesbian Candy Bars” Makow, though he awkwardly grafts the Diego Garcia abduction theory (below) onto it. Needless to say, Makow also found a way to drop a Rothschild into the mix, repeating the snopes-debunked factoid that Jacob Rothschild owns Freescale. Rothschild is a member of the Blackstone Group’s International Advisory Board, and the Blackstone Group owns more 196 million shares in Freescale, but the Carlyle Group and TPG Group Holdings both own the same number of Freescale shares as the Blackstone Group does. Then Makow got bored with missing planes and returned to his usual gay-bashing and theories like “Jesse James Killed John Wilkes Booth by order of the Freemasons.”

9.   The U.S. is hiding the plane at Diego Garcia (AKA the Assphone Scenario)

This theory holds that either the plane was hijacked by agents of the U.S. government, then flown to the U.S. military base on the island of Diego Garcia, or the plane made an emergency landing at this base and was captured on arrival. 

 Here’s how it started: Shortly after the flight’s disappearance, a message and a photo were posted to 4chan by a man claiming to be a passenger. The message read, “I have been held hostage by unknown military personal after my flight was hijacked (blindfolded). I work for IBM and I have managed to hide my cellphone in my ass during the hijack. I have been separated from the rest of the passengers and I am in a cell. My name is Philip Wood. I think I have been drugged as well and cannot think clearly.”

The photo was just a black screen, but its Exif data identified the iPhone user, a time consistent with the plane’s last known movements, and GPS coordinates of a building on Diego Garcia.

Philip Wood, a 50-year-old IBM engineer living in Asia, actually was a passenger on the plane. Wood’s girlfriend, Sarah Bajc, has appeared on CNN and a few radio shows to air her belief that he and his fellow passengers are being held hostage at a secret facility. She hasn’t mentioned the Assphone message, but one has to wonder if she accepts it as genuine. I doubt that she does, because she seems like a smart lady.  And to accept the Assphone Scenario, one has to accept a shit-tonne of dodgy things:

  • that the abductors remembered to dose everybody with drugs, but forgot to confiscate phones from all of their super-secret hostages, on a military base that has wi-fi
  • that a successful, industrious adult man, caught in a situation that would make Jack Bauer twig out, decided not to email a loved one or post a message to Facebook or notify the FBI or send a message to his Congressman
  • instead, he chose 4chan, because credibility
  • he relied on 4chan for his salvation
  • srsly, people, fucking 4chan

8.   Accidental Shootdown and Cover-up (AKA the Whoops Scenario)

Whether Limbaugh really believed his shootdown theory or not is unclear. Let’s face it, most of the time he just says words on the air. If he believes his theory, then he thinks Malaysians accidentally shot down their own plane in blind panic.

Nigel Cawthorne has a different shootdown theory. His book Flight MH370: The Mystery, released in May, argues that a joint US-Thai fighter jet training drill accidentally shot down the plane. Fearing an international incident (or maybe just epic embarrassment), Thailand and the U.S. collaborated on a cover-up that would put Charles Widmore to shame.

Cawthorne is a freelance journalist and prolific author. His specialties are the sexual peccadilloes of English gentlemen and Hollywood starlets, historical military battles, ’60s celebrities, and true crime. His titles include The Mammoth Book of Football Hooligans and Takin’ Back My Name: The Confessions of Ike Turner. A review of Flight MH370: The Mystery by David Free of The Australian might confirm your suspicions about Cawthorne’s level of expertise in this area. The book contains many typos, factoids, and speculative scenarios, but no new evidence that would support the War Games/Whoops scenario.

7.   Black Hole, Wormhole, Portal from Donnie Darko

A poll posted on CNN‘s website reported that 9% of respondents thought it was either very or somewhat likely that the plane was abducted by aliens, “time travelers or beings from another dimension.” To date, CNN has not conducted a poll to determine how many people like to screw with CNN polls.

The notion that a “miniature” black hole swallowed the plane shouldn’t have gone anywhere, but CNN Newsroom host Don Lemon briefly entertained it on-air. Panelist Mary Schiavo gently informed him that black holes don’t work like that.

If it seems unbelievable that anyone could believe time travel made a jet vanish, keep in mind that people still buy into the Philadelphia Experiment and Montauk Project hoaxes.

6.   Reptilians or Whatever

Alexandra Bruce, a conspiracy writer who specializes in stories about reptoid aliens and New Age flim-flam, became the first person to throw out the obligatory “ALIENS” theory. Her evidence consisted of a YouTube video of a computer simulation of the plane departing from Kuala Lumpur,  in which the simulated plane seems to vanish in the presence of an aircraft Bruce identifies as a UFO.  Boston.com journalist Jack Pickell, in his own rundown of silly Flight 370 theories, pointed out that the “UFO” was clearly marked as Korean Airlines Flight 672.

5.   Predictive Programming

“Predictive programming”, which I have written about here and at Leaving Alex Jonestown, is the profoundly dumb notion that the baddies who run everything can’t do terrible things to us without asking our permission first (a common theme in the folklore of vampires, demons, and other supernatural entities). But they can’t just ask, “Mind if we kill several hundred of you today?”, so they resort to seeding clues about their plans into episodes of The Simpsons. As reported by the Independent, predictive programming experts agree that the 2012 Pitbull/Shakira song “Get It Started” betrays prior knowledge of Flight 370’s disappearance, containing lines such as, “Now it’s off to Malaysia” and “Two passports, three cities, two countries, one day.” The lyrics “No Ali, No Frazier, but for now off to Malaysia” refer to the shady character known as Mr. Ali (no word yet on who the hell Frazier is), and the “two passports” are clearly a reference to the stolen Austrian and Italian ones Mr. Ali provided to two mystery passengers. The song also mentions Times Square, Tom Cruise, and Manila. I think this means that Tom Cruise is going to marry a Filipino ladyboy on New Year’s Eve.

No fewer than eight people share the writing credits for “Get It Started.” In addition to making me fearful about the future of pop music in general, this makes me doubtful that the Illuminati was involved. I could see letting Shakira in on a secret plan to kidnap a planeful of people – she could never become an effective whistleblower, because people are so busy staring at her that they rarely hear a word she’s saying. But seven other people? That’s just silly. Besides, if Morrissey didn’t predict MH370, then no one did.

4.   A Scary-Ass Machine or Something

Mike “Health Ranger” Adams, who was recently featured on Dr. Oz’s TV show, ponders the fate of the plane in this article at his Natural News site. He dismisses the conventional explanations,  one by one, before telling us that an “entirely new, mysterious and powerful” weapon can make airplanes vanish without trace.  Whoever controls this Aircraft-Disappearing Machine clearly has the capability to dominate the whole planet. Elsewhere on his website, however, Adams opines that a rogue nation has commandeered the plane and will soon be using it as a “stealth nuclear weapon.”

langoliers

Maybe it was these guys.

3.    China

This theory, first proposed by Reddit user Dark_Spectre, also revolves around Philip Wood, who was an IBM Technical Storage Executive for Malaysia. Since IBM was one of the companies implicated by Edward Snowden as helping the NSA spy on China, maybe the Chinese hijacked the flight to abduct and interrogate Wood. And maybe the U.S. found out about it, located the plane, and killed all the passengers to prevent the Chinese from learning anything. Or maybe, in bloody retaliation for NSA algorithms, China patiently waited nearly a year after Snowden’s IBM revelations to off Philip Wood in a manner that looks totally accidental. Makes sense.

Eric-Snowden1

Fail.

2.    Israel

Israel framed Iran. Without actually framing Iran. Yoichi Shimatsu aired this theory during an interview with conspiranoid radio host Jeff Rense (below). Citing alleged eyewitness reports from anonymous sources, “Jews did 9/11” researcher Christopher Bollyn reported that a lookalike of MH370 is being stored in a hangar at Tel Aviv Airport, possibly for use in a future false flag attack by Israel.

