The following article was written in the late 1980s and published in Strange Magazine, #14, Fall 1994. Several things has changed since then (e.g. most American bases in Greece were closed, Leon/Aetos and their brother ships were decommissioned in the early 1990s) but the enigma remains unsolved.
A lot has been written about the so-called Philadelphia Experiment, but few know that the ship was supposedly the subject of bizarre experimentation and its consequences –the destroyer USS Eldridge- is today a part of the Greek fleet.
Charles Berlitz revealed that the Eldridge was the ship used for the 1943 experiment (1). In Without a Trace, he writes that the Eldridge was donated to the Greek Navy as post-war American aid in 1951. Today the Eldridge is A/T (destroyer) Leon (lion) and is brother ship to the Aetos (eagle), Ierax (falcon) and Panthir (panther).
There is anecdotal information that something weird happened when the destroyer was lost for a period of two days during a military exercise in the Ionian Sea back in the 1950s. The story is not documented, but rumors persist. It is said that after the incident, American “specialists” took metal parts of the ship in order to examine them (2).
The Berlitz-Moore book, The Philadelphia Experiment, published in 1979, stated that the USS Edlridge was given to the Greek Navy under the name of Leon. But at least one year before the book, a strange story was spread –that the warship that was the subject of the Philadelphia Experiment was the destroyer Aetos, brother ship to the Leon –and related phenomena occurred in it sporadically, including problems in radar systems, radiocommunications and receipt of radar images, etc (3).
According to another undocumented story, a Greek navy warrant-officer, in a visit of the ship to the United States, approached the authorities and told them he knew not only the real identity of the ship, but also the kind of experiments that had taken place in 1943. This happened in 1979, and the Americans tried to prevent his departure. Unfortunately we still have little information about this story (4).
First we know for sure that the USS Eldridge now belongs to the Greek navy, either with the name Leon or Aetos. Second, practically on th slopes of Pendeli mountain, near Athens, there lies the American base of Nea Makri, well-equipped with special electronic devices.
Third, there is a road that connects the community of Palaia Pendeli with Nea Makri. In a part of the road, possible gravitational anomalies have been occurring, and also various weirdnesses –including UFOs and paracreatures- have manifested in the same area (5)
Fourth, in 1977, mysterious work started in Daveli’s cave, a little cave near the area with the gravitational anomalies cited above, which was the epicenter of paranormal events. The work –including excavations and openings of underground tunnels around the cave- was supposed to be top secret, and supposedly “a matter of national defense”, as characterized by former minister of National Defense Evangelos Averoff. (6)
In the period that Greece was out of NATO (1974-1980), they could have never started secret work in the Daveli’s cave unless it was something very important, so important that it could not have taken place elsewhere. Could that reason be the gravitational disturbances, and the consequent wave of anomalism in the area?
Meanwhile, in the summer of 1977, simultaneously with the works at Pendeli, great innovations of Nea Makri’s base equipment started (7). Its devices were replaced by new ones, sent straight from the States. Witnesses saw trucks from a concrete construction company move in and out of the base. Apparently the construction was taking place underground in newly opened tunnels. Also, the inhabitants of nearby communities testified that they saw unknown materials being transported in huge containers. It was rumored that these contained special electronic equipment to supply the new underground rooms.
If we accept that the electrogravity experiments are continuing, the ideal place might be an area where the environment would help the manifestation of related phenomena. Adi-Kent Thomas Jeffrey, quoted in the book The Bermuda Triangle (1973), stated that “a few years ago, the (US) Office of Naval Research… sponsored research by the physicist John Caristoiou, concerning the problems of gravity”. The study had the title “The Two Gravitational Fields and Gravitational Waves Propagation”. Dr Caristoiou contends, from a purely mathematical basis, that there might exist, particularly over marine areas, some sort of gravitational force different and separate from gravity as we know it –a kind of second gravity. Such a force might exert effects on the earth’s surface or ocean surface –as well as over it and under it- that are wholly different from regular gravity. Such previously unknown effects, he feels, might be easily detected by our highly developed techniques for exploring the physical nature of our planet (8)
The following is some relevant news from the Greek newspapers. · July 21, 1979: “Panic and confusion were caused by a tremendous quake, accompanied by a loud and sudden bang yesterday just before midnight, spreading dear among the inhabitants of the communities of Mesogeia” (all of them close to Nea Makri’s base). “…In the Golden Dawn Hotel, tiles were cracked, while in the Avra cinema, window glasses were shattered…”(9). Nobody ever offered an explanation for the incident. It was not an earthquake.
· January 3, 1980. “Curious earthquakes are occurring on an everyday basis in the Messara area of the island of Crete. The quakes always occur in the same time, about 7 pm, a fact that precludes them being normal earthquakes. The area affected by the earthquakes covers 100 square kilometers. Not only the intensity and frequency of the quakes but the veil of secrecy involved has worried the inhabitants..” (10)
Nea Makri’s base is characterized as a NAVCOMMSTA (naval Communication Station), but its equipment would certainly be used for other activities besides the usual telecommunications. The Gournes base near the city of Heraklio, Crete has 22 officers and 650 warrant-officers, more than its equipment would demand. Carefully examining the base’s personnel, we can conclude that the base is the only one of its kind in the Mediterranean area, and one of the most significant in the world. On September 5, 1980, the New York Times described the base as an enormous subterranean city with vast offices, and filled with electronic equipment. The secret part of the base is a room under the control of the National Security Agency (NSA). The Greek commander is strictly forbidden from entering it (11). According to the newspaper reports from January 28, 1980, 45 new CIA agents –specialists in computer programs for electrical engineering- arrived in Greece between December 1979 and January 1980 –a period which coincided with the strange quakes.
There seems to be a relationship between Crete and Nea Makri. Around 1969, a person working in “Democritus”, the Greek Nuclear and Scientific Research Center in the outskirts of Athens, reported that there were “strange moving magnetic vortices” in the Pendeli area (12). Ten years later, a similar story came out concerning “magnetic and gravitational anomalies” in Crete, especially near the American base of Gournes. (13). Around this time the Gournes base requested as much electric power (for unknown needs) as was usually consumed by the whole city of Heraklio, a city with tens of thousands of inhabitants. For what kind of application was so much energy destined? Are electrogravity application experiments now taking place in Greece?
(1) APRO Bulletin, July-August 1969. (2) Source: researcher Nickos Triandis, circa 1985. (3) Other Oceans, Other Worlds, George Balanos, (published 1995, unpublished at the time of writing) (4) ibid. (5) The Riddle of Pendeli, George Balanos, 1982. Also field investigations by Thanassis Vembos, Makis Nodaros, George Balanos, Costas Gerogiannis and Nickos Triandis. (6) Undated clipping, circa 1981. (7) Rizospastis newspaper, 5 August 1977 (8) Adi Kent Thomas Jeffrey, The Bermuda Triangle, p. 199; Ivan Sanderson, Uninvited Visitors, pp. 146-155 (9) Nea newspaper, 21 July 1979. (10) Other Oceans, Other Worlds, George Balanos; Nea, 3.12.1979, 22.12.1979, 3.1.1980, 23.2.1980, 5.6.1980. (11) Vima newspaper, 5.10.1980, 30.8.1981 (12) Personal communication with George Balanos.