Abandoned Military Bases

From HistoryinOrbit.com:



Located in San Mateo County overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Devil's Slide Bunker was built by the United States military during World War II to help defend the harbor of San Francisco, due to fears of an attack from the Japanese. This was prior to radar so military personnel would wait in this bunker with coordinates and binoculars, standing watch like a soldier on a watch tower.

  1. Flak Towers



    Built by the Nazis during WWII, these towers were used by forces to defend against air raids by the Allies. The walls were eleven feet thick and made from concrete, had radar within them and often rose ten to twenty stories above the ground. They also had multi-level guns built into them that could fire at a sustained rate of 8000 rounds per minute and had room for up to 10,000 civilians and an underground hospital.
  1. RAF Stenigot, England



    RAF (short for Royal Air Force) Stenigot was a WWII radar station near Donington on ain in Lincolnshire, England. The base was a part of the Chain Home radar network which was supposed to function as an early warning system. In 1959, several years after the war had ended, it was turned into a communications relay site. The site was decommissioned in the late 1980s and basically all but torn down by 1996.

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  1. Hashima Island (aka Battleship Island), Japan



    The island is entirely taken up by the abandoned base which is abut 9 miles from the city of Nagasaki, one of 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture. The 16-acre island has undersea coals mines which were built in 1887 during the industrialization of Japan. At it's most populous, the island had 5,259 residents in 1959. The coal mines were closed in 1974 and all the residents left the island, leaving the land completely abandoned. It's now a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been open for tourist visits since 2009.
  1. Kalama Atoll, USA



    The islands are also known as the Johnston Atoll. It's an unincorporated territory of the United States. For 70 years, the atoll was under American military control. During its time in service, it served as a bird sanctuary, a naval refueling station, and an airbase. Nuclear and biological weapons tests also occurred on the islands of which there are four total. Due to the testing of weapons that involved hazardous materials, much of the environment on the island is contaminated.
  1. Raf Hethel, England



    RAF Hethel was built for fighting Axis forces during WWII. The Royal Air Force base was built in 1942 but fell into disuse by 1948, with the reduction of aircraft and forces after the war. It was sold by the Air Ministry in 1964. During the post-war period, the base was used as a re-homing facility for people displaced by the war. In recent years, the base has become the manufacturing and testing facility for Lotus Cars.
  1. Saint Nazaire Submarine Base



    The Nazis seized the Saint-Nazaire harbor during the Battle of France in June 1940. Work began on the German base in February 1941 and ended June 1942. The base is 300 meters long and 130 meters wide with a roof that's 8 meters deep. There are 14 submarine pens on the base. It was abandoned after the war but in 1994, the municipality of Saint-Nazaire decided to re-use the base since it was too expensive to destroy.
  1. Zeljava Air Base, between Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina



    This air base was the largest underground airport in former Yugoslavia and one of the biggest in all of Europe. The purpose of the air base was to function as an early warning radar network. The airbase's construction started in 1948 and was completed in 1968. It cost about $6 billion in total to build the facility. The entire area is still heavily mined today – it's used by local police forces to train land-mine finding canines.
  1. Objekt 221 Base



    An abandoned Soviet military base in Crimea, no one outside of the Soviet military really knows what the Objekt 221 base was built for, but it could have been a nuclear bunker, a back-up headquarters for the entire military's top brass or a base for the naval operations out of Crimea. Regardless, it is today abandoned, difficult to find but an awesome place when you do.
  1. Upper Heyford Base



    The Royal Air Force (RAF) Upper Heyford base was one of the most important to the Crown between the years 1918 and 1950 and then served in other capacities over the next few decades before it was shut down in 1993, once the Cold War was completely over. There are countless abandoned buildings within the base that have become incredibly popular with urban explorers.
  1. Duga Radar, Ukraine



    This impressive structure is nicknamed the Russian woodpecker. The structure was part of the Soviet's over-the-horizon radar (OTH) system which was part of the early-warning network for missiles. It created a sound that could be picked up on shortwave radio when it was operational between the dates of July 1976 and December 1989 (a tapping noise). It's right next to Chernobyl and has been declared radioactive since 1986.
  1. Carlstrom Field, Florida, USA



    The airfield is named after 1st Lieutenant Victor Carlstrom. Construction began in 1918 when the US was involved in the WWI. 90 buildings were built and the site covered 700 acres. The airfield was used as an advanced school for pilots that offered a six-week course. After WWI was over, it was used as a testing base for new aircraft but reopened as a base again in 1941 during WWII. Now, the site functions as a juvenile correctional facility.
  1. Coast of Russia, Kotlin Island



    Located on Kotlin island, just off the coast from St. Petersburg, this military base is an awesome relic from the Cold War's past. If you visit, it will look like everyone just picked up and left, as there are still military vehicles everywhere. With Putin's militaristic attitude, it wouldn't be surprising to see the base get a little more attention soon.

Khun Kao - 10. Upper Heyford Base



The Royal Air Force (RAF) Upper Heyford base was one of the most important to the Crown between the years 1918 and 1950 and then served in other capacities over the next few decades before it was shut down in 1993, once the Cold War was completely over. There are countless abandoned buildings within the base that have become incredibly popular with urban explorers.

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  1. Nekoma, North Dakota, USA



    Nekoma is a city fifteen miles south of Langdon, North Dakota and was founded in 1905. Part of the Safeguard Program, Nekoma features an anti-ballistic missile complex. The site includes a pyramid phased array radar structure. The populate as of 2010 is only 50. Construction at the site began in the 50s but closed in 1976 after it was no longer needed.
  1. Cape May Bunker



    Located on the Jersey Shore, the Cape May Bunker was built in 1942 as an added protection against German forces that may have been trying to make a trek across the Atlantic to launch a surprise attack against the United States on the East Coast. Reports of U-boats off the East Coast were made a few times during World War II, which may have inspired the construction of this added bit of defense.
  1. Duga-3



    Like the aforementioned Duga array that was built by the soviets as part of their intercontinental ballistic missile detection system, Duga-3 is a massive steel structure that monitors over the horizon. However, what makes this installation different is that it is located within the Chernobyl radiation zone, making it even more bizarre and out of this world, considering there is no one around for miles and an abandoned, melted down nuclear reactor is nearby. Careful ever visiting here.
  1. Fort Ord, California, USA



    Fort Ord used to be one of the biggest military bases in America but it was closed in 1994. Mainly served as a basic training facility for service members getting ready for combat roles. There are rows and rows of unused barracks and an abandoned Olympic-sized swimming pool at the fort. It was built in 1917 and was in service until 1994.