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United States The Almighty Buck

Titan Missile Complex Up for Sale 262

ckeck writes "Take a look at this, some guy in Washington State is auctioning off a 'Titan Missile Complex' on eBay. I don't know if this is a fake auction or not, but I already talked to the gentleman running the auction on the phone and plan to take a visit to the complex! This would be an awesome place to live! Check it out here." Looks like he bought it in 1999.
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Titan Missile Complex Up for Sale

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  • by Killjoy_NL ( 719667 ) <slashdot@@@remco...palli...nl> on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:25AM (#8560761)

    1. Move to Missile Complex
    2. Change name to Dr. Evil
    3. Hold the world hostage
    4. Profit

    See, I didn't use a ??? part, they are so lame ;)
  • by edwardd ( 127355 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:30AM (#8560770) Journal
    Honey, we're moving to Washington!!!

    Imagine mapping this (your HOUSE) for a Quake / Unreal map!!
    • Re:Pack the bags! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sofakingon ( 610999 )
      If every slashdotter pitched in a little cash, we could form a /. retreat or something
      • Ok, sounds like a plan. I'll be generous and offer to set up a bank account in my name - once donations reach $3,950,000 I'll buy the place and invite some slashdotters over...
    • Re:Pack the bags! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hogwash McFly ( 678207 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:20AM (#8560910)
      Forget mapping it, actually play in it! That complex is just screaming out to be used as a paintball/laser tag arena. Imagine the orange warning lights spinning around and a computerised female voice 'Thirty seconds till missile launch' over the sound system.

      Hell, with the strength of the pound against the dollar even I might buy it! $3,950,000 that's like, what, 2 grand of my money? (just getting one back for the Canadians)
  • duh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by torpor ( 458 )

    you've always been able to buy missile silo's on the internet.

    for-ever. since day one.
    • Yes and no... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @01:42PM (#8562059) Homepage
      Most of the silos on the 'net have been older Atlas silos. Very, very few of the Titan I silos ever got into public hands AND have no apparent water seepage into any parts of the building (Typically, the actual missle bays would fill up with water because of location- they'd sump pump it out, but with them being abandoned...).

      If it's for real, it's something somewhat special. The last one that went up was some 2-3 years ago in Colorado.
  • Owners reputation. (Score:5, Informative)

    by zaunuz ( 624853 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:31AM (#8560774)
    If you look closely on EBay, 19 people have voted him up. 19 people are satisfied with his previous auction, which leads to this conclution: The person selling it may not be faking it, but how the hell did he get it in the first place?
    • by samsmithnz ( 702471 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:20AM (#8560912) Homepage
      Except that he has 19 comments from SELLERS, which means he was buying, not selling on Ebay.
    • by bwy ( 726112 )
      He probably got it through some type of goverment auction when the facility was decomissioned. I'm sure the feds removed anything of any sensitivity before putting it on the block.

      Maybe he should track down whoever ended up buying that F-18/A from a few weeks back... Maybe they need some real estate too!
      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        Except you'd be suprised how often they forget to demill stuff before selling it. Like the F-18 that went up for sale a while ago, due to a paperwork messup it wasn't classified as needing to be demilled so the mainspar wasn't cut. There was also the nuclear diffusion plant whos equipment was sold as scrap without being cut up (the new owner tried to sell it to the Israeli's before the CIA knocked on his door, his comment was that at least he didn't try to sell it to Iran). There are tons of other lesser ex
    • by d8ta ( 610133 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:33AM (#8560971)
      When the government was decomissioning its Titan missile program in the 1990s, it sold off a number of properties like this. For example, also in the Eastern Washington area, some private investors bought the former Titan facilities located above ground and are running it as an ultra-secure data center facility [titanone.com] [titanone.com]. The owner group includes a couple of former Microsoft execs. (Insert your favorite security joke here.)
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      only an absolute fool aould take an ebay rating as a safe bet.

      when I bought my Xl-1 camera the first person I bought from had a ebay rating of 98. and it was a scam. he set up a "escrow" company website and lots of other things to make him look legit..

      ebay rating means NOTHING. anyone can get a high ebay rating easily by selling low priced crap for almost nothing, plus having fake accounts/friends help to bring things up by "buying" and rating it on up.

      know your seller, CALL them, and then call back at w
      • It's not a real problem. It's all handled through title agencies, banks, and escrow agencies. You can physically verify a property exists, either by going and looking at it or by having a home inspector do it for you. You then secure financing from your bank or get the money in a liquid form (you don't usually keep $3mil in a checking account, even if you have that much). Then you place a bid on the place. If the seller accepts, you deal with escrow and transfer of title. Basically they don't get the money
  • by The I Shing ( 700142 ) * on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:31AM (#8560775) Journal
    I saw a show about something like this on TV a couple years ago. A couple bought a missle silo and moved into it. They fixed it up really nice, with a grand piano and carpeting and everything.

