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THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT

PT.2


 by Joe Turner

"To this day, there are no credible documents or witnesses to support the Philadelphia Experiment," Bill Curtis said, smiling as he closed the episode. Marshall was stunned. What he had been led to believe would be a show that would finally reveal the truth, had been just the opposite. None of his evidence was shown, his experiments weren't even mentioned - they had shown a cheap computer animation instead that wasn't even an accurate dramatization. There was no mention of Dr. Rinehart or Marshall's investigation against the Navy. They portrayed Rinehart's account of how the experiment was accomplished as a only a theory that Marshall come up with. They had researcher Andrew Hochheimer making only skeptical comments when his web site takes one of the closest looks at how it could have happened and comes up with much the same information that Marshall did.

Cover of physics text book shows dielectric breakdown of the air over water as linked to the Philadelphia Experiment.

Representing the Navy was naval historian John Reilly, in the role of the apologist, saying among other things, "I have no knowledge of the Navy ever having tried to make ships invisible using magnetic fields," as if that were a legitimate statement. Marshall knew better. So did segment produced Mark Caras. When Marshall wasn't shown giving his rebuttal to such typical Navy side-stepping he knew that this had gone wrong. This wasn't what Caras and he had agreed upon. Neither was Goerman's completely unchallenged litany about his investigation against Carlos Allende. The worse was when Goerman made the statement about how other researchers had ignored his findings against Allende because they wanted to sell their books. Then the program cut to Marshall, as if he were one of these researchers, an editorial act that Marshall refers to as "defamatory".

"I was in complete shock." he recalls. "I felt lied to and violated. It's one thing to lie to someone in order to find out the truth, but I was lied to so they could use me for a straw man. They set me up, gutted my entire argument, took out all my evidence, and then they lied about what the truth was and presented a completely false version of the facts. It was the opposite of the slogan, 'the closest you'll ever get to the truth'. It was the furthest thing from it."

At first Marshall was worried about damage to his reputation. The Vallee campaign was beginning to cool down. He was worried that his enemies may have seen the program and try to use it against him. Friends on the net assured him that all seemed to be quiet. It turns out that, along with being merely a knock off of "Sightings," "The Unexplained" isn't watched much by the professional research crowd and their associates.

 

"I was in complete shock... I felt lied to and violated."
Marshall had heard that Bud Hopkins, the abduction researcher, had received similar treatment from the TV show "Nova" and decided that he wasn't going to just cry foul. Marshall had a weapon, the faxed questions for the program on the Towers Productions letter head. He would use his contacts and skills as a video producer to create a program that would set the record straight by producing a 60 minute rebuttal that would reveal the truth. He would show how "The Unexplained" didn't by showing him answering all the questions that he had originally been asked. Then he got word that he should check http://www.aetv.com (scroll down to where it says "Unexplained" and click on 'comments'.) On the second page, under "Strange Disappearances," Robert Goerman had posted a message proclaiming (in all caps) that the show had taken "the high road" and that the story of the "experiment" had cost too much of the researchers time and resources. That was the last straw.

List of questions for Marshall. The "x"s mark the ones that prove the show's prior knowledge of information that was left out.

"I think up to that point Marshall was just wanting the information that had been missing to come out," a friend remarked. "But the Goerman thing was it. It was rubbing salt in the wounds and from that moment on, it was war. Marshall was after all of them and he wasn't going to stop until he had enough to discredit Goerman, Reilly, and Towers Productions for setting him up in the first place - 'scorched earth' scenario all the way."

Indeed, the rebuttal program became a full fledged intelligence operation. It was as if "The Unexplained" hadn't taken him seriously - not as a researcher, and certainly not as an investigator. So Marshall was going to do what an investigator would do - get the evidence and nail them to the wall. Goerman had made the same remarks on the message board for "Quest For The Truth," a Philadelphia Experiment site with a fair but skeptical tone. It's web master, Mack Shelton, had posted a veiled reference to Marshall's appearance on the program, commenting about "people who get on TV making claims without any evidence..." But Marshall figured that was expected, since that's exactly what Caras had shown. But when Marshall realized, at the same time, that Shelton had boldly and falsely claimed in the text of his site that Moore's 'Dr. Rinehart' was an exact word for word copy of the character in the sci-fi book, "Thin Air," Marshall decided it was time to take out all the major detractors, along with "The Unexplained."