1.    Distraction

No matter what you talk about, some dickhole is going to inform you that there’s something more important to talk about. In Conspiracyland, this is taken to the nth extreme, creating elaborate Russian nesting dolls of derp. For example, after mentally disturbed mother Miriam Carey was gunned down for driving through a barricade in D.C., Jones declared that her death was simply a distraction from the government shutdown, while the shutdown was “political theater billed as a government shutdown”, while the political theatre was just globalists reinforcing a false left/right paradigm. Is everything a distraction? Just where do distractions stop and real events begin, guy?

In the case of Flight 370, people opined that it was a distraction from the Ukraine, One of these people was David Hawkins, of the aforementioned Abel Danger website.

Technically, everything on this planet distracts you from something else on this planet. No one has to deliberately engineer distractions in an age of commercial-free television, beer pong, and breastaurants.

Perhaps we shouldn’t judge any of these wonky theories too harshly, though. Reporter and CNN commentator Jeff Wise has candidly admitted in a piece for Canada’s National Post that he poured feverish enthusiasm and plenty of money into pursuing a theory that turned out to be flat-out wrong. Unlike a lot of the other MH370 armchair detectives, who will defend their discredited theories to the death, Wise has admitted his error, and he explains just how easy it is to fill in the blanks or craft wildly imaginative scenarios when there are so many unanswered questions, so many red herrings, so many unknowns.
Like Flight 19, Flight 370 seems destined to become one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time…and that means we’ll be seeing scores more wacky theories in years to come.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Time Travel Photos, and Other Worthless Things

  • Irish filmmaker George Clarke has found a “time traveler” in 1928 film footage of the premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus. A woman in a fur coat approaches Grauman’s Chinese Theater with a cell phone clutched to her ear! Well, sort of. You can’t actually see what’s in her hand. At all. But in Clarke’s video, you can see a poster for one of Clarke’s films, as well as his production company logo. Hmm. (I have to wonder why any time traveler would carefully don era-appropriate clothing, yet yak on a future phone in a very public place right in front of a film crew. Also, how was she getting service?) (via Disclose TV)
  • Clarke’s cell phone lady is similar to the mohawk time traveler photo that circulated last month, and the “time-traveling hipster” from last spring. They’re more interesting than the photo of Jesus’ crucifixion, but not much more convincing when it comes to time travel. Unflattering haircuts and beards have existed for a long time, folks.
  • Octo-coverup: The untimely demise of Paul the psychic octopus may be more than it seems… Stew, anyone?
  • Over the years, there have been many weird hoaxes involving the collection of worthless objects for some worthy cause. Back in the ’30s, an 11-year-old Pennsylvania boy named Earl Baker saved up thousands of matchbox covers in the belief they would be used to procure an artificial leg, because a stranger had told him so. In this decade, hoaxes about raising money for wheelchairs, chemotherapy, and surgery by saving things like bottlecaps and potato-chip bags continue to circulate. (Messybeast.com has collected an astonishing number of these hoaxes, and Snopes has unearthed a few more.)
  • And the already-sad Randy Quaid arrest story gets even sadder, with Quaid and wife Evi claiming that a Hollywood assassination squad is gunning for them.

5 Unconvincing Paranormal Cases

Several months ago, a guy named Ian Tindell posted 5 Convincing ‘Real’ Paranormal Cases that “will give the average skeptic…food for thought” at Ranker.com.

He’s right. There is food for thought, and “real” does belong in quotation marks. Let’s review:

1. The “exorcism” of Annelise Michel. This was the case that inspired the mediocre horror flick The Exorcism of Emily Rose, but its actual ending was far grimmer than anything Hollywood could conjure. In the autumn of 1973, German college student Anneliese Michel began exhibiting strange behaviour at the University of Wurzberg (she was, like “Emily Rose”, 19); lashing out, refusing to eat, throwing tantrums. She was epileptic, but Anneliese’s parents consulted a priest instead of a doctor, and the priest recommended exorcism. The bishop reluctantly approved this decision, and two priests were assigned to perform the rite of exorcism on Annaliese – making this (as the trailer for Emily Rose blared) an official Catholic exorcism. Unfortunately, the priest who first recommended exorcism, Adolf Rodewyk, was not part of the process, and the advice he gave in his 1963 book Possessed by Satan went unheeded: Clerics should look for medical explanations for “possession” before assuming the worst. Rodewyk’s POV is commonly held by today’s clerics, but proponents of possession and Hollywood producers insist on turning stories like Anneliese’s into simplistic science-vs.-faith fairytales in which cold, ruthless rationalists undermine the beliefs of Everyman at the expense of both.

The exorcism of Anneliese dragged on for several months. It was 1976 and Anneliese was 23 before the process ended – with her death. She had refused to take (or had been denied) water and nourishment for so long that she wasted away to 70 pounds, and died without having seen a doctor.

The priests and Anneliese’s parents were charged with negligent homicide. In the film, the priest (played by Tom Wilkinson) is a pious man whose view of exorcism is vindicated by a sympathetic jury. The prosecutors are the villains of the story, refusing to accept what’s in front of their eyes.
In reality, the priests were found guilty in 1978. Astonishingly, they were sentenced only to six month suspended prison sentences for allowing someone in their care to starve to death. To its credit, the German Bishops’ Conference ruled that an exorcism could henceforth be performed only if a physician was present.

In the film, the evidence of demonic possession is overwhelming, invisible only to the thickest and most obstinate people. In reality, the symptoms of epilepsy and hysteria are nearly identical to the “symptoms” of supposed demonic possession. Audiotapes were made of Anneliese’s exorcism. In addition to the usual sounds of possession (growling, clicking, hissing), she spoke in the voices of the various spirits who inhabited her body: Hitler, Judas Iscariot, a murderous Jewish doctor, etc. The tapes are revealing. The accent used for Hitler differed dramatically from his real one, and none of the spirits revealed any knowledge that couldn’t be gleaned from textbooks and the Bible. (“Cries of a Woman Possessed: German Court Hears Tapes in Exorcism Death Trial” by Michael Getler, Washington Post, April 21/78).

Anneliese’s death was an agonizing one, and entirely preventable. A 23-year-old woman did not have to die of thirst and starvation. The case bears far more resemblance to the death of Lisa McPherson than to the average exorcism, though I must point out that numerous exorcisms have led to fatalities.

2. Swarnlata Mishra and the reincarnation of Biya Pathak. This is a strange selection for a best evidence list, as it is virtually identical to other reincarnation stories.

3. John Titor. OMFG, tell me you’re kidding. This was just a goofety-assed ‘net hoax. As I wrote in “Time Travel Hoaxes Part I“, John Titor was sent back in time to fetch some archaic computer technology for the bigwigs of the future, who are apparently too busy watching Rocky XXII to run their own damn time-travel errands.
Titor surfaced online in 2000, claiming to be a visitor from the year 2036 with nothing better to do than lurk on 36-year-old message boards devoted to Art Bell and ancient astronauts. He offered up a dazzling array of “predictions”, including:

  • 2004: Civil war would erupt in the U.S., pitting militias and other armed citizen against something he called the American Federal Empire.
  • 2014: Civil War II ends when Russia attacks the U.S. WWIII begins. The U.S. loses, and is reduced to ruins along with China and the EU.
  • 2036: America is rebuilt and back on its feet, though considerably diminished. Then Mad Cow becomes pandemic, affecting virtually every beef-eater on the planet. Despite all these setbacks, the U.S. is in possession of time travel technology. In fact, time travel would become a reality in 2001, right after CERN’s larger facility began operating.

