Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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Hindenburg Crash Monument

Posted by Stu On September - 26 - 2007

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I would like to thank the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, especially Larry Lyford, for granting me access to the monument.

Many people know what the Hindenburg is, but not many are aware the disaster occurred right in Lakehurst. On May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg, an 804 foot long zeppelin, burst into flames and came crashing down to the ground. Many of the passengers and crew died. The cause is still debated, but somehow the hydrogen-filled airship caught and in about half a minute was destroyed.

Today, there is a small blimp-shaped monument with a plaque in its center. The memorial is where the Hindenburg touched down that day. A good distance behind it is a huge hangar that housed the Hindenburg twice.

I first saw the Hindenburg crash site in 1992 when I was at an air show that the base used to hold annually. I went in the hangar too. Today, the field where the air show used to be held is overgrown.

Popularity: 21% [?]

Millville Bunkers

Posted by Stu On September - 26 - 2007

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I had heard that bunkers of some sort could be found hidden in the woods near the Millville Airport. At first this made no sense to me, since Millville is a good distance away from both the bay & ocean. I kept hearing about them though and even had seen a photo, so I knew that something was there and I had to find whatever it was.
It took 2 tries, but I finally found an entrance. The woods across from the airport are a wildlife management area, so for much of the year all the gated entrances are closed. I managed to find a small trail that wasn’t gated.
About a third of a mile down the trail, I found a tiny, one room bunker to my left. It was probably smaller than my bedroom.

To the right was another identical bunker. Following the trail down, I found more. In all there are 6 small bunkers along the path.

Even farther down we came across an abandoned building. It was bigger than the bunkers but still relatively small. Nothing of note was inside.

So what was this place? Turns out these woods, along with the airport property across the street, were once part of the Millville Army Airfield, which was only around for a few years during World War II. After the war, the field was considered excessive to the army’s needs and given back to the town. Part was used for the current airport, and some became the wildlife management area.
Recently, bombs have been showing up in the woods as development pursues in the area.

Popularity: 10% [?]

Belle Mead General Depot

Posted by Stu On August - 26 - 2007

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Fair amount of photos. Go walk your dog. Or cat. Or ferret.

This was somewhat of an accidental find. We learned of an unused water tower with a geocache on top of it. Somehow Bill from LostinJersey found out an entire abandoned depot was not far from it as well. We decided to explore the depot area before going to the water tower.

Our goal far off in the distance.

At the time, we didn’t know what the place was or how long it had been abandoned. It turns out it’s the Belle Mead General Depot and it was abandoned sometime in the 1960’s. Mercury was stored here as well and according to some sources is currently leaking into the ground.

There weren’t too many buildings – one big one and a couple little ones. The area was huge and we did a good amount of walking. There are also several torn up rail lines.

Most of the buildings were far in the back.

Ah, finally…..the water tower.

The ascension.

The depot from the top of the tower…

Popularity: 8% [?]

Batteries Lewis & 219

Posted by Stu On May - 26 - 2007

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Harsthorne Woods County Park is just a few miles south of Sandy Hook and also has a few bunkers from the same era as those found there. They were built during World War II to protect New York Harbor. The only shots ever fired were for practice. Battery Lewis is much larger than 219 and was the first one we came across:

An extra 1-Up always comes in handy when exploring. Thanks to whoever left it.

Battery 219 was nearby. We found it by accident.

There is supposed to be an abandoned military building somewhere in the park, but we weren’t sure of where it was.

Popularity: 7% [?]

Fort Armistead

Posted by Stu On April - 26 - 2007

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This place is trashed. It’s like the state said screw it and gave up maintaining the park. There’s tons of spray paint, the iron gates blocking the inside of the fort have all been broken or have had bars removed, there’s trash everywhere, etc…I was told quite a few stories about this Spanish-American War-era fort, and while I don’t normally believe such things, I have to wonder about this place.

Things I heard:

The fort is home to large rats.
A colony of feral cats live there and the homeless take care of them. Homeless people live there too.
Drug use & deals are commonplace.
Prostitutes – most commonly gay men – and their clients meet up there. If you pull in a spot in reverse it means you’re available and looking. Head first means you’re not.

Normally I dismiss such stories as nonsense, the kind of thing certain magazines like to line their pages with because they need content and anyone who has actually bothered to visit such places knows the stories are complete crap. I mean, come on, it’s just a historical city park. How bad could this place be?
But when I pulled up – head first, just to be on the safe side – there was a group of dudes standing on the side of the parking area, and they didn’t take their eyes off me until I took out my camera. Not sure what they were doing there, but they were hanging out the entire time I was there, and once I began walking around the ruins they huddled over by their minivan. Dunno if I stumbled upon some of the fabled fort hookers, a drug deal, or just some other shy tourists, and honestly I’d rather not know.
While I didn’t see any giant rats, we did find a syringe on the ground. On the one side of the fort, along the water, we noticed some tiny shelters with lots of food and water bowls…and then we saw 3 cats. So the feral cat colony story is true at least. And so is the drug one apparently.

Some of the feral cats and their shelters.

Popularity: 24% [?]

Army Ordnance Museum

Posted by Stu On April - 26 - 2007

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How could I say no to 25 acres of tanks? The Army Ordnance Museum is home to roughly 240 tanks, all from different countries and time periods. Also here is the allegedly largest military gun ever built – it was tested but never put to use.
Since the museum is on a military base (Aberdeen Proving Grounds), we needed to get a visitor pass to get to it. Make sure you have a license and vehicle registration (which you should have anyway) if you plan to visit.

I had read that the tanks used to have their hatches open and you could climb inside them. When we got there though, none were open and there were a few signs saying not to climb on them. Guess times have changed. Still, 25 acres of tanks is impressive. Oh, how I wanted to play in them.

A huge bomb greets visitors.

Yes, there are even some rockets.

What is supposed to be the largest military gun ever made. Yes, it’s quite large. *Insert big dick jokes here*

We noticed during our visit there were several empty spots among the tanks. We later found out that the missing tanks were in the process of being restored.
There is also a small indoor section of the museum, which houses many types of guns and other war relics/displays. There’s also a gift shop, which unfortunately was closed when we visited.

Popularity: 11% [?]

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