History

The Vault of Legislators

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Bryan Alexander describes one gothic remnant of the Cold War: a set of underground chambers that were supposed to serve as "an emergency shelter for the entire United States Congress, a hideout and bolt hole in case of nuclear war, hidden away beneath a benign-looking hotel." Built in 1958, the secret fortress is located in West Virginia, which apparently was a magnet for federal construction projects even then. Alexander notes that "no Representative nor Senator would be allowed their families," which suggests a terrifying world where you have no company for all eternity except a few hundred politicians and their aides. I think I'd take my chances on the surface.

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  1. With their approval rating at 11%, they may yet find a need for that thing.

  2. It’s under the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, WV. It’s a very nice hotel and resort that was recently bought out by a coal baron who added a casino to the property. The hotel used to do tours of the bunker for the public, but I believe it’s limited only to guests now.

  3. “no Representative nor Senator would be allowed their families,”

    Riiigght.

    1. Notice they left out mistresses, pages, or interns. I’m assuming that was intentional.

      1. General “Buck” Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn’t that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?

        Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious… service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

      2. The wives and mistresses sharing quarters would have been a bit uncomfortable.

        1. Not if they remembered to pack plenty of popcorn.

        2. The wives and mistresses sharing quarters would have been a bit uncomfortable.

          Damn, it’s sad when the politicians in Dr. Strangelove are smarter than the one in real life.

      3. they left out mistresses, pages, or interns

        And strategists. How will they get their talking points out to the mutants?

      4. No, they were required to take all their aid(e)s with them into the vault.

    2. Politicians are just the kind of scum who would abandon their families to save their own skin.

  4. The underground nuclear-safe chamber envisioned for politicos in Dr Strangelove had better human companionship — special females selected for “breeding purposes” if I recall.

  5. Occupation of this vault by Congress for 9 months out of the year should be mandatory.

    Maybe they would be more in touch with the people they represent.

  6. Just imagine if they were the only ones to survive. That would leave a world populated by nothing but Congress critters, hill rats and their descendants. I am thinking death by fireball or radiation is the better option in that case.

  7. We need to decomission this thing. Fill it with cement.

    1. Nope, use it as a tomb for Congresscritters, state legislators, presidents, vice-presidents, governors, etc. (Optionally post-mortem.)

    2. sage, it’s been decommissioned since 1992. It’s owned by the resort now, and they give tours of the facility to hotel guests.

      1. Sorry, I was talking about decommissioning Congress. The vault was just a vessel to do the job.

    3. No make it a penalty box. Anytime the approval rating of congress as a whole goes below 50% they all have the option of returning home (and resigning) or staying in the penalty box 24/7. And no TV appearances or mailings allowed while in the penalty box.

  8. Unfortunately, the Greenbrier’s glory days seem to be in the rearview. I hadn’t heard they’d ended the bunker tours. That’d be a shame.

  9. I half hoped/expected this post would be about resurrecting the womby vaultage meme.

    1. You’ll have to go to Urkobold for that.

      1. Urkobold totally stole the That’s Entertainment music video from me. I posted it here first.

  10. Meh. Old news, of a kind (for those who watched History Channel before it became the “Paranormal” channel).

    Here, have some links!
    Rolling your eyes is looked down upon in small Illinois town
    For fuck’s sake, they’re not used to limited spending!

    1. Impressive, RS – you managed to SugarFree both links.

      1. When he tops the new record of 8, let me know.

  11. We need to decomission this thing. Fill it with cement.

    Oh, I agree. Right after we fill it with “a few hundred politicians and their aides.”

    1. Have you plugged the hole yet?

    2. Someone was paying attention.

  12. So which one would have been the Overseer?

    1. Good question, but I want to know which experimental procedure Vault-tec was testing.

      Vault 106’s hallucinogens? Vault 92’s white noise? Vault 87’s FEV? So many possibilities….

      1. Remember: the Vaults were never intended to save anyone.

        1. That would have been the point in this case.

          Also, clearly Chuck Schumer would be the Overseer.

          1. That would make my decision on whether or not to kill the Overseer during my escape attempt that much easier.

            1. Exactly.

          2. He needs a separate vault for his bitch tits.

            1. Vault 69? Vault DDD? Vault Mansierre?

              1. How about the tit tomb?

                1. Just put the bitch tits in an apartment in Megatit and be done with it.

                2. Take care of THIS.

      2. I suggest Vault 108’s oversupply of weaponry and built in power defect.

        Gaaaary!

  13. …which suggests a terrifying world where you have no company for all eternity except a few hundred politicians and their aides.

    It was often said that the survivors of a nuclear war would envy the dead. 🙂

  14. benign-looking

    From the front, it looks like an oversized replica of the White House. It’s a tumor.

  15. Mendez: May the Blessings of the Bomb Almighty, and the Fellowship of the Holy Fallout, descend upon us all. This day and forever more.
    Congregation: [singing] Amen!

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065462/quotes

  16. I’m surprised no one has made the obvious remark, that if 535 legislators and their staff were the only people to survive, they would perish in short order, since none of them has a clue about how to actually, you know, produce anything.

  17. Mega corporations like BP probably have something similar. Imagine spending the rest of your life with overpaid, self-important corporate managers.

    1. Hey Max. Take care of THIS.

  18. Is anyone else reminded of the Fallout series by this? Particularly where when the time comes to open the vault, all that’s left are drooling idiots. You know, garbage in, garbage out.

  19. Alexander notes that “no Representative nor Senator would be allowed their families,” which suggests a terrifying world where you have no company for all eternity except a few hundred politicians and their aides.

    I think a bunch of young female aides, instead of all those starter wives, would * unofficially * be considered a feature, not a bug, though no one would be foolish enough to say that out loud.

  20. “And the living shall envy the dead…”

  21. We MUST NOT allow a MINE SHAFT GAP!!!

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