Titor said he was a U.S. soldier working on a time-travel project based in Florida. His mission: Go to 1975 and retrieve an IBM1500 computer, which could be used to debug legacy computer programs (the UNIX 2038 timeout error). Titor’s granddad had been involved in its development. Like another time travel insider, Dan Burisch, Titor believed in some kind of parallel timeline or universe. Hence, the past he was in wasn’t actually his own past – just a very similar one.
Titor decided to make an unscheduled stop in the year 2000 to save some family photos that he knew would be destroyed in Civil War II (making one wonder why he would want photos of people who weren’t really his ancestors, just similar to his ancestors). While there, he decided to blow the minds of a few basement dwellers by posting photos of his time machine on the Coast to Coast AM (C2C) online forum and at anomalies.net. (It was housed in a ’67 Chevy Corvette, but Titor later moved it to a truck so he could have four-wheel drive.)
Titor never coughed up a single piece of evidence, not even anything as lame as dental floss from the future. In fact, he never showed his face at all.
He returned to 2036 in the spring of 2001. A website devoted to his wisdom is still up, though, and for a time his attorney and spokesman, Larry Haber, remained a frequent guest on C2C, sharing Titor’s information about all the terrible things that were supposed to happen to us but actually didn’t.

4. The Abduction of Travis Walton. This one at least has some evidence in its favour. The UFO witnesses passed polygraph exams, and everyone involved has given a consistent account for the past 35 years.

5. Belfaazar Ashanitson.This is just stupid, because it’s only remotely linked to the paranormal (or rather, myths and legends about the paranormal). Mr. Ashanitson is a dude who consumes human blood from willing donors because his energy flags unless he does so. Probably just anemia, but it’s a lot sexier to say, “I’m a real vampire” than to just take an iron supplement, isn’t it?

E.T. Phone Lawyer

Two “lol wut” moments in ufology

While Stephen Hawking muses that we shouldn’t engage with potentially hostile ETs, and exopolitician Alfred Webre accuses Hawking of taking part in a massive ET smear campaign/time travel coverup, Dan Ackroyd (an exopolitician in his own right) airs his opinion that aliens of 23 different species should be arrested on sight for abducting Earthlings. But he figures aliens don’t want any part of Earth citizens after 9/11, so it’s kind of moot. This does raise an interesting question, though: Should human laws apply to visiting aliens? And if we reach their planet(s) someday, should their laws apply to us? I’d say “no”, but I’m obviously not privy to the same info as Mr. Ackroyd is…

Since 1974, Vancouver grandma Dorothy Izatt has been filming UFOs and anomalous lights that flit around her house on a regular basis. This footage, taken in the mid ’90s, supposedly shows three aliens standing at the “porthole” of their craft. According to some viewers, the alien in the forefront can *clearly* be seen moving its head and/or arm.
In other words, some grayish blobs appear onscreen.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup

  • Our old buddy Alfred Webre is taking Stephen Hawking to task not only for talking smack about theoretical aliens, but for being part of a vast time travel cover-up. I actually admire this, because it takes serious skills to live at this level of WTFery 24/7.
  • This rather insane site insists that the recent shooting death of a man named John Hemenway has something to do with his father’s participation in the Birther crusade. The senior John Hemenway was an attorney in Philip Berg’s Hollister v. Soetoro lawsuit, which was thrown out of court faster than a drunk bailiff. The “logic” here goes that rather than just whacking Hemenway (which wouldn’t be difficult; he’s in his 80s), Obama’s secret guerrilla death squad or whatever killed his son. Maybe they don’t like frivolous lawsuits.
  • Roughly five minutes after Polish Air Force plane Tu-154 crashed in Russia on April 10, conspiracy theorists around the world were declaring it the assassination of Polish president Lech Kaczynski. Clearly, the New World Order created the dense fog and crappy visibility that precipitated the crash. Now Truthergirl Karen is on the case, wondering if the globalist scumlords took out Kaczynski because Poland didn’t fall in line with The Great Swine Flu Plot of ’09, or because it considered going against the EU’s monetary interests. Now she’s repeating the claim that Andrei Mendierej, a videographer who filmed the crash site, has also been assassinated. There are a few fishy things about this crash, but the main problem with the New World Order assassination theory is that Kaczynski was actually quite chummy with the NWO (or at least the G.W. Bush branch of it).

 

Hoaxes From Space: Lingering Questions About the Philadelphia Experiment and the Montauk Project


Continued from Hoaxes From Space: The Montauk Project

Is there any chance the Philadelphia Experiment really happened, and that a lot of dumb-a** hoaxes have become attached to it?

Not really. Given the amount of time and money that the military-industrial complex devoted (and still devotes) to nature’s version of invisibility – plain ol‘ camouflage – they haven’t been able to make big stuff literally disappear yet. They’re working on small-scale invisibility with groovy metamaterials, though.
The only eyewitnesses to the supposed disappearance of the USS Eldridge are lifelong pranksters and hoaxsters fascinated with UFOs, alternative energy, and mind control.
There is one tantalizing possibility concerning the experiment, but I’m sorry to say it still doesn’t involve a disappearing ship. In the early ’40s, some of the greatest names in American sci-fi literature were serving in or working for the Navy, and were stationed at the Naval Air Experimental Station at the Philadelphia Navy Yard: Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague DeCamp, and Robert Heinlein (as a civilian engineer). L. Ron Hubbard was also there for a time, before heading off to California to do other stuff. It’s tempting to speculate that some of these guys were chatting about their fiction one day, and were overheard by a young merchant marine sailor with a penchant for tall tales, one Carl Allen…
But as for anything really happening? Naval records, as well as the recollections of sailors known to have actually served on the Eldridge, show that it never even docked in Philly during WWII. No one has identified even one of the sailors who went insane and ended up in mental institutions. No record of the Cameron brothers and their sinister father exist. And Aleister Crowley never mentioned anything about meeting Preston Nichols, a traveler from the future.

If it was all such an obvious hoax, why is the story still believable to so many people?

First of all, it’s a pretty good story. It’s spooky, it’s science-fictiony, and it’s a hell of a lot more intriguing than Bigfoot poop. Secondly, the Navy’s initial interest in the story lent it a great deal of credibility – even though the officers who commissioned the Varo Edition were merely acting on their personal fascination with flying saucers. Then several mass market paperbacks lent the tale some more credibility. Thirdly, while nearly everyone has heard of the Philly Experiment, who knows the name of Carl Allen, an obscure Pennsylvania drifter and prankster? As Swift put it, “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after.”
I’m happy to report that the truth is finally putting on its pants, though. The History Channel program History’s Mysteries did a show on the Philly Experiment, and included the full background of Carl Allen and his hoaxes.

Who is this Al Bielek, anyway?

The funniest, saddest aspect of the entire Philly Experiment/Montauk Project hoax is that Bielek, Duncan Cameron, Preston Nichols, and their cohorts have already told us exactly who they are and everything we need to know to realize they’re full of sh**. Cameron freely admits he’s way too young to have been aboard the Eldridge during WWII, and explains that away with a very complex and retarded story about the government using alien technology to capture and store his soul until it could be implanted into his own younger brother.
Bielek admits he was working a day job in California for the duration of the Montauk Project. Lucky for him he had special access to every commuter’s wet dream, a secret high-speed underground magnetic levitation train! But as with Bob Lazar moonlighting as a photo developer while reverse-engineering extraterrestrial craft, I have to wonder why the hell the government didn’t just make Bielek quit his job in Cali, transplant to the East Coast, and take another mundane cover job closer to the Montauk facility. That would have cut down his commute, which was still two hours cross-country.
Some of Bielek’s real history can be found at a site called Bielek Debunked, but be aware that the creator believes the Philly Experiment really happened – Bielek just wasn’t involved in it, in his opinion.

I suspect that Bielek and Nichols hooked up through their involvement in the Psychotronics Association, shared their fascination with all things fringy, and decided to create a personalized sci-fi mythos that could get them some attention, some cash (Nichols’ three books on Montauk, co-authored with Peter Moon, are still in print and available at just about every New Age bookstore), and of course some cheap entertainment. What did they have to lose?

