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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Urban Exploration

    FULL STORY: http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5620554.html

    Use http://www.bugmenot.com for a username / password if prompted to register



    He calls himself Max Action and, as much as possible, he tries to live up to the name.

    He says he has climbed to the top of the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, walked in underground rivers, wandered through abandoned mental hospitals and cartwheeled naked on the stage at Northrup Auditorium at the University of Minnesota.

    All in the name of urban exploration, an apparently growing -- and illegal -- subculture in the Twin Cities and around the country in which people break into and wander around forbidden or foreboding places in their cities.

    "It's just one of the most enjoyable things I've found to do," said Action, a 28-year-old Minneapolis resident who studied philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He spoke about the pastime on the condition that only the pseudonym he uses among similar explorers be used, not his real name.

    Urban explorers are secretive by nature and at times commit criminal acts, so it's hard to estimate how many are around. But the number of them exploring caves, factories, storm drains, munitions plants, breweries, underground rivers and other places appears to be increasing.

    "The underground is getting terribly crowded," said Greg Brick, 42, who calls himself the grandfather of the scores of urban explorers in the Twin Cities. "Everybody and their brother is doing it, and drawing a lot of attention to themselves."

    Just last week, St. Paul police arrested three college students for breaking in to the city sewer system near City Hall. The trio, carrying gunpowder and fireworks, said they belong to a group called Urban Invaders.

    Two years ago, when the country was at a state of heightened alert, a group of six urban explorers were arrested near the Gopher State ethanol plant in St. Paul. They carried night-vision goggles, two-way radios and other suspicious items.

    Charges were not filed in either case. But the incidents did draw the attention of authorities, who view urban exploration as a growing nuisance with a great potential for danger.

    "We do consider it a serious problem," said Pete Crum, spokesman for the St. Paul Police Department. "It is dangerous. There's always the danger of noxious gases when they go down there. They can cause damage, they put other people at risk, especially if they become trapped and we have to go in and get them."

    Several years ago a group of teenagers died from noxious fumes while exploring the Wabasha caves in St. Paul.

    Brick said carbon monoxide is but one of the many dangers facing urban explorers. There is loose asbestos, especially in the utility tunnels, as well as dangerous bacteria in the sewers.

    "There are places where there's so much loose asbestos it looks like snow," said Brick. "I wear a mask, but I'm sure 99 percent of the [newer] people ... just go down there breathing in asbestos."

    Urban explorers said the Twin Cities area, especially St. Paul, is considered one of the most appealing destinations in the world.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    santa cruz, california
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    2,085
    hi simon! cool, i used to do all that fun exploring (exploring caves, factories, storm drains, munitions plants, breweries, underground rivers and other places ), except i didn't cause any damage, well not too much, and we didn't have a name for it.
    actually started playing in the apple and peach orchards, wheat fields, building tree forts in the woods, playing in old barns and chicken coups. when urban sprawl hit the area we had a blast playing in the new and model homes being built. sure beat the heck outta sitting in front of a tv or plaing vidio games all day eating twinkies! i think i still have an eye out for a deserted building.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    In heels
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    27,885
    Quote Originally Posted by lex
    breweries.
    You slipped that in there and didn't expect us to notice?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    santa cruz, california
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    2,085
    Quote Originally Posted by Casshew
    You slipped that in there and didn't expect us to notice?

    i wish cass! lol! we had a deserted slaughter house that was kinda spooky and an old factory to play in also.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    In heels
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    27,885
    Quote Originally Posted by lex
    i wish cass! lol! we had a deserted slaughter house that was kinda spooky and an old factory to play in also.
    the only thing I have done like that (creepy) is a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour in a bad part of London (Aldegate/white chapel) at Midnight

    (The bad part of London was much scarier than anything onthe tour)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    23,796
    One of the suspects in the Taylor Behl case is interested in urban exploration. I checked out some of the links there. I never knew that there was this "hobby" of exploring the buildings. I kinda see the facination- but officials are right about the potiential dangers. LOL, I guess that is why it appeals to the rebels.
    Anyway they have websites set up where they post pics of the places they have explored. And the bigger and harder the buildings are to get into, the better they seem to like it. And there does seem to be a large number of people interested in this. And not just in Twin Cities.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight



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