Are these two photos somehow analogous? Follow along, and find out.
I found this piece of World War II trivia a tad interesting: in 1943, the US Navy was kinda busy. Seems they had a boatload of issues in two oceans, with ancillary concerns in a few others. Funny how a world war might make it so. But, busy as the US Navy was -- doin' that righteous and thank-God-they-did defendin' the flag thang -- they somehow managed to find time for some sci-fi incidentals.
Seymour, my pet rock, would love this, only to wind up hiding under the loveseat. But I digress.
Ever hear of the "Philadelphia Experiment"? It is also known as the 'Hutchison Effect'. At which time, one of our destroyer escorts went "missing". But apparently, only briefly. The truly interesting thing about it was, 'where' and 'how' it went missing.
It seems that the US Navy -- through magnetic field experimentation -- "tele-transported" a US Navy warship from Philadelphia Navy Yard, to Norfolk, VA. And back. The USS Eldridge (DE-173). The effects on the 181 person crew were more drastic and less desirable than the three hour tour of the SS Minnow, and subsequently never made the '60s sitcom circuit, as did the latter.
It apparently didn't go so well for one Philadelphia-area dog, either: Bozo the Beagle.
At the time of the then highly secret experiment, Bozo the Beagle had recovered from having been hit by a car, and being an early veterinary recipient of his hip being surgically repaired with metal plates. Happily back home, a lopsided-walking Bozo -- at the same instant the USS Eldridge was going from a shadowy outline in the Philly Navy Yard, to a blue flash and *ZAP* arriving at Norfolk -- suddenly *vanished* from his owner's yard. And was reportedly observed by incredulous observers in Norfolk's naval base, stuck to the side of the "Where The F*** did that come from?", highly-magnetized USS Eldridge.
Moments later, when the Eldridge just as suddenly *vanished* from Norfolk, returning to the Philly Navy Yard, Bozo landed abruptly on his owner's porch, a bit worse for wear. Story has it that the cat -- upon witnessing Bozo's remarkable *gone & back* journey -- tossed away all of his catnip, and hid under a bed muttering "nuh UHs" to itself, the rest of its days.
Be that as it may...
If y'all remember, in the late '70s/early '80s, there was a movie about the nuclear carrier USS Nimitz. The ship had just left Pearl Harbor for routine patrol. And a strange anomaly -- perhaps a natural electro-magnetic storm -- overtook the ship, and *POOF*...with a bit more CGI fanfare, the Nimitz found itself in the same position as heretofore. But not in this chronological hereabouts. Suddenly, a 1980s US Navy warship was west of Pearl Harbor...on December 6, 1941.
Date ring a bell? It would to Pavlov *ducking boos and throwd psychology books*
It did to the primary characters, too. And what an amusing -- and not so amusing -- moral and ethical problem it posed for the characters. One that was finally solved, apparently, by the 'captain' deciding to react as the captain of a US Navy warship would be expected to, when he saw a threat to his country.
But just when the audience was rooting for the 1980s US Navy to kick the 1941 Japanese task force's ass...here came that pesky perhaps natural magno-electrical anomaly again, and with some more CGIesqueness, took the USS Nimitz -- and her airborne strike force -- back to the 1980s.
End of the story, other than a weird twist with three plot characters, one of which was a dog. But not Bozo.
Perhaps in the 'Philadelphia Experiment' back in the summer of '43, the US Navy -- intentionally or not -- discovered a 'doorway' into the space-time continuum. Just not how to control it, or make it work without creating basketcases of much of the crew of the USS Eldridge. Not to mention, one banged-up beagle, and the cat that forevermore swore off of catnip.
Perhaps the writer of this 1980s sci-fi movie, had the 'Philadelphia Experiment' in mind. Perhaps not.
In any event, I bring this weird, not well-knowd episode up for....well, 'cuz it was interesting. And ... or ... maybe ... because it has some relevance to a later anniversary this year.
Not that I think a repeat of the 'Philadelphia Experiment' might be actually tried with a US nuclear aircraft carrier. I mean, a nuclear aircraft carrier is not exactly something that leaves a miniscule footprint, even in a giant ocean, even in 1941. And to cover up it's sudden 'disappearance' from 2011, might be more than any fed officials could blow off officially.
BUT...a nuclear attack submarine -- perhaps a Los Angeles Class 688 sub, one more equipped as the ocean-going equivalent of a 'stealth ship' -- now, that might prove a more effective, manageable option. A vessel that can stay submerged for weeks...even months. A vessel that can sail faster submerged, than almost any surface craft of an earlier era. A vessel that can dive deeper, and hide in thermoclines, becoming truly 'invisible' to sonar technology of an earlier time.
And a vessel that can carry more sophisticated and lethal ordnance, than any task force. Maybe not today, to be sure....but it would certainly pack an earth-shaking, bring-enemies-to-their-knees wallop in 1941.
Perhaps just such a sub will leave Pearl Harbor in late November or early December, 2011. Destination: history, by way of years of enhancements to the 'Philadelphia Experiment'.
Perhaps that captain and crew will also find themselves with very real moral and ethical considerations to weigh: witness history as it happened, and leave the future as it has played out? Or, prevent a disastrous national historical event...without knowing what effect on history thereafter? And to do so, with technology possessing a lethality not known to the world in 1941.
What to do: leave the known intact, or try to 'tweak' the future, by way of correcting the known mistakes, with no idea of what the subsequent changing of history will mean? Prevent Pearl Harbor? Prevent the Bataan Death March? Take out Berlin before the Nazi-inspired Holocaust can get truly underway? Save thousands of American lives -- and millions of other innocents who found themselves in the path of the Nazis, Russians, Japanese, and later the American and British air, sea and land counteroffensives -- that were lost in the early, and later, stages of World War II?
OR....change history, by killing some of those who survived, and who then would not contribute to humanity with what they learned from the catastrophic destruction they witnessed, and lived to rebuild from?
Rewrite the past, at the cost of making what was subsequent history, now a huge unknown?
What's more...could the 'Philadelphia Experiment' have contributed -- by accident or design -- to the rumors about the coming of the end of the Mayan calendar, and what it potentially means for 12/21/12?
Makes for a good sci-fi book or movie idea, eh?
Sure does...if it is just an idea.