Atlas-F nuclear missile silo revisited

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by markbvt, May 11, 2008.

  1. DarinB

    DarinB Fish Hunter Esq.

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    Very cool! Thanks for sharing.
    #21
  2. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius 1.5 Finger Discount

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    Awesome!

    I've done the tour of the Titan-II silo in Arizona like already mentioned, but I always wanted to see one of the Atlas silos since there were 12 of the F types were built around my parents home town of Altus, OK. To be able to live inside one of those is like every boy's dream!

    Thanks for the great pics!

    :clap

    I couldn't find it in the original thread but how did he aquire it? Did he just buy the silo directly from the govt? I know near Altus they just auctioned off the land and empty silos to nearby farmer/ranchers who stored their equipment in the quanset (sp?) hutts.
    #22
  3. zavi

    zavi tra curve e tornanti

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    Huge hole... :eek1

    :D
    #23
  4. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

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    #24
  5. obinella

    obinella Adventurer

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    these pix dredge up a lot of memory's. i was involved in inspecting and buying the first operational (or so we were told) atlas f sites in Kansas. also as a f system engine tech, i spent many hours in those holes. our sites being the first operational sites we didn't have working tech manuals and we were responsible for writing ,proof testing and then sending them to the publisher. after that we went to Vandenberg in kali to instruct the instructors.
    as i recall, if my fading memory isn't letting me down, those silo doors weighed in around fifty two ton each. they had four ice breaker jacks at the leading edge to (strangely enough) hammer the door and brake the ice in the winter. once the doors were opened to there vertical position the cylinder had to reverse and catch the door to park it over center. up on closing, the cyl had to draw the door over center and then reverse the pressure to catch it and let it down in sequence gently. if things went wrong the doors would slam shut really hard sending chunks of concrete into the hole . needless to say it happen.
    #25
  6. dirtypumpkin

    dirtypumpkin "Monster Truck Bike"

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    Cool property, thanks for sharing. Missed it the 1st time around.:freaky
    #26
  7. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    This weekend I went over to the silo for Alex's 50th birthday party.

    Before leaving last May, he had installed one of the hydraulic rams that lift the main doors.
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    Unfortunately the door is leaning too far back to get the wrist pin at the upper end of the ram into position. The holes are misaligned by a couple inches. The door is going to need to be moved forward slightly, but none of the crane companies that Alex has contacted are willing to do it!

    Alex's party was Saturday night, and he had set up a large MASH-style tent (complete with cots and olive drab sleeping bags) for his more adventurous guests. Questor and I claimed cots there and crashed out fairly early. It got pretty chilly overnight, despite two propane heaters inside the tent.

    Next morning, I was one of the first to emerge from the tent. Here's what our bikes looked like.
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    Questor forgot to bring his helmet in for the night.
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    By the time I'd had breakfast and hung out for a while, the frost was gone and the day was beautiful -- chilly, but not a cloud in the sky. I took the long way home, but was having too much fun riding to stop and take pictures.

    Once again, I've got to thank Alex for his hospitality. He threw a great party and took fantastic care of his guests. Happy birthday!

    --mark
    #27
  8. daimmel

    daimmel Been here awhile

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    very cool thanks so much for sharing
    #28
  9. ozarkrider

    ozarkrider Discombobulated Sociopath

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    I spent a good portion of my military career hanging out in Titan II silos in AR. This brings back a buncha memories. Thanks for the trip, it's awesome.
    #29
  10. BSK

    BSK Ohhh mist! Die Bullen!!!!

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    nice!
    #30
  11. ADK

    ADK dain bramaged

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    I'd love to see that place sometime.That a new strom?(best color :thumb )
    #31
  12. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Wow.

    Note to self..
    #32
  13. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Yes, it's an '08. Picked it up in April. Turned over 11,500 miles on Saturday. Good bike.

    --mark
    #33
  14. roadholder

    roadholder Long timer

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    Yee haw!

    [​IMG]
    #34
  15. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Hello all.

    As Mark said, the party was a great success.

    I doubt many of Alex's friends had ever camped before, and the whole concept was scarry to them, especially when they saw the "Tent Hotel". :eek1

    Personally, I found it quite luxurious. :thumb It even had heat and lights.

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    Alex, our host and silo owner, and B-day person explinaing how they were going to be eating out of Army mess kits, and doing their own dishes. :eek1
    But the meal itself was catered. :clap

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    The friends and guests...
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    Eating the great food...
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    and the results of too much wine... :lol3
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    After a great evening, with cool people, and a fireworks show seen from inside the silo on Level 2...
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    we walked across a moonlit frozen lawn to the "Tent Hotel".
    I found it more than adequate.
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    Mark seems happy too... :wink:


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    We all slept soundly.

