With the cancellation of the Phoenix Project, the people involved were on the horns of a dilemma. They had spent the better part of almost 20 years developing mind control and stealth technologies that Congress didn't want anyone to use. Undeterred, the scientists went to the one organization they knew would want to engage in further research and development of the devices the Phoenix Project had produced: the military.
Naturally, the military was very excited about the idea of a weapons system that would allow them to defeat an enemy without ever firing a shot. They agreed to continue the project, setting up the Phoenix people in a secluded area where proper experiments could be conducted. The military also agreed to provide the equipment and personnel the project required in order to operate.
One of the primary items on the equipment list given to the military was a SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) Radar system. It had been discovered that radio signals in the 425 to 450 Megahertz range were required to get "inside" the human consciousness to allow for mind control attempts. The SAGE Radar systems ran at these frequencies, and could be converted into a huge radiosonde easily. Better yet, the SAGE Radar system was considered obsolete, allowing the scientists to use one with no detriment to national security.
Montauk Air Force Base, located within the confines of Fort Hero on Montauk Point, Long Island, New York, was perfect for the needs of the Phoenix Project scientists. It was fairly isolated, currently mothballed, and best of all, was equipped with a SAGE Radar system that could be converted to a radiosonde with ease.
Setting themselves up at the newly reopened Montauk AFB, the scientists named their new project "Phoenix II." Later, the undertaking became known as "the Montauk Project." Financing for the Phoenix II came not from the military, who only supplied men and materials, but from outside sources. This was because the Project itself had been ordered to disband by Congress and was now operating independently. Montauk AFB itself had been closed since 1969, and was no longer receiving any federal funding. So the question of "Where did the Project funding come from?" arises.
The actual circumstances surrounding the financing of the Phoenix II project are shrouded in a veil of mystery. Project funding seemed to come from private sources, although some evidence points to an alleged Nazi involvement in the form of 10 billion dollars in gold, smuggled out of Europe at the end of World War II. Apparently, a train carrying the gold was blown up while passing though a tunnel in Allied-occupied France, killing 51 American soldiers. Even General George Patton, furious that such an act of sabotage could have occurred, was unable to determine how the train had been hit, or who had made off with the gold. Other evidence states that after the money from the gold was used up, the Krupp family financially backed the project (The Krupps owned and operated numerous munitions factories during World War I and World War II. One of their most famous weapons is the "Paris Gun" which shelled Paris from more than 70 miles away during the First World War.).
THE EXPERIMENTS BEGIN
Montauk Air Force Base was reopened in late 1971 (although it was still listed as a decommissioned base by the military), allowing Phoenix II to get underway. Along with many of the original Phoenix Project scientists, there were members of the military, government workers, and civilian personnel brought in from various corporations.
A number of the military servicemen present were Air Force radar technicians who had worked with the SAGE Radar system all through the 60's. They reported that the general mood of the base had changed according to the frequency and pulse duration of the radar system. This seemingly trivial piece of information was considered very important to the Phoenix people, who quickly determined that by changing the rate and width of the radar pulse, they could superficially alter the way people thought and felt.
This discovery prompted a number of experiments to determine what frequencies prompted what responses. A number of people were used in these experiments, although the prime test subject was a man by the name of Duncan Cameron (more about him later). These test subjects were placed inside of a small room on the base and the SAGE Radar system was focused on that room, bathing it with massive amounts of micro and radio waves. By altering the frequency and pulse of the radar set, they could make a person laugh, cry, angry, or sleepy. As a side effect, it was found the the general mood of the whole base would change to follow the signal output of the SAGE Radar.
Now that it had been proved the SAGE Radar could effect emotional states, the next step was to try and control a person's thoughts. Tests were conducted in which the pulse rate and amplitude of the Radar system were changed to match various biological functions of the body. Doing so allowed the scientists to actually control what a person thought and did.
