Abandoned Engineering (2016–…): Season 2, Episode 4 - Battle of Britain Technology Facility - full transcript

In World War II the Royal Aircraft Establishment used all the available cutting edge technology of the day to help Britain win the war. Now, in Farnborough, all that is left are strange looking, derelict buildings that used to be wind tunnels and research facilities.

A puzzling web of corridors
that appear to lead nowhere.

They're hardly noticed by
the general public, but you can't

build an air force without them.

A huge abandoned
facility in a remote desert.

This was a hardcore military
base, fully prepared to survive

all-out war.

Gigantic steel towers in
an industrial wasteland.

They've not just changed
western Pennsylvania,

but changed the world and
helped build america's 20th century.

And a massive seven-tonne Cannon

left on the edge of
an icy mountain top.

It was a real, if
you like, war-winner

for the Italians and it was
well worth bringing up here.

It still did its job
and did it very well.

Once, they were some of the most
advanced structures and facilities

on the planet, at the cutting
edge of design and construction.

Today, they stand abandoned,
contaminated and sometimes deadly.

But who built them, and how?

And why were they abandoned?

♪ ♪

Just outside London is a
corrugated iron and concrete building.

It stands amongst the scattered

offices and workshops of an
unremarkable industrial estate.

Would you expect
to find mysterious

equipment and
enormous wooden devices

almost within arm's reach of
ordinary people, ordinary houses?

It's really astonishing.

The interior of this lopsided
structure is initially mystifying.

Two huge circular apertures
with gigantic propellers

lead to a vast concrete tunnel,
230ft long and 140ft wide.

Its incredibly smooth walls

are pierced by veins
and hidden channels.

Yet it leads nowhere,
simply looping back on

itself in a series
of right angles.

The engineers constructing
the 24ft-diameter tunnel

faced unforeseen problems that
they hadn't encountered before.

The sheer size of it made it

quite difficult in terms of its
construction, as well as operation.

What complex
process was carried out

in this mammoth tunnel that made
such technical features necessary?

And after so much effort,
why was it abandoned?

In may 1933, Adolf
Hitler created the reich

aviation ministry with former flying
ace hermann goering at the helm.

This was a major step towards

the birth of Germany's new
air force, the luftwaffe, in 1935.

To Hitler, aerial warfare was
the future and soon, the full

weight of Germany's aviation
industry was working towards

his program of rearmament.

With some of the best engineers
in the world, they began designing a

new breed of aircraft.

Aircraft technology
is transitioning

from olde-timey biplanes to what
we think of as a modern aeroplane,

and the British government says,
"we cannot allow the Germans to get

a technological edge on us."

As an aviation arms
race developed,

the British set about building
a high-tech research facility.

The farnborough wind tunnel.

This testing facility was designed
to allow British engineers to study

aerodynamics and
aircraft performance

with far greater accuracy
and in more realistic conditions.

A wind tunnel is an absolutely
essential part of designing

and building and
testing aircraft.

Every element of the aircraft,
that's on the outside, affects

aerodynamics, even things like
the struts that hold the wheels,

or the way the
flaps are designed.

So everything had to be subjected
to these tests, and tiny, tiny

little variations can have massive
impact on how an aircraft performs.

Creating this complex
was an immense challenge.

Beyond its sheer size, every
material and component, from

the giant propeller to the concrete
walls, had to be carefully selected

and engineered to ensure
optimum performance.

Kenny odgers is lead technician

and an expert on the facility.

We're looking at four
years of construction

in concrete,
asking the people to

work at tolerances, which
I find quite frightening.

Every little feature
in the tunnel had to

be perfect. The air flow had to
be able to move past the walls.

You couldn't have
little bolts sticking out.

The louvres had to be exactly
right to straighten out the air flow

and not add new
layers of turbulence.

In 1935, the 24ft wind
tunnel went into operation.

Instead of using scale models,
full-sized aircraft were suspended

between the arms of the tunnel so
their aerodynamic performance could

be measured and
faults corrected.

But the clock was ticking.

Germany's new prototype planes
began breaking numerous world records,

demonstrating to the world
their technological prowess.

In 1936, the junkers ju 87,

a dive bomber known as
the stuka, was rolled out.

Soon after, it was the
messerschmidt 109,

which would form the backbone
of the luftwaffe's fighter force.

