MONTAUK PROJECT REPORT--Part 4
MONTAUK AIR FORCE STATION
ACTIVE OR NOT?
All material copyright (c) 1997
John A. Quinn
All rights reserved
A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
When I wrote my report, I intentionally focused for the most part
on information which was not of a personal nature, with a few
exceptions. This was for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I wanted to
be as objective as possible and not come across as a "partisan" or in
any way biased. Also, there may have been some fear of linking myself
personally to the Project. In fact I have had at least two very vivid and clearly
anomalous personal events in my past connected to this location near Montauk
Point. These have made me realize that there was something very peculiar
about the location directly related to myself -- something completely
at odds with my own conscious personal history as well as with my
impressions and knowledge of the vicinity.
Additionally, during my personal investigation into the "Montauk
Project" and related matters, some very peculiar events and
circumstances occurred that I did not originally include in the main
body of my report. I will now relate this material.
I spent a good percentage of the first 18-20 years of my life in
the general vicinity of Montauk, and thus was quite intrigued by the
title of the first of the Montauk Project books (The Montauk Project --
Experiments in Time) after seeing it by chance in a small bookstore
nearly 3 years ago. When I began reading the book I experienced a strong
shock of recognition upon seeing the photo of the base's SAGE radar dish on page
23. Without doubt, I knew I had seen that ominous-looking edifice
sometime in the not too distant past (perhaps 5-12 years previously).
However, I was puzzled by the fact that in all the time I spent in that
area I never had the slightest idea that any such facility as Camp Hero
or Montauk Air Force Station even existed. Absolutely none. I knew that
I had never been there -- certainly not while in any normally conscious
state of mind. Yet I also knew I had seen that radar dish from a pretty
close vantage point -- maybe a couple of hundred feet away at most.
I explained this apparent discrepancy to myself by postulating that
the radar dish was at the extreme eastern end of the base, near to the
lighthouse, which is basically the only area of Montauk Point where I
had ever spent any time at all. I had never done any substantial hiking
around the area.
As my family did not own a car, our trips to the
lighthouse were quite infrequent, usually only when a friend or relative
with a vehicle was visiting us. It was only after a day trip to Montauk Point
during a 1995 stay with family in East Hampton, that I realized that in fact
the SAGE radar dish is nowhere near the lighthouse. It's a good mile away over rolling
terrain and not visible at all from most of the lighthouse area, and my
clear and solid memory of seeing the dish from up close could not
possibly be explained as having occurred during one of my relatively few
trips to the lighthouse. While I was at Camp Hero/Montauk Air Force Station
that day, April 7 1995, accompanied by my wife and two year old child, some very
bizarre incidents took place, as they did on a couple of subsequent
visits. We approached Camp Hero along Old Montauk Highway, an abandoned
roadway which is little more than rubble in most spots, running along
the top of the bluffs above the Atlantic shore from the lighthouse
through the so called "fisherman's parking lot", past Camp Hero on the
south (ocean) side, and connecting with the new highway about two miles
west of the point.
The (outer) perimeter fencing marking the boundary of
Camp Hero is broken down in many spots, and at a spot due south of the
SAGE radar dish, we entered a large break in the fencing on a clear and
well-travelled footpath. No signs of any kind were posted in this area.
We progressed through another broken down fence, which marks the "inner"
perimeter of Montauk Air Force Station, also unposted with any signs,
and walked along the base roads to the radar dish. We spent a little while
there during which time I checked the radar dish out from different vantage
points in an attempt to recreate the image in my memory. I couldn't find the
exact view I remembered but a number of buildings are partly or completely
demolished right around there so that could be a factor. The dish itself, however
seemed quite familiar. We were just leaving the area when suddenly a late model blue
pickup truck approached our direction on a road running parallel to the
one we were on.
