North Korean Dreamin’ – WIF Underground

Leave a comment

The Most Secure

Bunkers in

the World

Heavily guarded buildings are awesome, and what buildings are better guarded than bunkers? These man-made cave complexes are custom designed to keep out everything that’s not invited in, and they’re often equipped with fantastic defenses and luxurious amenities that are a far cry from the brutal underground concrete boxes you probably imagine when you think of the word “bunker.” Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive ones out there!

10. The Nike missile bunker

The Nike missile bunkers (no relation to the sportswear manufacturer, as far as we know) were a pair of Cold War-era bunkers that were so secure, they were actually as effective offensively as they were defensively — if not more. The Nike bunker location started out as a strategic spot that defended the nearby Hanford Nuclear Facility, which is (in)famous for churning out two thirds of the plutonium used in U.S. nuclear weapons, including the plutonium used in the first atomic bomb that was tested in New Mexico in July 1945.

The bunkers were arguably at their mightiest from 1955 to 1958, when they housed a sophisticated air defense system of Ajax and Hercules missiles under the designation of “H-52.” The bunkers were later refashioned into an emergency operations center and, more recently, a Gravitation Physics Laboratory that was rendered in-operational in 2011. However, the legacy of Nike missile bunkers lives on in the Golden Gate Recreational Area in California, which houses a reconstructed Nike site that is open for public tours.

9. The Sonnenberg bunker

Every European and North American country worth its salt has a nuclear bunker or six thousand lying around, but few have gone as far as Switzerland. The alpine country is the home of Sonnenberg Bunker, an unassuming pair of mile-long motorway tunnels that can transform into a massive fallout shelter by closing the 350-ton blast doors at both ends.

The tunnels and the bunker complex hidden within them lie under the town of Lucerne, and was designed to house 20,000 people in the event of the nuclear threat everyone was afraid of at the time. However, soon after its completion in 1976, the Sonnenberg Bunker turned out to be a little less efficient than advertised. While it was highly secure and could technically house the amount of people it was supposed to, provisions were a problem. Since the kitchen facilities could only feed the bunker staff and the hospital, almost everyone taking cover inside it would’ve had to bring their own food with them — and store said food on the tiny bunk bed they were also supposed to sleep in. There was also the small matter that it took a whopping two weeks to close the blast doors and get the bunker operational, which seems a little slow for a structure that exists specifically to shelter people from a disaster that could come with precious little notice.

Despite its flaws, the Sonnenberg Bunker remains operational, though only at a fraction of its intended capacity: In 2006, it was wisely downsized to only accommodate 2,000 people.

8. Survival Condo Project

Survival isn’t just a primal instinct. For some people, it’s a chance to turn in a sweet profit. Larry Hall is one of these entrepreneurial spirits, as evidenced by his Survival Condo Project, which combines luxurious accommodations with all the Armageddon-proof safety that a nuclear missile silo can provide. In 2008, Hall coughed up $300,000 for an old nuclear missile silo in Kansas, and spent a further $20 million to turn it into a series of luxurious homes, complete with communal spaces and luxuries such as swimming pools and cinemas. Hall even has plans to open a small grocery store within the complex.

Homes in the Survival Condo Project start from $1.5 million — well, started, since they were all sold out way back in 2012 — and apart from their underground location they’re virtually indistinguishable from your average inner-city apartment, complete with all the expected amenities such as dishwashers and washing machines. There are even LED screen “windows” that show live feed from the prairie range outside, though it’s probably safe to assume their view will be significantly less idyllic if the bunker is ever put to serious use.

7. Vivos xPoint

Somewhere in the Black Hills area of South Dakota, near the city of Edgemont, there’s a vast field where sturdy concrete bunkers litter the land like molehills. These 575 identical structures are Vivos xPoint, a luxury “survival community” for the people able and willing to tie themselves down to a down payment of $25,000 and a 99-year annual lease of $1,000. For that price, you get a barren bunker in one of the statistically safest locations in North America, ready to ride out whatever shelter-worthy disaster might strike.