Through late 1939 and 1940,
they played a devastating role

in the blitzkrieg tactics that
crushed Western Europe

and forced the British army
back across the channel.

Over the course of the second
world war, the Germans make their

aircraft better and better.

And what's really important
for the British is that the British

have gotta be able to
improve aircraft ever so slightly

every minute of every day
in order to defeat the Nazis.

At the centre of the wind tunnel,
a giant 30ft propeller could blast

a 115mph jet of air across
the gap between its two arms.

The mighty fan rotated at up
to 250 revolutions per minute,

sucking in air, which
span as it left the blades.

This turbulent air was then
progressively smoothed as it

flowed through a series of
straighteners and deflectors

around the
rectangle's corridors.

At the end, it
exited the tunnel's

jet toward the test plane
as a smooth current of air.

At full whack, the wind
was pushing around 4.5

million cubic feet of air, and
when you think back over things that

were being tested, ok, everybody
talks about the iconic aeroplane,

the spitfire and the hurricane,
but we had the westland whirlwind,

a stirling,

then we had the hobby
and we had a heinkel.

Testing German aircraft
such as the heinkel

helped the British discover
secrets of their technology.

By 1940, with the battle of
britain raging in the skies,

farnborough continuously honed
the performance of British fighter

aircraft, including hurricanes,
and the iconic spitfire.

You'll start world war ii where
the first models of the spitfire

have a two-blade propeller.

End of the war,

they have an adjustable
pitch four-blade propeller.

An adjustable pitch propeller is
one of the things that increases

aircraft climb and
performance enormously.

And you can't develop
propellers without a wind tunnel.

Engineers quickly
identified and introduced new

aviation features that helped
secure victory in the skies over britain.

Improved engine cooling and
reduced drag gave British pilots

an edge in combat.

With the arrival of the famous
Lancaster bomber in 1942, it was an

edge they would not relinquish
through the rest of the war.

There's a process of
the engineering of British

aircraft getting
better and better,

while the Nazis are
still trying to create

the miraculous super-weapon
that is going to win the war for them.

And as a result, the Germans
are tripping over their own attempts

to improve their technology.

The Nazis pressed for quantum
leaps in aircraft design, including

jet-propelled aircraft,

to turn the tide of war
back in their favour.

Meanwhile, the allies focused
on incremental changes

and mass-produced
proven aircraft.

Wind tunnel facilities such as
farnborough played a pivotal role

in establishing air superiority
over the luftwaffe and securing

victory in world war ii.

But with the dawn of the jet age,
farnborough would gradually be

rendered obsolete.

Having a large tunnel
being propeller-driven

wasn't as necessary because
you could create high-velocity air

streams using jet engines,
and that made an older style like

farnborough obsolete and
basically doomed it to the history bin.

Finally, in 1992, its
wind tunnels fell silent.

But today, it's designated
an historic building.

The heroic struggle fought by
the raf in the skies over britain

during those pivotal months
of 1940 is well-documented.

Less well-known is
the painstaking work

done by men and women
at facilities like farnborough,

work that helped give the
raf the tools they needed

to win the war.

The farnborough tunnels and
the farnborough establishment

itself was an absolutely
essential part of the British

military and war effort.

They're hardly noticed by

the general public, but you can't
build an air force without them.

In the gobi desert around
the Mongolian city of choir,

an empty landscape stretches
unbroken across the horizon.

Yet 19 miles northwest of the city,
a cluster of isolated strange grassy

mounds spring out
of the barren steppe.

They're largely empty areas.

These were miserable places
in the middle of nowhere.

Standing 30ft high and 80ft across,
each of the 40 mounds is connected

to the next by a strip of
concrete, overgrown with weeds.

Nearby, a two-mile-long
roadway leads

off towards a
range of low hills.

Most bizarre of all

are the rows of crumbling apartment
blocks buttressing the background.

But why would anyone
build a community in

this vast and remote wilderness?

And why was it abandoned?

In the years after world war ii,

China and the Soviet union had
become firm communist allies.

By the 1960s however,
diverging ideological

interpretations of marxism led to
a breakdown in political relations.

This was exacerbated
by disagreements over

how to coexist with the us and
it developed into a potentially

disastrous border dispute.

Known as the sino-Soviet split, it
brought the two mighty communist

powers to the brink of war.

The reality is that the communists
in Russia and the communists

in red China, they couldn't
agree on where to have lunch.