The first step was to set a strategy. He already had the questions. What he needed was definitive proof that Goerman had formulated his hoax theory while ignoring evidence that was in his possession. That would be the William Moore book. To do that he would have to get Goerman to talk. No problem. A basic 'sting-op' procedure. He also wanted to do the same to the Navy's John Reilly, because he needed definitive evidence that nothing the Navy would say about the Philadelphia Experiment would be the truth. After all, if the Philadelphia Experiment did happen, it would still be top secret. They would have to deny it the same way as the Air Force denies the existence of Area 51. In particular, Marshall wanted to prove Reilly's comment of "having no knowledge of such a test," was irrelevant.

 

"I was shocked when he said he had never heard of Area 51...He swore up and down that he had never heard of it and didn't know what it was."

Then there was the Towers Productions and Mark Caras. Caras had warned Marshall that changes would be made in the show, but Marshall didn't trust Caras anymore. When Caras acted as if there was something wrong with the video of his experiment, it didn't make sense. Marshall never forgot it. Now it seemed that it could be a clue that Caras may have been more involved in what happened than he revealed. Jonathon Towers and Caras would have to be dealt with as well, but Marshall decided to go after Reilly first.

Contacting a cyber journalist friend for back-up, Marshall called Reilly, posing as a reporter, and got his permission to tape the call. The strategy was simple and it worked like a charm. "I buttered him up first," Marshall explained, "telling him that I saw him on "The Unexplained" and was working on a follow-up story. Then I just let him run his mouth, walked him down the garden path 'til I got him where I wanted..." Where Marshall wanted him was the same place that the old TV attorneys got their hostile witnesses under cross examination. The so-called "Perry Mason" moment when the witness is caught in the obvious lie or subterfuge. Marshall discovered a few unexpected gems in the process.

"I was shocked when he said he had never heard of Area 51," Marshall said. "He swore up and down that he had never heard of it and didn't know what it was." Marshall had brought up the infamous secret base in the Nevada desert as an example of military denial of top secret information that is still known in the public domain. "So I'm thrown off guard by this because I'm thinking 'he's just doing what the policy dictates' and he was protesting his ignorance so much that I didn't want to get sidetracked. So I asked him what his clearance level was and he said it was Secret. Then I said, "So that means that if something is Top Secret, then you can't know about it, correct?" He said, "Yes." So I knew I had him, but I went in for the kill."

Marshall then followed up by asking Reilly point blank if his Secret clearance also meant that if something was Top Secret from W.W.II, and was still Top Secret today, that he also would not be cleared to know about it. "Yes, I suppose you're right." Victorious, Marshall thanked him for his time, leaving Reilly somewhat puzzled and apprehensive sounding. He should have been. Marshall had just got him on tape disqualifying his statement on "The Unexplained." But Marshall wasn't done with him yet.

Next on the list was Goerman. The same method was used and yielding equally surprising results. Goerman was cocky, saying, "You know I used to be a player,..." describing how he had been a UFO pulp magazine writer in the 70's and ran with high profile researchers, dropping out after his work exposing Allende failed to get him the kudos he felt that it deserved. Marshall didn't care. He asked Goerman if he had written his article exposing Allende before or after he read the William Moore book. Goerman said that it was after he read the Moore book because it was the Moore book that caused him to write the article.

"So you do remember Dr. Rinehart?" Marshall asked. "Yes, I remember a character named 'Dr. Rinehart'," Goerman responded, sounding rather surprised by the question. Marshall ignored the obvious reference to the idea that Rinehart was just made up by Moore. When asked if he had checked out the information about Rinehart, Goerman said 'no'. Marshall pressed on, quizzing the 'player' about his lack of inquiry into the claims of the scientist. He listened as Goerman buried himself deeper and deeper. Goerman made it clear that he felt that Allende had made the whole thing up and so felt no need to do any further investigation. In other words, Goerman hadn't done any real investigation because he hadn't checked out all the available information. "If Allende made it all up, I don't see what Rinehart has to do with any of it," he stupidly insisted, oblivious to the fact that, if Rinehart's statements were found to be accurate, then Allende didn't make the whole thing up - or at least not all of it.

Slowly but surely, Marshall's contention that "The Unexplained" allowed irrelevant testimony to stand unchallenged was being proven. But he wasn't done yet.