The truck screeched to a halt as soon as the driver
spotted us. I immediately smiled and waved, and we stopped walking. The
driver was obviously checking us out, although he was about a hundred
yards away and I couldn't see very clearly. I just smiled and waved
again, and we began walking away from the truck back the way we had
come, toward the shore, trying to act as innocent and innocuous as
possible. The truck then took off. I must mention that on this and all subsequent
visits to Camp Hero/ Montauk Air Force Station I was struck by the overwhelmingly
creepy, unpleasant and eerie feeling around the entire facility, as my
wife was also. Both of felt strongly that we were being watched the
entire time we were in or near the base, and we continually heard
rustling in the dense, nearly impenetrable bushes and undergrowth around
the property. In addition, several deer literally followed us for long
stretches, seeming not just unafraid but almost aggressive.
Very strange and quite unlike the behavior of any other deer I've ever been near in
my life. There was another rather unsettling incident involving a deer
which I will come to shortly. Two days later, on Sunday April 9, we returned
to Montauk Air Force Station to look around the base some more. We went
to another part of the base north of the radar dish, where a number of relatively intact
buildings still stand. We noticed some children playing atop a red and
white transmitter tower (not the radar dish), which is about 75 feet
tall and right next to a building where a State Parks Police officer
lives (though I didn't know that at the moment). As we began walking
toward this tower, two cars pulled up to a flat topped, white cinder
block structure, and about ten people piled out of the cars. One fellow
was distinctly older; the rest, mostly male, appeared to be about 18-22
years old. We passed close by the older fellow and he and I said hello
to each other. He then walked to the cinder block building with some of
the group while the rest of them milled around the cars and the
building. We continued toward the tower where the kids were still
playing and as we approached we saw a State Parks Police car, so we
Going back toward the two cars that had just arrived I
saw another man approaching from the direction of the old mess hall and
traffic circle. He was pushing a cloth, sling-type baby stroller with
large wheels, and my immediate impression was that there was no baby in
it. There seemed to be almost no weight in the stroller and he was
pushing it roughly and quite fast. He bent down and fiddled with
something in the stroller which appeared to be a backpack under a
blanket, then went to the door of the white cinder block building and
talked to the older fellow who had just driven up. After this the man
with stroller continued on in the direction he had been going, passing
within a few feet of us. We made eye contact and nodded in
acknowlegement. I then began talking to one of the younger fellows who
was still standing near the cars, asking half-jokingly if they were doing the
"Montauk Project tour". He said he had no idea what was going on
around there (not that I asked him if he did!), and that his uncle
Charlie had some things stored in the white cinder block building but
that it was constantly being broken into.
The group came out of the cinder block building, and the older
guy, who was obviously the group leader, addressed everyone. He said he
would show them where he used to live. Both my wife and I clearly heard
him say this. I then said to this man that there was a police car parked
over that way, just in case it mattered to him.
The man pushing the stroller was only about 100 feet away, and
the instant he heard me make the comment about the police, he quickly
turned around and came running towards me, while pulling the stroller
behind him. Obviously he didn't want us to see into the stroller.
He then began to scream at the top of his lungs things like
"you bet there's a cop car there, and I can get him right now and have
you arrested! What are you doing here? This area is completely off
limits to the public," and so on in the same vein. I asked him what the
problem was. I said that all the maps show this to be a State Park. I
asked what was going on around the area, and said as well that we saw no
signs indicating the area was restricted, and why should it be so
He kept yelling and screaming at us, saying that I was lying
about the signs as he had put them up himself. I then mentioned that I
had been hearing a lot of things about the area recently, and he went
nuts again, screaming that anything I had heard was a bunch of lies! I
never even said what it was I had heard.
Finally my wife asked him to please calm down as we both (?)
had children with us. He said, "look, he's arguing with me, he's arguing
with me", and then he ran off, never going to get the police after all
that. I continued to make challenging comments and every time I did he'd
turn around, come back and yell in my face with the baby stroller held
behind him, then turn and run away. This was some of the most bizarre
behavior I'd ever seen.