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    Lots of fun. :thumb

    Q~
    #35
  16. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    When we crawled out of bed, we were surprised how cold it had gotten the night before, and how warm we had been inside the big heated tent.

    "Beastie" however, had been left out in the cold, without a blanket. :cry
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    Q~
    #36
  17. Junkyard

    Junkyard Been here awhile

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    So sad I had to miss this event. I really wanted to be there and after seeing the pics I KNOW I missed a good time. Thanks for the shots and hope to hook up with y'all soon.
    Happy Tuesday
    Jon
    #37
  18. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Saturday I had the opportunity to visit one of the other Atlas-F silos of the group of 12 around Plattsburgh Air Force Base. At Alex's birthday dinner last week, I was sitting next to Fitz, the owner of the 556-1 silo (the Champlain, NY, site). During our conversation, Fitz invited me to see his silo, so my friend John and I rode up on Saturday to check it out.

    I didn't take any pictures of the surface because it was raining, so we begin with the entryway to the LCC. Fitz has wooden ramps in place for hauling stuff out, but they make the climb down a little tricky. The rope is for assistance.
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    Proceeding down the tunnel at the bottom of the stairs, you round a corner and come to the first blast door.
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    Caution sign just outside the blast door:
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    Next you pass through the entrapment vestibule and then the second blast door, which brings you to the top of the LCC stairwell.
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    Entry to Level 1 of the LCC:
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    Looking back up at the blast door from the Level 1 doorway:
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    Here are Fitz (left) and John:
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    Level 1 of the LCC. Fitz was not as lucky as Alex -- this site flooded nearly to the top of the LCC, while Alex's flooded only to the bottom of the LCC. As a result, Alex had a lot of original equipment and fixtures he was able to retain; everything in Fitz's LCC was waterlogged, so he had to get rid of it.
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    Looking up the escape hatch:
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    LCC Level 2.
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    At least the double-locked box that held the launch codes is still there.
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    I nearly scraped my scalp on this.
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    Rusty ductwork on the ceiling.
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    John examining the structure.
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    From the LCC we proceeded down the tunnel to the silo. On the way, I found this encrusted lightbulb.
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    Interestingly, while Fitz's LCC is in much worse condition than Alex's, his silo is in somewhat better condition. The doors are closed, and Level 1 was never cut out and removed like it was in Alex's silo. Salvagers removed all of the equipment, some of which is still in place in Alex's silo, but they left the structure of the crib much more intact.

    View from Level 2 near the tunnel to the LCC.
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    Looking up at the silo doors.
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    Among the structural pieces left intact were a number of these missile service platforms that would fold down against the missile to allow personnel close access.
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    Proceeding down the silo. I think this was on Level 3.
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    This light and the conduit it was attached to became detached from the ceiling at some point and ended up dangling just above the floor.
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    Looking down into the silo.
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    About to head down to the next level.
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    Double doors entering an enclosed area on Level 5, which I believe housed one of the diesel generators.
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    This lightbulb was intact, but had water in the bottom.
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    Fitz has a kayak in the bottom of the silo, but hasn't gotten around to using it yet.
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    Fitz's silo is flooded to about halfway between Level 6 and Level 7. From Level 7, it's 45 feet down to the bottom of Level 8, and another 30 feet or so from there to the bottom of the concrete silo. So there's a good 80 or 85 feet of water down there -- meaning that only about 2/3 of the silo is visible. It would be fascinating to see it completely pumped out, but neither Fitz nor Alex have been able to do that.

    Many thanks to Fitz for showing John and me around!

    --mark
    #38
  19. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    And Sunday, Alex had an open house at his silo, so I went over to help out. While I was there, I had to take a few more pics, of course.

    The equipment racks on Level 3 feature some pretty amazing wiring. Not a green circuit board in sight -- it's all point-to-point wiring. Very, very neat wiring, too! Imagine if you could get the person who did this to hook up your stereo for you -- no more spaghetti-like mass of wires going every which way!
    [​IMG]

    Behind those equipment racks, though, is quite a mess.
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    This is the area on Level 6 around where the collimator is located (part of the missile guidance system) -- there's a tube that runs up to the surface at an angle, pointing at the North Star, and Alex is using this to run his pump hose down into the silo.
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    Since I was there last spring, the water level has risen up to a few feet below Level 7. It shows a nice reflection of the top of the silo. :thumb
    [​IMG]

    --mark
    #39
  20. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    WOW! :eek1

    Nice pics Mark. :thumb

    Poor Fitz has a lot of work to do, but it's nice to see that there is more of the structure to be restored. But wow, what a lot of work there is to be done. :huh


    Thanks for the update.
    Q~
    #40