The cultural phenomenon that we now know as Stranger Things was sold under the working title Montauk, and before producers switched the setting to a small town in Indiana, the eerie action of Season 1 was going to take place way out at the eastern end of Long Island. But the thread looped through the eight Stranger Things episodes, the idea that contact between Eleven and the Demogorgon may have opened the portal to the Upside Down, has roots in an incident that conspiracy theorists believe occurred in Montauk in 1983, and ended secret experiments that the US military had been conducting on children for four decades.
That far-fetched scenario that corresponds to Stranger Things Season 1 is only part of the Long Island legend. So hold on to your Eggos -- the story of the so-called Montauk Project gets even weirder than what we've seen on the Netflix gem so far.
The monster is supposedly real, too
The experiments at Camp Hero apparently came to an end in 1983 when one of the subjects, Duncan Cameron, created a Bigfoot-like monster using his psychic powers. The monster led to the end of the experiments at Camp Hero and the below-ground research site was filled with cement.
Duncan Cameron is one of the central figure in the Philadelphia Experiment and Montauk Project saga. According to Al Bielek, Duncan was his brother (when Al was Ed Cameron) who jumped off the USS Eldridge in 1943 and landed into the future. When they wound up in 1983 at Montauk, both were sent back to the USS Eldridge to destroy the equipment that was keeping the ship in hyperspace.
Al Bielek says that before the USS Eldridge rematerialized, Duncan jumped back off the ship and returned back to 1983.
He was used extensively as a psychic in the Montauk project. During one of the experiments, Duncan Cameron lost his "time lock" and began to age one year for every hour that passed.
The time engineers at Montauk went back in time (to 1950) and convinced Duncan's original father, Alexander Cameron to sire another son. When done, they removed Duncan's soul and put it into the new child. This person is who we know today as Duncan Cameron.
The new Duncan picked up where the old Duncan left off. He became one of the principal psychics who manned the Montauk Chair. The chain was used to create and hold the frequency required to perform the time travel and mind control activities.
Duncan, as well as Stewart Swerdlow, allegedly were both Montauk Boys programmers. This part of the program still deeply troubles both of them.
The Montauk program was brought to an abrupt halt when "Jr.", the Bigfoot monster was brought into form (via Duncan) and proceed to wreck the base. Source.
As Michael Houtzager, who set up the Alfred Bielek site notes: "All of the people we interviewed that participated in the Montauk [Project] were subject to many sessions of mind control."
The Montauk Project is an alleged series of secret United States government projects conducted at Camp Hero or Montauk Air Force Station on Montauk, Long Island, for the purpose of developing psychological warfare techniques and exotic research including time travel. Jacques Vallée describes allegations of the Montauk Project as an outgrowth of stories about the Philadelphia Experiment. The history of the Montauk Project story is closely associated with — and often believed to originate in — the Montauk Project series of books by Preston Nichols.
Stories about the Montauk Project have circulated since the early 1980s. According to UFO researcher Jacques Vallée, the Montauk Experiment stories seem to have originated with the account of Preston Nichols, who claimed to have recovered repressed memories of his own involvement. American Preston B. Nichols (born May 24, 1946 in Long Island, New York) claims to have degrees in parapsychology, psychology, and electrical engineering. He authored a series of books, known as the Montauk Project series, along with Peter Moon, the primary topic of which is alleged activities at Montauk. These center on topics including United States government/military experiments in fields such as time travel, teleportation, mind control, contact with alien life and staging faked Apollo Moon landings, framed as developments which followed a successful 1943 Philadelphia Experiment. These culminate in "a hole ripped in space-time" in 1983.
The authors have encouraged speculation about the contents (for example, writing "Whether you read this as science fiction or non-fiction you are in for an amazing story" in their first chapter, describing much of the content as "soft facts" in a Guide For Readers and publishing a newsletter with updates to the story).
Some sources report that Nichols claims to have worked on the Montauk Project and recalls it only through recovery of repressed memories. Others hold that he believes he is periodically abducted to continue his participation against his will. Most treat Nichols' work as fiction.
In 2015, Montauk Chronicles, a film adaptation of the conspiracy featuring Preston Nichols, Al Bielik, and Stewart Swerdlow was released online and on DVD and Blu-ray. The film won the best documentary award at the Philip K. Dick Film Festival in New York City and has been featured on Coast to Coast AM and the Huffington Post.
The Netflix web TV series Stranger Things was allegedly inspired by the Montauk Project, and at one time Montauk was used as its working title. Source.
The Monster of the Montauk Project has been tied into the discovery of the Montauk Monster in 2008. Three passages from the Wikipedia page on this misidentified mystery beast highlight it's short history that has resulted in its long folklore status.
The "Montauk Monster" was an [intriguingly mysterious] animal carcass...that washed ashore on a beach near the business district of Montauk, New York in July 2008. [The photo of it was first widely published on Gawker. - Loren] The identity of the creature and the veracity of stories surrounding it have been the subject of controversy and speculation. It is not known what happened to the carcass; it was said to have mysteriously disappeared....
Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman at Cryptomundo first coined the name the "Montauk Monster" on July 29, 2008. The moniker was disseminated globally on the Internet in the following days. Photographs were widely circulated via email and weblogs, and the national media picked up on it raising speculation about the creature. The potential urban legend stature of the Montauk Monster was noted by Snopes.....
Initial media reports included speculation that the Montauk Monster might have been a turtle without its shell — although turtles' shells are fused with the spine and cannot be removed in this way — a dog, a large rodent, or a science experiment from the nearby government animal testing facility, the Plum Island Animal Disease Center.
The Montauk Monster almost certainly has been identified by me and others, such as Darren Naish, as a decomposing raccoon carcass.
The 2014 Hunter Shea novel, The Montauk Monster, delivers an interesting fiction piece about the entire Montauk question.