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The Philadelphia Experiment:

Main page on the Philadelphia Experiment here.

The Montauk sequel:


by Rick Andersen, Jan. 2000

The Montauk Project, also called the Phoenix Project during some of its phases, was basically a mind-control-using-pulsed-radar program that, according to Preston B. Nichols, took place during the 1970's and early '80s at an abandoned Air Force radar base at the southeast tip of Long Island.

Built during WW1, Camp Hero was used by the Army until the 1950s or '60s, after which it became an Air Force S.A.G.E. radar facility, in the days before "over-the-horizon" radars came into being. By the late 1960s or early '70s, the base at Montauk had been closed down officially, and in 1984 the property was donated to the state of New York as park land.

But the story goes that there were certain "experiments" being conducted in secret, from the 1970s until 1983, by a renegade group of scientists associated with Brookhaven National Labs in Camp Upton, Long Island. They needed a secluded spot with some unused radar equipment on it, where they could develop "unusual" technologies "off the books" as far as the government was concerned. The Camp Hero radar base at Montauk Point was the perfect techno-hideaway, complete with underground and secret tunnels connecting to other sites on Long Island.

Allegedly, the technology used was in some respects a continuation of the Philadelphia Experiment of 1943: they subjected human subjects to a complex interacting mixture of pulsing radar energy and rotating magnetic fields; this supposedly allowed them to alter moods, amplify and transmit "thought- forms", materialize thoughts into physical things, alter the weather, and even travel through time!

Please note: None of this is proven, nor is the Philadelphia Experiment, for that matter.

No one knew of any "Montauk Project" before Nichols and friends came along. The Philadelphia Experiment legend was essentially about the disastrous effects experienced by the crew of the U.S.S. Eldridge when an early attempt at radar invisibility ("cloaking") turned into a dematerialization and teleportation of ship and crew between Philadelphia harbor and Norfolk, Virginia in 1943. 41 years later, in 1984, the Hollywood movie "The Philadelphia Experiment" was released; this movie introduced a new twist to the "PX" story: The ship didn't just teleport, it TIME-TRAVELED 40 years into the future and "linked up" with a similar experiment going on in 1984.

Seeing that movie, Alfred Bielek and Duncan Cameron were "shaken", and began to "remember" that THEY had been the two sailors who jumped over the side of the Eldridge while it was in "hyperspace"; in the movie the two men time- traveled to 1984 and ended up in the Nevada desert. In Bielek's version, they ended up at the Montauk Point radar station in 1983, where an aging John von Neumann (head of the projects of 1943 and now in 1983) was waiting for them.

Preston Nichols, an RF engineer who is a member of the U.S. Psychotronics Association (researchers/builders of esoteric electronic gadgets that affect psychic functioning), claims to have been brainwashed to forget that he was the chief RF engineer for the Montauk project, leading a "double-life": working at AIL (Airborne Instrument Labs) on Long Island during the day, but ALSO being sent out to Montauk to work on the Project--- but he claims they "sent him back in time to just before he left AIL" so that he would not remember having put in a full day at Montauk... and so he could do both jobs in one day's time. (He claims to have been chronically exhausted during this time period, and could not understand why.)

Nichols first suspected that something was weird about Montauk when he noticed that, at about the same time each day, certain psychics with whom he was working (in his "psychotronics" hobby capacity, I presume), would find their psychic abilities "blocked" by what turned out to be a radar transmission from Montauk, in the 425 MHz range, which he says is a "psychoactive" frequency range that can affect human brain functioning.

At first Nichols had no idea of his alter-ego connections with the Montauk radar base, but later, when someone began insisting that they "remembered" him having worked out at Montauk, Preston slowly began "remembering" that he did indeed lead a double life. His main job involved revamping the obsolete S.A.G.E. radar transmitter for mind-amplifier/time-warping applications. So Bielek and Cameron remembered having been a part of the Philadelphia Experiment, while Nichols was the key engineer on the Montauk project, an 'updated' Philly Experiment. Bielek and Cameron also remember having taken part in the Montauk project: Bielek as a computer engineer/metaphysical advisor/physicist, and Cameron as a government-trained psychic who would project "thought forms" from the "Montauk Chair."

