He started performing and writing for the Upright Citizens Brigade, a comedy group, and has spent recent years writing for TV comedies and doing voice-over work. A comedy writer living in Los Angeles, Mr. Thompson had been bingeing on true crime podcasts when he decided to create a show that would plumb the stupidest, least consequential mystery he could imagine. The first inhabitants of Adak were the Aleuts as early as 9,000 years ago. Maybe you are too young to remember. Well, it is true. By 3 in the morning, Mr. Thompson had edited the calls and added some narration. But he’s irked by podcasts that blur the commercial and editorial by having hosts read advertisements, a throwback to TV’s early days. Technology Resources. ... semi-abandoned community remain all around. Recorded on September 19, 2009 using a Flip Video camcorder. The military has a small contingent on Shemya Island (very close to Attu), but in the 745 miles that separates Adak from the Russian town of Nikolskoye, you’ll … He has traveled to a remote Alaskan island to study an abandoned McDonald’s and walked up to the gate of the White House, where he tried to … Our prime location and strategic assets, transferred as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process, make Adak a strong area for future growth and economic activity in relation to the Arctic. I actually remember some of those things. Since ancient times this island has been home to the Aleut people, […] Once again, definitive answers were elusive because the franchise owner would not speak to him. The U.S. built a sprawling army and naval base on Adak Island during World War II. There’s a middle school in Utah that years ago buried a time capsule with some kind of McPizza variant that came in a wrapper. 😲. The Abandoned McDonald's of Adak, Alaska, Frozen in Time. On this site , it makes it on the “past food” list of “10 Creepy Closed & Abandoned McDonald’s.” At noon, Elaine and I head away from town towards Finger Bay. This McDonalds, like most every other building on the island, is completely abandoned and empty. Adak Island features a former U.S. military base and town that was last occupied in the 1990s. On the podcast, Brian Thompson plays an earnest, eager naïf, also named Brian Thompson, who regards himself as an intrepid seeker of truth and seems to think he’s digging into a riddle for the ages.Credit...Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times. That landed him a job with a science education nonprofit in Los Angeles, which quickly imploded. Tony@prettygoodagents.com for ads and promos Perhaps you forgot. The City of Adak, Alaska, the westernmost city in the United States is a community centered among the most productive fisheries in the West. July 2020. At the peak of the World War II Aleutian military campaigns, Adak Island was home to 30,000 people. “And that kind of opened up the possibility that the show could be anything I want.”. Adak rounds out that count, settling in at 437 miles east of Attu Island – the very end of the U.S. The former Navy Air Facility Adak is located about 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. But as Mr. Thompson prepared to leave the island, his Airbnb host suggested he call a guy named Larry, who, it turned out, had once found a pizza oven in a derelict bowling alley. I bet if you find a burger, it'll look brand new. Join me as I explore the creepy homes and abandoned neighborhoods of Adak Island. “My character has always refused to believe reality,” said Mr. Thompson during a phone interview. Pro weirdo. “I really want to be the dumbest person in the room at all times.”. No way, says Mr. Thompson. Adak (/ ˈ eɪ d æ k /, Aleut: Adaax), formerly Adak Station, is a city located on Adak Island, in the Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska, United States.At the 2010 census the population was 326, up from 316 in 2000. One trick to keeping this enterprise alive and entertaining is Mr. Thompson’s refusal to accept answers to the show’s titular question, which he had learned by Episode 5. He flew to Anchorage, then took a once-a-week, three-hour flight to Adak. “Sorry about that,” the manager said, politely. When Season 2 of “Serial” — now owned by The New York Times — focused on Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who went AWOL in Afghanistan, Mr. Thompson did episodes about a fictional soldier who wandered off a base in search of McPizza. McDonalds, Adak Adak used to have a very large navy base, and the navy left in about 1995, and left everything behind. (He described it as “at least as good as Little Caesars.”), He wondered how the place kept selling an item that others in the chain didn’t offer. For a while, he called the podcast “ZipRecruiter Presents Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s.” Then ZipRecruiter sent a cease-and-desist letter. “My dream would be to take scuba diving lessons and search underwater where this barge was located during the fair,” he said. He started reporting on the subject of McDonald’s in Afghanistan — and to his amazement, he found a real employee at an Afghan embassy who told him that all over the country, there were bootleg fast-food restaurants selling food based on underground recipes, including McPizza. Adak Island is way out there, so far at the end of the Aleutian archipelago in the Bering Sea that it shares a time zone with Hawaii instead of its own state. Adak Island sits midway between the United States and Russia, where the Bering Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. The