Much bigger than communism
was the inbuilt rivalry.

As distrust grew,

military forces steadily
built up along their borders.

Wedged in between
the two adversaries

was the ussr's ally, the
Mongolian people's republic.

As tensions Rose,
this Soviet satellite

state found itself at the centre of
a potentially explosive situation.

Mongolia is something of a

contested area and, in fact, this
heated up back in the early 1960s.

It got to the point where there

were some serious, not just
skirmishes, but actual battles.

The Soviets created the
Mongolian people's republic

as a puppet state to buffer
them against Chinese attack.

The Soviets are really concerned
that, as China modernises,

as China grows stronger, that
Russia and China will fight a war.

In response, the
Soviet union deployed

hundreds of thousands of troops
near the Mongolian border with China.

They were backed up by a
formidable network of air power.

A key component was
the bayantal air base.

This was home to the 126th
fighter aviation regiment.

A huge new base designed to
provide a first line of defence against

any Chinese attack on the Soviet
union's satellite state, Mongolia.

This base is massive.
The runway's two miles,

with hardened bunkers where they
could hide their aircraft from even

the most serious aerial attack.

At the air base, there were 1,800
men, and the associated families

that were in charge of
the aeroplanes, as well as

the maintenance and
running of the facility.

This was a hardcore
military base,

fully prepared to
survive all-out war.

In 1970, red army engineers rapidly
laid foundations in the vast expanse

of the Mongolian steppe.

In keeping with the secrecy
that surrounded its construction,

the cost of this massive
installation is still unknown.

Work at bayantal faced a
number of unique challenges.

This was a long way from the
typical Soviet air bases in Europe.

A whole town had to be built from
scratch for the Garrison and their

families, with every last nut
and bolt brought in from the ussr.

One thing the Soviets were
really good at was building massive

infrastructure in the middle
of nowhere. It would be difficult

to build a two-mile runway, you
know, ten miles outside of Moscow.

Imagine doing it in
the middle of nowhere,

thousands of miles away from
your normal sources of supply.

What you see on this
base is how much effort,

resources and money the Soviets
poured into their defence system.

In 1972, bayantal
became operational.

Surrounded by anti-aircraft
missile batteries and a network

of defence bunkers, the base
was formidably well-protected.

Hidden within its blast-proof
shelters was a deadly strike force

that included dozens of
mig-21s and 23 fighter jets.

At the air base, there was a
squadron of mig-21s, which,

at the time, was a
top-of-the-line fighter interceptor,

so a supersonic jet that would
deal with any airborne threats

that would come
from the Chinese.

It's one of the ten great
aircraft of the cold war.

The us encountered the mig-21
in the skies over north Vietnam,

where it was a
formidable opponent.

It was fun to fly, fairly easy

to maintain, and the people
that flew it liked it and trusted it.

While the aircraft were high-tech,
conditions at the base were brutal.

In the summer, temperatures reach
40 degrees celsius, while in winter,

the icy winds blasting across
the desert steppe could bring

everything to a
stop at minus 40.

The problems that they faced on
base were both from a maintenance

keeping the machines

operational in the desert
environment, as well as morale.

Keeping people motivated to live
in such a stark and barren place

was quite a challenge.

Yet bayantal
remained on a state of

high alert throughout the 1970s
and '80s as tensions continued.

At this point,

China's interests are clearly
opposed to Soviet interests.

And as long as Chinese and
Russian interests are opposed,

there is always going to be
tension between Moscow and Beijing.

And that tension is gonna be
stretched right across Mongolia.

Bayantal air base helped prevent
China from taking direct military

action against the ussr and
all-out war was narrowly avoided.

When mikhail gorbachev came to
power in 1985, he made a determined effort

to ease tensions.

Just a few years later, in 1989,
the Soviet union was collapsing

and bayantal no longer had
the funds to be maintained.

This was not a country with
a lot of money at the time.

It's part of the reason the Soviet
union ultimately collapsed, was

the need to spend so many precious
resources building and maintaining

this far-flung network of
expensive military facilities.

And this base shut down,
as did hundreds of others.

In December 1989, the
bayantal air base was abandoned.

Today, this once-vital
air base is a ghost town.

The base is largely
abandoned now.

None of the structures are
used for the original purpose.

