When Al Bielek first began to claim that he was a time traveler as part of a top secret government operation, no one believed him. But when he shared chillingly vivid predictions about the future of the Earth, his persona, his theories, and the alleged government experiment behind it, people started to listen.
The Government Mission That Started It All
It was World War II. As a part of the war effort behind the scenes, the American government was said to have been conducting some of its more questionable experiments “under the radar” — and for one test aboard the USS Eldridge, that term was taken perhaps a little too literally.
Known as the Philadelphia Experiment, it still sparks conspiracy theories about time travel, teleportation, and cover-ups to this day. What happened during that experiment largely remained a mystery for years, until one man said he knew the truth behind one of America’s most controversial studies. And that was because he had witnessed it himself.
Al Bielek, The Unusual Child
Pretty much since birth, Al Bielek had always been rather unusual. Born in 1927 to an otherwise average family, he was not yet aware that his story was already quite remarkable. He would have a standard childhood, surrounded by love from his entire family. But something was always a little off with Al.
For example, Al’s earliest memory was from before he was able to walk. He recalls crawling on the floor as the adults around him had a conversation. Even from that age, he remembers being able to understand what they were saying. But despite having vivid memories reaching so far back, there was one major life event that he would forget about — until much later.
A Movie That Seemed A Little Too Real
Al would continue through his entire life as a “walking encyclopedia,” a name his classmates gave him. He had no idea how he was able to retain so much information, and where he’d even learned the information in the first place. But it was not until his 60th birthday that he would start understanding some clues.
In 1988, Bielek and his family were watching a science fiction movie, The Philadelphia Experiment. It was said to be based on a true story, but what took place in the film seemed to be unfathomable for everyone except for Bielek. As he watched, he could not shake this unsettling feeling inside of him that he had seen this all before.
An Attempt To Make A Ship Undetectable
The movie The Philadelphia Experiment depicted a government experiment back during the World War II era. According to the film, the U.S. Navy was determined to figure out a way to make it so that their ships were completely invisible to radar transmissions, and unable to be detected by other governments.
The movie showed American scientists, Marines, and government officials testing a specific device that would hopefully make their ship undetectable by radar. They were testing that device on a ship called the USS Eldridge. But when the device was finally activated, it didn’t just do its job. Something far darker and more grisly occurred.
A Government Experiment Turned Tragic
On October 28, 1943, the device was activated in Philadelphia’s naval yard. According to the movie as well as conspiracy theories surrounding the same event, there were several witnesses to what happened next. It has been said that the USS Eldridge became surrounded by a “strange, green-tinged fog” that enveloped the entire vessel.
Then, suddenly, there was a flash of blue light — and when that light had disappeared, so had the USS Eldridge and everyone on board. It seemed that trying to make the ship disappear from radar had actually made the entire ship completely vanish. When the ship finally reappeared, something terrible had happened.
The Tragedy Aboard The USS Eldridge
The moment of the ship’s reappearance, as depicted in the movie and as described by reported witnesses at the time, was horrific. It appeared that when the device turned on, the sailors that were on board suffered severe consequences. Some sailors reported feeling intense nausea. But they were the lucky ones.
Other sailors on the ship were left with terrible injuries. Some began to lose their sanity, while others developed mysterious illnesses. One sailor reportedly fell from the top deck to the bottom deck, and found his body fused to the metal of the ship. Everyone viewing the film with Al Bielek watched the scene in disbelief. But for Bielek, the entire movie seemed way too familiar.
Bielek’s Strange Flashbacks Begin
Viewing the movie had lasted just an hour and 42 minutes, but the effects it would have on Bielek stretched far beyond that, and would ultimately change his entire life. For months, he could not shake the eerily unsettling feeling that had fallen over him.
From the moment Bielek finished watching the film, he began to experience intense flashbacks. Bielek grew increasingly concerned about these remarkably vivid flashbacks, which felt like very clear memories. He was not sure if they were truly memories, or if he was going completely insane. He knew he needed to seek help to get to the bottom of whatever was happening.
More Memories Surface
Bielek’s flashbacks were neither going away nor slowing down. He knew he needed to dive deeper into what exactly was causing this flood of what seemed to be vivid memories, and where they came from. Bielek began to search for ways to explore these memories and unpack their meaning.
He began to look into New Age methods of memory retrieval, and started speaking to therapists and psychics. Through various means, Bielek started to see a fuller picture, piecing together his flashbacks like a puzzle. And once he began to see the fuller picture coming together, there was no going back. And people could not believe what Bielek began to tell about what he was learning.