Adak McDonald’s has attained a certain level of notoriety among urban explorers. From an empty McDonald’s to a deserted Kmart, these ransacked restaurants, derelict diners, forgotten food courts and ghostly grocery stores will give you chills. (He wanted to fly a banner reading, “Do you know McDonald’s used to serve pizza? For years, Adak was a Cold War outpost for Army and Navy barracks, but it was decommissioned in the early 1990s, and the McDonald’s there was abandoned. Open Discussions. At the second, a manager was sincerely stumped. Exploring Reality. We need to get a member from Alaska just to trespass and get us even more. The day after he posted the first episode, he checked a Twitter account he’d set up for the show and found a batch of enthusiastic messages. Hence, any rationale for the product’s demise is under suspicion. tattooed a pizza slice and the words “Thank you for your candor”. Its namesake town, set in a natural harbor, is the most westerly municipality in the United States. Some date back as far as 1942, when the U.S. Army first arrived. Alongside the military assets that remain are houses for up to 6,000 people, a bowling alley, swimming pool, 400-seat theater and even a disused McDonald’s restaurant. 🍔 🍟 Welcome to 1993, where Bobby's World toys are in your Happy Meal and "Dino Size"(Jurassic Park) was the way to make your fries and drink large before super sizing! Random Ramblings. Large “No Trespassing” signs bar entrance to many of the buildings. At one point, he heard about a McDonald’s in Adak, Alaska, a largely deserted island in the middle of the Bering Sea. While attempting to unravel the “mystery” of McPizza, Mr. Thompson has turned doggedness into a kind of performance art. “I shall continue my investigation next week.”. “Have a good night.”. The trip seemed a grand bust. Then he uploaded episode 1 of the “Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?” podcast to iTunes. European truck makers say they will phase out fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Saved by Denise Izmerian. That's so cool. The only store on the island (The 100 Knot Store) only has 1 aisle, but that aisle is labeled "Aisle 5". 5. “Whatever” has a core audience of about 30,000 listeners, one of whom tattooed a pizza slice and the words “Thank you for your candor” above her ankle, a phrase Mr. Thompson intones after interviews that have shed little light. He called two. What a cool find. Exactly. The Abandoned McDonald's of Adak, Alaska, Frozen in Time, "We got a job to do so shift your carcass. Adak, Alaska- abandoned McDonalds. “This gave me the idea that maybe the recipe for McPizza was floating out there on the black market at some point,” Mr. Thompson said. European Central Bank will lift ban on bank dividends, a sign of cautious optimism. Established during World War II during the battle to expel Japanese forces from the Aleutian Islands, the Adak Naval Air Facility helped to boost the population of Adak to around 10,000… and helped support one of world’s northernmost McDonald’s. As funny as the show is, it can induce winces, particularly when Mr. Thompson is talking to minimum-wage workers, who have little choice but to treat the oddball on the phone diplomatically. On the podcast, Brian Thompson plays an earnest, eager naïf, also named Brian Thompson, who regards himself as an intrepid seeker of truth and seems to think he’s digging into a riddle for the ages. But Little Foot wanted better food for the world. Mr. Thompson has no beef with money, and he recoups his costs — about $100 a month in podcast hosting fees — through ads automatically added to the show. September 19 Camcorder Mcdonalds Alaska Abandoned Shed Military Outdoor Structures Island. The movies. Archived Featured Discussion Threads. 1 Home For Sale in Adak, AK. Cool photos and video!! Posted in Alaska May 27, 2019 by Megan McDonald The Abandoned Naval Base Hiding On An Alaskan Island Is A Birder’s Paradise Alaska itself may be considered a birder’s paradise, as we have 525 recorded avian species! It’s a practice he lampoons on “Whatever.” In each episode, he writes an ad for a real company that hasn’t paid him a cent, including Audible and Spotify. After landing, he went straight to the McDonald’s and was disappointed to see it had been boarded up — there was no way inside. “We watched it go from an industry with no real boundaries, no rules about how you do it, to a medium that was trying to emulate what TV was, with umbrella companies with seven podcasts.”. Outdoor recreational activities on Adak include fishing, hunting, backpacking, birding, and wildlife viewing. Welcome Mat. Adak Island has a land area of 274.59 square miles (711.18 km2), making it the 25th largest island in the United States. To Mr. Thompson’s delight, he keeps unearthing new rationales for the product’s cancellation. Please Login or Register. Which, to Mr. Thompson in the fall of 2016, made the topic all the more appealing. There's even an empty McDonalds. On the remote island of Adak, Alaska, there’s an abandoned McDonald's, frozen in time, dating back to when it was an old Navy town. There are big buildings, mostly empty. He called Garland, and a representative put him in touch with a service tech in Cleveland who had once repaired McDonald’s ovens. More information... People also love these ideas Adak was a staging point for the American military’s Aleutian campaign. We just thought it would be fun to pose these pictures. An abandoned McDonalds, a rusted out playground