After about an hour ashore in Tiniteqilaq, we set out on the second stage of our fascinating journey (see previous post for story on first stage) and headed east along the Ikasartivaq Fjord. We joined the much larger Angmagssalik Fjord after about half an hour and hit some rough water and much colder winds. Heading north we had a rough ride until we able to turn north-east into the more sheltered waters of the Ikasak channel, then across a stretch of water called Ilivinga on the map, and into the Ikateq channel.
That took about an hour, and as we were traveling through the Ikateq channel, admiring the beautiful wilderness scenery, we noticed rust red blotches appearing on the mountain slopes of the northern shore of the channel. A few dozen blotches turned into a few hundred, and then they were everywhere. Our seal hunter skipper turned the boat towards the shore, and as we approached closer we could see that the blotches were rusty 44 gallon drums – thousands of them strewn across the landscape.
Our hunter told us that this was the site of an old US Air Force base that was established during World War 2 after Germany had occupied Denmark, and the Americans thought that Germany might attack the US from the north through Greenland – so the base was set up to provide a line of defence.
After the war the Americans abandoned the base and left an old hanger (see Workshop photo), a couple of dozen trucks and jeeps, and thousands of drums of aviation fuel – some empty and some still full. In the years after the war, as the drums rusted, the fuel leaked out into the Ikateq channel and the surrounding fjords. Our hunter told us that for many years the waters were polluted and had an adverse effect on their hunting.
Today, however, there is no fuel left in the drums and Mother Nature has restored the waters to their former pristine glory, but the drums are still an eyesore in such a beautiful landscape. Few people visit this place (it is cut off by the sea ice for much of the year) so I suppose it is a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
My first reaction was that the US ought to send a barge to clean up the mess, but as I walked alone around the collapsed hangar, and took photographs of the trucks and jeeps (I will post some of those later), I thought that perhaps this ‘ghost town’ should remain as an open air museum for future visitors to see. It’s an amazing place and I felt privileged to be one of the relatively few people to have visited it.
I tried to get some additional information on the base through an Internet search, but could find nothing. Nor could I find any photographs of it anywhere on the Internet (none on TrekEarth for sure) so perhaps this is one of the first to be posted.
The mountain on the left with the rather strange looking divided and ‘tilted’ peak is Mt Sarqakajik (I think I have the spelling correct - the map was hard to read) and is nearly 4,000 ft high. The mountains on the other side of the channel are on an island called Qianarteq.
happypoppeye, Charo, alentejo, Leilani, alonsote, Cormac, worldcitizen, berseph, afshin339, ViktorVaughn, vincz, asajernigan, bhuniatrekearth, capthaddock, pboehringer, Silke, Graal, hajle, kevinos, Silvio1953, xuaxo, MLINES, plimrn, cuneyt-sb, belido, stego, bakes888, vincent24, RGatward, thrudur84, berek, oochappan, konok, Jeppe, cyuen, AiresSantos, jaywalker, linask, cyrrhus, Brian, sadeik, flory, OT12, Davids, dilane, kiks, Tibo, Dyerco, richiegimmel, drummerboy, sarsifa has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
happypoppeye (4819) 2007-07-01 16:11
Well, it's definitely an interesting shot. Color and composition is excellent. The note is very informative also (not sure if it's an anti US note or what but I'll leave that alone). It's definitely an original.
The WS is another good interesting photo also.
gneufeld (15890) 2007-07-01 16:21
This is a rather poignant scent and I really appreciate your note that explains it. Photographically, you have presented a fine composition with good colors and details. Tks for sharing. Gerald
toni_al (15875) 2007-07-01 16:22
Un super endroit et tout ces bidons qui abîment le paysage, c'est dommage.
Mais au mois la photo est belle et ces horreurs deviennent presque graphiques
Charo (51210) 2007-07-01 16:31
Interesante composición con buen contraste de colores.
