When exploring goes wrong .

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ironsky

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Having read about getting trapped in an bunker on another thread it got me thinking about some of my own blunders over the years.

Here's a few classics from me.

Got an invite from an builder friend who was thinking about buying an long closed pub he arranged an site visit knowing I would love to come along and was duly invited. The day arrived we were meet at the door by the estate agent and was shown around I was happy snapping away my mate was looking around talking to estate agent asking the usual questions on price. Been in my element didn't notice that all seemed quite at first not really thinking much off it but something didn't feel right so I went around the pub looking for my mate found nothing. So headed back to the door only to be meet with an locked metal security door then the penny dropped I was locked in! So I had to bang on the door no one can to my rescue thinking this wasn't what I had in mind reached for my mobile then the door opened I was free my mate realized when he got in his car I wasn't waiting for him so had to ring the estate agent to come back and free me from my pub prison.

A few months later my mate had a phone call from an estate agent who told him that a large closed pub had come onto the market perfect for conversion for flats and the price was tempting and duly was told a date and time to have a look around the agent told him the owner would show us round. So off we went after some difficulty we found the pub. But something was wrong the building didn't look derelict the windows were open been a sunny day. We entered the building to be meet with women dressed in a Ann Summers way looking at us gone out, me stood their with camera at the ready it was clear this building was been used has a knocking shop we quickly left. Later found out the agent had a mix up over the address.

An rather hair raising experience was to be had at a now long demolished Derby hospital. Been told the site was easy access and looked promising so thought why not?
The day arrived had a nice look around the camera was been hit hard then went in what was a car park noticed a gang of blokes hanging around . I had to go pass them to leave my guts were telling me these blokes were not here to admire the brickwork or the finer points of photography. I slowly passed them they looked up they had bags of tools nice big tools that could do some heavy damage with thinking my time had arrived to meet my maker I picked up the pace and survived the encounter to live another day.

During the early years of my Urbex career had an strange experience. Visited an long abandoned house not the most interesting of places but I got the feeling of not been alone could here someone moving around heavy footsteps saw a shadow on a door of persons outline. On my way out noticed blood stains on the floor not that old. Has I left really got the feeling of been watched by a person or persons likely homeless not the bump in the night variety.
Now over to you.
 

krela

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My scariest moment was when I was in upstairs in a derelict office block when thick black smoke started coming out of the (to my then knowledge only) stairwell. Deciding given that we didn't know what was going on, the most direct route was probably best, we ran down the stairs as fast as we could down while covering our noses and mouths, to find a shopping trolley full of burning insulation plastic (stripped from the wiring) at the bottom. Thankfully we managed to get out without being overcome, and away from the site before the fire brigade turned up to ask awkward questions, but I was coughing up probably toxic black gunk for a while afterwards. Obviously the pikies didn't want us nosing around.

I've come across loads of homeless people and metal miners, I tend to chat with the homeless people (my day job is working with them anyway) and leave the metal miners to it.
 

smiler

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Got turned around in a cliff mine at St Agnes many years ago, learned a lesson from that, I've come across squatter's and folk dossing down, Never had any bother from em, I've bin threatened by metal thieves nasty bar stewards some of em, apart from that and the usual brambling, nettlings, cuts sprains, and bruises I got off easy
 

mookster

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Oh boy have I had some misadventures over the years...

One of my very first explores was a former girls boarding school in Haslemere now long since converted into a care home. To cut a long story short we ended up unintentionally sharing the building with police dogs on a training exercise. After hiding and sneaking around for a bit trying to avoid them (at the time we didn't know who they were) we made it to the old canteen, I reached up to open a door and as soon as my hand touched the handle a cacophony of barking erupted from right behind the door, we legged it out of that building faster than I've ever ran away from anything to date and managed to make it out undetected.

At the old Mansfield General Hospital me and the same friend had arranged to meet the security guard out front and be let in. That was the clever way of doing it, as everyone who had the chance to explore that hospital knows what an utter pain in the arse it was to get into without having the police called on you. The security guard was absolutely sound and would let you roam around the entire hospital site unaccompanied if you just wanted to take photos. Anyway we arrived at the time agreed and waited...and waited...and no guard showed up. So after half an hour of waiting we thought sod it we'll just climb the fence and do it the other way. The hospital was surrounded on all sides by terraced houses and the easiest fence to climb over brought you to eye level and a few feet from people's bedroom windows. We got in and after half an hour we unsurprisingly saw a flourescent jacketed police officer enter the site. At this point we were in the oldest part of the hospital which was boarded off from the main building so we went right to the top and could see the police officers combing the larger part through the windows. After a little while they obviously gave up or got called away so left, and I noticed the guard locking the front gate. I waved and shouted over to him from a nearby window and gave him the fright of his life! But once he realised who we were he said he'd simply forgotten, and duly unlocked the main building for us to nose around in. He even booted down the door into the mortuary for us which he'd recently sealed up! Then a few hours later he gave us a fright by bringing his alsation into the building to do some tracking training on us haha, he was such a great guy.

At the old ECVB Power Station in Belgium we turned up on pretty much the day they started to dismantle the place, we vaulted over the old wrought iron fence along the railway line and landed about twenty metres away from workers cutting up the metal pipes which ran along the fence.

Then there was the incident with the crazy enraged farmer in Belgium which doesn't bear repeating, the most scared I have ever been for my personal safety in my entire life.

Then of course last year whilst exploring in America I fell through a completely rotten floor three storeys up in an old resort hotel...

