Many people in our society have claimed to have seen UFO’s or had encounters with extraterrestrials. The authors of The Rainbow Conspiracy, Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger, believe that not only are these extraterrestrials traveling to our planet Earth, but they are also talking with our presidents, making treaties with us and helping us make our naval ships disappear. There are many scientific theories and facts that I will present to help disprove this idea.
This paper will present the Brad and Sherry Steiger’s hypothesis, reasons why the authors’ hypothesis is not plausible and provide a more plausible theory to help explain what happened with the Project Rainbow. Project Rainbow, or more commonly known to the public as the Philadelphia Experiment, was a U. S. naval project that was supposed to reduce the chances of our naval ships being detected and tracked by Soviet radars.
The idea presented in the book is that while our Navy tried to make the ship the U. S. S. Eldridge invisible to the radars, it also tried to achieve optical invisibility. The authors’ hypothesis is that they achieved this optical invisibility and the ship was transported in the blink of an eye from Philadelphia Naval Yard to Norfolk, Virginia. There was a green fog that appeared around the boat, and covered the view of the boat, when it originally left and when it disappeared again from Norfolk. There are many small details that are involved in this story.
According to the authors, not only did the ship disappear, but weird things also happened to the crew. The men were disorientated and nauseous after the ship disappeared, some of the men were melted into the ship and “some burst into flames days after the experiment” (B. Steiger, S. Steiger 51). A member of the crew had disappeared from a bar as well. When the men got back from the experiment, they were unable to continue serving because of their bad mental state. Alfred Bielek was one of the main sources that gave the authors their information.
He claimed to “[have] survived time-warping, teleportation, invisibility, electromagnetic bombardment, and a period of brainwashing by an ultra secret agency to be able to tell his story” (B. Steiger, S. Steiger 52). One would questions such a theory and why our navy would even want to transport our ships in this way, and yes the authors have an answer for this too, aliens did it. These aliens met with our very own president Franklin D. Roosevelt to make a pact to trade alien intelligence and technology for “certain planetary privileges”(B. Steiger, S.
Steiger 52) This was done so the aliens could create easy access to Earth. The authors claim that the aliens created this so called “space-time continuum” known as Einstein’s Unified Field theory. The problem with this is that Einstein’s theory was never proven to be true. Britannica encyclopedia says that “Most of this work typically appears in non-peer reviewed sources, such as self-published books or personal websites” about the continued use of the Unified Field theory, suggesting that it is not reliable evidence to base a different hypothesis on.
This is a reason to believe that the author’s are not using reliable sources to base their hypothesis on. Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger try to prove their story through the stories told by some of the crew men of the U. S. S Eldridge and on the S. S Andrew Furuseth, a merchant Marine ship that saw this event happen. Using eye witnesses as a means of fact is something that makes these authors seem less creditable. “For well over half a century, research has been showing that the memory of witness can be unreliable, and the constructive nature of memory helps explain why” (Schick, Vaughn 122).
While giving the stories as an explanation for what happened, they also say that the men on the ship became sick and “insane”. If these men were insane then the crewmen being able to recall the event correctly would be improbable. The authors are contradicting themselves. This is another reason that the authors seem not to be credible sources for what happened. The authors’ do not have much explanatory power due to the lack of explanation they give to support their hypothesis. The authors describe in detail many things that happened in a magical sort of way to the U. S. S. Eldridge, but they do not provide explanation of why these things happen. Although they do mention that aliens that looked like humans created a pact with FDR, they do not mention why the men on the ship were sick or became insane, why the man disappeared at the bar or why there was green fog around the ship while it disappeared, three major parts of their very own arguments. One of their main supporters, Alfred Bielek, claims that top secret agencies are involved in this project. This is something that is common in conspiracy theories.
Many conspiracy theories claim that there is a top secret mission that took place. Due to what we know about the nature of human beings, we know that someone who was in this secret agency would not be able of keep this secret. This is showed in Wegner’s study of secrets. He calls this the “rebound effect” where the subjects will think and talk about something they are told to keep secret more often then those who are able to freely express their encounters. His studies also showed that keeping secrets have bad effects on health.
Bielek’s conclusion is not reliable because there is much reason to doubt that this entire event would happen. The critics also believe that that the authors main source Alfred Bielek and the authors themselves are not very credible. “There have been other attempts to exploit the gullible with stories about this so-called experiment, but two stand out as more insane than the rest: The Philadelphia Experiment, and Other UFO Conspiracies, by Brad Steiger, with Alfred Bielek and Sherry-Hanson Steiger (1990); and The Philadelphia Experiment Part 1- Crossroads of History, presented by Alfred Bielek” (skepdic. om). Most of the critics that I have come across are criticizing the main source, Alfred Bielek, in Brad and Sherry Steiger’s book. Having a source that experts do not believe to be credible hurts the credibility of the authors.
Marshall Barnes, a man who investigated the truth of what Alfred Bielek had to say was quoted “Our group effort can demonstrate that the claims of Al Bielek and his companions is nothing short of very impressive media manipulation, dis-information, partially correct data mixed into fabrications and completely false statements. This is saying that Bielek may be supposedly recalling this incident to receive publicity. The fact that Bielek has been arguing that the event happened the way the authors’ explain it for many years makes him guilty of committing the availability error. This is where the topic stands out vividly in his mind, enough to make him bias toward Steiger’s hypothesis. Another reason that the authors’ hypothesis for what happened to the U. S. S. Eldridge is implausible is that there are many versions of this theory.
