10 Abandoned Nuclear Bunkers, Missile Silos & Ammunition Dumps

2. Hitler’s Hollywood Bunker, California

murphy-ranch-abandoned-hollywood-ca (Image: NoiseCollusion, cc-4.0)

It’s one of those stories that really, truly sounds like something out of a far-fetched alternative history novel. In the 1930s, a mysterious man by the name of Herr Schmidt had recruited the help of Los Angeles locals Winona and Norman Stephens…. and their followers. The Stephens were a part of a pro-Nazi group called the Silver Shirts, and although the details of the story are vague and many have been lost, the story’s still downright weird – and supposedly, it all started with a psychic vision that an American bunker was going to be Hitler’s next headquarters.

murphy-ranch-abandoned-hollywood-ca-2 (Image: NoiseCollusion, cc-4.0)

The Stephens began to finance a project dubbed the Murphy Ranch, named after the supposed property owner who has never been identified outside of owning the patch of land. The so-called ranch was, according to Herr Schmidt, going to be Hitler’s headquarters, where he would move after the war and reign from. Plans included everything that was needed to make the compound self-sufficient, from generators and water treatment facilities to machine shops and terraced gardens for fruit trees. The compound was never completed, and included plans for a massive mansion, but it was home to a group of Nazi supporters who ran drills in preparation for the time when Hitler would come to take up residence in his specially-built bunker.

murphy-ranch-abandoned-hollywood-ca-3 (Image: NoiseCollusion, cc-4.0)

The whole thing came to a screeching halt, though; on the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the entire group was arrested.

The compound briefly became an artists’ community, but now, what remains of it lies in ruins, much of it destroyed in the many fires that ravage the California wilderness.

1. Albania’s Cold War Bunkers

albania-abandoned-bunker (Image: Concrete Mushrooms Project, cc-sa-3.0)

There’s so many abandoned bunkers dotting the landscape of Albania that it’s not even known how many there are – estimates put the total at between 700,000 and 750,000. There’s one bunker for every 4 people that live in the country, and there’s an average of 24 in every square kilometer.

albania-abandoned-bunker-2 (Image: Concrete Mushrooms Project, cc-sa-3.0)

The mind-numbing amount of Cold War-era bunkers were the legacy of Albanian ruler Enver Hoxha. Between 1950 and 1985, Hoxha had these bunkers built for the defense of the country. Now, they’re not so much protecting the country as they are weighing it down.

albania-abandoned-bunker-3 (Image: Rainchill, public domain)

Each one of the bunkers costs about 800 Euro to destroy; needless to say, most haven’t been destroyed. It’s a staggering amount of money to spend to get rid of the bunkers that dot the landscape, so not surprisingly, many have become something less military and more a canvas for graffiti artists, and homes for those that have been displaced for one reason or another. The bunkers were engineered to be able to take direct damage from a tank – which was proven by the engineer, when he was forced to stand inside his creation while it was shelled.

albania-abandoned-bunker-4 (Image: wstuppert, cc-sa-4.0)

Albania has something of an interesting relationship with these hundreds of thousands of reminders of the Cold War era paranoia that gripped the country. Some places have painted their bunkers in order to help come to terms with the dark reminders that cover their land – the culture minister even invited civilians to paint the bunkers laying in a strip of land near their major airport, turning them into a field of mushrooms.

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