It should be pointed out that bathing a person in massive amounts of microwave radiation and intense radio waves is not healthy. Many test subjects were literally baked by radio waves causing serious internal damage to the lungs and brain. With further tests it was determined this damage was caused by "burning radiation." "Non-burning radiation" was emitted from the opposite side of the SAGE Radar reflector. So, the scientists decided to reverse the radar antenna around 180 degrees, broadcasting burning radiation up into the sky and using the non-burning radiation to conduct their tests. Much to their delight, it was discovered that non-burning radiation could alter moods and thoughts as well, and didn't damage the subject of the tests!
In 1973, the experimental process had reached a new step. The scientists wanted to experiment with large groups of people, changing their thoughts and moods en masse and monitoring the results. Units of the U.S. Army were invited to the base for R&R, becoming the unwitting targets of mood-altering experiments. Similar experiments were also conducted on people living nearby on Long Island, as well as New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. The aim of these tests was very simple; to build a database of pulse settings and the effects they caused With time, the scientists were able to construct a control panel that allowed them to broadcast preset signals, thus allowing for consistent mind control effects.
Tests allowed the scientists to create a wide variety of effects, depending on the settings fed into the transmitter. Programs were written allowing the researchers to do more than simply create mood swings. They found they could increase the crime rate, incite violence, and cause mass panic among animals. They even developed programs capable of disabling vehicles by burning out all of its electrical functions.
At this point, the Montauk people had developed a reliable method for controlling the thoughts of others. Now, they wanted to make a device that would allow for precise manipulation of a target. The scope of the Montauk Project was about to expand beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
THE CREATION OF THE MONTAUK CHAIR
According to the writer of The Montauk Project, the ITT World-Wide Communications Corporation (which is owned by the Krupp family—see "Setting Up Phoenix II" above) constructed a mind-reading device. The device translated the electromagnetic field, or "aura," around the body into a visible format. The primary component of this device was a Cray 1 super-computer capable of turning the data into something a person could understand.
The technology used to create this is device is a mystery. According to the book, some of the basic technical information was provided by aliens. These aliens were the Sirians, from the star system of Sirius. Exactly why these aliens provided the technology is not explained.
Over at the Montauk Project, the research people realized this mind-reading device could could easily be converted into a mind control device. They hooked the mind-reader up to a series of computers, electrical coils, and the SAGE Radar system, creating a powerful transmitter that could be used lessen the risks to humans undergoing invisibility and time travel experiments. This new device was called the "Montauk Chair" and came online about 1974. Linked to a Cray 1 and an IBM 360 computer, the researchers would sit a psychically active person (such as Duncan Cameron) in the Montauk Chair and have them try and transmit their thoughts to a similar set up back at the ITT Corporation (located in Southampton, Long Island).
After about a year of experimentation and research (in which many problems relating to transmitter feedback had to be over come) the researchers at the Montauk Project now had a device capable of projecting a person's thoughts to a remote location. Unfortunately, there was now a new problem to over come: "time glitches."
The time glitches tended to interfere and break up the thought transmissions between Montauk and Southampton. They were caused by psychics projecting a reality that was different from "our" reality. This would cause the flow of time to disrupted and the link between the two chairs would be cut.
In order to correct these problems dealing with interruptions in the flow of time, the Montauk researchers redesigned and rebuilt the chair, closely following the original prototype and the methods used to build it (this is the device created by the Sirians, remember). This second generation Montauk Chair used multiple Delta T or "Delta Time" coils to create the desired energy fields. It was also shielded from any outside interference, thanks to the redesigned coils powering the chair and creating the electromagnetic fields. After a bout of alignments and adjustments, the new chair was brought on-line in early 1976. What was to follow was to be absolutely amazing....
SPONTANEOUS OBJECT CREATION
By this point, all of the experiments and tests involving the Montauk Chair used Duncan Cameron. Duncan was a powerful psychic used in many phases of the Montauk experiments. His "true history" (as well as a possible HERO System character sheet) is given below. The main reason why he was used so often in the experiments dealing with the chair was due to some form of "special training" he had undergone (the book gives the CIA and/or the NSA as possible candidates) which allowed him to reach an "altered form of consciousness." What this means, is basically his conscious mind would be suppressed and a more primitive mind would be allowed become active. This primitive mind was highly suggestible, very controllable, and tended to act by focusing all of its power on a subject, allowing much greater displays of power than if the conscious mind acted.