Is there any evidence that mind control and/or time travel experiments were secretly conducted at Camp Hero (Montauk) after it was shut down in 1981?

Aside from the “eyewitness testimony” of Preston Nichols, Stewart Swerdlow, and a few other men, no.

After serving its purpose as a coastal bulwark and a nuclear-detection facility throughout WWII and most of the Cold War, The Montauk Air Force Station was considered borderline obsolete and was shut down. Spy radar had replaced its SAGE radar. By the time it was supposedly serving as headquarters of the Montauk Project, Camp Hero’s old radar system had been disabled and the area was a state park.
Even if you found Preston Nichols’ stories of Drano-chugging lizard men believable, the fact that he represents them as repressed memories is problematic. Sure, the military could use some of its cool alien technology to wipe his memory banks, but how did he recover those memories such a short time later?
Swerdlow now makes his living giving workshops on how to overcome and combat mind control.

Is time travel even possible?

Technically, surprisingly, yes. Check out Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Impossible. Or watch Lost: The mechanism that transports islanders to Tunisia in the blink of an eye probably creates a wormhole through space/time, as the island has both a sufficiently enormous electromagnetic force and a natural Casimir Effect, which generates the exotic matter needed to stabilize a wormhole.

How about age-regression technology?

I sometimes doubt that age-regression technology of the kind described by Bielek will ever be perfected, but then I look at Sarah Brightman and reconsider.

Pants Afire Awards

The Pants Afire Award goes to the least credible people I’ve written about here on Swallowing the Camel.
And the lucky winners are…

Benjamin Fulford, saving the world with Freemasonic ninjas

Larry Sinclair – Obama’s gay lover and his murder allegations

James Frey – Bad writer, no Pulitzer!

Sylvia Browne, the whiskey-throated emodiment of epic FAIL

Dr. Deagle – taking WTF to whole new levels

Al Bielek – He survived the Philadelphia Experiment only to be zapped back to infancy. Never trust the government, folks.

Casey Anthony – Whether she’s guilty of killing her daughter or not, this girl has got to be one of the least competent liars in the history of lying.

Richard “Iceman” Kuklinski – He became the world’s most infamous Mafia hitman without actually working for the Mafia or being a hitman.

Hoaxes From Space: The Montauk Project

Continued from The Philadelphia Experiment Part II: Along Came Bielek

Meet Me in Montauk

When Al Bielek was recruited into the Montauk Project (then called the Phoenix Project) in the ’50s, it had just been transferred from the Navy to the Air Force and divided into two separate, but loosely connected, programs: Electromagnetic mind control experiments, and time travel experiments. A third, unofficial, program consisted of basically cooking human guinea pigs with radar beams of 100 million watts. A few planes were accidentally shot down during these experiments, so in the ’70s air traffic was restricted over the Montauk base.

Bielek and Duncan Cameron were both aware of the murders of test subjects, but at the time they did nothing to stop them or alert the public to what was happening at Montauk. Just one of the many flaws in their story. To be true heroes (or even just whistleblowers), they would’ve had to tell these horrifying tales decades earlier than they actually did. The way they tell it, it seems like they were every bit as evil as they would like us to believe John Von Neumann and the military officers in charge of the project were.

The civilian head of the project was still John von Neumann, who faked his death in 1957. Bielek claims he is the “Dr. Reinhard” in Moore and Berlitz’s book about the Philly Experiment. He was in charge of the Phoenix Project until 1977, when a split personality he’d developed became a problem. A Dr. Herman C. Unterman took over. Von Neumann’s alter ego, Howard E. Decker, moved to New York and became a surplus electronics dealer.

The Montauk Boys

In the ’70s, Bielek was put in charge of the young men and boys involved in the Montauk Project, directing all the operations of the mind control program during his evening shift. During the day, he conducted ELF research in Los Angeles. In the early ’80s, he gave presentations on his work at the annual conferences of the U.S. Psychotronics Association, and claims he shared research results with William Bice, the “first person to detect the Russian Woodpecker signal“. (As this signal was picked up by amateur radio operators in numerous locations, I seriously doubt that anyone knows who noticed it first.)

It’s worth noting that ELF research was very popular among mentally disturbed, science-minded conspiracy theorists in the ’70s. Among them were Philip K. Dick and Ira Einhorn, who still insists the FBI framed him for the murder of his girlfriend because he knew too much about psychotronic mind control – even though the woman’s putrefying, reeking corpse was found in his bedroom closet after body fluids leaked into the apartment below his.

The Montauk Boys, as the Montauk test subjects are called by Bielek and company, were brought in beginning in the ’60s and housed in a bunker on the base. Most of these boys were blonde and blue-eyed, ranging in age from 10 to 16. Most were street kids or foster children. All were physically, sexually, and emotionally brutalized, to break them down for mental reconditioning (why anyone would publicly claim to be part of a project like this, I do not understand). Using alien technology, the scientists then eradicated the boys’ thoughts and memories and replaced them with “new”, fully indoctrinated minds. Just what they were reconditioned to do is unclear. Some of the boys were also subjected to genetic experiments.

Preston Nichols and Duncan Cameron have explained that part of the Montauk Boys’ new psyches were somehow copied from Duncan’s, so they had to be genetically similar to him (blonde and blue-eyed) in order for the process to work. This makes about as much sense as saying that a wall clock has to look like a grandfather clock in order to keep the correct time.

To date, only one of the Montauk Boys has come forward to discuss the torture and mind control carried out at Montauk, and that man is Stewart Swerdlow. Preston Nichols has claimed to have deprogrammed several survivors, but none of them have publicly discussed the project under their real names. Today, Swerdlow conducts workshops and seminars on the history of covert government mind control.

The Cameron Boys

Throughout the ’70s and most of the ’80s, Duncan Cameron and Al Bielek worked together at Montauk without realizing they had once been half-brothers, or that they had taken part in the Philadelphia Experiment (though Bielek admitted to a fascination with it). Bielek had no inkling that he had been age-regressed and adopted; Cameron had no clue that he was the reincarnation of his own dead brother, also named Duncan, born in Germany in 1917. Cameron says that in 1963, his soul was transplanted into the body it now occupies (which belonged to a child born to his parents in 1951). This “explains” why he is technically far too young to have served on the Eldridge during WWII. I wonder what happened to the soul of the child Duncan Cameron? That part hasn’t been explained. Not that the explanation would make much sense.

The Camerons’ father, Alexander Cameron, came out of retirement after WWII to participate in Project Paperclip (smuggling Nazis into the U.S. and South American countries). Peter Moon (real name Vince Barbarick), who wrote three books about Montauk with Preston Nichols, draws links between Dr. Mengele’s genetic experiments and the Montauk Project. It’s very interesting to note that Peter Moon also co-wrote Ong’s Hat: The Beginning with Joseph Matheny.

Alexander also had some role in training the crew of the Eldridge for the Philly Experiment. He was selected to instruct 33 volunteers at the Coast Guard Academy in Groton, Connecticut. As the story goes, most of these men disappeared, burst into flames, or were driven insane by the experiment.

Bielek possesses a photo that supposedly shows “his” father standing on the deck of the ship with some sailors, the only physical proof he has ever presented in support of his stories. But even Duncan Cameron seems to doubt whether this is really his father. At any rate, in 1939 Alexander pressured his two sons, Edward (born to a mistress in 1916 ) and Duncan (born to Alexander’s wife in 1917), into joining the Navy and becoming part of Project Rainbow. They had the perfect qualifications. Duncan had a physics degree from the University of Edinburgh, and Edward had a Masters from Princeton and a doctorate from Harvard. As with Bob Lazar, the government apparently scrubbed their academic backgrounds, because there is no record of the Cameron brothers at any of these schools.

