How the Montauk Project inspired Stranger Things

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Stranger Things is the hit show from Netflix that has its 2nd season coming to Netflix on October 27th.  The show take inspiration from many 80s films and a government conspiracy to weave an original tale that has captivated audiences.  Fans are still analyzing the first season in various ways.  I have been to film panels where film buffs take out frames from the show interlay them over similar shots from 80s films like ET.  I've been to panels discussing the various details that give the show its unique nostalgic 80s feel.  I've been to panels on the music.  AND...I have been to a couple of great panels on the truth.......the secret truth that Stranger Things is actually based on real story.  The Eleven, the Demagorgon are all based off of real things that happened.  This of course gives the show an added layer of depth.

For what ever reason horror being tied to reality always seems to make teeth of the story a little sharper, and its jaws sink a little deeper as it goes about frightening you.  It helps the book or film leap out of its world and into yours and scare you even more.  This of course has been used by a tactic of Texas Chain Saw massacre that added, "Based on a True Story" even though it was extremely loosely tied to the story of Ed Geins who lived in Michigan.  HP Lovecraft notoriousily created the myth of the Necronomicon and a fake history for his horrors to live in.  While not based on fact, his horrors had the essence of feeling like they were real.  Other authors and horror film makes built on Lovecrafts creating an overall myth of the Necronomincon.  Mentions of the Necronomicon are so pervasive that many believe the book to be real.

Stranger Things itsself is tied to a set of modern myths / conspiracy theories called the Montauk Project.  The Montauk Project is much like a modernized version of Lovecraft's mythos with a wide variety of authors and film makers piling on their own stories tied to Montauk.  To those who doubt that Stranger Things is based off the Montauk Project consider this....the original name of Stranger Things originally had the working title of Montauk.

What is the Montauk Project?

In 1992 a book was released by Preston B. Nichols and Peter Moon called the Mountauk Project.  The authors followed up this book with a series of other books and Newsletters.  The other books in the series are Montauk Revisited: Adventures in Synchronicity, Pyramids of Montauk: Explorations of Conciousness, The Black Sun: Montauk's Nazi-Tibetan Connection, Montauk: The Alien Connection.  These books form the core of the Montauk Mythos that other authors and film makers have begun to tie their projects to.

The general idea of the Montauk Project is that in the 1940s a government project called the Philadelphia Experiment accidently punched a whole in time and space.  This event was researched and the equipment and people involved eventually moved to a base in Mauntauk in the 1980s and a camp called Camp Hero.   A variety of clandestine events are said  have taken place on the base including: Time travel, aliens, worm holes, psychic experimentation, and even an interdimensional monster.

Yes there supposedly was a monster just like the demigorgon in Stranger Things:
Picture of Montauk Monster

In the Montauk Project Mythos the government projects were deemed to dangerous and shut down when an alien or perhaps Interdimensional monster was released. It was said that the monster was released due to psychic powers used by Duncan Cameron. The monster was said to be like big foot and it killed multiple people before being killed itself. The project was said to be skuttled after this event with cement being poured into the below ground research site lock away the portal that had been created there. The monster was said to have been refered to as Jr.

Duncan Cameron is a common mentioned person in the Montauk Mythos. He is said to tie to both the Philidelphia Experiment that occured in the 40s and the later Camp Hero events that occured in the 1980s. The story goes that 2 men Duncan Cameron and Al Bielek were on the USS Eldridge when that ship was accidently transported into the future and they wound up in 1983 at the Montauk base. They were then sent on a mission back to the ship being held in hyperspace and destroy it. Before destroying the ship the 2 men managed to leap off and ended up being stuck in 1983.Scientists found that Cameron and Al  Bielek had psychic powers perhaps due to their genetics and perhaps due to their exposure to time travel.  At one point the scientists are said to have gone back into time and sired a 2nd child with Cameron's genes so that an ailing Cameron could have his mind transfered into that body as a host.  There was device in the facility called the Montauk chair that would enhance an individuals psychic powers and was used for time travel and mind control.  Cameron Duncan was one of the primary users of the chair and was one of the base's principal psychics.  The men were also part of a program to that attempted to turn street orphans into psychics.  All of these projects were brought to a halt wihen Duncan accidently brought Jr. the interdimensional monster to life.  At that point the project was deemed too dangerous and shut down.

In July of 2008 a bizaare looking animal carcass was washed into the shore of NYC.  The bizarre looking corpse gained notariety when it began being called the Montauk Monster.  While the corpse was never definetly identified many assume it was a decomposing raccoon.

What makes the Montauk myths the most interesting is that there is in fact a derelict government base there with a still existing ruin of a structure.  The actual history of the base is shrouded in mystery and the area around it has been transformed into a park where the public are allowed to go but with limited access.  The site has become a popular place for teenagers to hang out, and adventurers to explore despite it being illegal.  The main distinguishing feature of Camp Hero is a large radar tower called Sage Radio Tower.  The tower is built into many of the myths surrounding the base.

A park has opened around the site called Camp Hero State Park but the military installation remains off limits.  According to Wikipedia there are plans to build a museum there:
Camp Hero State Park was opened to the public on September 18, 2002. There are plans to create a museum and an interpretive center that will focus on World War II and Cold War history inside the radar tower.Some parts of the camp remained closed off and guarded, especially the areas near the old satellite and military installations.
My recommendation would be to set up a Stranger Things themed museum that would surely draw in hordes of fans.

Believers in the Montauk Project believe there still could be hidden things hidden beneath the park and that no such museum will ever come to fruitiion.

Animated History of The Montauk Project
A new conspiracy theory esq teaser for Stranger Things:

Stranger Things -Film Shop:

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