It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Missile Silo Confessions: Living on the Edge of Armageddon! (now owned by citizen)

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 20 2010 @ 03:47 PM

Deep in the barren Sonoran Desert in the summer of 2008, Drew Reeves drove a back-hoe fourteen feet into the earth. That was as far as he could go before having to hire help and an Excavator — a construction vehicle with a giant mechanical shovel on the end of a huge boom arm (pictured below). After pulling out huge blocks of concrete and piles of dirt from the hole, the Excavator operator got a little overzealous. “He stretched that boom way too far out and down he went,” said Reeves. Twenty-seven hours and one toppled piece of heavy machinery later, Reeves was faced with a 6,000-pound blast door. “That little tiny Excavator we had down in there, we had to tie a rope to the door handle and give it a little jerk. And it opened right up.”

The Titan II missile silo complex was first carved out with dynamite in the early ’60s and manned by a crew whose job it was to ensure our enemy’s mutual destruction should we enter nuclear war. It was later dismantled and sealed up to comply with international treaties. After sitting buried beneath rubble for two decades, the site was ready to be explored.

Constructing nuclear fortresses was not an easy task. Workers reported that Reeves’ site required twice as much dynamite as usual because of all the rock. “We would work 18-hour shifts,” Barthelette said of the beginning of his service, via e-mail, “as there was a deadline assigned to each site. Some of the sites were up to 50 miles from the base so normally I would eat the foil packs they sent out to the site and slept in my parka on the steel-plated decks of the silo. I learned to sleep anywhere and at anytime while in the service.” Barthelette served eight years at various missile sites, including Bitburg, Germany. He began his career overseeing site purchases and construction, and eventually took a position on a missile control crew.

Many abandoned nuclear missile sites are now owned by regular citizens trying to find a function for them. Read on to probe the depths of Reeves’ silo and hear from ex-crew members who had their fingers on the button when Armageddon was just a command away. Reeves’ new property was one of 18 Titan II missile silos attached to the Davis-Montham Air Force base near Tucson, Arizona. Equipped with larger warheads than the Atlas missiles and faster deployment than the original design, second-generation Titans stood at alert from the program’s inception in 1963 to its end in 1987.

Lt. Yvonne Morris supervised a launch crew in the early ’80s (above) in what has become the Titan Missile Museum, where she acts as director. The museum also contains the last surviving Titian II missile.

“I had been trained enough in potential war scenarios,” she said, “to know that if I got an order to launch my missile that my parents’ farm and nice rural Virginia was a big smoking hole. It was over. And life as I know it was over.”

“There’s just no going back from this,” said Morris. “If you’re gonna launch a Titan II, that’s not the missile that you’re going to use to demonstrate your conviction to use nuclear weapons. It’s not the thing that says,’ Hey, I told you I would do this and here’s one to prove it.’ If you launch a Titan II it’s guns blazing — we’re in World War III. “I’d read enough apocalyptic fiction by then, and I didn’t really have much faith in what life was going to look like after that anyway. So did I want some payback for losing my family, losing life as I know it before I die? Yes. And I’m not ashamed to say that.”

America’s nuclear policy was one of deterrence by credible threat, a position held by the Titan II program during its tenure. Armageddon was strategy: mutual assured destruction. To ensure the missiles would fire after being attacked, and thus obliterate a good portion of the human race, missile silos were constructed to withstand bombardment. The center blast lock, separating the launch control from the missile, is a fortress.


The story continues and a lot more pics from the facility (then and now). In case you're interested, there are other silos complexs (and this one) for sale. This guy would sell his for $495K. Man if I had the money!!

Well, anyway dive in and enjoy. There is a boatload of info contained in the original source and two links to other silos that have already been converted. Pretty amzaing stuff-if you think about it.

Knowing my luck there would be some old launch code and coordinates right to the place I buy. BOOM sucker...

Anyone been in these things and can relate?

posted on May, 20 2010 @ 06:59 PM
No ATSers have an experience with missile silos?

I just find that hard to believe.

And, no ATSers would want to own one of these-other than myself? hmmm. Maybe the wife was right-it is a crazy idea to own one?!

posted on May, 20 2010 @ 07:45 PM
I saw something somewhere a few years back about these properties that were for sale. I can't remember if it was ATS or somewhere else, but a little Googling will yield some pretty cool results.

I want one!

posted on May, 21 2010 @ 12:04 PM
reply to post by anon72

phone up tom cruise
think he has one as a home

posted on May, 26 2010 @ 12:27 PM
I have visited that silo, even considered buying a silo (there's a website listing those for sale), and have a signed copy of Titan Tales - now that's a great book on the subject.

Now all this is all from memory, but the Titan II warhead yield was 9.4 Mt which I believe is still the largest yield we ever put on a missile - there were bigger air dropped bombs, but nothing bigger on top of a rocket. On detonation the fireball alone measured 2 miles in diameter and they have one of the re-entry vehicles on display at the museum.

As for the photos, the 3 horizontal buttons at the top left of the console you see with the female officer, are the target selection options - A, B, or C - the Titan could be instantly configured to hit one of 3 pre-programmed locations - the crew never knew what they were.

The original video camera installed in the security trap zone still works perfectly after 40 years of continuous use, and the huge steel and concrete blast door has never sagged a millimeter on its bearings in all that time - they built those complexes to a gold standard.

Definitely worth a visit - one lucky camper from each tour group gets to "launch" the missile, and for our tour that person was my wife.

They also filmed the Star Trek movie First Contact there.

posted on May, 26 2010 @ 02:04 PM
reply to post by Retseh

I knew there had to be an ATS member that would know this stuff.

Thank you for the info. My wife and I talk about this, again and again. It would be fun.

I bet you were having one heck of a time in there. I can only imagine the work that went into those things.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Still considering buying?

posted on May, 26 2010 @ 04:37 PM
reply to post by anon72

You're welcome - you really should read Titan Tales if you're interested in knowing what life was like for the 3 crewman on each shift.

As for buying - I would love to, take a look at what is currently on offer in the missile silo home market.....

posted on May, 26 2010 @ 07:27 PM
reply to post by Retseh

I just checked the site-now in my favorite. Now I know I want one. Pretty freakin' cool man.

I can't believe more ATSers didn't check this thread out. You would think..... never mind.

Thank you and I will check out Titan Tales.

Take care.

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by anon72

Happy to help out, and yes this is a pretty cool thread, I'm sure a lot of members would get a kick out of it if they knew it existed - but then I'm biased because that missile silo is only a 2 hour drive from my house.

If you buy one of those up for sale as homes, let me know - gotta love the US for this kind of stuff, very, very cool.

posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 07:15 PM
Got to love the "last inspection" notice.... 2 x Satisfactory 1 x Excellent


posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 07:26 PM
I would love to live in one of those, you could survive anything...
Imagine waking up one morning and thinking, "i need to go to the store" and when you come up to the surface and the world as we know it has ended..
Damn no eggs for breakfast

posted on Oct, 12 2015 @ 10:32 PM
I took pictures at four different decomissioned Titan II silos outside Tucson yesterday. I would be happy to upload and share the pics if I knew how to get them on this page.

new topics

top topics


log in