The Cameron brothers’ first Navy assignment, in early 1940, was to observe the Project Rainbow operations at the Institute for Advanced Study and explain them to Navy and government officials who couldn’t possibly understand them. For most of 1941, they served at sea on the Pennsylvania. On December 5th, they were returning to Pearl Harbor from a short furlough when they were summoned to see Admiral Hal Bowen, chief of the Office of Naval Engineering. He informed them that Pearl Harbor would soon be attacked by Japan, so they were being reassigned to San Francisco. At the start of 1943 they were shipped back to the Institute to resume their observations of Project Rainbow. They crunched some numbers and realized that Tesla’s concerns about “personnel problems” related to invisibility were valid. Reluctantly, Von Neumann tried to avert catastrophe by adding a third generator to the ship. However, it was removed after it arced and put a technician into a coma for four months. Tesla didn’t want to use crew members during the big test, but the Navy wouldn’t budge from its March 1943 deadline. Finally, Tesla secretly sabotaged the equipment and bowed out of the project. Von Neumann took over. T. Townsend Brown, alleged antigravity pioneer, was also on the project at this time, designing the antennas that would be used on the Eldridge. By January 1943, the ship was outfitted with the two generators, the motor drive, the diesel electrical system to power it all, four RF transmitters, the two tower-mounted antennas designed by Brown, and Tesla’s Zero Time Reference Generator. According to Preston Nichols, this was a vastly important piece of equipment. Zero Time Reference is the geocentric centre of our galaxy; everything has to be referenced to it. Though it was ingeniously designed by Tesla, the generator apparently didn’t function as intended, and that’s why many of the sailors ended up deranged. The power on the Eldridge disrupted the sailors’ time references; they had been unmoored from the only reality they had ever known, ripped from their time locks without warning. To combat these and other problems, Von Neumann later developed the first all-electric computer. By 1953 a Dr. Goldston had perfected the new system, and another test with a different ship was fully successful.

On July 22, 1943 the first test with crew aboard was conducted, with a Captain Hangle in charge. At 0900 hours the Cameron brothers threw the switches, and the ship vanished for 15-20 minutes. The sailors on deck were severely nauseated and disoriented afterward, but suffered none of the dramatic effects that would mar the August 12th test. The Navy bigwigs decided that the goal of this test would be radar invisibility only, since optical invisibilty was too risky. Doy.

On August 12th, everything went as planned for the first minute or so. When the Camerons threw the switches, the Eldgridge vanished from radar while remaining visible.

Then there was a flash of blue light, and the Eldridge vanished. The time tunnel to Montauk opened, swallowing up the Camerons and one of the three UFOs that were apparently observing the Philly Experiment. There’s a big fat paradox here, because while a sodden Edward Cameron was chatting with a not-dead John Von Neumann in 1983 Long Island, the exact same man – Alfred Bielek – was obliviously working at his day job in Los Angeles. That evening, he took a secret, magnetic levitation train to Montauk without ever knowing that he had visited the facility earlier in the day. Add this to the other paradoxes that have already piled up. For instance, while Edward Cameron was studying at Harvard, he was also (in the form of Al Bielek) attending high school in New York. Bielek says these paradoxes were explained by the theories of MIT prof Norman or Henry Levinson (the name varies in Bielek’s speeches), but the scientific establishment has ensured that Levinson’s work remains buried and unknown. He supposedly died in 1974. Needless to say, I can’t find a trace of him.

Another invisibility test, sans crew, was conducted in October. It failed utterly. Equipment was missing when the ship reappeared, and the control room had been mysteriously destroyed by fire. In 1948 or ’49, according to Bielek, the military rendered an F-80 invisible, but the pilot vanished in mid-air and the plane crashed with its helpless passenger.

Though he would later insist he had no interest in the paranormal or the unexplained aside from the Philly Experiment, Bielek was already on the scene in the ’50s. He met Ivan Sanderson and confirmed for him the authenticity of some “rod” photos taken by Trevor James Constable. This is extremely interesting, because (as previously mentioned) Sanderson was a good friend of Morris K. Jessup – the man at the centre of the original Philly Experiment hoax.

Back to Montauk

While Nichols and Bielek worked on technical aspects of the Montauk Project, maintaining equipment and supervising the Montauk Boys, Duncan Cameron became the project’s star psychic. The researchers had already learned how to enter human minds, and were eager to use an alien chair that would employ a human-computer interface to transmit messages from one human brain to another. Duncan became the project’s primary sender of telepathic messages, creating a virtual reality scenario in his mind and sending it to a Cray 1 computer. From there, the scenario would be sent to the radio transmitter and beamed to the intended recipient(s). Duncan could virtually recreate any time and place in history, and it could be projected anywhere in the world. Thoughtforms could actually be materialized through this method; cans of beer, which you could really drink, were routinely beamed to the commander’s desk. But the thoughtforms wouldn’t materialize on any reliable schedule, so the techs were put to work on the task of fully mastering time. Soon, they had a functioning time tunnel on the base.

In the ’80s, time travel experiments commenced at Montauk, and Al participated in some of them. Both he and Duncan traveled to Mars on several occasions. With other team members, Al also traveled to a research station set up in 10,000 B.C., to the year 6037, and to several distant planets. On some of these other worlds, researchers collected “light” and “dark” energy in canisters.

But Wait, There’s More!

Everybody knows that stories about invisible ships and time travel and mad scientists faking their own deaths would be boring as hell without some aliens, right? That’s probably why Preston Nichols and Duncan Cameron added a few. Nichols says that in ’75 or ’76, a flying saucer that was not of manmade origin suddenly appeared in the magnetite deposits beneath the Montauk facility, materializing out of nowhere. He assumes it was one of the three saucers glimpsed by Duncan as the Eldridge was sucked into hyperspace; for some reason, it had taken a few decades to fully materialize. Soon, Bielek and Nichols were working alongside aliens. A 7-foot-tall reptoid named “His Highness Draco Something-or-Other” used the office adjacent to Preston’s. He somewhat resembled the Gorn from Star Trek. He liked to sip Drano.
Gray aliens were also running around the base, and they reeked because they excrete through their skin. Project members made a habit of grabbing the ugly little guys and flinging them into the shower, until one enterprising employee came up with the idea of dousing a Gray with Lysol. This is how they learned that Lysol is an intoxicant to Gray aliens; from that point on, the Grays got smashed on the stuff at every opportunity, while His Highness Draco enjoyed his Drano.

The Beginning of the End

On August 12, 1983, the Montauk scientists opened the tunnel between 1943 and 1983. Back in 1943, the Cameron brothers leapt from the deck of the Eldridge in Philadelphia only to end up at Camp Hero in 1983. Duncan recalls seeing three vast UFOs hovering in the vicinity of the wormhole when the ship vanished, and one of these craft slipped into the wormhole along with the Camerons. Years later, in 1975 or ’76, it would spontaneously materialize in the underground facility at Montauk. The aliens had telepathically influenced the scientists to conduct the Philly Experiment and the opening of the Montauk time tunnel on these specific dates so they could enter our world from another dimension. Nichols says the earth’s biocycle makes August 12th a significant date every 20 years, energetically speaking.

Von Neumann and the other Montauk researchers had finally realized they were playing a very dangerous game (never mind torturing young boys, frying homeless people, or subjecting sailors to time travel). They wanted to call the whole thing off, but they couldn’t; the time tunnel they had opened was “locked in” to the equipment on the Eldridge. Someone would have to travel back in time and destroy it, or else the “bubble” that surrounded the ship could expand and swallow up the entire planet. Von Neumann ordered the Cameron brothers to do this, and both men have taken credit for dismantling the equipment with axes – but both insist they did this without the other’s help. At any rate, the equipment was trashed and both projects were shut down (Rainbow temporarily, Montauk permanently). A section of the Montauk facility that had been floating in hyperspace as the result of an experiment spontaneously returned to Long Island, and the Eldridge rematerialized in Philly with its crew deranged or embedded in the ship.