    Or maybe I just dreamed it.
  • Quite the fix up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bryant ( 25344 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:34AM (#8560782) Homepage
    According to the 1999 article, the original asking price was $300,000. The guy who bought it is asking $3,500,000. That's a bit of a markup, there.

    It makes sense if he put a lot of money and time into renovating it; that's probably the case if there's someone currently occupying the property. (Which the auction hints at.)
    • Re:Quite the fix up (Score:5, Informative)

      by pegr ( 46683 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:41AM (#8560814) Homepage Journal
      There's one in Denver for only $1,450,000.

      Here's [missilebases.com] what looks to be a realtor specializing in old silos. Quite a collection for the truly paranoid!
    • by Colz Grigor ( 126123 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @12:33PM (#8561636) Homepage
      Yeah, but that's a heck of a markup. I sincerely doubt the guy has put $3,200,000 worth of renovations into the property.

      My guess: he got an extremely good deal on the property in the first place, perhaps at a government auction. More power to him: if someone is willing to pay $3.5 million for his property, that's what it's worth! We'll see...

      ::Colz Grigor

    • A $3.2 million markup is a lot, but, if the guy is accurate and there is zero groundwater seepage into the facility (either through his actions or sheer dumb luck), perhaps that alone provides extra value.

      They're not making any more of these (at least not for sale), and those that are out there tend to be in rough condition, so if it has one of the few in good condition without any groundwater problems it may just be "worth" more.

      Is it apparent that he actually did improvements, too? Water-tight or not,
  • by IainMH ( 176964 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:35AM (#8560784)

    In the UK The Bunker [thebunker.net] is an old nuclear shelter turned into a secure webhosting facility.

    The guy who owns it wrote 'Stay Another Day' performed by East 17 and was a UK Christmas #1.


    No. This isn't about football. ;-)
  • The titan will be even better
    They shouldn't have cancelled Navajo
    Wait till you see our submarines with polaris
  • by thrill12 ( 711899 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:36AM (#8560787) Journal
    ... of a tour inside a similar missile silo [triggur.org], by underground explorers. Maybe it's the same, I didn't check that. But at least it gives you an impression of what is under there.
    • I don't know if that's really a fair representation except to understand the scale of some of the areas. Remember, the auction here says there is "NO WATER SEEPAGE!" meaning that this silo is probably kept up much better, and doesn't have the dangerous flooding.

      $4,000,000 is awfully expensive though. The ideal use for one of these things is for a group of people to pitch in and share the space; to limit the investment to $100,000 each, you'd have to share it with 40 buyers. It would probably work OK, but 1
  • Not New. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jabberjaw ( 683624 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:37AM (#8560791)
    This [missilebases.com]is not exactly new [silohome.com]. Atlas and Titan silos have been up for auction/sale for many years.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    if someone actually buys that place for $4M, the newspaper article suggests that he paid $300k originally, granted he has made some improvements to the place but are those changes really worth $3,7M
  • Looks like a fake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:40AM (#8560806)
    His other visible eBay transactions were a photo flash, a hammer drill, and a camera case, all of which he bought, not sold.
    There are no pictures of the land except a rather fuzzy-looking diagram. Were I interested in something costing almost $4M, I'd expect to see pictures. Available information leads me to believe that this is a fake or prank, possibly using a hijacked account.


    • by fafaforza ( 248976 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:04AM (#8560868)
      The parent should have been modded Funny!

      C'mon, who buys such property based on pictures on an online auction site? If you were at all serious, you'd call the number listed and arrange for a tour. Pictures are only useful for curious web users as something to gawk at as most of us average citizens are already priced out of this offering.
    • What? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )
      This is PROPERTY we are talking about here, as in a fixed, physical location, not an item that will be shipped to you. If someone was interested in buying, they'd call the seller up and go have a look. Not only would they have a look, they'd probably bring with them a real eastate agent and, if they liked what they saw, a home inspector later.

