|BEG: Old Town Bunker|
|Hazard Level: ?||Main Tunnel Clearance: ?||Tidal Coverage: No||Known # of Tunnels: ?|
|Hazards: Head Injury; Falling; Obstacles; Deadly gases/harmful substances?|
|Construction Materials: concrete and metal?|
We had heard talk of an underground building secluded off in the woods of Oldtown Maine. Rumors said many strange things about what this building was. we were told that it use to be a womans prison, built underground.. we heard that it was once an insane asylum.. we heard that it was where the University kept it's dinosaurs.. and we heard that it was a bomb shelter or some type of military bunker.
The above ground parts are built into the side and on top of a small hill. There is a sort of "U" shaped cement structure built into the side of the hill. One part of the cement structure has a recessed area that is roughly the size of a garage door, but cemented over. On top of the hill there are two small square cement structures. At first the look like small sheds but taking a walk around them, one relizes that they have no doors... only windows which are seeled up by welded bars, 1/4" thick steel plates, and angle iron. The nuts are even welded to the shafts of the bolts that hold the window barriers in place. Looking into the windows of one "building" we could see that there was a shaft going down into the ground and there were metal step-irons on one wall. The other "building" was divided into four shafts that went down. Both buildings have cement walls and roofs. At the bottom of the hill there are two manhole covers and a metal trapdoor. We pulled up one cover only to find that the shaft was filled with dirt, rubble, and an animal bone. The other manhole cover was welded shut with several one to two inch long beads. The trapdoor was also welded shut with three beads. There are also two orange-red radio antenae in the woods close by.
With a bit of research, we have confirmed that this was a civil defense and emergancies opperations bunker. Once the Cuban Missle Crisis was done and over with, the bunker was turned into a transfer station for a women's correctional/mental health facility (the garage door size opening was cut out at that time). The bunker has been more or less sealed up and abandoned since the early 1980's. There are however, signs that non-BEG explorers and vandels have been into the "building" that has step irons. Signs include grafiti on the inside of the building, and, the different methods used to seal windows of identical make, and the metal grill that once covered one window lays in the woods nearby. We have concluded that these buildings are the tops of ventilation shafts, and the one with step irons inside also has some sort of escape hatch near the bottom.
The following is a transcript of a note recieved from one of our secret informants:
"I hope I can help you fill in a few holes about the bunker in Old Town that you have visited but have not been into as I am a part of a group that stored gear (with permission) there through the mid 90's. I'm estimating it hasn't been used since 95'.
Our group (because of theft and vandalism)was also the ones that secured the buildings at the top of the bunker and I was there when we welded the vent windows shut etc. We eventually acquired space elsewhere and was glad to leave considering the amount of equipment we lost over the years to theft.
As you found in your research it was created as a Civil Defense bunker and many of the rooms especially ones (using your map) closer to the vent shafts remain to this day mostly intact as they were setup back when the bunker was active. It was converted to a women's prison for a brief stint and your are correct about the large cutout at the front of the building, that was the "courtyard" where they could get some sun and exercise.
The building stays a cool 55 degrees through most of the year and when we were sorting gear in the winter it would take a salamander(propane heater) 4-6 hours to heat the part (about half the bunker by the main door) that we used and it would then stay warm(er) for 2+ days after that with little assistance.
Now a little about the layout. The whole bunker while it looks impressive is really quite small in size and the many rooms that line either side of the halls are could only fit a bed(cot) and maybe a small table etc. The door closest to the "garage door" is the main entrance and the large room off of the garage door was the common area where people ate and the like. The L shaped room with the many compartments was used mainly for storage. There was a Kitchen where you guessed on the map and the old upright milk machine and metal trays are still there waiting to be used. Directly across from the kitchen and a little to the left was where the infirmary was and many of the sleeping quarters, bathrooms and showers were located. The large room nearest the air vents is where the generators still reside. Big floor mounted generators that look like the front part of a bulldozer. The next room down from it is where the fuel for them is stored and as of 94-95 they were still topped of and ready to rock....who knows, we never got the courage to flip the switch. The towers (haven't been by in a while to see if they are still there) held LOW band antennas operating at around 50Mhz which was what the CD used back then before VHF took off.
After we moved out I know a "gang" held temporary residence until the city of OT finally were able to secure it more permanently."
The latest news on this gem is that the ventilation shafts have been filled with concrete, someone had busted through some parts of the front, but that was again resealed. We have not had time to investigate ourselves... well, I may investigate myself later, but I mean we have not had time to further probe this bunker.
|MAP: these are the original Floorplans with a few sidenotes added in. We can only guess from the map what some of the rooms might be.||Photo: The cement structure built in the side of a small hill. The part sticking out was the entry hall to the blast doors.|
Photo: The two small "ventilation buildings" that are on top of the hill.
|Photo: Looking out of the escape hatch at the pool of water at the bottom of the escape/vent shaft. This floods as groundwater rises. this lower room of the shaft has a concrete partition that comes halfway down from the ceiling. Ground water rises to the bottom of the partition to create an air tight seal for the escape hatch. the bottom of the shaft is cluttered with debris so we are not sure how deep it goes, but on this occasion we went in just a little over the knees.|
|Photo: A ventilation machine, or generator? this is the room right next to the ventilation shafts.||Photo: looking past the machines at one of the ventilation shafts.|
|Photo: Looking down the long main hallway.||Photo:Yo: TACO; BIBI.... A corner of one of the rooms in the back corner of the bunker. Almost the whole place is marked up with stuff similar to this; with piles of desks, file cabinets, beds, and other junk pushed into the corners of rooms.|
|Photo: What would you find in the abandoned desk drawer deep in the bowels of an abandoned secret bunker? why, abandoned documents of course!||Photo: No dirty dishes in this kitchen.|
|Photo: another room, with metal beds. Looking at the map, this room was somewhere near the middle of the bunker.||Photo: This was nice, it's not everyday that one comes across a pile of dentist chairs in an abandoned place. Also, more piles of stuff pushed into the back of this room which was near the kitchen.|
Photo: What could be more exciting than a pile of dentist chairs? how about Mr. Thirsty and the Drill? How's that for exciting? |
|Photo: A view looking down the long main hallway from the other end of the bunker. The area right through the door is one of the large main rooms.|
|Photo: Bad UE etiquette. Rather than simply opening the door to the room, someone fealt a need to make a new entryway by throwing a desk(?) and a radiator through one of the walls. The room visable through the hole is the same large main room as in the previous photo.||Photo: One wall of that large main room (or one of the smaller nearby rooms) had this very large topomap of Maine. Unfortunately someone placed a large smear of black paint over the area of Bangor, Orono, and Old Town.|
|Photo: YOU SUCK! NO YOU SUCK! such inspired graffiti as this can be found in many places here. This is a picture of the large main room, which until now had only been seen as an elusive and teasing glimpse in the darkened fringe of several other photos.||
Photo: This is one of the front-corner rooms, opposite corner from the ventilation shafts. We did not look around much in here because the place was so cluttered, and now we are left asking ourselves such things as "what the heck are all those things on the table?"|
Photo: One of the two front doors, both were very much the same... a heavy steel door secured by some kind of metal bars sticking through it and welded in place, and a nice little deadbolt just to be safe.|
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