hoodwatch (thehoodwatch) wrote in abandonedplaces,

Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Radio Telescopes

I had been wanting to get out to this place for a long time. But it is so far south in the middle of nowhere that I never really had much reason to head down there. But one day a friend of mine invited people out to this park which was filled with sunken ships. By foot that proved to be kind of a waste because you can only see them out on the water. However since we were only a few miles away from the dishes we decided to head down there. There is absolutely nowhere to park so we had to have someone drop us off on the road and we would walk down about a mile to the dishes.

I had never been here but my friend had. At this time the gate that was across the property entrance was wide open. It was an electric gate and it is probably open because the power was finally cut off to this place so they would have had no way to open it after that. Now there were smaller fences put up around each dish that were pretty fresh. We headed to the best dish first and once past the fence realized they had removed the ladders that lead up into the dish. This was not a huge deal though and we just climbed up the beams to the 2nd level. At that time I realized I forgot to leave my telephoto lens in the car and in general had a completely full camera bag with about $6000 worth of gear. If I was to drop this bag up here I would be **** out of luck. So I was very careful when climbing up but having a heavy bag on your back does not help.

The main dish is about 100ft tall so give or take about the height of a 8 story tall apartment building. The ladders that were there were just cheap aluminum ones that are bolted to the beams. This thing was not really meant to have people spend too much time on it. I feel bad for whoever had to go up and repair the thing. Our goal was to try and get up into the dish but that did not happen. I probably only made it up 50ft before there were not enough ladders and I did not feel comfortable trying to go higher. My friend made it to right below the dish but the entrance was really small and he didn't get through. Also the dish has huge birds living inside of it like a giant nest so anyone who got up there would not get a friendly hello.

1. Nothing but barren swamp land all around. This desolation was needed to keep out radio interference which would typically be found around large cities...






4. This one broke and is now sunk down in the lowest position...


5. Big gear mechanism that moves it...




7. This is probably only half way up...






10. Tall...












Right after I took that last shot we heard the sound of an engine roaring towards us. Just then we saw a truck at the gates and we hauled ass towards the fence. Of course once we got to the end it was all barb wire and someone was already chasing us from the outside and inside of the fences so we were had. We then tried to make up for our mistake by calmly walking towards the guy in the truck. He asked us the typical "what are you doing here?" and after only about a minute of giving us **** he said it looked like we were on our way out so we might as well keep heading that way. So I snapped the next few shots on the way out. We decided instead of walking all the way down the road and out the front we would cut through the woods before the guy followed us. We suspected he may have called the cops who would be waiting for us at the end. This way if there was a cop we would be too far away for him to find us. We walked through the woods for at least half an hour before meeting up with our ride but we got out OK.

16. You can see the truck next to the dish...


17. Ooops...




The dishes are not satellite dishes as you would expect, they are actually radio telescopes. I found this great article on them...

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