Public http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/status_Public en Rose Blanche Lighthouse http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_RB_Lighthouse <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Rose Blanche Lighthouse</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">Construction of this lighthouse began in July, 1871, as granite was quarried from nearby.  Advice and equipment were supplied by D&amp;T Stevenson, an engineering firm from Scotland.  With a light standing 95 feet above sea level, it could be seen as far away as 13 miles in clear weather.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">From this time until the 1940's, there were six different lighthouse keepers stationed here.  The building was then abandoned and slowly fell into ruin.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The Southwest Development Association, and other community groups, came together in 1988 with plans to restore the lighthouse to its former condition.  Work began in 1996, and was finished in 1999.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">A bed and breakfast, gift store, canteen, etc., have all been constructed near the walking path leading to the lighthouse.  The staff are quite friendly and the view is breathtaking.  We stayed at the bed and breakfast for two nights while exploring around the area, and I had even attempted to do some night photography at the lighthouse, but the weather refused to cooperate.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=827&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="hYJaauFcdZVqrCK1-4FPjSrrezFMvDcqzR4b4SnKoAQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:15:00 +0000 Mike 827 at http://urbexobsession.com Auschwitz II - Birkenau http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Auschwitz_Birkenau <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Auschwitz II - Birkenau</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/28/2015 - 11:15</span> <div class="field field--name-field-see-also field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">See Also</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/gallery_Auschwitz_I" hreflang="en">Auschwitz I</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For history, please see <a href="/gallery_Auschwitz_I">Auschwitz I</a>.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=139&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="C1igSETi0BZwOIxL8BMCeq9spjckvKnX7zPhBmSUujY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:15:00 +0000 Mike 139 at http://urbexobsession.com Auschwitz I http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Auschwitz_I <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Auschwitz I</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/21/2015 - 11:15</span> <div class="field field--name-field-see-also field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">See Also</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/gallery_Auschwitz_Birkenau" hreflang="en">Auschwitz II - Birkenau</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">With Germany's quick victory over Poland, there was a division of territory according to an earlier agreement between <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler" target="_blank">Hitler</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin" target="_blank">Stalin</a>. The eastern portion of Poland would be given to the Soviet Union. There would be a central buffer zone, and the western portion of the country would become part of Germany.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schutzstaffel" target="_blank">SS</a> immediately began looking for a location in which to establish a prison, predominantly for political prisoners. The suggested location featured 22 pre-existing brick barracks buildings on the outskirts of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%C5%9Bwi%C4%99cim" target="_blank">Oswiecim</a>, that had previously served the Polish Army. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Eisfeld" target="_blank">Walter Eisfeld</a>, former commandant of <a href="http://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Sachsenhausen" target="_blank">Sachsenhausen</a>, was sent to inspect the site, and in April, 1940, formal approval was given by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Himmler" target="_blank">Himmler</a>.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_H%C3%B6ss" target="_blank">Rudolf Hoss</a> was appointed commandant and was sent to oversee development of the new facility. Approximately 17,000 local residents were displaced, some to make room for further expansion plans, and other to make room for German citizens enticed to move to the area.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In May, 1940, 30 prisoners from Sachsenhausen were sent to Auschwitz to become functionaries. By June 14, 1940, the prison was ready to accept 728 Polish political prisoners from a prison in Tarnow.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By its peak in the summer of 1944, the entire Auschwitz complex would cover 40 square kilometres and imprison almost 135,000 people, accounting for about 25% of all people in the entire camp system.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Because of it's vast size, Auschwitz was split into three, largely autonomous camps, Auschwitz I (main camp), Auschwitz II (Birkenau) and Auschwitz III (Monowitz).</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In November, 1944, with the approach of the Soviet Red Army, Himmler ordered the evacuation of the prisons directing that not one prisoner would make it alive into the hands of the enemy. As a result, all who were able were subjected to a death march to the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen-Belsen_concentration_camp" target="_blank">Bergen-Belsen</a> concentration camp.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When the Russians entered the camp, they found about 600 corpses, and about 7,500 living who had been left behind as too sick to make the trip. Also found were 370,000 men's suits, 837,000 women's garments, and 7.7 tonnes of human hair.