E D W A R
D S F I R E S T A T I O N
engines shrieking rescue storm the night, And hose and hydrant cannot
here avail; The flames laugh high and fling their challenging light,
And clouds turn gray and black from silver-pale --Claude McKay
Edwards South Base
Fire Station, Edwards AFB,
explored & photographed by:
JJ, 10 September 04
CA Scoob JJ has sent us yet another intriguing peek at explorations of
the lost and abandoned; this time he takes us along on his visit to
the deserted Edwards
South Base Fire Station...
South Base Fire Station – Echoes of “the Right Stuff”
"This is where
the Air Force has tested most of its new and prototype aircraft since
the end of WW2. It was where Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier,
where the X-15 flew to the edge of space and where the Space Shuttles
have returned to from space. Most of the most historic programs from
the 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s were operated around what was
known as “South Base.” When most of the flight operations moved
from South Base to the "Main Base" (about four miles north
on Rodgers Dry Lake) in the 1960's, the station was no longer needed
for fire duty. The building changed uses to become a survival training
area for aircrews. In the mid-90's, training activities stopped here,
as did time. Recently I slipped out to this remote spot on the base to
for a brief visit.
From the way this
place looks, the base staff has kept the building from falling
into disrepair and mostly secured (darn it). As you see though, it
doesn’t get many visitors. At one time two all terrain trucks
and an ambulance must have sat ready to rush to a crash on the
lakebed or fire in now vanished south base complex. For about the
first twenty minutes there, the only sign of life I saw was a
fleet footed jackrabbit (in a hurry and didn’t pose for a
picture) and this
When the building
was used for survival (bail-out and ejection) training, they set
up rails and pulleys to hang people in parachute harnesses and
simulate coming down after a bailout. Having taken this training
myself years ago, the landing can be really painful unless you do
it the right way. What was those instructions?.. er “stop drop
and roll”.. nope.. Ah yeah, “feet - knees – face.”
I did find one
open room and it was a gem, a utility closet. Littered around the
floor was the remains of helmets, oxygen hoses, training clothes
and other equipment dating to when the survival training unit
moved to the main base.
Though the area isn’t
marked off limits, I didn’t want to have an unpleasant encounter.
There’s something bad about seeing a car with flashing lights
carrying 18 year olds with automatic weapons who tell you to kiss the
pavement. When an airfield maintenance truck came screaming by I
decided it was time to beat a hasty retreat. Before I did depart
though, I grabbed a few more pictures, including one looking across
the desert toward another abandoned part of the base – the rocket
sled tracks. I’ll be back for more." --JJ
Edwards AFB is an active duty military facility. The photographer/author do not encourage or condone people attempting to sneak on the base. If you get caught on base illegally, its a violation of Federal law and you'll be thrown into jail. The photographer/author has permission to be there. There are other risks, like this area is
adjacent to an active bombing range. Lastly, no photographs were or ever will be taken of the active portions of any military facilities
(ever). The locations photographed and in plans for future expeditions have been out of service for many years and will not pose a threat to base or national security.
And a very SPECIAL THANKS from
us to JJ for sharing these fascinating pics and
All Rights Reserved by the Author.
Reprinted here with permission.
you have a creepy tale and/or some interesting pix to share?
+OUT OF BUSINESS+