Native people, the Mongolia,
can be found on the base, but not

in the buildings themselves.
They live in and amongst

the buildings, using them for
shelter from the environments.

But largely, the buildings
are completely empty

and abandoned.

Bayantal air base shows that
nuclear armageddon could have started

not just in cold war
Europe, or the United States,

but even in the vast desert
wastelands of Mongolia.

Like most military installations,
this one was never used in war,

but that's not necessarily
how you measure

the success of an investment
in military infrastructure.

If it prevented a conflict,
then it did its job as well.

On the other side of the planet,
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

is a perplexing wreck
of rusting metalwork.

A steel and concrete mass rises
above the trees that grow along

the banks of the
monongahela river.

It's really peculiar-looking and
you're thinking it's some sort

of steam punk theme
park. It's that weird.

When you first see
the Carrie furnaces,

you're taken right back to an
age of huge industrialisation,

with these enormous plants.

The scale of this unusual
construction dwarfs nearby


A mighty chimney soars 280ft
high and a row of rocket-shaped silos

are flanked by two 110ft-high
pipe-covered steel towers.

Connecting them
all is a mid-air rail

line that seemingly
leads nowhere.

When people first see these,

I think they're just struck
by how big they are.

This crazy collection of pipes
and tubes, and intricate plumbing

on a massive superhuman
scale. It's kind of mind-blowing.

What exactly took
place in this jumble

of pipework, concrete and steel?

And why was this
gargantuan facility abandoned?

At the turn of the 20th
century, an explosion in building

and transportation across the
usa created huge industrial need

for steel.

Iron and steel were the backbone

of the development of
north American infrastructure.

Every building,
every highway bridge,

every car, every
train, every ship

and tank, they all contained
steel that came from Pittsburgh.

This was the birth of america,
really, the industrial revolution,

the empire state building,
the Brooklyn bridge.

Every city had its proud
structures that came from this

dangerous, complicated
process of producing steel.

This dangerous process
involved the smelting of iron ore.

But not enough could
be smelted to keep up with

the ever-expanding
steel production.

Ron baraff is a director
at rivers of steel heritage.

He works to preserve
the history of industry

and steel in western

They made iron that not just
changed western Pennsylvania

but changed the world, and
helped build america's 20th century.

Us steel came up with a
solution to the bottleneck.

These are Carrie
furnaces 6 and 7.

The extraordinary towers

were designed to produce more
iron for the production of steel.

Really what you're
doing is melting rocks.

It is a manmade volcano that is
reducing three basic ingredients.

Iron ore,

coke - which is coal that's baked
and is carbon - and limestone.

And you're subjecting it to an
immense amount of heat and reducing

it down to iron, which is then

transported from this site across
the river and converted into steel.

These furnaces were
purposely built near Pittsburgh.

This was because
of the extensive

natural deposits
of coal that exist in

the nearby appalachian basin.

In that part of america, you have
a lot of structures in the earth's

crust, which have brought coal,

have brought limestone
and have brought iron ore

close to the surface, and you
need those three things to make iron.

Building began in 1906.

It was no easy task creating
these 90ft-tall combustion chambers.

Made of 2.5-inch-thick

steel plate, they are lined with
thousands of bricks capable of

withstanding temperatures of
almost 2,000 degrees celsius.

A system of counterbalanced cars
was designed to carry tonnes of ore,

coke and limestone
up an inclined ramp

to be emptied into the furnaces.

We can think of the furnace as,
like, a giant test tube with a big

bunsen burner underneath.

We're adding in the chemicals
to make the reactions to get

from a solid rock with iron in it,
to liberating free iron as a metal.

And we do that by reacting the
iron with the coke, to free the iron,

and we also add calcium
to get rid of all the silica.

All of this is
happening in mid-air.

Suspended in mid-air,
this big push of air up,

material coming down, the coal
burden coming down, being heated,

and the iron rains out.

In 1907, the new
furnaces began operating.

The process of emptying
the white-hot iron

from the furnaces and into

the waiting rail cars made for
hazardous working conditions.

This was not a job
for the faint-hearted.

This is a tap hole
here behind me.

It's a Clay plug that's drilled
out. The drill's right in front

of me here, so it drills
through, the iron starts

flowing, iron goes down this
runner and through a hole in the floor.

Then hopefully,
stationed directly

below that hole in the floor
is a bottle car or ladle car.

Fatalities were high.

