When the Zwick family moved into their new home in 2005, they were aware that there was a long abandoned cold war bunker on their property, but they never investigated any further. After all, who wants to go poking around in a creepy underground cellar? However, curiosity eventually got the better of them and- five years later- they decided to uncover its secrets.
But first, they had to open the rusted steel doors:
It was no easy task, as they were chained shut and sealed with over forty years of rust. It took bolt cutters and a huge amount of effort to get the doors open, but eventually they managed to get inside. But what would they find inside the mysterious bunker?
At first, it seemed that the answer was ‘a lot of water’. The bunker had clearly flooded several times over the years. But when they looked closer, the Zwicks saw worrying looking boxes with ‘US Army ammunition’ stencilled on them. Convinced they were dealing with explosives, they called in the government, who opened the boxes and found…
Perfectly preserved 1960s groceries and other supplies! It was incredible: just like a time capsule.
The bunker was built to protect the house’s 1960s inhabitants from an upcoming nuclear apocalypse. Russia and the US were engaged in a stand off called the Cuban Missile Crisis, and no one knew what would happen next. Luckily, people didn’t end up having to use the bunkers, but just in case most people stocked their bunkers with supplies.
The home’s previous owner was Frank Pansch, a local surgeon, who built the shelter in 1960. Frank even packed a telephone directory! But who would he have phoned in the event of a nuclear catastrophe? He wouldn’t have been able to leave the bunker for weeks due to the radioactive fallout. Maybe he was planning to use it to make paper planes to entertain himself?
Nearly all of the supplies were perfectly preserved thanks to the watertight U.S. Army boxes they were packed in. It really is like looking back in time. These Kleenex Towels would look perfect in the background of a scene in 1960s drama Mad Men!
The family explained: ‘It was all of what you would expect to find in a 1960s fallout shelter. It was food, clothing, medical supplies, tools, flashlights, batteries – items that you would want to have in a shelter if you planned to live there for two weeks.’
The family donated all of the items to a local museum, who are planning to use them in an upcoming exhibit about the Cold War and its effects on the town’s inhabitants. We’re certainly lucky that things aren’t that bad at the moment! Why not share this post with your friends if you think this is an amazing find?