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Nearly bare bunker is looking for a buyer
Charlotte Observer ^ | Aug. 26, 2003 | HOWIE PAUL HARTNETT

Posted on 08/26/2003 9:31:42 AM PDT by Between the Lines

STANFIELD - Down Love Chapel Road, across from a field of soybeans and corn, lies a little-known footnote to the Cold War.

It's not much to look at from the surface -- two small buildings in front of a 250-foot tower.

But below the weed-covered veneer is a multilevel, nuclear attack- proof bunker built in the early '60s for commercial as well as top- secret government use.

Military jets and Air Force One used to relay communications through the 80,000-square-foot facility -- roughly the size of a Home Depot. AT&T constructed eight such bunkers during the Cold War to ensure vital communications would survive disasters. The Stanfield site was the largest, built at a cost of more than $7 million.

Now the decommissioned mass of concrete, situated on 11 acres about 30 miles east of uptown Charlotte in rural Stanly County, can be yours for the low, low price of $1.5 million.

American Tower officials had wanted to trade the facility to the state for the right to put towers anywhere on state property.

But when negotiations began to stall a few months ago, the company started thinking about who else might be interested in a large underground facility.

The list of potential buyers was enough to prompt Mike Flint, the company's Carolinas general manager, to slowly begin soliciting bidders. A small ad appeared in The Observer over the weekend and in Monday's business section.

So far, only one person has contacted Flint, but he hopes other qualified suitors will follow.

"I thought a bank could use it," Flint said Monday. "It could be an archive for a number of things."

It also could be a paint ball arena. Or a survivalist's dream. Or a trendy nightclub -- think "The Bomb Shelter."

The potential is nearly limitless. When AT&T moved its operations out of the facility in 1991, it took most of the communications equipment housed on the two main levels. The result is a lot of open space that can be configured almost any way you want.

And once you're in, you can stay in for a long time. The structure was designed to accommodate 90 people for 90 days, said former AT&T employee Dexter McIntyre, who grew up near the bunker.

The facility runs on commercial power, but if that were knocked out, two jet turbine engines would supply 750 kilowatts apiece. By comparison, the average house runs on 15 to 20 kilowatts, said Michael Southworth, who manages American Tower's 180 sites in Western North Carolina.

A 300,000-gallon fuel tank served the facility. The engines used about 30 gallons an hour, but the tank never ran dry, McIntyre said. Employees actually pumped out fuel from the '60s when the bunker closed.

Water for the facility was held in a 100,000-gallon tank supplied by three wells beneath the main structure. There is a separate sewage system and trash incinerator.

Air came through three vents and was circulated using several blowers the size of sedans.

Much of the concrete walls are bare, but the offices include such '70s design staples as beige wallpaper and wood paneling. The sinks and toilets in the housing area are made of steel.

The cots and refrigerators are gone, but little reminders of the workers who staffed the facility 24 hours a day remain.

The engine room still has maintenance schedules. One room has a calendar from 1990. Many corners still have floor plans and evacuation routes to the facility's two exits.

There are three 15-ton doors separating the underground from the surface. Two are at the main entrance. The other is by the back door.

Near that exit used to be an office that only employees with top- secret clearance could enter.

McIntyre was one of those special few. Among his jobs was handling Air Force One's communications while it was in the region's airspace.

Back before satellites and other high-tech systems, the president's airborne communications were funneled through secured bases. When the plane left one base's reach, another would pick it up.

McIntyre was at his station the day President Nixon resigned and left Washington.

American Tower officials had no idea of the facility's history when they acquired it.

"If this is what they had then," Southworth said, "what do they have today?"

