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Peek Inside the Restricted Areas of the USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier


"Enough old personal items around to make us feel like the crew had just left."

The USS Intrepid is one of the most famous naval museums in the world. It currently sits in the Hudson River, moored to the west side of Manhattan in New York City.

But at one time, the Intrepid was among the most advanced and powerful military platforms on earth. While the general public sees fully restored areas of the ship that are constantly maintained to be camera-ready, there are denied access areas of the ships that give provide glimpses of life on board this mega-vessel forty years ago.

Eloise Lee and Robert Johnson over at Business Insider took these photos of the restricted areas of the USS Intrepid.


First some background: The USS Intrepid (also known as the CV-11) is an Essex-Class Carrier. Officially, the ship is part of  the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which houses a variety of educational installations and is home to many events to celebrate military history.

As for the the Intrepid itself, the museum writes that the ship is:

"One of the most successful ships in US history... In 1943, Intrepid was commissioned and served proudly in World War II.  She went on to serve as one of the primary recovery vessels for NASA, three tours of duty off Vietnam, and submarine surveillance in the North Atlantic during the Cold War."

With that background information covered, we want to show you what the tours and student groups don't get to see. These photos, from the team at Business Insider, show the decayed, rusting, inner areas of the Intrepid.

Take a look behind the door that says "Danger" all over it:

Immediately, the photos act as a kind of time warp back to 1974 when the ship was decommissioned.  As the BI writers described their behind-the-scenes tour:

"Inside we found an old sock, 1970s matchbook covers, a very fly plastic comb, and [a] section of the Philadelphia Inquirer — Dated May 1974...there were enough old personal items around to make us feel like the crew had just left."

These are the areas of the ship that tourists and military buffs from around the world almost never get to see.

Almost forty years of neglect created a sort of time capsule feel for Lee and Johnson as they maneuvered around the nooks and crannies of the ship.

Patio was a diet soda brand, part of the Pepsi company, introduced in 1963. It's main competitor at the time was "Diet Rite" soda. Never heard of either? Well, it was quite a few years back.

That's a hatchway that allowed sailors to move from level to level. Clearly, this could prove challenging for some of the tour groups, hence it is far away from the normal visitor routes.

Check out the old wall-mounted phone (above). At one time, this ship carried some of the most modern communications devices in the world.

Just looking at this engine room might cause some to feel a little claustrophobic.

Those high explosive shells would have seen use decades ago.

This command center has stood up well to the test of time.

Business Insider has many more photos from their tour, including a slew of slice-of-life photos from onboard ship in the 1970's.

Want to see them? Business Insider has the full photo array available here.

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