The Montauk Chair, Nichols relates, was a chair in which a psychic would sit; this chair was surrounded by magnetic pickup coils which fed into modified radio receivers which could pick up a noise peak from 3 different directional axes (x, y, and z) and glean information from this tri-dimensional signal--- i.e., an electronic "aura" or electromagnetic body-field reader. The signals that were extracted from this 3D pickup arrangement were processed digitally and correlated with thoughts, moods, etc. Later, a digital signal was generated artificially which mimicked the original signals. This signal drove the radar transmitter and radiated "thought forms" outward from the base. With this technology the experimenters were able to affect the moods and thoughts of anyone they selected as a "target".

At some point they began to have the psychics in the "Montauk Chair" visualize very specific things-- such as a "vortex connecting 1980 to 1940"-- and the digitized/recorded/replayed version of that "thought form" supposedly led to actual time travel "portals" opening up, through which one could be physically transported to another place or time.

With further refinements and transmitter power increases, the story goes, they were ultimately able to "precipitate matter out of pure thought" by generating an electromagnetic "lattice" or pattern that formed the "ghost" of a material object. Continued pumping of energy into this "space-form" would eventually cause it to "solidify" into a real object (sort of the "opposite" of the E=mc^2 Einstein equation which led to the A-bomb, where a piece of matter is converted very quickly to a lot of energy. Here a lot of energy gradually became solidified as a piece of matter).

At some point our storytellers began getting conscience-qualms and decided to sabotage the operation. The project was finally crashed in 1983 when a psychic (Duncan Cameron) purposely visualized a "monster" which then materialized via the Montauk radar transmitter. This monster began wrecking the base, and they found they could not kill the power to the transmitter because the Montauk Project had accidentally "linked up in hyperspace" to the Philadelphia Experiment from 40 years earlier, on July 12, 1983 ---> 1943, through an "Earth biorhythm cycle that peaks every 20 years on July 12th". Preston Nichols and others hacked the radar waveguides with axes and finally the power went down. The "monster" dematerialized, and the project was closed down by the panicked scientists who "ran for the hills", abandoning the project for the last time.

I first learned of this bizarre story via a videotape shot in 1988 or '89, called "The Truth About the Philadelphia Experiment" which was being circulated among "UFO" groups. The tape featured Preston Nichols telling about the Phoenix/Montauk Projects, Alfred Bielek telling about the Philadelphia Experiment (he claims to have been there), and Duncan Cameron acknowledging that he too was involved in both projects. (Bielek and especially Cameron are too young to have been sailors on the U.S.S. Eldridge in 1943, but claim that "the government used advanced technology to physically regress them in age".)

[As of this writing, January 2000, I believe Duncan Cameron has separated himself from the whole Montauk story. Whether he now calls it a hoax, or what the reason for his separation is, I don't know for sure. If my information is incorrect about his disassociating himself from the story, please let me know and I will correct these remarks. If he HAS separated himself, it would be interesting to find out whether he still supports the story or now declares it to be false!]

Later (1992 or 1993) Preston Nichols teamed up with publisher Peter Moon of Sky Books, and wrote "The Montauk Project-- Experiments in Time". More books followed, with each telling a less "technical" and more conspiracy-oriented, metaphysical-occultic embellishment to the original story.

Now, about 11 years after the original video was released, the Montauk "legend" has taken on a life of its own, just as the Philadelphia Experiment story did (except that one got started way back in the 1950's). Visitors to the park at Montauk Point often sneak into the off-limits ex-radar base to look for clues as to whether Nichols' story can be verified or not; the many concreted-in entrances to what appears to be an underground area, plus the many WW2 bunkers and tunnels that can be found at the base, only add to the mystery of the facility. One wonders why the park has not bulldozed the place to dissuade trespassers once and for all from putting holes in boarded-up doors and lurking around the base, looking for Preston Nichols' torch-marks on the walls of the transmitter rooms which would be interpreted as proof that they were indeed trying to hack apart a running megawatt radar transmitter so as to pull the power plug from a monster materialized from the aether.

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This page was last updated on March 3, 2001.