Every place has its folktales, and every town its local legend. But have you ever thought about an abandoned forest setting, which serves as a medium for inter-dimensional travel?
Well, yes, the discovery of a ghost town, formerly called Ong’s hat, broke the internet from the point of its existence. Even Wikipedia still defines it as the ‘earliest internet-based secret conspiracy.’
Setting Of The Town
Ong’s hat is a unique name for a town in itself. It was originally located in New Jersey’s Pines Barren region, America. Additionally, it is situated precisely twenty miles away from the Atlantic Ocean. It is a paradise for nature lovers and also for conspiracy creators. It is now described as a secluded area with no population, which makes it a ghost town.
The Legend Behind The Town’s Name
The name can be traced back to a 17th-century settler named Jacob Ong. He used to work as a fixture dancer. Likewise, many of his performances were directed towards women. Thus, the gentleman used to woo women with his charm and sensually dance around them. Once, a woman stepped on his hat. Therefore, as he was drunk, he could not take the rejection and angrily threw away his hat on a pine tree. The hat got stuck there, and since then, left untouched. Due to this infamous story, it became a landmark of not so lively town.
What Lead To The Origin Of Conspiracies?
Before becoming an internet conspiracy theory, popular among the fans of the supernatural and fantasy, the abandoned place was once a town. For many years rumors were heard all around that something big and important happened in the town that left it abandoned and empty today. Hints of the supernatural, science, and the spiritual were found, which makes us wonder about what actually happened to the town.
The Declined Population Of The Town
The huge, mostly untouched area of Pines Barren once had shipbuilding and other industries like coal mining. Now, however, the Pine Barren is loitered with abandoned towns, and only the remains of the factories stand. The story of Ong’s hat is a little difficult to decipher. We don’t know how much of a town it was back then either.
Whatever Ong’s Hat once was, is now covered by the forest with very little left to look around. By the 1920s, what was left of the town had gone. The forests surrounding the place are said to be better left untouched. One does not want to lose their path in them as they may or may not find their way home.
Sibling Scientists’ Chaos Studies
In the 1970-80s, a new section of scientific studies was emerging. It was called “Chaos” and given the importance of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. It was a mixture of many different kinds of sciences, and eventually, it broke down into two different sets of people, following two different ideologies. One believed that Chaos was the enemy, while the other took Chaos as the savior.
It was in the 1980s that an emergence of a pamphlet brought attention back to Ong’s Hat. “Ong’s Hat: Gateway to the Dimensions,” a full-color brochure for the Institute of Chaos Studies and Moorish Science Ashram. Ong’s Hat had become a place for the Dobbs Twins to continue their work.
The story goes back in time when the twin Ph.D. degree candidates got rejected for their problematic hypothesis on what they referred to as ‘Chaos studies.’ Soon these Princeton University dropouts continued their thesis with the help of other members and formed a group irrespective of their rejection from the academic front.
Nearby they met a mystic scholar who had established his ashram in the woods, and soon they combined their knowledge of their arts in ways that were never seen before.
The Inter-Dimensional Angle
With their ongoing experiments, they came up with a device called Gate. ‘Gates’ had a series which they collectively called ‘The Egg.’ However, reports confirm, scientists used to monitor brain waves while bamboozling humans to play on computers. By infusing psychological and scientific theories, they were able to pinpoint a method that could control the chaos in the human mind.
Eventually, when the government heard the whispers, scientists and their group were in danger. To escape from legal interrogation, they used The Egg, which teleported the entire Ashram to an alternate universe where humans did not yet exist. Only a single establishment was left behind to house the technology and for the people to come and find it so they could also travel to the Alternate World.
The Book “Ong’s Hat: The Beginning”
Joseph Mathney is a web game developer, and he made the first Alternate Reality Game (ARG) which was heavily inspired and based on Ong’s Hat. What started as a joke or an experiment in the early days of the internet did not age very well. People had a hard time distinguishing between reality and fiction. Mathney received threats, and his privacy was often invaded by the fans of the games and later by people who took the whole thing too seriously.
On 1st September 2002, Joseph Mathney published his book “Ong’s Hat: The Beginning.” Joseph and his fellow companion, Emory Cranston (fictitious name), mentioned that Ong’s hat had no intergalactic travel and that it was ridiculous that people would believe in it.
According to Wikipedia, Joseph concluded, “Ong’s hat turned out to be an experiment for story-telling method which got the opportunity on various social media platforms and eventually, listed as the first ARG (Alternate Reality Game).” He believed it to be a meme shared on social media platforms, which, however, got backed by several conspiracy theories and ultimately got out of hand.
To summarize, Ong’s hat might be time-influenced machinery or a fantasy world for sci-fi nerds. But it will always remain the greatest mysteries of a lifetime until it gets resolved.