Are There Still Functioning Missiles Left From the Cold War?
Arizona had been on my list of places to visit for a very long time. In our travels we found a brochure that read come see the Titan II missile. We were intrigued and decided to go.
Image via Wikipedia
A couple of days ago I published an article called World War What. The article if you have not read it is about North Korea launching a missile and the maybe consequences of this action. It made me do a lot of thinking and made me remember a trip we took a couple years ago to Arizona.
It was a wonderful vacation and we saw from one end of the state to the other. Arizona had been on my list of places to visit for a very long time. In our travels we found a brochure that read come see the Titan II missile. We were intrigued and decided to go.
The museum site sits some twelve miles south of Tucson Arizona in the town of Sahuarita.If you did not know it was there it would not be obvious except for a sign that says Titan Museum. Once we arrived we was not sure what to expect. It looked a little official with signs and a fence, but it didn’t look like I would imagine a missile silo would look and to be honest maybe my mind had planted a seed as to what I would see on arrival. Once we walked into the museum there was memorabilia all around the room. We looked around and bought our tickets to take the tour down into the silo and watched a short video explaining what we was about to see.
Image via Wikipedia
Once the film was over we were led by one of the tour guides out the back door and across a gravel looking field to a huge glass cover. When we looked down inside there sat a full sized intercontinental ballistics missile. The feeling that over came me was surreal to say the least. Our guide informed us that the door under the glass must remain half way open so Russia can see it from their satellite and know that the missile is still in the silo. This door has not been closed since before 1982. To do so may start the cold war all over again or so our guide told us.
Once we finished staring down through the glass at this monster of a missile we were led to a set of stairs that led to a door which had a small elevator inside. Once the doors closed off we went down some 140 feet to the bottom of the silo. All of the original equipment is still in tact and has full facilities from a kitchen to bunk areas except everything is under ground.
As you walk through this tunnel of fear you are not allowed to touch anything due to the sweat on your hands corroding the metals down there. There are four feet thick doors to close this mole hole off from the rest of the world if necessary.
The missile that sits in the silo now was only used as a training missile and fuel never entered into it. This missile replaced the fully armed Titan II after the cold war ended in 1982 when this facility was turned into a museum.
This Silo became operational in 1963 but all silos throughout the west were destroyed in 1982 when President Regan’s policy was to disarm and destroy all Titan II missiles. This site is supposed to be the only one left in existence and the only reason it stands today is because of it’s history and became a museum.
Titan II missiles were the most powerful of all nuclear warheads used by the United States. These missiles had one war head with a 9 megatons yield. They also could burst on the ground or in the air.
When a crew had orders to be down inside this place they were not allowed to be alone except in their bunk area. There are signs every place reminding you of this. The signs read No Alone Zone. Under no circumstances was anyone able to be left alone inside the rest of the silo. The reason for this was security of the missile and the world.
Image via Wikipedia
At the end of the tour you will arrive inside the control room . This is the place where the crew would get their orders as to whether the missile would fly. There were also three targets not just one location and to this day no one inside this area knows those targets. If the orders came then the two key people would get the code to put in and with synchronize both keys would be turned.
Our guide actually sat two of us down and took us through what would have happened if the orders had come down. Red lights flashing and sirens going off, the simulation seemed to be the exact one the ones who cared for this evil bird had back in the day. It was a strange seat to sit in and made us both wonder if we had this power and been ordered to turn the keys, would we have complied.
With everything going on in the world today it brought me back to this place. Is all of this behind us or could it be brought back to life with Presidential orders? Only the Government knows the answer to that, but with what I witnessed on my visit to this incredibly powerful place my thoughts are this silo could be up and running in no time at all.
The consequences if this were to occur would be complete devastation I do believe and once that button was pushed there would be no going back to the world as we know it.
This is the scary reality of what is out there to this day, and if they allow visitors to this facility it makes me wonder what else they really have that we have no clue about. How far are they willing to take things if they need to? Makes you think doesn’t it?