by Joe Turner
One of the A & E Channel’s investigative TV programs has now found the tables turned on it in the most ironic fashion. “The Unexplained,” a Sightings/Unsolved Mysteries” knock-off that deals with the paranormal and mysterious, has been the focus of an investigation led by one of its past experts. The findings of this investigation, conducted by a real life “Fox Mulder,” firmly place “The Unexplained’s” episode, “Strange Disappearances” in the same context as the Hitler Diaries and CNN’s recent news debacle on nerve gassing Viet Nam deserters. Like the CNN Viet Nam story, the episode dealt with a military operation. A test in W.W.II that would have been the latest development in a long history of military camouflage. Total optical and radar invisibility. The Philadelphia Experiment.
“…men caught fire, went mad, and – the most bizarre of all, some were embedded halfway into the deck of the ship. Others phased in and out of this reality…”
Much has been written and speculated about this legend of an experiment in “electronic camouflage,” both pro and con. Reportedly it ended with the ship teleporting from Philadelphia to Norfolk with some crew members becoming embedded in the ship. Sorting the facts from the fiction has proven an almost impossible task, particularly with the recent flux of misinformation and deliberate disinformation that has been injected into the internet by those connected to the U.S. intelligence community, professional skeptics and arm chair researchers.
Against this confusing tapestry there have been a few constants. They are that one, Carlos Miguel Allende, claimed in the 1950s to have been a witness to a test at sea of a ship being made optically invisible using strong electromagnetic force fields when he was a sailor onboard the merchant marine vessel SS Furuseth in 1943. He also claimed that during another test that went wrong, some of the men caught fire, went mad, and – the most bizarre of all, some were embedded halfway into the deck of the ship.
Others phased in and out of this reality, only kept here by the laying on of hands. Allende wrote a series of strange letters in 1955 to Morris K. Jessup, a researcher who had written the book “The Case For The UFO.” It was Allende’s fear that the same technology that was responsible for the disasters of the Philadelphia Experiment was the secret behind the propulsion method used successfully by UFOs. Jessup had called for research into such force fields of UFOs without having any knowledge of the navy experiment, and this alarmed Allende.
Official Nany photograph of the US Eldridge during ceremonies for its commission. The Eldridge was the ship used in the controversial experiment in 1943.
Allende’s letters were filled with cryptic references and mailed from an assortment of locales around America. They can be read on-line at www.wincom.net/~softarts/PHILEXP/CM_ALLEN.TXT . Jessup eventually dismissed Allende as a crank until in 1957 he was contacted by Capt. Sidney Sherby and Comdr. George Hoover, two officers from the Office of Naval Research. They had received a copy of Jessup’s book with strange annotations in the margins about a vanishing ship, aliens and other anomalies. The officers from ONR asked Jessup to travel to Washington D.C. to meet with them and discuss what the annotations might mean. When Jessup got there he was surprised to see that the annotations appeared to be from Allende although they had been written in three different colored inks as though three separate individuals had been writing comments.
Jessup had no idea what to make of it and was a little unsettled by the interest that these ONR officers had in the writing, especially about the ship that was made invisible and it’s crew severely injured. The officers even paid Varo Inc. to reprint copies of the annotated version of Jessup’s book and had them passed around ONR for consideration. Jessup confided in his friend Ivan Sanderson that he felt the officers might want to try the experiment again. Meanwhile Jessup’s life began to be plagued by what he called “strange coincidences.” He began to complain about his health. and his research efforts took a turn for the worse. In 1959 he was found dead in his car from carbon monoxide poisoning and declared a suicide without the benefit of an autopsy. Many believe to this day that he was actually murdered, with Allende left roaming the country to escape the same fate.
The Office of Naval Research has created a number of form “response” letters over the years to handle public inquiries into the Philadelphia Experiment. The latest version can be found at www.onr.navy.mil/foia/PhillyExp.htm. Somewhat embarrassed by all the attention drawn to them by the activities of the now long gone officers, and having not been in existence at the time of the experiment, the ONR has had to handle the lion’s share of public requests for clarification and information. Until 1996 they had no trouble shrugging off accusations of cover-up with simple explanations about degaussing and misunderstandings about the word “invisible.” They contend that the legend got started based on the routine task of demagnetizing or “degaussing” the ships so as to be “invisible” to magnetic mines and torpedoes. Echoing this position on “The Unexplained,” as an official representative of the US. Navy, was US. naval historian John Reilly. Reilly stated that, as far as he knew, the navy never experimented with making ships invisible with magnetic fields. The navy has been long indirectly assisted in these apologetic efforts by the usual gaggle of disinforments.