While you’re free to ride out future disasters in an unfurnished concrete hole, the company also offers all sorts of luxurious refurbishments for your bunker — for a price, of course. They also offer “24/7 security” in the shape of trained guards and camera systems, and should the doomsday scenario allow you to exit the bunker every once in a while, there are also amenities such as a shooting range and a hot tub spa.

6. The Houston Bunker

The owners of the Houston Bunker (or “The Bunker” for short) claim that the site has “perhaps the most interesting history of any data center ever built.” While this may or may not be true, there’s no denying that the complex has a pretty wild past. Unlike your average converted Cold War -era nuclear shelter, the Bunker is a relatively young structure: A man called Louis Kung built it in 1982 as part of a supposed HQ for his Westland Oil company. The construction site was extremely secretive — armed guards and all — which is why most people didn’t know that Kung’s building also included a massive nuke-proof bunker.

Kung’s bunker was meant to save the families of Westland Oil employees (and, of course, that of Kung himself) from large-scale disaster, and it was equipped to house 350 people for three months. Apart from the usual nuclear shelter amenities such as filtration systems, water reservoirs and medical facilities, it seems Kung was also prepared for various Mad Max-style scenarios, seeing as he equipped the complex with machine gun nests and prison cells. Even the mundane office building parts of his structure featured bulletproof glass, emergency generators and other end-of-the-world features.

While Kung’s apocalyptic fears never came to be, the sturdy structure of the Bunker came in handy later, when the building got a new life as a data security center. In this role, the structure has proved its worth by surviving disasters such as hurricane Ike with zero system downtime.

5. Europa One

Remember Vivos, the company behind the xPoint bunker community? Turns out, they can do one better. When storms of fire one day raze the world, Europa One is where billionaires will go to ride things out. This giant structure in Rothenstein, Germany is an old Soviet Cold War bunker that has been converted into an underground city of unparalleled luxury that can be compared to a five-star cruise ship. Opulent swimming pools, stylish art galleries, comfortable cinemas, elegant bars and medieval-style cathedral spaces litter the complex, and if you don’t feel like hanging out in the communal spaces, you can always retire to your private accommodations, which with their plasma TVs and bedroom aquariums are not unlike a presidential suite.

It’s pointless to ask how much it costs to enter this lap of luxury, because if you have to ask you almost certainly can’t afford it. Even if you can, entrance is by no means guaranteed. First, a potential Europa One resident has to apply for Vivos “membership,” after which they’re moved to a vast pool of prospects, from which the company selects “best candidates” for the shelter.

4. The Shanghai Complex

It might be wise to take the stories about Shanghai’s massive underground bunker with a grain of salt, since it appears most reports of its existence are from 2006 and can be traced back to a single article by the Shanghai Morning Post. Still, even if just a fraction of its scale is true, it’s a massive feat of engineering that easily earns a place on this list. We’re talking about a colossal, nuclear-proof, million-square-foot bunker complex that can house a reported 200,000 people for up to two weeks. “Miles of tunnels” connect the shelter to a number of buildings, shopping centers, and the city’s subway system.

While the scale and existence of this particular shelter might be debatable (even the Shanghai Morning Post article didn’t go into too many specifics), it wouldn’t be too surprising to find out it’s real. After all, there’s no denying that China’s large cities have a long history of large-scale bunker building, and Shanghai alone built many large shelter complexes during the Cold War. To get a sense of the scale, you only need to take a look at another large Chinese city, Beijing, where an estimated million people live in the city’s old, forgotten nuclear shelters.

3. Burlington bunker

At first glance, the Burlington bunker seems less like a real location and more like a video game level. Located 100 feet under the cobblestones of the quintessentially English small town of Corsham, this massive complex is a little bit larger than your average doomsday prepper’s concrete bunker: A full-on 1950s “Cold War City” that features an insanely complex, mile-long labyrinth of nuke-proof underground structures and 60 miles of criss-crossing subterranean roads. The climate-controlled location was designed to house up to 4,000 people, ran on massive generators that powered over 100,000 lights, and was chosen because a vast network of natural limestone caves that was already running under Corsham.

The Burlington bunker’s amenities include usual Armageddon fare such as control rooms, kitchens, storage rooms and a pneumatic tube system for messages. It also features a hospital, the second largest phone exchange in Great Britain and, of course, an underwater lake that supplies the drinking water. A fully equipped TV studio allows whoever’s left of the government (and, for that matter, the British royals) to address the people, which is why the site used to feature a secret rail line that forked from the main line between London and Bristol.

