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Infiltration Forums > Rookie Forum > Beginner's tips and techniques(Viewed 5248 times)
Explorer Zero   |  |  | 
Beginner's tips and techniques
< on 8/16/2015 7:46 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Pretty sure Ive never seen a comprehensive list or discussion at length thread on infiltrations in general here. Maybe a good time/place to start.

I guess I envision a discussion where rookies and more experienced explorers can collaborate and share, not locations but techniques, surveillance tips and your work smarter not harder methods. Of course if your deal is "permitted exploring" you might as well keep moving, that doesn't require a whole lot of infiltration skill most often you can just lie to someone and tell them youre a photographer for the XYZ neighborhood weekly press or something. Social engineering skills are valuable but we can save those for another thread this one is for the sneakers and snoopers and amateur spooks and fence climbing night crawlers.

So here is my contribution for what ever its worth. My credentials are I have never been arrested while trespassing or exploring lots and lots of off limits locations, Ive been detained or run off a time or two but never arrested. Getting caught means mission fail to me whether or not you get charged is academic.

I attribute my lack of police-citizen interaction to doing a little pre-game study. I will "case" the joint as it were often more than once to determine the visibility of various access points, look for breaches in the security to exploit, and finally assess the risk-to-reward ratio. Looking back I did a few locations that were just not worth getting a Class C Misdemeanor over. My suggestion is invest a little time into planning save a lot of time (and or money) later.

One of the biggest mistakes I see rookies commit is driving right up to the gate or more often, parking in an area where the people that see your car will know why you are there. Its not too difficult to walk an extra block or two, even an extra mile or two if necessary to remain undetected.

Don't discount the benefit of surveillance. Im sure you all live busy lives and who wants to sit up on a location all night just to see when the guard takes a leak. Well you don't have to camp out just swing by everyday, stagger your times, keep mental notes and be observant. Looking for patterns (hired security is bad about this in Texas) guards make their rounds sometimes like clockwork some times so nonchalant they fail to see your fresh foot prints going through a gap in the fence (hint try not to leave footprints I know the old saying about taking only pictures etc etc Im saying just watch your tracks they often lead to: you)

Get a pair. Binoculars that is. You can learn a lot about a location before you ever cross that fence by checking windows, looking for grass that's beat down by foot traffic, discarded cigarette butts where somebody stands watch and tire tracks! Tire tracks have saved my ass a couple times. You think youre home free sailing right through that open gate that was closed yesterday right? You think nobody is looking right? Then you see tire tracks going in but not coming out? Better re-think that one man.

Learn the patterns of the neighbors too. Theyre almost always the ones to call the cops on you. Nosey neighbors and nosey motorists. Does Mrs. McGregor's kitchen window face the only access point on the 12 acre site youre trying to get in?

I used to keep a little notebook in my car sometimes Id forget I checked some place out, sharing notes with your friends doubles your effectiveness at surveillance.

Even better than a notebook, use your camera. I often took pics of some locations and compared those to pictures a month or year later. I wouldn't do this on U.S. Government property locations Hell I don't even do those anymore, well I am working surveillance of one now but that's another story.

What's your tips? Theres gotta be about a million years worth of combined valuable experience registered on UER. You can take advantage of it for free.

(I posted this here instead of the techniques forum for a reason)



blackhawk may actually be an expert
IndoAnomaly location:
Austin, TX
 
 |  |  | Faux Toes
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 1 on 8/16/2015 8:41 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
I also consider it a mission fail if I get caught, and I've only ever been caught once. But being as I am in Texas, that ended with a gun pointed at my companions and me. No arrest, ticket, or even warning. But it shows you how scary getting caught can be and why it is so serious to be careful in this hobby. Luckily it was an authority and not a property owner.

Research, research, research.
Patience, patience, patience.

Get used to walking. Cars are convenient, but limited in where they can go and are a lot more visible. If you have a memorable car, people might even start to recognize it if you are doing a lot of scouting (especially if it is in a place seldom traveled). That raises unnecessary suspicion.

