Inside The US Government's Plan To Survive Nuclear War (While The Rest Of Us Die)

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Sadie Dingfelder, originally posted at The Washington Post,

In 2011, a staffer at Washingtonian found a government ID in a Metro parking garage and gave it to Garrett M. Graff (the magazine’s editor-in-chief at the time) to track down its owner. “Since I reported about that world, he figured I’d know what to do with it,” Graff says.

Graff immediately noticed something strange.

“The back of the ID had these evacuation instructions on it. And so I got on Google Maps and followed the instructions and they 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.”

Raven Rock, a hollowed out mountain near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, is reportedly one of the undisclosed locations Dick Cheney worked from after 9/11.

That discovery inspired Graff to comb through newly declassified documents to learn more about the U.S. government’s plans in the event of a nuclear war or other catastrophe. His research culminated in the new book “Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself — While the Rest of Us Die.”

At first, the government didn’t plan to let “the rest of us die.”

“In the early 1950s, the government really hoped and believed it would be able to save most Americans,” Graff says.


As bombs became more destructive, “plans and ambitions gradually shrunk until, realistically, the best they could hope to do is save the senior leadership.”

Drills and disasters have shown that the federal government is too complex and unwieldy to pluck out of D.C. by helicopter and set up in an underground bunker — though that was, and still is, the basic plan, Graff says.

One such shelter is the mountain fortress Graff tracked down: Raven Rock. Here’s more on it, plus other tidbits from doomsday scenarios past and present.

Raven Rock

This compound, carved out of a mountain near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border, contains several freestanding, multistory buildings (on giant, shock-absorbing springs) for a total of 900,000 square feet of office space. It has its own subterranean water supply, too. Raven Rock is where top government and military officials would hide out in the event of a major attack on Washington, D.C.; it was reportedly one of the “undisclosed locations” former Vice President Dick Cheney worked from in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mount Weather

Another major underground government complex, Mount Weather has been in use since the 1950s. Located at the border of Loudoun and Clarke counties in Virginia, the 600,000-square-foot bunker inside the mountain was once (and still may be) the official evacuation site for Supreme Court justices, documents such as the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and the National Gallery of Art’s most valuable paintings.

E-4B ‘doomsday planes’

These custom-built 747s, also known as “Air Force One When It Counts,” are flying war rooms that follow the president when he travels internationally.

When POTUS is stateside, one plane sits ready on a runway at a Nebraska military base, “fully staffed with battle planners and war planners and meteorologists and anything else you might need to run a nuclear war,” Graff says. The planes are protected from electromagnetic pulse attacks with a fine wire mesh, and they can unfurl a 5-mile-long wire that allows communication with nuclear submarines.

Survival crackers

In the 1960s, the U.S. government distributed 150 million pounds of wheat crackers and biscuits to fallout shelters across America. Packages are still routinely found unopened in civic building basements, and apparently they don’t taste great. “I did actually find on eBay a box of them, but I haven’t been brave enough to try them in part because I have watched enough YouTube videos of other people trying them to know how disgusting they actually are,” Graff says.

Button #13

In the late 1970s, the D.C. mayor’s emergency control center at 300 Indiana Ave. NW had a Plexiglas-shielded button that, when pressed, triggered “Emer-zak,” the broadcast of emergency messages to lobbies, elevators and anywhere else served by the Muzak system.

*  *  *

While much of this is known, given the recent "Gotham Shield" nuclear attack drill and Washington D.C.'s recent "terror attack drill", one can't help but wonder if these old bunkers and emergency systems are getting dusted off... just as Hawaiian officials have already demanded.

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medium giraffe's picture

Thanks Mr Taxpayer, now FOAD.

The Juggernaut's picture

The Fed Coats are coming!  Sharpen yours tools!

cheka's picture

is that where all that ammo went?

meta-trader's picture

you can add an extra 1500/USD week after week in your income just working on the internet for a couple of hours each day... check this link...

Manthong's picture

F the continuity of the country through beneficial, sane and peaceful domestic and foreign policy.

Just keep being hegemonic shills for the military/security/ corporate complex and assure continuity of a bad government through nuclear Armageddon.

SWRichmond's picture

Can you imagine spending a year or more underground in a tomb filled with politicians and other sociopaths?

They'll be killing each other within a week.

1033eruth's picture

SWRichmond - Killing each other within a week? Really, you think their booze and other party goods will run out in a week?  Doubt it.

