Stranger Things fans ‘disturbed’ after discovering wild conspiracy theory inspired Netflix series

Stranger Things fans ‘disturbed’ after discovering wild conspiracy theory inspired Netflix series

Stranger Things fans have discovered the ‘disturbing’ inspiration behind the show (Picture: Netflix)

Stranger Things fans have been left shocked after discovering the origins of the hit Netflix series.

First hitting screens in 2016, the science fiction horror drama show was created by the Duffer Brothers and stars actors including Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard and Sadie Sink in the cast.

One of the streaming platform’s most popular shows, it’s gone on to release another three seasons since then, with a fifth and final outing currently in production.

For the uninitiated, the show is set in the 1980s and follows the residents of the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana, as they are plagued by a hostile alternate dimension known as the Upside Down.

Crazy occurrences all kick off after a human experimentation facility opens the gateway between the two dimensions.

Millie’s character Eleven, who has telekinetic and telepathic abilities, endures years of experimentation as a child, before she eventually makes her escape in the first season of the show.

The first season kicked off with Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) getting caught up in an experiment gone wrong (Picture: Netflix)

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Many fans have been floored after finding out that the plot came from a long-held conspiracy theory – called the Montauk Project.

The theory has been described as ‘interesting’, ‘fascinating’ and ‘disturbing’ by fans… so let’s see what you think about it.

What is the Montauk Project?

The Montauk Project conspiracy theory first emerged in the 1980s (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Montauk Project conspiracy theory first emerged in the early 1980s after authors Preston Nichols and Al Bielek claimed to have recovered repressed memories from their own childhoods.

The theory alleges that there were a series of US government projects conducted at Camp Hero or Montauk Air Force Station in Montauk, New York.

The purpose of these projects was supposedly to develop psychological warfare techniques and exotic research, including time travel.

The residents of Hawkins, Indiana have been battling the effects of the Upside Down over four seasons(Picture: Netflix)

Nichols also claims that he was periodically abducted to continue his participation against his will.

The pair have written several books on the subject alleging that the US government also staged fake Apollo Moon landings.

Their first novel, The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time, was released in 1992.

An aerial view of one of the facilities (Picture: Ken Spencer/Newsday RM via Getty Images).

Camp Hero in Long Island, New York was used in World War II and during the Cold War (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

However, they’ve also both encouraged speculation about their claims, writing in the opening chapter of one book: ‘Whether you read this as science fiction or non-fiction you are in for an amazing story.’

Over the years, others have also said that they were part of experiments, with author Stewart Swerdlow claiming he was regularly abducted for the Montauk Project in 1970 when he was 13-years-old.

He told The Sun: ‘They used derelicts, foster children and drug addicts and then ultimately, they decided that people with certain genetics, people with certain backgrounds were conducive to the more advanced experiments and that’s when I was taken in.

It is rumored to be the location where secret government experiments were carried out on juvenile boys (Picture: Shutterstock / Felix Lipov)

‘With all of these children their memories were wiped, their genetics were altered and they couldn’t always remember what happened. It would be in the form of nightmares or flashbacks.

‘But with me, they could not erase my memory. I became an anomaly for them.’

He went on to claim he had witnessed ‘children being beaten, murdered, injured in horrible ways’.

Meanwhile rumours of a secret underground tunnels have been flying around for years.

Dubbed the ‘Area 51’ of the East Coast, parts of the facility on the far Eastern tip of Long Island remain heavily fortified and off limits to the public today.

What do we actually know about what happened there?

The camp was operated by the United States Army and later the United States Air Force (Picture:Shutterstock/mm_ii_aa)

Built in 1942, Camp Hero was part of the US’ ‘Semi-Automatic Ground Environment’ defence network designed to detect a surprise attack.

The military base was designed to look like a Cape Cod fishing village in an attempt to outsmart enemies while protecting the Eastern seaboard.

Brutalist concrete structures were painted with fake siding and windows to resemble cottages, with an entire make-believe ‘downtown’ area that included a gymnasium, bowling alley and church constructed.  

The base was handed over to the US Air Force in 1951 and officially decommissioned in 1981.

Today, parts of the former base have been turned into Camp Hero State Park, a popular hiking spot overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

How did it inspire Stranger Things?

Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer based Stranger Things on the conspiracy (Picture: Max Cisotti/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Before developing Stranger Things, the Duffer brothers created the concept for the series Montauk.

They once said they became ‘obsessed’ with the conspiracy after stumbling across it as teenagers.

The Montauk Experiment was originally pitched as a series that followed the ‘legend’ of US government clandestine experiments at the abandoned Montauk Air Force base from 1982 to 1987.

In the show, Millie Bobby Brown plays Eleven, who is subjected to experiments at the Hawkins Laboratory (Picture: Netflix)

‘In our version of history, the O.S.S. Film Photography Unit exhaustively documented the entirety of the experiments at the behest of the U.S. government. After the experiments came to a sudden and disturbing conclusion in late August of 1987, the O.S.S. securely locked away the film canisters so they would never be seen by the public. That is, of course, until now,’ they wrote in their pitch.

The series was set to be a ‘gritty and intensely realistic found footage presentation of the lost film, following the experiments from their inception to blood-soaked finale’.

It was planned to be told from the point-of-view of the scientists while the protagonist Duncan Cameron was ‘the only test subject known to have survived’ after being subjected to increasingly disturbing tests aimed at developing his untapped psychic abilities.

Though The Montauk Experiment was never filmed, it evolved into the Montauk TV series concept, which in turn became Stranger Things.

Matthew Modine played Dr. Martin Brenner, the lab’s head scientist (Picture: Netflix)

In the series the Hawkins National Laboratory is portrayed as ground zero, with the secretive federal complex located one of several national laboratories established following the Second World War.

Unbeknownst to the residents of Hawkins, the lab hosted experiments for the controversial government program known as MKUltra, which yielded the births of several child test subjects with psychokinetic abilities, who were in turn experimented on.

In November 1983, during experiments at the laboratory, one of these test subjects, Eleven (played by Millie Bobby Brown), accidentally opened a gate to an alternate dimension, allowing a humanoid creature to enter Hawkins and abduct residents and bring them to the other world, with one of the victims being Will Byers (Noah Schnapp).

What do fans think of the link?

The fifth and final season of the show is currently in production (Picture: AP)

Some Stranger Things fans have only discovered the inspiration behind the blockbuster series recently.

After a post was shared on social media reminding people of the link, many said they had no clue about what was alleged to have happened in real life.

‘Interesting. And disturbing,’ user Alex Blok posted on X.

‘Fascinating how Stranger Things draws inspiration from the mysterious Montauk Project, blending reality with science fiction seamlessly,’ Catia shared.

‘WTF. I just started rewatching it, now I’m gonna have this on my mind,’ Sam added.

Stranger Things is streaming on Netflix.

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