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Auschwitz I became a hospital for liberated prisoners. Polish and Soviet investigators worked here to document SS war crimes. Other parts of the facility were used as a Soviet prison camp, repeating many of the atrocities committed by the SS.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Most of the former staff were tried and executed for war crimes, including the commandant, Rudolf Hoss who was eventually hanged at Auschwitz.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=136&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="SuBO65a9dQsjM7JKnR4HmJLDlwd4Ti7nmycuNb-HSiU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 15:15:00 +0000 Mike 136 at http://urbexobsession.com Ravensbruck Concentration Camp http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Ravensbruck <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Ravensbruck Concentration Camp</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 08/24/2015 - 11:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="Officers saluting at front gate." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0d6b57e1-9fe7-473d-ad36-e967a95831f8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/ravensbruck4.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In November, 1938, approximately 500 male prisoners were sent from the <a href="http://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Sachsenhausen" target="_blank">Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp</a> to begin construction of Ravensbruck. Unlike other concentration camps being constructed, Ravensbruck was intended specifically for female prisoners.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The camp opened on May 15, 1939, with the transfer of 867 women from other camps. At the start, conditions were not bad. There were beds, with bed linen which was changed regularly. Clean uniforms were issued. Food was in adequate portions and quality. A Communist prisoner, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margarete_Buber-Neumann" target="_blank">Mararete Buber-Neumann</a>, was brought to Ravensbruck after being in a Soviet <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag" target="_blank">Gulag</a>. She compared the experience as follows:</p> <p><img alt="Female prisoners at Ravensbruck." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1fc16bff-fc47-4fac-85e2-b9bc469a0c87" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/maxresdefault.jpg" /></p> <blockquote> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>I looked across the great square, and could not believe my eyes. It was surrounded by manicured lawns, covered by flower beds on which bloomed bright red flowers. A wide Street, which led to a large open area, was flanked by two rows of wooden barracks, on both sides stood rows of young trees and along the roadside ran straight flower beds as far as the eye could see. The square and the streets seemed freshly raked. To the left towards the watchtower, I saw a white wooden barrack and beside it a large cage, the size of a birdhouse the like you see at a zoo. Within it paraded peacocks (stolzierten) and on a climbing tree dangled monkeys and a parrot which always screamed the same word, "Mama". I wondered, "this is a concentration camp"?</i></p> </blockquote> <p><img alt="Closed section of the camp." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="59b68cee-0a76-4787-8a6e-87c2d6a5cd96" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_5131.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the following year, however, conditions began to deteriorate quickly as more and more prisoners were brought to the camps. During the following year, there were over 5,000 prisoners of which 47 died. By 1945, there were well over 10,000 prisoners, and they were dying at a rate of up to 80 per day.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The camp served additional functions as well. First, it was a training facility for over 4,000 female guards, 150 of whom were served at Ravensbruck at any time. They treated the prisoners brutally, many of them then being transferred on to other camps throughout the occupied lands.</p> <p><img alt="Cremation oven." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="20503d4a-2711-4cbf-9786-b27a1bbf0c35" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_5137.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In addition, the camp provided labor. The adjacent Siemens factory was producing rocket parts for the <a href="http://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Peenemunde_Museum" target="_blank">V-2</a> program. In addition, a factory was constructed for fixing leather goods and textiles. Other shops produced uniforms for prisoners, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schutzstaffel" target="_blank">SS</a> and the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wehrmacht" target="_blank">Wehrmacht</a>.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">During the entire operation of the camp by the Germans, over 130,000 women would come through these gates. Of these, only 15,000 would survive to see liberation.</p> <p><img alt="Path toward the back of the camp." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0e4c0fa9-eaa0-4f16-82c1-de85418b25dc" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_5141.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">This was now the second concentration camp we had visited. Like Sachsenhausen, there was no cost to go in.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When we arrived, the wind had come up and it was cold. It was later in the day and the museum would be closing soon, although I saw no physical barriers that would keep people out, or in, once they were closed.</p> <p><img alt="SS Residence" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="46a0c1be-31ae-4240-a0ff-f8e584ec04f1" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_5142.