Camp Hero State Park is a 754-acre (3.05 km2) state park located on Montauk Point, New York. The park occupies a portion of the former Montauk Air Force Station.
The site known as Camp Hero, or the Montauk Air Force Station, was originally commissioned by the U.S. Army in 1942. Camp Hero was originally a coastal defense station that was disguised as a fishing village, and its location was chosen to prevent a potential invasion of New York from the sea. Camp Hero was named after Major General Andrew Hero, Jr., who was the Army’s Commander of coastal artillery, who died in 1942. Three gun batteries were built at Camp Hero, replacing most of the other heavy guns in the Harbor Defenses of Long Island Sound, which also included Fort H. G. Wright, Fort Michie, and Fort Terry. Two batteries of two 16-inch guns each were built, Batteries 112 and 113 (officially named Battery Dunn). Another battery of two 6-inch guns was also built, Battery 216. All three batteries consisted mainly of a large concrete bunker covered with earth, containing ammunition magazines and fire control equipment. The 16-inch guns were protected by large casemates, the 6-inch guns by shields.
In 1992, Preston Nichols and Peter Moon wrote The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time in which they alleged that secret experiments were carried out at the Camp Hero site. The book was popular with conspiracy theorists, and spawned several sequels.
In 1984, the General Services Administration attempted to sell the entire facility to real estate developers. Local environmental activists protested, claiming that the site had many unique ecosystems and animal habitats. The remaining portions of the military reservation at Montauk were decommissioned and most of the facility, including Camp Hero, was donated to the National Park Service, which then turned it over to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Portions not deemed environmentally sensitive were sold off.
Camp Hero remained largely undeveloped through the 1980s and 1990s. In 1996, a feasibility study was undertaken for developing the site as a golf course. However, environmentalists were concerned that the golf course would impact rare species of plants and endangered wildlife such as the blue-spotted salamander and eastern tiger salamander, and that irrigation would deplete limited sources of groundwater on the peninsula. Although there was demand to create new golf courses on Long Island, particularly on the East End, the idea of creating a new golf course in Montauk in addition to Montauk Downs State Park was dropped in 1999.
Camp Hero State Park was opened to the public on September 18, 2002. There are plans to create a museum and an interpretive center that will focus on World War II and Cold War history inside the radar tower. Some parts of the camp remained closed off and guarded, especially the areas near the old satellite and military installations.
Camp Hero State Park offers a picnic areas, a beach, and trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. It is a popular surf fishing beach due to the underwater structure that tends to hold fish. Common game fish found in this area are striped bass and bluefish.
Portions of the former military installation within the park are registered as a National Historic Site.
The most famous account of Camp Hero is the Montauk project. It was said that two boys were kidnapped and put in a special training facility on the camp. They were being experimented on to see if they could be used for remote viewing or bringing in objects from another dimension with the use of the Montauk Chair. Also known as the Phoenix project and was said to have scientists from Brookhaven National Labs in charge of the Project. It is claimed that in one Experiment with the Montauk Chair a boy accidentally opened a door that released a fourth dimensional creature they refer to as “Junior”. It is said that the creature was captured underneath the grounds and that it was closed off. It is also said that the state park only owns the grounds and everything underneath is owned by the US Government.
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.