For the readers’ information: the site described in the article was abandoned by the military a few years ago. The structures were deserted, the main entrance gate was unlocked, the security personnel dismissed and the remaining property written off the inventory.
When we set off we were aware that we were going to a former biological-warfare weapon storage facility. We we also sure that all the germs and viruses have been removed from there a long time ago. But what was being kept there nowadays was still a mystery.
We were a party of eight. I know that it’s not much, but it just happened to be that way. Having arrived at the site late at night, we divided into two groups of four. One of them stayed at the camp and the other took off for some on-the-grounds recon.
It was found out that the huge territory of the storage facility was surrounded by a concrete fence. The height of its sections varied, but all of them were taller that a man. There was no barbed wire on top and in some places thick tree branches came up to the fence, making it easier to climb over.
After we get on the premises, we climb on top of one of the earth mounds. There we discover multiple air shafts going down into the ground, but none of them have ladders. Part of the group keep their eyes on the road while the others continue their search for access until they finally find it. As it turns out, one of the shafts actually has a ladder.
The Chief Snooper climbs down. A few minutes of waiting pass slowly, then information is out that there is a small hermetic door in the mound which can possibly be destroyed. But a blown up door might be very easily spotted during a security raid,, so we discard that idea and keep trying to get in through the air shafts.
My patience soon runs out and I go down the shaft to see what’s going on. At the bottom there is a small room with a pipe going into the wall. An open rotating seal valve is blocking the way into the pipe. (you can see it in the photo).
The Group Mascot tells me that the Chief Snooter has easily squeezed past it but the Chief Ideologist is too big. Not only can’t he squeeze past but is also preventing the others from doing so. So we attempt to take down the valve leaflet.
Well, I think now it’s time to tell you about the storage facility itself. As for structure, it consists of several huge underground vaulted halls that are arranged in the shape of a comb with 6 teeth. The foundation of the comb is the longest vaulted hall that used to house refrigerators, air ventilation systems, automatic telephone exchange station and other services.
The comb’s 6 teeth are the actual storage halls. After a quick examination the Chief Snooter tells us that the entrance to the halls is sealed, but during a second examination Mr. PhotoFreak discovers a previously unnoticed passage. The Chief Snooter rushes in, leaving Mr. PhotoFreak to enjoy his favorite occupation. All this time we’ve been hearing loud noise coming from the hermetic door – the Red Shirt has gotten tired of waiting and was tearing it down violently, breaking off pieces of metal with a huge wrench.
Mr. PhotoFreak leaves the refrigerator unit and runs into the Chief Snooter who tells him that he has stumbled upon three high school swag hunters and which apparently indicates that the main entrance hermetic gate is unlocked. Turns out that the site has been rinsed by locals.
The Red Shirt appears – he managed to tear down the hermetic door and the whole group is now inside.
The storage halls are mostly empty. Yes, there were in fact biological weapons stored there before 1988. But then the facility was handed over to military map makers. The remains of their equipment are still in the warehouse number five – floor-to-ceiling wooden shelving units that are stuffed with hundreds of wooden boxes of all sizes, colors and shapes.
The vast majority of them is empty, but many are filled with survey instruments varying from microscopes and geodetic theodolites to telescopic supports and surveyor’s compasses.
Sure enough, dozens of people have already ransacked this place, but with a little patience you can still find interesting items. It was here that the Chief Snooter ran into and shooed away the schoolkids.
Box with a films.
Little by little all members of the group gather inside the warehouse and part ways in a search for swag. We leave the facility through the main entrance gate which is in fact open, our backs bending under the weight of the boxes filled with all kinds of formerly military property.
The next day we give it another try and pay one more visit to the storage. This time we do it in order to pick up some more swag and take pictures of the exteriors in the sunlight. We don’t go around the fence or crawl through the forest. We climb over it at a spot that’s as close as possible to the camp and then enter through the main gate.
At the end of the trip we climb up a control tower that has a great view of the structure. There are 4 tower in total on the grounds. Three of them are located around the storage and the remaining one – somewhat farther off. The purpose of the towers is not absolutely clear.
In a week four of us stop by the site to pick up some boxes (during the day, of course). We take all that we want and head for the main entrance when we suddenly hear voices coming from there. The newcomers notice our flashlight and shout: “Freeze right where you are, you bastards, or we will lock you up in there!”
Not knowing who this is we turn off the flashlights, drop the swag and run for cover to the nearest dark spot. Then there are sounds coming from the gate as if it was indeed being tampered with.
Having realized that hiding does not make sense anymore, we come out to meet these people all at once. We come face to face with a guy in a T-shirt, who doesn’t look like neither a security guard nor a military man. We tell him that local kids have shown us the place and that we came to pick up some boxes and were about to leave. The guy doesn’t really object, and in fact, he doesn’t care – behind him a small truck loaded with gas cylinders is rolling into the building followed by three more cars – SUVs and sedans.
Images by RALPH MIREBS , reproduced with permission