If you haven’t noticed by now let me spell it out for you, I’m the driving force behind JSM. It all began with one simple storm drain that I took the guys in. I should say, for the record though, that it wouldn’t have started if Jack and Jeff didn’t accompany me on a trip to another drain that was partially flooded. I wouldn’t have thought to fashion some nearby railroad ties into huge ‘snowshoe’-ish puddle waders. I will say that since then, I’ve been pushing us to do more. There is a big difference between wandering down a reasonably dry storm drain and one that has nasty, swampy, water up to your knees. After you take the plunge you don’t go back.
That being said, I don’t specifically recall how we came about the idea of looking for abandoned missile silos. I suppose it was brought up casually in a conversation and we just started researching the possibility. We all knew of the Museum outside of town but that place is for armchair URBEXers. We wanted the real thing and come to find out there were 17 more around town. Understandably they all were quite a drive from town much less from each other. Thusly we began systematically planning trips to the ‘sectors’ northwest, east, and south of town in hope of finding one that was open. You might ask, “Why not use Google Earth to look for openings?” and I would say to you that we did! Unfortunately the shadows that appear at these locations are, for the most part just that, shadows with no missile silo door. So we hit the road, spent a lot of gas money, time, and consumed a metric boat load of bacon breakfast burritos, on a search for a holy grail of exploring.
This specific trip to a silo was intended to be uneventful and something to do on a boring weekend. I tried to convince Jeff and Jack to accompany me but Jeff wasn’t too encouraged to drive out to sight-see the middle of the desert and Jack was working. I went alone, technically breaking the cardinal rule of exploring (Never go alone) but I wasn’t doing anything dangerous – just browsing the top-side of an old missile silo.
Well I got there to find nothing but a dirt road. After some walking, I stumbled across the site clearing and old, broken down fencing, that used to keep the site somewhat secure. I suppose the most secure thing about this site was its distance from anything worthwhile because the fence was a joke even when it was brand new I’m sure. I trust that you realize by now that this site, considering it’s being written about, had an opening. I spotted it immediately thinking it was just another random piece of iron laying around on the top-side. Fortunately, this random piece of iron was attached to a long vertical crawlway with a ladder going down. Someone had torched the top open and furthermore, come to find out, torched the iron ventilation ‘spokes’ down below. Texting Jeff, I said if I don’t get in touch within 10 minutes, come to 570-3 and haul my sorry, probably dead, ass out of the ladder-crawlway (the escape hatch). Climbing down, alone, into the nearly pitch black hole that leads into an abandoned missile silo isn’t easy, but when you’ve been yearning for something this epic to explore – you do it anyway.
As all of my Uncles’ stories begin, “There I was…” At what seemed like the bottom of an escape hatch shaft, barely fitting into the horizontal tunnel that led into pitch black darkness. I looked in and shouted the obligatory ‘Echo’ and was greeted by my own echoing voice. Pointing my headlamp into the darkness – I saw NOTHING. This type of pitch black doesn’t really give into light very easily. Moving in a bit more I began to notice some ‘depth’ to the darkness, if I may, and decided to get out while the getting was good. I immediately called Jeff, which to his credit, he jumped up and hauled ass out there with every last light and battery he could muster.
And so, I think I’m going to spare you and get to the adventure. You’ve seen the video of our first visit – here are some pictures. You’re welcome.