Army base’s time travel secret
ALFRED Bielek died in October 2011 but he will forever be associated with mysterious experiments allegedly conducted by the United States government known as the Montauk Project.
Not much is known about the highly secretive military experiments which supposedly took place during the Cold War era, but the conspiracy theories that surround them make the idea that the Moon landing was faked sound like child's play.
The Montauk Project is an alleged series of secret experiments conducted at Camp Hero or Montauk Air Force Station in Long Island, New York.
With the help of scientists like John von Neumann and the work of Nikola Tesla, military officials sought to conduct experiments for the purpose of developing psychological warfare techniques and carry out exotic research into time travel, or so the story goes.
According to the tin foil-hat wearing true believers, during the tests a man named Alfred Bielek travelled through time and reached a confidential test site in 1983.
It's a story he himself spent many years trumpeting from the late 1980s after Mr Bielek claimed he uncovered memories of his involvement in the experiments that had been suppressed to assure confidentiality.
It goes without saying that such conspiracy theories need to be taken with more salt than you should probably ingest in your lifetime but despite the crazy ramblings of a mad man, there are many questions about the alleged Montauk Project that remain unanswered today.
Camp Hero, the US army base built in World War II to defend the coast, sits in 400 acres of woodland near Montauk. During the Cold War, the top secret base was the centre of a series of radars trained on the Atlantic to detect any incoming Russian attacks.
But after closing in 1981, it became shrouded in mystery as rumours of secret government experiments in mind control and telekinetic powers emerged as people claimed to have been abducted as children and subjected to violent beatings and forced drug-taking to test the limits of the human mind.
THE INSPIRATION FOR STRANGER THINGS
While the existence of the military base has spawned all sorts of wacky ideas, it has also helped inspire some more worthwhile things, like popular Netflix show Stranger Things.
If you haven't seen it, Stranger Things, is set in 1980s Indiana and is about the disappearance of a young boy called Will and a telekinetic girl called Eleven who was helping to find him.
The crux of the show centres on strange experiments being carried out on gifted children in a top secret Hawkins Lab and an ultimate showdown with a monster in a parallel universe.
It's only slightly more outlandish than Alfred Bielek's claims of secret time travelling missions that at least one dedicated netizen felt compelled to "debunk".
The stories that surround Camp Hero have also inspired more journalistic attempts to uncover what went on at the site many decades ago.
American filmmaker Chris Garetano, who grew up in the area, has been obsessed with the theories since he was a child. When he teamed up with former CIA operative Barry Eisler and award-winning journalist Steve Volk, the trio set out to explore the mythologies, conspiracies and accusations that surround Camp Hero in a documentary called The Dark Files.
For Mr Garetano, it was a journey he wanted to embark on since he was a kid hearing the rumours about the military base.
"I started hearing these strange and bizarre stories about Montauk, things that were not normal," he said, explaining his desire to make the documentary film.
"Every 12 seconds the radar would rotate and there would be animals freaking out and people getting headaches and bad dreams.
"People's electrical devices would go haywire, there would be covert military vans and helicopters zipping around the perimeter."
The documentary, which aired on the History Channel, failed to uncover any serious, tangible evidence of nefarious government experiments to corroborate the tall tales.
The internet may love a good conspiracy theory but just like the hit Netflix show, stories of time travel and psychic capabilities at the hands of government scientists are - most likely - pure fiction.