The Telegraph has jumped on the bandwagon with their “History’s Greatest Conspiracy Theories” article…the kind that makes you click through several pages of ads to get through them all.  Still, it is worth the slog.  As anyone who knows me can attest, ‘m a believer in #24, about Fluoridation and the hazards of it.

In my novel, “The Altered States of Hector Haveck,” I had a story arc which delves into #22, the Philadelphia Experiment.  There’s no doubt in my mind that this one was a hoax; nevertheless, it is a persistent and fascinating one!

Here’s an excerpt from the book: 

OFFICIALLY DENIED HISTORY: Philadelphia, USA/ 28 October 1943

Philadelphia Navy Yard, onboard the Naval Destroyer Escort USS Eldridge“Honor to meet you!” Commander Ray Perrin, Sr. shouted above the din of the shipyard.  “You shouldn’t be onboard, though.  Too dangerous!”

The professor appraised the pink-cheeked officer with a mix of good humor and diffidence.  “On paper I am assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance; in reality I am chief consultant on this project,” Albert Einstein replied in his characteristic high-pitched voice, so full of humility.

“Reality?” Perrin retorted with a grin.  “In this place it’s an illusion.”

Einstein blinked.  “An interesting expression.  Fear me not, I am aware of all possible contingencies, and none cause me concern.”  Nonetheless the physicist paced up the well-mopped section of the warship’s deck in order to return to the dock.  With the signing of the new Lend-Lease Act, America was willing and able to build warships for the Royal Navy, but a problem had arisen in the realm of sea warfare–steel ships, inherently magnetic (plus permanently magnetized during construction) induced a charge as they traversed the seas, crossing the Earth’s natural lines of force.  Germany had laden the waters with magnetic mines triggered as ships passed near.  To foil the mines, a method of disguising a ship’s magnetic signature was devised.

Degaussing ran charges throughout the vessel, causing magnetic invisibility.  But the Navy was interested in actual invisibility as well, via the bending of light around the ship.  And they wanted it yesterday.

Professor Einstein was brought in, and thus was hurriedly built a new device using his ideas alongside the technology of an older scientist, Nikola Tesla.  The Nobel Prize-winning Einstein was to invited to attend the premiere of the initial testing; Tesla the pauper had died earlier that year, but was never on the guest list anyhow.

“Permission to leave the ship?”

Commander Raymond H. Perrin, Sr., guffawed.  “Granted, and I believe I’ll come with you!  Lewis!” he called to one of his men, “have you seen Junior?”

Seaman Lewis came to the position of attention.  “No, Sir, I saw him earlier, looking for you.  I told him to go down and wait on the dock.”

Perrin nodded as Einstein widened his eyes.  “Your son is here,” the physicist asked, “yet you show concern for my safety?”

“Junior’s been witness to about everything I’ve ever worked on.  I’m grooming the boy.”  This from a man who’d been groomed himself.  Perrin was to sew on captain by year’s end…

“But this project is Top Secret.”

“He’s four!  Admiral doesn’t mind…”

The physicist from Ulm thought of his own sons, Hans and Eduard, then shrugged; it was the Americans’ game, they could do what they wanted.  He went down, followed by the chattering commander.

“If this works the Krauts are in for a surprise.”  Perrin pointed to the thick cables wrapped around the entire ship, asking again about the precise nature of the pending procedure.

“It is technical,” Einstein stated with a little frown.  “Simple terms–the voltages traversing those cables will scramble the Eldridge’s magnetic signature.”

“Yes, yes,” Perrin said, “tell me about the light disruptor and how your Unified Field Theory applies.  And what of Mr. Tesla’s concerns?”

Slicking back his wild hair, which popped back, Einstein’s grimace deepened.

Herr Tesla is cosmic dust.  And in his final years, the legendary inventor had lost his grip on reality.  Indeed Tesla had voiced concerns about the experiment when the Navy had offered him a consultation job…last year.  It was ironic; the Serb had been trying to sell his various schemes to the Navy for years but when they did ask for his opinion, he hadn’t told them what they wanted to hear.  And so they ignored him.  Einstein had heard him out and weighed his arguments before ignoring him, too.

He was once a genius but near the end of his days, Tesla went the way of too many thinker.  What was it he’d feared?  The ship might vibrate out of this plane of existence! 

The main problem was Tesla did his mathematics in his head.

If he’d used a blackboard he should have seen the fallacy in his equations.  And perhaps, the physicist thought with a touch of professional annoyance, he would have then accepted my theories instead of going to the grave debunking me.  He should’ve stuck to electrical engineering.

In any case, none of Tesla’s inventions had ever been devised to be used as a so-called light disruptor, and Einstein himself admitted his Unified Field Theory was far from complete.  So whatever the Navy had constructed and was planning to switch on at today’s event, it would be as much a surprise to Einstein as to anybody else, despite his earlier remark.

“We will begin soon?”

Perrin straightened his starched shirt, unaccustomed to curtness.  “Aye.”  The commander flipped the switch on an intercom on the wall.  “Lewis, all hands ready on deck?”

“All hands ready, Sir,” came the static-laden reply.  They overheard another crewman mumbling, “Ready for what, I dunno…”

The Altered States of Hector Haveck is available for digital purchase from’s Kindle Store!

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