Albany, GA: Decommisioned Nike Base

You never know what’s in your backyard. Richard called and left a message while he was out caching today and thought that I would be interested in this site. There is a cache nearby called Blue Hippo Hiding The Nuke Site . I looked for quite sometime and came across the following. Maybe to much info for some, personally I will have to go check it out. I will edit when Richard sends me the pics and his comments. Ano.


The Legend of the Albany Nike Base


The following is a series of post from the Above Top Secret forums. I have preserved this as it was orginally written by Jasunami.


It is fascinating to find this post. I have been working on a book for several years now and the Nike Base in Albany, Georgia pops up in several chapters. Reason is that I grew up in Albany and at the age of thirteen my family moved out to the North Doublegate subdivision around 1983. And the Nike Base is a legendary place that serves up many fascinating stories into the lexicon of ’70s and ’80s youth culture in and around Albany, Georgia.

North Doublegate was located on the Lee County side of Old Dawson Road and east of Highway 82. The Nike Base was very expansive and many people do not realize that the part of the base with the bunkers, garage buildings, checkpoint and roads was only part of the base. The front portion of the base sits east of the old site just a couple of blocks south of Highway 82 and the Doublegate EZ Mart convenience store.

Ironically, a Christian-based drug and alcohol treatment center known as “The Anchorage” was built utilizing the personnel and living quarters section of the old Nike Base. In other words, the dorms, kitchen and mess hall area of the old base was converted into this treatment center. And I call this ironic because the Nike Base was the scene of major drug and alcohol use as well as Satanic worship. But I’ll get into the details of this a bit later. I am not certain if The Anchorage is still open now days because I have not been back home in a few years. But there’s a large tower at the front gate of the treatment center that used to be either an air traffic control tower or radar tower during the 1950s when the Nike Base was still operational.

I actually know tons of information about the base and would love to share it here as briefly as possible. For example, there were two different grumpy old men the average teenager would sometimes encounter during an excursion to the missile base. There was the old black farmer who lived in the house just a few hundred yards south of the base in the middle of the corn fields. He had a son that was a senior when I attended Lee County Highschool in 1984. But the Nike Base was actually on land purchased by K.G. Hodges. The farmer just rented that property and served as a groundskeeper and security guard of sorts for Hodges. Hence why he went nuts when he saw kids out there. He actually fired a shotgun in the air over my head once when I was riding my motorcycle out there. Rumor was that he had a 12-gauge with rock salt and that he’d actually shot a few trespassers over the years.

The land owner, K.G. Hodges, was very wealthy and used the land around the base mostly for organized quail hunts and rented the place to deer hunting clubs in the winter. And he absolutely hated kids trespassing on his land. At the time I loathed Hodges and thought he was a tyrant. I actually had more than a few run-ins with the man. Once face-to-face when he pulled his truck out in front of my motorcycle and caused me to wreck. I deeply loathed the man to put it nicely. But now that I am almost 40-years-old and own property myself. Thus I can better reason with Hodges’ anger. Honestly, kids were going out there and doing all sorts of wild stuff. Including myself. Graffiti, sex in the back seats of cars and the growth of marijuana plants all over the surrounding property were but a few of the surprisingly tamer activities.

Legend of the Nike Base Continued

The Nike Base has much darker legends around it. And I swear to you the stuff I’ll reveal now is absolutely true. The sheriff of Lee County during the ’70s and ’80s was E.J. Boyer. I was close friends with his grandson at the time. One of the senior deputies during this era was a man named Thad Knight. He was actually a very good cop. An old fashioned Andy Griffith type of southern lawman. He was always fair to me and let me off the hook after a few lengthy morality speeches on several occasions. But this was also due to the fact that he knew my deceased father and I think he might have felt a bad for a troubled teen growing up without a dad.

The stories I am about to tell you are true. Because these two cops confirmed all of it. And I witnessed things as well.

