Saving humankind from extinction
In case of Armageddon, limestone caverns near the Missouri River are being developed to shelter survivors -- for a price.
Coby Cullins stands next to a scale model of the Vivos Shelter and Resort during a tour of the facility in Atchison, Kan., Tuesday, June 18, 2013. A California man is creating what he calls the world's largest private underground survivor shelter, using a complex of limestone caves dug more than 100 years ago beneath gently rolling hills overlooking the Missouri River. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) -- After most of the world's population is wiped off the map by a wayward meteorite or hail of nuclear missiles, the survival of the human race might just depend on a few thousand people huddled in recreational vehicles deep in the bowels of an eastern Kansas mine.
That's the vision of a California man who is creating what he calls the world's largest private underground survivor shelter, using a complex of limestone caves dug more than 100 years ago beneath gently rolling hills overlooking the Missouri River.
"I do believe I am on a mission and doing a spiritual thing," said Robert Vicino, who has purchased a large portion of the former U.S. Army storage facility on the southeast edge of Atchison, about 50 miles northwest of Kansas City, Mo. "We will certainly be part of the genesis."
Before it comes time to ride out Armageddon or a deadly global pandemic, though, Vicino says the Vivos Survival Shelter and Resort will be a fun place for members to take vacations and learn assorted survival skills to prepare them for whatever world-changing catastrophe awaits.
Jacque Pregont, president of the Atchison Chamber of Commerce, said some people think the shelter plan sounds creepy or that Vicino has "lost his mind," while others are excited because they will finally get a chance to tour the property.
A fence helps guard the entrance to the Vivos Shelter and Resort which is part of the Mo/Kan Underground facility in Atchison, Kan., Tuesday, June 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Atchison is known as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart and one of the most haunted towns in Kansas, Pregont said, so the survival shelter is likely to add to the town's tourism draw.
"It's quirky, and quirky gets attention," she said.
Recent Hollywood movies have done big business exploring themes about threats to the human race, either through climate shifts, meteor impacts or zombie invasions. And the National Geographic Channel show, "Doomsday Preppers," documents the efforts of Americans who are preparing for the end of the world with elaborate shelters and plenty of freeze-dried rations.
Paul Seyfried, who belongs to a group that promotes preparing for manmade or natural disasters, said Americans have become complacent ever since the death of John F. Kennedy, the last president who urged people to build fallout shelters.
"There has been no war on our soil in over 100 years, so the horror of war is not stamped indelibly in Americans' minds," said Seyfried, a member of The American Civil Defense Association's advisory board.
Ken Rose, a history professor at California State University-Chico, is an outspoken critic of underground shelters. Though he acknowledged that interest in underground shelters is growing, he called projects like the Kansas facility a "colossal waste of time and money."
"Some people are just obsessed by this idea," Rose said. "... Without minimizing the terror threat here today, the threats were much greater at the height of the Cold War. At least then anxiety was based on a realistic scenario."
The Kansas caverns are 100 feet to 150 feet below the surface and have a constant natural temperature in the low 70s. They are supported by thick limestone pillars six times stronger than concrete and will have blast doors built to withstand a one-megaton nuclear explosion as close as 10 miles away, Vicino said.
Other than being surrounded by more than a mile and a half of 6-foot-high chain-link fence topped with sharp rows of barbed wire, the land above ground isn't distinguishable from expanses of hills and trees that surround it. The proposed shelter's entrances -- nondescript concrete loading docks tucked discretely into the wooded hillside -- are easily defensible against any potential intruders provided there's not a full-scale military attack, Vicino said.
The Army used the caverns -- created by limestone mining operations that started in the late 1880s -- for decades as a storage facility before putting them up for auction last year. The winning bid in December was $1.7 million, but financing fell through and the site was put up for sale again.
Springfield, Mo., investor Coby Cullins submitted his winning $510,000 bid for the property in early April, and he immediately started looking for ways to use it. One of his ideas was to lease the land to a company that builds survival bunkers.
Vicino, whose company is based in Del Mar, Calif., said he received an email from Cullins and flew to Kansas two days later to check out the property. Vicino agreed to purchase 75 percent of the complex, rather than lease it, while Cullins retained the rest and is marketing it to local businesses.
