“Live people ignore the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual”. This quote, coming out of the lips of teenage Goth queen Winona Ryder, is probably one of the reasons why I developed a huge crush for her in the 1980’s, which only got worse with Edward Scissorhands.
Which is why I’m tentatively psyched by the fact that Netflix is preparing to release a new series starring her in 2016. The reason for my trepidation, you may be wondering, is the fact that this series will (allegedly) be based on the infamous Montauk project mythos.
The untitled series begins with the disappearance of a 12-year-old boy in 1980 Montauk, Long Island. When his family, friends, and local police set out to find him, they get wrapped up in a larger plot involving “top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.” Ryder will play the boy’s single mother, Joyce. Harbour plays the local chief of police.
The show is described as “a love letter to the ’80s classics that captivated a generation.” It may or may not be inspired by the Montauk Project, supposedly a secret government program exploring psychological warfare and time travel (among other exotic matters). However, the whole conspiracy theory seems to have started with Preston Nichols, who authored a series of first-person accounts that are really just science-fiction.
The Montauk project is without a doubt one of the most head-scratching stories in the Fortean underworld. It involves everything from the Philadelphia experiment, Tesla technology, time travel, aliens, soul migration, a chair which can literally manifest anything you can think of, and digital sexual stimulation as a deprogramming tool –and that’s just the beginning!
(On second thought, perhaps this is a suitable step in the career of Timothy Leary’s god-daughter after all)
Earlier this year my friends Ben and Aaron interviewed filmmaker Jim Garetano on the Mysterious Universe podcast. Garetano is the creator of Montauk Chronicles, a documentary aiming to take a close, unbiased look to this bizarre story and its main characters. Whereas I’ve not been able to watch this film yet, the impression Garetano gave me on that MU interview is that he believes something went on inside the Montauk Air Force station in Long Island, and that perhaps people who were subject to illegal experiments were ‘programmed’ with an outlandish story in order to discredit them to the public eye, and prevent serious scrutiny into this case.
And there’s also Alexandra ‘Chica’ Bruce, a researcher who decided to look into the Montauk project, and found how past its veneer of obvious absurdity –and awkward homoeroticism– there was something genuinely intriguing about it. She wrote the book The Philadephia Experiment Murder [Amazon US & UK] but later she claims she was harassed by shadowy sources, and literally scared away from anything to do about Montauk, and she hasn’t looked back since. You can listen to an interview with her in Adam Gorightly’s old Untamed Dimensions podcast by clicking here.
Will Nextflix’s new Montauk-based series make Lost’s plot look as simple and predictable as The O.C.? Stay tuned!