In the event you might get caught:
Always think about an alibi as to why you might be at a location. For houses, maybe your grandmother used to live there and you are revisiting it to see if it is still there, so you can take pictures to show the rest of the family. For sites with towers or smokestacks, I like to say I was just driving around and noticed the features and decided to swing by out of curiosity.

Never carry anything illegal. If you get caught carrying a gun or drugs, things immediately escalate with authorities. If you want, make up some photography business cards and carry them around as it might get you taken a bit more seriously. They might dismiss you as an overeager, clueless photographer. When I was caught and the authorities searched our bags, they found my friend's cache of photography business cards and things de-escalated from there.



Every time you read this, I become more powerful.

https://www.flickr...tos/115873398@N03/
Peptic Ulcer location:
Katy, TX
 
 |  |  | Flickr
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 2 on 8/16/2015 9:10 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Being new to this one of the biggest obstacles I encounter are the entry point to the building itself. There have been quite a few where they are completely boarded up and there are no other visible access points. With that being said I have 2 questions - one ethical the other technical.

1. Is it wrong (discounting the legal viewpoint) to remove or kick in the boarded up window/door etc.?

2. Is there an easy way to get around these? Ham fisted kicking is noisy, attracts attention and may allow entry later for those less scrupulous individuals. Removal presents many of the same problems even if you decide to put them back. Also it presents the problem of carrying around a crowbar and hammer which are obvious entry tools (another charge and a lot harder to talk your way out of that situation).

Any advice on this front is much appreciated.



See More on Flickr!
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Explorer Zero   |  |  | 
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 3 on 8/16/2015 9:47 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Peptic Ulcer removing boards or otherwise doing damage is really frowned upon however, I couldn't look y'all in the eye and tell you Ive never removed boarding or unzipped a fence repair but I always put them back the way I found them. There's a large no, huge difference to me between defeating an obstacle and destroying an obstacle.

This is an ethical decision each explorer has to make. I dont support any entry method that causes damage. That's just common sense to me.



(its also fuel for arguments and flame wars)





blackhawk may actually be an expert
Peptic Ulcer location:
Katy, TX
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 4 on 8/16/2015 10:04 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
I feel the same way and have passed on many explores because of this. Other than a crowbar or other such item is there an easier way to bypass these?



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catdog23 location:
Limestone City
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 5 on 8/16/2015 10:37 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Most boards are screwed on, so a small screwdriver with a phillips and roberston head should get you past most. If caught hide it in your undies to impress the arresting officer.



mookster location:
Oxford, UK
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 6 on 8/16/2015 11:35 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
I am unsure of the specific legalities in the US with regards to different charges but over here in the UK while trespass itself is only a civil offence, as soon as you go about prying stuff off/kicking things in/breaking windows to gain entry that elevates it up to criminal damage/breaking & entering/burglary/going equipped to steal/etc (choose a grab bag of charges you want to apply to you). I'm sure similar charges would apply in the USA, in short you stand to get yourself in a whole heap of unnecessary trouble.

I will hold my hands up and say yes I have undone a couple of very poorly repaired fences before (so poor I could do it with my hands, no tools!) so I could fit through easier however I have never purposely forced entry into anywhere, and on the few occasions of fence-undoing I re-secured the fence better than it was after leaving. You want to be very careful talking about forcing entry into places on a public forum as all that sort of stuff is heavily frowned upon.

HOWEVER each explorer is different, there are no rules to this hobby. But generally, people who force entry into places are far more likely to be the sort who will happily smash or tag the place up.

If places are secure on the ground level, think basement or upper floors, use your eyes and there shouldn't be a need to break anything. And if there is a need to break anything, any sensible person will walk away and come back another day.


[last edit 8/16/2015 11:38 PM by mookster - edited 2 times]

I like car graveyards.
mookster location:
Oxford, UK
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 7 on 8/16/2015 11:42 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Also another general tip - learn to tread lightly. I myself am a very light walker and can happily creep over even the creakiest of floors without raising too much of a racket, however a couple of my mates have feet heavier than elephants and go stomping around places making all sorts of noise, which isn't too clever.