Although there is only one theory presented in the book, there are many different theories presented by other authors. The variant of the theory that they told is one of many conspiracy theories that are out there about our naval ship disappearing. If all of the crewmen are telling the story and their stories differ, this shows that they have to have different memories about the same event. Conformation bias is shown in the form of subject validation. All of the things that took place on the U. S. S.
Eldridge could easily be explained with much more plausible hypothesis that actually gives explanation to what happened. The hypothesis that I will be using to explain what happened, and what many others think happened who do not believe in the theory that the authors present, is broken into different pieces to explain the different parts of the event that the authors claim took place, and why people were mistaken in what they thought they saw. This will make the subject validation that the authors’ uses stand out.
The Philadelphia Experiment did really happen. It is not just a hoax. But what the authors don’t talk about are more plausible answers to what people said happened. During WWII, it was important for the Navy to become invisible on the radar to the Russian ships. However, according to the theory I will present, the Navy ships did not want to achieve optical invisibility. Also the ship did not just disappear as present by the authors. Subject validation example number one: Chesapeake and Delaware Canal was open only to the Navy ships.
This made a faster route that the U. S. S. Eldridge could have taken and made it from the naval yard to Norfolk and back to the naval yard in the estimate time of “disappearance”. This route was kept closed so the Germans would not have access to our naval ships. “We [the merchant ship S. S Andrew Furuseth] were leaving at two in the morning. The Eldridge had already left at 11 p. m. Someone looking at the harbor that night might have noticed that the Eldridge wasn’t there any more and it did appear in Norfolk” (Vallee 1991).
This is a quote from a man who was a crew member aboard the S. S. Andrew Furuseth. This gives further explanation to why people thought the ship disappeared. In my theory, the little things are explained that the authors had avoided such as the green fog around the ship before it disappeared. Subject validation number two: the objective of achieving invisibility with the radar was supposedly achieved by degaussing. This is canceling out the magnetic parts of the ship so the ship will most likely not be seen by radars.
The disappearing of the ship is also related to this degaussing. “It is commonly believed that the mechanism involved was the generation of an incredibly intense magnetic field around the ship, which would cause refraction or bending of light or radar waves around the ship, much like a mirage created by heated air over a road on a summer day” (aerospaceweb. org). This would cause the ship to look as if it disappeared, in a similar way as described by the eyewitnesses. What about all of those men who got sick when they returned?
Subject validation number three: the ship wasn’t the only thing that was affected by the high frequency of these generators. The generators could make the crewmen very sick. This could cause the disorientation and the long term metal state of these men. This is not explained in the authors’ version of the story, but it is listed as part of their hypothesis. The mysterious disappearing man at the bar also has an explanation. Subject validation number four: the first thing to bring up is that there was a chaotic bar fight happening while the man disappeared.
Secondly, the bar had a backdoor. These are some simple facts that you would think are obvious but they are not mentioned by the author. “The waitresses scooted us out the back door as soon as trouble began and later denied knowing anything about us” (Vallee 1991). So this man did not disappear, but he did flee the scene when the bar fight broke out. Now that my hypothesis has been explained, it is easy to see that my hypothesis is much more plausible than what Brad and Sherry Steiger present in their book The Rainbow Conspiracy.
The authors do not give much explanation about their hypothesis making them seem to be not credible. They have a lack of explanatory power in their argument as well. Using eye witnesses as a source of fact has been proven to be unreliable due to what we know about reconstruction of memories and the illness incurred by the crewmembers on the ship. Also their main source of eye witness information, Alfred Beilek, is highly criticized for his lack of credibility and his failure to provide a plausible hypothesis for the event that occurred.
Conformation bias in the author’s hypothesis brings us to the last point for why the authors’ hypothesis is not very plausible. There have been hypotheses that are proven to be more plausible than the one presented by the authors such as my own. My hypothesis is more plausible than the hypothesis provided as an answer to what happened in 1943, by the authors. What I have provided about science and the events that happened help to disprove the hypothesis presented by the authors. Also my hypothesis has more explanatory power than the one given by the authors’.
In my hypothesis, I gave explanations for every event that they listed in their hypothesis and supported it with well known facts, statements by experts in the subject and well supported beliefs. Another argument that makes my hypothesis more believable and plausible than Brad and Sherry Stieger’s is that we do not have any interaction or repercussions with these extraterrestrials that we supposedly gave access to Earth when what the authors presented as the ships disappearance happened.
We do however still have technologies to degauss a ship, making it look like it was disappearing before our eyes. I am not convinced by Brad and Sherry Stieger’s hypothesis about the Philadelphia Experiment. They did not give me enough information in their argument to make me believe that it would be plausible for aliens to contact our president and create a pack that would allow extraterrestrials access to our planet in exchange for knowledge about making a ship disappear, a practice that is never put to use today.
The story behind the ship disappearing is not plausible either. They do not provide support for their hypothesis. In all, the author’s have failed to convince me as a reader to believe their story and provided no evidence to make their theory seem plausible to me or any other educated reader who knows how to decipher facts from creative stories.