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Report - RAF Greenham Common, August '11

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
#1
Myself and Treadstone always fancied Greenham Common as an explore, but the triple fence - a seemingly impassable outer fence, followed by two MOD-spec jobbies on the inside always put us off - this was, after all, an ex Nuclear Bomb store so hardly likely to be a doddle to get into! But earlier this month, a plan formed to see this amazing place at dawn at the end of the month. So there I found myself in a car at 5am, headed to Greenham Common. Arriving by 5.30am, we were kept on our toes by the estimated 6.10am arrival of the sun - and after the access plan went off without a hitch apart from a cut finger, we made it onto site with about 5 minutes to spare.

What followed was the most beautiful, surreal and somewhat sobering explore I've ever had - After the sun came up, we wandered the site trying to take both the scale of it and just what this place was capable of doing in - at it's capacity it could hold 96 nuclear weapons, each more powerful than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If the end of the world were to happen, it would've started here.

There is loads of history about the site here.

Sunrise over Greenham....

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The bleary-eyed explorers

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As we wandered the site and the sun's warming rays took the chill off the morning air, Deer ran free in the grounds, nature was very much taking this back for herself in areas. A hot air balloon took off from somewhere on the old landing strip outside, flying so low over the compound we could've waved to them.

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As we were getting ready to leave, we approached the old rusted turnstile gate and bang! A crack destroyed the morning calm and a plume of gunpowder smoke drifted skywards, my companion had walked into a tripwire wired to a small charge which went off - turns out it was a small 'mine' using a blank shotgun shell, used by gamekeepers to scare off pheasants - no idea what it doing there though!

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Like pheasants we scarpered, repeated the same process used to gain access but in reverse, and 20 minutes later were sat in McDonalds with a very well earned breakfast.

More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157627406780905/
 

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