At least, that’s one version of the story. The other version, told by Duncan Cameron and Preston Nichols, is that renegade workers on the Montauk Project (themselves included) had decided to sabotage the project by having Duncan summon a ravenous and angry monster from another dimension while he was seated in the alien chair. This plan worked. The monster, nicknamed “Junior, rampaged through the Montauk facility, terrifying scientists and technicians. The project director ordered a powerdown. Nichols cut wires to the transmitter with an acelatylene torch, but the transmitter kept going. He had to venture into the transmitter building itself to pull more wires. Again, nothing happened. Finally, he made his way to the master controls on the second floor and succeeded in shutting down the transmitter. Junior returned to his own dimension, or to Duncan’s brain, or whatever, and the facility was saved. The project, on the other hand, was promptly shut down. But Bielek and company have hinted that it probably continued, maybe even to this very day, in some other form at some other location.

Back (Foward?) to Philly

After the Philly Experiment, Edward Cameron was assigned to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, then to Camp Hale in Colorado around the same time that Dr. Vannevar Bush was directing the recovery of a crashed UFO at Aztec, New Mexico. (As you may know, the Aztec UFO crash was one of the stupidest and most poorly executed hoaxes in the history of ufology, and it was thoroughly exposed years before Bielek made this statement. But this hasn’t stopped the more credulous ufologists from fixating on it.) Bielek also describes a small alien recovered from a ’49 UFO crash. It had chlorophyll instead of blood, communicated telepathically, and could walk through walls. The military kept him in a Faraday cage for about two years, until he died. This alien gave Von Neumann some tips on how to improve the technology used in the Philly Experiment, and Von Neumann also dipped into metaphysics and the occult in search of help. From his studies he learned that each person has a “time lock” from conception, that we live in a 5-D universe, and that time flows. His findings would be incorporated into the Montauk Project.

By 1947 the Navy apparently had no further use for Edward Cameron. Von Neumann ordered that he be age-regressed to the age of one and placed in the care of Albertina and Arthur Bielek of New York in the year 1928. Meanwhile, Duncan Cameron had returned to the year 1983. The loss of his time lock caused him to age and die within days, despite the Navy’s best efforts to save him. It was up to Al Bielek to convince “his” aging parents to have another child so that Duncan’s soul, stored in a Navy facility, could be transplanted into the child. The new Duncan Cameron was born in 1951. In 1963, the old Duncan’s soul was placed in the new Duncan’s body. Both Cameron brothers lived out their new lives without any conscious awareness of their previous existence. Then, in 1988, the memories of Edward Cameron surfaced in Al Bielek’s mind as he watched The Philadelphia Experiment on HBO.

Bielek and Preston Nichols have a silly story about how the movie came to be made. It was produced by EMI-Thorn, the merger of EMI and Thorn Industries, a maker of scientific instruments established around 1820 and inherited by the Wilson brothers in 1850. This much is factual. But Preston Nichols claims that in July of ’89, the “chief archivist” of EMI-Thorn showed up at his lab unannounced to tell him that the company had been searching for him for a long time. He presented a group photo featuring the Wilson brothers, Aleister Crowley, and Preston Nichols. It was taken in 1890. Apparently, Nichols had been sent back to this year and had told Crowley and his pals all about the wonders of time travel. Then his memory of the trip was erased. It seems someone with EMI-Thorn had recognized Nichols from the photo while he was attending a U.S. Psychotronics Association conference in New York, and knew they had finally found the man Crowley described as “not of this time”. Back in 1890, the archivist explained, Nichols had given the Wilsons all the details of the Philly Experiment. They were recorded and stored away until, in the ’80s, EMI-Thorn decided to turn them into a shitty B movie.

Preston Nichols, whose memories of the Montauk Project were artificially repressed by the military, regained them while working on a time transducer in his personal lab.

Bielek’s handlers must have realized something was up, because Bielek was quietly removed from government contract employment. In ’89 he began giving public lectures on his part in the Philly Experiment. He made a big splash among ufologists with his January 13, 1990 MUFON presentation in Dallas. He may have met Nichols at the February 1989 Psychotronics Association conference in New York, where they both gave presentations unrelated to the Philly Experiment.

The reason the government didn’t try to silence him, Bielek explains, is that he and his “half-brother” Duncan had something of a special, protected status within the Montauk Project. Their bodies were “locked in” with a biorhythm stabilization cycle that would be complete on August 12, 2003 – exactly 60 years after the Philadelphia Experiment. If either man was harmed before that date, time would go all wonky. Or something. This doesn’t explain why the government still hasn’t shown any interest in Bielek and company, of course. They’ve been promoting their tales through lectures, interviews, and books for over 20 years without the slightest impediment, convincing hundreds (perhaps thousands) of very credulous people that the government knows all about telepathy, teleportation, thoughtforms, time travel, total thought control, age regression, soul transference, and at least two species of intelligent extraterrestrial or ultradimensional entities.

Part II: Lingering Questions

Hoaxes from Space: The Philadelphia Experiment Part II



Along Came Bielek

In 1988 , an elderly man named Alfred (Al) Bielek began giving interviews and lectures about his involvement in the Philadelphia Experiment. Or rather, the involvement of a Navy sailor named Edward Cameron. As Bielek has explained it, the U.S. government used alien technology to age-regress Cameron back to infancy, then placed him with the Bielek family of New York.
Whatever the hell was going on, Bielek was consciously unaware of his previous existence until January of 1988, when memories of his life came back to him during a late night showing of the movie The Philadelphia Experiment. He realized that as Edward Cameron, he had been on board the USS Eldridge with his brother Duncan when it dematerialized in 1943, and was transported into the distant future.

If you’re confused, I have to warn you that it only gets stupider from this point.

Al Bielek was “born” in 1927 (according to the forged birth certificate provided to him) and became an electronics engineer in California and Arizona, working for various military contractors. His first unusual life experience came in 1956, when he encountered a man he now identifies as Mark Hamill. The actor would have been about 5 years old at this point, but apparently this was a future Mark Hamill who was dropping in on 1956 for some reason.

Al Bielek’s account of the Philly Experiment differs dramatically, in many respects, from Carl Allen’s. For one thing, he doesn’t consider the Navy blameless. He claims the Navy knew exactly what kind of dangers the sailors unwittingly faced, and rather than mothballing the program, they eventually expanded it into a series of deeply unethical mind control and time travel experiments called the Montauk Project.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, several more “survivors” of the two projects stepped forward to corroborate Bielek’s tale. Duncan Cameron claimed to be Edward Cameron’s brother, reincarnated, as well as the psychic superstar of the Montauk Project. Preston Nichols claimed he had been a chief electrical engineer on the Philly Experiment and the Montauk Project, working alongside several races of extraterrestrials in the underground facility beneath Montauk. Stewart Swerdlow claimed to have been one of the many young male victims of the Montauk Project, one of the lucky 1% who were not mentally incapacitated by mind control experimentation.
According to Preston Nichols and Duncan Cameron, aliens had initiated the project by establishing telepathic contact with human scientists and basically coercing them to open a time tunnel between Long Island in 1983 and Philly in 1943. The Philadelpia Experiment ripped a hole in space-time, enabling aliens to invade Earth a short time later. Bielek claimed the same group of ETs met face-to-face with FDR aboard the battleship Pennsylvania in 1934, somewhere in the Pacific. There he struck a deal with the aliens, trading “planetary privileges” for ET goodies. The meeting was arranged by Nikola Tesla.