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Most of the buildings in the main section are gone. All that remains are indentations in the heavy gravel that denote the placement of each of the barracks buildings. The workshops and some other buildings were, however, still in tact.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">A fence separated us from over half of the camp. I learned that this was where most of the camp's industry took place, including the location of the Siemen's factory. We were quite disappointed that no access was permitted to that side, but we continued on exploring a tragic, but fascinating piece of world history.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=156&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="MItecIEYIpptUKbsM0VP6m4uyqyyGfVZhlxYOCn3ZTA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:15:00 +0000 Mike 156 at http://urbexobsession.com Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Sachsenhausen <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 08/10/2015 - 11:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="Front gate of the prison." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="59af3311-80e6-4840-87d4-8bb0aa777c5b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_5018.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">One who follows history cannot possibly go to Germany without setting aside the time to visit at least one of the former Nazi camps. During our trip, we visited two in Germany, and two in Poland. This was the first we visited, which was fitting because it was, in fact, the first in the system of camps, and was intended to be the model by which the subsequent camps were to be made and operated.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">We drove from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin" target="_blank">Berlin</a> to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oranienburg" target="_blank">Oranienburg</a>, the headquarters of the camp system, and location of KL Sachsenhausen. It was a sunny day, and as we parked, we noted there were a number of tourists, but not nearly as many as we'd anticipated. Admittedly, Sachsenhausen doesn't seem to be as famous as Dachau, or Auschwitz, at least in North America. Perhaps that was why.</p> <p><img alt="Arbeit Macht Frei." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3392a239-846d-4f73-8c04-def32f28816e" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_5021.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">As we approached the gates we saw the infamous slogan, "Arbeit Macht Frei", or "Work Sets You Free". Most people know this as the slogan on the arch over the entrance to <a href="https://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Auschwitz_I">Auschwitz I</a>, but it started here first, like so much else. Many people stopped and took pictures here. Some posed beside it like a scavenger hunt item. I couldn't help but wonder if the dark humour of this was lost on them. Few were freed from here, or the other camps that donned those words. As the prisoners would say, the only freedom to be had was up through the chimney.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">We proceeded through the gates and took in the open area around us. It seemed large. It seemed quite spacious, in fact. It wasn't until later that I would realize that many more buildings had originally been here in those days, and of course, many more people. Standing here today, if you let yourself, you will feel the contrasts between what you see, and what you know. It was crowded. It smelled of burning bodies. The sound of moaning, and screaming could be heard from the inmates who suffered through their incarceration and last days on Earth. It bore little actual resemblance to the open, green, park-like place we saw before us now. So sanitary, and unoffensive.</p> <p><img alt="Roll call." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6829dc55-5ca8-4b01-9856-aee4aa68bd12" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/rollcallatsachensenhausen.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">We toured the prison and read the signs. We learned of the abuse and sometimes murder of prisoners in the bathrooms of the barracks. We learned that, because the prison was inside the borders of Germany, each prisoner who died had to be autopsied and an official cause of death listed that was rarely accurate. We learned how executions were carried out in the gas chambers, by firing squads, or sometimes, even by the doctors in the hospital wards. We found out that most of the earliest prisoners here weren't Jews, as one might expect, but rather Communists and various other more political type prisoners. Those who opposed, or were likely to oppose the Nazi regime as it swept to power.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Months later, I would read the memoirs of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_H%C3%B6ss" target="_blank">Rudolf Höss</a> who was most famous as the first and longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz. He too got his start at Sachsenhausen. He explained the mentality of the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schutzstaffel" target="_blank">Schutzstaffel (SS)</a>, as he understood it from within. He said that they were trained to believe that they were all that stood between Germany and those who wished to destroy it. The people they imprisoned, those they tortured, worked to death and eventually killed, were enemies of the state. They were people who would destroy the Utopia that Hitler was trying to create. It is this belief that fueled the fires of their zeal and removed any mercy they might have shown.</p> <p><img alt="Officers assembled." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ce9733da-635d-4448-9b0a-daaee65063f8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/bundesarchiv_bild_183786120010%2C_kz_sachsenhausen%2C_ssunterfhrer_beim_zhlappell.