Monday, November 12, 2012

Nike Missile Base in Granite, Maryland

Many out there may not be aware how much destruction is looming right around them. Littered throughout this nation are hundreds of missile bases. Fortunately for us most of these have been decommissioned since the demise of the cold war, leaving numerous abandoned fields scattered throughout. Most were sold to municipalities, or given back to the government. Some went to private individuals, a few stayed active, and a couple were just forgotten. One is sitting deserted in the municipality of Granite, Maryland. An area once known for? You guessed it...granite! In fact the granite was used to help build the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. By 1920 the quarries were emptying and so was the town. When the threat of nuclear attack came approaching from the Soviet Union, the sleepy town was re-awakened with threats of an apocalypse.

In order to protect the cities of Baltimore and Washington D.C. a hub of missile bases were positioned around the metropolitan areas. The rural area of Granite, nestled only 20 miles outside of Baltimore was a prime location for such a base.

The facility was equipped primarily with Nike Hercules nuclear warhead missiles. Citizens at that time were quite aware of the doom and gloom that was lurking in their backyard, what they weren't aware of was the amount of impact these nuclear weapons would have had, if they had to be used. Each of these missiles packed as much as 45 kilotons of mass destruction. Luckily for the citizens of Granite and the rest of the country, none of these behemoth monsters were ever unleashed. The impact felt could have left the neighboring city of Baltimore in dust and crumble.

Lost behind the rusted fence and the dilapidated barbed wire on Herndon road, lies what's left of the Nike missile base of Granite.The No trespassing signs that line the fence, blow hazardously in the wind. Crumbling block buildings dot the landscape, while massive radar towers once imposed the horizon. Underground bunkers have since been welded shut and now the area is used as a training grounds for the Maryland State police.

The former base in Granite is one of the few that's still mainly intact. While most would like to forget this dark past in American history, I feel there's many others who would love a chance to visit a lost missile silo. After all it was our tax money that helped to build all these weapons of devastation.

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