“The Unexplained” featured an interview with researcher Robert Goerman, saying that he solved the mystery of the Philadelphia Experiment by a discovery he made about Carlos Allende. A writer from Pennsylvania who penned articles for pulp UFO magazines in the ’70s, Goerman considered himself to be “a player,” at least an also-ran amongst the galaxy of name UFO researchers of the time. When the book, “The Philadelphia Experiment: Project Invisibility,” by William Moore and Charles Berlitz came out in 1979, Goerman was motivated to do his own investigation but in a different direction. Instead of checking into the new information and science that the book mentioned, he latched onto Allende because of a quirk of fate – his parents were neighbors of the parents of Allende. Furthermore, Allende’s real name was Allen, Carl Meredith Allen. Goerman’s daughter used to visit the Allens and it was just by chance that he discovered that they were in fact the family of the elusive Philadelphia Experiment “witness.”
After agreeing to keep certain information about the family confidential, the Allens allowed Goerman to review various cards, letters, and other things that Carl had sent to his family. They described Carl as “a leg puller,” and someone who was very intelligent but lacked the discipline to achieve his full potential. It was clear from the items that Goerman looked over that Carl would annotate everything. He was even quirkier and more eccentric than he had ever imagined. Armed with this new information, Goerman was convinced that he had the truth, especially after having conversations with Carl himself. Ignoring all other available information, Goerman wrote “Alias: Carlos Allende” and it was published in “Fate” magazine in 1980, now archived on the internet at www.parascope.com/en/articles/allende.htm . But Goerman’s article was not well received by others in the UFO community. He has remained bitter about this, accusing those who ignore or disagree with his analysis as only being interested in “selling their books.” An accusation that Goerman made on “The Unexplained” and intentionally or not, inferred this as a motive of the wrong researcher.
“I know the applicable laws, how to operate with law enforcement, do investigations, have a badge and I.D., weapons, the whole nine yards and all legal. I’m versed in psy-ops, surveillance, counter-surveillance, stings, non-lethal weapons. I know how and can intervene in a felony in progress and execute arrest procedures until law enforcement arrives. I’ve actually been involved in cases against pedophiles, a rouge psychic spy, Men In Black related activity, potential terrorism related to Y2K that threatens national security. No cops or state police have complained so far. I think that earns me the ‘special’.” So says Marshall Barnes, Special Civilian Investigator Marshall Barnes who “The Unexplained” had contacted through his book distributor because he was described as an expert on the Philadelphia Experiment. Under the pretext of trying to get to the truth, Mark Caras allegedly got Marshall to agree to appear on the show and not allow arguments that Marshall had disproved to go unchallenged.
“…the crux of it all came down to the use of an intense electromagnetic field that would create a mirage effect of invisibility by refracting light…”
Marshall had been in a similar situation in November of 1996 with the Sci-Fi Channel’s version of Sightings, the magazine format show that the Fox network originally created. It was the first to break ground in the field of reporting the strange and paranormal. Marshall used an eleven point white paper to successfully pitch the idea of doing a story on how he could prove that the last paragraph of the ONR information letter was false, that there was in fact a scientific basis for invisibility known before the letter was written. Marshall assembled all of the evidence to prove his case along with a physicist for Sightings’ cameras. Six months later, after he and the physicist had been told separate stories about why the episode hadn’t aired yet, Marshall took things into his own hands and used a bit of his investigator know how to trick his way into talking with one of the executive producers. She told him the episode had been canceled because there were no witnesses to verify the Philadelphia Experiment had taken place.
“That was not part of the deal,” Marshall recalls. “I never said that I could prove that it happened, only that the ONR’s statement was false about the science and that’s what I did. The story was sold on that basis. It passed muster in a production meeting where ideas were voted on up or down. Maleka Brown brought it to that meeting and Ruth Rafiti was the producer it was assigned to. They sent out a director who hired a two man production crew to shoot all day. The first excuse was they ran out of editing money and needed a loan. Then they had to wait to see if they would be renewed for the next season. Finally someone admitted the episode was canceled but wouldn’t tell me why. Then I tricked my way in to getting a phone call to one of the executive producer people who told me it was because there was no witnesses, which had nothing to do with the idea that Maleka sold at the meeting. This producer wasn’t even in on it until later. It made no sense to kill that story, except for one thing – I proved I was right, and I did it right in front of their own cameras with one of my experiments and they were stunned. It was probably too good. It left no doubts. I had heard that Sightings had been infiltrated by government types after all the complaints that they got from the Pentagon when they were on Fox. Exposing Area 51, and all that. I had no opinion about that before. Now I’m almost convinced.”