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Irony will tinge the visit of the more-than-casual observer. The museum and memorial that this prison became was first created and opened by the Soviets who occupied all of Eastern Europe, including half of Germany, after the war. As a result, the memorial focuses heavily on the death of Communists at the hands of Fascists of the Nazi regime. Where irony plays its role is in the fact that the Soviets, shortly after liberating this camp, proceeded to use it for the very same purpose as part of its Gulag system. German prisoners of war, political prisoners, and many who opposed the continued Soviet occupation were kept here, and died here.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">There are no clean hands in a place like this.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-videos-embed field--type-video-embed-field field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Videos</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JN90py9Cuco?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep03 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=159&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="VZw1Au5SfFxLyUzptDsMoK7ndC9dJDnVZiK_UsMEkT0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 10 Aug 2015 15:15:00 +0000 Mike 159 at http://urbexobsession.com Peenemunde Power Plant and Museum http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Peenemunde_Museum <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Peenemunde Power Plant and Museum</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 07/27/2015 - 11:15</span> <div class="field field--name-field-see-also field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">See Also</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/gallery_VKN_Barracks" hreflang="en">Versuchskommando Nord Barracks</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>V-1</b></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Design of the V-1 began as an exercise to build a remote-controlled aircraft that could carry a payload of 1,000 kg for a distance of 500 km. After several design and staffing changes, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fieseler" target="_blank">Fieseler Aircraft Company</a>, in association with <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argus_Motoren" target="_blank">Argus Motoren</a>, proposed the final design of the "flying bomb", or "buzz bomb" as it was sometimes known. On June 19, 1942, the concept was approved, production was given a high priority, and development began at Peenemunde West.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By this point, development of the V-2 was already nearing completion.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The V-1's iconic jet engine was a gasoline-powered pulse jet. The small wings made for a very high stall speed so take-off was generally around 580 km/h. This was mostly accomplished using a catapult, but was sometimes done by launching from another aircraft. Once launched, it flew between 600 and 900m putting a bit too high for effective use of the light anti-aircraft guns of the day, and slightly too low for the heavier guns. Eventually, however, radar-guided guns were deployed by mid 1944 accounting for the failure of almost 82% of the bombs launched.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Generally, the V-1 attacks on Great Britain ended by September, 1944 as the effectiveness of the bombs was becoming very limited, and as the launch facilities in France were being overrun. The last V-1 to strike British soil was launched on March, 29, 1945, hitting Datchworth.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>V-2 (A-4)</b></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Early experiments into rockets began at a weapons testing range near Kummersdorf, Germany. As the rockets increased in size and power, it wasn't long before these facilities were no longer suitable and a search began for another location.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun" target="_blank">Werner von Braun's</a> mother suggested Peenemunde, and he decided to check it out. It met all of the requirements including being flat, having a lengthy coastline and being remote enough for security to be easier to maintain. In the spring of 1936, construction began on two new facilities, the Luftwaffe's facility, Peenemunde West, and the Army's facility, Peenemunde East.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Operations were moved to the partially completed site the following year. The A-3 prototype proved to have aerodynamic issues and a faulty 3-axis gyroscope. Four launch attempts of this design all resulted in the rockets crashing. To overcome this, the world's most sophisticated wind tunnel was constructed capable of simulating speeds over Mach 4. After many improvements and further testing, a more promising prototype emerged.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the spring of 1939, Hitler and his entourage toured the old facility at Kummersdorf to avoid calling attention to Peenemunde. Von Braun carried out several demonstrations, but Hitler seemed barely interested.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The Army facility was completed in the fall of 1939, and work began on the highly successful A-5 prototype using the modified airframe, and new guidance system from Siemens. By the end of that year, work on the final production version of the rocket was ready. By this point, however, the war was already consuming the available materials and labour required for the project. The officer in charge, General von Brauchitsch ordered that the Army maintain necessary supplies, but that was countermanded by Hitler.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By May, 1940, the project had attracted the attention of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Himmler" target="_blank">Heinrich Himmler</a>, head of the SS. Von Braun was offered an officer's rank of Lieutenant in the SS and was encouraged to accept. This association served to help ensure the resources required. While many of those working on the project in the initial stages were paid, skilled workers, a growing percentage were brought in to the Karlhagen Labour Camp just south of the testing facilities.