North Korean nuke fears prompt interest in abandoned ICBM sites
As the owner selling an excavated underground Minuteman II missile site in Missouri on eBay, California investor Russ Nielsen reads the pulse of America’s darkest fears.
The number of people visiting the historic property’s eBay information page spikes like an EKG in a heart attack.
Ordinarily, the curious property located near Holden, MO, may get some 70 online views a day, Nielsen said by phone this week from California.
When Donald Trump won the presidency last November? Boom. The site was getting 140 to 150 hits a day.
And now, as North Korea’s volatile leader Kim Jong Un defiantly sends ballistic missiles over Japan, survivalists and the frightened are back at some 150 views a day.
“It’s definitely a ‘prepper’ kind of thing,” Nielsen said, referring to the slang term for people who want to be prepared in the event of widespread calamity and disorder.
Bomb shelter companies across the nation are reporting a boost in sales.
The selling price for Nielsen’s unique property, though, is steep for most people, he said. It’s going for $325,000. He’s had five potential buyers who were serious since he put it up for sale in the fall of 2015, he said. A couple of them are still trying to raise the financing.
What Nielsen recovered — at great cost and effort over a span of two years — is the “Mike-1” Minuteman II missile launch facility that housed the missileers who controlled the triggers to 10 of the 150 intercontinental missile sites scattered across central Missouri under the command of Whiteman Air Force Base.
Most of the Minuteman II sites — including all of the Missouri sites — were decommissioned some 20 years ago. Their shafts were buried under a mix of concrete, mud, and rock that was meant to deter any thoughts of reactivating them.
The project, including the maddening bureaucracy in getting his quixotic venture approved, turned into such a laborious boondoggle that Nielsen admits he wouldn’t have done it knowing what he knows now.
But, having endured it, he has relished the many inquiries he has received from veterans who served underground those many decades ago — “Ratmen,” they called themselves. The history of America’s Cold War has been fascinating.
The Minuteman II missiles represented the height of America’s Cold War arsenal, with about 1,000 of them forever ready to launch.
Some 450 sites with Minuteman III missiles remain ready in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.
Not surprisingly, some of Nielsen’s most interested potential buyers have had an eye on the site’s unique history as well as its accommodations in the event of a national disaster.
One potential buyer has been trying to gather financing for an historical movie project, he said. Another has interest in turning it into a residential training facility for martial and military arts.
Not surprising for a property whose curb appeal requires a bit of imagination.
This is how you fight when the waters are rising
Underwater, all the fitness in the world won't save you if you can't keep your head. But dying is dumb. Time to summon a little amphibian ambition.
One session with this trainer will make you assume the fetal position
Water Survival is so badass it's gonna take Max two episodes to get you ready to face it. This is Part 1, where he makes you feel bad about yourself.
This is what happens when a troll runs the obstacle course
Its job is to put one problem after another directly in your way. It's the o-course and your job is to run it before time runs out. Enter Max.
Our trainer will make you a leopard
There’s your enemy, right over there. And he doesn’t see you. Gotta get in him in range though. And that puts you in range. Time to get creepy.
This is what happens when you swap your workout for PT
Once upon a time you were physically fit. It was a grind, but you did it, because there was a test at the end. Good news. It's test time again.
This is how to see if you would have been drafted for Vietnam
Numbers were randomly assigned to birthdays across a given year. The lowest numbers were picked first. Would you have been drafted to go to Vietnam?
4 fictional countries America should invade
It's amazing how many movies and TV shows see countries messing with America without any repercussions. It's time for that trend to stop.
This is the laser that will take out enemy drones
This little 30 kilowatt laser packs such a mighty punch that Lockheed Martin has named her after the goddess of war: ATHENA.
THE MIGHTY SURVEY GIVE-AWAY
We want to hear your thoughts. Complete our survey for a chance to win 1 of 5 gaming consoles