Back more years than I care to admit, I read a book, Allende Letters: New UFO Breakthrough (the title seems to be part of the advertising on the cover) written by Brad Steiger and Joan Whritenour. It was much more than just the story of the Allende Letters but it did spark an interest in me. It also raised some questions about all this sort of thing.
Although only one chapter actually discussed the Allende Letters in detail, it did
mention that a researcher, Steve Yankee, who written to the Chief of Naval
Operations in an attempt to learn more about them. Part of the Allende Letters
case was a copy of Morris K. Jessup’s The
Case for the UFO, filled with annotations apparently made by three
individuals. Yankee apparently received a copy of that book with the notations
from the Navy. I figured if Yankee could get a copy, I should have one as well
and wrote to the Navy. They told me to contact a fellow at Varo Manufacturing
in or near Fort Worth, Texas. Since I was living in Mineral Wells, Texas, near
Fort Worth at the time, I made the contact and eventually received a copy of
the annotated book as well, which I mention here for no other reason except to
point out that I have a copy of the book and interviewed one of the Navy
officers who was responsible for having the annotated book reproduced.
|Brad and Sherry Hansen Steiger|
Given all that, given what I knew about the case from the Navy end of it and having read quite a bit about it, I concluded that the Philadelphia Experiment, which was the underlying force behind the Allende Letters, was a hoax. I knew that Brad had been involved in some research into them but didn’t know how deeply all that went until I received a copy of Real Visitors, Voices from Beyond and Parallel Dimensions.
I had written off Al Bielek, who had made a career out of the Philadelphia Experiment as just one more of those people who claim extraordinary adventures but have nothing to prove their tales. I learned that Bielek had been a friend of Brad and Sherry Steiger. As they worked on a book in 1990, Brad wrote, “We had to admit that Bielek was so convincing in his details that even experienced researchers such as we found ourselves entertaining thoughts of an alternative reality, of other dimensions of time and space overlapping.”
It seemed that Brad and Sherry were giving some credence to this whole idea especially since they knew Bielek. They were laying out the information that made it seem that Bielek was credible and that some aspects of the Philadelphia Experiment, as described by Carlos Allende were true. They even wrote, “On August 22, 1986, The News of Greeley published his ‘deathbed statement,’ in which Carlos insisted that everything that he had claimed in his annotations in The Case for the UFO were true. He also suggested that he had been Dr. Jessup’s uncredited coauthor,” which also seemed to underscore the validity of the Philadelphia Experiment.
But then they mentioned the work of Robert A. Goerman, the work he had done tracking down Allende, who as I have pointed out elsewhere was Carl Allen. The Steigers tell more of that story and then conclude, “It was all a hoax, a fantasy, molded by a former sailor who loved to read about UFOs and strange, unsolved mysteries so much that he created one that may live forever.”
This is, of course, a sad commentary on the critical thinking skills of many, and the inability to comprehend what they read. It is clear that the whole Allende Letters mystery was created by Carl M. Allen, that others jumped on the bandwagon and added detail by plugging themselves into the story, but when all was said and done, there isn’t a shred of evidence that any of this took place. Brad, who you might say contributed to the mystery in the 1960s before we had all the information we now possess, has done his part to eliminate this from our consciousness. To read his whole story about it, take a look at Real Visitors, Voices from Beyond and Parallel Dimensions. It solves a few other mysteries as well and clears up the misconceptions about others.