Chicago Urban Exploration

Click Here To See Where It Started

Back in 2001 I discovered that this odd hobby I had was actually a recognized lifestyle. While searching for the location of a shuttered Illinois mental institution, Manteno State Hospital, a web site called Chicago Urban Exploration popped up. I remember spending hours on the site, reading missions, looking at photos, and meeting local people just like me through the forum. I emailed Megan (ShyX), the sites creator, many times taking in everything I could about Urban Exploring.

Megan, along with the other members of CUE, were some great people. It was a group based on trust and that is what made it thrive. Unfortunately some people did not like the approach of CUE and decided to lash back against the group via the internet. This along with problems from the Chicago Police, Chicago Transit Authority, the FBI, and a person who claimed to be a member that was arrested, Megan had no choice but to take the site off-line.

CUE has really had no web presence since then and the group is stronger than ever, even though it really doesn't exists anymore. Many new Chicago area explorers claim to be members of CUE, even tag buildings with "CUE", but they are not members of CUE. It does upset original CUE members to see the CUE name used in vain, but there is nothing we can do about it. Real CUE members know who they are.

I think the one thing CUE members do realize is that it is time to move on and start a new group in Chicago. Especially getting away from the term "Urban Explorers" since the hobby has become so commercialized and watered down. We have started this movement with a Yahoo Group which hopefully will develop into another great rising of explorers in Chicago. The response seems to be good so far.

As a tribute to Megan's work in promoting urban exploring and introducing it to so many Chicagoans I have uploaded the final version of the CUE web site before it was hacked. Some external links may not work, but the core of the site is there. So if you haven't seen it in awhile, welcome back. If you have never seen it, enjoy learning about some of the roots in Chicago urban exploration.

Thank You Megan!

Click Here To See Where It Started

"I feel that exploration is about life and living and it is about the past and the people who once worked and played in the places most people now call ruins. It is about seeking out those ruins, exploring them, finding things, having fun, taking pictures and sharing your life and the histories you have discovered.

Explorers forever! I say. To boldly go where people have forgotten to go."