A recently published article in the Canadian NATIONAL POST by Joseph Brean, has thrown yet another spanner in the works of a long-running British police investigation, which after 28 years, has still not resulted in a single criminal charge being brought.
“A controversial police investigation into the suspected sex abuse of children by the late British prime minister Edward Heath, with it’s associated claims of Satanic ritual and murders, originated in Edmonton in 1989, when a Canadian psychologist hypnotised a woman and helped her ‘recover’supressed memories according to a confidential police consultant report obtained by the National Post”.
According to the article, three of the hypnotised woman’s sisters have also made similar claims of serial rape and ‘Satanic’ abuse, but only by their parents and no charges were ever brought, and the case was only recently resurrected because of the alleged participitation of Heath.
Edward Heath came into the picture because one of the women had reported to police that she had seen Heath’s face “on the news” and “had trusted her gut”, and at a time when the police response to historical sexual abuse claims about public figures was at it’s height in the UK.
Which got me thinking about how many other stories have found their way into, and buried themselves deeply into the public psyche and remained there ever since …. despite the fact that very little, if any evidence exists, other than what has come from what was ‘remembered’ by people who had “seen it on the news” or at the cinema, or had read about it in a magazine or a book.
The examples I have decided to use, are admittedly entirely unrelated to historical childhood sexual abuse allegations, and may appear at first to be a strange choice, but what they share is that they all show the media’s ability to not only shape lives and influence peoples decisions, but are also able to ‘trigger’ memories of events that have remained dormant in some people’s minds – regardless of whether those events were real or imagined.
One of these stories, and finds it’s place among many similar so-called ‘Conspiracy Theories’ is one that has become famous throughout the world as the ‘Philadelphia Experiment’ .
For those who are not familiar with the story (and there cannot be many), the Conspiracy revolves around an alleged ‘Time Travel Experiment’ undertaken by the United States Navy in 1943, off the Delaware breakwater using a naval vessel, The USS Eldridge which had been fitted with ultra top secret equipment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
‘ Testing allegedly began in the summer of 1943, and it was supposedly successful to a limited extent. One test allegedly resulted in Eldridge being rendered nearly invisible, with some witnesses reporting a “greenish fog” appearing in its place. Crew members supposedly complained of severe nausea afterwards. Also, reportedly, when the ship reappeared, some sailors were embedded in the metal structures of the ship, including one sailor who ended up on a deck level below that where he began and had his hand embedded in the steel hull of the ship as well as some sailors who went “completely bananas”. At that point, the experiment was allegedly altered at the request of the Navy, with the new objective being solely to render the USS Eldridge invisible to radar. None of these allegations have been independently substantiated’. – WIKIPEDIA
NOTE: I am aware that ‘Wikipedia’ is not the most reliable source of information, but as it’s usually the second port of call after Google for the greater majority of people, and the place where their online ‘research’ usually starts and ends, it’s the reason I have used it as a reference point here. Hopefully more astute people will use it only as a starting point towards more in-depth investigation.
There are of course many people out there who will swear that the Philadelphia Experiment actually happened, based soley on what is available on the internet and various works of fiction, and there are hundreds of ‘Conspiracy – Based’ websites who have explored the subject in much detail, but the sources they appear to have used are other conspiracy websites, who’s sources are in turn other conspiracy websites, a number of which are of dubious ownership, are hosted anonymously on Icelandic or Russian servers, and are uncontactable should any issues arise about their published content – legal or otherwise.
If the truth is told, the ‘Philadelphia Experiment’, even when traced to it’s source does not sound promising even to the most hardened conspiracist, inasmuch as it owes much of it’s content to a rather odd guy by the name of Carl Allen, (or Carlos Allende depending on whatever source is used), who first told the story to a UFO writer named Maurice Jessup in 1956.
It is entirely possible that Allen(de) made up much of the story he relayed to Jessup, but, there are, however, some grounds to suspect that it could have been based on a real event, but one far less dramatic and had occured some fifty-two years previously at the same spot.
In 1904, a British Vessel commanded by a Captain Urquhart, The Mohican …. had encountered something that he said: “was beyond me” …. [I] never saw anything so terrifying in all the years I have been at sea.’ As they sailed in a dead calm, a ‘strange grey cloud’ appeared with ‘bright glowing spots in the mass’. This made straight for the ship and quickly surrounded it, just as so many car drivers have reported happening. Once within the cloud, the entire ship was filled with a ‘strange glow’ and the sailors watched in terror as their beards ‘stuck out like bristles on a pig’. The compasses were spinning wildly. Some of the crew were on their knees praying and Urquhart tried to distract them by giving them things to do. But nobody could move the metal chains or anchors. They were magnetised to the hull, or perhaps weighed so much that nobody could lift them (it is unclear). A strange altered state descended on the crew. The captain described a ‘great silence over everything that only added to the terror.’ Time lost all meaning but eventually the cloud disappeared and everything returned to normal…. WASHINGTON TIMES ARCHIVE
What does help the Conspiracy along though, is that Jessup was invited to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Washington, who had been sent copies of Allende’s allegations which had found their way into one of Jessup’s books, and a senior Naval officer had decided to investigate.
