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Iron Mountain has come a long way since the 50's, when a depleted iron ore mine in upstate New York was converted to the United States' first secure underground records storage center designed to protect corporate vital records in the event of a nuclear holocaust. Since that time, while the motivation for records storage and management services has changed, Iron Mountain's commitment to store, manage, and protect records, documents, and electronic data has not wavered. Most recently, the Company earned its spot on the Fortune 1000 list.
The drive from the Pittsburgh airport to the secret underground facility winds through rolling Pennsylvania farmlands and woods, past quaint old churches and through tiny towns that time has overlooked. The access road to the site is unmarked, but written directions say to turn left just after a certain picnic shelter.
A guard stops the car and searches it. Satisfied that the visitors don't have weapons, cameras or tape recorders, he advises driving forward to the next checkpoint and honking the horn. There, at the mouth of an old limestone mine, a massive metal gate grinds open, admitting the car to an underground guard post for more searches and interrogations.
Just when it seems that every conceivable security measure has been attended to, a guard hands the visitors a fire extinguisher and says it must be carried in their vehicle wherever it might travel in the 20 miles of tunnels that run through the mine.
In 1951, Iron Mountain Atomic Storage, Inc. was founded. Mr. Knaust opened the first "vaults" inside Iron Mountain and put a sales office in the Empire State Building. Having a knack for publicity, he persuaded luminaries such as General Douglas MacArthur to visit Iron Mountain.
Iron Mountain has a rich and colorful history dating back to 1951, when a depleted iron ore mine in upstate New York was converted to the United States' first secure underground records storage center designed to protect corporate vital records in the event of a nuclear holocaust.
What does "Einstein Sticking His Tongue Out," the famous photograph, have in common with flags and other memorabilia left at the crash site of Flight 93, which went down on Sept. 11, 2001? Both are locked in a Pennsylvania storage facility 220 feet below the ground, which is owned by Boston-based Iron Mountain.
A documentary entitled “Frozen in Time”—produced in 2004 by Terence Smith, Media Correspondent and Senior Producer of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer—told of the Bettmann Archives, the world’s most renowned private collection of historical photographic and graphic images, which is stored at Iron Mountain.
“With its imposing name and military-tight security,” says Smith, “you might think that the Iron Mountain National Underground Storage Facility is one of those forbidding places where presidents and generals huddled during the Cold War."
Smith reminisced, “Iron Mountain is a city unto itself. In the 1950s, it was advertised as a blast-proofed nuclear bunker, complete with all the comforts of home.”
Originally posted by Brother Stormhammer
If this *was* the actual work of some 'shadow government' organization, I'm suddenly a lot less worried about their influence on society. If they can't manage to find competent writers and editors, they're probably short of competent people in other fields as well.
Originally posted by Rhain
Inside Iron Mountain - Secret Government Facility
Here is a very interesting videos of a reporter getting a guided tour. Very nice clip.