When you hear the term “maximum-security location,” what specifics come to mind? Perhaps, you think of military bases, government holdings, or important historical sites. Can you guess the most heavily guarded places on earth? And note, these are not the kind of places that offer free tours on your travels. You can always drive by those secure check points.
Check out the following Top 10 list!
1. Fort Knox
This iconic home of the US Bullion Depository not only stores tons of gold by the thousands, but also allegedly houses significant historical documents. For example, it once held the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta. Fort Knox’s invaluable treasures are protected by a 22-ton blast door.
2. Area 51
This highly speculative yet top-secret U.S. air force facility, located in rural Nevada, is guarded so securely that no one has been able to break into it. Even flying overhead this “restricted area” is forbidden. These high levels of secrecy have prompted conspiracy theories of extraterrestrial alien or UFO activity.
3. The Mormon Church’s Secret Vaults
Containing the religious sect’s most important genealogical and historical records, these vaults are rumored to be protected by tempered climate control, as well as motion and heat sensors. Photos of the Mormon vaults can be a challenge to come by. This rare image surfaced in a newspaper during its 1962 construction.
4. Federal Reserve Bank in New York
Estimates show that roughly 25% of the world’s gold is stored here. With that much money on-site, it’s no wonder guarding the Federal Reserve is considered a national priority. The bank vault itself is eighty feet below street level and fifty feet below sea level. Plus, the building’s perimeter is manned by expertly-trained marksmen.
(Source: Michael Fleshman)
5. Air Force One
Often called “The Flying White House,” Air Force One’s defense technology is mostly classified, but the plane is allegedly capable of jamming enemy radars, ejecting flares to throw missiles off-course, and protecting itself from air strikes with heavy shielding. Rumor has it that Air Force One carries its own missile artillery as well.
6. Tumen River
This infamous body of water marks a crucial boundary line between Russia and North Korea, while snaking into Chinese territory as well. Would-be defectors from North Korea have tried using this river to flee into Russia by way of China. As such, it is regularly patrolled by North Korean soldiers.
7. Korean Demilitarized Zone
Harshly dividing Communist North Korea and Republican South Korea, this strip of land stretches 160 miles in length and 2.5 miles in width. It is counted among the most heavily defended borders in the world, and therefore, civilians rarely dare to cross. Consequently, the region has become a nature preserve.
(Source: John Pavelka)
8. The Greenbrier
Spanning 6,500 acres, this exclusive resort is located in the forests of West Virginia. Beneath that posh facade, however, lies an explosive secret. The property plays host to a secure and fully-stocked underground bunker, protected by a 25-ton blast door, for U.S. Congress members to weather out nuclear attacks.
(Source: David Wilson)
9. USP Florence ADMAX
Considered a modern-day Alcatraz, this is the only “supermax prison” in the U.S. and is considered the world’s most secure penitentiary. Located in Colorado, Florence houses the “worst of the worst” criminals in total solitary confinement. High-profile inmates, including Timothy McVeigh and known Islamic Terrorists, have been incarcerated here. A former warden described the prison as a “cleaner version of Hell.”
10. Cheyenne Mountain
This former government complex once served as headquarters for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command missions. It is comprised of a hidden tunnel network, encased by solid granite reinforcements. NORAD has since moved its operations to another location, but Cheyenne Mountain’s legacy lives on through the fictional Stargate Command on “Stargate SG-1” reruns.
This list is just a sampling of the numerous maximum-security locations around the globe. But, whether these places are entirely shrouded in mystery or abound with conspiracy and speculation, the fact remains that they are virtually impenetrable to the outside world.
- Top 10 Most Guarded Places On Earth
- The 10 most secure places in the world
- Top 10 Unusual Borders
- Secret Places on the Planet: Things the authorities do not want you to know about
- The safest place on Earth? (Well, nearly)
- The Deseret News – Apr 14, 1962
- The Guardian – ADX Florecne Supermax Prison: The Alcatraz of the Rockies
- 60 Minutes Report – ADX Florence Supermax Prison
- Business Insider – Air Force One
- How Stuff Works – Air Force One