Injuries were extremely high.

Fatigue was always a problem.

You know, working in these
plants, especially early part of

the 20th century, you were an
old man if you were in your 40s.

It would eat you
up and spit you out.

During the American
20th century,

furnaces 6 and 7 proved
a phenomenal success.

Each producing up to 1,000
tonnes of hot iron every day.

In 1910, 60% of

the usa's entire steel output
was coming from Pittsburgh.

And Carrie furnace
was particularly efficient,

thanks to its hot metal bridge,

which took molten iron straight

to the heart of the homestead
steel works across the river.

This helped production
keep up with spikes in

demand for steel in war time.

During world war ii, 180 tonnes

of molten iron were shipped
across the bridge every single hour.

At its height,
and you're looking

second world war on,
these furnaces alone,

just this complex of furnaces,
were outproducing Great Britain.

You know, the Pittsburgh region

was outproducing all of
the axis powers together.

This region gained the moniker
of the 'arsenal of democracy'.

This was the heart of
america's industrial might.

But as the years went by,

the way the furnaces operated
became increasingly outdated.

It was incredibly dangerous,
absolutely incredibly dangerous.

The force of the pressure inside
this furnace, the amount of gases

that are in there...

It is a constant balancing act.

You have too much pressure build
up in these vessels, they can explode.

It requires team work, it requires
everyone being on that same page,

and understanding that
they're trying to tame a volcano.

By the 1970s, demand for iron from
the Carrie furnaces had dropped off.

Even more seriously,
this early 20th-century

technology was raising
serious concerns about safety.

This is heavy industry
we're talking about.

The conditions for the men working
at the Carrie furnaces would have

been like working in hell.

Extremely hot, you're
working around molten iron.

Soot in your face, the fumes.

Just the heat, the oppressiveness
of that environment would have been

unbelievable and the
risk of injury or even death

were all around
you, all the time.

You had these high temperatures,
toxic fumes, dangerous work that

required a lot of skill.

This was work for very,
very tough, motivated people.

In 1978, time ran out for the
two giant furnaces and their fires

were extinguished for good,
leaving the site abandoned.

The rest of the Carrie works around
the region were deemed too dangerous

and contaminated.

So they were all demolished.

Furnaces 6 and 7
however, still survive.

Designated a national historic
landmark in 2006, they are now

a local tourist attraction.

Where we're standing, in 1907,
this was the high tech of its day.

And, you know, it's the building
of america's 20th century.

It happened in places like this.

Across the Atlantic ocean

in the Italian alps,
the cresta croce Ridge

sits 10,000 feet above sea level,
amongst the rugged mountain tops.

On the brink of an
almost vertical cliff

stands an 11ft Cannon. It's
supported by a steel cradle

and two huge wooden
spoked wheels.

The idea people could move
something so massive on top

of a mountain so high

really is a testament
to what humans can do.

There is no doubt
about the purpose of this

six-tonne steel Cannon.

More of a mystery, however,

is why it's perched here
on this barren mountain top.

If I came across an old Cannon
like that in the middle of the Italian

alps, I would be utterly amazed,
because how did this get there?

And why was it abandoned
to this icy wilderness?

Since its formation in 1871,

the nation of Italy had
been attempting to build up

its army and Navy to protect itself
from their chief adversary, Austria.

In 1915, Italy entered world war I,
taking up the allied cause against

the austro-Hungarian empire.

For Italy, it was a war of barbed
wire, machine guns and, above all,

heavy artillery along the
northern border in the Italian alps.

The Austrians had, for
centuries, dominated Italy,

along with the French.

And what the Italians
see in the first world war

is those Austrians coming
across the passes yet again,

to try to dominate the country
that the Italians had only just built.

And the Italians had to stop it.

In 1916, there was a critical danger
that Austrian troops would breach

Italian mountain defences and
break through what was then the border

between Italy and Austria,
just by the cresta croce Ridge.

The artillery piece
was the prime

killing weapon of world war I,
and Italy's success in defending

this mountainous border
would hinge on its effective use.

You would never
beat the Austrians

unless you got heavy artillery
up into the mountains in Italy.

One or two guns will dominate
a large amount of territory

in a mountain terrain.

The Italian army, however,

was desperately short
of modern heavy guns.

The only solution available
was an outdated gun from 1888.

The 5.9-inch g-model Cannon.

