MONTAUK BOYS & GIRLS, MONARCH PROGRAMMING: SPINE-chilling stories about the sinister goings-on at Camp Hero air force base in Montauk have long been the stuff of local legend.
Since the Seventies, tall tales have surrounded the derelict facility in Long Island, New York.
Most concern the US Government’s top secret Montauk Project — which, so the stories go, involved kidnapped kids, mind-control experiments, time travel, psychic brainwashing, aliens and a petrifying, other-worldly beast.
If this all sounds familiar to fans of Emmy-winning Netflix sci-fi hit NETFLIX Stranger Things that’s because the experiments which allegedly took place in Montauk are an inspiration for the show.
Stranger Things, which stars Winona Ryder, 45, and returns for a second series on October 27, was originally titled Montauk.
But creators the Duffer brothers, Matt and Ross, ditched that name and transferred the setting to the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. They declined to explain why.
Series one centred on a missing boy trapped in another dimension, a powerfully psychic girl called Eleven who escapes from a secret Government research lab, and dark experiments which unleash a terrifying monster that stalks the town.
It sounds far-fetched but has chilling echoes of real-life reports surrounding the Montauk Project.
Preston Nichols, from Long Island, claims he was an electrical engineer in Montauk in the early Eighties.
He said: “I found myself on this screwball project which became known as the Montauk Project.
“We began to look at how you could interface minds with computer systems, the idea being you could fly a fighter plane by pure thought.
“But it soon evolved into developing a mind-control device. They wanted to flip a switch and have everyone respond to a computer programme.
“While they never found a signal that worked universally, they were able to target individuals very well.
“Later it was discovered that if the individual whose mind was powering the machine could think of other time periods, this machine could generate a vortex there — essentially a time machine.”
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMM! TIME TRAVELERS OF MONTAUK PROJECT & THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT!
It is claimed the Montauk Project grew out of the Philadelphia Experiment in 1943, which allegedly was to make the US Navy Destroyer USS Eldridge invisible to German radar.
But conspiracy theorists say the ship temporarily vanished into a different dimension or time, along with its crew, who later reportedly suffered psychologically damaging effects.
Afterwards, it is claimed, experiments into the uses of electromagnetic forces continued at the Government’s energy lab Brookhaven, in Long Island.
In his 1992 book, Montauk Project: Experiments In Time, Preston claims that Congress became wary of developing mind-control techniques and shut down the research. Yet the military took up the baton and allowed scientists to shift their sensitive work to the then defunct Camp Hero.
Preston Nicholas claims tests were made on locals to alter their behaviour
Preston said: “What better place to disguise a black-ops, secret project than a disused base at the tip of a peninsula which had always been disguised as a fishing village.”
Crucially, the former base had an obsolete Sage radar tower, which broadcast the frequency needed to affect human consciousness.
Preston claims programmes to alter behaviour were tested on the locals.
He told how two-hour crime waves would be triggered or teenagers were prompted to congregate. Other signals caused animals to charge into the town, or shut down car electronics.
The Duffer brothers originally named their hit Netflix show Montauk
Most sinister of the experiments was the Montauk Chair — essentially a mind-reading device. Preston says he operated it, often working with a psychic called Duncan Cameron.
He said: “The computer would produce a digital representation of what the person in the chair was thinking about.”
He claimed the subject could think of a solid object and the transmitter would make it appear on the base from the ether, sometimes solid and at other times transparent.
Another experiment, the Seeing Eye, involved Duncan clutching a lock of someone’s hair or a personal belonging, concentrating on them and claiming to see through their eyes, hear through their ears and feel through their body.
Preston Nichols said they were able to create portals in time, like the one Eleven enters in the sci-fi hit show
Paul Monte, 59, grew up in the Montauk area and says there was once an unidentified flying object above Camp Hero
A remarkably similar experiment is performed on the kidnapped girl Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, in Stranger Things.
Preston said of Duncan’s powerful abilities: “He could actually see through other people, anywhere on the planet.”
Preston claims these mind-bending feats eventually led to the ability to create portals in time and to journey to other eras and other dimensions — as well as to Mars.
He wrote: “Those who travelled through the vortex described it as a peculiar spiral tunnel that was lit all the way down.
Preston Nichols claims psychic Duncan Montauk was able to unleash a monster through the portals they created
“As one started to walk down, he would suddenly be pulled through it. It propelled one out the other end, usually in another place.”
He added: “I was considered too valuable to the technical operation and was not allowed to travel through the portal.”
Preston claims the project was halted when Duncan unleashed a monster through the machine — again, much like Eleven does.