and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office on Adak. There’s one fabulous spot, however, where you can find some incredibly rare species you usually only see in Asia. YouTube/Popular Cruising Abandoned vehicles, homes and even a McDonalds are all sitting practically untouched. Featured Discussions. Last year, Mr. Thompson raised money online to travel the 3,100 miles there, hoping that the husk of a restaurant would contain his Holy Grail: a McDonald’s pizza oven. On the island of Adak, Alaska, there’s an abandoned McDonald's, frozen in 1993! Russians traded with the Aleuts by the 1750s. Adak had a McDonalds, 23 years ago. This makes sense only in the mind of “Brian Thompson,” whose baseline assumption is that McDonald’s ought to again sell pizza because people love it and because the company is in business to make money. And thus, to Mr. Thompson’s delight, three years into the show, he’d added another reason that McDonald’s killed pizza — the ovens were a fiasco. “I had heard about it when I was younger, but I’d never tried it,” he said. It’s a pitfall Mr. Thompson is acutely aware of and tries to avoid by making himself the butt of every joke. What a blast from the past. The show is also sustained by events and coincidences that are easily given a sinister cast. ", “I would rather be strong at heart than strong at mind”, "Three things in life – your health, your mission, and the people you love.". Comprehensive Discussions. Initiation Passage. Abandoned Adak Alaska McDonald's (Established during World War II during the battle to expel Japanese forces from the Aleutian Islands, the Adak Naval Air Facility helped to boost the population of Adak to around 10,000… and helped support one of world’s northernmost McDonald’s. The most beautiful building was the Bering Chapel. Nobody seemed to lament the passing of McPizza, and nobody was urging its return. Unexploded ordnance is not the only danger to people of Adak Island. Larry determined it had been manufactured for McDonald’s by Garland Commercial Industries, a company in Freeland, Pa. To “Brian Thompson,” this was a breakthrough on a par with the formulation of the laws of thermodynamics. Even after the permanent Aleut villages were abandoned in the 1830s, seasonal and subsistence use of the island continued until World War II (WWII). Explore Adak: Many people visit Alaska’s Adak Island to experience the prolific fisheries, abundant caribou, and breathtaking natural beauty.This remote wonder is a photographer’s paradise and a nirvana for those seeking tranquility in the wilderness. It is the westernmost municipality in the United States and the southernmost city in Alaska. Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought. What a blast from the past. Thank you for posting this. Intentionally inane, “Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?” satirizes the business of podcasting. That would be fun to visit in person. Several months after Mr. Thompson’s visit, the Pomeroy McDonald’s stopped selling McPizza. Adak Island 10 km; Expedition Harbor 12 km; Kagalaska Island 22 km; LIttle Tanaga Island 36 km; Great Sitkin Island 42 km; Umak Island 42 km; Kanaga Island 51 km; Igitkin Island 53 km; Chugul Island … The show has spun off an online version of a board game and a self-published book (“How to Be an Investigative Journalist”), and Mr. Thompson has shot a TV pilot episode that his manager is shopping around Hollywood. The top congressional leaders will meet to discuss a stimulus deal and a year-end spending bill ahead of Friday’s deadline. Sometimes a life can change in the blink of an eye. “Squarespace,” Mr. Thompson said, in a cheery version of a monotone at the end of the pitch. Company spokesmen have never returned a single one of Mr. Thompson’s calls, allowing the show to imply that something dark and conspiratorial is at play. For reasons he can’t fully explain, he came up with: Whatever happened to pizza at McDonald’s? (This reporter fared no better. “Armed with this treasure trove of dangerous information,” he said, ending the episode. He segued to stand-up comedy after graduating from college, then started a daily science news podcast in his late 20s. department, this guy was chatty. “I don’t want this to be a prank show, as much as I love prank shows,” he said. Built in the late 1940s, it is one of the oldest remaining structures on Adak. Former contributing writer for @Vice. They're only powerful when you got your back turned.”. ... There’s an old McDonald’s boarded up … The creepiest building by far was the abandoned hospital and dental clinic: operating rooms, an X-Ray laboratory, and the morgue. There are also a lot of abandoned buildings with hazards like disintegrating materials and broken glass. These days, Adak is a ghost town. ... A McDonald’s, too. Who's paying the taxes on that land all this time? He has traveled to a remote Alaskan island to study an abandoned McDonald’s and walked up to the gate of the White House, where he tried to enlist the help of President Trump, a noted fan of fast food. (PAUL D. ATKINS) THE ALEUTIANS ARE A chain of relatively small islands that separate the Bering Sea from the main portion of the Pacific Ocean. World Report. Nothing he’s done, though, has resonated like his podcast. Adak Island sits near the end of the line. The Navy pulled out of Adak Island in 1997, followed by a big clean up. Or there’s a chance you’ve blocked it. McDonald’s, it turns out, is the ideal corporate foil for this absurdist spoof. What started as a lark meant to amuse himself and his girlfriend has evolved into something far richer — a deadpan satire about podcasts, the business of podcasting and the quirks of investigative journalism. The stores. Adak Island (Aleut: Adaax, Russian: Адак) is an island near the western extent of the Andreanof Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.Alaska's southernmost town, Adak, is located on the island.The island has a land area of 274.59 square miles (711.18 km 2), measuring 33.9 miles (54.5 km) on length and 22 miles (35 km) on width, making it the 25th largest island in the United States. The food. “They were only in McDonald’s for roughly two to three years because of the difficulty to program them,” the tech said on Episode 143. “I don’t even think there’s program manuals for it.”