Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Archaeology of a more recent vintage Workers discover Cold War-era stockpile of survival supplies

Workers inspecting the structural foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge have uncovered a Cold War-era trove of basic provisions that were stockpiled amid fears of a nuclear attack.

Water drums, medical supplies, paper blankets, drugs and canisters holding calorie-packed crackers were visible as city officials led a tour of the vault Monday, days after the stash was discovered under the main entrance ramp to the bridge.

The estimated 352,000 Civil Defense All-Purpose Survival Crackers are apparently still intact, said Joseph Vaccaro, a supervisor at the city Transportation Department. The metal water drums, each labeled "reuse as a commode," did not fare as well, and they are now empty.

Someone needs to investigate all of those fallout shelters scattered around the country. You see these signs all over the place:

I always thought they were actual sealed bomb shelters that no one ever went into, but I'm beginning to suspect that many are just the basements of certain buildings that could be sealed up in some way with their regular doors.

Interestingly, there's an old, specialy-built one near where I live and get on the freeway every morning.