People only learned of the top secret Burlington bunker’s existence after it was decommissioned in 2004, at which point most of its supplies had been drained and a small staff of four people was running the entire bunker.

2. Raven Rock

Where does the Department of Defense go when things get really hairy? Like, “actual bombs are falling on the Pentagon” serious? The answer is Raven Rock. This mountain complex, which is also known as Site R, was built underneath Pennsylvania’s Blue Ridge mountains, and is connected to Camp David (the country retreat of the President of the United States) with a 6.5-mile tunnel in case the POTUS needs evacuating as well.

Raven Rock is basically every Cold War -era fear rolled into one giant bunker complex, which comes as no surprise seeing as it was built between 1951 and 1953 — the heyday of the post-WWII Red Scare. It’s basically the Pentagon, but as a huge, ultra-safe underground structure that was (at least theoretically) self-sufficient enough to shelter the country’s best and brightest for an indeterminate period of time. Some of its tunnels are large enough to house several large buildings that, in turn, are designed to house hundreds of high-ranking folks. The site also has its own power plant, two water reservoirs, and even a well-stocked bar. Being a military project, its price tag was equally impressive — its original budget of $35 million eventually ballooned into $350 million, adjusted for inflation.

Despite all of its obsolete Cold War glory, Raven Rock remains fully staffed even today. It was even used for emergency evacuation during the 9/11 attacks, when Vice President Dick Cheney sought shelter there. However, it’s hardly a top secret location — in fact, the Obama administration even started offering tours of the site as part of their “Weekend at Camp David” program.

1. The Oppidum

And then there is the Oppidum. Where other luxury bunkers stuff their underground complexes with high-end features and millionaire opulence, this super-secure compound in the Czech Republic takes things even further.  Apart from the five-star nuclear bunker comfort you’d expect at this point of the list, the Oppidum’s living quarters are two-part affair where you can go from living in your palatial above-ground residence to an equally lush underground bunker, which can be sealed with a sturdy blast door in under a minute.

Because the whole structure is surrounded by mountains and located in a peaceful country with no ready enemies, it’s unlikely to be nuked to oblivion in the first place, but should the situation demand taking things underground, the massive two-level bunker is reportedly the most luxurious “residential doomsday shelter” in the world. Incidentally, it’s also the largest, at a ridiculous 323,000 square feet. The Oppidum isn’t shy about using all that space for sheer extravagance, either; apart from unexpectedly fancy living quarters, the complex features amenities such as a spa, a wine cellar, and even a nice garden with “simulated natural light.” Oh, and to protect the luxury compound from attacks by mutants of the radioactive post-apocalyptic wasteland, the Oppidum also features state-of-the-art defense systems, ranging from high walls and sensors to “automated defense technology.”


North Korean Dreamin’ –

WIF Underground

Bomb Shelter Handbook – Surviving The Apocalypse

Leave a comment


Bunkers and Bomb Shelters

to Ride Out

the Apocalypse

If all out nuclear war happened, many places in the world could be wiped off the face of the Earth in the blasts. Unlucky survivors would die slowly from radiation or in nuclear winter. It’s a nightmarish scenario, and just one way humanity could be doomed. We could also be killed off by disease, environmental problems, and asteroids, just to name a few extinction level events. Because there are so many ways humanity could end on any given day, some people have built, or are in the process of building, some amazing bunkers and fallout shelters.

10. Atlas Survival Shelter

To start off, we thought we’d go with the working person’s luxury bomb shelter. Atlas Survival Shelter’s Galvanized Corrugated Pipe bomb shelter starts at about $49,000. The pipe is 32-by-10-feet and it can comfortably house three or four people. It has one bedroom plus extra bunks, a washroom with a shower, and there is storage under the floor so you can store up to a year’s worth of food. The tube, which has its own air filtration system and is powered by solar panels, protects the inhabitants from bomb blasts, and nuclear, chemical and biological disasters. Finally, any exterior components, such as the lid of the escape tube and solar panels, are hidden and nearly impossible to see unless you know what you’re looking for.