Al Bielek Was Not Al Bielek At All
It had been a couple of years since Bielek had first watched The Philadelphia Experiment, and in 1990 he started to share what he knew. Bielek’s first revelation was that his name was not, in fact, Al Bielek at all. He was someone else entirely.
He claimed that his name was actually Edward Cameron, and he had actually been born in 1916. If that was not odd enough, there was more. He also stated that he had been assigned to live with the Bielek family by the United States government as part of a cover-up plan. And if anyone was already thinking that Bielek’s story sounded crazy, this was just the tip of the iceberg.
Uncovering A Previously Unknown Past
Not only did Bielek say his name was actually Edward Cameron, but he also claimed that he was part of one of the biggest government experiments, and possible conspiracy theories, of all time. But according to Bielek, the story was not a theory at all. The Philadelphia Experiment, he claimed, was a fact, and its consequences were unimaginable.
But how did Al Bielek, or Edward Cameron, know about all of these details surrounding this previously top-secret government mission? He said that he knew everything because he had witnessed it all firsthand. And Bielek would soon share with the public that the Philadelphia Experiment went way beyond what anyone had imagined.
The Fateful Conference
Standing in front of an audience at the 1990 Mutual UFO Network Conference (MUFON) in Texas, the man reportedly called Al Bielek began to tell his far-fetched story. And while it did not have anything to do with UFOs, it concerned something perhaps even more unbelievable.
His story began when he and his brother in this former life, whose name was Duncan Cameron, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1939. At the time, scientists like John Hutchinson, John von Neumann, and Nikola Tesla were supposedly helping the government develop a project. Four years after enlisting, the brothers were both assigned to board the USS Eldridge, and their lives changed forever.
An Assignment Of A Different Nature
Bielek told the onlooking conference audience that The Philadelphia Experiment movie was true, and that the government had been using some of the country’s top talents to test a device that would make the ship vanish from German radars. Bielek was actually on board the USS Eldridge when the device was switched on.
He reported that every sailor on the crew immediately became sick. The sailors were all stuck inside the ship, and chaos surrounded them. People were screaming. In that moment, he and his brother decided their best option was to jump overboard. But instead of landing in water, they found themselves suspended in time. And then, everything went black.
Waking Up In A Different Time Zone
The next thing that Bielek knew, when he woke up, he found himself in a place he had never seen before. He was not in the water, as he had expected, and he was definitely not in the Philadelphia shipyard. Instead, he was in a hospital with his brother, lying in bed with radiation burns all over their bodies.
And then, things got even weirder. He learned that he had traveled through time, and was no longer in the year 1943 at all. “We arrived in [the year] 2137 in pretty bad shape,” he later recalled. “We wound up in hospitals for around a month.” He started to ask questions, and received some disturbing answers.
Bielek Wakes Up To A Whole New World
Anyone who woke up in the future would be alarmed, so it comes as no surprise that Bielek says he awoke in the hospital with a lot of questions. According to Bielek, the doctors “told us about various events and showed us some maps of the altered United States.”
The doctors explained that severe changes had taken place between World War II and 2137, and the United States was almost unrecognizable. Almost the entire West Coast and Southeast had been fully submerged underwater. Atlanta was near the coastline, and Florida was completely gone. And just when his story of time travel could not get more bizarre, after six weeks Bielek found himself time traveling once again.
Another Time Travel, This Time Even More Bizarre
Bielek could not remember what led to his second instance of time travel, but what he did remember is that he found himself planted in the year 2749. This time, once again, he woke up in a hospital, but this time the hospital looked much different. Looking at the advanced technology, he did not even need to be told that he had traveled to the future.
In interviews, he described being surrounded by “advanced surgical material”, receiving “vibrational and light treatment therapies” to mend the wounds he’d suffered while time traveling. On the TV, broadcasters only screened history, news, and geography programs. “I don’t recall there was a single soap opera on the air,” Bielek said. And if Bielek thought he had already seen the future, he was about to find out that what he knew was only the beginning.
Bielek’s Journey In The Year 2749
Bielek found that being in the year 2137 was overwhelming and hard to wrap his head around. But that was nothing compared to what he was about to face over 300 years later in the year 2749. In total, Bielek estimated that he spent about 2 years living his life and working as a tour guide in the 28th century.
During that time, he learned that the Earth was no longer even close to what it used to be. The entire world, he said, was controlled by what he called a “synthetic computer system” that “looked like a huge crystal.” The system would communicate any and all messages telepathically to whatever humans needed to receive it. But that was not the only thing that had changed.