Una pena que ese lugar tan hermoso esté contaminado por estos bidones.
Excelente definición y profundidad.
alentejo (1954) 2007-07-01 16:34
Une image assez irréelle avec tout ces bidons rouillés. On dirait presque une maladie, un cancer qui prolifère sur la planète Terre. D'ailleurs, on aperçoit quelques bidons isolés au loin, comme si le mal gagnait du terrain sur ce paysage grandiose. Celui-ci semble pourtant menacé par la folie de l'espèce humaine...
Une sacré composition david, toute en contraste; de couleurs (rouge/bleu), de matières (naturelle/artificielle), de formes.
Un endroit que l'on est pas près de revoir sur Trek !!!
Super travail. Merci du partage.
alonsote (244) 2007-07-01 16:45
As this unique site is about learnig about the Earth, all we have to be informed about this kind of matters that you mention. The quality of the picture is great, but your story and informative note are the best. Great work and thanks for conciousness.
PJE (20758) 2007-07-01 17:33
David once again a real treat to see these photos presented in a most excellent manner. It seems in this case that Nature has overcome these barrels and will claim them to return to the ground from where they came. Quite a striking contrast with the background and a real winning shot David. Thanks for sharing!
Cormac (26563) 2007-07-01 17:39
This is a rare gem - a beautiful photo that also has a message. The mountains and the sky are very impressive and have a rich colour. The red barrels in the foreground makes a shocking contrast, both in the colour as well as the content. Great idea to put the two together and show us how mankind treats our beautiful planet.
worldcitizen (7423) 2007-07-01 17:47
This is an amazing scene: both in its natural beauty, and man-made ugliness. I had never heard about a US base such as this in Greenland. It was very interesting to read your note. I like the way you composed this photo, with the drums in the foreground leading to the spectacular scenery. The colors are vivid and strong, too.
berseph (1758) 2007-07-01 21:04
It may be an eyesore, but at least the colors are pleasing. It's a shame that they've been left there all this long in such a beautiful area. Very informative note. Thanks for sharing this not often seen sight.
axiotea (21649) 2007-07-01 22:18
Such a beautiful landscape but polluted by this incredible fuel drums dumping.... However... it gives an extremely relevant content to the image ... Great colors and sharpness... High quality photography
afshin339 (306) 2007-07-01 22:40
This is a wonderful and effective shot.Environment pollution is one of the most problem on the Earth and human unfortunately dont understand this problem well.photography is one way to show this reallity to another people.this is painful shot yet very beautiful and perfect shot.composition and contrast are excellent.also colors difference is very impressive.framing and cadre selection are wonderful.
Thanks for sharing.
AiresSantos (56155) 2007-07-01 23:17
It's pollution but the composition is excellent. Very good POV, colours and sharpness. I also like the picture in the WS.
TFS and greetings
dijjac (1569) 2007-07-01 23:22
Sujet original, malheureusement pour la planète , en tout cas, superbement traité de ta part.
ViktorVaughn (1521) 2007-07-01 23:50
Absolutely incredible photo. Yes, very interesting indeed, but very sad. From the thumbnail, they looked like rocks, but as I can see they are not. What a beautiful location with the mountains and icebergs. Just fantastic, I must say, TFS, as this is a place I may never visit.
P.S. I just looked at the workshop and it is also a good photo showing what's been abandoned. I would love for you to keep posting photos from this journey as they are gorgeous.
vincz (19113) 2007-07-02 0:57
Excellent picture with very informative note. The colour of the rust work so well with this mountian and ice landscape in the background. You made a great picture out of a waste!This is very well seen.
dkeus31 (27735) 2007-07-02 3:56
Ouch, the red as flowers would have made a nice foreground in nature, here only to the picture.
impressive landscape to put this sh...
have a nice day
asajernigan (21382) 2007-07-02 7:40
Your composition is outstanding here. The lighting and colors are great with nice sharpness and DOF. It is unfortunate that these oil drums were left to rust and pollute after WW2. At least nature will take care of what man has neglected. Your photo is great and thanks for a very informative note.
bhuniatrekearth (764) 2007-07-02 10:06
It's an investigative journalism from you.