He soon got away from us and as far as we could tell he just
disappeared. We were at a place where there was a clear view in all
directions and he was nowhere to be seen. It's also clear that he didn't
have a baby in the stroller; he was pushing it very roughly and was
constantly trying to keep us from seeing into it. During our last
exchange I was able to get a peek into the stroller and I saw what
looked like a doll, mostly covered with a blanket, and a pack.
I spoke to Preston Nichols later and told him of our
experience. He was very interested and said the individual I had
encountered with the stroller was most likely Donald Balcuns, officially
a State Parks vehicle maintenance worker who is actually a base security
guard. Nichols explained that Balcuns had been responsible for getting
himself and two others arrested and charged with trespassing in a
restricted area, when they weren't even within the inner (restricted)
perimeter. After speaking with Nichols, I looked up the name Donald
Balcuns in the phone book and called him.
I explained who I was and that
we had just had a big argument earlier that day at Camp Hero, and said I
wanted to clarify a few things. Balcuns never missed a beat, and never
asked me how I got his name or number. I told Balcuns that I used to
live in the area and wanted to check out the relatively new state park
property, and that in fact we really didn't see any signs the way we
entered the base. I asked him why the area was restricted to the public.
Balcuns said that there are toxic materials all around and also that the
buildings keep getting vandalized so they have to keep people out. Why
these toxic materials and buildings are even there if it has been State
Park property for so many years was not explained. Balcuns also said
that he had been driving the blue pickup truck on Friday and had seen me
and my family near the SAGE radar dish then.
It was during this and a later conversation where Balcuns
replied affirmatively to my questions as to whether he was an employee
of Montauk Air Force Station, officially closed some 26 years
previously. Interestingly enough, even after Balcun's became aware that
I was a "trespasser" at Camp Hero, he in fact made no move to evict me
or call in law enforcement.
In my conversation with Nichols I also described the events
involving the two carloads of people who pulled up to the cinder block
building on the base, previous to the blowout with Balcuns. Nichols and
Moon both told me that they had met the man who was storing things in
that building, that his name was Tom Costello and that he ran the bar
and restaurant at Montauk Downs State Park, about three miles west
toward Montauk village. They had encountered him on one of their forays
into the base, and he told Nichols and Moon he had been using the
building for several years to store some possessions. There was just one
problem -- the description they gave for Tom Costello didn't match that
of "Uncle Charlie" at all, and I'll return to this point in a moment.
I was getting a bit bent out of shape at running into all
these hassles for going onto property which is supposed to be for public
I was very curious why children were running around this supposedly
highly toxic and hazardous area and were not in any way accosted or told
to leave by Balcuns or anyone else. It was becoming more and more
obvious that there was something very fishy about the entire setup. Also
curious was the fact that much of neighborhood where Balcuns lives,
which used to be base housing, has direct, unrestricted access to Camp
Hero, as does a baseball field nearby. I decided to return to the area
with the purpose of trying to stir things up and get some answers, or at
least some kind of reaction. First I went to the baseball field just east of
Balcun's neighborhood and apparently leased to East Hampton Township. I
videotaped the two roads which enter Camp Hero from this field and are
locked and posted with no trespassing signs, as well as a stretch of the
Camp Hero boundary in between these roads where there is no fencing of
any kind ( never mind any no entry signs) for what appears to be at
least 500 feet.
Children or anyone else can walk right into Camp Hero
from the field. What better way to entice kids into an area than to mark
it restricted in spots but leave it literally wide open along so much of
the perimeter? During this time my wife and I noticed an extremely large deer
about fifty feet down one of the gated entry roads within Camp Hero.