About the Bunker

Completed in 1967, the 80,000 square-foot structure operated normally with a crew of 30. But it could house 90 people for 90 days in the event of a nuclear attack. A radiation detector and percussion sensors are scattered around the facility.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: northcarolina; oldnorthstate

1 posted on 08/26/2003 9:31:45 AM PDT by Between the Lines
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To: Between the Lines
2 posted on 08/26/2003 9:34:03 AM PDT by martin_fierro (A v v n c v l v s M a x i m v s)
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To: Between the Lines; hchutch
This is an old "ground entry point" used for providing an input into terrestrial communications lines from certain command and control aircraft (Air Force One, Nightwatch, and Looking Glass/PACCS).
3 posted on 08/26/2003 9:35:35 AM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.)
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To: Between the Lines
I WANT it!!! That would be a seriously COOL house!
4 posted on 08/26/2003 9:37:17 AM PDT by Onelifetogive
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To: Poohbah
Should be listed on eBay. This is more cool than Brett Favre's home in Green Bay.
5 posted on 08/26/2003 9:38:50 AM PDT by PackerBoy (Just my opinion ....)
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To: Between the Lines
Or a trendy nightclub -- think "The Bomb Shelter."

I was thinking more like, "Get Down".

6 posted on 08/26/2003 9:38:58 AM PDT by martin_fierro (A v v n c v l v s M a x i m v s)
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To: Between the Lines
I've seen some bunkers turned into houses on HGTV. Great climate control!
7 posted on 08/26/2003 9:39:13 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Pray for Terri Schiavo!)
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To: Between the Lines
You could remake Terminator 3 with this.
8 posted on 08/26/2003 9:39:25 AM PDT by Monty22
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To: Between the Lines
I'd like to bid on it, but it's a tad over my budget.

Plus, it'd be a b:tch to move to Arkansas.

9 posted on 08/26/2003 9:40:42 AM PDT by Budge (God Bless FReepers!)
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To: Between the Lines
10 posted on 08/26/2003 9:41:24 AM PDT by AdamSelene235 (Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear....)
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To: Between the Lines
A perfect place for an illegal enterprise. Drug manufacturing, weapons manufacturing -- how would the police storm the facility???
11 posted on 08/26/2003 9:42:05 AM PDT by Lazamataz (I am the extended middle finger in the fist of life.)
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To: Between the Lines
Why wouldn't these guys want it?
12 posted on 08/26/2003 9:42:08 AM PDT by krb (the statement on the other side of this tagline is false)
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To: Constitution Day
Put this on the NC ping list please
13 posted on 08/26/2003 9:45:16 AM PDT by Baseballguy
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To: Baseballguy
With pleasure! This is too cool.
14 posted on 08/26/2003 9:49:51 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: *Old_North_State; **North_Carolina; mykdsmom; 100%FEDUP; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; ~Vor~; ...
NC ping!
15 posted on 08/26/2003 9:50:33 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Between the Lines
Track whoever buys it. I would not like the Saudis to set up shop there.
16 posted on 08/26/2003 9:53:35 AM PDT by Alouette (The bombing begins in five minutes.)
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To: Onelifetogive
Reminds me of the NASA tracking station in Rosman, NC that a group of UFO sky watchers managed to buy a few years back.

The old Rosman tracking station

17 posted on 08/26/2003 10:02:41 AM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: martin_fierro
The DNC should buy it, call it "THE RAT HOLE" and use it to hide Texas RATS or any other RAT hiding from a vote.
18 posted on 08/26/2003 10:05:17 AM PDT by JoeSixPack1 (POW/MIA - Bring 'em home, or send us back! Semper Fi)
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To: martin_fierro
"I was thinking more like, "Get Down"."

Or... "The DUCK and COVER"

19 posted on 08/26/2003 10:11:40 AM PDT by Hatteras ("Fish, I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends")
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To: Between the Lines
Another member sent me this:

You are just going to LOVE this site HERE. IT is a English / Spanish site of all kinds of military costal forts and underground fortifications. Amazing!

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American Underground Construction Assosiation (AUCA) - Each month AUA will feature an outstanding Underground Project currently under construction

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Bath Stone - a history of quarrying - A very interesting site with details of the old mine workings in aorund around Bath

Bath Stone Mines around Corsham - Some great background information about the mines and quaaries around Corsham, the site lacks pictures

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Cave Database - 400 cave links

Caves and Caving in the UK - Caves, caving, national bodies, special interest groups, clubs and expeditions.

CBS News - A not so secret tunnel

Centre for Defence and International Security Studies - an inter-disciplinary research centre based in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Lancaster University in the UK.