. “Make website easy.”. We need a town that looks like everything from the 90s. But the home of the Big Mac began selling pizza in the mid-1980s, hoping to grab market share from national pie chains. Welcome Guest. “And I knew there were a lot of McDonald’s that are open 24 hours, so I could call one of them right then.”. Evidently, it had been hauled out of the defunct McDonald’s. The title to most of the land was transferred to the Aleut Corporation, and organization for Aleutian Indians, Eskimos, Native Americans, First Nations, Aleuts, or whatever the proper terminology is today. This included a tweet from John Darnielle of the indie rock band the Mountain Goats, who wrote: “New favorite thing alert.”, “To me, it’s a show about branding and the way podcasting has grown,” Mr. Darnielle said in an interview. “I want to do an episode about looking for evidence of McDonald’s pizza on the bottom of the river.”, A Podcast Answers a Fast-Food Question That Nobody Is Asking. Producer & host of the @CrmnlPrspctv & @AttemptedWorder podcasts. If there is a god of ludicrous ideas that later seem inspired, he must have smiled on Brian Thompson one evening four years ago. The restaurants. McPizza failed for reasons that should have seemed evident before it was rolled out: It’s way, way off brand, and it didn’t bake fast enough to keep pace with the rest of the menu. Click here to remove banner ads from this forum. The population of the island went from thousands to about 100. Up on Bering Hill, the old church just barely stands. It’s just one of many leads he plans to follow up, which could keep him busy for a long time. The podcast depicted this as retaliation against the show, a shameless effort to curtail old-fashioned muckraking. Mr. Thompson grew up in northeast Louisiana and originally hoped to write fiction. Actually, all the talking on the show is done by a character played by Mr. Thompson, an earnest, eager naïf, also named Brian Thompson, who regards himself as an intrepid seeker of truth and seems to think he’s digging into a riddle for the ages. English: When the military ceased operations on Adak Island, it left behind a large network of structures, most of which are now abandoned and falling into disrepair. Browse photos, see new properties, get open house info, and research neighborhoods on Trulia. In the years since Mr. Thompson began “Whatever,” the business of podcasting has boomed, with shows and podcast networks snapped up in deals worth millions. As of 2014, these facilities appeared unusable and probably ruined beyond repair. And recently, Mr. Thompson heard about a McDonald’s on a barge that opened in Vancouver for the 1986 World’s Fair — around the time of the pizza’s debut. This included fast food like Pizza Hut, McDonald's and Baskin Robins. Much of the property on Adak is decaying from the severe weather conditions, with the buildings that once housed 7,500 Navy personnel and contractors and children abandoned to the winds. He’ll need to visit. At the first, an employee hung up a few milliseconds after being asked about McDonald’s pizza. The military abandoned it all in the late 1990s, turning roughly $3 billion in military assets over to the wind. The housing unit we stayed in had a nice framed Adak map for reference, with all the trails annotated, which helped us plan each day's hike/hunt routes. Alaska’s southernmost town Adak is located on the island of the same name near the western extent of the Andreanof Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Early on, Mr. Thompson learned that a McDonald’s in Pomeroy, Ohio, was the last franchise in the country still serving the pizza, and he raised money through Indiegogo to fly there and try it. Unlike the corporate P.R. Guest Chat & Registration Help. He ended with an off-kilter ad he wrote for Squarespace, the web hosting platform, which he falsely claimed was the show’s sponsor. They indeed did serve pizza.” But the quote was out of his price range.). McDonald’s gave up a few years later. 8,122 views The large building in the center houses a basketball court, saunas, squash court, bowling alley, and more. He has had bizarre, occasionally illuminating conversations with dozens of people, including a saleswoman at an aerial advertising company. Front Desk. Who. “Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. Sometimes Mr. Thompson will satirize the topic of a popular podcast, which, in one memorable instance, yielded unexpected treasure. Reached by phone and asked about the singular longevity of McPizza in Pomeroy, a supervisor at the restaurant, Kevin Matheny, said “We’re not at liberty to answer that question.”). Of performance art a banner reading, “Do you know McDonald’s used to pizza. 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