I've been very lucky and only ever encountered two squatters - one who was completely non-plussed in an old house in Belgium and one at the end of last year in a hospital incinerator in Reading who was decidedly more disturbed. I've only ever encountered actual druggies once as well in the old Ford Iron Ore Foundry in Leamington Spa, they were so out of it they barely knew where they were and were slightly freaked out by our cameras.
 
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ironsky

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While snooping around a derelict factory at Sheffield came across a porn shoot in progress. A group of Chinese were busy filming away I didn't see them due to a wall between us then I came to a gap in the wall I went right pass the models who were in ' action' and front of their camera when I appeared in their scene they all stopped and I don't think they knew what to do next has I sailed on by so I just waved to them. So somewhere out their will be an x rated video starring me as their unexpected guest star.

Another Sheffield explore visited an old iron works in an bad area of the city. Had misgivings about it but the building had its charms I entered the building into a long room the floor was really bad so I didn't go further in . Then out of the blue a guy appears with long dreadlocks wearing only shorts he spoke but couldn't make out what he was saying he looked quite ill and blood was coming from an cut on his leg. What struck me even more was what he was saying it was an cross of rantings of life to what Jesus was going to do he spoke very fast. Made an quick exit.

One of the most saddest was meeting a young homeless guy looked about 18 he lived in a tent which was covered in pigeon shit his clothing was ripped shoes were just soles on his feet. Inside his open tent was cardboard has a makeshift bed. Their was a Tesco across from the site I nipped over and brought him some food has I could see he was a genuine case .

Lastly while busy photoing an brewery in a area that is noted for been a red light area was approached by two very thin working girls trade must have been slow that day I could have had both of them at cut price unfortunately they were no supermodels more on their last legs. Needless to say I passed on their offer of a good time.
 

Potter

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When I was at the Derby hospital I met some friendly Eastern Europeans who had a BBQ going, and in the canteen a whole bunch of explorers having their lunch!

Yes, the security guard at Mansfield General Hospital was sound.
 

smiler

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Ironskys reminded me of an explore with Muppet, it was a disused indoor Go Cart track, there was little of interest to see and the local pigeons had moved in, there must have bin a hundred or more in there, we had decided to go on to our next nose when I noticed some clothes, I being a nosy sod went to take a look, I found that someone had made a nest for themselves hidden by pallets, a portable gas stove, some tea lights but what shook me the most was the jars of baby food.
I went back that night and several nights after but never saw anyone, I had trusted contacts in the Social Services and asked them to help, I have never found out more about it but that little plastic spoon I'll never forget.
 
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ironsky

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Derby Hospital was an interesting site but was a magnet for metal thieves and Eastern Europeans some of which were living in the hospital. Saw a YouTube video a group of explorers came across a group of men who were drunk hitting the Vodka bottle was told this was a regular thing their. When the hospital was been demolished it caught fire nearly trapping an demolition worker.
 

Priority 7

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As a couple of my fellow explorers can testify I have had a few scrapes:

Chapel Des Aciens - After noticing the police outside we made for the upper floor to wait them out. Sadly they were already in and a couple of us turned round to be greeted by a couple of flashlights and drawn 9mm handguns.

Wolverton Works - Towards the end of the explore I went to move carefully over to the rest of the group only for my weight baring leg to disappear testis deep into the floor.

The Convent - UrbanSW and I had to wait out the estate agent and clients who turned up after we realised we couldn't get out of the basement. Thankfully the estate agent was kind enough to accidentally leave the basement door unlocked when she left.
 

mookster

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Just remembered another one...

Walking down the road towards the entrance to a derelict Chateau in Belgium one of us (not me!) thought it would be a wiser idea to cross through the ditch at the side of the road and up the bank the other side to save a long trek to the front gate. He started to make his way down the side of the ditch but lost his footing and slid down to what we thought was the bottom. That was until the thick covering of fallen leaves rippled when his foot touched it! We realised very quickly that there was water of an unknown depth at the bottom of the ditch covered by a carpet of leaves and he was stuck there on his side with a foot brushing the water. I realised I'd have to pull him out but was being wary of slipping in myself, luckily I found a fairly long piece of blue bailing twine discarded nearby and threw one end down to him and pulled him out the ditch...we took the long way in after that.
 

Dam_01

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Exploring a uni building very late one evening, decided I'd just go out the main front door. (entered via the roof 6 floors above and couldn't be bothered wandering back up the stairs).

There were inside glass doors which were yale locked, a small vestibule area then big wooden outside doors.
For no reason that made sense at the time, I put the yale on the snib, so unlocked it and left it unlocked. Tried the big front door (mortise locked, doh!) then heard a noise behind me.
Turns out that there was a night porter/watchman office in the hall by the doors.
Flattened myself against the wall at the edge of the inner doorframe and stopped breathing for what seemed like an hour till it all went quiet again then legged it as quietly as possible across the hall and back up the stairs and out.


Same city (while I was at uni there) and playing the "straightest line possible to get home" game from the pub in town.
Ended up on the building site for the new police station and fire station and got cornered by site security. While he's on the phone to the police I stumble out of my hiding space acting far more drunk than I actually was, apologizing profusely and doing the best mate, story spinning bit of seeing the girlfriend at the pub with some other bloke, being greatly upset and now even moreso for getting him in trouble and didn't mean to cause him hassle etc etc.
Bless him, He took me into the site office, made me a coffee and spotted me a fag too as well as calling off the old bill.
Was dead sober when I walked away from that one.
 

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