The Navy did describe that meeting as a ‘private venture’, but it does ask the question as to why such a meeting would have taken place if nobody had thought there was any substance to Allende’s telling of the tale.
There is almost no record about this meeting, but what is known is that Jessup soon descended into a somewhat depressed state and commited suicide soon after, and Allende simply ‘Disappeared’ from the record.
This of course led to the claims of a conspiracy to grow exponentially and lead to the story that is still being bounced around the internet today, and was also the basis of a number of books, three Hollywood Movies (The Philadelphia Experiment I and II 1984 and 2012) and (The Final Countdown 1980), which were loosely based on Allendes and Jessup’s retelling of the story, with the usual Tinseltown twist.
None of the subsequent books and movies, however, referred to the 1904 incident, which was not only witnessed, but recorded in the media and entered into the public record for posterity.
From what I am able to ascertain, one eye-witness did come forward at one point, and did claim that he took part in a top secret experiment that day and was in fact beamed decades through time, but his testimony was dismissed as it turned out he had only recalled his experiences after ‘seeing one of the movies on Television’.
While I admit that the actions of the US Navy in regard to arranging a meeting with a Science Fiction writer, and his subsequent apparent suicide are indeed suspicious, it does not prove that the Philadelphia Experiment actually happened, nor does it provide evidence of any such experimentation taking place using the methods described so vividly by so many online narrators.
Another example of how the media can influence people goes back to an event which occured on 2 May 1933, when a Scottish newspaper, the Inverness Courier related the account of a local couple who claimed to have seen an ‘enormous animal rolling and plunging’ on the surface of Loch Ness.
The story of the ‘monster’ ( a name chosen by the Courier editor) immediately became a media sensation with London newspapers sending correspondents to Scotland and even a circus offering a £20,000 sterling reward to anyone who could capture the beast.
Even though there were local accounts of an aquatic beast living in the Loch dating back 1500 years, the story only really gained the attention of a wider audience from 1933, when construction began on the A82 – the road that runs alongside the north shore of the Loch. The work involved considerable drilling and blasting with explosives, and the locals believed that the distruption had forced the monster from the depths and into the open waters of the Loch.
There were a number of independent sightings around that time, but the only visible ‘Proof’ did not appear until 1934, when a London surgeon R. K. Wilson managed to somehow take a photograph that appeared to show a slender head and neck rising above the surface of the water.
A whole cottage and tourist industry has risen around possible sightings of ‘Nessie’ since that day, and has remained the subject of fierce debate ever since it’s discovery and that first ‘sighting’, which generations of people not only believe in wholeheartedly, but a large number have dedicated their entire adult lives to trying to prove.
The first generally accepted sighting of Nessie, and the inevitable public interest ever since may have absolutely nothing to do with the release of the movie ‘KING KONG’ on March 2nd 1933 in New York City, which tells of a gigantic, prehistoric ape who lives on an island populated by undiscovered native people, gigantic exotic insects and plant life, and land dwelling, flying and aquatic ‘Dinosaurs’…. Very similar to the Scottish ‘Nessie’ if comparisons are to be made.
I am not suggesting for one minute that allegations of Childhood Sexual Abuse are in any way, shape or form ‘Conspiracy Theories,’ or are as ficticious or imaginary, as many of the stories that have been circulated in the media and consequently online inevitably turn out to be – but is it beyond the realms of possibility to suggest that at least some of the allegations of maltreatment of children by people in the public eye, are the result of inaccurate and sensationalist media coverage, and/or of unreliable ‘Therapies’ which ‘recover’ monstrous memories that previously only existed in the ID?
According to Sigmund Freud’s ‘Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality’, the ‘ID’ is the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires. The ID operates based on the pleasure principle, which demands immediate gratification of needs. Freud compared personality to an iceberg. The top of the iceberg above the water represents conscious awareness. The bulk of the iceberg below the water symbolises the unconscious mind where all the hidden desires, thoughts and memories exist. It is there that the ID resides.
The National Post (Canada)
TIME STORMS (2001) – Jenny Randles
RKO RADIO PICTURES ARCHIVE