Stranger Things returns to Netflix today and it’s only a matter of time before the internet explodes with fan theories.
Is Will actually a ghost? Did Barb actually die? Is Hopper Mike’s real dad? These are all probable discussions you can expect to see on the front page of Reddit for weeks to come.
Yett behind the cult phenomenon lies a real mystery, which is wrapped up in a series of real life human experiments in New York.
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Let’s start where all shows do: at the title card. Speak to anybody in a bar or pub on a Friday night and chances are they’ve watched or at least heard of Stranger Things.
Did you know the show, very nearly, didn’t got called Stranger Things at all. The original title for the sci-fi show was Project Montauk, according to the New York Post.
Project Montauk was an alleged series of secret US experiments around Montauk Air Force Station in Long Island, New York.
The experiments were attempting to develop psychological techniques, which could be used in warfare and intelligence capacities, according to filmmaker Christopher Garetano, who’s been researching the Montauk Project for over ten years.
So I spent almost a decade of having my head filled with these stories – legends – of time travel, mind control, nazis, aliens and according to witnesses and alleged survivors – it all happened beneath the Camp Hero State Park in Montauk.
The official story is, the camp was a strategic place to defend the East coast of America from Nazi invasion during World War II.
However, after World War II, Christopher says, the US recruited Nazi scientists to develop weapons and technology.
People who were involved in the Montauk Project also claimed these same Nazi scientists were at the forefront of the Montauk Project.
The Montauk Project is, according to the stories and the legends, a covert government operation that illegally recruited human subjects – runaway kids – for purposes of mind control.
Some of the more elaborate stories are time travel, interstellar travel, inter-dimensional travel, and the reverse engineering of extraterrestrial technology.
But the core idea in the Montauk Project was a wrangling of human experiments and this isn’t far from fact.
We know about things like MK Ultra and we know about things like the Holmesburg prison experiments. All of these secret government mind control programmes – these things have been proven.
One of the most well known American programmes was the Stargate Project, which saw the CIA attempting to get a group of people to become powerful psychics.
The project is a matter of public record and is widely known to have existed, though the details remain slightly hazy.
There were hearings in 1995 which deemed the CIA and other government organisations had broken the law with the Stargate Project and others, which President Bill Clinton had to apologise for publicly.
So we know the experiments definitely went down, so it’s not so big of a stretch to think the experiments which we saw being conducted on Eleven in Stranger Things could be based on a true story?