The complex consists of two fully lighted, temperature-controlled mines with concrete floors. The east cave, which Cullins owns, encompasses about 15 acres and contains offices, vaults, restrooms and other developed work spaces. The much larger west cave, which covers about 45 acres, is mostly undeveloped and will be converted into the Vivos facility.
The shelter will have enough space for more than 1,000 RVs and up to about 5,000 people. Members will be charged $1,000 for every lineal foot of their RV to purchase their space, plus $1,500 per person for food. That means a person who plans to park a 30-foot vehicle in the shelter with four people inside will pay $30,000 for the space and $6,000 for food.
Actual sales won't begin until a "critical mass" of reservations are received and processed, Vicino said, which hasn't happened yet at the Kansas shelter.
Vivos also owns a shelter in Indiana with room for 80 people to live comfortably for up to a year. There, members pay $50,000 per adult and $35,000 per child, so a family with two adults and two children would have to come up with $170,000 to be part of the post-apocalyptic generation.
Purchasers will be required to pay for the full balance before taking possession of their shelter space, though the company has offered limited financing in the past with a sizable down payment.
Vicino says he won't say specifically where the Indiana shelter or any of his smaller facilities are located because he fears there would be anarchy in the event of a world-changing catastrophe.
And it doesn't matter who comes knocking at the "moment of truth," Vicino said, they're probably not getting in.
"I've heard people say, 'I will just show up at the door,'" he said. "Our response is, 'great, where is the door?' At our secret shelters, you don't know where to go, and your cash will be worthless at that time."
what did we learn from Noah's ARc? Would hte materials leak? Crack from pressure?
How long would you need to stay? Facilities for water pumped in underground and for herds?
Other animals? Germenation of plants? How about eggs and sperm of animals due to size?
Stanford do you have my eggs? Have they been taken without permission or fertilized without permission? Those are babies now, I am a Roman Catholic. Who is the father, I would only want a white caucasian. US Constitutional Rights. Vice President Joe Biden Jr, do you respect these wishes? How about Ed Fralick? How about John McCain? How about John Cornyn? How about Tom McClintock? How about Charles A Halloway Jr?
I am a proud American, but I want to be allowed to choose. Did you do that? Are Sciencetitsts taking and perging thoughts out of individuals. I believe in love. I also believe in a fertized egg of a woman and a single healthy man who is neither lesbian or gay or bisexual or deviant as that which should be allowed to have the right to fertilize my eggs.
Rapsody and harmony and will God be Pleased and allow for the procreation as my Faith and self wish? Love in the manner God wished is beautiful not harmful and allows for the personal growth of a Family. A Nation. Harvard? Would you have respected these wishes?
NorthWestern University? Rice University? Methodist University?
Attacks through the wave lengths and mind should not alter, oppress or deny these wishes. Ever!
would the Prince and his Dutchess and other Prince be saved? What about their wishes.
Whites are in minority and growing more in the world. Would they allow the Black or African Americans to be saved with their wishes?
After The Dust ....
Even if some 'cave people' actually survived a cataclysmic event like a thermonuclear war, a pandemic or a monstrous meteorite strike, what kind of a world are they going to come out to? Moreover, what could the long-term quality of life possibly be for any of these people on the surface of a poisoned, incinerated or otherwise unrecognizable planet?
Peace to all ~
Any rich person with a brain who worries about an end of the world catastrophe isn't going to rent space. They are going to build their own safe room/bunker for themselves which rivals that of what our President would be housed in. They will have a stock pile of water and food to last them many years and not just one.
For everyone else, it will just be a replay of what happened in New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Many will wallow in their crap and be begging for someone to take care of them and hope the government will save them. I don't feel sorry for you. I will feel sorry for the disabled, the orphans and the elderly who of no fault of their own simply will not be able to take care of themselves in tragic circumstances. They will end up in a barbed wire refugee camp with the morons who should be able to. Others will be looting and part of the gangs roaming the streets and country sides. A select few will be able to survive and adapt. So which will you be??