When I was a teen me and a small group of friends rode motorcycles on the fire breaks throughout the land around the Nike Base site. For those who do not know, fire breaks are little dirt roads on a grid system used for controlled burning of undergrowth during the fall and spring seasons. The Nike Base location was heavily gridded with these narrow roads. A main road went from the south side of the forest to the north side of the forest and dumped out basically right into K.G. Hodges front yard. This is the road all the teenagers took out to the old base. The road entrance started where Danbury Lane ended at the time.

There were also roads that ran east to west on the grid. One at the south just a few hundred yards north of Danbury Lane, one in the center of the forest that you actually had to take a left onto in order to find the entrance to the base and the old checkpoint. If you went east on this center road you’d come out at the rear of The Anchorage treatment center. There was another east/west road further north that when taken east would dump you out into a massive pecan orchard owned by the Toolee Company. And when taken west the road would dump you out onto a rural dirt road where K.G. Hodges and several other older plantation homes where located. Taken all the way east would place you onto Highway 82.

I knew those dirt roads and the forest by the back of my hand. I literally spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours out in those woods mostly by myself on my motorcycle. I’d say from the age of 13 until I was 18, I road my motorcycle out into the roads on a daily basis. Sometimes for just a half hour or so and other times until the sun went down at night. I had a headlight on my motorcycle and used to enjoy night riding as well sometimes.

I have great insight into this place because my sister is 10 years older than me and she and her friends went out to the base a decade before myself. Not to mention that my father was a pilot and my grandfather was retired Navy. Plus four uncles all in the service as well. I recall going to Turner Field (which is now Miller Brewery) and watching air shows with my father and grandfather in the early ’70s. I remember asking my grandfather about the Nike Base when I first discovered it and he told me they had live nukes out there in the 1950s during the height of the cold war.

Well, let me break down the crazy legends about that place and source of why K.G. Hodges and the black farmer were so hateful.

First off, there was an organized group of Satanists that frequented the Nike Base late at night. Mostly on Saturdays. And this is a fact. Many people dispelled these stories as folk tales but I know for a fact they were true. Because not only was I told by the police to stay away from the base because of these Satanists, of course I didn’t listen and went on on teenage spy missions and actually saw these freaks several times. Not to mention that I found numerous sacrificed animal carcasses over the years. Once I was horrified to find a dog nailed to a tree. The Satanists were led by a local weirdo known as Crazy Ed. He’s now in prison for robbery.

The Legend of the Nike Base Continued

Crazy Ed used to live with his parents on Ledo Road just a few miles from the base location. This was back when all that was on Ledo Road was the Addison Steel factory and a few scattered houses amongst farm land. Ed was a failed musician who was in his late 30s during the early 1980s and still living with his elderly parents. Crazy Ed used to prey on kids for sex and convince immature teens into following him as some sort of High Priest of Satanism. He modeled himself after Anton LaVey (author of the Satanic Bible) and walked around with a cheap Dracula cape he bought from a costume store. He even had some sort of old Spanish sword from an Army/Navy surplus store and a shaved head and goatee. But even at 13 years of age I knew the guy was an idiot and pedophile.

Regardless, Crazy Ed did have a healthy number of followers. His parents had a large yard. I think it was a few acres as I recall. But in the very back of their property in a small orchard of pecan trees, Ed built a pyramid out of lumber that sat atop a concrete slab where he’d sacrifice animals and it was also a place where he’d hang out with teens and do drugs. He sold drugs and bought teens beer and liquor as well. Just a typical predator type personality. I actually stumbled out to Ed’s backyard on Halloween of all times in 1984 with a few friends that heard he was throwing a party. We went out there and the guy was an absolute moron. But as many morons often do, he had even dumber people that followed him. It was somewhat amazing really. Just imagine a devil worshipping, drug addicted pedophile living in Albany, Georgia and getting away with it. For those who do not know, Albany is a Mecca for Southern Baptists and a very religious place.

Well, Ed would hold so-called “Sabbath” nights at the Nike Base on Saturday nights. He and his followers would build bonfires and do all sorts of weird stuff. Again, I know because I spied on them. And in confession, me and a couple of my friends actually sniped a few of these people one night with pellet guns. Nothing fatal, we simply took pot shots at drunk devil worshippers from the trees about 50 yards away.

