Donald L. Hings, Inventor of the Walkie-Talkie spoke of the Philadelphia Experiment

By Guy Cramer, President/CEO of HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp. and grandson / former research assistant of Donald L. Hings, P.Eng, M.B.E. (Member of British Empire), C.M. (Order of Canada).

(July 06, 2007, Vancouver, B.C.) In 1990 while working as a research assistant for my Grandfather, Donald L. Hings, inventor of the Walkie-Talkie. I was surprised to learn that he had full knowledge of something called the Philadelphia Experiment in 1943 where a Navy ship was modified to make it less detectable to Radar.

During the many stories about World War II, my grandfather loved to share with me, including the many about the development of the Walkie-Talkie, one in particular stood out:

During the War years Don had been working for the Canadian National Research Council (Federal Government). His expertise in communications and electronics combined with his geophysics knowledge allowed him into certain secret allied programs. One name in particular I recalled from these stories was Dr. Hill, an expert in Radar as my grandfather held him in the highest regard.

Don had been asked by the Canadian government in 1943 to represent Canada's contribution to this secret allied program to participate with this small group of scientists and military involving radar and wave propagation. This group of eight men formed under the title International Commission for the U.S. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics NACA (NACA would later to become NASA). This combined think tank which featured three elite scientists; one representing Canada (Don) another representing Britain (Hill) and another representing the U.S. (Edgerton),  would cooperate on many classified and Top Secret Allied R&D efforts at the time; some of these programs continue in some form to this day.  

After seeing a TV program on naval personnel who claimed to be a part of the Philadelphia Experiment in 1943 where it was claimed that during the test using new technology to cause the ship to produce a field to absorb radar signals, some sort of accident occurred during one of the experiments, the technology they simulated in the program looked similar to something my grandfather had.  I asked my grandfather if he had ever heard of the "Philadelphia Experiment" and to my surprise he laughed (as if he was caught) and said yes, he told me a brief story of what actually took place and what caused the accident - this was close to 50 years after the events but there was still a need for secrecy concerning the program.

Prior to D-Day Don was asked by the Canadian Government to dress and act as a Canadian Military Colonel under a false name to accompany the Canadian Minister of Defence to London as they did not want the German's to know Don was in the country. This classified episode was later confirmed by the Canadian Signal Corps who made him an honorary member due to his brief military status.

When my grandfather passed away in 2004 at the age of 96, the family undertook the cleanup of his laboratory, my job was to look for sensitive information which could not be sent to the museums. I thought I was aware of all his sensitive research, however, I found something called "Case-Red" files, I had never been privy to those files in the years I worked with him. When I asked my aunt who had been my Grandfathers secretary for many years about these "Case-Red" files, she was surprised by their existence and said she had no knowledge of them. My grandfather was very thorough in compartmentalizing the files so even if you had a file, unless you knew the science and facts behind the file you wouldn't be able to determine too much about file - not enough that it would jeopardize those programs if you released what was in there.

Going through his items I came across a photo during the war shown below: 

This picture shows my grandfather, Donald Hings (back row - second from right with fellow Canadian Navy Officer, Don Ross) during WWII as part of the International Commission for the U.S. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics NACA (NACA would later to become NASA). He claimed to me that he was involved in some capacity with a project called the Philadelphia Experiment where a U.S. Navy ship was designed to be less visible to radar. Dr. Hill was the expert on the secret Radar. Dr. Edgerton's MIT students were working on the secret Manhattan project and Hings was working on numerous secret programs for the Canadian military. This photo was taken months before the actual Philadelphia experiment took place on the East Coast of the U.S. The ship did not physically disappear as some have claimed.

Dr. Archibald Hill (Great Britain)

British physiologist Archibald Vivian Hill researched the effects of electric stimulation on nerve function, the mechanical functions of muscle, and the ways oxygen and hemoglobin interact. Alongside Hermann von Helmholtz, he is now considered one of the founders of biophysics. Hill and German scientist Otto Meyerhof shared the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

In January 1935 the first meeting of the recently established Committee for the Scientific Survey of Air Defence took place in London under the chairmanship of Henry Tizard. Its members were A. V. Hill, a physiologist and Nobel Laureate, Patrick Blackett, then a young professor of physics of considerable intellectual potential, H. E. Wimperis and A. P. Rowe, the latter two from the Air Ministry; all were to become key players in the story of radar or RDF, as it was then known.

Radar actually was conceived in Britain had more to do with a `death ray' than with methods of aircraft detection since, as we have seen, the overwhelming superiority of the force ranged against them suggested that desperate measures needed to be adopted to repulse the invading air armada, or at least to incapacitate its pilots. The inclusion of Hill, a physiologist, on this committee certainly suggests that the pilots were the target.

At this point Watson-Watt was brought in. He was asked to comment on the feasibility of producing an intense amount of energy sufficient either to immobilise an aircraft from the ground, or possibly its pilot by raising his body temperature by at least 2C. This request led Watson-Watt to write two memoranda that must rank amongst the most important scientific documents ever produced that were never written for publication.

Watson-Watt's memoranda was prepared in mid-January 1935 and was submitted to the Air Ministry soon afterwards. In it he dismissed the possibility of a death ray capable of inconveniencing the pilot of even a lowflying aircraft...

However, the close examination of such fanciful ideas produced an entirely unexpected result: the aircraft itself would re-radiate sufficient of the energy that was incident upon it to make its detection and ultimately its tracking quite within the technical capabilities of any of the advanced nations of that time. The credit for performing the calculations that produced this remarkable finding goes to A. F. Wilkins, one of Watson-Watt's assistants at Slough.

