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Los Angeles Man Discovers 1961 Bomb Shelter in Backyard

Los Angeles Man Discovers 1961 Bomb Shelter in Backyard


Airdate: 06/11/2013

When Chris Ocasek bought his dream house in Los Angeles, he couldn't believe what he found in the backyard near his swimming pool.  

He lifted a rusty old lid, climbed down a 15 foot ladder, and was shocked by what he saw. It was a secret underground bomb shelter.

Everything is just as it was in 1961 when the Cold War heated up and everyone feared a nuclear war would destroy the world.
    
The fallout shelter is literally a room frozen in time with emergency water, food, and plenty of supplies from the early sixties.

The shelter has bunk beds to sleep a family of four, and a rusty old hand crank brings in fresh air. There are some old cans of coffee, Lipton tea, Ivory soap, and even some retro Dixie cups.  The canned water from 1958 sounds almost solid when shaken.

The cans contain enough emergency food and water to last two weeks. When that runs out, there’s champagne to toast the end of the world.

That's what millions of Americans thought was coming during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The Soviet Union put nuclear missiles in Cuba aimed straight at the U.S.
    
Chris did some research and discovered the previous homeowner, who built the shelter, was an atomic engineer who knew the dangers of nuclear fallout.

That engineer's daughter, Debra Kaufman, says her dad actually tried to build a huge shelter underneath the entire street to house the neighbors.

Kaufman remembers what her neighbors thought of her father's attempt. "Pretty much they said, 'You're crazy.'"
    
Chris says he's going to keep the shelter intact, forever frozen in time.


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