After about a year of tests, the Montauk Chair was shown to be working flawlessly. Now, instead of transmitting thoughts, the researchers wanted to try something new: creating solid objects. The idea was for Duncan to visualize an object and, provided there was sufficient power coming from the transmitter, materialize it somewhere on the base. This process was not exact, however, as some objects remained intangible and others faded as soon as the transmitter was turned off. But, if given sufficient power, Duncan could create permanent objects. The size and type of object seemed only to be limited by his imagination, and it’s said he materialized entire buildings during the course of these experiments.
Following the success of the object creation experiments, the researchers at Montauk began to step up their tests by looking into manipulating the human mind directly. The first such experiments involved what was called "The Seeing Eye." This was where Duncan was given a lock of hair (or other object) and concentrated on the person the object had come from. He could then see and hear everything that person could see and hear, no matter where that person was.
After the Seeing Eye was perfected, the tests were taken one step further. Now, instead of simply looking though the eyes and ears of another, Duncan tried to actually influence what the person was thinking and doing. By pushing out with his thoughts, Duncan could take over someone else's mind, making them do what he (Duncan) wanted. People could be virtually "programmed" to do almost anything. Further experimentation showed that large groups of both people and animals could be affected, making them behave in a variety of bizarre ways.
With time, it was discovered more than a person's mind could be controlled. Electrical devices could be made to malfunction, short out, or otherwise rendered useless. Telekinetic effects were discovered, where Duncan was able to move objects, shatter windows and wreck entire rooms.
Even with all of the amazing discoveries that the Montauk researches had uncovered, the team still wasn't done. As of 1979, the Montauk Project was poised to do more than manipulate people's minds, they were on the verge of altering the flow of time itself!
(a.k.a. Phoenix III)
Experiments with thought projection in early 1979 revealed an interesting side effect. Many times Duncan's thoughts would be projected by the transmitter, but the signal would suddenly vanish. At first this was thought to be a malfunction, until it was noticed that many of the things Duncan was attempting to project didn't appear (or occur) till many hours later (or perhaps, before). Apparently, Duncan was capable of altering the flow of time (or operating outside of it).
Further research showed that the set up being used for the experiments and tests didn't have sufficient power to properly bend and shift time. To achieve full mastery over the flow of time, the researchers installed what is referred to as the "Orion Delta T (for time) Antenna." It was rumored the antenna was based on designs given to the Project by the aliens from the constellation of Orion (the exact star system is unknown). As with the Sirians, it’s unknown exactly why the Orions gave the Montauk Project the plans, but it’s presumed they had some private agenda for doing so.
The Orion Delta T antenna was placed in a huge underground chamber excavated beneath Montauk AFB. The antenna itself was about 100 to 150 feet tall, and the chamber was nearly 300 feet underground. The Montauk Chair was then placed above this antenna and below the transmitter used to broadcast projected signals. This placed the chair in a null field that removed all interference from the fields generated by the transmitter and other devices.
After installing the new antenna (which took from 1979 to 1980) and calibrating Duncan to the new equipment, it was found Duncan had almost total control over the flow of time. He could cause portals to open to almost any time by concentrating on a specific date. These portals looked like large spirals or vortexes. Inside the portal was a circular tunnel with light at the far end. One could look through a portal to see a smaller portal or window on the other end. Walking though the tunnel would place a person in whatever time the tunnel was connected to. The tunnels were not always straight, however, and curved around as one made their way to the exit. Sometimes power outages would cause tunnels to vanish, stranding anyone inside. They would be lost somewhere in the time stream with virtually no way to return.
