According to Maslow’s pyramid, the need of security is crucial to our survival. In the absence of security, people will live in constant stress that affects both their physical and mental health. However, safety nowadays is a relative term, considering that some people never manage to feel safe regardless of how many precautions they take.
At the opposite end, you have those of us who are overcautious and who will do anything in their power to ensure their personal safety. In the latter category, we can include military bases, intelligence centers and other facilities that are essential for mankind’s survival. Following is a top 10 list of the most guarded places on Earth.
1. Doomsday Seed Vault
As world leaders and scientists have come to realize that science fiction scenarios can very well become apocalyptic realities, the idea of building a vault to help humankind get back on its feet following a catastrophe was born. Located on a secluded island in the North Sea, the Doomsday Seed Vault is home to over 250 million crop seeds and one of the most guarded places on the planet. The vault is not only impossible to reach by man, but is also protected against a disaster involving the melting of the icecaps.
2. Fort Knox
The US Bullion Depository – most commonly known as Fort Knox due to the nearby military base – is one of the most famous highly secured areas on earth. Currently, it is estimated that it stores not only thousands of tons of gold, but it is also the presumed that the Bullion Depository is home to important historical artifacts such as the Magna Carte and the US Declaration of Independence. What makes these resources unreachable is the gold vault located underneath the facility, where the access is done via a 22 ton blast proof door that requires the introduction of a secret code combination (divided between 10 people).
3. Cheyenne Mountain
Built during the cold war, the Cheyenne Mountain complex hosts the commanding center of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Even though NORAD moved the operations to another location, it is still one of the most guarded places on Earth. In order for you to get an idea about the security levels here, it is sufficient to mention the fact that the tunnel is protected by solid granite and reinforced so that any shock waves are felt on the other side of the mountain. On a side note, the Cheyenne Mountain complex also incorporates several free standing buildings with walls able to absorb an electromagnetic pulse attack, which would otherwise “kill” the computer system.
4. Area 51
Even if you are not a fan of UFO and alien conspiracy theories, it is very likely that you heard of Area 51. Perhaps the mystery regarding this US Air Force base in Nevada comes from the fact that nobody can get in and even navigating to the airspace around the area is strictly forbidden. However, even though the base does not exist on maps or papers, some people managed to catch a glimpse of it from above via the Google Earth app.
5. The Secret Vaults of the Mormon Church
What is interesting about the vaults of the Mormon Church is that they are so secret that few people have actually heard of them. According to the representatives of the Mormon Church, the Vault is home to genealogic and historical records. On the other hand, rumor has it that special care is taken regarding the temperature control inside the vault and it includes motion and heat sensors able to withstand powerful earthquakes.
6. Federal Reserve Bank, NY
Well, given the fact that the Federal Reserve Bank in New York is said to contain approximately 25% of the world’s gold, the extreme security measures come as natural. If you are thinking of robbing this bank, think again, as the vault is located eighty feet below the street level and about fifty feet below sea level. Not to mention that the perimeter of the facility is constantly being patrolled by armed officers with marksmanship training.
7. Air Force One
The Air Force One project is designed to become a mobile White House for the US president in case of any serious threat. What makes the presidential urgency jet highly secure is that it does not need to land in order to refill the fuel tank. Other interesting facts about Air Force One is the fact that all the equipment found aboard is coated with an electromagnetic pulse shield, it can fly through highly irradiated zones (in case of nuclear attack), it is able to jam radars, it can deploy heat-seeking missiles, and etc.
8. The Alcatraz of the Rockies
The Alcatraz of the Rockies is the most guarded prison on the planet and the holding place of the most ruthless criminals and terrorists. It is necessary to mention that the cells found in this prison are completely made from concrete and the few windows incorporated only provide a view of the sky. The inmates are mostly kept in solitary confinement and they cannot make any move without triggering the multitude of motion detectors. Not that anyone would try anything considering the massive steel doors, the various gun towers and the watch dogs that are trained to attack at any sign of an escapee.
9. Bold Lane Car Park
You can call it good business practices, but the Bold Lane parking garage is one of the safest facilities on Earth. In order to gain access to the facility, first you need to purchase a barcode ticket, which also indicates your exact parking spot. Once you park the car, the motion detectors become active and will sound the alarm if something happens to the automobile when the driver is not there. They even have an emergency system that locks down the building after a few seconds. All of these as well as many other security features (most of them undisclosed to the public) have kept this place incident free for over a decade.
10. Haven Co
If you are looking for the ultimate data protection service, then try Haven Co, a company that was located somewhere in the North Sea. Their security protocol is so strict that the only way you can gain access aboard is if you are a member of the British Royal family, one of the company’s investors or an authorized member of the staff. On a side note, I mentioned it was in the North Sea because the company allegedly closed down without any explanation in 2008.