Old Airport On Island Was Clearly Not Meant To Be Found

Something Out Of A Movie

As they reached the shore, the spectacle before them was surreal. None of this was supposed to be here, but this only deepened the sense of excitement.

Jonathan grabbed his camera, instinctively knowing that he’d need it. As he disembarked, the salty air was punctuated by something else now—a foreboding sense that they were not meant to be here. 

A Dream Come True

For 24-year-old Florida Keys resident Jonathan Reece and his buddy Matt Leclerc, exploring island paradises wasn’t only for vacations.

Since childhood, the lifelong friends had been adventurers and had found a way to make a career out of it. They had toured many remote destinations together—but none of their previous trips could ever have prepared them for this one. 

A New Challenge

Serial globe-trotters, The pair boasted an impressive list of remote island explorations—Flores in Portugal, San Blas in Panama, Heimaey in Iceland, and even unchartered parts of the Cat Island in the Bahamas. 

Having gained a wealth of experience from years of island exploration, the pair now prepared for their most ambitious trip yet.

Navigating The Chokepoint

While Jonathan and Matt were confident, they knew their destination had a fearsome reputation. Armed with nothing but their rickety boat, the “yeah buoy”, a small canoe, and a backpack each, the pair set out to their destination.

To get there, however, they would first need to pass an infamous strait, aptly nicknamed the “gate of tears”

The Gate Of Tears

The strait was known for narrow passageways and its high shipping traffic volumes. This area of the Red Sea connected many tourist spots but was notorious for annual fatality rates.

Its prime use was for commercial shipping—which meant it was also often frequented by pirates. For Jonathan and Matt though, the final destination was still worth facing these dangers. 

An Unshakeable Bond

Being two years older, Jonathan had always assumed a big brother role. This meant he went in first whenever they encountered odd or unsafe places.

This time, Jonathan couldn’t help wondering if they were pushing things too far. After all, he knew the gate of tears was only the beginning of what they might have to face beyond it.

They Were Advised Against It

Having built successful careers as vloggers and remote travel writers, the mens’ families had always supported their adventures. This time, Matt’s dad was apprehensive.

Mr. Leclerc had researched the island they were visiting. His issues—not only did it pass through active conflict zones, but the island itself was classified as ‘volcanic’.

Getting There

Not the type to shy away from challenges, learning these facts only deepened the mens’ resolve to go there. They knew that capturing some great shots of this island would be a considerable achievement.

After finally making their way to the gate of tears, it wasn’t long before both men began doubting their decision to travel here.

The Warning

Coming across a dingy shipping boat, the men met a local fisherman. Reaching them, the odd-looking stranger spoke with a deep accent. He seemed very interested in where they were headed.

When the destination was revealed as Mayun Island, the man became visibly nervous. He told them to “stay away from there” and rowed away without another word. 

They Were Determined

Not sure what to make of this, the men were now more intrigued. They managed to navigate past irate ship captains and exited the strait safely. Continuing on—the sea traffic was soon behind them.

There was an eerie feel about the empty waters now. A little further on and their island was finally within view, but Jonathan immediately sensed that something was wrong.

They Could Not Believe It

After months of planning and excitement, Jonathan and Matt had finally reached Mayun Island. Their research had indicated that it was deserted. Yet, even from the shore, the men could clearly see man-made structures everywhere.

It seemed that, what was once an uninhabited island, was actually an abandoned military base of some kind.

Jonathan Knew The Truth

Initially sticking to the shoreline, the mens’ curiosity outweighed their hesitancy, and the pair ventured further inland.

Along the way, they came across ruined buildings and even an airstrip. It wasn’t until they saw construction vehicles and heard voices that Jonathan suddenly realized the truth—the base was still active. 

They Had To Leave

The old fisherman’s warning made sense now, and Jonathan realized they had been lucky to gain entry without detection.

Moving around on the island undetected had become far more daunting now, though. Jonathan could see armed guards in full military regalia patrolling the island and knew they had to leave immediately.

The Story Of A Lifetime

The men had begun their adventure hoping to find relics and other interesting trinkets. Instead, they had stumbled across a clearly active airbase. Jonathan’s mind was scrambling to remember his research.

Nothing had indicated an active base in the area, which led him to a troubling conclusion—they were probably the first outsiders to ever learn of this place. 

They Kept It A Secret

The experience had left them shaken. From hearing the soldiers’ accents, they had an idea where the soldiers were from but kept it a secret.

Reaching home safely, it was months before news outlets got wind of the base. As images and theories circulated worldwide, Jonathan and Matt smiled to themselves—glad to be safe—knowing they had seen it first.