Someone stop the Air Force, please.
Cancel the four public meetings scheduled to take place this week throughout northcentral Montana. The Air Force, faced with fifty abandoned Minuteman nuclear missile silos, wants to implode the underground facilities or load them up with gravel.
I’ve got a better idea. Put ‘em on the real estate market.
The Air Force has planned hearings in Choteau, Conrad, Great Falls and Shelby. The meetings are limited to “comment about the various elimination processes being considered,” according to Dana McIntyre, the compliance and conservation officer out of Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana (quoted in the Great Falls Tribune).
Why would we destroy multimillion dollar taxpayer-funded assets without considering alternatives?
These fifty blast-resistant reinforced concrete silos, decommissioned as part of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) are newer than Malmstrom Air Force Base’s “Ace in the Hole” nukes, held as a threat to Russia during the Cuban missile crisis, presumably still aimed at Kiev.
The missiles we eliminated were housed in big wide cylinders alongside very deep Launch Control Centers (LCC) with flat subfloors suspended on shock-resistant springs behind massive blast doors.
Our government is deeply in debt and these things might have market value. The timing is perfect. Some say the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012; other doomsayers deduce that the earth will slip on its axis on that day.
This could be a fire sale for northcentral Montana real estate. From dryland farm country to tropical waterfront? Ka-ching! Riding out the polar shift in an underground silo? It’s like a first-class seat on the maiden voyage of a luxury transatlantic cruise ship.
Even if there is no polar shift, what better place to ride out the apocalypse?
The idea of selling empty silos is not new. The Saranac River Valley in New York State features the Silohome, a luxury log cabin atop a refitted Atlas-F missile silo. The website, www.silohome.com, features a 4 1/2 minute video clip, complete with jazz and classical music, badly placed apostrophes and a tour of the underground bunker, which is accessible only by keypad.
The Silohome appears ill-equipped to any savvy survivalist. Conspiracy theorists know an electrical micro-burst would seize up the keypad, leaving the multi-millionaire suckers to fry on the wrong side of the blast door. I guess the architects figured they wouldn’t have to worry about lawsuits because lawyers would be the first to go up in flames.
Our Montana nuke-proof survival shelters would be held to a higher standard.
Once buyers found out about our superior Montana bunkers, they’d sell like glowing hotcakes. While you wait for the world to end, enjoy fly fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, mountain biking, shooting varmints or just stay at home and form your own nudist colony or cult. All this isolation and scenic beauty, just an hour’s drive–later, a three-day post apocalyptic walk–to Glacier National Park.
Because some of these silos have limited access, the Air Force could throw in a bonus $50,000 gyrocopter kit–FREE with purchase of two or more silos (for a limited time only).
I found a real estate company, 20th Century Castles, that specializes in abandoned missile silos. 20th Century Castles claims to have sold 55 of these underground properties as of January 2011. Brokering our holes-in-the-ground could double their sales in less than a year.
The sales pitch is easy to write: “Are you worried about a nuclear hit, earthquake, massive global social upheaval or genetically modified food? Perhaps you’re anxious about an attack on the power grid or you have a terminal case of TIDOH (Total Irrevocable Disgust for Other Humans)? Do all your friends have homes in Jackson Hole or Sun Valley or Aspen? No one else in your peer group owns a gutted Montana Missile silo.” The sales slogan, “Own a Piece of Montana: Your A$$ in the Hole.”
Because offshore buyers are not prohibited from buying U.S. real estate, we’ll market these nonconventional shelters globally. The influx of foreigners will be a boon: maybe Great Falls will attract a nice Indian restaurant and Conrad might put in a Middle Eastern souk right next to Gary and Leo’s IGA.
We don’t need Air Force brass from Louisiana to ask us whether we want to backfill or implode these assets. Instead of destroying them, send a real estate sales person out with a hammer and a cardboard sign on a stick.