Going Underground: Missile Silo Real Estate
Secret passageways, revolving fireplaces, and sliding bookcases are all fantasies implanted in our minds by movies such as Indiana Jones or the tales of King Arthur. Even for the exceedingly wealthy, building one's own castle, complete with such trickery, seems out of reach.
Dreams, however, often die hard and the dream of Mr. Edward Peden is no different. Peden converted an old missile silo that was decommissioned in the early 1960s into his very own "20th Century Castle."
Building off of this idea, Peden is now involved in a real estate venture that buys old, empty silos and sells them to individuals who can, and have, transformed their very own silos into gargantuan underground mansions. In fact, eBay recently featured one of these renovated silos at an asking price of nearly $4 million, complete with underground passageways between the silo and other parts of the former military buildings that lay underground. Some folks have their own three-phase power capabilities on site, indoor hot tubs, and food supplies that could sustain small villages for up to a year. The $4 million silo boasts a 360-degree view, few neighbors, and a secluded location.
Above - and Not So Above - Board Uses
When buying a house, rarely would one ever hear that the home was located in a beautiful setting next to an old, abandoned missile silo. Such facilities beckon criminals like freshmen to fraternity parties. Like any secluded, ludicrously secure and cavernous room in a dark, underground area, a missile silo is tailored to a criminal's specifications.
What Mr. Peden fails to mention on his website or in brochures about these silo properties is that these homes can attract members of the seedy underworld of society. For instance, a drug lord in Texas purchased one of these missile silos as well as the equipment and supplies to produce about one-third of the world's LSD supply. Law enforcement agents were able to apprehend both the equipment and the man, who later agreed to act as an informant and led agents to the capture of two other drug lords involved in the project.
Many people are probably wondering what legitimate need anyone could have for a home that just happens to stretch seven stories underground with the capacity to survive a 1-megaton nuclear blast. In some cases, these silos are actually being put to decent, honest use. For instance, a silo in Kansas was converted several decades ago into a high school.
Missile silos as homes are an interesting and extravagant idea. However, impenetrable palaces of defense ought to be left to the government and fictional lore, not to anybody who can muster the cash to buy their very own underground fortress.
Allowing individuals to buy, live in or do who-knows-what in their own personal silo is similar to Tonya Harding's next job: no one knows what it's going to be, and someone's likely to get hurt.