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Despite all of the challenges, the A-4, final version first launched on October 3, 1942, and was renamed the V-2. Production began in 1943, but by this point the Allies had heard about the work being carried out at Peenemunde, and set out to destroy it in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Hydra_%281943%29" target="_blank">Operation Hydra</a>.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>The Beginning of the End</b></p> <p class="text-align-justify">A bombing raid was carried out on the night of August 17, 1943 and was conducted in three waves. The first wave targeted the sleeping and living quarters of the scientists and skilled employees. The second wave targeted the workshops building components. The third wave targeted the experimental station, damaging labs and offices. While it was estimated that the raid caused a delay of two months, it is generally considered to have been ineffective as most of the development work of the two weapons was already complete.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Facilities were decentralized to other locations in the hopes of avoid this happening again. In addition, the Germans also fabricated additional damage to the facility by creating craters near critical areas, and painting damage to the roofs of buildings to throw off damage assessments. Despite these precautions, there were three more Allied bombing attacks on the facility, and by the time the Soviets invaded in 1945, they found mostly ruins.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>Aftermath</b><br /> Several countries continued to make use of the V-1 design, including France, using them as target drones, the Soviet Union continued to improve the weapon into the 1950's, and the United States quickly adapted them for potential use in Japan, but saw little use for them after the use of atomic weapons. The V-2 was snatched up by both the United States and the USSR, as were the scientists involved in their development. Werner von Braun was brought to the United States and played a pivotal role in NASA's space race.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It is interesting to note that the <a href="http://www.airspacemag.com/space/the-first-photo-from-space-13721411/?no-ist" target="_blank">first photograph taken from space</a> was taken from a V-2 launched in 1946 by the US.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Arriving in Germany in the midst of a heat wave, we decided the first place to check out should be close to the Baltic Sea where, we hoped, things would be slightly cooler. This is a location I've wanted to check out for quite a long time and I was quite eager.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The power plant has been converted for use as the primary display area of the museum, but parts of it remain out of bounds.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I really only have one negative thing to say about it.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Ruins of this facility can be found spread out over a large area. However, aside from the power plant, everything is fenced off and inaccessible.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">That aside, the information and artifacts in the museum are actually quite impressive.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-videos-embed field--type-video-embed-field field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Videos</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MCdlBc__3kg?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ii7uwp1SRIM?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QjXwsj8kHT4?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=162&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="vOPMBPulFh8dPMBRXNJUQ6aIYxd8xKWLPsEPNUKYuV4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:15:00 +0000 Mike 162 at http://urbexobsession.com RCAF Botwood http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_RCAF_Botwood <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">RCAF Botwood</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 07/25/2014 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Aviation has been a part of Botwood for a very long time.  As early as the 1930's, Charles and Anne Lindbergh arrived here and recommended it as a stop-over for sea-planes flying across the Atlantic Ocean.  The recommendation was accepted, and air lines like Pan American began scheduled flights.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">During World War II, the RCAF created facilities for two squadrons of PBY Canso (AKA Catalina) aircraft for the purpose of patrolling part of the North Atlantic for German U-boats.  The Canadian Army was also deployed here to defend RCAF Botwood from potential enemy attack.  In addition, two 14" guns were installed, one at Philip's Head, to help secure the harbour.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By the end of the war, over 10,000 Canadian and British military personnel had been through Botwood.  In addition, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Bob Hope had visited this tiny Newfoundland community.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">With the war's end, however, RCAF Botwood was no longer needed and ended operations.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I suspect that this town offers more than I had time to see.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">On the location of the former base sits a static PBY Canso (or Catalina) for display.  The concrete ramp into the water is still present, and the causeway out to the ammunition bunkers is still present.  The bunkers themselves appear to be in great shape, but were all padlocked.  This was a little disappointing, but the scenery around this point quickly took my thoughts away from such things.