Watson-Watt's memorandum `Detection and Location of Aircraft by Radio Methods' was presented to the Air Ministry on 27 February 1935. It was a truly remarkable document that essentially laid the foundations for the radar system that came into service four years later, was developed into air- and shipborne systems throughout the war and then, as technology advanced, became of fundamental importance in all manner of military and civilian roles in the post-war years.

Winston Churchill sent two British secrets to the U.S. in 1940; the Radar transmitter called the "magnetron" and the jet engine. The two items were to be shared and further developed with the United States. Dr. Hill the influential Nobel Laureate had been sent to the U.S. by Britain in early 1940 to structure this handover of technology he had been secretly involved with since it's conception five years earlier.

During World War II, Dr. Hill served on many commissions concerned with defence and scientific policy. He was a member of the War Cabinet Scientific Advisory Committee (1940-1946). He was Chairman of the Research Defence Society (1940-1951) and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Physical Laboratory (1940-1945).

Two major accomplishments of this period include his coordination of efforts to gain military cooperation with Canada and the United States, and a report he composed as a visitor to India recommending the restructuring and reorganization of the country's scientific and industrial resources.

Dr. Harold Edgerton (USA)

Dr. Harold Edgerton, professor of electrical engineering at MIT, (bottom row left in the photo) developed a strobe system for night-time aerial photography of ground targets and operations during WWII. It was used effectively in the Normandy invasion in 1944. Two of Edgerton's students, Germeshausen and Grier, during that time, worked for the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. They developed the high-speed strobe circuitry used for triggering the atomic bomb. After the war, Edgerton, Germeshausen and Grier (EG&G as the company is now known) incorporated and assumed major responsibilities for bomb tests. As prime contractors for the Atomic Energy Commission, they designed and operated systems that time and fire US nuclear bomb tests.

EG&G. has been a contractor on some of the Government's most secret projects (including the secret Groom Lake "Area 51" base in Nevada), where some of the most secret military projects, including the F-117 stealth fighter, were tested. This was confirmed in the Las Vegas Times newspaper dated July 17, 1996  which details a Las Vegas federal judge release of a foot-thick stack of government documents, adding details to a lawsuit brought by former workers at the Air Force's secret Groom Lake base which confirmed EG&G as the prime contractor for the Base.

Dr. Edgerton was recognized as a world leading electrical engineer, deep-sea explorer (good friend of Jacques Cousteau), marine archaeologist and for his applications of sonar technology to geology and archaeology.

Donald L. Hings (Canada)

Donald L. Hings, P.Eng, M.B.E., C.M. developed the first truly portable Walkie-Talkie in 1937 and later developed military sets in WWII for the Canadian Government, which earned him the prestigious Member of British Empire Award and The Order of Canada for this achievement.

Among Hings 55 patents (23 patents in the field of electronics), included some of the more notable;
Electronic Musical Instrument (Electronic Piano) U.S. Patent #2,492,919
Molded Circuit Boards U.S. Patent #2,703,377
Linear Rolling Motor U.S. Patent #3,555,380 (bullet trains propulsion)
Oil finding device U.S. Patent # 4,458,205.
Hings also invented the technology used for the DEW Line (Distant Early Warning Line) operated by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) for over 30 years.

Groom Lake and Radar Reduction

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) would later become integral for cover stories regarding the true nature of Lockheed U-2 skunk works developed spy plane which was testing at Groom Lake. When the U-2 became vulnerable to Surface to Air Missiles the A-12 (CIA mach 3+ pre SR-71 spy plane) was developed and Edgerton's E.G.&G was brought in to Groom Lake to conduct Radar Cross Section (RCS) tests on the A-12. EG&G set up in "Area 51" and designated this "Groom Lake Project 51". Since this time all U.S. operational low-observable (stealth) aircraft are tested for their RCS at this EG&G facility.

Confirmation of 1943 events

In early 2007 we found Don's files marked "Most Secret" which referred to the months of 1943 in which this team collaborated. I am not allowed to disclose the contents of those documents.

Stealth Technology today

The actual technology used today to reduce Radar reflection for aircraft such as the B2 Bomber, F-117 and the F-22 may be a byproduct of the technology developed by this team in 1943 for reducing the Radar Cross Section (RCS) of naval ships. The F-117 stealth fighter was tested at Groom Lake (EG&G is the contractor for that site) long before the public was ever made aware of the aircraft.

Legacy and Legends

While Hings, Hill and Edgerton from the 1943 commission have since passed away, their cooperation led to technological advances that are still shrouded in secrecy and disinformation to this day.


Development of Walkie Talkie from 1930-1945

Who actually developed the first Walkie-Talkie?

Archibald V. Hill

Archibald Hill

Encyclopedia of World Biography on Archibald Vivian Hill

Precursors to radar-the Watson-Watt memorandum and the Daventry experiment

The Invention that Changed the World: How a small group of radar pioneers won the Second World War and launched a technological revolution

The National Academy of Sciences: The First Hundred Years, 1863-1963 (1978), Chapter 13 The Academy in World War II

MIT Loses a Colorful, Beloved Professor 

Harold Eugene Edgerton - BIOGRAPHY

It's no secret - Area 51 was Never Classified

EG&G Special Projects Radar Cross Section Evaluations of A-12 Article on pylon at Groom Lake, Nevada

This material is Copyright © 2007, by Guy Cramer, All Rights Reserved.
This material cannot be reproduced in any form without the expressed written permission of the Author.

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