There were a few problems with the initial time portals however. The portals tended to drift and people sent through weren't always able to find the portal for the return trip. It took from 1980 to 1981 to calibrate the equipment and train Duncan to keep a portal stable. The project also worked on spatial as well as temporal stabilization, trying to create portals in both specific times as well as places.
When the the researchers were able to successfully stabilize and lock down the time portals Duncan created, the nature of the Montauk Project changed yet again. Almost all of the extraneous personnel were dismissed. The military left, and a new team of people were brought in to run the base. A new technical crew was brought in as well, all that was know about them was that they were the "Secret Crew." The project was rechristened "Phoenix III" and from 1981 to 1983 the objective of the project was to explore time itself.
In order to explore the worlds beyond the time tunnels, the Montauk researchers kidnapped large numbers of the homeless to use as guinea pigs. They would spend some time (about a week) getting them ready for the trip and then send them though. If they returned, they were expected to make a full report of what they saw. Unfortunately many didn't. This was why the project used the homeless, since they knew no one would notice if these sorts of people went missing.
The project also used a large number of children in these experiments. These children were exclusively male, between the ages of 10 and 16, tall, blond, blue eyed, and fair-skinned. Most (if not all) fit the idea of the Aryan stereotype. The exact purpose of these children is unknown, although all of them were initially sent to the year 6037 AD to investigate a ruined city. There, they had to examine the statue of a horse and report back on what they saw. After that, the children were sent of on other missions, but it’s unknown if any ever returned. It was later discovered that the project was connected with some sort of Neo-Nazi organization and that the children were recruited to serve this group.
It is also reported that somewhere between 3000 and 10,000 people were placed between 200 and 300 years into the future. As with the children, the exact purpose of this operation is unknown.
Finally, a lot of time was spent viewing events from both the First and Second World War. Pictures were taken and events were monitored. it’s unknown if the Project personnel interfered or tried to alter specific events during either World War.
With the success of the time portal projects, the Montauk researchers began to look off-planet for the next phase of Phoenix III. The idea was to create a portal between Earth and Mars. Specifically between Earth and the Martian Pyramids that lay near the great "Face on Mars" in the Cydonia region of Mars. it’s said this region of Mars shows evidence of a large number of artificial structures, including pyramids, the great "Face," temples, a waterfront, and even a city. It was the desire of the Montauk people to explore these structures and determine who (or what) had made them.
As a side note, the book The Montauk Project includes some information alleging there was a secret space program run by the US and the Soviet Union that established colonies on both the Moon and Mars. Supposedly, men landed on Mars sometime in 1962. Even more interesting is, although the book mentions this information, the author backs off from actually claiming any of this is "real." The author does imply, however, that people were living on the surface of Mars during the duration of the time and space portal experiments.
In order to fully explore the pyramids of Mars, the project needed to get inside the structures. This was accomplished by having Duncan create a time portal inside the pyramid and then move it around until open passageways were found. At this point "away teams" could enter the portal and walk from Montauk Point to areas under the Martian surface. Although little is known about what was found within this immense pyramid structure, a few tantalizing hints are offered. Duncan Cameron himself was a member of at least one of the away teams, and described seeing something he calls "The Solar System Defense" which needed to be disabled before any further research could be done. According to the author, portions of the movie Total Recall are based on events that occurred during this point of the Montauk Project, especially the scenes dealing with the Martian pyramid and the recall chair. Finally, evidence of intelligent life on Mars was found, but the researchers had to create time portals stretching over 125,000 years into the past to discover it. As with many other elements of the Montauk Project said to be occurring at this time, the exact details are unknown.
THE END OF THE MONTAUK PROJECT
The Montauk Project finally came to end on August 12, 1983. On this date, a time portal was opened connecting Montauk Base with the USS Eldridge of 40 years ago, during the original Philadelphia Experiment. While this portal was being opened and maintained, several members of the project, who had become increasingly uncomfortable with the aims and designs of the project heads (and with the effect warping time and space might have on the world around them) decided to bring the project to a crashing halt.
