10 Creepiest Abandoned Cold War Missile Silos

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Image: Jonathan Haeber

The launcher for the Atlas 576-A missile at Vandenberg Air Base, CA

Dimply-lit tunnels snake into the distance, metal steps echo with the sound of footsteps, and huge vertical drops plummet into the darkness – cavernous chambers where missiles intended to carry nuclear warheads would have once been housed. Replete with the signs of creeping decay and generally left to rack and ruin, abandoned missile bases are grim yet fascinating places to explore.


Image: Jeff McCrum

Titan I complex tunnel in Deer Trail, CO lit with eerie yellow light

These underground bunkers and silos – five American, five Soviet – serve as a reminder that there was a time, not so very long ago, when the end of the world didn’t seem like such an abstract concept. Indeed, not only did people believe nuclear apocalypse was possible – for many it seemed downright inevitable.

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Image: Martin Trolle Mikkelsen

View down to the very bottom of Dvina Silo 4 in Kingisepp, Russia

When the tension of the Cold War hung heavy in the air, the most imminent threat to our planet was not global warming or food scarcity or even a fireball from space. It was, of course, the risk of complete and utter annihilation by nuclear weapons. And all because of two superpowers that just couldn’t seem to get along.

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