This animal was almost totally black or dark brown. I have never seen
such a darkly colored deer. It stood completely still, watching us for
some time, and I must say it was a very spooky feeling emanating from
this deer. We looked away for an instant and when we looked toward it
again it had vanished. After the other incidents with the deer several
days previously, I was coming to the tentative conclusion that some of
the deer in the area were being somehow utilized by Project operatives
as spies, perhaps by being implanted, controlled and monitored; my
theory is that the animals' sensory data can be picked up and made
accessible to base personnel for security purposes. Nichols told me that
this is certainly within the realm of possibility.
We then went to the area where Mr. Balcuns lives. Here we
videotaped open and unlocked gates leading into Camp Hero as well as
other areas with no fencing at all. We also observed children riding
bikes within the perimeter of the restricted area. Neither Balcuns nor
any other security personnel accosted them or interfered with them in
any way. There were no signs of any kind in the entire neighborhood
prohibiting entry to this so called restricted area! In fact we saw
paths which led from private yards directly into Montauk Air Force
Station. As I was videotaping one of these paths in a backyard on
Lincoln Avenue, a man in the yard of the house next door was watching us
and scowling while talking rapidly into a portable phone. At this point
a woman came out of the house whose yard I was filming, and the man with
the portable phone approached me, still talking into his phone. The
woman asked why I was filming her house and I replied that I was filming
the woods behind her house and the path that led into the woods (Camp
Hero property). She asked why, and I said that I didn't wish to tell
her, and that I was standing on public property.
Apparently I had inadvertently put one foot on the driveway of the house, and at that
point the man next door went completely nuts and started screaming at me
at the top of his lungs (there seems to be a lot of that around there).
He said I was trespassing and that he was calling the police
immediately. I took my foot off the driveway and told him to go ahead
and call. Things were getting a bit heated. I said loudly that I was a
citizen of the United States and I had a right to be on any public
street any time and this jerk better not get in my way. He then chilled
a bit and told the woman to get our license plate number, which she did.
I finished my taping and we drove off. Our next stop was Montauk Downs
State Park, where we were going to try to find either Tom Costello or "Uncle
Charlie" and figure out what that whole business was about. We found Charlie
working the bar at Montauk Downs. There were a couple of guys in there, and Charlie
consistently tried to avoid making eye contact with me. After the others
left, I said hello to Charlie, and mentioned that we'd seen him at Camp
Hero two days before. He then admitted he recognized me, commenting that
"that guy" (Balcuns) really "went nuts on me" the other day.
Charlie added that "they" have lots of problems with Balcuns, but didn't state
who "they" were. I then attempted to get Charlie to elaborate on why there was
such high security at the facility, but he just gave the increasingly
bogus-sounding story about toxicity, vandalism etc. As Charlie continued
he said that he had stored personal possessions in the flat topped,
white cinder block building at Camp Hero for a number of years, and it
was a big hassle because it was constantly being broken into. One would
certainly have to wonder why he would continue using the building.
The most bizarre aspect of all this is that Charlie did not
fit the description of Tom Costello, didn't claim to be him, and was
obviously not Tom Costello; yet according to information I received, it
was Costello who had run the restaurant and bar at Montauk Downs for a
number of years and used the Camp Hero building for storage! I
subsequently discovered that Costello's phone, (address listed as
Fairview Drive, right near Montauk Downs State Park) had been
disconnected. I then called Montauk Downs, asking for Tom Costello, and
was connected to -- you guessed it -- Charlie. Not only did this guy get
Tom Costello's job but also apparently at least some of Costello's
memories. As we were sitting at the bar, I told Charlie that my wife and
I had heard him tell his group of young people that he used to live at
Camp Hero. His response was immediate and unequivocal. He denied it
completely! There is no possibility that we misunderstood him two days
previously at the base.
Returning home from Montauk that evening, we were pulled over
by an East Hampton Town Police officer who passed us going the other
direction, made a rapid U-turn and stopped and detained us for a good
half hour. They had gotten a report about the incident earlier at
Lincoln Avenue, and our car fit the description of this "suspicious"
vehicle. It was almost dark and there was certainly no shortage of red
compacts on the road, so apparently this fairly minor incident of about
four hours previous was considered a rather high priority!
