Well Last week Stacy and I went with our brother Kris out to Tucson to visit a Titan missile silo. Yep, you read that correctly...a Missile Silo...and not just any Missile Silo but a Nuclear Missile Silo!!
So Stacy and I get a call from Kris,
"Hey, come over and bring the CR-V."
"Sounds good, Why?"
"Don't worry about it, we're going on an adventure."
And so we were off. For Stacy and I adventure is the only word you have to use and we are fully on board. We itch to experience new things, and on this trip, boy did we! So we went and picked up Kris from my parents house and 30 minutes later we were headed east on Highway 10 for a 2 hour trip to Tucson.
Not much needed:
Beautiful wife - Check
A.C. on Full Blast - Check
IPod loaded with Pearl Jam, MGMT, Temper Trap and Gorillaz - Check IN deed.
After a seemingly 5 minute drive we had arrived at our destination. You know when you watch Sci-Fi Movies and there is this strange tone to it's visuals, always slightly eerie, and kinda puts you on the edge of your seat in anticipation, this trip was slightly like that. The scenes that we were traveling through were identical to almost any 1950's Sci-Fi movie you would choose; the thinly painted clouds (although in Most 1950's movies they were still painted in B&W) were brushing the peaks of the towering mountains off in the distance. Even though we were experiencing the scenery in person it was still as though we were still watching it through a warped wide angle lens. It was strange. The mountains were so far off in the distance, but so tall that they seemed almost touchable, and yet because they were so far away we could see the desert stretch for miles until it was intercepted by a super green, oasis like, plain leading up to the base of the mountain. I say leading up to the base because the plain (and yes I understand this is a contradiction to the word in meaning (but hey isn't that what Sci-Fis are all about?)) warped, curved up towards the sky as it met the mountain where it seemed to turn to stone instantly. It was hard to walk while looking off at the horizon; it would almost make you lose your balance, feeling as though you were walking around with a tilt. The silo was surrounded by desert and copper mines. The heat that massaged our shoulders until raw was rather hospitable and made sure to welcome us to the desert with fervent joy. I guess something about the word Desert on the map should have given us some idea of what to expect, but again when you are a character in a 1950's Sci-Fi movie, you never know WHAT to expect.
We made it to the silo just in time to catch the last tour. As we were standing in the lobby reading information plaques talking about the cold war and how at any given moment either country could have destroyed the world with the twist of a key, hmmm comforting, we were met by two gentlemen easily in their 80's. One was a slim fellow about 6 feet 2 inches tall and the other was a little more round and walked with a cane. The man with the cane lead the tour and was a rather humorous fellow, which I guess is an important quality to have out in that unbelievable heat! The man led us around explaining some of the security features for the missile that were visible top side. As we followed him through a narrow door and down some flights of stairs he explained a few things about the Titan Missile Program,
And this is where it gets interesting!!
The Titan Missile Program was the replacement for the Atlas Missile Program, The first family of successful ballistic missiles. The Titan missile had three launch cities from which it launched from: Tucson AZ, Little Rock AK, and the last in which I currently cannot recall. Each city had something like 16 launch sites surrounding the city. THAT's 48 Missiles! Oh yeah...did i mention they were each armed with a Nuclear Warhead!!!! Yeah, N-U-CLEAR! HA! Here is what we learned about ballistic missile armed with nuclear warheads...That one warhead is packed with 13 Megatons of explosive power. What ever does that mean, a Megaton? Well let me put it into prospective, kinda. This is what the tour guide it telling us mind you. If you can imagine a stick of dynamite and its blast power, something like one stick could blow up your car with extreme bias, and apply that to the idea of having a freight train pulling 150 cars of dynamite and then you have a closer idea of what a megaton is and ONE nuclear warhead contains 13 of them!! The tour guide explained that a Titan missile, after launched, would rocket 50 miles into the air, calculate it coordinates and free fall down to its final resting place. A Titan missile is accurate enough to free fall toward its given point and crash into the ground within a ONE mile radius of its target. 13 megatons of destruction is enough to immediately incinerate e-v-e-r-ything within a 500 mile radius!! If it fails to burn you alive with in that radius it has another trick up its sleeve; the warhead also inhales all the oxygen in that 500 mile radius leaving any oxygen breathing being incapable of receiving that gas that further sustains their life.
As we are hearing all this, Stacy and I look at each other and we started to do the math. The first Titan missile was created in 1951 and we wrestled with the cold war from the late 40's to the early 90's and this missile silo was decommissioned to meet the demands of the Soviet Union in hopes of ending the cold war in 1982. And these guys (our tour guides) are still hanging out in a missile silo......could it be? And our assumptions were correct. Our tour guides were the same two guys who had the power to put their hands on the two keys in that tiny room, turn them and ignite a warhead bearing ballistic missile towards another country!! A missile I might add that would justify, after its launch, the launch of every other nuclear missile in the U.S. and Soviet Union's arsenal! And between the two countries, it only took one country to fire all that they had to kill the entire earth and all its inhabitants from the Nuclear Fallout.
AND WHO THE CRAP THOUGHT TO STICK THESE GUYS IN TUCSON!?!?