Dramatic eye catch by your picture.
Sensational mind ripple from your well researched note.
A revolutionary upload.
capthaddock (28790) 2007-07-02 10:26
Hi David - wow, you finally made it to one of my favourite places in the world, where even the pollution is pretty, but is no match for the breathtaking landscape behind it, I look forward to other Greenland photos, and will try to go back there next june.
AmiBe (6042) 2007-07-02 13:55
Happily this is not a usual picture !
But the ugliness of these drums make this landscape like an art exhibition.
Thank you to show this place
Silke (3027) 2007-07-02 14:41
Stunning and truly frightening image! The contrast between the pollution and the verdant BG is quite amazing and well-captured by you
Graal (99448) 2007-07-02 23:30
interesting view, place and Your informations in note. Good composition, beautiful colours, well quality of photo (in WS also). Good work.
delkoo (68) 2007-07-03 0:55
I was struck by those abandoned drums,Left there since so for a long time, this a great photo, A powerful testimony of what we don't want to see anymore.
jhm (142786) 2007-07-03 4:01
I very glad that you show this image at the world, you write a excellent note too.
Your picture is very well of quality and colours, what a lovely area without these barrels. Very well done. TFS.
Have a nice day,
kevinos (7403) 2007-07-03 10:20
The colour is stunning, David, the swathe of intense warm colour and the counter swathe of cool blue.. The crispness is wonderful as is the beauty of the landscape. Couldn't the American be persuaded to come and remove their waste? regards kevin
pboehringer (770) 2007-07-03 11:18
David, I never thought that pollution and garbage could give such a nice shot. The fact is that the brown gives a great contrast to the sky, mountains and water with some mini icebergs scattered around. Good for you that finally someone is documenting this carelessness of the USAF. It would be remarkable if your post would start a movement to clean the area. Ghost town or ghost airport?
xuaxo (6846) 2007-07-03 14:13
This is such an amazing picture and post!
The photo shows a ugly (or bad) thing, but it is very beautiful at the same time. It seems something from a science-fiction movie.
The note is very informative and interesting.
A really good post.
MLINES (12516) 2007-07-03 18:24
Hi David, Good shot for TE, it is interesting that no one has seen fit to take these away for recycling back into steel with the current pricing. Great POV to show the scenery here especially the superb blue skies. tfs. Murray.
plimrn (21344) 2007-07-03 18:44
While this photo makes me feel ill; it is a truth about the world that needs to be faced. People usually think of war in terms of damage to people and buildings but the damage to our environment is HUGE!! This damage was clearly pure thoughtlessness that stems from that (I really can't even call it MY government because I have fought so hard to make it a dfifferent government) government's ethnocentric view that 'Americans' are the only ones that count!! I am so angry about this never-ending arrogance and so sad to see how far it goes back that I don't think I can can even comment on your excellent work here.
jemaflor (88097) 2007-07-04 2:36
Great result and strong contrast of colours, this foreground give a wonderful effect with your pov, good idea ... ah ! Greenland is a wonderful word even with pollution, well seen and tfs.
cuneyt-sb (6576) 2007-07-04 3:33
That is very interesting,
Your shot is very good and clear
Also your imformative notes is very good
WS photos is goot doo
TFS/ Kind regards
belido (19934) 2007-07-04 4:20
beautiful composition, with excellent definition, POV and DOF. It really looks like a 3D image. The contrast between the orange of the blotches with the nature is very attractive. It's just sad to know about the context of your image. Thanks for let us know it.