In this new version of the story, Tesla – not Einstein – was in charge of all the experiments that would culminate in the Philly Experiment, collectively called Project Rainbow, beginning in the early ’30s. He had been in contact with alien intelligence since 1895, the year he projected radio waves into outer space and received signals from another planet in return. Later, telepathic communication with the aliens enabled him to develop some of his most sophisticated devices: the induction motor, new kinds of generators and transformers, a system of AC power transmission, fluorescent lights, a new kind of steam turbine, and plans for a new wireless transmission of power (free energy). It was on Long Island, not far from the Camp Hero Air Force station where the Montauk Project would be conducted, that he set up a tower that would have sent out this free wireless energy. No investor was interested in that. His career went into a tailspin, though he continued to dream of astonishing inventions until his death in 1943. He died ten months before the Philadelphia Experiment.
The initial stages of the top secret invisibility project began under the aegis of a Navy-sponsored team that included Tesla and Austrian physicist Dr. Kurtenauer. In 1933 the project moved to the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton. (Recall that this was the same period when physicists at the Institute began hanging out with a time travel commune hidden in the New Jersey pine barrens.) It was at this time that John von Neumann joined the Rainbow working group. Einstein was aware of the project, but didn’t participate directly (in the Montauk Project accounts of the experiment, Nazis were also involved).

Preston Nichols says the funding for Project Rainbow came from $10 billion worth of Nazi gold (WWII-era U.S. dollars!) that was looted from a train in or near Paris by U.S. Army soldiers at the end of WWII. Supposedly, the gold ended up on a ship bound for Long Island. This ship sank just off Montauk Point, where the loot was secretly retrieved by U.S. Navy divers and stowed in the underground facility.
Incredibly, the project plowed through this money and had to be propped up by funding from ITT and Krupp.
Preston said “several movies” have been made about this train robbery, but I can’t identify any such incident. The train featured in The Train was stalled in Paris, but its contents were seized by the Resistance and returned to their rightful owners. The Hungarian gold train was looted by the U.S. Army, but it was never in Paris. It was seized by the Allies in Austria. Neither train contained anywhere near $10 billion in gold; the Hungarian train held about $4 billion in gold by 2007 standards, adjusted for inflation.

In 1936 the Princeton group conducted its first partially successful experiment in invisibility. The first large-scale test was conducted in March, 1942, and was a complete failure; Tesla covertly sabotaged it in protest of the Navy’s insistence on having a crew aboard the Eldridge during the experiment, despite his strong recommendation that an unmanned ship be used. He also wanted to work out some more bugs before the first test, but the Navy refused to give him any more time. Tesla left the project in disgust.

In Bielek’s version of events, the Eldridge ended up not in Virginia, but in the waters off Long Island very close to Montauk. So close, in fact, that Bielek/Cameron and his brother were able to swim to shore after leaping from the rematerialized boat. Little did they know they had actually leapt into a wormhole. Disoriented and scared spitless, they assumed they were still just a short distance from the Philadelphia naval dock. It came as quite a shock to emerge from the ocean onto Montauk Point. They slogged to the nearest building, which turned out to be a military facility. Strange, isn’t it, that in all accounts of the experiment, the ship spontaneously transported to nearby U.S. military property rather than, say, the middle of an island in the South Pacific?
They were evidently expected, because a guard ushered them into the underground facility to meet with none other than one of the leading lights of the Philadelphia Experiment, John Von Neumann. Von Neumann informed the men that the Eldridge had been sucked into a time tunnel linking Philadelphia in 1943 and Long Island in 1983. Never mind that Von Neumann died of cancer in 1957. That’s just a cover story.

Somehow, both Cameron brothers ended up in hospital in the year 2137. Al was later transported to 2749 and spent two years there, working as a tour guide.

After the disastrous Philly Experiment, Project Rainbow was temporarily discontinued and the funding redirected to the Manhattan Project. Then, in ’48, Rainbow was quietly resurrected by the Air Force to perfect the technology. This resulted in the development of stealth aircraft, which can literally go invisible. Another project undertook psychological research to learn why the Eldridge sailors went insane. This part of the project was known as Pheonix, and was conducted at Brookhaven National Lab. It incorporated the findings of MK-Ultra, the results of the Philly Experiment, and the energy theories of ubercrank Wilhelm Reich. Ultimately, Pheonix was a long-term experiment in electromagnetic mind control and the manipulation of psychic powers. The invisibility and mind control projects were christened the Montauk Project.

In the late 1950s Bielek was recruited into this top-secret Montauk Project on Long Island, former site of SAGE radar experiments. Every single day for 30 years, Al would work his ho-hum day job in Los Angeles, then travel to Montauk. At first he hopped a secret magnetic levitation subway train to Long Island, which took just two hours. By early morning he would be back in L.A. Later, as the project evolved, he was simply teleported back and forth.
The base was fully (but secretly) re-activated around 1972, including the radar satellite (because it operated on the same frequency as Reich’s orgone energy). This is when Preston Nichols joined the project as an electrical engineer with defense contractor PJM, specializing in radar-jamming equipment. He was put to work on the satellite transmitter.

Things were about to get crazy.

Part III: Meet Me in Montauk

Hoaxes From Space: The Philadelphia Experiment Part I

The Beginning

In July 1955, a paperback copy of Morris K. Jessup’s recent book The Case for the UFO arrived at the Office of Naval Research in Washington, D.C.
Jessup was an auto parts salesman who had once studied for a doctorate in astrophysics at the University of Michigan (he is sometimes misidentified as an astronomer). He had a deep interest in scientific ufology, believing that rigorous study of the physics of UFOs might unlock the secrets of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory, among other things.

The book had been mailed anonymously from Seminole, Texas, addressed to Admiral N. Furth (a nonexistent officer) with “Happy Easter” scrawled across the envelope. Naval officers found that the book had been copiously annotated by hand, apparently by three different anonymous people (but penned by just one man, as it turned out). These notes were far more intriguing than the book itself, which was a rather standard examination of the flying saucer phenomenon. The author of the notes claimed to know exactly where the alien visitors hailed from and how their vehicles functioned. In fact, he provided so many details that the more imaginative ufologists would wonder if the notes had been written by the aliens themselves.
The author included tantalizing references to things like vortices and magnetic nets, motherships, a Great Ark, a “great bombardment”, and “telepathing”. He also gave the outline of a mysterious “Philadelphia Experiment” conducted under the auspices of the Navy in 1943. Einstein, who was helping the Navy develop conventional weapons at the time, had agreed to apply his incomplete Unified Field theory to the problem of radar invisiblity – and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
In the 1880s, German physicist Heinrich Hertz observed that radio waves passed through some objects while reflecting off of others, and realized the incredible potential for detecting objects at a distance. In the 1920s, the U.S. Naval Research Lab experimented with Hertz’s findings and discovered that an interference pattern was returned when a ship or a plane passed through a radio signal. Two decades later, as international tensions escalated in the run-up to WWII, microwave radar was rapidly developed. By 1939, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US possessed functional radar systems.

The next goal: Achieving radar invisibility. But according to the margin notes in Jessup’s book, the Navy went a step farther, and aimed for optical invisibility as well. Einstein himself worked out a way to envelop a destroyer escort (an anti-submarine ship) in an electromagnetic “fog”, a forcefield so powerful it would bend light rather than reflect it, rendering the entire ship invisible.

Whether he knew it or not, the author of the notes had sent his information to just the right people. Captain Sidney Sherby had developed a deep interest in UFOs after one of the best pilots under his command watched a glowing saucer fly in formation with his plane for 5-10 minutes. Commander George Hoover, chief of Special Projects, was also intrigued by saucer sightings, and both men were frustrated by the military’s reticence on the subject. Sherby referred to Blue Book as a “one-way street” and a “sink” into which UFO reports vanished.
Sherby was impressed enough with the bizarre revelations in the margin notes that in 1957 he sought Jessup’s permission to print several hundred copies of the annotated version of his book. It came to be known as the Varo Edition.

