`End-of-World' Threat Stirs Interest in Scottish Nuclear Bunker
A nuclear bunker in Scotland built as the Cold War thawed is drawing interest from a U.S.-based group worried about another possible threat: doomsday.
The Vivos Group, a Del Mar, California-based company that provides protection against what it calls “end-of-the-world scenarios,” is considering buying the two-story bunker constructed for the U.K. government in 1990 near Comrie, 67 miles (108 kilometers) northwest of Edinburgh.
“We have been evaluating it, but it has issues,” Robert Vicino, the founder of Vivos, said in a telephone interview yesterday while travelling in Arizona. “The biggest one is altitude. It is also well known, so there would be diminished secrecy. But we haven’t ruled it out.”
Large nuclear bunkers that are no longer needed by governments have been converted into a variety of uses. One in Switzerland has been turned into a hotel, while others have become wine cellars, museums or data-storage centers. One in Berlin now houses a private art collection.
The former facility in Scotland, which was designed to shelter 150 politicians, the emergency services and military chiefs in the event of a nuclear attack, officially goes on sale on Feb. 1 with a guide price of 400,000 pounds ($635,000).
“We are in talks with a couple of possible international bidders,” Andrew Black, the realtor at Carter Jonas who is selling the property, said in an interview from Shrewsbury, central England. “There is a lot of chatter around the Internet about the world coming to an end next year.”
The windowless bunker, which has one floor above ground and one below, has 26,000 square feet (2,400 square meters) of space, according to the sale documents. It was designed to provide an underground regional government headquarters and also included broadcasting facilities.
It was built at Cultybraggan, a former prisoner-of-war camp that lies in a valley below the Trossach mountains. The 90-acre (36-hectare) camp was bought from the U.K. Ministry of Defence by the local community in 2007 for 350,000 pounds.
Any development of the site will require approval from planning officials, said Mary Willis, a spokeswoman for Perth and Kinross Council, the local municipality.
The Cultybraggan bunker is 66 miles west of its predecessor near the coast in eastern Scotland. That structure, which was built in the 1950s, has since been turned into a museum with a store and restaurant. Visitors access it through a farmhouse leading to a 150-meter tunnel and three-tons of sealable blast- proof doors, according to its website.
Preparing for Worst
Vicino’s group is building shelters in the U.S. and elsewhere for its 10,000 members around the world who believe the world may soon be the victim of a cataclysmic event either man-made or from natural causes.
One opening this year at an unidentified location in central Europe will house 2,000 people paying 25,000 euros ($34,000) for a year’s protection including food, Vicino said.
Activity from the current solar cycle will peak in about June next year and last for around 12 months, Vicino said. Debris from the sun would wipe out most of civilization and could create a tsunami wave that would cover the U.K., he said.
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