Eventually, the Nike Base became a hotspot and the cops started busting Ed and his gang of freaks. By 1985 or so, the Sabbath celebrations stopped. But by this same period, teens started going out to the base at night on dares and so forth. Guys would take their girlfriends out there to scare them and then turn to making out in the back seat of the car. In all honesty me and my friends took advantage of this as well. For about a year or more we’d ride our motorcycles out into the forest and park them. Then we’d put on rubber horror masks and have machetes and run up to parked cars and scare the living crap out of people. It was fun and dangerous in retrospect. But hey, I was 15 years old at the time.

Crazy Ed eventually got busted for having sex with a 14-year-old girl and did a year in jail I believe. Then a year after he was out of jail he robbed the Super X Drug Store on south Slappey Blvd. The idiot went into the store and held the pharmacist at gunpoint making the guy fill a trash bag full of drugs. When the cops arrived 10 minutes later they started the investigation. Almost an hour later a detective was walking down the front of the building and began to see pills and containers dropped on the sidewalk. He followed a trail of pills until he found an over-dosed Crazy Ed unconscious behind a large trash dumpster. He was saved by paramedics and then sent off to prison for armed robbery.

he Legend of the Nike Base Continued

Beyond Crazy Ed and Satanism at the Nike Base, there are many other stories. For example, there were American Indian burial mounds to the north of the base location and also a civil war era slave graveyard to the east close to the Anchorage. I think I was one of the first people to find the Indian mounds. Here’s what is totally shocking now days. The Nike Base is absolutely gone. An entire subdivision of giant homes have been built on top of all the land that used to be dense forest with a corn field and Nike Base in the center. All of this is completely gone now. What’s shocking is just like the movie “Poltergeist,” greedy land developers built an entire subdivision on top of Indian burial mounds and slave graves. Not to mention all the Satanic stuff that was done out there. All I have to say is that I would not want to own one of those cursed houses for a number of reasons. Not to mention potential radiation. Who knows? I just wouldn’t want to live on that land.

Other interesting stories of the old Nike Base and the forest that used to surround it, was that there were tons of marijuana plants grown out there during the ’70s and ’80s. I once got chased by pot growers when I accidentally rode up on them as they were checking their plants. But I was a professional at getting chased and getting away.

Me and my friends made a hobby out of getting chased by K.G. Hodges and the Lee County Sheriff’s Department for years. For those who are not familiar with south Georgia terrain, it is all red clay soil. What this means is that on a typical summer’s day, dirt roads turn into the producers of dust probably only second to the planet Mars. Basically for fun, my friends and I would go out to the base and ride our dirt bikes

on the hills atop the bunkers and we’d even sometimes harass the farmer by running down some of his corn plants. Eventually a sheriff’s deputy would show up on the narrow dirt roads. If it was Thad (the senior deputy) we’d just get away because he was a nice man. But more often it was young, rooky deputies. We’d ride up close to them, shoot a birdie finger and they’d give chase. So much dust was stirred up that they always either stopped the chase because of blindness or either they’d wreck. I know on three occasions deputies wrecked into pine trees on the side of the road.

Of course I cannot believe the stuff I did when I was a kid, but I did it and it was fun at the time. I’d never do something like that now. It’s a bit shocking to think about the risks my friends and I took back then.

I was back home and drove in the direction of where the Nike Base used to be located. It was a sad event for me. All of that beautiful forest is gone now and nothing but big golf course type houses exist. Again, I am writing a book that mentions the Nike Base many times. So, at least I have the memories.

I will also remind people that as someone mentioned earlier there was a smaller Nike installment in Sasser, Georgia. But Sasser is only about 10 miles north or so from the Lee County location that now no longer exists. Also, there was another Nike Base way out in east Albany heading towards Sylvester, Georgia that was completely intact as recently as the 1990s. I cannot remember the name but a junkyard owned the property and basically this old base was surrounded by thousands of junk cars

. Not to mention that there are still several accessible places around the Miller Brewery that have remnants of the old Air Force base that was there. Just so everyone knows, Mayor James H. Gray at the time the base closed made one of the biggest blunders in the history

of Albany when he declined to convert Turner Field into a regional airport. For example, 747 and 757 and larger planes cannot land at Albany’s current dinky airport. But they could have landed at Turner Field. But Albany has a history of dumb decisions such as declining to allow Interstate 75 to come through town.