I like car graveyards.
DescentOnARope location:
Long Island, New York
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 8 on 8/16/2015 11:58 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
This. Asbestos tiles crack VERY loudly underfoot. A light step is important not only for minimizing detection risk, but also for safety. On old wooden floors especially, your foot could go right through at any time. Walk slowly and softly, and you're much less likely to get hurt if it does.



Peptic Ulcer location:
Katy, TX
 
 |  |  | Flickr
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 9 on 8/17/2015 1:09 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Get used to walking. Cars are convenient, but limited in where they can go and are a lot more visible. If you have a memorable car, people might even start to recognize it if you are doing a lot of scouting (especially if it is in a place seldom traveled). That raises unnecessary suspicion.


So something like this isnt a good idea?
1.






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catdog23 location:
Limestone City
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 10 on 8/17/2015 2:11 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
So something like this isnt a good idea?

Well it happens often enough we have this thread.

But I bike 95% of the time which is faster than walking, but wayyy easier to conceal than an automobile.



mookster location:
Oxford, UK
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 11 on 8/17/2015 11:17 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Yeah parking right outside some places is generally not a great idea if its a quiet area. If it's busy you can get away with it though.

This is especially true for explorers from the UK heading off into mainland Europe, in places like France and Belgium a car with UK plates sticks out VERY well and it can lead to some tricky situations...



I like car graveyards.
Peptic Ulcer location:
Katy, TX
 
 |  |  | Flickr
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 12 on 8/17/2015 12:28 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
And driving a bright white, brand new 2 seat BMW in a sketchy neighborhood isnt exactly subtle. On the other hand, it does allow for for what I call the "dummy play". "Officer I'm just here taking pictures. Do you really think I would risk criminal prosecution if I thought I was doing something wrong?"

I parked my infinity in front of a building last week at the intersection of two busy streets. As I was unscrewing the screws of an ill placed hinge with a lock a cop slowed down. I smiled and waved, he waved back and left. I also like to think that my 1st line of defense is to look like I belong there. 2nd is the "dummy play". It probably helps that I'm older than most folks here as well.



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Abby Normal location:
Las Vegas
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 13 on 8/17/2015 1:10 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Posted by Peptic Ulcer
And driving a bright white, brand new 2 seat BMW in a sketchy neighborhood isnt exactly subtle. On the other hand, it does allow for for what I call the "dummy play". "Officer I'm just here taking pictures. Do you really think I would risk criminal prosecution if I thought I was doing something wrong?"

I parked my infinity in front of a building last week at the intersection of two busy streets. As I was unscrewing the screws of an ill placed hinge with a lock a cop slowed down. I smiled and waved, he waved back and left. I also like to think that my 1st line of defense is to look like I belong there. 2nd is the "dummy play". It probably helps that I'm older than most folks here as well.


Keep in mind that if a cop does stop and catches you unscrewing a hinge, you've gone from trespassing to breaking and entering.

Just a thought....

Abby Normal



"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." Ronald Reagan
Maglyte   |  | 
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 14 on 8/17/2015 2:50 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Of course if your deal is "permitted exploring" you might as well keep moving, that doesn't require a whole lot of infiltration skill most often you can just lie to someone and tell them youre a photographer for the XYZ neighborhood weekly press or something. Social engineering skills are valuable but ..

this seldom works for anything good



mmmm. mandias.......
Bilvavi   |  | 
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 15 on 8/17/2015 2:59 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
This is a great idea for a thread. Everything below is pretty much what we all know already.

As mentioned above, recon is key. Sadly, a place might look awesome on a Bing of Flickr picture, but by the time you get there it might have been demolished. I've only been at this since January, but have been into well over a dozen places, most were not in the "10 ten list of urbex tourist locations". If you don't initially see a way into a site or past a fence, don't give up! Keep looking b/c sometimes I've checked out a place during the day and not found a POE, only to go back at night find a way in (and vise versa). If you need to get past a fence, get up close and check low to the ground. Sometimes people have cut just enough at the bottom of a fence to push it back on the ground and get through.

