In 1943, the United States Navy is working on a secret project. The aim is to develop a cloaking device that will render the Navy’s ships invisible to enemy radar. The project head is Doctor James Longstreet (Eric Christmas). Longstreet and his team are conducting experiments with their cloaking device. The current experiment is to try to render a destroyer escort, the USS Eldridge, invisible. The ship is presently docked in Philadelphia. Two of the sailors onboard helping to man the equipment for the experiment are David Herdeg (Michael Pare) and Jim Parker (Bobby Di Cicco).
At first it looks like the experiment is working, but then things go horribly wrong. David and Jim try to turn off the equipment but to no avail. Instead of causing the ship to just be invisible to radar, the entire ship disappears. In desperation David and Jim jump from the ship. The two are plunged into a vortex and suddenly land, at night, near a small town. Just as suddenly, the town disappears, and the sailors find themselves in the desert in Nevada. What they don’t know is that they have been catapulted into 1984. Eventually they come upon a small but busy diner.
While David and Jim are being assaulted by 1984 technology and fashion, a now elderly Doctor Longstreet is conducting new and improved cloaking experiments. This new experiment is what caused the town to disappear. The energy from it is causing an electrical storm to brew overhead and creating a vortex. The storm is affecting Jim. A discharge from Jim’s hands causes the spontaneous destruction of two arcade games in the diner. When the police are called David and Jim flee, taking a young woman, Allison Hayes (Nancy Allen), captive.
Eventually the police catch up to them and they are captured when their car rolls over. Jim ends up in the hospital suffering from seizures. During one violent one, Jim disappears. When the military show up at the hospital, David and Allison go on the lam. Allison, falling in love with David, follows him in his search for answers on what happened that day in 1943. His search will eventually bring him face to face with the person responsible for everything that happened, and who is now responsible for what could be the destruction of the world, unless David can stop it.
“The Philadelphia Experiment” was released in 1984 and was directed by Stewart Raffill. It is an American science fiction film and a time travel movie. The movie was based on Charles Berlitz’s and William L. Moore’s 1979 novel “The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility”. The film was distributed by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures company. John Carpenter was an executive producer on the film. This is one movie that is very much worth seeing.
Reportedly, in 1943, a Navy destroyer was teleported from Philadelphia, PA to Norfolk, VA. The event was referred to as The Philadelphia Experiment and, in some cases, Project Rainbow. The ship was called the USS Eldridge. Such a ship did exist, but her logs have no mention of ever being in Philadelphia. It was, however, in Norfolk in November 1943. There are reports that the crew of a civilian merchant ship, the SS Andrew Furuseth saw the Eldridge suddenly appear in Norfolk. The logs of the Furuseth show that it was in Norfolk but not at the same time as the Eldridge. There are also no known laws of physics that would allow such an experiment to work. Many questions and theories surround the story, but no facts have ever been found to prove it, which makes the Philadelphia Experiment an urban legend that remains firmly in the minds of conspiracy theorists to this day.
A made-for-television remake was done in 2012 on the SyFy channel. Michael Pare plays the part of a henchman named Hagan in the remake.