Was The Philadelphia Experiment (Project Rainbow) A Hoax?

If you’ve landed on this post then you have more than likely heard of, or watched, the 1984 movie known as ‘The Philadelphia Experiment’.

The question, though, is whether the incidents depicted in the film really did occur or not?


‘The movie does actually give a fairly good representation of the real Philadelphia Experiment based upon what has been recorded.

The Philadelphia experiment acquired it’s popular name because it occurred at the Philadelphia shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Conducted by the US navy on the 28th of October 1943, the incident has since been highly suppressed.

The film, and popular opinion, suggests that a destroyer escort, the USS Eldridge, became invisible to human observers for a brief period of time.

Officially, this classified experiment is known as ‘Project Rainbow’.

To this day, the official line is that nothing out of the ordinary occurred during the experiment.


With the navy denying that an experiment to render a ship invisible took place, many believe that Project Rainbow is nothing more than a hoax.

The story is widely (but unjustly) regarded as a hoax.

Of course that may, or may not, mean a thing as there have, perhaps, been government cover-ups many times in the past.


The Philadelphia Experiment, if true, was undertaken by one Dr Franklin Reno.

Based upon Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory (UFT), it was to offer military benefits if successful.

Einstein’s UFT theory, which he later regretted sharing publicly, attempted to describe the interrelated nature of the forces that comprise electromagnetic radiation and gravity.

From a military point of view, it was thought that this theory might be used to bend light around an object, effectively rendering it invisible.

Requiring huge amounts of energy and specialised equipment, the navy had the funds to sponsor the cost…


The USS Eldridge was, it is claimed, outfitted with the required equipment at the naval yards in Philadelphia.

Tests then commenced in 1943.

Those who believe that the experiment took place claim that it was a partial success, with the ship being rendered partially invisible, replaced by a greenish fog.

However, it is believed that crewmen soon began complaining of severe nausea shortly afterwards, prompting the navy into modifying the experiment in order to achieve the simpler objective of  invisibility to radar instead.


The story of the Philadelphia Experiment continues by suggesting that the experiment was performed again, despite the fact that the equipment was not properly calibrated.

On this occasion, the vessel not only became almost entirely invisible to the naked eye, but actually vanished from the area in a flash of blue light too.

A naval base at Norfolk, Virginia reported spotting the Eldridge offshore briefly, at which time the vessel then vanished from sight, reappearing at it’s previous location in Philadelphia.

This has led some to believe that the ship actually teleported.


Nausea wasn’t the only illness experienced by crew members.

Some also suffered from mental illness as a result of their experience with behaviour consistent with schizophrenia being described in other accounts.

Such illnesses have later proven to be useful when their accounts have been dismissed by officials.

One crewman, Jacob L. Murray, who was aboard the Eldridge, still remains unaccounted for.

Officials immediately cancelled the experiment and all of the surviving crew involved were discharged.


What do you think really happened in October 1943?

Did the USS Eldridge really disappear, or teleport?

Are the government covering the experiment up and, if so, why?

Or is the Philadelphia Experiment just a hoax and a good movie?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. why on earth would you all think this is a hoax , for , by that right, the hoax has transpired , but , today that hoax still exists….so does the technology , was that a hoax too . does a hoax last for ever….. you all have a lot to learn …. this is why you will spend your life in slavery , and in the dark ,……………… so be it ,
    education and programing is what will , if you let it , control the amount of truth and information you take on board ,
    do not live in the dark , and do not be a slave….

  2. I have read the book Moore/Berlitz. If one believes in a holographic universe it is possible. Maybe something happened , it became invisible. But with so many things one cannot believe everything. Why can we not go and see area 51? Why didn’t the Russians go to the moon, did the Americans, why can they not go again? There never was water on the moon, and (since the Indian satellite) there is. Are there Haunebu’s? Is there a face on Mars? If people told the truth we would know it. One says this the other one that. Maybe there are flying saucers, show me one. Sometimes they just disappear, like the boat in Philadelphia. Is tehre a connection? Are the flying saucers experiments or aliens or Earthlings from Antarctica? Maybe Stonehenge was teleported, who knows.

  3. I thought the film of the Philadelphia Experiment was total pants but wouldn’t be surprised if the military actually had conducted such experiments.

  4. Dionne Collins says:

    I thought the film was quite good, though it is many years since I watched it last.

    Having said that I thought it was just a story then and do so now. I dont really think men can make objects invisible or teleport them, at least not yet.

    • If we could do those things then perhaps no-one would want us to know anyway – National Security and all that 😉

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