The United States Department of Energy probably thought it successfully shoved its skeletons back in the closet after everyone finished binge-watching Stranger Things this summer. After a brief and light-hearted stretch where people wondered, “But what is the DOE really doing?” the government body decided to set the record straight, writing a blog post called “What ‘Stranger Things’ Didn’t Get Quite-So-Right About the Energy Department,” in which they claim that while the DOE “doesn’t chart parallel universes, it does help power the exploration of new worlds.” But things got more intriguing earlier this week, when the DOE sent the U.S. Energy secretary Ernest Moniz to Chelsea Handler’s eponymous Netflix talk show to address whether or not the department really is incubating monsters in a parallel dimension. Moniz was game to keep up the DOE’s sinister new reputation, saying, “I will note that we do work in parallel universes.”
So who can we trust? A writer for the Washington Free Beacon wanted to get information straight from the source, so he actually filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the DOE’s public affairs office to get their assessment of Stranger Things from the inside. And he received a pretty sizable stack of papers in return.
Within that ream were a few fun tidbits, like the department’s director of strategic communications and messaging saying in an email, “It’s not true that ‘the Energy Department doesn’t explore parallel universes.’ We support theoretical physicists/cosmologists through the Office of Science High Energy Physics program, some of whom almost certainly are doing a fair amount of research on parallel universes,” which supports what secretary Moniz said on Chelsea. There’s another exchange that has one staffer saying, “We actually do make weapons” before touching on the atomic energy commission’s history of experimentation.
But just because DOE workers are theoretically privy to a dark shadow network of supernatural research and human weapons testing doesn’t mean they don’t hate spoilers just like the rest of us:
And we can rest easy knowing that we’re all on the same team when it comes to Barb.