What’s interesting about the Atlas system is that multiple tubes can be connected together to make much bigger complexes. For example, they have a complex that holds 80 to 90 people. Check out the video above for one of the “higher end” models sold by Atlas.

9. Silo Home

The aptly named Silo Home was built over an Atlas F missile silo that was constructed during the Cold War in the Adirondack Mountains in Saranac, New York. The home that sits over the silo looks like a normal 1,800 square-foot cabin. The bunker, which is protected by walls that are three feet thick, is connected to the ground floor via a spiral staircase.

The subterrain area has two floors. The 2,300 square feet of living space includes a jacuzzi, a kitchen, a dining area, and an entertainment room. There are even windows with fake light that simulate sunlight. The Silo Home is also full of potential because there is lots of room for more renovations. There are nine levels, equaling 12,000 square feet, that are still unused.

8. The Caverns Suite

Have you ever seen the Grand Canyon and thought to yourself, “That looks comfortable enough to sleep in”? Hopefully not. But if, for some reason, you’d love to sleep there, there’s actually a luxury suite 200 feet below ground in the Grand Canyon Caverns in Peach Springs, Arizona, that was once a fallout shelter.

The caverns were discovered in 1927 by a woodcutter named Walter Peck. Accounts vary, but apparently Peck either fell or nearly fell into it. Peck thought that there might be gold in the caverns and quickly bought the land. When he found out there was no gold, he made it a tourist attraction, and led tours around the caverns. Since then, it’s had several owners and has been used in different ways. Notably, during the Cuban Missile Crisis it was used as a bomb shelter that could house 200 people. Some of the relics of its days as a fallout shelter can still be found there, such as dehydrated food.

In 2001, it was purchased by a group of friends who converted the remnants of the bomb shelter into a luxury suite that is 220 feet by 400 feet, with a 70-foot ceiling.To stay at the “oldest, darkest, deepest, quietest, and largest suite room in the world” for one night, it costs the first two guests $800 and then $100 for each additional person, and it holds up to six people. However, if it were needed for a bomb shelter, 2,000 people could survive in the caverns for several weeks.

7. Subterra Castle

subterra

Located in the Kansas hills, about 25 miles west of Topeka, Subterra Castle is a mansion that was created from a missile silo that once held an 82-foot Atlas-E rocket. Ed Peden and his wife, Dianna Ricke-Peden, bought the silo in 1984 for $40,000 and did a tremendous amount of work on it. They converted it into an underground mansion before moving into it in 1994. The silo has four bedrooms and two baths, there is a music room complete with a stage, domestic and commercial kitchens, a library/study, and a hot tub.

Ed Peden loves giving tours of his home to school groups, television crews, and anyone else who wants to see the bunker. Just make sure you let him know ahead of time.

6. Girard B. Henderson’s Bomb Shelter

If you were to look at this Las Vegas home from the street, you probably wouldn’t think much of it. It’s fairly mundane, just a two-story house that looks like it was built sometime in the 1970s. However, 26 feet below the house is an amazing Cold War fallout shelter that’s connected to the house by an elevator. The shelter comes complete with fake scenery, which includes fake trees and fake rocks. There’s a garden of sorts, which has a four-hole putting green, two jacuzzis, a sauna, a dance floor, a bar, and a barbeque that is in the shape of a rock. Oh, and a swimming pool, of course.

There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Finally, the lights can be adjusted to imitate different times of the day. There are even some twinkling stars to imitate the night sky. The shelter was installed in 1978, and the original owner, Girard B. Henderson, former director of Avon who died in 1980, had the décor reflect the era in which it was built. There are pastels everywhere, and the kitchen is pink. The house was listed for $1.7 million in 2013, but it is unclear if it was ever purchased.

5. The Facility

Built in 1969 in Tift County, Georgia, but renovated to new government standards in 2012, the Facility (as it has been nicknamed) is a privately owned fallout shelter. It sits on 32 acres, and above it is 2,000 square feet of commercial space and a caretaker’s home. 45 feet below is the bunker with three-foot cement walls that can withstand a 20 kiloton nuclear explosion. The bunker has four 600-square foot apartments, each have two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and dining area.

