By now you’ve probably dedicated a weekend to binge watch the Netflix Original series, Stranger Things. Although it’s hard to miss the endless nods to great classic pictures like Stephen King’s It, Poltergeist, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Stand By Me and more, you just might have missed out on the background and inspiration behind the series.
So we’re going to bring you up to speed, as we theorize.
Once upon a time Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer actually carried designs on telling a story with the clear message that this series would not only take place near Montauk, Long Island, it would completely focus on the conspiracies surrounding the location.
Executives may have wanted to steer clear of the collusion angle, as when this one hit Netflix, we learned that the story doesn’t directly center on the Montauk Project, and even the location had undergone a change. Hell, the Montauk Project is never so much as mentioned in the show.
Damage control, perhaps?
Whether attempting to fool fans or not, there are a few savvy hat tips to the factual Montauk Project. If you’re not familiar with the Montauk Project, it was something of a secretive project that took place on Montauk, Long Island, where experiments were conducted in an attempt to develop psychological warfare techniques in addition to time travel. Over the years, the Montauk Project has been widely considered a conspiracy and nothing more, though some would entirely refute that, insisting that the secret project in question was not fiction, but complete fact.
For years conspiracy theorists have held firm to the belief that this secret government project was no urban legend, glorified fable or outrageous conspiracy. But it was really author Preston Nichols who reignited interest in this strange cover up, with his bestselling book, Montauk: Experiments in Time, which claimed to be a nonfictional account about his own participation in the experiments.
According to the author and his successful book, the government began the project in an attempt to harness the power of electromagnetic fields in order to create new forms of psychological warfare.
Tell our shady government that and you’ll likely get a laugh in your face and a quick dismissal. But many – especially Preston Nichols – believe that the Montauk Project was more than a dark story, it was an active project which operated for years, tucked – by the military – away, only to be deemed one of the more compelling fantastical ideas created in the minds of the curious.
But was it?
And how does the Montauk Project tie into Stranger Things?
That’s a simple question to answer, that’s actually already been answered. Matt and Ross Duffer weren’t all that interested in creating an entirely fictional story. They saw the promise in the Montauk Project, and sought to shed a little light on one of the United States government’s taboo projects.
Someone, somewhere intervened, and made the executive decision to avoid replicating documented facts about the case, and the legend of the Montauk Project. So, some scrambling took place, the location changing, and not a whisper of the Montauk Project slipping from anyone in the cast’s lips.
Was this Netflix playing things safe, or was a warning issued by a higher power altogether?
When you examine some of the horrifying atrocities believed to be enacted during the Montauk Project, it doesn’t seem like a major stretch to conclude that the government was quick to step in and interfere with Matt and Ross Duffer’s potentially revealing tale.
Apparently the Montauk testing process involved kidnapping innocent civilians and exposing them to dangerously high amounts of radiation. The process allegedly gifted test subjects with special powers, including telekinesis and the ability to generate objects out of thin air using only their minds.
It’s easy to see some of these things taking place in Stranger Things, but the question must be asked once more: Is this show truly based on the Montauk Project? Is it possible we’ve been watching a project that truly is based on factual events, events that the United States Government would no doubt prefer to cover up and wipe from the minds of those potentially involved, at any point?
Or is Stranger Things a project that coincidentally incorporates one of history’s darker experiments?
It’s an interesting conspiracy theory… about an interesting conspiracy theory. And regardless of what facts are squeezed into the production and what facts have been omitted for… specific reasons (shall we say), Stranger Things is a smash hit. It’s just extremely interesting and engaging, and it may very well channel, unintentionally (or is it intentionally), facts from one of the United States’ greatest mysteries.
Perhaps time will afford us some compelling answers!