A I R P L A N E   G R A V E Y A R D

O human race born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou fall --Dante Alighieri

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

explored & photographed by: Shady & Angeleyez

This places really fascinates me. I first saw it when I was about 18, in the backseat of a carload of relatives on our way to a family Thanksgiving dinner... I was kinda gazing out the window as we drove along a kinda sparsely-populated road outside of the city when all of a sudden- whoa... I spot this whole 'graveyard' of rusting, hulking old airplanes, helicopters, and other machinery clustered around an old, Alamo-looking building off the side of the dusty road. It was so weird, I nearly thought it was some kinda crazy hallucination. Not that I have those or anything. Ahem.

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Obviously I couldn't explore it at the time, and it was quite awhile before I had the chance to try to find it again on my own... years later, actually. And although I drove around the lonely old farm roads of the area looking for the place many times, I had no idea where to even look for it really, so I never had any success. I eventually kind of put it out of my mind, since I couldn't find it (I never really forgot it... but... I did think the chances were good that maybe it was no longer even there, or else it was someplace I'd never know of to look for it) So, imagine my shock when still years later, while my sis Angeleyez and I were out just cruising around one day in search of Southwestern weirdness... suddenly... out of nowhere... I spy the place manifesting like a hallucination alongside the road, again. Well you know we had to pull over and check it out.

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

The place is very mysterious; despite it's seemingly vacant and empty atmosphere, the building was locked up tight and had a sign on the door stating that nothing is for sale and warning visitors not to 'bother the neighbors'... perhaps it attracts a lot of would-be buyers and curiosity seekers? I wouldn't be surprised. This is definitely a curious place...

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

And there are so many planes and things out there... we literally lost count of the numerous and rather spooky empty old shells of planes and helicopters and motor homes and stuff that were scattered all over the place. This one plane was really eerie, sitting there, mostly-intact among the creeping weeds... you could nearly picture a ghostly pilot sitting in the cockpit, and for a further creepy touch there appeared to be a bullet-hole in the windshield. Yet that was just one among the many, many other rusting and decaying old metallic exoskeletons. It was literally a graveyard of primordial machinery.

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Some of the planes looked really old, in fact the 'bullet-hole' plane had 'Built 1944' painted on it's side. Around the side of the building there were even more planes, choppers, and other things... such a mixed-up jumble of steel and wings and wheels that in some spots, you could barely even tell where one Frankenmachine-part began and the next ended. And further exploration of the place revealed even more surprises... like debilitated flying machines nearly-hidden behind barrels and half-buried in smothering weeds. There was something weirdly-spooky about all of the decrepit machinery glinting in the sunlight all around us- it wasn't hard to think spooky thoughts. The place had such a dead-still atmosphere that I nearly expected to run into some resident ghosts. In one close-up shot of the old plane-with-the-bullet-hole, I even got a weird bluish haze... sun-glare, or spectral pilot? You decide. Mwaa haa ha.

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

Airplane Graveyard, El Paso County, Texas

The next seven pics were shot by my sis- she was equally fascinated by this strange place and borrowed my camera to get some shots herself. The more we explored, the more odd, corroded contraptions we discovered everywhere. It was so strange to see some of this stuff... like the sun-faded shell of an empty plane sitting snug between two decrepit old motor homes...the sad, skeletal charred-husk remains of a burnt-out plane... the rust-eaten old plane with the message 'A Fate Worse Than Death' inscribed beneath it's window. If you think about it, it's incredible how much history (and mystery!) there is in this one unlikely, enigmatic location.

If I hadn't taken a meandering little drive out of the city with my sister that day, Hell, I probably never would have found this place again. But I'm mighty glad I got to see it, cause it's such an intriguing find...

above: me, at the Airplane Graveyard, thinking, "this is gonna be a biiiiitch to fix..."

 

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