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32 thoughts on “Albany, GA: Decommisioned Nike Base

  1. WOW…This article brings back alot of memories. I probably know you, since I did most of these same things at the base as a kid (1979 – 1983). I believe I was a few years older(I’m 41 now), but we probably knew the same people. Growing up on Northgate Rd.,one road east of North Doublegate Rd. I remember the black farmer, the shotgun with rocksalt, and I also remember not to go out to the base on Saturday Nights! We rode motorcycles out there for years, that was easy, since the Holloways(owners of Honda of Albany motorcycles) were my next door neighbors.

    Thats hard to beleive that they actually built houses on that site..Yes Poltergiest!!!

    1. Thanks for the comment Troy but I am not the original author of the article. Glad for you to post your memories here though!

  2. Do you have a link or name of the original author of this article? Do you have a connection to the Albany area? I linked this article to some friends on Facebook, I’m sure they will get a kick out of it! Thanks again!

    1. I have no link personally to the Albany area. I just like these weird little places that get missed on the local tour. Actually my man in the field, Richard, Found this one.

  3. This article brings back memories of taking dares to drive out there with big car loads of kids. I remember now the “legends” of the satanists, guess they were true!
    Being an Air Force wife I find this article so interesting. I’ll make sure my husband reads it! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane 🙂
    Does anyone else remember “The Castle”?

      1. I think the “Castle” that a previous poster mentioned is a reference to a church down near Newton. It’s on a long dirt road that leads out through some woods and a plantation, The local legend is that there were seven churches donw there and that you’d only see four. In fact, there were only three, one fo them having a large addition built close to it. There’s also an old cemetery out there called “Stone Gardens” that dates back to ante-bellum days. Being that it’s a wooded area and seems kind of secluded, there are a lot of stories about the place like a ghost girl that walks on the road and that one of the churches has an “un-removable bible”. Most of it’s BS but, there was one church on that road that may have had a haunting connected to it. I won’t be too precise here as it’s most all private property adn there have been a lot of vandels and legend trippers out that way but, a friend of mine has a video of something that looks like a ghost passing in front of his video camera inside a vhurch that they just tore down a coupe of years back. I can send you a link ot the video if you have the time to give it a look.
        – Paul

      2. Here’s a link that should take you to that video that I mentioned of the ghost in the church. Email me if you’d like to know more about the area. I spent a lot of time out there as a teenager so, I know a good number of the tales that are told of the place.

        It’s still a fairly popular area for would be ghost hunters even today but, the local law has been actively trying to discourage it.

        http://sites.google.com/site/paranormalirgsite/home/videos-2/ghost-in-church-remains

        By the way, that’s a great article that you have here about the Nike Base. Having grown up in Albany, I’ve heard about that place all my life.

        Have fun!
        – Paul

  4. Wow, have just been in Albany & my mom said that land was developed. I went out there a bunch in John Creech’s p/u riding up those silos “hoping” to see a satanist – we didn’t but heard there was some “castle”.

  5. Man i have wrecked my z -28 by power sliding into pine trees on that dirt road. i could actually ride a wheelie the distance of the the actually nike base road while John Tally would ride next to me and keep my front tire spinning,,, …Man ive seen a Lotta skulls cracked there too. that was a war zone for east albany , north gate, and west side. and also wabber ville haha and scott by god harper ! and we never knew we were on top of nucular war heads no wonder we are sooooooooooooooo frigging crazy we are nucular wasted !