Infnordz's picture

What about waste, including human skin dust, rubbish and sewage, it will need people there willing to do the maintence work, the equipment, the extra space, and enough reliable power to clean up and store/recycle the dust, rubbish, and sewage daily, and keep parasites and disease under control, all for long periods.  The later maybe more challenging now, because parasites and diseases have becoming more resistant to anti-parasitic and anti-disease products.  There would also need to be plenty of spare bulk air-filters and other consumables.

It could also become rather 'fun'; if any of the people are on mind altering stuff and there is none or not enough stockpiled, that could include certain drugs, foods, and media!

I bet that a lot of smaller scale shelters may become intolerable or otherwise non-viable for these issues too.

Rapada's picture

Throughout history, the ultimate truth is "peace through military victory"; ignore this at your peril. Government is a divine establishment ordained by God, be it good or bad, it is what pulls us out of chaos. Other divine establishement principles are things like authority, family, freedom, property. None of these are executed perfectly in history, because imperfect "sinful" mankind is the agent. The military is good and necessary and imperfect, just like we are. I would much rather have them than not. There are a many magnificent men and women sacrificing their lives so that those of us at home can enjoy the benefits of freedom.  DON't DIS THE MILITARY!!!

rmopf2010's picture

No need for Nuclear, WannaCry v3.xx.xx.xx will disable everything (Eletric, Transportation, Hospitals, Banks, and so on) for A MONTH

That should be enough to kill almost 90% of worlds population!

WannaCry v3.xx.xx.xx is more environment friendly

HockeyFool's picture

So when the electrical grid goes down, what will happen to all the nuke plants? They have 2 weeks of fuel for their back up diesel generators. After that? The pumps that keep the reactor and spent fuel pool cool, stop. The water heats up, the fuel melts down. Fisson product release to the atmoshpere follows.

If you are anywhere near one, you'll be looking for a bunker fast, or dying before you know what's wrong.

monk27's picture

Good luck with that survival, considering that our government is choke-full of idiots ! In a few years the  precious "survivors" will look something like the human survivors from the Planet of the Apes sequel (Beneath the Planet of the Apes), minus the telepathic powers...

NidStyles's picture

That franchise was improperly categorized. It's more like a comedic horror series. As if pavement apes could tame a horse...

HockeyFool's picture

No shit, they'd be running from horses. Which is exactly why cops use them in crowd control. They know who be afraid.

Andre's picture

I always loved Stargate One.

The Earth and Human civilization are about to be annihilated by the Nasty du Jour. The Best And Brightest are being shuffled off to The Alpha or Beta site "to save the future of Humanity."

And nobody - NOBODY - realized the entire remaining population at that site could be extinguished by a blocked sewer line....

Let's hear it for the electricians, plumbers, carpenters and the others who do, not just think.

TwelveOhOne's picture

Turns out the B Ark contains necessary people.

Nexus789's picture

More like the Morlocks of the Time Machine but less evolved. . 

yogibear's picture

So this is the plan. Rather than facing an economic doomsday they kill all of us, in the meantime Jamie Dimon and his fellow banksters retreat to their private islands.

Pickleton's picture

"Rather than facing an economic doomsday they kill all of us"

Well yeah, because after this all implodes the mobs will come for them.  So yeah, they're saving themselves at our expense.



Socratic Dog's picture

So build your own fallout bunker. Not a big deal. OK, so it's not a remote island well-stocked with naked ladies, but it beats cowering in place.

Infnordz's picture

WFT!  Oh course it's a huge deal; a large and deep enough, gas-tight (because external gases could be radioactive and external air filters will eventually clog) shelter, needs a lot of spacecraft like embedded infrastructure and consumables (not just food and water), which most people take for granted, including a large enough LED lit area of rotated greenery for air/water recycling and for fresh food.  Many months of stockpiled consumables, especially water, take up a lot of space and will eventually run out, only slowed by recycled/food-reproduction!

Also much use of combustion energy inside a sealed shelter would be suicide and Solar and Wind won't be feasible, so it'd probably need a nuclear energy source e.g. a thermal-isotope energy source, if you can find some still..., because a affordable tiny Thorium reactor is probably not available yet!

Wiki BS, to con some fools that they can survive a nuclear war, even those that may will later die if they can't find safe external resources.  Simples, make all politicians brutally aware that they will die horribly, sooner or later, if they start a nuclear war, from suffocation, thirst, hunger, disease, or slow torture.

Survivalism is probably not practical for long periods, probably even for Mormons, because we can only retain our civilising technology for limited periods without external support, after that most of the population will stave and the rest will have to form/join loyal K-type groups, with rational violence to salvage and defend what they can, or eventually starve too.

drendebe10's picture

Fukda elite gubmnt turds. If anyone should die, those turds should be first in line. Sucks being a serf or peasant.

