The Montauk Project
The abandoned radar station at Montauk Point. Not shown: secret underground facilities housing thousands of scientists that no one in the area has ever seen.
Unusual stuff seems to happen in New York State with unusual regularity. First, Long Island saw a bad hoax involving a haunted house turned into a movie, The Amityville Horror, and now people are claiming somewhat similar wacky goings on are occurring at an abandoned air force base at Montauk Point.
At the eastern end of Long Island’s southern point, the government set up one of many gargantuan radar dishes to warn us of any incoming Soviet threats from the Atlantic. These dishes rapidly went obsolete as we developed better and better computer technology, and the site was closed in 1969. Though the building that houses the radar device itself is fenced off from the public, the land around it has since been donated to the state of New York for use as a public park.
That much everyone can agree on. However, this was just a warm-up for conspiracy theorists, a sort of stretching of the legs for the marathon of madness that is about the begin. They point out that when the federal government donated the land to the state of New York, the retained the rights to “everything beneath the surface” and the right to some day reoccupy the land if made necessary by a matter of national security.
This, say the conspiracists, is because the government maintains a secret underground research facility at Montauk Point. The evidence is varied and almost entirely circumstantial: conspiracists claim that civilians visiting the park are routinely threatened by armed government agents ordering them not to venture into certain areas of the park; electrical workers are rumored to have installed a power station capable of using gigawatts of energy (enough to power a city); and every once in a while strange lights or shapes are seen in the skies nearby.
This evidence is entirely circumstantial. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that conspiracists will take stories of park rangers trying to keep tourists on the trails and turn them into government thugs trying to keep the nosy from discovering their top-secret experiments.
But let’s back up before we get into what the experiments are. I hate to get into history, but the supposed story of the Montauk Project is much too awesome to go without. According to the conspiracy theory, in 1945 American troops had liberated France. Well, that part’s not a conspiracy theory. That part is true. The conspiracy theory says that some of those troops discovered a train full of Nazi gold stopped in a tunnel. They notified the proper authorities, who promptly arrived on the scene, took the gold, and then killed every single soldier so as to ensure that no one… well, knew they had some gold, I guess.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the crumbling Reich, the Americans were helping German scientists flee the country with, of course, the provision that they work for the US government under the guise of Operation Paperclip.
Some of these scientists were brought back to America, teamed up with the scientists who had worked on the Philadelphia Experiment, were given the Nazi gold, and a research facility was built for them underground, beneath the radar system at Montauk Point.
After constructing the research facility at Montauk Point, the scientists got busy working on their various projects. Depending on whether or not you believe everything you hear, these experiments could include any of the following things: particle physics research using an experimental particle accelerator, experiments in time travel or the bending of space, contacting space aliens, inventing the internet, electromagnetic mind control, building black helicopters, so on and so forth. It’s also where the moon landings were faked, to say nothing of the fact that researchers there built a 50-foot tall Pyramid out of pure titanium, (apparently underground) for some reason.
But it gets better! Nikolai Tesla, the original Balkan Sensation, is said to have faked his death, surviving long enough to become director of operations at the facility. He’s not the only dead man to walk, however, since mathematician John von Neumann, quite thoroughly dead since 1957 is said to have been spotted there.
It just gets better and better. Using a mind-enhancing system designed at the facility, a junior member of the team named Cameron “manifested” a Yeti that proceeded to go bananas and wreck the place, only being destroyed after what I assume were numerous thrill-a-minute adventures. Not to be outdone, after the creation of something called a Time Tunnel, an advanced alien monster ravaged the inside of the facility, smashing computers and munching on scientists, only to be laid low by the fully automatic, hollow-pointed glory of the US military. Let that be a warning to all space monsters: we know the score.
Conspiracy theorists churn out details about the goings on at Montauk Point (but no evidence) faster than anyone else can keep up with them. Others have undertaken the Herculean effort of thoroughly debunking these insane stories, not the least of which are the people that run the Montauk Point station as a historical curiosity. However, I don’t think we need to go into much depth to see that this story has more holes than a Swiss cheese rifle range target.
First of all, an underground facility going down as far as 12 or more levels, at which hundreds or thousands of people toil daily, has been constructed, without a single witness seeing a single bulldozer, a single person entering the compound, or any of the thousands of tons of building materials and equipment that would be needed? I don’t think so.
Similar to that point, the conspiracy theorists would have you believe that thousands of people are working in underground labs that have never once, to our knowledge, been replenished with new supplies such as food and toilet paper. Either the government stocked up with 40 years worth of rations when the place was built in the 1950s, or the people inside get all of their nutrition by psychically detecting how much I love buffalo wings. I bet that could feed quite a few people.
The thing that I like best about this story is when people who are clearly not scientists try and say things scientifically. For instance, they claim that there is a particle accelerator at Montauk Point. The simple fact is that particle accelerators are not trivial devices to construct: they cost hundreds of millions of dollars and often have diameters on the order of miles. People also claim that Montauk Point has developed technologies such as “particle beam radar” and “high powered radio frequency transmissions” that they used to various nefarious effects. The first seems to be something that was made up after seeing one too many episodes of Star Trek; the second is a mish-mash of several genuine scientific words that is, in the end, meaningless.
So why was the site closed but not demolished? First, boaters in Long Island Sound liked it. It was a much better landmark than the relatively tiny lighthouse nearby. Second, because of historical value: it is the only surviving SAGE radar system in the world. It has been placed on the registry of historic places and there are currently plans for the development of a museum and information center specializing on the Cold War. Despite all of the preparations for this, no one has yet uncovered any subterranean bases.
Be seeing you.
Another view of the Montauk SAGE radar. Or is it really a space-age superweapon?
I tripped somehow over the Montauk project (which I just discovered; I am amazed at the amount of drooling going on over an abandoned military site which is now parkland). I landed at your Iron Skeptic site. I have read only a couple of articles (and some of the feedback) and I am in love; I want to have your babies or I want you have my babies – that may be somewhat hyperbolic since (I think) we are both males and I, for one, am straight [lotta punctuation, including a semicolon, there, huh?]. ß-does it call for a period here?
In any event, it’s almost 0300 and you have kept me up past my bedtime I’ll be back on the site tomorrow.
Thanks for the great articles in a readable style with a dash of humor.
By the way, I’m in love with Randi too.
- Bob Jakob
Authors Response: Our babies would be unlikely to be pretty, but what grammatical Titans they would be!