      It's not like you see a house lising online, like the picture, and PayPal the guy $100,000 (or $4million in this case). You locate a property you might like, go see i
  • by Fished ( 574624 ) <amphigory@NOsPam.gmail.com> on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:43AM (#8560818)
    Smart Biddder
    Tell no one. Trust no one. Let no one bid this thing up! Pray to the Higher Power of Your Choice that Slashdot doesn't find out.
    Duuuuuumb Bidder
    Wow, this is really cool! I'm going to submit it to slashdot so everybody else can have a chance to bid!
    • by Bryant ( 25344 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:04AM (#8560867) Homepage
      Except that it's not actually an auction. I made the same mistake (hey, it's EBay), but there's no place to enter a bid and if you look down at the bottom it says:

      "This listing is an advertisement. There is no bidding! If you are interested in this property, you may contact the seller/agent to request additional information."

      Which is probably smart. If it were an auction, it'd have eleventy-million fake bids by now.

      It also tends to indicate that this is a real property. If it was just someone goofing around, it'd be an auction. That's not strong evidence, but it's certainly an indication.
  • Flash back to 1999 (Score:3, Informative)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:44AM (#8560822) Homepage
    "Most people think he's insane," said his wife, Lynette, 43, who admits to some initial dubiousness on hearing some of her husband's schemes. "But he has a way of seeing the potential. Things are obvious to him the rest of us don't see."


  • by MarkMcLeod ( 759072 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:45AM (#8560826) Homepage
    Did anyone look at the auctions he's had before?

    Jack Hammer of some sort... $360
    Camera Flash... $12.50
    Camera Bag.. $14.95

    "Oh..Yah..I have a giant nuclear testing facility too...Four Million Dollars..."

  • Other items. (Score:3, Informative)

    by IainMH ( 176964 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:45AM (#8560827)
    It's always so funny to see what else these people buy/sell. ;-)

    Genuine Canon Camera Everready Case Denim T50 [ebay.com]

    Vivitar 550 FD C/R, Flash w/ Manual [ebay.com]


    I was expecting cooler stuff.
  • by FrostedWheat ( 172733 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:47AM (#8560829)
    Missile Complex?

    This wouldn't be in Central Montana by any chance? I hear Dr. Zefram Cochrane's been looking to buy one in that area.
  • by garick ( 581392 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:48AM (#8560832)
    I wonder, whether our Russian militaries can buy the complex to keep missiles closer to their targets? :)
  • In New York State (Score:2, Informative)

    There has been a silo house [adirondackrealestate.com] for sale for awhile in the Adirondack Mountains, and in Long Island, there has been talk of converting a silo location into a golf course [cybergolf.com].
    • "...and in Long Island, there has been talk of converting a silo location into a golf course."

      "Oh man, bad lie on that last shot. Guess I'll have to bank it off the MinuteMan."

  • by vudufixit ( 581911 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @09:59AM (#8560856)
    1. No shipping. Local pickup only. 2. To avoid stiff fees, PayPal will not be accepted. 3. Checks will be given ten days to clear. 4. Non-paying bidders without ABM defenses will be given NEGATIVE FEEDBACK.
  • by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:00AM (#8560859) Homepage
    Living underground has many practical advantages. All-year insulation from heat and cold, no neighbours, no leaking roofs, infinite space for expansion if you care to dig.

    But... we're descended from tree-hugging primates, not moles, and living underground is a sure way to go crazy. A home needs sunlight, a view, and fundamentally, people within easy reach.

    I'd rather live in a shoddy 1-room appartment than in a hundred room bunker.
    • by Discopete ( 316823 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:27AM (#8560939) Homepage
      But picture turning the top floor of the launch silo into a solarium. Remove the blast door and replace it with glass (it would probably have to be bulletproof to withstand the downward force from the snow in the winter). A little bit of remodeling and you have a perfect place to lie back and watch the sky).

      If it's far enough away from civilization, you could also use the solarium for a decent telescope.
      • by Devar ( 312672 )
        Keep the blast door, but built the glass dome over it. That way if you need the blast door, just close it. Assuming the door is still operational.

        That would be one hell of a way to scare guests. The blast doors start closing. You say they only do that if there's an incoming attack. Guest panics. Hilarity ensues! Although it would probably only work with blondes. But if you have 3.5 mil lying about, you'd probably have many of them about too.
    • I dunno. If we ever do get into a real nuclear exchange with our newfound "friends" you may wish you had that bunker. And a lot depends upon personality: the people that spend months or years underwater in a nuclear submarine probably would find that missile complex to be refreshingly open and expansive. As for me, I'm a bit claustrophobic so I'll stick to the apartment. I just hope that when the big one finally drops I'm inside the radius of total destruction so I'll go up in the first flash.
    • No leaking roof, but most of these silos fill up with ground water.