Aside from Google, Bing, and Flickr I will say that reaching out never hurts. If you see a photo of a site that you like online, you have nothing to lose by messaging the person and asking about the place. I've been told "no" about tons of locations, and it sucks, but I respect that. While many of us will be "territorial" about a special site or two, I've happily met people that are willing to share a little info if they can see that I am not looking to exploit a site. You don't get if you don't ask.

I always take my old school Vivitar 36mm with me, pre-digital. I go w/o film and take exterior shots first. I've been stopped by a day care center security guard while walking towards a POE and followed into a building by a cop. I was inside for 1 minute and he asked me to come out. I said I was taking pics of the building as a hobbie and develop them at home. I told him that I didn't know the site was off-limits and decided to take a look side. He was cool with it. Once I am inside I used my iPhone.

One last thing comes to mind, comment and have a presence on UER and Flickr. Posting ans sharing pics (especially on Flickr) is your urbex resume. Even if the location wasn't earth shattering, the fact that you take a picture that you like and are willing to share it says something .

Note: Were it not the fact that I've spent time on this site, messaged explorers, and posted some pics online, I would have never felt that what I've just written help anyone.



mookster location:
Oxford, UK
 
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Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 16 on 8/17/2015 3:34 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Posted by Bilvavi

One last thing comes to mind, comment and have a presence on UER and Flickr. Posting ans sharing pics (especially on Flickr) is your urbex resume. Even if the location wasn't earth shattering, the fact that you take a picture that you like and are willing to share it says something .


This. Very much this.

The community is quite a private one, one that works on trust. There is no worse impression to make than coming storming onto a forum demanding people tell you where x, y, or z places are or how to get into x, y or z places because at the end of the day the more experienced, dare I say it 'trusted' explorers have no idea who you are - you could be a security guard fishing for info, a cop, a metal thief or a moron wanting to go smash something up. Keep your head down, post on the forums, engage with people and share photos and people will be more forthcoming in helping you.



I like car graveyards.
Explorer Zero   |  |  | 
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 17 on 8/17/2015 4:13 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Bilvavi touched on a good point, Ive seen fences that were 6ft chain-link topped with 3 or 4 strands of barbed wire stop suddenly in the edge of the woods or at a creek crossing where you could just walk around it. Some big sites do that just for looks. It only keeps the casual infiltrators out.

I noticed cow patties inside the fence at a secured / recently decommissioned AFB site which lead me to search for "their" p.o.e. it was big enough for a full grown steer to go through!

If its worth exploring don't give up.



blackhawk may actually be an expert
Explorer Zero   |  |  | 
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 18 on 8/17/2015 4:20 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Posted by Abby Normal


Keep in mind that if a cop does stop and catches you unscrewing a hinge, you've gone from trespassing to breaking and entering.

Just a thought....

Abby Normal


Except in Texas its burglary since we have no such offense as breaking and entering here, other states differ I know, and here it don't matter if you unscrew the door hinges, blow the hinges with C4 or walk through an open door its all burglary, and if its a home then they call it burglary of a habitation both = state jail felony just the way Texas PC is written.

be careful out there, now no more screw driver or plastic explosive discussions



blackhawk may actually be an expert
Explorer Zero   |  |  | 
Re: Beginner's tips and techniques
<Reply # 19 on 8/17/2015 4:38 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Map skills, GPS and satellite imagery are explorers best friends. Saves gas and time too.

Most of you already know this but for those that don't see the little slider launch it by clicking on the date at the bottom of the screen. Googlemoo Earth has this time feature that goes back to 1995 in most areas up to the latest images available in this example 2015. Use it to analyze changes in a property or your approach route.

Screen shots from a somewhat well known gigantic warehouse/factory complex the images are from 2005 and 2015, and theres lots of difference. For one thing its obvious that there is increased activity at this site, one whole section of the warehouse has been demolished and lots and lots of vehicles now.

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blackhawk may actually be an expert
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