Pacifist sect controls a Mayan-inspired pyramid in North Dakota


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/25/pacifist-sect-controls-a-mayan.html


#2

indeed


#3

It’s an exaggeration to say that Hutterites “shun” the outside world. I grew up in southern Alberta where there are a large number of Hutterites. While it’s fair to say Hutterites are inward looking and mostly keep to themselves, they also have normal connections with the outside world and are not averse to technology as is often assumed - their collective farms often had the best machinery available. Their presence at farmers markets/auctions/supermarkets/rodeos etc. was normal and they had the usual business relationships with other farm suppliers. When I did environmental field work on the prairies, I was often approached by Hutterite farmers who were (genuinely) interested in what I was doing, not just suspicious.


#4

This is a slippery slope. Imagine what’ll happen to the rest of Our Great Nation’s war machine if pacifists buy it!


#5

I wonder what they do in there?


#6

Just FYI, The Library of Congress has some pretty neat period pictures. I have a bunch of them set up as desktop wallpaper.

The cold war may have been a lousy idea; but the aesthetics of letting brutalists do apocalyptic machinery are pretty compelling.

Now, though, I have to wonder what the Hutterites plan to do with it. Old military sites tend to be pretty brownfield; so aside from looking really cool it is likely worth less than more prosaic chunks of the middle of nowhere. Are they just going to farm around it?


#7

Dad worked on/in that originally back in the 70’s, he was a software guy for the original radar systems. It was a radar complex, not a missile base. It faced north to detect USSR missiles. I think NOAA took it over not long after the cold war ended. I have a paper weight with it laying around somewhere.


#8

This system was the direct inspiration for the video game Missile Command.


#9

For those interested in images from within a Hutterite community in Manitoba, be sure to check out Kelly Hofer’s new book: http://www.kellyhofer.com/book


#10

And E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 was inspired by me getting an inner ear infection and repeatedly falling down the stairs. True story.

Rule 34!


#11

I wonder how it might work out for large scale storage, although having to pump thousands of gallons of groundwater out daily might indicate “Eh, not so good.” Unless you wanted a huge cistern. Maybe sell the water to neighboring farms?


#12

Also, they aren’t alcohol free, as the Fusion article suggests.


#13

I’m not really clear on how much usable space there is inside. Based on the construction photos and diagrams; it is pretty massively constructed and originally had a lot of radar components and supporting hardware, the actual missile silos were elsewhere.

Best case, when they decommissioned it they removed most of that stuff, leaving you with a ludicrously overbuilt but sturdy chunk of warehouse space; less optimal case the place is still a warren of rooms(in nuke resistant concrete, not ‘remodel to suit’ spit and drywall) and all the junk that wasn’t deemed classified and wasn’t worth moving(wouldn’t be a huge surprise if a high power '70s electrical system has some hideous PCB-riddled transformers stashed away somewhere).

For all the article’s tales of spelunking adventure, it didn’t shed too much light on the present-day interior; and most of its external shots are the time-of-construction LOC images.


#14

My impression was they were more interested in the land than the building.


#15

I don’t know where your dad worked, but if it was here, then it was at an actual anti-ballistic missile base.

Those silos in the foreground are for the Spartan and Sprint ABM missiles that the radar directed.

Now, those missiles were something else: the Spartan missile was based on the earlier Nike series, but with a range of 460 nautical miles and an altitude of 350 n.m. And it carried a 5 megaton nuclear warhead, just to be sure of catching those incoming MIRVs. The Sprint was a shorter range weapon with a range of only 25 miles, but it made up for that by having an acceleration of over 100 g, which meant that the motor burnt out after about 5 seconds, leaving the thing travelling at Mach 10 (fast enough to form a plasma sheath around it). It also had a nuke warhead, a low-yield neutron enhanced bomb intended to make the incoming warheads malfunction after getting caught in the flux, making this the first operational deployment of a neutron bomb.

Crazy times, crazy engineering. The pyramid damn well should be the altar of a Lovecraftian entity intent on destroying humanity. Anything less would be unworthy.


#16

This reminds me of the Order of Reflective Analytics from Cory’s short story The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away.

http://www.tor.com/2008/08/06/weak-and-strange/


#17

My Google-fu is failing. Does someone have a good link to talk about Pan Am’s SSPC program and it’s history?


#18

But he said he was a greeting card salesman!


#19

He was a contractor and we actually lived in NJ at the time. I think he went up there a couple of times. I just remember what he told me after it was declassified and that was just a little. Really thought it was just a radar site but upon thinking about it, yea it makes sense that it also is a missile site.


#20

If shots of prairie scenery and wholesome living turns your crank… I mean I’m not one to judge, but…