Abandoned Jefferson Proving Ground

The Jefferson (Indiana) Proving Ground was taken over in 1939 as preparation for WW II as an Army ammunition testing facility.

There are many dangerous areas within the abandoned facility/grounds.  The first shot was fired in May of 1940, just 6 months after the public service announcement that the government would be purchasing the land for the testing facility.

Over the years, the Army tested ammunition to insure that the ammunition and the weapons that OUR military would use would be safe to handle by our troops. Ammunition that was tested as safe to handle, made it into war zones during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.  Several million rounds of ammunition were fired, as part of the testing, and while most rounds were meant to explode on impact, it is estimated that as many as 1 million rounds failed their test and did NOT explode and are still considered LIVE hazardous ordinance on the property.

Additionally, there were low-level radioactive tracers fired from tanks which accounts for the depleted uranium. An estimated 70,000 kg of uranium in "the backyard."

The remaining buildings and property, which were officially abandoned/closed in 1995 by the U.S. Army, appears that someone moved out just a few months ago, yet has sat for over 20 years!

The Jefferson Proving Ground Security Team from World War II:

Some other photographs from our journey...