Jessup wasn’t too surprised by the notes. Months before his book arrived at the ONR, he began receiving related information in the form of letters from one Carlos Allende of Gainesville, Texas. Among other things, Allende explained that there were two races of extraterrestrials active on Earth; the benevolent “LMs” and the hostile “SMs”. This is strongly reminiscent of the Deros and Teros central to the Shaver Mystery, which was still playing out in the pages of FATE magazine when the Navy received the book.
All of these letters, just like the annotations in Jessup’s book, were batsh** insane. They were written in stilted, grammar-challenged English, with many capitalizations and underlinings. But you have to give the guy some credit for spreading the insanity around. Nowadays it’s easy to slap your craziness up on the ‘Net for all the world to enjoy; back in the ’50s, he actually had to stamp and address all this lunacy.
The first letter Jessup received from Mr. Allende chided him for encouraging his readers to demand government research into Unified Field Theory. He didn’t realize the dangers, Allende warned darkly.
He claimed that as a merchant seaman, he had witnessed the Philadelphia Experiment from the deck of another ship berthed at the Philadelphia Naval dock (the USS Andrew Furuseth), and described in detail the surreal torments suffered by the crew of the destroyer escort used in the experiment, identified in later letters as the USS Eldridge.
Allende watched the Eldridge become encased in a green, “fiery” fog like St. Elmo’s Fire. Then it vanished from sight and radar for several minutes. It flickered back into view, briefly, before teleporting 300 miles away to the harbour at Norfolk, Virginia. When it reappeared in Philly a second time, the skeleton crew on board had undergone irreparable and horrifying changes. Those who were not fused to the steel parts of the ship were prone to spontaneous combustion, going “blank”, or getting “stuck” (unable to move, as though catatonic). Others made it through the experiment safely but vanished in midair later, in front of mystified family members. Over half the surviving crew members had gone insane and had to be permanently confined to psych wards.
Allende opined that the Navy was probably blameless in the whole catastrophe; they didn’t know such terrible things would happen when they reached into the outer limits of science.
In his second missive to Jessup, penned four months later in response to a letter requesting more information, Allende volunteered to undergo hypnosis or take sodium pentothol to help him recall the names and service numbers of some of his shipmates. No one took him up on this offer.

Though he remained quite skeptical of Allende’s claims, Jessup was fascinated by all these weird stories – particularly the Philadelphia Experiment. He tried his hardest to unearth any evidence that could corroborate Allende’s account. By 1959, his research had reached a critical point. He told friend J. Manson Valentine that he had important news to share with him about it, and even claimed the Navy had approached him about joining similar projects. Then his car was found in a park in Coral Gables, Florida, a hose running from the exhaust pipe to the window. Jessup was inside it.
Naturally, quite a few ufologists promoted the idea the idea that there was something sinister about Jessup’s death. Gray Barker fanned the flames the hardest. A friend of Jessup, Ivan T. Sanderson (whom we met in Time Travel Hoaxes?), indicated that Jessup had feared for his life in the days before his death.
But the clues led unmistakeably to suicide. Jessup had sent letters to several people expressing thoughts of ending his life. One of them was addressed to paranormal radio talk show host Long John Nebel (the Art Bell of his day), in which Jessup outlined an afterlife experiment he wanted Nebel to perform on-air after his death. Nebel was to try to contact Jessup on the other side (Jessup’s widow reportedly threatened to sue Nebel if he actually did this, so the experiment was never carried out). When his stepdaughter May learned of Jessup’s death, she automatically replied, “How did he do it?”. By all accounts, he had been deeply depressed for at least a year prior to his death. Financial woes, marital trouble, and professional problems had overwhelmed him. No one really knows if the disturbing stories related to him by Carlos Allende, about deranged sailors and malevolent alien entities, played any part in his emotional decline – but they certainly couldn’t have helped.

In 1967, eight years after Jessup’s death, Allende began sending letters to another ufologist, Jacques Vallee. They were more or less identical to his previous missives, but now Allende seemed eager to make a buck off his notoriety; he offered to sell Vallee flying saucer blueprints for a mere $750, and his own copy of the Varo Edition for $6000. He referred to it as “the book that killed Einstein (so hard was its psychological blow on the good & gentle Einstein)”. Never mind that the Varo Edition was printed two years after he died.
Allende also made more startling revelations, notably that in May or June of 1947, as a crew member of the SS Maylay (a nonexistent ship) he had survived a collision with a UFO that was 1600 feet in diameter. The enormous explosion caused his hair to fall out in clumps, and in the morning the Maylay was coated with a layer of “angel hair” (tinsel-like stuff frequently reported in early close encounters).

Carlos Allende appeared to be a drifter, posting his letters from places as widely separated as Texas, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Several of them were mailed from New Kensington, Pennsylvania, which just happened to be the home of UFO/sci fi enthusiast Robert Goerman. Beginning in the late ’60s, Goerman attempted to track down Allende and verify details of his stories. By this time the Allende enigma had found its way into dozens of books and magazines devoted to UFOs; he had attained near-legendary status in the UFO community without ever showing his face. In fact, it was probably his elusiveness that led so many people to become obsessed with his stories in the first place.
Then the phantom appeared, briefly. In the summer of ’69, a gaunt and jug-eared mean stepped into the Arizona headquarters of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), holding a copy of Jessup’s The Case for the UFO, and introduced himself as Carlos Allende. He declared that the annotations had been “the wildest pack of lies I ever wrote”.

This confession didn’t dim the allure of the Philly Experiment. Instead, it fired even more interest. In 1979, William Moore and Charles Berlitz released their book The Philadelphia Experiment. We’ll be meeting Moore again in the saga of Paul Bennewitz and the Dulce base; for now, I’ll just mention that he’s not exactly the most trustworthy source for accurate information. In fact, he’s an admitted disinformationist and hoaxer.
The Philadelphia Experiment
speculated that the Eldridge had been briefly transferred to another dimension, perhaps even coming into contact with alien beings. And it contained several jaw-droppers, including Moore’s interview with a “Commander Reinhard” who confirmed that the experiment took place more or less as Allende described. More than anything up to that date, Moore’s and Berlitz’s book triggered intense public interest in the Philadelphia Experiment. Allende’s story confirmed that the government does, indeed, hide all the really cool stuff from us. Wanting a piece of the action, Allende recanted his confession and resumed his letter-writing.

Meanwhile, John Goerman was still searching for Allende. He had only managed to locate two of his brothers, Randolph and Donald. Imagine his surprise when an elderly neighbour, Mr. Allen, mentioned in the course of a chat that Randolph, Donald, and “Carlos” (Carl) were his sons. He offered Goerman a boxful of papers, containing letters from Allende and assorted documents. Most of the letters were every bit as disjointed and bizarre as those sent to Jessup and the Navy, but the box held one priceless gem: Carl Allen’s seaman’s papers, bearing the same ID number that he had included in one of his letters to Jessup. At long last, the mystery man was exposed. To be generous, he wasn’t quite what the ufologists expected.

“Carlos Allende” was born Carl Meredith Allen in Springdale, Pennsylvania, in 1925. His brother Donald said he was exceptionally smart, scoring high on an IQ test, but did badly in school. He spent a great deal of time annotating nearly everything he read.
Goerman realized there wasn’tanything mysterious about Carl Allen. He was an eccentric teller of tall tales, plain and simple. He describes their eventual meeting as the most anticlimatic moment of his life.
To Goerman’s surprise, other UFO enthusiasts weren’t receptive to information about the real Allende. He had a hard time finding an outlet for his article on the man. It was ultimately published in the October 1980 issue of FATE, the same magazine that launched the Shaver Mystery.
Allende was furious at being outed as a fibber. He wrote to his father that he wanted to shoot Goerman. Since his ’60 confession to APRO, he had stuck to his story about the Philly Experiment.
In 1983, science writer Linda Strand somehow obtained an interview with Carl Allen in Boulder, Colorado. Puffing a pipe, he informed her that everyone he had ever talked to about the experiment had died under mysterious circumstances. “Within two years,” he said, “you’ll be dead as a doornail.”

Allende himself died in a Colorado nursing home in 1994.

Part II – Along Came Bielek