Centre for the History of Defence Electronics - exploring new ways of understanding technological change through history and to harness the power of the Internet

Clifton Suspension Bridge - Brunel's Victorian vaults are discovered beneath the tower of the Clifton Suspension Bridge

Complete Data Services - State-of-the-art, cost effective, secure, underground storage

Corfe Castle - WWII history

Craccum - the existence of tunnels around Auckland


Dark Access - mainly underground places of interest in and around Wiltshire

Dark Access Forum - an underground chat forum

Dawn Engineering, Inc. - engineering consultants specialize in design and construction engineering of tunnels and underground structures

Deep and Dusty - a Bath stone quarry video from MVP

Defence of Britain Project - nearly 20,000 twentieth century military sites in the United Kingdom were recorded by some 600 volunteers

Defensive Architecture of South Wales - WW2, Cold War and other sites in Wales

Deutsches Museum - Tunnel construction

Do or Die - Tunnels of the World

Dover Defences - guided walks

Dover Underground - guided walks


Eden Camp - the unique museum will transport you back in time to wartime Britain

Emergency Management Australia - EMA provides national leadership in the development of measures to reduce risk to communities and manage the consequences of disasters.

EPA's Radiation Project - Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Oversight

Essex Secret Bunkers - at Mistley near Colchester Essex One of the UK's most accessible Bunkers

Eurotunnel - running high speed car, coach and frieght shuttles, linking the UK and the continent

Exploration Station - long forgotten mines, abandonned buildings, ancient sites and other places of interest

Exploring the Chicago Tunnels - Exploring The Abandoned Tunnels In The 1980's

Extraterristrial Biological Entity Online - Underground Bases in Southern California


Federal Emergency Management Agency (USA) - an independent agency reporting to the President and tasked with responding to, planning for, recovering from and mitigating against disaster

Federation of American Scientists - Our founders were members of the Manhattan Project, creators of the atom bomb and deeply concerned about the implications of its use for the future of humankind

Fermilab - A US Department of Energy Laboratory

Fortress UK - from Tudor times until W.W.II where use of artillery dominated military architecture

Fort Taiaroa - Underneath the peace of the nature reserve lie the tunnels of Fort Taiaroa

Frontier Kemper - Tunnel builders


Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) - an intelligence and security organisation, a Civil Service Department, reporting to the Foreign Secretary and working closely with the UK's other intellignce agencies (commonly known as MI5 and MI6)

Ground Freezing - a technique used extensively for groundwater control and excavation support in the underground construction industry


Homefront - Article on US Site R

Home Office - Emergency Planning Division

Human Underground - From the caves of Afghanistan to the nuclear operation centers of the superpowers, humans around the globe and across the ages have realized the necessity of underground dwelling.

Hunt Midwest - the world's largest underground business complex, is a subterranean industrial park with more than 4.5 million square feet of leased space


Imperial War Museum - unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day

Infiltration - the zine about going places you're not supposed to go

Infra-Tunnel - As cities become more densely populated, tunnels, subway systems, underground car parks and sub-level shopping facilities are increasing in number.

Inside the Ring - Notes from the Pentagon

IntelWeb: Intelligence Watch Report - Jane's IntelWeb combines Jane's Intelligence Watch Report and Jane's Terrorism Watch Report to offer you an integrated intelligence service


Jane's - Fred T. started what today is widely regarded as the ultimate source for defence, aerospace and transportation information.

Jayne Loader's Public Shelter - an irreverent journey on-line, featuring scenes from The Atomic Cafe

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Kelvedon Hatch Bunker - we are currently the biggest and deepest bunker open to the public in Essex

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Las Vegas Mercury - Basement Files: Underground D.C.

London Underground: Disused Stations - the oldest and one of the busiest underground railway networks in the world, I find the history and background of London's subterranean railway fascinating.


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Ministry of Defence - Strong defence is as important today as ever, discover more about the MOD and the Armed Forces.

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National Caves Association - founded in 1965, is a non-profit organization of publicly and privately owned show caves and caverns - caves developed for public visitation

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Nettleden - underground resource, over 500 photos, Monkton Farleigh, Ridge Quarry, Box and Tunnel Quarry and much more

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Octavian - first choice for improved supply chain performance

Ops-Wing - bunkers and air training corps


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Planning for Major Incidents: The NHS Guidance - responsible for the coordination of contingency planning to maintain the state of readiness of the National Health Service to respond to major incidents

Press Release - Nieuwpoort is in danger of collapse due to WW1 tunnels.

