Many of America’s parks hold secrets. Some of them, like the secret room on Mt. Rushmore, lend themselves well to hushed talk of the illuminati, but when it comes to conspiracy theory, there are few public parks that can hold a candle to New York’s Camp Hero. Underneath the state park’s well-worn walking paths sit rumors of a hidden base home to horrifying genetic meddling, time travel, and mind control experiments that allegedly made use of kidnapped children.
Camp Hero State Park is a beautiful piece of land that sits on a peninsula along the Atlantic Ocean. Its forests, wetlands, sandy beaches cover 415 acres, making it one of the most popular spots for a hike and a picnic in the New York area. However, as you enjoy the well-maintained landscape of Camp Hero, not hard to see the crumbling remains of the park’s previous life as a military base. Massive antenna towers sit behind chain-link fences, old turrets dot the landscape, and conspicuous steel doors still tempt the occasional curious visitor to pull on their handles, only to find them sealed tight.
You probably remember the last time Camp Hero made headlines. Back in 2008, the state park was the center of the internet’s attention when a bizarre, “mutated monster” washed up on its shores. Nicknamed the Montauk Monster, the unidentified beast appeared to be a mammal with a bird’s beak, but by the time images of the creature began circulating, it had already washed back out to the ocean.
The appearance of the Montauk Monster may have been brief, but it was just the catalyst needed to resurface the whispers of the former military base’s rumored history of strange government experiments, particularly the kind of genetic fiddling that could create such a creature in the first place.
While the sightings of mysterious creatures might get all the news coverage, Camp Hero has an even weirder history that’s long been the subject of conspiracy theory message boards and late-night explorations of the decommissioned base. Over the years, the property has gained legendary status among people who claim that the facility has an underground facility once used for human experiments in time travel, mind control, and even extraterrestrial contact.
The rumors first emerged sometime in the 80s when a few men, now in their 70s, came forward claiming that they were subjects in the so-called “Montauk Project”, a black-budget continuation of the mysterious Philadelphia Experiment.
Preston Nichols, an electrical engineer that once worked on the base, once stated that the facility was built in order to train psychic spies out of young boys, using technology gathered from wrecked alien space craft.
“We had the little grays and larger grays as well as a variety of reptilian beings,” said Nichols. “The large grays didn’t want anything to do with me. … When I entered a room, they would leave.”
Nichols claims that among the experiments performed on the secret base were projects that intended to master time travel, experiments that he says were successful when they culminated in a “hole ripped in space-time” in 1983.
Nichols points toward the scattering of numerous mysterious man-holes throughout Camp Hero, all of them now sealed tight, claiming that their tunnels stretch into the secret underground base that now sits beneath the feet of unwary hikers. In fact, the old Montauk Long Island base was created in such a way that no one would know it was there. The military disguised the facility as an ordinary town as not to be detected by enemies, hiding things like the cafeteria inside a fake Church.
Nichols believes that legacy of secrecy continues to this day, and he’s not alone. There are dozens of stories of urban explorers who have managed to find their way inside the old base, and nearly every adventurer mentions an overwhelming feeling that something is still going on down there. One explorer recounted his 2007 journey into the facility thanks to a loose manhole cover:
Long story short, the creepiest part of the tour was a manhole that our friend knew we could access. It was in a wooded area but the woods cleared out right around the hole. It was some type of pain in the butt to get the cover off. It had been cemented over, but the cement had been busted through previously. Our new friend told us to bring a crowbar and we did. Even with that, it took about thirty minutes and some pulled muscles to get the damn top off…
The tunnel below was filled with water. It came up about waist high in the beginning. At some points it was chest high and at one very scary point it was close to my neck.
We traversed a series of tunnels. I took a bunch of pictures, but unfortunately I got my camera wet and wasn’t able to get them back. The thing about the whole experience that stood out most in my mind was the crazy noises and the really strange energy/noise pulse that emanated through the tunnel. It was like a “wuh wuh wuh” noise and you could actually feel the pulse in your body.
I am curious about how close we were to the inner workings of the base and what was going on in there. Unfortunately I don’t have the answers to that but I am curious to go back. For anybody attempting this themselves make sure you wear clothing that can get soaked. Bring waterproof equipment, and most importantly go with someone that knows their way around the base. We would have been completely screwed without our new found friend.
This kind of report is typical of others that have found their way inside the “abandoned” Montauk Facility, but I suppose if you were trying to hide a secret project, doing it in plain site might just be the best option.
Today, despite the lack of evidence on either side of the fence, skeptics have concluded that the Montauk Monster was probably a raccoon, and they all quickly disregard Nichols’ claims of secret government experiments as false memories accidentally embedded by botched regression hypnosis sessions. But for those who believe the rumors, we’re just one unsealed manhole away from discovering the truth.
Have you explored the abandoned remains of the Camp Hero Military Base? Do you know of any other secret bases with strange histories? We want to hear from you! Drop us a line on Facebook, tweet us @WeirdHQ, or join the discussion in the comments below!