ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — An urban explorer from Essex County has stumbled onto an intriguing storyline involving a pair of abandoned wind tunnels in New Jersey.
Wheeler Antabanez, a correspondent with Weird NJ, recently delved into the history of an abandoned structure “somewhere in New Jersey,” which has an interesting connection to the world of professional skateboarding.
Read an excerpt from the Weird NJ article.
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Antabanez — a Montclair resident who grew up in West Caldwell — told Patch that he couldn’t reveal the exact location of the tunnels because they’d “become an instant tourist attraction.” But it’s a place that many people might pass daily without knowing about.
“I actually drove past this place my whole life and always wondered what it was,” Antabanez said.
According to Antabanez, the facility was built in 1943 to test airplane propellers for World War II bombers, but is now abandoned and decayed. While exploring the muddy, waterlogged building, Antabanez realized that he’d seen it before in a recurring segment on VICE called “Can You Skate It?”
“I was remembering back to an episode where they followed pro skater Fred Gall on a mission to a full pipe in an undisclosed New Jersey location,” Antabanez wrote. “Fred ended up nailing a few tricks for the video, proving that with a little modification and sweeping, the wind tunnel is a viable skate spot. The resulting piece was gnarly as hell and I watched it several times trying to figure out where the full pipe might be located. Now, here I was stumbling upon the spot without even trying.”
Antabanez has also been involved in the exploration of other “weird” sites in Essex County, such as the recently demolished Overbrook Asylum in Cedar Grove.
Watch a video taken at the tunnels below, via Weird NJ.
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