The Unexplained Mystery of the ‘Indian Lake Project’

The mystery of ‘The Indian Lake Project’ has never been unraveled, but the tale of a secret project that experimented on children, in a small hamlet just 90 minutes from Utica, is the Adirondacks’ very own conspiracy theory.

I’ve lived in New York my entire life and in upstate New York for the last 20 years, and I’d never heard of ‘The Indian Lake Project’ until I stumbled across a mention online…and then I fell into a creepy internet wormhole.

Indian Lake Project Conspiracy | The Swamp

Indian Lake is a small town in Hamilton County. The population was 1,352 at the 2010 census. The town’s name comes from a lake of the same name inside the town. It’s such a small place, there aren’t even stop lights in the town.

The Indian Lake Project: October 2005

The story starts with a blog post by a man who says his name is “John.” He tells how a metal box, discovered by his uncle, came into his hands:

“On July 9, 1997 my uncle was hiking in a wooded area around Indian Lake, New York. He tripped on what he thought was a tree root sticking slightly above ground.”

“The box had no lock on it and was easily opened. Inside the box my uncle found 21 water-damaged photos, 3 – 8 mm home movie reels, and various documents.”

These photos and films, along with subsequent discoveries, are evidence of “United States Government experimentation…known as the I.L.P or the Indian Lake Project.”

“In 2002, my uncle died. This box was given to me shortly before he passed away. He was afraid of the contents in the box, and wished he had never found it. I feel it is my obligation to share it’s contents, and the truth behind what had been burried (sic) for 50 years.”

The blog continues for several years, with a final post in February 2013. Over the course of several years, “John” shared photos that he said came from the mysterious metal box, along with photos of allegedly “new” discoveries of actual structures in the woods near Indian Lake.


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