A code phrase was whispered to Duncan, at which point he released a monster from his subconscious. This creature, or the "Beast From The Id," materialized as a large hairy monster, smashed its way about the base, and proceeded to destroy and eat everything it could find. Meanwhile, one of the project members began cutting apart cables and conduits in an attempt to sever the power to the base transmitters and shut down the project. After smashing up and cutting apart enough equipment, the transmitter powered down and the Beast mercifully faded away.
After the disaster of August 12, 1983, the Montauk Project shut down. The base was emptied of people and equipment, and all extraneous personnel were brainwashed into forgetting everything that had happened there. Almost a year later, in May or June of 1984, a unit of "Black Berets" (possible an elite unit of Marines) entered the base with orders to shoot anything and everything that moved. They purged the base for a second team, which removed any equipment deemed too sensitive to abandon. After that, the underground chambers were sealed off. According to the author, one of the rooms cleared out contained hundreds of human skeletons. Finally, at the end of 1984 cement was poured into many of the elevator shafts and underground areas of Montauk Base, sealing off all of the areas used for the most extreme of the space-time experiments.
Afterwards, the gates to Montauk AFB were locked and the base was abandoned for a second and final time. Eventually, Fort Hero (and Montauk Base) was donated to the state of New York as a park.
GAME EFFECTS OF THE MONTAUK PROJECT
The three most obvious powers that can be derived from this phase of the project are: Clairsentience, Extra Dimensional Movement, and Mind Control. Other possible powers include Dispel, Summon, Telepathy, Telekinesis, and Transform. Some powers, such as summoning objects "from the ether" are subject to GM's call as to what best fits his universe.
No matter which powers are examined for use in a game setting, it’s obvious all of them require the Montauk Chair as a Focus. This means any character designed around this power concept and special effects has to deal with an Immobile IAF foci, which is the chair itself. Fortunately, most of the powers described are Mental Powers, meaning they have no maximum range and if used in conjunction with Mind Scanning can hit anyone the character can detect. Any powers that are not Mental Powers initially should be bought with Alternate Combat Value (character’s OMCV versus target’s DMCV) along with the Advantages Invisible Power Effects, and No Range to make them act as mental powers.
As for other powers, "The Seeing Eye" is simply Clairsentience with a required Focus—an object taken from the subject to be used as a contact point. The point of view is controlled by the subject being used to view with, not the character himself, thus requiring both the Adder Mobile Perception Point and the Limitation of Only Through The Senses Of Others (-1/2). In addition, Duncan could view any point on Earth with this power and could see, hear and feel what the subject saw, heard, or felt, meaning his Clairsentience was usable with all the Sense Groups.
There are at least two forms of Extra-Dimensional Movement described. The first is simply Extra-Dimensional Movement (any place on Earth within 250,000 years [at least] forwards or backwards in time). The second is Extra-Dimensional Movement (any place in this dimension within 250,000 years [at least] forwards or backwards in time). Although there is a large difference in locations (Earth and the rest of the Universe), EDM doesn't distinguish between the two when bought in this manner. Both versions of this power should be constructed with the rules for Gates found on page 301 of HERO System 6th Edition Volume 1.
The Mind Control powers demonstrated by the Montauk Project are very potent. Both humans and animals can be affected, with the degree of influence ranging from mere emotional tinkering to outright remote control of a person's actions. At least some forms of Mind Control could affect a wide area, influencing the actions of large groups of people all at once. These Mind Control attempts went virtually unnoticed by the people affected. Obviously, a character using such powers needs to at least try for the “Target will not remember actions" modifier to fully simulate the effects of the project. As with the orgone energy Mind Control abilities, lesser versions of this form of Mind Control should be bought with the Limitation Only To Control/Inflict Emotions.
As for the other powers, Telepathy would be built along the same lines as the Mind Control power. Any Telekinesis should be designed using the rules for Psychokinesis (6E1 295). The Beast From The Id is simply an interesting application of Summon. The ability to disable electrical devices could be a form of Dispel, or a heavily limited RKA. Creating objects from thin air could be Transform or the special effect for a Variable Power Pool.