Saturday, May 31, 2008
Deep Underground Nuclear Research Facility,Artemovsk:This 'underground lair' is maintained by the Russian Institute for Nuclear Research (RAS), and it's located in an old salt mine at depths of around 600 meters. The most bizarre aspect of this secret place is the entrance to the facility which looks like a typical Ukrainian Cottage from the outside: you would never guess that it's the entrance to a deep underground research facility equipped with a 100 ton neutrino particle detector. This place even has an underground Orthodox Church carved into a damp and chilly cave, and a slew of cave-carved statues.
Baksan Neutrino Observatory,Caucacus Mountains: Located deep within the Caucasus Mountains, the Baksan Neutrino Observatory (BNO) is maintained by the RAS and houses the Baksan Underground Scintillation Telescope (BUST). This huge nuclear-detecting telescope is located about 300 meters below the surface of the earth.
This Russian research facility is located literally inside a mountain with a complex network of tunnels that lead to the telescope. This place is definitely not for the claustrophobic! The only way to gain access to BNO is to cross an old, rickety bridge that leads to the main entrance.
The United States Bullion Depository,Fort Knox: Simply known as Fort Knox to most people, the United States Bullion Depository in Kentucky is home to over 5,000 tons of gold bullion. Fort Knox is one of the most secretive and secure places on the planet, and there have only been a select number of people to ever grace the inside of this top secret fortress: most presidents haven't even seen the inside of this place.
Because of the highly secretive nature of Fort Knox, there have been countless conspiracy theories linked to Fort Knox and many of which claimed that there was no gold stored here, and it was a complete hoax. Those rumours were quieted after a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the facility was given to a very few select people in 1974. The only known video of the inside of the depository shows that there is gold here, and lots of it!
Fort Knox holds about 1/8th of the world's total gold reserves, which equates to well-over $100 billion at today's rates. Each gold bar weighs 40 lbs a piece and is worth about $200,000. The gold is stored in a total of 28 vaults that are protected by 21" thick steel doors that weigh 20 tons each, and the entire facility is guarded by armed military police.
Guardian Underground Telephone Exchange & Deep Level Tunnel System,Manchester: Built in 1954, this mass system of tunnels consisted of a main tunnel that was 1,000 feet long and 25 feet wide. This complex safe-haven was built in case of a nuclear attack, which was a very serious threat at the time. The extensive tunnel system was designed to be able to resist a Hiroshima-sized atom bomb. In the event of an attack, the main tunnel was sealed by a huge 35 ton concrete slab. The main tunnel was located beneath buildings in Back George Street, and there were other longer tunnels constructed that connected with Salford, Guardian and Ardwick near the University of Manchester.
There is some evidence that these tunnels are still used today or at least kept in working order, although not to the extent that they were back in the days of the Cold War.
Underwater Telescope,Lake Baikal: The RAS has situated a huge telescope at a depth of about 1200 meters inside of the world's deepest lake, Lake Baikal. The intended purpose of the telescope is to measure neutrino activity, and it can cover an area of over 1,000 square meters.
Site R @ Raven Rock,Pennsylvania: This underground facility was one of the first of its kind in America, and it was initially completed in 1953 and added onto in 1963. The secret complex lies 650 feet below the summit of Raven Rock which stands 1,529 feet tall. This mountainous military facility has just about everything that you would ever need to survive here including a restaurant, fitness center, barbershop, legal services, chapel, 6 1,000 kilowatt generators and much more.
The 6 storey high underground facility was visited by 5 helicopters and a convoy of SUVs within hours of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon according to people who live nearby the facility: was it the President or Vice President taking cover in the granite fortress at Raven Rock? Nobody knows for sure.
Congressional Bunker @ the Greenbrier Hotel,West Virginia: Sometime around 1960, a large underground bunker was constructed at the luxurious Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia as a place for members of Congress to hideout in the event of a nuclear war. The huge bunker could accommodate up to 800 people and was accessible from inside the hotel or an outside entrance. In all, about 50,000 tons of concrete laced with steel reinforcements was used to construct the bunker which was covered with about 20 feet of dirt upon completion.
Today there isn't as much threat of a nuclear war as there was 50 years ago, but the bunker still remains today hidden beneath the West Virginia Wing of the historical Greenbrier Hotel. Hotel guests now have the opportunity of taking a tour of the historical hideaway.
Menwith Hill,North Yorkshire: The world's largest spy base, and most secretive in Britain, is the Menwith Hill base which is run by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States. Little is known of the intelligence that flows through this little-known spy base and as a matter of fact, hardly anyone even knew this base existed until a few years ago. The top secret base works on a 'ask no questions, get no answers' way of thinking when it comes to the the base's missions and intelligence.