Marshall wanted all the evidence he could possibly get. He had the oversized envelope that Caras had used to mail back the 3/4" video tape of his experiment which succeeded in making a full scale replica of the Santa Maria look like a transparent mirage. He filmed a segment for his documentary showing this tape being pulled from the envelope, going directly into a playback machine and then showing the experiment saying, "this is what they didn't want you to see." This wasn't enough though. He had a reference in the questions about his experiments but he wanted definitive proof that Caras knew the experiments dealt with invisibility effects and then didn't show them.

Remembering Caras had bought some of the diffraction material, Marshall called up the company and was able to get a copy of Caras' invoice, showing that Towers Productions had paid some $20 for an 18" by 18" piece of diffraction material plus $10 for the Fed Ex shipping costs. This proved conclusively that Caras had important evidence in his possession and had suppressed it.

Photograph showing the diffraction film and its invisibility effect upon a ship.
The Philadelphia Experiment caused a similar effect with electromagnetic fields. This was suppressed from Marshall's report on "The Unexplained."

Showing the computer animation was a diversion and it was insulting for Caras to think that Marshall didn't know it. The plan was obvious - kill any mention of Rinehart as a witness; present his account of the physics as an idea that Marshall had come up with; don't show or mention anything about his experiments because, if people saw them, they would look like more than just a "theory." Then, having established it as just a "theory," they would introduce Goerman and Reilly to discredit the only witness left, Allende. Then they would dismiss the whole thing as a hoax. Finally, edit Goerman's complaint to reflect badly on Marshall. Now Marshall was turning the tables on them, and he wasn't done yet.

"Caras told me that Jonathon Towers had told him to change the script," Marshall recalls, "but I didn't have it on tape. I needed the evidence." So Marshall got a voice mail number and called Caras up at a time when he felt he wouldn't be home. "Hi Mark. It's Marshall Barnes. Gee, you weren't kidding when you said Jonathon Towers had you change the script. What was the point of having me on in the first place? Call me..." The call was a ruse to get Caras to respond to the comment about Towers. Having Caras call the voice mail would be a legal way of obtaining Caras' response on tape. Caras called and didn't respond to the comment but just said that he had been away. He asked Marshall to call him back.

Marshall did call Caras back, providing a "beep" in the background which signified that he was taping the conversation. Marshall repeated the accusation about Towers. "Yeah I ,I infer that you weren't happy with it or something." "What can I say. It didn't tell the truth." "You know, you know," Caras stumbled, "I think we did the best we could, given the information that existed." Marshall was stunned. Caras was giving him a completely different story. It was clear that he didn't care anymore about the truth than the Navy did. Marshall almost felt like asking if Towers was controlled by the intelligence community, but he didn't bother. He didn't care anymore. He knew the truth was finally going to get out - because he was going to do it himself. Marshall would make sure that the credibility of "The Unexplained" was exposed in the process. Their conversation began to get heated as Caras started trying to deny the validity of Marshall's evidence - the same evidence that he had raved and formatted questions about before. The phone went dead. But Marshall had all he needed.

Next, Marshall decided to go back after Reilly. He wanted to confront Reilly directly about his previous comments, cross-examination style. Reintroducing himself as 'Mr. Barnes' and checking up on some points from the previous reporter's questions, Marshall launched into Reilly by getting him to confirm his clearance status and it's limitations. He asked Reilly about Yehudi, the Navy's (1943) formerly secret project to make an anti-submarine plane invisible with special lights. Reilly acknowledged that he was familiar with it. When asked if Reilly knew about it before it was declassified, Reilly said "No, because I had no occasion to." Then Marshall asked him about his denials of knowing anything about Area 51.

 

"It appears that when it comes to the truth, if it is 'out there,' ... A&E, Towers Productions and 'The Unexplained' are the furthest from it that you could ever get!"
"I haven't the slightest idea what Area 51 is," Reilly insisted. Marshall pressed him. "Everyone has probably heard of Area 51..." Reilly responded, "I'm not a nuclear test buff, do you see what I mean?" Marshall actually wouldn't until later. He was going in for the kill on the issue of Reilly's clearance level and disclosure of classified information. "My question is then... if the Philadelphia Experiment took place that means that you wouldn't be allowed to know about it anyway right?"

"Oh yeah, but I think that's getting far fetched frankly."