I relayed my version of the Lincoln Avenue events to the young
officer, including the fact that I was standing on a public street and
had a perfect right to film trees if I wanted to. I told him that I grew
up in the area and had moved away, and was visiting my family.
I also said that I had been running into all kinds of problems in the vicinity
of what was to me a new State Park facility and that I was getting
pretty irritated about it. I even mentioned that I'd been filming open
accesses to this "restricted" area. What was restricted, and for whom?
And why? At this point another police car arrived, so it seems I was
considered to be at least somewhat of a risk. An older cop got out who
wanted to hear the entire story as well. He then told us that almost all
of Camp Hero "State Park" was restricted to the public. He actually even
used the word "private". Since when is State Park property private? He
went on with the usual spiel about toxicity and what not, and said that
our best bet was not to go past the "fisherman's gate" on Old Montauk
Highway, way up near the lighthouse. I knew that was complete bulls--t.
After no doubt running my license and other information
through every data bank they could possibly think of, they let me go as
they of course had nothing on me.
I decided after this that it wouldn't be such a good idea to
get myself cited and/or arrested for trespassing at Camp Hero as I
needed to return to California soon, but I figured I'd still keep trying
to shake things up. I went to the Town Police headquarters a few days
later, to get their file on the Lincoln Avenue incident. I told them I
was considering pressing charges against the individual with the
portable phone for making threats against me and my family. The police
advised me to be careful about that as I in turn could be charged with
false arrest if my claims proved unfounded. Upon going over the incident
with my wife we decided that we had not been overtly threatened with
physical harm, although the insinuations were made. However the other
incident involving Balcuns seemed a clear violation of State Park rules,
and was a very disturbing and threatening experience for me and my
family. Pursuing that line, I called New York State Park Police
headquarters in Babylon and told the officer who answered the phone
about the Camp Hero incident.
As soon as I mentioned the area, I heard a
recording device activate on their end. Once the officer heard my story,
he told me that as far as he knew Balcun's superior was a man named
George Larsen, superintendent of all the Montauk area state parks. He
clearly stated that State Parks Police would not have any authority in
this matter, despite the fact that Balcuns was obviously acting as a
security guard at Camp Hero.
My next move was to meet personally with George Larsen at his
Montauk Downs office and relate the entire incident to him in great
detail. However, before going to see Larsen I had another conversation
with Donald Balcuns , in which I asked him who his superior at Montauk
Air Force Station was. Once again he never corrected me about working
for the technically long-defunct Montauk Air Force Station, and he
declined to name his superior.
In my meeting with George Larsen I omitted any references to
the Montauk Project but simply told him the facts of my encounter and
the extremely bizarre and disturbing incident with Balcuns. I was
officially registering a major complaint, including the fact this State
Park property was restricted to the public at all, and also that long
stretches of the perimeter of this area had no fencing of any kind nor
any signs indicating that it is in fact restricted. Larsen did the same
old routine about dangerous conditions, toxicity and so forth. I asked
why conditions were still thus if the property had belonged to New York
State for (at the time) over eleven years. Larsen said that funds were
currently very tight in the Parks system, although I was aware that
Montauk Downs and Montauk Point State Parks have recently had some
fairly substantial renovations and sprucing up.
Larsen also said that Camp Hero is used by cultists and the like for strange
ceremonies, and that human blood had been found at the SAGE radar dish tower(?)!
Larsen said he was taking note of my complaint and would bring
it to the attention of Balcun's superior! I was told by the State Parks
Police that Larsen was Balcun's superior. Now Larsen was indicating this
was not the case. Something was extremely peculiar about all this.