      Plus you've got asbestos everywhere, contaminated propelant and diesel tanks... it'd be fun, but above all a giant money pit.
  • Cheney (Score:4, Funny)

    by drooling-dog ( 189103 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:05AM (#8560872)
    I'm surprised that Dick Cheney hasn't bought one of these. It probably cost at least that much to build his bunker at the Naval Observatory...
    • Re:Cheney (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Dick Cheney does not need a missile silo since he is constantly moving around thr country and hiding in undisclosed locations during time of war...

      "Mommy, Mommy, there's a monster under my bed."

      "No dear, it's just Dick Cheney hiding from the terrorists in case they attempt to decapitate the US Government."


      "Good night dear..."
  • sound studio! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plams ( 744927 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:07AM (#8560873) Homepage
    I've always looked for the perfect place to build an audio production studio. It would need to be stylish.. and well isolated.. I guess you could play with plutonium-powered speakers in this place, without getting complaints from your neighbours.
  • I would love to work in a data store facility such as this! Just the kitsch value alone would get me to move across the country to do so.

    If anyone wants to turn this into a secure data warehouse, a needs a few good men- gimme a shout!!! :D

  • 5. Your basement will be the biggest in town 4. You could have your own nuclear reactor 3. You can hide from militant feminists [mithuro.com] 2. The best place to be when millennium bug II (somewhere around 2047 I guess) comes around. 1. You can dodge the special skills draft
  • by scragz ( 654271 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:14AM (#8560891) Homepage

    Just think of all the Chinese/Russian missiles still pointed at your bedroom.

    • Not the Chinese (yet) but there is something rather painfully ironic about newfound "allies" like the United States and Russia that still have their missile systems set to kill each other. My own opinion on the matter is that if there ever is a major exchange between the nuclear elite it will be Russia and China: we're less of a long-term threat to either of them now than they are to each other. China gaining nuclear superpower status at some point will certainly scare the Hell out of Russia. Given China
      • Not the Chinese (yet)...

        China gaining nuclear superpower status at some point will certainly scare the Hell out of Russia. Given China's significant investment in their space program (and all that signifies), as well as the apparent theft of weapons data from the U.S., I expect they will eventually have some missile silos of their own if they don't already.

        China has been a nuclear superpower since the early 1970s. They just don't have nearly as many weapons or warheads as the US or Russia.

      • My own opinion on the matter is that if there ever is a major exchange between the nuclear elite it will be Russia and China:

        You have *got* to be kidding. India and Pakistan? Israel and the first Islamic country that manages to acquire nukes?
  • The purchase of my new underground lair would not be complete without This Book [google.com]
  • Real Pics... (Score:4, Informative)

    by xanadu-xtroot.com ( 450073 ) <xanadu@[ ]rbit.com ['ino' in gap]> on Sunday March 14, 2004 @10:46AM (#8561035) Homepage Journal
    Here's a "tour" [triggur.org] of a missile complex for those yearning for a bit more than a small sketch on a web page...
    • Re:Real Pics... (Score:3, Informative)

      by LinuxHam ( 52232 )
      I was skimming for this kind of post, because I wanted to see if anyone posted this [teleport.com]. And yours is as good as any post to tag along with.
  • Would it be worth anybody's time to check the radiation levels inside some of these silos before buying? You never know.
    • radiation paranoia (Score:2, Informative)

      by thelizman ( 304517 )
      The nuclear material was inside lead-lined caskets in the warheads at the top of the missiles inside the concrete silos which are hundreds of feet from the power and control domes. Radiation risk is right around 0.0%. Even then, risk factors are based on populations, and our modern paranoia over radiation is the result of anti-nuke activist scare tactics. Some people are completely unaffected by low-levels of radiation, others are simply genetically predisposed to develop cancers and radiation triggers it.
  • This complex housed nuclear missiles, if I understand correctly. So when visiting, be sure to pack a Geiger counter, who knows?

    Seems way too big for a house (for that matter, can anybody provide the surface in square meters?), but that would be one kickass disco / club / whatever.

    Heh, I'm interested! Gimme a week to collect 4 million dollars and I'm in!
    ckeck (the original submitter) says he's going to visit it soon: please, followup and post photos!!!

  • Too Pricy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WillRobinson ( 159226 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @11:23AM (#8561228) Journal
    A school friend of mine got his silo in kansas for 100$ a month lease, for 100 years from a farmer in kansas. With the only restriction of allowing the farmer room to park his tractor inside in the winter.

    The problem with these, is you do have to heat them, and keep the humidity down. With a constant wall temp, you better be able to afford a big humidifier, or just build a house inside. My friend just build his own walls inside, cleaned it up etc.

