It’s the stuff of nightmares. A room of ancient dentistry equipment ready to be used on the first brave soul who’d ever be willing to lie in that old upright wooden chair.
Everything he collected, he believed was indestructible. But why? What has he been building all these years?
Kansas-born, 83-year-old Bruce Beach lived in America, before moving to his current residence in Horning Mills, Canada in 1970. He moved because he found something America couldn’t give him.
He found the perfect piece of land that would support his project. A project he felt compelled to create, driven by a sense of purpose but also a sense of fear.
Bruce spent his younger years in some of the worst times in American history. Between the Vietnam War and the Cold War, Bruce couldn’t help but feel the desperate effects of war.
Fed up of feeling unsafe, he decided to take his family and cross the border to Canada, to what he thought was one of the safest places in the world.
It was 1980 when Bruce first got working on his remarkable project. For the next 3 years, Bruce collected 42 old retired school buses and got them delivered to his property.
He spent $300 for each but convinced himself it was worth the financial burden. Once he had the buses he needed, neighbours wondered what on earth he would do with them, and why.
Bruce wanted the buses because he believed their reinforced steel roofs made them indestructible. With this in mind, he thought his next move was a no-brainer.
Bruce wanted to make the buses even more indestructible. So he employed a small team of local engineers to help him place the 42 buses 14 feet underground. Yes, 14 feet underground..
Unsure of what the engineers got themselves into, they agreed to go along with Bruce’s plan. However, little did they know they were becoming complicit to something illegal.
It was after the government noticed an satellite image of an odd formation on Bruce’s land, that they called over to check out the scene. What they found completely shocked them.
They ordered Bruce to shut down his operation, but Bruce refused. By this time, Bruce had already put a lot of effort into supplying his underground project with electricity, a plumbing system and a drinking water supply.
He believed his work to be too necessary for humankind to budge, so the authorities intervened.
In 2005, the local fire department decided to take action. Rather than going to court, they sealed off entrances to the underground structure. However, that didn’t scare off Bruce.
Once he figured a way to get the doors open again, he carried on with his lifetime project and endless maintenance of his underground haven. Then the authorities had enough.
Without a building permit and fearing the structure unsafe, they threatened Bruce to close down the doors for good.
But relentless in his pursuit of the greater good, Bruce explained to the cops that the engineer who built Canada’s subway system, was the same one who supervised his construction. He also explained that no one could starve here.
That’s right! Over the years, Bruce had amassed a tonne of canned food. One jar of pickles even dates back to the 80’s. But Bruce is persistent that they’re still good to eat.
Bruce even prepared kitchens, sleeping quarters, showers, bathrooms, play rooms, and decontamination rooms in his idea of a safe haven. But that’s not even the most interesting part.
Perhaps the most eerie room prepared is the baby’s room. Housing old baby strollers in a dark, apocalyptic underground room, that’s the stuff of nightmares.
Bruce wanted the buses because he believed their reinforced steel roofs made them indestructible. He prepared a time capsule 14 feet underground. But why? What has he been building all these years?
Bruce has built his very own nuclear bunker, a.k.a. ‘Ark Two’. Bruce first became concerned about nuclear war when he worked as a radio control tower operator in the US Air Force.
Ever since then, he’s been planning and working tirelessly to create a shelter big enough for 500 people to survive a nuclear attack.
While the rest of us worry about the Coronavirus, it’s nice to know that someone out there is worrying about other things, like nuclear war.
Bruce believes that nuclear war isn’t a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’. And is convinced that a chain of events will result in Pakistan nuking India. But that’s not all.
Bruce has also prepared for the future. He believe’s a nuclear war wouldn’t only provide a disaster but also an opportunity to create a better world.
His newspaper, headlined “Reconstruction Of Society After Nuclear War”, describes the process of rehabilitation that he hopes will give way and educate a new type of humanity.
Although Bruce has his fair share of detractors, including the cops, he also has his fair share of supporters who genuinely thank him for all he’s done.
Whatever the stance, one thing’s for sure, Bruce has put in a lot of single-handed effort, labour and care to this creation over the last 40 years and it’s quite outstanding. What’s more, is that he does it for a better world.