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Thread: Wisconsin family discovers fully-stocked fallout shelter in their back yard

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    GuncoHolic Black Blade's Avatar
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    Default Wisconsin family discovers fully-stocked fallout shelter in their back yard

    Wisconsin family discovers fully-stocked fallout shelter in their back yard

    For more than a decade after they moved into their house in Neenah, Wisconsin, the Zwick family knew they had a Cold War bunker in their backyard.

    It was not until 2010 that anyone thought to open the heavy steel hatch, climb down the ladder and explore the 8-foot-by-10-foot chamber that the home's previous owner had built to protect his family from a nuclear attack.

    Floating in five feet of water that had seemed into the bunker were sealed U.S. Army boxed packed with all of the supplies a family would need to survive two weeks underground.



    Hidden treasure: Metal bulkhead doors protect the entryway into the underground fallout shelter in the Zwick family's backyard in Neenah, Wisconsin



    Preserved: The previous owner of the shelter packed away candies, raisins, Hershey's syrup and other sweets - likely as treats to get through the long weeks underground



    Locked up: The family clear away the bushes the had grown over the cover of the shelter and unlocked the chain that secured the doors closed

    'We assumed it was just this empty space,' homeowner Carol Hollar-Zwick told the Appleton Post-Crescent.

    The boxes, old military ammunition crates, contained markings that suggested there might be explosives inside, so the family called the local branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

    Agents opened the crates to find... Hawaiian Punch.

    'It was all of what you would expect to find in a 1960s fallout shelter. It was food, clothing, medical supplies, tools, flashlights, batteries - items that you would want to have in a shelter if you planned to live there for two weeks.'

    Everything remained remarkably well-preserved, thanks to the airtight containers the supplies were kept in.

    The family donated all of the items to the Neenah Historical Society, which has curated an exhibit about the Cold War and the fear of the Soviets using 'the bomb.'



    Down, down, town: The muddy ladder leading to the bunker reveals that the underground shelter has endured years of flooding



    The rusted military supply boxes preserved the contents remarkably well



    Even these paper towels were freshly sealed after 50 years

    'It’s interesting that you can open up something and find 1960 inside of it,' Mrs Hollar-Zwick told the Post-Crescent.

    The home's previous owner was Frank Pansch, a local surgeon, built the shelter in 1960 - two years before the Cuban Missile Crisis had Americans across the country digging their own 'fallout shelters' in their backyards.

    The idea of a fallout shelter was not to protect from a nuclear blast, but rather from the radiation that would likely contaminate the surrounding area.

    It's unknown what fallout the late Dr Pansch was expecting in Neenah. The small Wisconsin city is 100 miles from Milwaukee and nearly 200 from Chicago - the population centers that might have been targeted by the Soviets.



    Supplies: Candles, a garden hose and a funnel were dozens of items that were stashed in the bunker



    It's unknown why the past owner decided he needed to store a phone directory in his fallout shelter.

    Wisconsin family discovers fully-stocked fallout shelter in their back yard 50 years after it was installed at the height of the Cold War | Mail Online


    Black Blade: To answer the last question in the article - Phone Directory paper is back up toilet paper. On another note, it would have been very nice if the home owners had kept the shelter updated and free from flooding. Obviously they are not true preppers. Still interesting "time capsule" of sorts.
    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America , you get a front row seat. - George Carlin


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    GuncoHolic 2ndAmendican's Avatar
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    If you knew it was there when you moved in, why wouldn't you check it out earlier?!?!
    Enforcement, NOT Amnesty!!!!!!

    "If they’re going to come here illegally, apply for & receive assistance through a corrupted Government agency encouraging this lawless behavior, work under the table & send billions of dollars each year back to their families in Mexico, while bleeding local economies dry, protest in our streets waving their Mexican flags DEMANDING rights, while I have to press ’1′ for English, then they need to be shipped back to where they came from!" -Chad Miller

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    White Cracker 4thIDvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndAmendican View Post
    If you knew it was there when you moved in, why wouldn't you check it out earlier?!?!
    I was thinking the same thing 2nd.. Damn. I would have had the bolt cutters out first day in the new home.. Pirates treasure, Al Capones spare change..
    I lived through those days as a kid..
    "Duck and cover under your school desk children when the bell sounds."
    O.K. were under the desk, this should stop a 3 billion ton nuclear bomb, I feel much safer now..
    Never told us what to do after the blast. What walk home have dinner and glow in the dark?
    "Man needs but two things to survive alone in the woods. A blow up female doll and his trusty old AK-47" - Thomas Jefferson 1781


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    Gunco Regular jfreakofkorn's Avatar
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    Thats awesome a by gone era ..... Cool finds also ...

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    Gunco Regular dario541's Avatar
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    Too bad that they felt compelled to call in the BATFE Storm Troopers. I would just as soon have the government in the dark about anything like that if it was on my property.

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    GuncoHolic Black Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4thIDvet View Post
    I was thinking the same thing 2nd.. Damn. I would have had the bolt cutters out first day in the new home.. Pirates treasure, Al Capones spare change..
    I lived through those days as a kid..
    "Duck and cover under your school desk children when the bell sounds."
    O.K. were under the desk, this should stop a 3 billion ton nuclear bomb, I feel much safer now..
    Never told us what to do after the blast. What walk home have dinner and glow in the dark?
    Yep, I remember "duck and cover" too. I always though it was silly but that's how it was back then. I figured we were toast regardless should there be a nuke attack. If anything the roof would collapse in a "near miss" and the desk we hid under would be just a big plank to squash us like bugs. We did have a Civil Defense bunker in our school basement with canned water and biscuits.
    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America , you get a front row seat. - George Carlin


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    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    Great, now I got a sudden craving for "Butterscotch Bits"! Off to Maijer I go..... Yeah, the first thing any self respecting Boy over the age of 3 would do is try to "explore" the bomb shelter in the backyard, what's wrong with those people? It's also a wonder ATF opened the ammo cans, the Bomb Squads around here just blow up any "suspicious packages" they get called out on. Toilet paper and candy all over the block! Oh well, at least we all now know how well a sealed ammo can left underwater for decades will hold up.

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    Resident Curmudgeon Karl/PA's Avatar
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    Great time capsule from the past. Those were some crazy times. Everyone worried about "the Red Menace" especially after Kruschev banged on his desk with his shoe at the UN and declared "We will bury you."





    ...and a parody:

    Karl

    I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. - Ayn Rand

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    Gunco Regular dario541's Avatar
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    What Khrushchev was quoted as saying was: "We will bury you, and you will provide the shovels!" And, it looks to me that it is happening exactly that way. Since Nixon went to China back in the 1970a, we have converted China from a third world nation into a Mega Super Power. With their population and America's Technology they now have the power to conquer the world!

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    Gunco Member Karl_T's Avatar
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    Those look to be regular ammo cans...

    Hope the stuff i have stored very similarly look that good in fifty years.

    Karl

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