  6. I have found the caches that you’re talking about in this article and have driven through the old base (well, what’s left of it) twice in an attempt to find the caches. It took a couple times, but they were found.
    I have to go to Albany at least once a month for work and there are always a lot of great caches in the area – all the way from Albany to Camilla, GA.
    I mentioned the cache in one of my articles on my blog, but didn’t give it away as far as it’s location since there was a picture of it. 🙂

  7. Alright Dean, tell the truth. Yours was a Camaro with the Z28 Flares added. Also I remember you writing a big “OUCH” on the rear left quarter panel on your car at Custom Sound after the incident. I’ll see if I can dig up a few pics of the Nike base in my archives if yall want. Troy, hope you are doing well.

    Later

    Talleywacker

    1. John, I believe we drove your Dad’s Chrysler Imperial through that base a few times and the nearby pecan groves too at high speed – perhaps with the Wall playing. I was just telling a co-worker about the Nike base and decided to google for photos and stumbled across this blog. The author is correct about the runways, I guess Gray was protecting his interests in Gray Air at the Albany airport. They spent countless hours breaking up some of those runways and I could hear the noise across the river at my parents house. Hope all is well.

  8. If you have pics of the site I would love to post them here. I will even do a followup post of its own with the pics.

    Thanks in advance.

  9. so, i currently live in Albany and im 19. just letting yall know the last part of the nike base out in N Doublegate was actually burried about a few years ago and now has a small kiddy park on top of it. I know alot of people who are older than me who used to walk around inside the base when they were kids. I have been looking for a way to get in .. ill dig if i have to.. so if anybody knows where i should start. let me know 🙂

  10. Interesting story, I remember as a young teen, the haunted houses, and stroies of wild and crazy folks. Made life fun.
    Ed lived in Schley Ave 2113 Schley to be exact. With his Mother, he father died mid 60’s. He was in and out of jail and prision for drugs on many occassions. Having sex with a teen was never a charge against him. Yes, in his drug induced stupors he may have fancied himself a Satanic Priest, he was a great musician, played and sang beautifully, teens often hung around as he shared his drugs no doubt and they ( teens ) were the only ones who found his satanic babble interesting.
    Ed resides in a nursing home and I’m sure will find your embellished story quite interesting.

  11. Thanks to Melody for debunking the story abourt Satanic Ed. The disease of addiction leads to folks doing desperate things like robbing a drug store, but doesn’t make them a pedophile. I too recall going to the Nike base as a teenager, never saw any devil worshippers at the site, but heard the rumors. It is rumorred now that Seven Churches Road will be featured on Ghost Hunters t.v. program, of course I heard this around Halloween.

  12. I grew up in this area from the early 60s until I graduated in 73. I remember when the base became the Anchorage and it is still there. My best friend’s father was in charge of it. I used to live at the Dougherty/Lee County line and would walk or ride my bicycle there a few times a week. If you look on google maps (not the satellite but the graphic) there is a pond we used to play in. There also used to be an old cemetary a few hundred yards away. With all the new housing in that area, I am not sure what shape it is in. Lots of memories growing up in that area.

  13. Wow!!! Loved the story about the Nike base. I spent alot of time out there as a teen and I’m sorry its all gone. Lots and lots of fond memories about riding in Chuck Smigt’s 4 wheel drive over the silos. Of course we were stoned out of our mind but we had fun. Please keep writing any new news about the details on what happened to the base. L

  14. Loved hearing the stories about the old Nike Base. Man I have spent many a night out there partying when I was a teenager. Chuck Smith would take his 4 wheel drive truck out there and we would ride over the silos. Of course we were stoned put of our minds but it was a lot of fun.

  15. I live on 10 acres at the edge of this site …. and during the 80’s we did make several ‘raids’ out looking for the satan-idiots. What we found where kids ‘parking’, drinking beer and other assorted contraband, and of course ……… a few who probably would have joined the Satanist crowd had they found them. Anchorage is still there, as the FAA still has a beacon located up the road. Otherwise no one would know this was a satellite location for an Air Base!!!