It also has five staff bedrooms, because what’s the point of surviving the apocalypsewithout someone to clean up after you? Other amenities include a 15-seat home theater, a library, a conference room, a first-aid room, a commercial kitchen, an HVAC system, and environmental monitoring sensors. The Facility went on the market in 2015, but it’s probably out of your price range unless your name is Bill Gates.

4. Luxury Survival Condos

In 2008, Denver based developer Larry Hall bought a 174-foot deep former nuclear missile silo near Concordia, Kansas. He converted it to a large bunker made up of individual condominiums. Besides the condos, the bunker has a swimming pool, a library, a 17-seat movie theater, and a hydroponic vegetable garden. To fortify the bunker, there are two armored doors weighing 16,000 pounds each, and the bunker has its own security force. Each resident is also given five years’ worth of freeze-dried and dehydrated food.

The silo can house up to 75 people, and there are full units and half units. A full unit is 1,820 square-feet with nine foot ceilings and costs $3 million, while half-units cost $1.5 million. Hall also provides armored pickup for the residents within 400 miles of the silo, which is designed to protect its inhabitants from war, terrorist attacks, disease, and many other disasters.

Amazingly, by 2012, Hall had completed construction and sold all his units. He is currently trying to develop two more silos.

3. Vivos Indiana

In a secret location near Terre Haute, Indiana, is a luxury fallout shelter built by doomsday bunker builder Vivos. The shelter is built out of a Cold War communications facility that was designed to withstand a 20 megaton blast within a few miles of the bunker. Their website says they are not near any nuclear targets.

Inside the bunker, 80 people can be housed. Amazingly, at the time of this writing, there are only 10 spots left. If you’re interested in securing your spot, as of August 2016, it will cost $50,000 per adult and $35,000 per child. The one-time cost includes enough food that all residents could live underground for a year. As for the accommodations, they are about on par with a 4-star hotel, but obviously freeze-dried and dehydrated foods have a tough time competing with resort food. However, it does have a movie theater, dining area, gym, and the condos are lavishly decorated.

Amazingly, Vivos Indiana isn’t the only project taken on by Vivos. In fact, they have a much bigger bomb shelter called…

2. Vivos Europa One

Located in the German village of Rothenstein, Vivos Europa One is one of the most secure structures in the world, and the accommodations are supposedly on par with a five star resort. Originally, the bunker was built as a weapons storage that the Soviets in the 1970s. When West and East Germany merged, Germany inherited the bunker that was built on a mountainside, and planned to store weapons there. However, when they found out they couldn’t do that without violating international treaties, they sold it in an auction. It was eventually purchased by Vivos, who set to work converting the 227,904 square-foot silo into a giant doomsday bunker.

Another unique feature is that above the bunker there is an above ground component that’s 43,906 square-feet. It consists of offices, warehouse buildings, and a train depot. Protecting the bunker is the mountain into which it’s built. There are three doors that are nuclear blast and radiation proof, and the bunker has its own private security force.

The bunker can hold up to 6,000 families and most individual condos are 2,500 square-feet. It’s also possible to build a second level, so your condo can be expanded to 5,000 square-feet. The bunker can also house a small zoo, and has room for genetic storage. For entertainment, there are pools, restaurants, theaters, and gyms. There’s no price listed on their website, but for one of the safest and swankiest fallout shelters in the world, we’re guessing you won’t be bumping into too many Philosophy majors or list writers there.

1. The Oppidum

Dubbed “The World’s Largest Private Apocalypse Shelter” by Forbes, the Oppidum is found in the mountains of the Czech Republic and is a bit different from the other shelters on this list. People who buy bunkers here can also live above ground on the massive 323,000 square estate. Should there be a reason to get into the bunker, they would go to their secret corridor, which is sealed off by a blast proof door. This allows the residents to reach safety in under a minute.

The bunker is designed for billionaires, so despite having a ton of square footage, there are only seven apartments. Residents can live up to 10 years underground. For the residents of the seven apartments, there’s a movie theater, a spa, a swimming pool, and a library.

There was no cost listed, and in order to even visit their website you need a code. Surprise, surprise, we don’t have one.


Bomb Shelter Handbook

 Surviving The Apocalypse