Silvio1953 (128283) 2007-07-04 5:26
Hi David, interesting documentation with informative note, I like the splendid mountain landscape with wonderful sky, great contrast with ugly bidons, very well done, ciao Silvio
kensimage (8561) 2007-07-04 9:20
It's an amazing photo, David, making something very beautiful out of something ugly. If one ignores the fact they are rusty oil drums, then the contrast of the red against the blue-green scenery is spectacular, and the texture and rhythm makes an ideal foreground. It's a really excellent composition.
You certainly do go everywhere--what took you to Greenland, if I may ask?
vincent24 (9060) 2007-07-04 14:49
It's quite surealalistic...unfortunatly it's the reality,can i say that the rust give a nice contrast with the blue and green? ;-))bad joke,it's the 4th of july so i won't spit on the stars and stripes banner but today the 1st world army could clean it(the cost of few minutes of Irack war?)
great journalistic report...i'm waiting for the others...
stego (24030) 2007-07-04 17:59
I had never seen such a beautiful photo featuring... garbage... :-) I am ware that is sad to see such a mess in a breath taking set, but it actually is quite picturesque, because of the shapes and the clours, that contrasts so nicely with the landscape.
You did a great job with the compo and every technical detail.
An interesting and well written note.
bakes888 (18499) 2007-07-05 2:51
Hi David. Great photo. The contrast is quite astounding, not just the colour but the pristine fjord and dirty rusty 44gal drums. I guess in time the drums and hanger will rust away to nothing. Well captured and thanks for sharing.
RGatward (20062) 2007-07-05 7:35
Really stunning landscape, with (unusually for the genre) a really powerful message. Don't the Danes have something to say about this? Maybe your museum idea is valid, then again, maybe they're just glad that Greenland didn't pull a trick like Iceland during the wartime occupation.
thrudur84 (416) 2007-07-06 2:55
You are so right about everything you said.
But well. Not the first nor the last the US pollutes a lot.
Good idea about the open air museum!
Lovely photo. I wished, too, the barrels weren't there cause the fjord is just incredible!
berek (42160) 2007-07-07 1:58
very good and meaningful composition. I like your idea and well composed picture. congratulations. have a nice weekend.
macondo (18623) 2007-07-08 3:04
Hello David. Incredible shot and marvellous, interesting note. Your low viewpoint and the amazing colours make this a superb statement about pollution. Well handled light and shade and excellent clarity for the mountains and ice. A really good shot that says everything one needs to know about pollution.
leo61 (0) 2007-07-09 14:27
It`s a fantastic shot,but a sad view with all these barrels poluting this wonderful landscape.Excellent POV,nice perspective and great depth.
This image would have been a good placard for the live earth concerts last weekend.
Thanks for a new favourite and showing this reminding ,urging,demanding image.I had a look in my dictionary and did not find the word I mean,but I`m sure you`ll know what I mean.
oochappan (16582) 2007-07-09 17:05
What a contrast, these rusty red tonnes in frontplan towards the pure landscape with a clear blue cloudy sky, well seen combination of contrasts David with a good note.
Polonaise (5802) 2007-07-11 15:56
You know what, David...?
Forget about the whole hoopla...Pollution, dumps, war machine...blah...blah...blah...
Let's concentrate on a pure, visual beauty you have just created...
God bless the chemical reaction of matal oxydation..
Screw the Kyoto...!!!!
Love man, love and peace..
jmcl (14535) 2007-07-12 21:35
I love the way the rust color seems to amplify the separation between the barrels and the pristine blues and greens .. very evocative image ..
colinbrenchley (6431) 2007-07-13 4:45
Great picture - Great Notes - Great "pollution" story. Strange how this image probably has more impact with the red drums than as a straight-forward scenery shot!
Must have been a brilliant trip - look forward to more postings
danyy (0) 2007-07-13 12:54
il y a des pollutions esthétiques, mais cela reste des pollutions. Une photo interpelante sur le manque de respect d'une terre pourtant viereg et qui demandait à le rester.
Une image qui parle.
