Nestled among Kansas cornfields in a landscape devoid of any noticeable natural topography, a verdant mound can be seen from a dirt road. Surrounded by a military-grade chain fence and in the shadow of a large wind turbine, a security guard in camouflage paces the fence line with an assault rifle. If you look closely, you might notice what looks like a concrete pill box perched on the top of the small hill, flanked by cameras. What lies underneath is a bunker that is unassuming, unassailable and – to many – unbelievable.

To the outsider it looks a bit like a secret government installation – and indeed at one time it was. But this is not a bunker built to hide citizens or to protect the politicians who ordered its construction. It is an Atlas F missile silo, built by the US in the early 1960s at a cost of about US$15 million. It was one of 72 blast “hardened” silo structures built to protect nuclear-tipped Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles with an ordnance 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Although it was out of sight and out of mind to the average US citizen, it played a crucial role in a geopolitical agenda of extinction-level significance during the Cold War.

However, that was then. The bunker is now no longer owned by the government, but by Larry Hall, a former government contractor, property developer and self-confessed doomsday “prepper” who purchased it in 2008. Preppers are the people who anticipate and attempt to adapt for what they see as probable or inevitable and impending conditions of calamity (ranging from low-level crises to extinction-level events). According to Michael Mills, a criminologist at the University of Kent, preppers build for situations where “food and basic utilities may be unavailable, government assistance may be non-existent and survivors may have to individually sustain their own survival”. READ MORE…

Article Source: The Conversation