Book Review

The Time Travel Handbook
A Manual of Practical Teleportation and Time Travel

D. H. Childress, ed.
Adventures Unlimited Press, 1999, 271 pages


A cross between science fiction, conspiracy theory, and UFO stuff. Discusses the "Philadelphia Experiment", in which the U.S. Navy supposedly experimented in 1943 with a cloaking device to make the destroyer USS Eldridge invisible. In so doing the ship, according to the legend, was accidentally teleported from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Norfolk, Virginia and back again, with a number of unfortunate results. The book discusses several possible explanations for this story, the most plausible one being that the Navy was actually trying to degauss the ship to make it "invisible" to magnetic mines, and the story just sort of got out of hand.

The book also contains a fair amount of pseudo-scientific gibberish obtained from the Internet, including plans for building a time machine. The proposed device supposedly works by generating tachyons by colliding matter and antimatter in a home-made synchrotron; but the plans are more than a little vague on how to actually construct some of essential components such as the "Polyphase Warp Harmonic Field Array" and "Time Wave Rectifier" needed for a functioning device. Unfortunately, further details are unavailable, as the company that produced these devices went out of business in 2324.

Here is a sample paragraph:

The Warp Drive Continuum Booster in its general arrangement can be seen in Figure 2: Counter-rotating streams of electrons are tuned to collide within the particle mixing chamber. The two colliding beams are synchronized to interact in a small region of space where a superimposed pattern of two signals forms. This small pattern contains regions of temporal continuum disorders which can be measured.
Don't try this at home. Highly entertaining light reading.
March 16, 2002 Back