These 15 Abandoned Military Bases Will Leave You Speechless
15. Devil’s Slide Bunker
This haunting military bunker located in San Mateo County was built by the United States during World War II as the first point of defense for the harbor of San Francisco. During that time there was fear of the Japanese attacking by sea, unexpectedly. Military personnel would keep an eye on the shoreline with binoculars and sets of coordinates, looking for any signs of a potential attack. The structure was sold to a private owner in the 1980s and has become a popular photo opportunity for tourists visiting the area.
14. Flak Towers
The Flak Towers were built by the Nazis during World War II as a method to defend Germany against air raids. According to historical records, the walls of the towers were over eleven feet thick and made of concrete, while many of the towers were built 10-20 stories tall. Many of the towers were built along the borders of Germany, usually outside of the major cities and had multi-level guns that could fire over 8,000 rounds per minute. The towers were also built to house up to 10,000 civilians and were complete with an underground hospital for tending to the wounded. Over the years, the towers have been re-purposed with two being completely demolished after the war; however, one tower stands abandoned to this day.
13. 109th Iman Fortified
This partial-underground bunker is located in Japan and used to house troops and work as a defense bunker during World War II. Most of the action that took place around this area was between the Japanese and the Soviets, though the Soviets found the bunker difficult to destroy. After the war, the site was abandoned and Mother Nature reclaimed the area, but some beautiful graffiti has since been tagged on the compound by street artists from around the country. Quite amazing, right?
12. Kalama Atoll
This once thriving military outpost now lies deserted 850 miles off the coast of Hawaii. Built in one of the four coral reef lagoons in the area, the base was constructed in the early days of World War II as a defense outpost against Japanese troops. It would soon become one of the busiest military bases throughout the war thanks to its location. Today, the base remains abandoned and is super difficult to reach due to the rough tides and coral reefs in the area; however, a few scientists camp on the base to study the reef every so often.
11. Upper Heyford Base
Considered to be one of the most important military bases to the Royal Air Force (RAF) throughout World War I and World War II, the Upper Heyford base was officially abandoned in 1993 after the Cold War. The base is made up of a variety of abandoned buildings, radio towers, and lookout points, making the complex a must-see destination for backpackers and explorers in the area. The above photo certainly has an air of “heaviness,” like you can feel the history behind the dilapidated gates of a time of war long gone.
10. Duga Radar
The Duga Radar is a mammoth-sized structure in the Ukraine that served as a missile radar for fast detection. It was also designed to detect nuclear attacks as well. While the main installation was in the Ukraine, a second sight was also built in Siberia. They definitely look like something from another world, right? Once the Cold War ended, the installations were abandoned, but are a continuing reminder of what could have been in a world where nuclear war was on the brink.
9. Fort Tilden
Fort Tilden was built in 1812 in what is now known as Queens, New York. It was originally designed to be a point of defense for the city and the New England area, especially when the British were at war in 1812. Over the years, the fort expanded, adding bunkers to deal with increasing military personnel throughout the various wars. It eventually closed and is now considered a recreational area, although the bunkers are now closed off to the public.
8. Balaklava Submarine Base
The Balaklava Submarine Base is truly a sight to behold. Located in Crimea and built into the rock face of a mountain on the ocean, the base was built to house nuclear submarines. Both entrances to the complex were concealed by the ocean, making it difficult for enemies to spot unless they knew where to look. The base never fulfilled its purpose and has now been transformed into a museum. It really looks like something out of a spy thriller. Can you imagine what the base would have been like if it was fully operational?
7. Walker Air Force Base
If you’re interested in UFOs and close encounters of the third kind, you have to visit the Walker Air Force Base outside of Roswell, New Mexico. According to anonymous sources, this is where the infamous flying saucer crashed and all of the secrets surrounding it were kept until the mid-1960s. While the base was sold in order to pay for the Vietnam War, there are still some secrets left to be uncovered among the abandoned buildings. Would you dare to go find them?
6. Titan 1 Silo
Yeah, there’s no way we’d ever climb down that ladder! The Titan 1 was the United States’ take on a nuclear bunker. It also had the ability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles as a method of defense. Deep within the silos were living quarters and other bunkers beneath the surface. These types of obsolete bunkers still exist but we wouldn’t recommend going down into one.
5. Fort Ord
Fort Ord was one of the primary military training facilities on the West Coast throughout World War I & II. Built in 1917 when the United States joined WWI, the military base was constructed in Monterrey, California. Eventually, the base was shut down in 1994. The area is now considered a protected historical site, despite falling into a state of ruin and vandalism taking place within many of the buildings.
4. Bannerman Castle
Bannerman Castle is located on a small island in the middle of the Hudson River known as Pollopel Island. The castle was actually a military surplus warehouse that was built by a Scottish immigrant before the military began using it. Unfortunately, when a ferry boat sank in 1953, transportation to and from the warehouse ceased. The military eventually abandoned it and it was left to fall into ruin. Today, the structure has become victim to vandalism and fires. Most of the interior floors have collapsed and one of the exterior walls has fallen due to neglect.
3. Nekoma Missile Base
Located in North Dakota, the Nekoma military base is one of the strangest and creepiest abandoned facilities in the United States. Known for its pyramid-like structure and missile silos, the massive complex was built during the Cold War. A living quarters complex was built near the main structure with the total cost of the project estimated at over $6 billion. The base was only operational for three days before being shut down and the facilities abandoned. The lower tunnels were flooded and today it remains a mysterious beacon of a time where man feared the unknown.
2. Beelitz-Heilstatten Hospital
While this may look like a haunted hospital straight from a horror film, it actually served as a functioning hospital during World War I. According to records, it is the hospital that treated Hitler when he was injured in the line of duty during WWI and was eventually used by the Nazis in World War II for medical experiments. Today, the building remains abandoned, the horror from the past trapped within its walls.
1. Tachikawa U.S. Air Force Base
Located outside of Tokyo, this U.S. Air Force base was abandoned shortly after the Vietnam War. The Japanese re-purposed their structures as a park for the people of Tokyo, while the U.S. buildings have been left to rot and decay. Regardless, it’s an important relic of our military’s history and it’s definitely worth exploring if you ever decide to visit Japan and head off the beaten path.