October 04, 2013

Photo Essay: George Air Force Base, Abandoned & Consumed

Abandoned military bases aren't uncommon in Southern California, though most of the ones I've encountered are slated for some kind of adaptive reuse, or are completely closed off.

The closed George Air Force Base in Victorville, CA, near Route 66 and the Mojave River, on the way to Vegas, is neither.

Despite its designation as a superfund site (because of ground contamination from toxic and radioactive materials like jet fuel, metals and other contaminants), it is abandoned, neglected, and becoming consumed by nature.

Officially closed in 1992 at the end of the Cold War, though also used as a filming location through 2000... first, the base doesn't look so bad.

Parts of it are still maintained, and even somewhat manicured, with a few surrounding businesses open, like a church and a children's playground and community center.

But past the front gate, a security kiosk which is no longer manned... catch a glimpse of the apocalypse.

Empty barracks seem to stretch for miles across the huge property.

Scraggly trees tower over the low homes...

...while some of the heartier, more robust ones just didn't make it...

...and are laid to rest where they once stood.

Much of the housing is burned out, soot-stained window frames peering out like sets of black eyes...

...their barricades broken, boards never mounted or at some point removed.

And then there are the tumbleweeds.


Even at the hospital...

...the tumbleweeds are taking over.

The footprint of this air force base is huge and, by my calculations, not really walkable... I only managed to take a cursory drive around the plot, snapping as many quick photos I could get, sometimes leaving the car running and not even parking.

To be honest, that place spooked the hell out of me. Usually when I visit some derelict site full of dilapidated buildings, I fantasize about the glory that once was, with an endless curiosity as to what lies inside those buildings, and what they might one day become.

At George Air Force Base, for some reason I was terrified. It felt menacing, not merely forgotten - as though it might one day rise up and turn against us all.

As I drove away, rushing to get back to LA to pick up my car, promising myself to work up the courage to return for a full day's exploration, I said to myself, "They've got to tear that shit down."


  1. awww. Thank you for sharing. It is sad for me to see as this was my former home. I was an Air Force brat and I lived here during my middle school years when my dad was stationed there in the late 1980's I have great memories of it and it was a beautiful base.

  2. i went to the school thats over there back in 2017 and almost everyday me and my friends would skip class and go there and every single day and one time there was mad scary shit that happened . when we first entered the building we walking into this one room and there were literally freshly blown out candles like there was still smoke coming from the candles as if someone was there seconds before we walked and there was like this weird ass star on the floor ( i was young so i didnt know what it was at the time but i eventually found out it was a satanic star ) and we were like hell no so we walked out and split into two groups and my group went down stairs and i swear on my life when we passed one of the hallways i seen a little girl and a man standing next to her holding her hand and they were clear as day the scariest part of all was that the figures werent even in color they were lack but you could see their facial features and all and this is an image all never forget in my life . and i was so fucking spooked out. a few days before we had found what was supposed to be the cafeteria and there was a chair in the middle of the room and right over the chair was a rope hanging . that place most def needs to be torn down every time i went there it felt like i was being watched or followed .

  3. George AFB was my home from 1975-79. I loved working there and enjoyed the F-105G Wild Weasels as well as the F-4 Phantoms. I worked at the Base Operations building. Also went TDY up to the air to ground gunnery range at Cuddeback AGGR by the dry lake of the same name. I'd stay there day and night for a week at a time and because I seem to be the only one who really enjoyed it there I would take others TDY's and so I was up there a lot. You'd fly up there on one of the base Huey's Monday morning, stay up there all week and fly back on Friday evening. Cuddeback back was a very small self-enclosed facility primarily devoted to only George Air Force Base aircraft. You could also drive up there by going north on highway 395 shortly before you got to Randsburg you'd turn east on a totally rutted gravel road until you got to the small facility which was enclosed by a chain link fence. power was supplied by a loud diesel generator that ran 24/7. There were about seven small individual bedrooms, a tiny chow hall, an office and an attached large garage for the few vehicles located up there. There was also a small control tower that a pilot from whichever squadron was using the range that day would sit in talking to the aircraft. I have some photos somewhere of the Cuddeback facility then I'll try to dig out and see if I can post here.

  4. Took my son out for his first driving lesson and we decided to explore the area. I am absolutely fascinated with the story behind this place and the fact that evidence points to it being haunted. I am not afraid of those types of things and want to do more investigating. Definitely going to look into how to go about doing so.

  5. Place isnt haunted . Homeless live there . Being watched yes .

    1. Honestly I think that’s great. So much potential out there.

  6. I spent two months in the base hospital being treated for a gunshot wound in the right leg. I was acttiv duty Army at the time. Some weird stuff happened while I was there. I got hepetitis from a dirty needle while in that hospital and almost died.