Marshall’s “experiments” demonstrated that reflected light from an object could be refracted in such a way to create a mirage. This mirage would render that object transparent or invisible, a feat based on the statements made by an anonymous scientist who was given the cover name of “Dr. Rinehart,” by William Moore. Moore interviewed Rinehart who had met Allende but gave the eccentric the false name of “Franklin Reno,” derived from a road sign describing the distance from Franklin and Reno Pennsylvania.
Rinehart claimed to have been one of the men who worked on some of the calculations for the Philadelphia Experiment and provided detailed scientific data up to a point. Marshall determined that if this data made no sense, did not ‘check out’, then the whole story would lose much credibility. Using the standard scientific method, Marshall carefully read Rinehart’s account and researched each scientific detail. The crux of it all came down to the use of an intense electromagnetic field that would create a mirage effect of invisibility by refracting light. This light would be refracted by the conditions caused in the air by the field that would include dielectric breakdown of the air, ionization, and even a zeemanzing of the atoms.
Not having the equipment to cause such conditions, Marshall calculated that if he could find a material that would refract light, he could at least prove whether or not the basis for the Philadelphia Experiment had any foundation in science. As fate would have it, he did have such a material – a special plastic called ‘diffraction film’ – and he discovered, much to his amazement, that it worked.
Photograph showing the diffraction film and its invisibility effect upon a spool of thread. Notice that the tabletop and pen are visible through the spool (A).
This simple experiment proved that diffraction was a viable and scientifically sound method of simulating invisibility.
Marshall found other scientific data to corroborate Rinehart’s account, including a photograph from Sandia National Laboratories from the cover of the college text book, “Physics: Volume 2.” The photograph shows a particle accelerator device, that sits in water, surrounded eerily by the identical greenish-bluish glow said to have emanated from the Eldridge as the field generators were being turned on. The glow is described in this case as the result of the same condition that Rinehart mentioned – dielectric breakdown of the air near the surface of the water. Marshall’s scientific research was good enough that he was invited in 1996 to present his findings in a scientific colloquium sponsored by the biological and physical sciences department of Columbus State Community College. This event is mentioned as part of a press release announcing that it could be proven that the ONR had in fact been involved in a cover-up since Marshall’s findings directly contradicted the official ONR statement in the last paragraph of the information sheet. It also mentions that Marshall was to present his research on the Art Bell radio show. A copy of that release can be viewed at www.iufog.org/updates/. It was this event, and the discoveries leading up to it, that the Sightings episode was supposed to have been based on. If Marshall’s research and experiments were good enough to be presented in a colloquium sponsored by a college science department, why weren’t they good enough for a cable TV show increasingly becoming known more for its psychic ghost hunting? When considered in that light, Marshall’s suspicions of governmental interference are quite understandable.
But this was supposed to be different with “The Unexplained.” Segment producer Mark Caras had bought Marshall’s book and liked its focus on hard, documented evidence, instead of the wild stories and speculation of most of the available material on the subject. Not only had Caras taken an interest in the story, he also played a minor role in Barnes’ investigation against respected scientist and UFO researcher Jacques Vallee. Vallee had written an article debunking the Philadelphia Experiment called “Anatomy of a Hoax.” The basis for the article was that Vallee found another witness to the event, a witness that said that he was there at the time that it was supposed to have taken place and that it never did. The article had been hailed as the best research on the subject by UFO pundits like Michael Corbin, whose ParaNet newsgroups host discussions on such topics on the internet. But Caras knew that Marshall’s book exposed the Vallee article as a fraud since Vallee had not checked Dudgeon’s background or statements – statements that proved to be false when checked against navy documents and other historical information. Marshall unearthed admissions made by Vallee himself concerning his being taught on how to write disinformation, as well as Vallee’s links to the shadowy Aviary. The Aviary consists of various former CIA, DIA, INSCOM, and AFOSI agents and connected scientists. Allegedly dedicated to infiltration, studying and dis-informing the UFO community as double agents, links for this group can be found at such sites as www.nacomm.org/.