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">There are a number of other buildings in the town that appear to have been erected by the military at some point, but they have either been repurposed or are locked up tight.  Perhaps another opportunity will present itself in the future.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=237&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="eBqSD_2C8oNTUF6eOzgvP0LSkhyOu020DHWRyVr7gyA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 237 at http://urbexobsession.com http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_RCAF_Botwood#comments Floyd Bennett Field http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Floyd_Bennett_Field <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Floyd Bennett Field</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 08/12/2013 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">New York City required a municipal airport and several locations for it came up for discussion. The mayor of the time, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiorello_LaGuardia" target="_blank">Fiorello LaGuardia</a>, wanted it placed on Governor's Island. Despite this, the site chosen was Barren Island.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The field was named for <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Bennett" target="_blank">Floyd Bennett</a>, the pilot who assisted <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_E._Byrd" target="_blank">Richard E. Byrd</a> in his attempt to fly to the North Pole.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The location for the field was accepted because of the lack of any surrounding obstructions, but it was still insufficient as it was. Six million cubic yards of sand were pumped from the bottom of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica_Bay" target="_blank">Jamaica Bay</a> to join Barren Island and a few smaller islands together to make up the required land space. Concrete runways were laid, and electrical lighting installed along them making this one of the most modern, high-quality, airports of its day.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Mayor LaGuardia wanted Floyd Bennett Field to replace the airport at Newark, NJ. New airlines were already gathering at Newark as ground transportation was easier to facilitate from this location, as were airmail contracts, the real revenue-getter of the day. In response, flying boats were arranged to shuttle passengers from Floyd Bennett to Manhattan. Despite this, he was only able to convince one airline, American Airlines, to move.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Despite this failure as a commercial airport, however, Floyd Bennett Field would attract some super stars of the golden era of aviation including <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiley_Post" target="_blank">Wiley Post</a> who flew two record-breaking round-the-world flights from here. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelia_Earhart" target="_blank">Amelia Earhart</a> broke records at this field. Even <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Hughes" target="_blank">Howard Hughes</a> flew his famous around-the-world in 91 hours trip from Floyd Bennett field.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The US Navy took an interest in the field and with the start of World War II, opened NAS New York. In addition, the NYPD and US Coast Guard would also begin operations from this location. Today, much of the land is a National Park and even features camping. The NYPD continues to fly helicopters from the former Coast Guard hanger.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">At first glance, I wasn't completely sure what this place was, or its current level of activity. I drove in past the gates and began to look around, realizing quickly that the road I was on was once a runway. As I continued to drive about, it became apparent that this was a fascinating place to check out.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The weather was extremely hot that day, and I was pressed for time to get to another place on my list, so I didn't check it out as thoroughly as I'd like, but I will be back.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=261&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="kUB7uRUpab8tH8rAdGA4FyC6l2PrtpLEuX5sVycAGIU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 12 Aug 2013 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 261 at http://urbexobsession.com Fort Tilden http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Fort_Tilden <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fort Tilden</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/06/2013 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Fort Tilden was named for <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_J._Tilden" target="_blank">Samuel J. Tilden</a>, governor of New York and Presidential candidate. It was established in 1917 as part of the emergency fortification for World War I and was intended to defend New York from attack by sea or air.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The fort began as a coastal artillery installation consisting of two batteries, each with two 6-inch guns, and a platform for a 12-inch mortar battery was also built nearby.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">After WWI, Tilden was crewed only by a caretaker staff. Despite that, construction and improvement of defenses continued. In 1919, two 3-inch anti-aircraft guns were completed. In 1924, Battery Harris's two 16-inch guns were added. Finally, in 1938, anti-aircraft battery #5 was completed.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When World War II began, the base was fully manned and approximately 90 additional buildings were added, Battery Harris was modernized and three .50 calibre anti-aircraft guns were added.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">After the war, in 1946, 46 barracks were converted into 350 apartments for returning veterans and their families. This ended with Tilden's "reactivation" in 1951 as a result of the war in Korea and the ever-growing Cold War.