HRClinton's picture

Outdated info. There's a whole secret Subway system that has thousands of miles of lines and hubs.

Not cheap. But what's a couple of Trillion between friends (taxpayers and government)?

Let the Georgia Guidestones and Science be your worldview, not ME superstitions and Pay-to-Pray fables. If you make it.

Andre's picture

Georgia Guidestones and what passes for "science" these days.

Thanks but no thanks.

Libtard's picture

Lol, you mean those "pay-to-pray fables that still not one shred of evidence over thousands of years has been found to disprove? You mean the same ones that archeology has been proving true for over a 100 years mean the same ones modern physics now believe is most likely the case, that everything was CREATED by an intelligent designer, blowing the rediculouslness of Darwinian evolution out of the water..

You're right, we should be following some random "guidestones" in the middle of GA for our salvation, haha!! Ill stick with "fairytales."

BarkingCat's picture

Intelligent designer??

If we were created by a designer then it was a short bus riding moron.


chubbar's picture

If anyone is really curious about what is going on I would recommend going to and buying a copy of the new movie "unacknowledged" that will be available in a week or so (I have an advanced copy). It's based on documents uncovered by FOIA and other means documenting the unacknowledged special access programs that were started back in the 40's and are still in existence today. Go watch the trailer.

kellys_eye's picture

At least any survivors OUTSIDE the bunkers will know where to congregate to 'pick off' the cowardly sh1ts as they try to emerge......

Also, what's the actual POINT of saving those people?  They are potentially the most despised and useless (to civilisation) people on the planet.  What good will be pen-pushers and politicians in the aftermath?  Leadership qualities?  To lead WHO?  Corpses?



Croesus's picture


I have a little fantasy of a convoy of concrete trucks sealing-off the exits, once our esteemed leaders are safely inside...

JohninMK's picture

Good plan but this is a Government not a small private bunker. I would suspect that there are part complete emergency exits currently invisible, complete apart from the last few feet, ready to go incase the 'real' exits are blocked.

No doubt someone will have skimmed a bit of the contract so that the fiber optic comms links are vulnerable in a cabinet or telephone exchange nearby. Being shut off from the outside would be pretty bad for the inmates.

Doubleguns's picture

Do these idiots think that those places are not on the target list. A nuke on the front door is going to make for a very dificult time if they attempt to come out that door. If they survive it.

Truther's picture

The hoards will be knocking and the guillotines will rise.
Fuck the Feds.

Seasmoke's picture

That motherfucker Dick Cheney will never die.

techpriest's picture

So it turns out that a certain well-connected colonel has offered to testify on Cheney's war crimes, and has something to say about the people who surrounded Bush and Cheney. In so many words, Cheney was in fact being manipulated by a team of lawyers, and one in particular described as "Cheney's Rasputin."

Woods is legit, and it's good to see that more and mroe people are coming out and talking openly about the shit show.

44magnum's picture

When someone shows up to haul the cocksucker evil fuck away in chains then i'll believe it. Same for all the other war criminals and just plain criminals in government



junction's picture

How can you be certain he is already not one of the Walking Dead?

OverTheHedge's picture

Lots of "Life Ectension" science being done, with benefits strictly for the older elite. See Mugabe as a prime example.

Of course, we can't have the riff-raff living for ever - imagine the mess!

The downside will be people like Tony Blair getting to be "President-for-life", which means for your lifetime, not his, as yours will be way, way longer.


Squilliam Fancyson's picture

Raven Rock, a hollowed out mountain near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, is reportedly one of the undisclosed locations Dick Cheney orchestrated 9/11 from.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Major T. J. "King" Kong: I don't give a hoot in Hell how you do it, you just get me to the Primary, ya hear!

e_goldstein's picture

Do they all get Pip Boys?

No, that's not a pedophile reference.

Andre's picture


War never changes....

taoJones's picture

And now we know where you (will) live....

jaxville's picture

A Russian 10-15 megaton warhead could fix that pimple on America's ass.

lolmao500's picture

Meanwhile the russians and chinese have underground cities for millions of people.

GracchusBrothers's picture

Good luck feeding them...Oh wait...they ARE the food...never mind.

Yen Cross's picture

  Poo Poo Coctails, down airshafts. 

business as stusual's picture

Absolutely not! First we have to ensure that we have found and welded shut all points of access. Then, and only then, do you empty the Sani Kan pump truck contents down the ventilation shaft.