FORT ORD, CALIFORNIA
Fort Ord served as a basic training operation that took in recruits and turned out troops that were ready for combat. Built in 1917 and abandoned in 1994, the base sat empty for 18 years hidden in plain sight right off a main highway. It became a national monument in 2012 and today the Fort Ord area maintains its historical and cultural significance, attracting tourists and recreationalists from near and far.
HASHIMA ISLAND, JAPAN
Nine miles away from the city of Nagasaki lies a 16 acre island that was turned into a key airbase during the 1930’s through WWII. At the peak of the its use in 1959, over 5,000 people lived on the tiny island but they were not happy residents, they were people who were forced to work the islands coal mines as punishment. Once the coal mine was abandoned in 1974, all the people left the island. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been open for tourist visits since 2009.
TITAN I MISSILE BASE, COLORADO
During the Cold War the US built a massive stockpile of nuclear weapons that were housed in silos all across America. As the Cold War ended, so did the need for many of the silos and they were decommissioned and abandoned. That doesn’t mean people don’t trespass though, the only thing keeping people out are nosey neighbors and splintered wood signs across the entrances.
NEKOMA, NORTH DAKOTA
This bizarre base was constructed in the 1950’s but closed in 1976. A relic of the cold war era of the United States, the pyramid structure you see was where the missile site radar was located. At 4 stories tall, the site now lays abandoned in a town of less than 50 people.
CARLSTROM FIELD, FLORIDA
In 1918, when the US was involved in the first World War, the military decided they wanted to build a large base in southern Florida. Over 90 buildings were built over the bases 700 acres and the airfield had a brief lifespan as it was closed after the war. In 1947 it became the G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital which closed in 2002 and was taken over by the state and transformed into a juvenile correctional facility.
RAF STENIGOT, ENGLAND
Royal Air Force Base Stenigot was once a fully functioning WWII radar station near Donington in Lincolnshire, England.It was primarily used as an early warning system during WWII but in 1959 it was turned into a communications relay site and eventually was decommissioned in the 1980s. These dishes are all that remains, left abandoned in the fields of Stenigot.
RAF HETHEL, ENGLAND
Built in 1942 for the war, the base quickly fell into ill-repair and by 1948 when there was a huge exodus of military aircraft and servicemen when the war ended. For decades it sat abandoned until 2005 when
the converted base became a manufacturing and testing facility for Lotus Cars.Today Lotus uses the base as a racetrack to help design their performance vehicles.
MAUNSELL ARMY SEA FORTS
Named after the man who designed them, the Maunsell forts were used to defend the UK during World War II. There are three forts in Mersey and three more in the Thames estuary, combined they shot down a total of 22 aircraft and 30 bombs during WWII. Since being decommissioned in the 1950’s, people have partied on them, lived(until kicked off)on them and used them for all sorts of shady videos and events.
Buried deep beneath the beautiful hotel Greenbrier lays a long hidden and forgotten bunker left over from wartime tensions of the 1950’s cold war era. The U.S. government asked the owners of the Greenbrier to help them build a secret bunker to house Congress if there was ever a nuclear holocaust. The hotel agreed and “Project Greek Island” was built at the same time the hotel was expanding, building the “West Virginia Wing”.
KALAMA ATOLL, USA
On a far off forgotten island that is a territory for the US lies Johnston Atoll, or Kalama, as it’s formally known. The small Atoll was used for the military from 1934-2004. After 2004, the atoll was abandoned because of all the harmful and toxic materials used on the island for decades including 4 bomb tests. This is definitely not a place you want to stumble across on a surf trip.
GHOST SHIPS, CALIFORNIA
San Francisco is not the place you picture having a fleet of ghost ships just sitting around but thats exactly what’s happening at Suisun Bay. Over 50 ships, some from as far back as the 50’s-60’s have been floating abandoned waiting to be recycled into reefs or cut up for scrap. If you’re brave enough to paddle out to one, you might be able to check them out, but then again: why would you?
BALAKLAVA SUBMARINE BASE, RUSSIA
You ever see a submarine base? Yeah, nobody has! Theres one in San Diego thats supposed to be the biggest in the US and I’ve never seen one out there ever. In regards to the little village of Balaklava residents and their families used to have trouble getting to the area because of their top-secret base. Today the base is decommissioned and has been abandoned since 1996.
FORT TILDEN, NEW YORK
This incredible looking former army reserve base was in use for 80 years by the military until being totally decommissioned in 1995. The fort was given to the National Park Service in the 70s and is now part of the Gateway National Recreation area.
DUGA RADAR, UKRAINE
Located in Chernobyl (yes, that Chernobyl!) This radioactive tower sits abandoned but it once played a big part during the war. It was the Soviet’s over-the-horizon(OTH) radar system. After the meltdown it was abandoned with the rest of the town in 1986.
This incredibly creepy place just reeks of haunted spirits and evil ghosts. As all good ghost stories goes, The Beelitz-Heilstatten was once a sanatorium(Yes, a crazy people being tortured type place) but eventually it became a wartime hospital. In fact, reports say that Hitler was once treated here in 1916. The facility was finally abandoned in the year 2000 and the grounds are not secured and it’s possible to walk the facilities. If you dare!
109TH IMAN FORTIFIED
Operating during the World War II era, this fort took heavy damage between the fighting of Soviets vs the Japanese during the war. After the war ended it was abandoned and has been sitting empty and forgotten about for over 60 years.
MAGINOT LINE, FRANCE
This series of forts runs across the lands shared with France, Switzerland, Germany, and Luxembourg. They were built in the 30’s in hopes of protecting the borders of France but they were not enough to keep the Germans out during World War II. The Nazis successfully invaded France by avoiding the Maginot Line at first and then later overtook the forts The soldiers within the forts were surrounded and forced into POW camps but today a few have become discos and homes to residents.