    Its so quiet and dark in the night, you wouldnt even hear a tornado if it went overhead right on top of you.
  • Or a super hero team.

    And then I can get all of the problems on this idiot planet straightened out once and for all!

    Maybe after I can get a good night's sleep.

    -FL --"Wonder Twin Powers, . . !"

  • That's his idea? To create a day camp? "Hey, how was camp?" "Oh, a bit cold. We were 100 feet underground all summer." Boy, that sounds like fun.

    I think it should be use for playing games. "Would you like to play a game? How about Thermonuclear War!" Now that sounds like fun.
    • Mmm, LAN party day camp.

      Just what modern kids need; less exercise and sunlight. It causes cancer, after all (unlike any left-over radioactivity).

      You *did* buy the combo fire / CO / giger counter detection system, right? :)
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @12:10PM (#8561511) Homepage
    While the eBay ad seems fake, there's a realtor who specializes in missile bases. [missilebases.com] They're not even that expensive, compared to houses in Silicon Valley. Prices range from $133K ("Underground structures flooded") to a 210-acre Titan-F site for $1.45M.

    Some have already been converted to housing ("Spacious marble bath complex, with high ceilings, heavy beams and red cedar 1100 gallon tiled hot tub"). All need some work. Often quite a bit of work.

    They're all in the middle of nowhere.

    • There's a Nike Park in Naperville, IL. with a ball field and an office building. I used to work in that building which had a Nike missle bunker as its basement. The plan was to convert the space into a health club but thus far the owners haven't done anything with it. It was very cool to see, the missle lay horizontally and would be raised to fire through overhead doors at the Soviet bombers as they flew to Chicago. Anyway many such sites are now privately owned, they're just alot of very thick reinforc
  • by sittingbull ( 526322 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @12:28PM (#8561612)
    There were several Nike missile bases in MD one of which I did some exploration in. Now a developer has build and entire subdivision over it and I doubt that the new home-owners know about what lies beneath their gated community.

    If you are going to use one of these for a house it is very expensive to remove the lead paint and asbestos insulation on any pipes/walls... but in the 50's men ate lead and smoked asbestos....
    • Re:Nike base in .... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yppiz ( 574466 )
      Nike missile bases are very different than this. There's one in Marin County that's restored and open to the public: SF-88 [nps.gov].

      The most extensive Nike bases I've seen: SF-88 and one of its sister sites in the Presidio of SF, had an above-ground radome or two, an above-ground launching area, and a small below-ground bunker - more of a garage, really - for storing the Nike missiles. The bunkers were not hardened; their purpose was to protect the surrounding area if one of the missiles exploded in storage.


  • now you have plenty of room to grow pot and shrooms underground without getting caught.
  • Way ahead of ya (Score:3, Informative)

    by SamSim ( 630795 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @12:38PM (#8561662) Homepage Journal
    Real Life Comics' Tony bought one of these beauties ages ago [reallifecomics.com]. You can buy them here [villainsupply.com] for around $2,500,000, and I can personally vouch for VillainSupply's extremely consistent customer support. (None at all, ever.)
  • Go Ahead (Score:3, Funny)

    by medcalf ( 68293 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @12:53PM (#8561737) Homepage
    Serve your "no-knock" warrant now!
  • Dream home (Score:5, Interesting)

    by torklugnutz ( 212328 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @12:58PM (#8561754) Homepage
    Some links for the interested:
    A real estate agent specializing in Missile Bases [missilebases.com]
    A virtual tour made by some tresspassers. [triggur.org]

    I was fascinated about the chance to own one of these properties. Doing some research, I found some ceveats though. First, the base had to be de-commissioned prior to 1965. After that, there were new treaties which required the complete destruction of the base after de-militarization. Second, being underground can lead to some health hazards, i.e. Radon. Third, missile bases aren't ever located in easy to reach places, and I like to be able to go to the store without a bunch of planning beforehand.

    I'd still love to own this monstrosity though. The Titan 1 sites are the most elaborate and extensive. Kind of makes me sick to think about the money spent of this thing when it was built only to be decomissioned ~5 years later.
  • This is real. (Score:4, Informative)

    by bishiraver ( 707931 ) on Sunday March 14, 2004 @01:04PM (#8561792) Homepage
    A quick search on google leads you to Missile Bases [missilebases.com], a site that has missile silos for sale.

    There are people who like to rennovate these old Silos into homes which are earthquake-proof, nuke-proof, and pretty much everything else-proof.
  • or some other drug factory. oooh, a casino!

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court