  16. The seven churchs are on hardup road off of newton hwy, the road is now blocked off and 2 of the 3 churchs are torn down. You can still access the addams famil6 gravesite, its small and only creepy at night. I just went last summer and had to find an alternate path to get arond the road blockage, which is blocked from bot sides…

  17. I was born at Turner Air Firce Base. The base converted to the Naval Air Station in 1967….which is where I met my husband in 1970. We used to go to the Nike base to explore and do other various things. We actually climbed inside the bunkers to explore. There were no “guards” at that time and I certainly do not know of a crazy man with a shotgun. We did hear rumors of Satanic goings on but dismissed this as BS. We also saw the mounds, sadly climbed them. We knew they were burial sites but I do not remember how we knew. I recall, vaguely, the cemetery. My father would have skinned me alive if he had known. Those were the good days. Now when I return home I do not recognize anything. The days past are but memories. Sigh.

  18. We used to go our there a lot when in high school back in the ’70s just to ride around and check out the place. I remember peering inside the old mound-covered bunkers, which still had wire and remnants of the military days inside. The bunkers appeared to be around missle launching sites and were designed to reflect missle blast.
    Of course riding across the path on top of the bunkers was fun. The up and down ride over the bunkers was ideal for a motorcycle, but I’ll never forget the fear on my little brother’s face as we took off up the incline to the top of of a bunker in my small car. We made it up and cross the top, but the sharp angles down each side to the concrete lauching pads below made straddling the top touigh… We made it but never tried that again!

  19. Hate to disappoint but the nike missile system was an extremely short range anti-aircraft system that sucked big time. The army run bases were in place to protect Turner Field (where the nukes really were as the USAF has them not the army). The system was so slow, any bombers would be long gone before they could launch.

    1. I’m not disappointed. I just think it’s a really cool piece of hidden history. I wonder how much of the underground system is left and where I can get in.

  20. I don’t recall any of the place appearing to have been underground, Seegars. Even ordinary basements are hard to have in this area because of the high water table. The bunkers that you could look inside of were above ground but covered by dirt, which created the mounds popular for motorcycles. Since the whole place has now been leveled and turned into a neighborhood, I don’t know of any remaining spot that you could “get it” besides the refurbished building at the Anchorage. As mentioned, this base was there to protect Turner AFB, which was at one time a SAC (Strategic Air Command) base. No nukes were ever at the Nike Base as they would never have shot nuclear weapons over Albany to protect the place. The Nike base was simply a spot that had some measure of conventional anti-aircraft defensive capability to protect the USAF base across town. My dad was a fighter pilot at Turner in the ‘50s.

  21. “Project Nike, (Greek: Νίκη, “Victory”, pronounced [nǐːkɛː]), was a U.S. Army project, proposed in May 1945 by Bell Laboratories, to develop a line-of-sight anti-aircraft missile system. The project delivered the United States’ first operational anti-aircraft missile system, the Nike Ajax, in 1953. The first successful Nike test was during November 1951, intercepting a drone B-17 Flying Fortress. The first type, Nike Ajax (MIM-3), were deployed starting in 1953. The Army initially ordered 1,000 missiles and 60 sets of equipment. They were placed to protect strategic and tactical sites within the US. As a last-line of defense from air attack, they were positioned to protect cities as well as military installations.”

  22. Mr.Seegars I have no problem with historic facts or even slight myths,but if you do not remove the story of Ed being a pedofile i will take you to court for slander because this i know is totally untrue..Please reconsider your word’s and take that out at once, or I will see you in court.This is a family member and i will not take this lightly!He has payed for the things he has done,but he was never a pedofile!Not even close!!I knew this man Ed all my life and he changed his life.When he died his faith was in Jesus Christ.I will start looking into this.If you do not edit this post you will have a legal problem on your hands.

  23. And I checked with a lawyer today. What I have posted as part of this post is linked and used from another site. There is no legal standing as I am retelling and sharing a legend. I haven’t named anyone by name. And the person who originally wrote this hasn’t either. It’s nice to have friends who are willing to give their expert advice on such a thing.

    Also for you to even ask for this to be taken down I will need you to give me your full name and other info, such as your relation to the person you say I have defamed so that I may research further if there actually is a legal basis for the story that I linked to above.

    Until then, it stands. I am a big believer in people not censoring others.

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