Tag Archives: Urban Ghosts Media

A Forgotten V-1 Flying Bomb Launch Site in Rhineland-Palatinate

Abandoned V-1 launch site in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate(Image: Spielvogel. Abandoned V-1 launch site in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate)

They may look like any other peaceful woodland ruins of days gone by. But these seemingly-anonymous concrete foundations reflect a vengeance unleashed on Britain and Belgium by Nazi Germany during World War Two. For it was from here that countless V-1 flying bombs were launched into England, with the goal of striking fear into the hearts of the civilian population.

Just after 4 am on June 13, 1944, residents in northeast London reported a strange droning sound that eerily cut out before the craft that it belonged to fell to earth. Six residents were killed in the borough of Hackney, and the ‘doodlebug’ menace had begun. In the days that followed, dozens of V-1s, or ‘buzz bombs’, as they were also dubbed, reigned down on London, killing and wounding hundreds.


The Abandoned “Institute for Anatomy”

The derelict lecture theatre of a rumoured abandoned institute for anatomy(Image: Jan Bommes; abandoned institute for anatomy)

The name says it all, giving this forgotten educational institution an added air of creepiness. According to the Flickr set by urbex photographer Jan Bommes, this building is an abandoned anatomy institute, a place where the corpses of the dead were carved up by medical students in the name of science and learning.

Body slab or autopsy table at the abandoned institute for anatomy

(Images: Jan Bommes)

Or perhaps this is a simply a label attached by the urban exploration community to an otherwise unremarkable and derelict university building. Either way, the cold metal body slab leaves no question as to what took place a disused lab, while the nearby lecture theatre may suggest cadavers were indeed dissected before an assembled audience.


The Mangled Remains of F-16B 78-0097 at Eglin AFB

the-wreck-of-general-dynamics-f-16b-78-0097-after-destructive-flight-termination-tests-at-eglin-afb(All images by Samuel King Jr/USAF; wrecked F-16B 78-0097)

Despite the impending arrival of its stealthy fifth generation replacement, the F-35 Lightning II, the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon remains one of the world’s most capable multi-role combat aircraft. But most of those early model ‘Vipers’ that first wowed airshow crowds back in the late 1970s and ’80s have long been withdrawn from service. After standing idle for years at the famous Davis-Monthan AFB boneyard in Arizona, in 2014 long-retired F-16s began taking to the skies again as QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Targets to replace the last QF-4 Phantom drones. This dramatic series of images reveals the impact of flight termination tests conducted on one hapless F-16 airframe before the FSAT project got underway.


Baikal: Abandoned Buran-Class Spacecraft OK-2K1 on the Banks of the Moscow Canal

buran-class-baikal-OK-2K1(Image: Ilya Varlamov/28-300 (Livejournal); abandoned Buran-class orbiter Baikal in Moscow)

Our recent article “10 Abandoned Space Shuttles, Orbiter Test Vehicles & Engineering Mockups” highlighted the often turbulent post-retirement careers of Soviet Russia’s reusable Buran orbiters and other space shuttle test articles. Among several pertinent examples is the unfinished Buran-class spacecraft known as Baikal, which spent a number of years disassembled amid the harsh Russian elements before being put back together again.

buran-class-baikal-OK-2K1-2(Image: Ilya Varlamov/28-300 (Livejournal); Baikal (OK-2K1) was never completed)

Nicknamed after a vast Russian lake, Baikal was, like its sister ship Ptichka, never officially named. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 all but spelled the end of the Buran programme, which ground to a halt two years later amid the political chaos of post-Soviet Russia.


Is This the World’s Oldest Photograph of a Living Person?

Boulevard-du-Temple-Paris-first-photograph-human(Image: Louis Daguerre; thought to be the first ever photograph of a human being)

In the grand scheme of human history, there’s so much that we’ll never actually be able to see. Photography is a relatively recent thing, and it’s humbling to think of how much history has gone unrecorded in such images. It’s also humbling to think that we might just be making history without even knowing it.

When the first commercially successful photographs came around, they did so in a form known as the daguerreotype. A world-changing invention by a group of innovators including Louis Daguerre, these early photographs had one main drawback: the exposure time. A single image took between seven and ten minutes to capture, and that meant that anything moving through a frame wasn’t going to show up in the final image. Unless, that is, someone had a good reason for standing in the same spot for more than seven minutes.


Abandoned F-4 Phantom Awaits Scrapping at ‘The Boneyard’

abandoned-f4-phantom-arizona-boneyard(Image: Abandoned America, reproduced with permission)

Loved by enthusiasts and revered by others, the F-4 Phantom family of fighters, reconnaissance, ground attack and, more recently, target drone aircraft is highly regarded as one of the most successful and lethal jets of 20th century aviation. Over 5,000 were produced between 1958 and 1981. Widely exported, the Phantom remains in service with several air forces to this day, including its secondary role with the US armed forces. But in April 2013, as the ‘Last One’ departed ‘the Boneyard’ at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona set for a potentially ominous fate as a QF-4 flying target at the mercy of fifth generation warplanes, those left behind will ultimately be condemned to the scrap heap, rather than a midair explosion.


‘Found Art’: 8 Incredible Paintings that Vanished for Decades Before Resurfacing

lost-stolen-art-masterpieces-found(Image: World News TV via YouTube)

In 1911, an Italian nobody known as Vincenzo Perruggia pulled off the art crime of the century. After hiding in a corner of the Louvre until closing time, he removed the Mona Lisa from her spot on the wall and calmly walked out and into the history books. Paris went into meltdown. For two whole years the world convulsed to the image of this lost masterpiece. When it was finally found in 1913, its recovery was an even bigger story than its theft.

Fast forward 100-odd years and we still enjoy a juicy art heist. Although no-one has quite yet matched the scale of Perruggia’s audacious crime, plenty of priceless works still go missing with astonishing regularity, only to unexpectedly resurface years later.