In January 1988, after seeing the movie “The Philadelphia Experiment”, Al Bielek’s (a.k.a. Ed Cameron) memories started returning. In 1989, Al Bielek (Ed Cameron) made the decision to go public with the information about his involvement at Montauk and the Philadelphia Experiment. (Background: Our Friend, The Ether (Part 25), Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of November 26, 2013.)
What is to follow in this and (hopefully) several future installments of “Our Friend, The Ether” comes from my notes of a 2-and-a-half hour interview of Al Bielek. An embedded video link to that interview, conducted by an interviewer whose name I do not know, should appear above. Alternately you can do a YouTube search on “Bielek Philadelphia Experiment”.
The Philadelphia Experiment in a sense began in 1931. Nikola Tesla, Dr. John Hutchinson of the University of Chicago, and a staff physicist, Emil Kurtenour (sp?) became involved in a theoretical study: “How do you make an object invisible?” A feasibility study was done. While the feasibility study was ongoing, in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was sworn in as U.S. President. FDR asked Nikola Tesla to visit him in Washington, DC. FDR wanted to talk with Tesla as an old friend from the time of the First World War. (In 1917, Tesla had been requested to do work for the government. Franklin D. Roosevelt had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1913 until 1920.)
Tesla and other scientists had been separated from the old Marconi works, the North American Marconi Corporation, which had been dissolved. In 1919 a new company, RCA, was formed. Tesla and other scientists who had originally been with the Marconi works came in and worked with RCA. Tesla held a position through 1939 with RCA. But Tesla was doing other things during this time.
Unlike the eventual Tesla, a recluse living in a little hotel room in New York City, the renowned electrical genius was anything but a recluse in the 1930s. Called to Washington by FDR, in the course of conversation the president had asked, “What are you doing these days?” Tesla talked about the feasibility study on making objects invisible. Roosevelt thought awhile and told Tesla he would like to have him continue his work on invisibility as a possibly worthwhile military project. FDR offered Tesla the chance to direct the research. Money would be provided by the U.S. Navy, which FDR had strong ties to consequent to his time as Assistant Navy Secretary. The money was provided, “under the table” (i.e., black budget), from the Office of Naval Engineering. The location for the project was moved to the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey. This Institute had just opened, in 1933. The four original staff members are given by Al Bielek as “Dr. Alexander”, Dr. Oswald Veblen, Albert Einstein, and John von Neumann. Tesla was not officially a member of the Institute, but was a consultant to the project.
The theoretical work on the invisibility project was continued in New Jersey, no longer in Chicago, at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The IAS at the time had no physical presence so it used facilities at Princeton University for their work. The Institute for Advanced Study became a premiere think tank engaged in extremely leading-edge science. T. Townsend Brown later became part of the IAS, either as a consultant or full staff member. (Brown worked on the problems of the German magnetic mines, done with the U.S. Navy but also overlapping the Philadelphia Experiment. Brown, an expert in RF (Radio Frequency), eventually was brought on for the Philadelphia Experiment.) Dr. Norman Levinson of MIT was also involved as a consultant to the IAS project. Levinson wrote five books on mathematics which are publicly available.
An early experimental test of the invisibility project was done in 1936, at the IAS. This early test was not successful but at least gave the team members a better idea of what they were doing and showed them they were headed in more or less the right direction.
Al Bielek joined the Navy in 1939, after his work on a Ph.D. in physics. He entered the project and found out later that what they had been trying to do in the early experiment was create a field around an object which they wanted to become invisible. The 1936 test object was something small, “perhaps like a tea cup on a table.” This required relatively low power. Light and any electro-magnetic energy, according to the theory, would pass either through the object or around it. If there is no reflection from the object, obviously it is invisible.
After the 1936 test, with renewed hope, the team kept working on their invisibility project. A “very successful” test was done in 1940. By then not only was Al Bielek involved with the project but also his brother, Duncan Bielek.