In the world of Stranger Things, Hawkins, Indiana, does not exist but according to an interview with Wired – Gaten Matarazoo (Dustin) revealed that the story was inspired by a real place.
“It’s based on a place in Montauk, New York called Camp Hero. There was, like, rumors of secret government spies doing human experiments to fight in the Cold War. It’s based on that one government lab.”
When Netflix actually first picked up the Duffer brothers’ work, it was originally titled Montauk.
Camp Hero is a former military base which now forms part of the heavily-wooded Camp Hero State Park and while these days it is a place for cycling, walking and horseback riding.
It has been rumored in the past to be a place where kidnapping, mind control and time travel ran rampant.
Christopher Garetano, filmmaker, created a film about Camp Hero titled Montauk Chronicles after discovering multiple odd stories about the site. Allegedly, the story follows several men who were allegedly forced to be part of secret experiments that happened in Montauk in the 1970s.
“lfred Bielek, Stewart Swerdlow, and Preston Nichols all tell tales of experiments that were conducted on nearly one hundred thousand people over the course of about ten years. Kidnappings, murder, torture, time travel, mind control, and extra terrestrial contact are all said to have occurred at Camp Hero.”
Sweadlow additionally claimed that when he was just 13, in 1970, he was abducted for the ‘Montauk Project’.
“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.”
Reportedly, The Army deactivated the base in 1947 and in 1951 it was transferred to the Air Force who remained active at the site until 1982.
The land was donated to the National Park Service in 1984 but the buildings are used by the military still in Camp Hero State Park.
One of the most famous structures in the Cold War-era SAGE radar tower, it operated as a mother station to a series of smaller radar towers working to warn officials in the event of an incoming Soviet nuclear attack back in the day.
But one theory linked to Camp Hero is that officials at the site used the radar tower in an attempt to alter people’s thoughts and control their moods by changing the frequency and pulse duration of the radar system.
Garentano who grew up in the area spoke about the history of the tower in an episode of the History Channel’s Dark Files, saying:
“Every 12 seconds the radar tower would rotate and there would be animals freaking out and people getting headaches and bad dreams. And you know people’s electronic equipment would go haywire.”
The idea was that the government believed they could control both people’s thoughts as well as emotions in the 1980s was terrifying enough but not as terrifying as when the tower oddly changed positions over a series of days in 2011 almost 30 years since the Air Force supposedly left the site.
And while there are many former military buildings standing above ground at Camp Hero — the more unethical activities are believed to have taken place in a series of underground tunnels and bunkers.
To learn more about the harrowing details of the creepy Camp Hero, you can click here.