We’ve all heard the theory that only cockroaches will survive a nuclear apocalypse. Those of a more cynical persuasion might say that this is also true in a metaphorical sense, considering the elaborate survival plans in place to protect high-ranking US and Russian government and military personnel in the event of a nuclear war.
Even as their respective countries’ populations perish, the chosen few will be safely stashed away in huge underground bunkers where they can continue nuking it out to their hearts’ content. These subterranean strongholds have existed since the Cold War. But until recently, they were shrouded in the kind of secrecy you’d expect from paranoid superpowers.
That’s all changed now that arms analysts from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) have reconstructed two key bunkers inside the online game Minecraft.
Now you can visit lovingly recreated, low-res models of Site R, the US government’s bunker 200 metres below Raven Rock Mountain, Pennsylvania; and Russia’s Kosvinsky Bunker, at the base of Kosvinsky Mountain, east of Moscow.
As you explore Site R’s winding tunnels, communications centre, alternate National Military Command Centre, infirmary, reservoir and sleeping quarters for 3,000 people, bear in mind that maintaining this ‘underground Pentagon’ reportedly costs the US Government a cool $2 billion every year. (Question is, which one of those funny little block people is President Trump?)
Equipped with similar mod-cons, Kosvinsky also has a military base outside. You know, just in case the 300 metres of nuclear-warhead-proof granite protecting the complex is breached.
The MISS analysts used a combination of declassified information, satellite images and educated guesswork to build their Minecraft models. For Site R, they had an additional resource: journalist Garrett Graff’s book, Raven Rock: The Story of the US Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself – While the Rest of Us Die.
The title says it all.
But while the MIIS recreated the bunkers to highlight the depressing fact that both governments obviously believe nuclear war remains a distinct possibility, the low-fi world of Minecraft brings welcome light relief to the scenario. Some gratuitous zombies and an interplanetary wormhole don’t hurt, either…
Ready to bunker down? Start here.