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By the mid 1950's, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike_Ajax" target="_blank">Nike Ajax</a> missiles were deployed here which were subsequently replaced in 1959 by the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike_Hercules" target="_blank">Nike Hercules</a>.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Fort Tilden was decommissioned in 1974 and handed over to the National Park Service.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Another brutally hot day in New York as I began to wander the grounds of this fort turned park. Speaking with the staff, I found out that sections were closed, and the beach completely off-limits because cleanup after Hurricane Sandy had still not been completed.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The storage sheds were interesting, and offered brief shelter from the shade. A raccoon skull also caught my camera and made me wonder where, exactly, the rest of him was.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The best break from the heat, however, was inside Battary Harris (both casements). While the structure was quite empty, it did offer a glimpse into the construction of military washrooms gone by.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The Nike launch site was fenced separately and would have been interesting to check out. There were other buildings of interest as well, but with smurfs helicopters overhead, I decided that perhaps this could wait for the next visit.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title">Comment</h2> <a id="comment-86"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" about="/index.php/comment/86" typeof="schema:Comment"> <h3 property="schema:name" datatype=""><a href="/index.php/comment/86#comment-86" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Fort Tilden</a></h3> <!-- /.header --> <footer> <p class="submitted"><span rel="schema:author">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tom Davies (not verified)</span> on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:47</span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2014-02-26T00:47:00+00:00" class="rdf-meta hidden"></span> </p> <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1513044363"></span> </footer> <div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>My grandfather, Thomas E Davies of Milnesville PA was stationed at Fort Tilden during WWI. He met my grandmother Amelia Asmus of NYC presumably while on liberty. Don't know anything about their courtship but they eventually married and settled in Far Rockaway and had three children the youngest, Harry was my Dad. Grandfather died in 1942 and is buried in Lawrence in a churchyard on Rockaway Turnpike. After WWII my dad and the whole family(grandmother aunts,uncles and cousins) moved to Worcester Massachusetts.</p></div> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=86&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Sj9SPfNMAnFGqau8LGuJ5EZiXF1BddRCBIPaAlCeVmo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </article> <!-- /.comment --> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=264&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="C54JsUw6t80tSVnaKqzzpu__TvmPwEeZRFJPyL68M1o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 264 at http://urbexobsession.com November 33 and Oscar 0 http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_N33Oscar0 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">November 33 and Oscar 0</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/18/2012 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Located just outside Cooperstown, North Dakota, the Oscar 0 Missile Alert Facility was built in the 1965 and features a Launch Control Support building (LCSB) and a Launch Control Centre (LCC) 60 feet below.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Oscar 0 was constructed as part of the Grand Forks AFB's 321 Missile Wing and could control as many as 50 remote Minuteman launch facilities. In addition, if required, Oscar 0 could assume control over the launch facilities assigned to other LCC's if they were disabled.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The missileers, as they were called, worked 24-hour shifts, essentially locked into their underground vaults. Other support staff who remained on the surface included 4 security personnel, a flight security coordinator, a facility manager, and a chef.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The START treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union, signed in 1991, called for the dismantling of a significant portion of both country's nuclear arsenal. Oscar 0 was closed down in 1997, as would the remainder of the 321 Missile Wing's operations from Grand Forks.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">While on my way to the Oscar 0 launch facility, I accidentally passed the November 33 missile silo first. A quick stop revealed a deceptively featureless surface. While feeling a little disappointment at not being able to see more of it, I continued on to Oscar 0.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Not unlike the missile silo, the launch facility looks, from the road, quite unimpressive. The interior of the main building is little more than a house for several men to live in. A well-furnished living room, dining room, well-equipped kitchen, and several bedrooms.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It isn't until you get underground via slow elevator, that the truly impressive nature of this complex becomes apparent. I couldn't help but think of what it must have been like to lock yourself into this concrete tomb, waiting for the end of the world to come, and making a career of this. An unpleasant thought to say the least.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=321&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="M-ndkvj-1LSnCs8hvACW-JLACvJpklgvezLe1nmNrpY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 18 Nov 2012 20:15:00 +0000 Mike 321 at http://urbexobsession.com