Mars: A Survival Guide

This book, written in the style of a travel guide, was an impulse purchase the other day as a brand new book. That’s rare because I don’t tend to buy new, and certainly not in Australia (everything is so expensive!). However, this book isn’t available on Amazon because its from the ABC, and looked good, so I bit the bullet. The book’s first half is interesting and very readable. After that it tends to die down into an exhaustive treatment of issues you’d need to consider if moving to Mars, and feels like a list of lists. It picks up again towards the end. I know its hard to be interesting in non-fiction reference books, but I feel this book lost its way at the midpoint and could have tried harder to be interesting. However, it was still ok overall and I might be being overly harsh as I don’t read much non-fiction.

[isbn: 9780733324895]

More nuclear bunkers

Its clear from my past posts that I am interested in cold war bunkers.

I just watched “Lost Worlds: US Nuclear Bunkers”. That’s re-ignited my interest in US nuclear bunkers (as well as cold war history in general). I like the idea of the Lorton Bunker (under a correctional facility 20 miles form Washington DC, and abandoned in only 2001), and I’ve talked about the Greenbrier bunker before.

It’s a pity its four hours drive from Arlington, VA:

View Larger Map

The Greenbrier was secret for 30 years, and kept constantly stocked will all the supplies needed for three weeks of sealed living for 1,100 people. Finally it was leaked by one article in the Washington Post. After the article, the site had to be decommissioned.

Next, they talked about the Palm Beach Florida bunker built for JFK. Tours of that bunker are cheap too — only $10 each. This bunker is only a decontamination shower, and a single room, but I guess you wouldn’t complain if you’d just been nuked.

Finally, there is Cheyenne Mountainwhich used to offer tours, but apparently doesn’t any more.

The Greenbrier bunker opens for tours!

A while ago I was watching a documentary about the bunker under the Greenbrier resort. The Greenbrier is one of those swanky resorts close enough to Washington DC to be in easy reach for the powerful people who hang out there. That’s why it was chosen as the location for the bunker that Congress would hang out at come the apocalypse. The bunker was built in secret, and the documentary mentioned cool bits like they had to move so much earth that an extra golf course was built with the rubble in order to disguise it’s source.

This sums it up pretty well:

It was built at the suggestion of then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a way of preserving the balance of power among the three branches of the U.S. government in the event of nuclear war. But now, the Government Relocation Center, located under the luxurious Greenbrier resort in the mountains of West Virginia, is a unique and eerie tourist attraction, a monument to a nation’s Cold War fears.

That’s from a CNN article on the topic. In fact,

there is
no shortage
of content
about the bunker.

Anyways, back to my excitement… The bunker is now open for tours! I will so be going there if I ever end up near West Virginia. I guess that makes this post a follow up to my one noting I should visit the Essex bunker if I ever get the chance.

Essex secret bunker

Note to self: if I ever find myself in Essex, I should go along and see the Essex secret bunker, which was a nuclear disaster emergency control center. I discovered it watching the history channel this morning, and it looks quite interesting.

But wait… The plot thickens…

There seems to be a web site for another such bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, but the site for the one at Essex seems to be defunct, which is a shame. Apparently there are no plans to reopen it at this time.

And then there is the bunker in Scotland. And one at a place called Hack Green.

I am so going next time I am in the UK…