History & Purpose of this Site
Max Action, Action Squad founder & webmaster

Action Squad had been exploring as a crew for about five years before one day, while doing some online research for a mission, I stumbled across the Infiltration website. Whoa! A site about urban exploration! From there, I found the Urban Exploration Ring, where I discovered that there were other groups like us out there some of them in the same city! It might seem bizarre, but we'd been crawling around underground for years without any idea at all that there was such a thing as "urban exploration." To us, it was just "action squad," an activity that so far as we had ever known, only we partook in. We were aware, of course, that people got into tunnels and abandoned buildings all the time. But as far as organized, sustained exploration of the urban environment as a pastime well, we thought we'd pretty much invented it.

Anyway, I was just fucking ecstatic to discover websites by groups of people that not only did the same stuff we did, but did so with amazingly similar motivations driving them to do so. I distinctly recall bouncing in my chair and yelling with excitement as I followed links to site after site dedicated to my passion of urban adventuring. For the next week or so, I went to every dang urban exploration site I could find. Given the amount of pleasure I derived from these sites, it was not a tough decision to build a site for Action Squad (disregarding the minor fact that I knew nothing about how to build a website). So, I pulled the pictures from our various missions over the years out of the photo albums, scanned them, learned a bit about webpage building, and started a site about our adventures, designed for the benefit of those active in the local exploration community. It was to be a site by explorers, for explorers.

Being that our intended audience was to consist almost entirely of like-minded people, our early content included sections on access points, security concerns, and other sensitive information. Being nave, I thought I could keep the page from the general public by simply not submitting the site to the various search engines. Oops. Little did I know that search engines actually go out and FIND websites. It became increasingly clear that our site was being viewed by vandals, frat boys, police departments, and other undesirables that were not prone to use the info we were providing in what we would consider a positive manner. Sites unrelated to urban exploration provided links to us, we started overhearing the site being talked about by strangers at parties, and finally City Pages published our URL. Yikes. This put us in a bad spot. The site was undermining its primary purpose; being a useful resource for local explorers. I did not want to take the site down, since:

1) the explorer community at large seemed very appreciative of the site,

2) non-explorers who would never dream of going to the places we did often wrote to express thanks for the pleasure they had reading about our experiences and seeing places they would never actually go, and

3) I'd put a lot of work into the site and was rather fond of the thing, damn it.

So, rather than kill the webpage, we gradually altered the slant of our content to reflect a wider audience. We largely ditched the practice of providing info that gave away locations and entry points for sites, and began writing more for the entertainment and inspiration of both explorers and non-explorers, local or across the world. This meant more mission logs and less dry technical information, and more interesting photos and less system maps and access info. This compromise allowed the site to stay up without ruining it for local explorers (including us!). So, yeah. That's the story. I can't believe you actually read this whole thing, you weirdo.