Nicknamed 'the hippopotamus',
it was designed to fire a 60lb shell

over a distance of six miles.

Easily outranged by
more modern guns,

it was all that Italy had available
to defend its borders in 1916.

When you needed fire support,
you wanted not small mountain guns

that you could transport on the back
of a donkey - everybody had those.

You needed heavy artillery.

On 9 February, 1916,

the hippopotamus Cannon
arrived in the valley below.

It faced a daunting journey
up the mountains near the town

of passo del tonale.

If the town was captured,
Austrian troops would have

a clear run to the vital
manufacturing city of Milan.

The gun had to be sited on a
Ridge blocking the Austrian advance.

With no roads and the
mountains covered in deep snow,

the only option was to manually haul
the 6.6-tonne Cannon thousands of

feet up the mountain, in
temperatures of 20-below.

Well, as an engineer and as an
amateur mountain climber, the idea

of taking a Cannon and
hauling it up is almost impossible

to imagine, because of the
weather and the snow conditions,

and just the absolute misery
that those men had to go through.

Professional mountaineer
Cain Olsen is visiting the Cannon

to better understand exactly
what those men went through.

To imagine, you know,
18-year-old, 19-year-old kids,

you know, hundreds of them,
to get this up here in lots of

snow, from a mountaineering
point of view, it's incredible.

Freezing temperatures weren't

the only obstacle faced
by these young soldiers.

During the gruelling march upward,
they were twice buried by avalanche.

Members of the
tow team were killed.

Yet the mountain troopers
and artillerymen had to

dig out the Cannon and
continue the long haul.

Now, the friction capacity of
snow is very much a function of

the weather conditions, so
cold, dry snow is almost like sand.

So imagine dragging
a heavy weight

through a sand dune, where
wet, sticky snow is almost like mud.

And so

there's really no great way to
drag a heavy weight through snow.

Despite this, after 78
days of incredible effort,

the Cannon arrived
at its first firing position.

But the initial location
proved problematic.

The Austrians were positioned
on that Ridge over there.

And from its original position,
the Austrians were just a bit too

far away, so that's why they had to
then move it over onto cresta croce

and from cresta croce, they
could easily hit the Austrians.

Italian artillerymen faced yet
another problem, as historian

David Caldwell-Evans
has discovered.

There's virtually no recall
mechanism on this gun.

When you fire it, it's
gonna slam straight back

and there's nothing you
can do about that, other than

try and stop the roll back.

Each wheel had a wooden
wedge behind it, and when it fired,

the wheel would rock back up,
come up the wedge, and then slide

back into position again.

That was the only way
they had of stopping it,

basically recoiling straight
off the back of the mountain.

Austrian troops were stunned to
find themselves under bombardment by

a Cannon twice the calibre
of their own mountain artillery.

Shelters dug deep

into the ice, snow and rock were
pulverised by the enormous shells.

It not only stopped the
Austrian advance in this sector,

but went on to provide covering
fire for Italian counter-attacks.

This was the largest-calibre gun

at high altitude anywhere
in the first world war.

The Austrians had
nothing to compete with it.

So, although it was obsolete,
although it was well past

its sell-by date of world war I,

it still was bigger than
anything else up at this altitude.

What this gun is doing
really is saturation fire.

For two long years, the battle
above the clouds ebbed to and fro.

The two sides simply battered
each other and, of course,

the mountain positions gave
you a very important advantage.

In 1918, Italian troops stormed
forward with the help of the g-model

gun atop cresta croce Ridge
and drove the Austrians back

for good.

When world war I came to an end,

the obsolete hippopotamus
was simply abandoned.

Today, the surviving heavy guns

of world war I are gathering
dust in museums across the globe.

Yet the extraordinary hippopotamus
still stands where it fired its last

epic shots.

It was a real, if
you like, war-winner

for the Italians, and it was
well worth bringing up here.

Although it was out of date,
although it didn't compare with

more modern guns

in use in France, it still did
its job and did it very well.

The story of the cresta croce Cannon
is a reminder that a decisive weapon

doesn't have to be
technologically advanced,

it just has to be in the
right place at the right time.

Now abandoned, they were
once on the cutting edge

of human engineering.

Within these decaying structures
are the echoes of history.

They speak of war and terror,

but also of exploration
and human endeavour.

Captioned by
ai-media ai-media. TV