I called Larsen back the next day and told him that though I
appreciated the meeting with him, I was completely unhappy with the
entire situation as was the rest of my family, and that we were going to
pursue legal action. I said that my attorney needed the name of Balcun's
superior. Now contradicting his statement the day before, Larsen
hurriedly said, "There are many levels of heirarchy here. I have 65
people under me and there are different divisions and so forth, but
ultimately I am Balcun's superior!"
I then told Larsen that Balcun's had (passively) identified
himself to me on a few occasions as an employee of Montauk Air Force
Station, and asked whether Larsen could explain this convoluted
business. At this point he got completely flustered, as I noted earlier
in the main body of this report, referred me to the State Parks legal
department, and hung up.
Preston Nichols, upon hearing of these events, interpreted
things as follows. According to Nichols the fact that Balcuns, obviously
a federally employed security guard at Camp Hero with a cover title of
equipment mechanic and maintenance worker for the State Parks system,
had seen me within the restricted area two separate times and did
nothing about it meant that he recognized me in some way or other, or
believed (or knew!) that I was allowed to be there, that I was in fact
"one of the crew". Only after he heard my comment to "Uncle Charlie"
about the police car did he apparently realize I was an "intruder" who
was not "authorized" to be on the property. According to Nichols, this
seems to indicate that I could have been involved in the "Project" in
some capacity, or that I could currently be so involved. While Nichols
could well be right, I also feel that I was projecting a very confident
and strong energy during the visits to Camp Hero. To me, the land at
Montauk Point, Turtle Cove and Camp Hero belongs irrefutably to the
Montauk Indians, and neither New York State Parks nor the federal
government have any right to bar anyone from this property.
The entire legal situation regarding Camp Hero and the
administration thereof is highly unusual, bizarre, and in some respects
quite ludicrous. There is no doubt whatsoever that the official cover
story about the location is completely full of holes. Major inroads in
terms of breaking the story open could be made from this angle alone.
Aside from the Montauk Indians' totally rightful claim to the property,
the land was turned over to New York State for the use of its people
many years ago. Residents of East Hampton Township, New York State and
the Unites States in general should be asking why this property
continues to be off-limits to the public. In my estimate, nearly 75
percent of Camp Hero State Park is unusable by the public. I know for a
fact that the demolition of buildings and removal of toxic materials
could be accomplished in a vastly shorter amount of time than eleven years.
There are some other peculiar facts about Camp Hero I would
like to mention. My wife and I went out there very early one morning,
and parked off (new) Montauk Highway at the intersection of the main
entrance road into Camp Hero, and we observed a vehicle exiting this
supposedly derelict and closed facility at about 5:30 AM and it wasn't
the State Park Police either. We were also both acutely aware of a
distinct and pervasive throbbing, humming sound which emanated from the
general vicinity of Montauk Air Force Station; without doubt the sound
of heavy machinery being operated. This was clearly audible in the
general calm and quiet of the early morning. Needless to say, no such
functional machinery is located anywhere on this property, on the
surface that is. I also visited the location on my own several months later.
The so called "fisherman's parking lot" which is quite close to the
lighthouse was half filled with a tremendous amount of huge boulders.
The lot had been completely empty of any such boulders the last time I
was there. Nichols and other investigators have commented on the fact
that large numbers of such huge boulders periodically show up near
Montauk Point, and are often then moved into position with heavy
equipment to fortify point itself from the undeniably extensive erosion
which does occur there. (The lighthouse used to be several hundred feet
from the point; it's now virtually right at the point.) The curious
thing is that no one seems to know how these boulders arrive at Montauk.
No trucks are ever seen bringing them in, no barges ever unload them at
the point. Where then do they come from? They obviously must originate
on site, and since they are not being quarried on the surface they can
only come from underground.
All text within this document
is the sole property of the owner
and copyright holder -- John A. Quinn.
Reproduction by Permission only.
John A. Quinn
All rights reserved
END PART 4
Montauk Part 5
Montauk Project Report Part 1
Montauk Project Report Part 2
Montauk Project Report Part 3
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