UE: NIKE Base

This photo journal brought back some memories, and triggered a bit of a search for information. This Nike Missile base was a fairly easy exploration. The base is privately owned, and has been preserved in its abandoned / unused state for the most part.

This Nike Base was established to house and launch MIM-3 Surface to Air missiles. These were about 33ft long, and weighed 14.6t. The MIM-14's which succeeded the MIM-3's were capable of both Surface to Air and Surface to Surface engagements. Nike missiles could be fitted with both nuclear and conventional warheads. It is my understanding that the missiles located around Buffalo / Niagara, were fitted with mostly nuclear warheads, due to the areas importance.

The find of a 1970's era muscle car in the bunker, was an odd find indeed. There has been some speculation that this vehicle might have a connection to the unsolved 1974 murder of Karen Caughlin, from Sarnia, Ontario. The suspect vehicle was believed to be a Plum Crazy Purple dodge, which was fairly new at the time of the incident. I did try to email the OPP Investigator in charge of this case, about this find, but have not heard back.


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An overview of the launch area.


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Some explorers mill around the entrance to one of the underground warhead storage bunkers. Only one of the three bunkers wasn't flooded. Meaning someone was regularly pumping water out.


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One of the bunker doors. I imagine the second stage / warhead were stored down here.


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An early 70's Dodge Duster was found inside one of the bunkers...


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The engine of the Duster (as well as the drive train) were utilized to operate the elevator.


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Drive train connected to the elevator mechanism


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The elevator was a large platform in the middle of the room, which raised to the surface.


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Large steel hatches protected the opening for the elevator.


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The Dodge Duster was painted Plum Crazy Purple.


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Most of the other bunkers were flooded... Who knows what is down there.


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Other interesting vehicles are located on site.


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This area was the fueling area for the rocket booster liquid fuel stage, of the Nike Missiles. The uneven ground would help ensure that the air pockets in the liquid fuel section were all evacuated, before the booster was brought over to the launch platform.