10 Abandoned Nuclear Bunkers, Missile Silos & Ammunition Dumps

8. Nuclear Missile Silo, Deer Trail, Colorado

titan-nuclear-missile-silo-abandoned (Image: ritingon, cc-4.0)

The nuclear missile silo located just outside of Deer Trail, Colorado is officially designated as the Martin Marietta SM-68A-HGM-25A Titan I. Even though it was only in active use for three years, it’s notable in that it was the first multi-stage, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile for the US military. For the few years that it was operation, it wasn’t only the height of missile technology, but it was also one of the first and instrumental locations of the military’s strategic nuclear forces.

titan-nuclear-missile-silo-abandoned-2 (Image: ritingon, cc-4.0)

Today, it’s on private property and is strictly off-limits. In the 1960s, there were 54 Titan I missile silos across the western part of the United States, capable of launching a missile that could travel at 25 times the speed of sound. They were accurate to a distance of 6,000 miles, and they were about 200 times more powerful than the bombs dropped during World War One.

titan-nuclear-missile-silo-abandoned-3 (Image: ritingon, cc-4.0)

Most of the Titan I silos were built to the same plan, and over the years since their decommissioning, the elements have taken their toll.

titan-nuclear-missile-silo (Image: US Government, public domain)

The depths of the Deer Trail missile silo reflect an off-limits (and extremely unsafe) underground world. Much of the old signage remains, though, giving clues as to what each room had once been used for. Rusting machinery still lays in the depths of the abandoned silo, an ignominious end to buildings that once held off nuclear war.

7. The Other Diefenbunker, Canada

Diefenbunker-canada (Image: Samuel Duval, cc-sa-3.0)

During the Cold War, Canada was also taking precautions against the potential outbreak of nuclear war. In 1958, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker commissioned the building of an underground bunker that was able to withstand a nuclear blast, shelter the upper-level members of the government, and keep the country functioning if things went sideways.

Diefenbunker-canada-abandoned (Image: Ottawa Citizen)

The building of the bunker was called Project EASE, and the Diefenbunker was one in a series of underground shelters meant to be used in the emergency of nuclear war. Each Canadian province had shelters that were capable of supporting between 250 and 350 of their top officials.

Diefenbunker-canada-abandoned-2 (Image: Ottawa Citizen)

The Diefenbunker was decommissioned in 1994, and plans were in place to strip the bunker of what could be re-used, then seal the entrance and leave it. That didn’t happen, though, and the bunker was made a National Historic Site and converted into a museum to Canada’s Cold War history.

Diefenbunker-canada-abandoned-3 (Image: Ottawa Citizen)

The site of the underground museum isn’t the original Diefenbunker. Not much is actually known about the first attempt to build the shelter, and it wasn’t until recently that the original site was found. Standing even farther outside Ottawa is the flooded, abandoned Diefenbunker. An overgrown road leads to the site, which is little more than a water-filled hole, 160 feet by 160 feet in the rocky Canadian woods. Once the second site was built, the fate of the first was forgotten. Construction problems flooded the site with water and it was abandoned in favor of the second one; it was only with some creative searching with vague coordinates and satellite images that the remains of the first bunker were finally found.

 
 


 
 
 

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