Technique de prise de vue excellente.
Bien à toi.
Jeppe (18654) 2007-07-14 13:11
I'm not been present on TE lately - but do like to watch the photos ever now and then.
A great shot you present here - I like the contrast between the beuatiful nature and the rusten drums - surely an eyecatching image.
I like to thing this not a problem for the enviroment - merely a sad sight.
Thanks for sharing - surely worth the walk.
cyuen (0) 2007-07-17 6:26
Hi David, I'd also taken a picture of the same scene but I didn't include Mt Sarqakajik in my picture. When comparing my own picture with yours, I realise that your composition is much better. I really appreciate it. Also, the notes are very informative. I now understand much more about the place I've visited after reading your notes. Thank you!
guillaumejm (0) 2007-07-17 13:08
What a perfect depth in your picture and a so interesting note.
donluicu (24724) 2007-07-22 1:21
thanks for this testimony...
incredible image, (lovely dirty colrs)
excellent use of the GA
jaywalker (16101) 2007-07-26 14:19
Hi David. I am pretty shocked by this photo, however not totally surprised, one thing I fine hard to believe is that this lot have been there for so long, you have composed the shot superbly well, using a great POV, excellent colour & light, & drawing attention to this type of disgrace, kind regards Wilson.
cyrrhus (2878) 2007-07-29 6:44
This picture is absolutely exceptional.
I enjoy very much your note, though the image is already explicit by itself. The huge accumulation of drums in the forefront and their deep rusty colour against the pure blue sky is really impressive. It could be an ideal cover for an environmental magazine (beware for your copyrights ;-)
Thanks for bringing Ikateq on TrekEarth
sadeik (3268) 2007-08-02 13:28
No, I think it should be left. Its one of those occasions that even myself marvel at the mess humans can leave behind. However the earth made it and the earth will take it back, its got all the time in the world. We on the other hand have not!
A superb image and one to treasure
flory (4848) 2007-08-06 22:44
what can tell you after this note?we are here to learn about the earth and thanks for all these informations.hm,how much can accepts the nature from us?really think the nature"cry"all the time,but we can hear it..pity,indeed,for this beautiful landscape;
thanks again and wish you all the best!
AleGaro (269) 2007-08-22 1:20
nice contrast between the beautiful natural landscape and the rusted cans definitely not very much fashinating. Colours are also very good probably thanks to the polarizer.
OT12 (159) 2007-09-10 14:14
An impressive shoots, I fell a little shamefull to say that the contrast of colours are interesting. It is unexpected here but the colours are very good, and nice composition. Thanks for the note.
dilane (861) 2007-09-26 6:43
Bravo pour ta photo - Bravo de dénoncer cela -
kiks (11781) 2007-09-26 6:53
Hi David, thank you for the very interesting note and for the amazing image. Althoug this rubish was good for this wonderful photo i still have the opinion that Mr. Bush shoud send people to clean it up. But i think is to busy creating is image as ridder for the human rights and always forgets to do something to save our planet and keep it clean. (sorry, i guess some frustration come out my words ;-(
Tibo (1904) 2008-01-08 5:04
Excellent report. Quite a scoop that you have got here. You picture is well framed! Tibo
richiegimmel (258) 2008-05-07 17:03
Intriguing shot showing the impact man can have on a beautiful landscape.
anducina (8407) 2008-08-07 12:26
Excellent compo and colors, the rusty barrels are indeed a disgrace but I must admit their color makes a pleasant combination with the intense blue sea and sky. A picturesque colorful scene...but I think that in this case we'd be much happier without it. But, of course, you can find beauty everywhere...
gbeli (2010) 2008-12-12 14:41
Amazing photo from Greenland!
Nice POV and colors.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-06-26
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Nikon D200, Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm f/4G ED, Circular PL
- Exposure: f/8, 1/100 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2007-07-01 16:06
- Favorites: 5 [view]