The Society for Scientific Exploration, that issued last year’s report calling for a further study of UFOs, is an Aviary infiltrated organization, as is their Journal of Scientific Exploration that published both the report and Jacques Vallee’s fraudulent article.
Marshall sent an eight page report to JSE editor Bernhard M. Haisch, informing him of his investigation against Vallee, the evidence that he had acquired and his intention to expose Vallee, with the suggestion that Haisch put a disclaimer on the JSE web page for the article’s abstract. When Marshall called Haisch to discuss the matter, Haisch acted as if Marshall’s investigation was inconsequential and flatly refused to inform readers of his findings. Haisch seemed more concerned about the possibility of Marshall taking his report to the internet.
“What are you going to do? Put it on the internet?” Haisch asked. Sensing a point of consternation, Marshall held his cards close to his vest.
“It’s not a matter of what I’m going to do,” he replied, “It’s a matter of what you should do if you want to live up to these high standards that your publication brags about on your web site.” Haisch hung up.
Caras was intrigued by Marshall’s gutsy, ‘go get the truth’ attitude. When considering including the Anatomy article in The Unexplained episode, Caras called Bernhard Haisch and then reported back to Marshall on Haisch’s disposition. “You’re really on to something,” he allegedly told the investigator. “Haisch was unnerved by your call, and nervous about my doing an episode about all this.” Caras also told Marshall that after failing to return calls to his office, Jacques Vallee called five minutes after Caras left him a message that he was going to proceed with the episode featuring Marshall’s statements about him without Vallee’s opportunity for rebuttal. During the ensuing conversation, Vallee said that he was “sorry that he had anything to do with the Philadelphia Experiment” and worried about his reputation in the UFO and venture capital communities as a result of Marshall’s investigation. He had forwarded Marshall’s report to his attorney, an action that Marshall considered to be in preparation for some kind of legal attack to keep him silent by tying the issue up in court. Based on this new information from Caras, Marshall decided to strike against Vallee publicly in a information warfare styled campaign that would only be held back until Caras decided if he was actually going to include the Anatomy issue in the episode. If he was, Marshall would wait until Caras had a chance to get his interview in the can, knowing that once the campaign began, Vallee would be loathed to talk to anyone.
When the time came for Marshall to be taped for his appearance, he was handed a release form that seemed to stray away from Marshall and Caras’ prior agreement. Recognizing it as a standard release giving the show the freedom to edit as they pleased, Barnes reminded Caras about their arrangement which Caras said he would still honor. The shoot that day included a demonstration of Marshall’s experiments for the camera and the photos from “Physics: Volume 2” and a lengthy interview with Marshall. Jean Claude Ba, a physics professor was also interviewed. Marshall later sent Caras a copy of his dramatic experiment showing a sheet of diffraction film causing a full scale replica of the Santa Maria to look as transparent as a phantom ship.
As the time approached for the episode to air, Caras began to act cryptically. First was his mention of having a computer animation appear to ‘dramatize’ the Eldridge becoming invisible. When Marshall asked about the use of the video of his experiment with the Santa Maria, Caras acted like it was almost non-existent. “His attitude was like it either wasn’t good enough of a dub or that it didn’t show what I said it did. Regardless, it was a disingenuous response but I chose not to push the issue. I know how producers can be with their production toys.”
The next thing to happen was Caras telling Marshall that the executive producer Jonathan Towers, had him make ‘changes’ in the script because it was ‘too weird’. “Don’t worry,” Caras told Marshall, “you’ll still get the truth across.” Marshall was beginning to worry but having been informed by Caras that there would be no coverage over the Vallee issue because of lack of available time, Marshall had begun his campaign against Vallee on the internet, the very medium that Haisch had apprehensively asked about. Through a network of cyber journalists, the story about Vallee’s fraud and Haisch’s attempt to keep it secret slowly began to appear in various forms until now if you do a search on the net combining the words ‘fraud’, ‘hoax’ and ‘anatomy’, depending on the search engine, you’ll get articles about Jacques Vallee like www.ufomind.com
By August 21 the first wave of Marshall’s campaign was over and he was beginning his middle game. But that night he stopped to see what Mark meant when he said he had to make some ‘script changes’. What he saw was as far from the truth as you could get. In fact, the Office of Naval Research could have written the script themselves.
“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 textbook shows a 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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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!