He wrote: “Duncan let loose a monster from his subconscious. And the transmitter actually portrayed a hairy monster. It was big, hairy and nasty . . . it showed up somewhere on the base. It would eat everything it could find. And it smashed everything in sight.”
Camp Hero has been the home of many urban legends for the locals
Preston claims he was then ordered to smash the equipment that powered the Montauk Chair, in an attempt to destroy the beast.
Employees were subsequently brainwashed to forget what they had experienced there and, in 1984, the lower levels of the base were filled in with cement.
Over time Preston claims he was able to reclaim his repressed memories and write about what happened. Others have since come forward and talked about their part in the weird experiments.
Stewart Swerdlow, 50, who lives in Michigan, has long claimed he was one of the “Montauk Boys” who were allegedly snatched and used in mind-control tests.
In recent years, many people have come forward and said they were snatched and put through mind-control experiments
Stewart said: “When the experiments started they’d target ‘expendable’ boys like orphans, runaways or the children of drug addicts. The kind of kids no one would really come looking for.”
Others have talked of how up to 100,000 boys were subjected to horrific abuse at Montauk over a 13-year period.
Stewart said: “The aim was to fracture your mind so they could programme you . . . they would change the temperature from very hot to very cold, starve you then over-feed you.
“I remember being beaten with a wooden pole. And they loved to hold your head underwater until you nearly drowned. That was effective — it makes a person likely to listen to and obey their ‘rescuer’.
Stewart Swerdlow, who said he was experimented on at Montauk, claims they often kidnapped orphans and runaways
“They also used LSD to put our brains into an altered state.”
Stewart, who claims that boys died during the project, also alleges that he witnessed sexual abuse used as a torture method.
Perhaps the most outlandish of his claims is that these boys were sent down the time-travel tunnels.
Stewart, who is now a paranormal researcher, said: “I went to Mars and back to Biblical times.
Mind control programmes were developed in the 1950’s by the CIA but were halted over ethical concerns
“In the early days, as they were perfecting the co-ordinates, a lot of boys were simply lost. They used other expendable people like homeless people. I still have nightmares about it today. I wasn’t there when the Montauk Chair was shut off but I felt it, like I had suddenly been unplugged from electricity.”
Given that Stewart, Preston and others also claim beings from other planets took part in the research, it is easy to see why the Montauk tales developed such a cult following among paranormal enthusiasts.
No paper-trail has ever been established showing who funded the supposed experiments at Montauk.
In 2015, filmmaker Christopher Garetano, 40, made the documentary the Montauk Chronicles.
In Stranger Things, Eleven is sent into a sensory deprivation tank to communicate with a monster
He told said: “I grew up in New York but spent my summers in Montauk. There were always stories of paranormal mysteries . . . I found them funny and didn’t believe them.
“After film school I had the idea to make a film and interview some of these men myself.
“There have been some extraordinary claims made, but the more I have researched the more I’ve begun to believe it is not so ludicrous.
“We know there was military interest in paranormal phenomena. Project Stargate, which began in 1978 and was later declassified, looked at whether psychics could perform ‘remote viewing’ and ‘see’ events from great distances.”
Stranger Things focuses on dark experiments which unleashes a horrifying monster
Referring to the CIA’s mind control programme, begun in 1953 and halted in 1973, he added: “MKUltra used vulnerable people, like prisoners. So why is it so far-fetched that orphans or runaway boys would be targeted? They seem exactly the sort of subjects who would be easy to take. And Montauk would be the ideal facility, in the winter it is like a ghost town.”
Montauk has not been able to shake its reputation for mysteries.
The second series of Stranger Things returns on October 27
Paul Monte, 59, who is President of the local Chamber of Commerce, said: “Locals don’t mind the stories, we all talk about them. I even had my own encounter with an unexplained flying object in the sky over Camp Hero many years ago.
“No doubt stories have been embellished, but I don’t doubt that things went on there in the Cold War years. Even today, the base is patrolled and watched . . .
“They obviously don’t want people in there even now.”
Stranger Things star leaves talent agency after sexual assault allegations against agent
Allegations were made against his former agent Tyler Grasham.
Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard has left talent agency APA after sexual assault against his former agent Tyler Grasham came to light.
14 year old Wolfhard plays Mike Wheeler on the hit Netflix show.
As reported by E Online, earlier this week former child actor Blaise Godbe Lipman posted the allegations against the agent on Facebook. In the post Lipman alleged that ten years ago Grasham gave him alcohol while underage, and sexually assaulted him. A second man, editor Lucas Ozarowski, has also made allegations against the agent.
This comes a fortnight after The New York Times published multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein.
Deadline reports that according to a source, the allegations are “the reason” for Wolfhard’s departure.
Wolfhard has been widely praised for the move.