Protect and Survive - an archive of UK civil defence material dating from the 1950s to the 1980s

Public Information Resource - NameBook: name index

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Royal Air Force - the official RAF website with a list of bases

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Saving Britain's Art Treasures - The evacuation of the paintings and other priceless treasures from London's museums and galleries during the Second World War

Scotland's Secret Bunker - hidden beneath a Scottish Farmhouse, a tunnel leads to Scotland?s Secret Bunker. 24,000 square feet of secret accommodation on two levels, 100 feet underground

Secret Underground Cities - a definitive history of the British Government's obsession with underground citadels, storehouses, factories, bunkers and command centres

Security and Intelligence Studies Group - a specialist group of the UK political studies association

Security Service (MI5) - the official website of the Security Service (MI5). The Security Service is the UK's security intelligence agency

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Statewatch Database - monitoring the state and civil liberties in the European Union

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Yucca Mountain Project - the US first long-term geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste


20 posted on 08/26/2003 10:25:02 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the trackball into the Sunset...)
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To: AdamSelene235; backhoe
Thanks for the links!
21 posted on 08/26/2003 10:30:37 AM PDT by Between the Lines ("What Goes Into the Mind Comes Out in a Life")
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To: Clarinet_King
Your mom and I are going to be moving soon. Come visit during spring break.
Love, Dad
22 posted on 08/26/2003 10:37:37 AM PDT by NerdDad
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To: backhoe
Las Vegas Mercury - Basement Files: Underground D.C.


23 posted on 08/26/2003 10:39:56 AM PDT by Hatteras ("Fish, I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends")
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To: backhoe
I checked into a similar facility available in California(for less money)a few years back and found out it was LOADED with toxic waste headaches. Asbestos was rampant in every nook and cranny, lead paint throughout, spilled chemicals in every test hole outside, etc, etc.(The final nail in the coffin was the discovery of nesting-protected- owls that inhabited the tower on the property)

By the time we finished the tour, we realized that all the human skeletons scattered throughout the property were the bones of all the formerly-hopeful real estate brokers trying to dump that white elephant...

It would have been a pretty awesome shooting range site to spray with lead projectiles, until someone from Sacramento eventually came to closed you down, though....LOL

24 posted on 08/26/2003 10:42:30 AM PDT by Vetnet (T42 + 24T + mE4u + U4mE)
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To: Between the Lines
>>two small buildings in front of a 250-foot tower. <<

Can I hook my CB to this tower, and route my cell phone, too?

25 posted on 08/26/2003 10:53:23 AM PDT by NerdDad
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To: Between the Lines
26 posted on 08/26/2003 10:54:33 AM PDT by RippleFire
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To: Vetnet
Yeah - I wonder how long it would be before someone showed up to tell the new owner that he was responsible for a leak in the 300,000 gallon tank of jet fuel that had polluted the ground water 30 years ago.
27 posted on 08/26/2003 10:57:05 AM PDT by RippleFire
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To: RippleFire
Bump for later reading
28 posted on 08/26/2003 11:06:56 AM PDT by Steelerfan
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To: Budge
Plus, it'd be a b:tch to move to Arkansas

Yeah...but I wouldn't want to live in Arkansas without it...

29 posted on 08/26/2003 11:11:12 AM PDT by Onelifetogive
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To: Vetnet
It would be a perfect HQ for John Edward's presidential's gonna be a bigger bomb than "gigli"
30 posted on 08/26/2003 11:52:34 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: ken5050
It would be a perfect HQ for John Edward's presidential camp...

I can hear the "protected owls" now: WHOOO? WHOOOO?

(shamefully) Sorry, I couldn't resist.....

31 posted on 08/26/2003 11:59:01 AM PDT by Vetnet (T42 + 24T + mE4u + U4mE)
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To: Between the Lines
I want one.


32 posted on 08/26/2003 12:50:06 PM PDT by Servant of the Nine (A Goldwater Republican)
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To: backhoe
Bump for later in-depth read.
33 posted on 08/26/2003 2:02:55 PM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (I'm a closet troglodyte.)
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