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Report - RAF Greenham - Thatcham - July 2016

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by xexxa, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. xexxa

    xexxa Lay an egg in me.
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    After our visit to Temple Cowley pools We decided to find some other places, most were long gone, but RAF Greenham looked to be a safe bet. This place is full of history

    (Apologies for iphone shots, I was shitting myself too much to get my camera out anyway, which is just as well as police made us delete camera shots)

    History:

    Opened in 1942, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War and the United States Air Force during the Cold War. After the Cold War ended, it was closed in 1993.


    Greenham Common airfield was one of several wartime airfields in the Salisbury Plain area and was originally intended for use as an RAF Bomber Command Operational Training Unit. It was built to the Class A airfield standard, the main feature of which was a set of three converging runways each containing a concrete runway for takeoffs and landings, optimally placed at 60 degree angles to each other in a triangular pattern connecting to an enclosing perimeter track, of a standard width of 50 feet.

    (from wiki)

    On 28 February 1958, a B-47E of the 310th Bomb Wing developed problems shortly after takeoff and jettisoned its two 1,700 gallon external fuel tanks. They missed their designated safe impact area, and one hit a hangar whilst the other struck the ground 65 feet (20 m) behind a parked B-47E. The parked B-47E, which was fuelled, had a pilot on board, and was carrying a 1.1 megaton (4.6 PJ) B28 nuclear bomb, was engulfed by flames. The conflagration took sixteen hours and over a million gallons of water to extinguish, partly because of the magnesium alloys used in the aircraft. Although two men were killed and eight injured, the US and UK governments kept the accident secret: as late as 1985, the British government claimed that a taxiing aircraft had struck a parked one and that no fire was involved.

    Two scientists, F. H. Cripps and A. Stimson, who both worked for the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, alleged in a secret 1961 report, released by the CND in 1996, that the fire detonated the high explosives in the nuclear weapon, that plutonium and uranium oxides were spread over a wide area (foliage up to 8 mi (13 km) away was contaminated with uranium-235) and that they had discovered high concentrations of radioactive contamination around the air base.

    However, a radiological survey commissioned in 1997 by Newbury District Council and Basingstoke and Deane found no evidence of a nuclear accident at Greenham Common, suggesting that Cripps and Stimson's claims were false. The seven-month long survey was carried out by the Geosciences Advisory Unit of Southampton University and combined a helicopter-mounted gamma ray detector survey with a ground-based survey. The team analysed nearly 600 samples taken from soil, lake sediment, borehole water, house dust, runway tarmac and concrete, looking for uranium and plutonium isotopes. No evidence of an accident involving nuclear weapons damage was found at the former air force base although the ground survey detected some low-level uranium contamination around the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston thought to be derived from that facility, and the helicopter survey found some anomalies around Harwell Laboratory.

    An episode of BBC's Top Gear was filmed at the abandoned airbase, with Jeremy Clarkson and James May attempting to find out if communism had produced a good car.

    Beyoncé used the airbase to film scenes for her 2013 self-titled visual album.

    Greenham Common airbase was used as a filming location for the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The silo area was used as the location for the above ground Resistance base on the fictional planet D'Qar




    After doing no scouting whatsoever, we picked our way in. Three sets of fences await anyone who tries to get in here, and it's best to wear heavy duty clothes. I tore my new shoe :(

    After jumping around for a bit and very wary of secca we came to the first bunker. It was very quiet here, and we started to relax a bit, and carried on to the nuke storages. An interesting set of stats about these, from wiki

    These shelters were specially designed and constructed to protect the GLCMs and crews against nuclear and conventional strikes. They were about 10 m high, with a reinforced 2 m thick concrete ceiling. Below was a massive titanium plate, 3 m of sand and a reinforced concrete plate. The shelters were completely covered with tons of clay. Each shelter was equipped with three hydraulic nuclear blast proof doors at both ends to assure a quick entry or exit. They were designed to withstand the blast of an air-bursting nuclear explosion above the base or a direct hit from a 2,500 lb (1,100 kg) conventional bomb

    [​IMG]


    Moving on around the corner...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bunkers were full of empty crates, delievery notes said they were engines.

    [​IMG]

    A bit of a dodgy shot, but I liked the rust

    [​IMG]

    We carried on looking throught the bunkers, nothing too remarkable... Then, more than a little unexpected, a landing gear...

    [​IMG]

    Just some old switches that caught my eye

    [​IMG]


    I'm not good with miitary, so I'm not really sure what this is
    [​IMG]

    BONUS: As I looked up, there was this bird hanging by its leg and swinging in the breeze. Nice.
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, the secca in the white van came around. Attempted to keep us there, called the police. He's rather unpleasent and will attempt to grab you, I had a lucky escape. The police were much nicer than he was, and after they caught me having breathing problems a little further away from the site, we left. Turns out MOD proerty is pretty serious (who knew?!) and there are still things kept there that are underground, shrouded in mystery... Nuclear waste? Gold? Who knows....

    On to Crookham Court.
     
    #1 xexxa, Jul 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
    mw0sec likes this.

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  2. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
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    Is that a bonus though, really? A dead bird... Errmm, ok then...
     
    silentwalker likes this.
  3. xexxa

    xexxa Lay an egg in me.
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    My gift to you
     
  4. pirate

    pirate Rum Swigger
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    Didn't think it was mod owned anymore....I thought some bloke bought it and wanted to turn it into a car park
     
  5. xexxa

    xexxa Lay an egg in me.
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  6. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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    Can they do that?
     
  7. pirate

    pirate Rum Swigger
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    The police are dimlows regarding this site......they thought it was mod around 6yrs ago and came in sirens blazing when I was caught there.

    They know it's not Mod
     
  8. xexxa

    xexxa Lay an egg in me.
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    Well these guys were really nice, and I wasn't bothered as all my shots were on my phone. I think they knew we had more cards up our sleeves ;)
     
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