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The Philadelphia Experiment From A-Z

Was There a Project Rainbow?

Code Word Index Entry For a "Project Rainbow"
CIA Contract With (Classified), Project Rainbow, Jan 2nd, 1958

Project Rainbow was allegedly an experiment conducted upon a small destroyer escort ship during World War II, both in the Philadelphia Naval Yard and at sea; the goal was to make that ship invisible to enemy detection. The accounts vary as to whether the original idea was to achieve invisibility to enemy radar or whether the prize sought after was more profound: optical invisibility. Either way, 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. The legend goes on to say that the experiment was a complete success… except that the ship actually disappeared physically for a time, and then returned. They wanted to “cloak” the ship from view, but they got dematerialization and teleportation instead.


In Search For The Project Name


“Do you recall what the code name of this project might of been?” William Moore asks “Dr. Rinehart” (a name chosen by Moore to hide his identity)

“..some where in the back of my mind I seem to want to associate the terms ‘Rainbow’ or ‘Mirage’ with it.” – Dr. Rineheart [1]

            While trying to locate the terms Dr. Rinehart associated to the project, the following appeared in the Inter-Services Code-Word Index (Issued under the authority of the Inner-Services Security Board, War Office.) It lists in its September 1st, 1941 edition a Project named “RAINBOW” Ciphering #7470, Block #334.

            “A comprehensive search of the Archives has failed to identify records of a Project Rainbow relating to teleportation or making a ship disappear. In the 1940s, the code name RAINBOW was used to refer to the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. The RAINBOW plans were the war plans to defeat Italy, Germany, and Japan. RAINBOW V, the plan in effect on 7 December 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, was the plan the U.S. used to fight the Axis powers.” – Department of the Navy/Naval Historical Center [2]


The “Official” Project Rainbow(s)


RAINBOW was a term applied to the collection of war plans developed prior to World War II (each of which was named with a color); RAINBOW 5 was published in October 1941. ORANGE plan within the RAINBOW matrix for unilateral conflict between the United States and Japan; ORANGE 1 was approved in 1938, ORANGE 3 in April 1941 [3] more on these plans can be found on this wikipedia article.

“Project RAINBOW” was also the code name given by the CIA to a research project aimed at reducing the radar cross-section of the Lockheed U-2 and lowering the chance that it would be detected and tracked by Soviet radars during its overflights of the USSR. However, the Soviets continued to track the U-2 flights in spite of experimentation with various technological fixes.

Interestingly a declassified CIA document from Jan 2nd, 1958 (above) also states that the project involved the further study of Electromagnetic radiation in connection with Project Rainbow.

A Single Unnamed Source of a Possible Project Name?


So, in the end, the first mention of the project name was in an interview with William Moore by an unidentified person that thinks it may have been “Rainbow“. Moore found a listing for “Rainbow” and considered it case closed. I wonder if he put the same effort into looking up “Mirage.” overall the term “sketchy” comes to mind. 

Never the less “Project Rainbow” has been associated with the Philadelphia Experiment ever since. 

[1]“The Philadelphia Experiment” by Bill Moore & Charles Berlitz, Pg 194

[2] See The Navy’s Official FAQ on the Philadelphia Experiment

[3] as found in the Index Of Operational And Code Names “We no longer refer to it as Teleportation, we call it ITS: Instantaneous Transport System” DE173.COM Support This Site Einstein Meeting With The Navy, 1943

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