Loki's Philadelphia Experiment - The Real-Life History of the USS Eldridge

The God of Mischief is rewriting history.

By Jo Craig

July 7, 2021

The Disney+ series Loki is creating some major talking points amongst the Marvel community, as Tom Hiddleston’s villain continues to present alternate theories to real-life historical events.

The show has reached interstellar levels of popularity, thanks to the creative minds of Michael Waldron and Kate Herron, by keeping fans on their toes about what jaw-dropping moment will come next. 

Episode 1 referenced the real-life mysterious case of D.B. Cooper, and now episode 5 is toying with another iconic enigma that Marvel Studios has a simple explanation for.

Villain | Marvel Studios’ Loki | Disney+

Villain | Marvel Studios’ Loki | Disney+

The USS Eldridge

The USS Eldridge (DE-173) was a Cannon-class destroyer ship that was part of the United States Navy and named after Lieutenant Commander John Eldridge Jr..

Built and launched in 1943, the USS Eldridge acted as an escort for men and cargo across the Mediterranean Sea to fulfill business in North Africa and Southern Europe.

During the ship’s commission, she sailed around the world including New York, Saipan and Okinawa, before being decommissioned in 1946.


Philadelphia Experiment Details

The phenomenon that is the “Philadelphia Experiment” refers to a naval military experiment that took place in a Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in 1943, the same year that the ship was built.

Based on an account from SS Andrew Furuseth sailor Carlos Miguel Allende, the event involves the Navy’s experimentation with anti-radar cloaking technology, which teleported the vessel somewhere else.

Allende wrote in a letter to UFO writer Morris K. Jessup about the horrifying moment when the ship reappeared. He claimed that the USS Eldridge had somehow fused with the crew, with other members returning frozen or insane.

Loki’s Take on the Experiment

*Spoilers Ahead*

In order to explain the legend, Loki has used the fascinating source material to suggest that the USS Eldridge doesn’t just disappear, but enters into The Void only to be destroyed by Alioth.

The ship can be identified in the show by its “173” marking and promises more history diving to come as the narrative builds towards finding out who’s behind the TVA.

Game Revolution

Loki Episode 6 (Finale) Release Date, Time and How to Watch can be found here.

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Jo Craig

Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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