Menwith Hill is guarded by an 8 foot high security fence, barbed wire, infrared cameras, and security guards. The number of radomes (the giant golf ball covers over the satellites) have steadily grown in numbers of the years, which leads some people to believe that this spy station is growing in both size and the amount of intelligence that flows through the facility.
Fuhrerbunker,Berlin: This bunker was located over 8 meters below the ground, and became famous for being the location that Adolph Hitler and his wife committed suicide during World War II. Fuhrerbunker was actually two bunkers in one, and there was four meters of concrete separating the two. There was a total of 30 small rooms in the two levels of the bunkers.
The Fuhrerbunker was actually located just beneath the garden of the old Reich Chancellery building, and when Hitler took cover at Fuhrerbunker back in 1945, rumour has it that he used to walk his dog Blondi through the garden until that area started to sustain heavy fire from the Red Army. Hitler killed himself below this same garden on April 30, 1945. Today, the Fuhrerbunker is not in use and is surrounded by apartment buildings, but there's a plaque at the location of the bunker to inform people of its historical significance.
Guantanamo Bay,Cuba: This detainment center in Cuba is exclusively for prisoners that have been classified by the U.S. as 'enemy combatants'. The list of detainees at Guantanamo Bay have included 775 prisoners since the start of the war in Afghanistan (420 have been released), and 6 prisoners who are waiting to be prosecuted for conspiracy in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
There are many secrets surrounding the treatment of inmates at Guantanamo Bay. Many inmates have alleged acts of torture, sexual degradation, forced drugging and religious persecution among other complaints. Many of these allegations haven't been proven to be true, but the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp still has an aura of secrecy behind its closed doors that could just very well be hiding the truth.
RAF Flyingdales,North York Moors: This radar base on Snot Hill is part of the US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) and is just one of a series of these secret facilities around the world that the US and the UK use to share intelligence of any type of missile attack or orbiting object. This facility is maintained by the Royal Air Force who monitor the 360 degree radars here, which are capable of tracking objects up to 3,000 miles away. There were 3 'golf ball-like' radomes that were each 40 meters in diameter at this location, but they were later replaced by the 120 foot tall 'pyramid' radar system that had a wider range.
Flyingdales is located relatively close to Menwith Hill, and the two bases have similar functions. They are both the subject of many protests by people who believe that the bases are somehow associated with nuclear warfare. Whether they are or not may never truly be known, because not much information leaves these intelligence facilities.
Syrian Nuclear Reactor Facility,Al Kibar: Recent images were released by a covert Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mission that shows what seems to be a nuclear reactor plant in the eastern desert near Al Kibar, Syria. The structure strongly resembles nuclear reactor facilities located in North Korea. The nuclear reactor facility here was recently destroyed by bomb, although there are other similar-looking plants nearby that are still being investigated to this day.
Hack Green Nuclear Bunker,UK: In 1941 Hack Green became the site that was designated to protect land between Birmingham and Liverpool from any kind of hostile attack against the UK. At that time, this facility was used exclusively as a bomb decoy site. Hack Green was fully-equipped with radar, searchlights and fighter plane control and played an intricate defense role during World War II. A top secret defense weapon, called the WE I 77, was used to detect a missile attack against the UK, and automatically fire a retaliation missile defense against the attack. You can now take a tour of this once top secret nuclear defense base.
Iron Mountain,Pennsylvania: Deep within Iron Mountain near Pittsburgh, lies a secret hideaway that sits over 200 feet beneath the surface of the earth. This place stores some of the most priceless photographs, master record recordings, secret government documents and much more: the priceless value of the documents and artifacts stored here are worth more than any other place like it on the planet, including places like Fort Knox. Some examples of the items being stored here include priceless photos of Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, a rare photo of Adolph Hitler as a baby and important moments in world history. Iron Mountain is also the storage facility for thousands of master record recordings from artists like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Frank Sinatra.
This huge underground cavern also is the home to some of the most important, and classified, government documents on the face of the earth, including secret documents about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Iron Mountain is essentially an underground city, and its security is so tight that there has never been a security breach of any kind at the facility.
Mt. Weather,Virginia: Mt. Weather is a 100+ year old government official 'safe zone' located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bluemont, Virginia just a short drive from the White House in Washington DC. The entire complex is set on a 434 acre site, and the complex itself is about 600,000 square feet in size.
The underground bunker at Mt. Weather is more like a city than a bunker: facilities here include a hospital, crematorium, dining areas, recreation areas, power plant, radio/television studios, plenty of drinking water and much more. During the 9/11 attacks, this was the location that many of the high-level government officials were relocated to. Until somewhat recently, this government facility was kept totally secret from the public.