Happy New Year! This is the premiere edition of Infilnews, a shiny new newsletter about off-limits exploration in cities around the world. If you have any comments, corrections, questions, suggestions or submissions, please get in touch. I hope to feature a brief reader feedback section in future issues. Now onto the hot scoops:
Canada Malting Plant to Become Metronome
Toronto, Canada -- Canada Malting Plant expert Throckmorten reports that the long-abandoned exploration paradise called the Canada Malting Plant (http://www.infiltration.org/malt.htm) is scheduled to be converted into a music museum called the Metronome.
One of the goals outlined in the project's mission statement is "to transform a significant industrial landmark on Toronto's waterfront to a modern use" -- apparently the committee behind the project isn't aware that urban explorers in Toronto already have a wonderful use for the site. On the other hand, it's hard to be totally opposed to the new project, as it will preserve the ancient (well, 1928) building still further beyond its natural lifespan. And the new building will make a token nod towards preservation with the establishment of a Canada Malting Museum inside the silos.
Metronome Internet Technologies, the project's main corporate sponsor, has established a website announcing details about the Metronome (http://www.metronome.ca/index1.html). The new development, a Canadian "Millenium Project", is set to open for business on 31 December 2000. No word yet on when the building will next become abandoned.
The Ultimate Infiltrator?
Calais, France -- French police captured and returned a Russian man who somehow travelled through the Eurotunnel between 7 and 9 December 1998. The extremely dangerous and supposedly extremely secure tunnels under the English Channel stretch 50 kms (30 miles) from southern England to the French end near Calais.
How did the anonymous Russian infiltrator pull it off? Eurotunnel workers in France speculate that perhaps the man entered the tunnels during a shift change, but cannot explain how he got past high fences and barbed wire. It is believed that the man travelled through the train tunnels themselves rather than the service tunnels, which are staffed at most times. The trains travel through the tunnels at speeds of up to 148 km/h (92 mph), creating a tremendous vacuum.
Infil subscriber Mike Nevers explains further: "The guy is a Russian sailor who reportedly wants to sign up with the French Foreign legion. In the chunnel, approximately every 410 yards there is a small recess in the tunnel wall. He braced himself in these cubby holes every time a train raced past to avoid being sucked under the wheels by the vacuum.
"I'll bet the FFL takes him."
Discovery Channel to Air "On the Inside"
TVland -- The Discovery Channel has announced a new series called "On the Inside", which goes behind the scenes of a wide variety of things. While some of the planned shows have nothing to do with urban exploration, others sound very tempting: the Empire State Building, Subways, Casino Tech, Erecting a Giant (the Hibernia oil rig), and Subtropolis. These shows will be airing frequently throughout January 1999 on the Discovery Channel.
Thanks to Infil subscriber Tobin for pointing this out.
In Search of Invisible New York
New York, USA -- Photographer/explorer Stanley Greenburg, the man behind _Invisible New York: The Hidden Infrastructure of the City _, has been active in attempting to discover further underground sites. Stanley and associates are trying to raise funds to get into a bootleggers' tunnel connected to a basement in the East Village, the probable entrance to which is a 1.2m x 1.2m (4 ft. x 4 ft.) hole in the wall that has been filled in very sloppily, in an otherwise beautifully crafted stone wall. Stanley and associates have found "what the owner of a West Village building was sure was a tunnel from the Hudson River to harbor escaped slaves in the 1850s, but we thought it was just a large sidewalk vault. People may have hidden there, but no tunnel." Other projects in the works include an expedition to a tunnel under Carnegie Hall which may contain a free-flowing stream.
You can sample selections from Stanley's excellent book at the JHU Press site (http://www.press.jhu.edu/press/books/index.htm).
Yahoo Sets Up "Urban Exploration" Category
Internetland -- After a little bit of pleading, Yahoo has stopped awkwardly cramming sites about urban exploration into Recreation:Cool Links:Recreation and Sports and offered us our own category at Recreation:Hobbies:Urban Exploration.
Three years ago, no one even had a name for this stuff. Now it's a Yahoo category. World domination is surely just around the corner.
Speaking of websites, recent enrollees in the Urban Exploration Ring include Infiltration at Iowa State University (text and maps of subterranean ISU, at http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Stadium/2235/), Subterranean Limestone Quarries (based in the Netherlands, at http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/Ed.Stevenhagen/groeven/), Cambridge Highs (the journal of a group of Cambridge nightclimbers, at http://www.west27.demon.co.uk/), Under OSU (tourism at one of the USA's largest universities, at http://www.angelfire.com/oh/underosu/), and theone_uk (abandoned buildings of south London, at http://members.xoom.com/theone_uk/pr_proj.htm). The Ring now has 27 member sites.
Hope you enjoyed the premiere edition of Infilnews!
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