Yet Another Example Why Urbex Should Remain Secret

If you’ve been following the Urbex movement, you know what they do, they post amazing photograph from old and forgotten places.


If you want to join in, though, you may quickly discover that getting inside the circle of locations is not easy. In fact, it is extremely hard.  Those abandoned locations are not shared over the net, and usually if you asked an urbexer where a certain photo was taken you would get a vague response. Those locations are kept in secrecy and are only shared in a very close circle.

This may be infuriating, but there is a lot of weight under that decision. Here is one story to demonstrate why locations are kept secret:

The photo on the top (by The Other Side) is showing the snow cats Belgium used in their expeditions to Antarctica in the sixties. You can see those beasts in the video below:

The International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, required the establishment of a geophysical network throughout Antarctica. Belgium, along with ten other countries agreed to take part in this scientific exercise and established a research station named Base Roi Baudouin, on a floating ice shelf off the coast of Dronning Maud Land, a virtually unexplored part of Antarctica at that time. The station was set up on the first Belgian expedition (1957-59) to Antarctica led by Gaston de Gerlache, Adrien de Gerlache’s son.

In the following two years, two more expeditions were sent to the Antarctic, i.e. 2nd and 3rd expeditions. The Belgian polar base was permanently manned for the three expeditions, until late 1961 when the National Centre for Polar Research could not raise the funds needed to continue the Belgian Antarctic program.

Anyhow, those sno-cat were in a shed, abandoned and useless… (this is how the photo above was take). The logo you see on the sno-cats was designed by Hergé (the artist behind Tin Tin ), so for certain people it would be a collector’s item. Long story short, someone shared the location on internet and we all know nothing good can come from that.. .

One day all the logo’s were cut out. Here is a photo from the web, sadly uncredited.

urbex-snow-cats-02Luckily, the place is completely sealed now.

[via The Other Side]

  • John Flury

    Finding interesting locations is hard work: persistence, patience, connections and last but not least, a lot of luck. So a location is a little bit like a “magician’s trick” for a photographer, if everyone knows the trick behind the illusion, nobody will want to go to the show.

    • OsFa Urbex

      hear hear

  • Dustin Grau

    The first rule of UrbEx Club is you do not talk about UrbEx Club.
    The second rule of UrbEx Club is that YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT URBEX CLUB!

    • OsFa Urbex

      Oh that is kinda harsh…. I talk about urbex. Share my experience and help plp getting started into the Urbex World. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t tell them locations! Sometimes I take some friends out on a trip as tourist. But the never get the actual GPS locations and after a day of climbing, dust an sweating most of them only can remember the country they visited 😀

      My opinion: share and educatie newbee’s: that is the time when you can shape them and make them aware of the “rules” what is done or not done (like stealing, trashing or staging locations)..

      If you release them into the wild without guidance they tend to take everything for granted…

      • Dustin Grau

        My comment was more of a joke than a directive (it was a mangled movie quote, though that part may not have been obvious to all). It’s those “newbs” with loose lips and no guidance that tend to reveal a location, either directly (bragging) or indirectly (geotagging). I agree, teaching them to respect a site and its contents would lead to a better chance of enjoyment for others who had not yet ventured to a location.

        • OsFa Urbex

          and my light turned on… how could I overlook that reference!

  • AP

    What an amazing video! The image of those guys shoveling snow in short sleeves and in the one case shirtless IN ANTARCTICA just blew me away. As for the destruction of the Sno-Cats, that is just inexcusable. If it doesn’t belong to you, leave it alone. I appreciate the work of the UrbExers showing me things I would never see myself and for preserving bits of history.

  • slvrscoobie

    disgusting. I did a bit of Urbex back when I was unemployed. Now I have too much work, but wish I could. I hate that its so hard to get information but this is exactly why!

  • Joe Stenson
    • Richard

      I love Hdr, much nicer to look at. Certainly for this kind of photography… Cheers

      • OsFa Urbex

        :( disagree… HDR is a tool.. not a goal… en HDR is not the solo way for urbex !!! most of the Urbex shots (I like or make) are NOT HDR!!!

        Maybe nog the best shots (nor site with all the bugs) but feast your eyes: no hdr

  • OsFa Urbex

    This location rapidly became known as a “tourist stop”. When I saw the first repo’s this location jumped to a high place on my list. But just after a few weeks reports became to drip in about it’s transformation into a “tourist stop”. What I mean? There was a serious waiting line to take a shot. And almost everybody wanted to take almost the same shot.

    There is talk btw the owner itself cut out the logo but to be honest: I don’t know if that is true…