The famous web series of Netflix, Strange Things, has some connection with the government’s mind control program and experiments that happened in the United States throughout the 20th century under the project names, MKUltra and Stargate. This series is an American Science Fiction created by the Duffer Brothers and released on Netflix in 2016. In a short period, it has created a vast international fan base, which has made it one of the most popular shows of Netflix. It has received a lot of awards and recognition. Three seasons have been completed and the work for the fourth season has started. But the release date is still unknown due to the Covid19 pandemic. The Duffer Brothers told that they would do a maximum of 5 seasons of this show.
Stranger Things : The Scientific Fiction
Stranger Things began in 1983. A creature abducted Will Byers from the upside down. Her mother tried to find him with the help of a policeman. However, another mysterious psychokinetic girl named Eleven came in the story. She has escaped from a laboratory and joined Will’s friends in their plan to find Will. As the story went on, we get to know a lot about eleven, her connection with a local lab that was involved in dangerous experiments. However, Will was found out later, the entities from upside down still influenced him.
CIA’s Project, MKUltra
Though the story was made with a fictional approach, few things have a connection with history. Apart from the supernatural powers, there are some similarities with the projects of Russian and US government. The project, MKUltra, is the most robust historical connection in this series. Though the story is fiction, it has some secure connection to the CIA and the government’s biggest secrets.
The project, MKUltra, is also called the CIA mind control program. It is the code name given to a series of experiments that were done on human subjects that were undertaken by the US Central Intelligence Agency. Some of these experiments were illegal. The motto of the project was to know techniques to control the enemies during the Cold War. CIA was trying to know the techniques to control human minds so that the government can get to know the secrets by controlling the minds of the enemies. The experiments were done at more than 80 institutions, including universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and prisons. Some files of this operation destroyed by the CIA director though the vital information was publically revealed. Many illegal treatments were done in this experiment, including hypnosis, sexual abuse, high dosage of psychoactive drugs, electric shocks, etc.
Project MKUltra was similar to the experiments that had started during WWII in Japanese institutions and Nazi camps. The operation focused on chemical, biological, and radiological methods of controlling the human mind. Many participants were given psychoactive doses without their knowledge and then asked to see whether they would reveal secrets. These drug experiments were named, such as Project Bluebird and Operation Midnight Climax.
Real-Life Stories in Stranger Things
The Duffer Brothers have used many experiments from the CIA’s MKUltra in Stranger Things. Hawkins National Laboratory was one of the institutions that took part in the project under the leadership of Dr. Brenner. In Stranger Things, Eleven’s mother, Terry Ives, volunteered to participate in Project MKUltra. During the experimentation, Terry was given psychedelic drugs and sensory deprivation. The incident is similar to the real-life members of the institutions where the MKUltra Project took place. Terry was pregnant, but she didn’t know it. At that time, Dr. Brenner kidnapped her child, and the incident was not known to Terry. The child was born with telepathic and telekinetic abilities as her mother was given psychoactive drugs when she was pregnant. This girl was named as a formula, 011 or Eleven. Not only Eleven, but there were also other children too who were born under experiment. Dr. Brenner took control of these children from their birth and used them in another project, Indigo. These children were trained by Dr Brenner to use their unique abilities. Kerry came back to the laboratory to take Eleven at some point in time, but she was given electroshock therapy, which left her devastated.As these children grew up, they got to know about the evil experiments of Dr. Brenner. They tried to leave this lab in search of a healthy life. Eleven too did this, but she has made contact with a creature from another dimension during her experimentation, which accidentally opened an inter-dimensional gateway.
The MKUltra Project lasted for 20 years and came to an end in 1973. Though the details were revealed to the public after two years. Most of the documents were destroyed. So it was impossible to know about the full details of the project. In the year 1977, the CIA uncovered nearly 20,000 pages of documents. But they mainly consisted of financial information rather than the actual project.
Many people who were used for experimentation in the MKUltra project died from this. But the CIA covered up any connections. The actual number of deaths from these experiments is not yet known. As per investigators, though MKUltra has ended, the CIA continues the mind-controlling program.
Other Real Life Events in Stranger Things
Other than MKUltra, the Duffer Brothers did a lot of research on real-life conspiracies and added few things in their fiction. They used references from the Montauk Project. It is a conspiracy theory that suggested specific government projects took place in Montauk. The mottos of this project were to develop psychological warfare methods and research into time travel, teleportation, and mind control. When the fiction was in the early stage, the title was Montauk. The series was going to be set on Montauk, New York, rather than Hawkins, Indiana. Though the creators were influenced by some of the greatest storytellers in history, such as Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, they included many real-life questionable scientific experiments in their fiction.