New World Order
Being in the year 2749 made Bielek feel like he was living on an entirely new planet. It seemed like almost everything on Earth had changed. Most of that change, he said, had to do with two bloody wars that were fought on a global scale, the first “between the Russians and the Chinese,” and the second between “the United States and Europe.”
In the aftermath of these terrible conflicts, entire cities were decimated, towns were completely wiped out, and centralized governments no longer existed. Only 300 million people out of 7.7 billion were left on Earth. Places like the United States, or at least what was left of it, were under military rule. And there were even more changes.
According to Bielek, in both his speech and in interviews after, a lot had changed by the year 2749. There were no more governments, no Florida, and no central rule, at least in the United States. What’s more, by Bielek’s recollection, the concept of money was no longer used to purchase everyday items.
Instead, people relied on a credit system, meaning they would exchange goods with others when they needed things. In the 28th century, humans had also made significant, mind-blowing technological advancements. They had apparently mastered the mechanics of anti-gravity, and that led to the most impressive human accomplishment that Bielek could describe.
The Floating Cities of 2749
According to Bielek, new anti-gravity technology allowed humans living in 2749 to take up residence in floating cities that were suspended high above the ground. Some floated over 2 miles above the Earth’s surface. Bielek claimed it was a result of “controlling the laws of gravity.”
These cities, Bielek said, had the ability to wander the Earth, and were not just kept within city limits. The movement of the cities was mostly under the control of the central computer system that ran the Earth. Some people in lower social classes still lived in traditional homes on the ground, below the floating cities. But this advancement quickly raised a chilling question.
How Did The World Come To Be This Way?
The time traveler remembered asking people around the planet about how it came to be that a computer system would take over entire communities, and ultimately the entire world. To his surprise, not only were people taken aback by his question, but it seemed like the question had never even dawned on them before Bielek had asked.
In fact, the people on Earth had not even thought about this question before. Artificial intelligence had completely taken over their entire lives, and no one seemed to know how it had happened, why it had happened, or even cared about it. Bielek found the entire revelation to be a chilling warning about the growth of computers. But then, yet again, everything shifted.
A New Mission for Bielek
Suddenly and completely without warning, Bielek and his brother went through yet another time-traveling experience. This time, they were sent back to 1983, where they received briefings from top-secret government officials about their recent activities and the highly-classified nature of the tasks they had performed during their travels.
The brothers were told that they were never allowed to tell anyone about what they had witnessed or experienced. But they were also told that their work was not yet done. Instead, the officials said that the brothers would be journeying through time once again to work on more secret projects. But this leg of the mission did not go as planned.
Government Officials See Bielek As A Threat
Somehow, scientists and researchers working with the government on these top-secret projects began to grow wearied, worried, and threatened by Bielek. So the government came up with an idea for this leg of his space-time travel that would get rid of the threat.
At this point, Bielek had grown used to time travel. He would later tell an author that “there is a slight feeling when you are going through space-time. The fist trip you make can be quite nauseating and after that you sort of get used to it.” But this time travel would be unlike any other that Bielek had experienced. And the government made sure of it.
Bielek Ages Backwards
Instead of sending Bielek off to another future project, he was sent back in time. With each year that Bielek traveled backwards, he was “regressed out of existence” until the year of Bielek’s birth. The man who was formerly Edward Cameron was, instead, born into the body of Al Bielek.
But his brother aged rapidly during that time travel, and did not make it to the other side. Any memory that Bielek would have of his brother, his time travel, the government experiment, and anything else having to do with his former life would be erased. Fortunately for Bielek, that mission did not exactly work out the way the government hoped. He would remember it all.
The Birth Of Al Bielek, Time Traveler
The government had hoped that by sending Bielek back in time and placing him with a new family that the story of the Philadelphia Experiment would disappear along with Edward Cameron. They were mistaken. Bielek became a famous figure in the subjects of time travel and government conspiracy theories.
Once Bielek began to have his memory of the events restored, he wanted to make sure that the world would hear his story. He wanted to warn people about the dangerous future of artificial intelligence, and also to give credence to the theories about what happened to the USS Eldridge. Throughout the years, he continued to hold speeches and speak in interviews — until tragedy struck.
One Story Ends, Another Chapter Begins
Bielek became somewhat of a celebrity within certain circles over time. But then in 2007, the world’s most famous time traveler passed away. The world was no longer able to hear his wild story firsthand. But that does not mean that his claims have not lived on.
Scientists, government officials, and historians have all tried to dismiss the theories about the Philadelphia Experiment. But believers still hold on to hope that Bielek really did travel hundreds of years into the future, and really did witness what life would be like. Until then, the world will just have to wait and see if Bielek’s ominous predictions turn out to be correct.
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