"My point is that, if it did take place, you wouldn't be allowed to know about it anyway, right?"

"If such a thing happened and if it were still classified..."

"That still means you wouldn't be allowed to know about it."

"Yeah."

"My point is this: you were on a TV show acting as if you were an expert on something. But if it had existed, and were still classified, you wouldn't be able to know about it anyway."

"Yeah." Reilly was feeling the pressure.

"That kind of negates your authority on the subject because you wouldn't be in a position to know..."

Reilly began to get angry but it was too late. Marshall was putting the squeeze on. "You and I can hypothesize until the.."

"Well I'm done hypothesizing. Isn't correct that if something is Top Secret, let's say that you have knowledge of it, you wouldn't be able to divulge that information anyway. Isn't that correct?"

"I would, I would not be able to divulge any kind of classified information, it doesn't have to be Top Secret."

"Right. So let's say that something like that happened and you did know about it, you wouldn't able, in fact ,nor would anyone else in the Navy, be in a position to reveal that information anyway, isn't that correct?"

"And little green men from outer space...", Reilly began snapping back before Marshall shut him down.

"I'm not talking about little green men from outer space, I'm talking about the policy for Top Secret information and how it is handled."

"Yeah."

"So it's true that if something is Top Secret that the military, whether it's the Navy or anyone else, cannot discuss or divulge that information. They would have to say it didn't exist or 'no, it didn't happen'."

"No, you don't say that, you simply say 'no I cannot discuss that'."

Marshall wasn't buying that.

"But I would point out to you, sir, that the Air Force's position on Area 51 is that it doesn't exist, even though everyone knows it exists. Their official position is that it doesn't exist. It's not that they can't talk about it. So if something like this did happen, the Navy wouldn't be admitting it anyway."

"No," Reilly relented, "they wouldn't be talking about it. Yeah"

"Right. So that means that your testimony or anyone else's from the Navy is inconsequential."

"Why of course!... But you're piling one thing on top of another and another."

Marshall had what he wanted and so went for the 'cool down', disengaging from the argument and, in the process, reassuring Reilly that he believed that Reilly hadn't heard of Area 51.

"I'm not a nuclear test buff so..." Reilly repeated as if it was a rehearsed response.

"Have you heard of Groom Lake before or Dreamland?"

"No. Those things have no particular interest to me."

Later, when Marshall was checking the recording he realized that he hadn't mention that Area 51 was connected to the Nevada nuclear test range at all. So if he hadn't mentioned it, and if Reilly wasn't lying, then why would he think he had to be a "nuclear test buff" to have knowledge of the secret base in the Nevada desert?

Marshall is now putting the finishing touches on what has become a feature length documentary with the title, "The Philadelphia Experiment: What The Unexplained Didn't Want 'X'-plained." The truth that Mark Caras and Towers Productions didn't want you to know is revealed in its entirety. Mack Shelton is exposed as a researcher "wannabe" and Vallee, Bernhard Haisch, and other disinformers get their due. Although this has given Marshall the opportunity to prove that he is one of the best investigators on the real X-File scene, he could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he had done an investigative search for Towers Productions on the internet, before agreeing to appear on their show. At www.realscreen.com under "Towers leanings: from law to depression," it says,(in the last sentence of the second paragraph) "The Unexplained seeks to debunk claims of the supernatural and paranormal."

Regardless, it's ironic that, at the same site on www.realscreen.com (in the 15th paragraph of the article "Investigating Bill Kurtis") the host of "The Unexplained" says, "I spent a lot of time in local television... It's eroded to the point where I don't think anybody observes any ethical standards anymore."

And so it's not surprising that if you go to http://store.aetv.com enter 'disappearances' as a search, then click on that title on the next page, you will be confronted with a page selling the home video of "The Unexplained" episode in question. However, a quick review of it's description will reveal an account far more fantastic than any yarn spun by Carlos Allende or Mark Caras. In the second paragraph it begins "Another, even more incredible case involves a top-secret Navy experiment allegedly witnessed by a self-styled paranormal philosopher, who is interviewed here. The man claims to have watched from another ship as a Navy vessel and crew disappeared..." Obvious false advertising not withstanding, it appears that when it comes to the truth, if it is "out there," in this case A&E, Towers Productions and "The Unexplained" are the furthest from it that you could ever get!

 

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