Carved into a mountain close to Pennyslvania’s Blue Ridge Summit lies Raven Rock, a 900,000 square foot ‘underground Pentagon’ built for top government and military officials to shelter in the aftermath of a catastrophic blast.
The secretive facility has been operational since the 1950s, and was said to be one of the “undisclosed locations” used by then Vice President Dick Cheney following the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Now a new book by a former magazine editor lifts the lid on Raven Rock and other war bunkers – and the government’s plans to save itself which could be crucial if North Korea attacks the States.
Garrett M Graff was editor in chief of the Washingtonian when a member of staff handed him a government ID card they found in a car park in 2011.
On the back was a set of instructions guiding the card holder to a specific location in the event of an evacuation.
Punching the coordinates into Google Maps, Graff said the instructions “led to a road that very clearly went into the side of a mountain, and you can see on the Google satellite view big concrete bunker doors.”
Mr Graff soon discovered he was looking at Raven Rock.
Curious to find out more, he used recently declassified documents to research the history of the complex, and numerous others dotted around the US.
But the papers also revealed the government’s nuclear attack strategy, which presumably inspired the alarming title of Graff’s book Raven Rock: The Story of the US Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself – While the Rest of Us Die”.
Mr Graff told the Washington Post: “In the early 1950s, the government really hoped and believed it would be able to save most Americans.”
But as bombs became more advanced and more deadly “plans and ambitions gradually shrunk until, realistically, the best they could hope to do is save the senior leadership.”
Should the current tensions between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un result in nuclear apocolypse, then the basic plan is still to lift the Commander in Chief and other top personnel out of Washington DC and into one of the bunkers like Raven Rock.
But Mr Graff said drills have shown that the sheer size of the federal government would make that incredibly difficult.