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Roswell Missle Silos

Many memories of RoswellNew Mexico‘s abandoned missile silos swarmed through my head as I recently explored them on a recent visit to Roswell. In the 80’s we used to throw big high school parties in them, partying in what we thought was once the control room, but appears by online research to have been the living quarters of the soldiers who were on call ready to push buttons. There are 12 silos, now abandoned, that surround the town of Roswell, New Mexico.

Hidden from public view, all one can see from the highway, in the middle of nowhere, is a small, blending into the environment, grey concrete rectal-triangular block, that encases a stairwell that enters into a 3-7 level complex of circular rooms and chambers, leading to a circular tunnel that goes to the giant silo tube where the missiles would be launched. Above ground is pits where the fuel storage tanks once were located, such as liquid nitrogen and oxygen. Large missile silo doors rest flat against the ground. The entire structure is built to survive missile attacks upon them. Each missile was stored on alert with RP-1 on board and was fueled with liquid oxygen prior to launch countdown just as the missile was raised on the elevator.

The small hatch-hole (missing hatch) in the pictures below was a guidance antenna to help navigate the missile in flight. The hatch would pop open prior to launch and would raise the antennae. The large doors on the ground surface, shown in the pictures below, would raise open prior to launch as well. As you proceed down the top stairs and turn two corners, there is a massive air-tight sealed ‘blast door’. Most of the abandoned silos have these welded shut so no one can venture further below. Previous visitors have apparently weld-cut a hole in them to crawl through. Through more hall walls and a set of stairs, you can enter through another blast door, and then down into the living area (that I thought was where the control room was located), following down the stairwell another few levels, are more circular rooms, some used for control rooms, others kitchens and work areas, in the ceiling are emergency escape hatches through a vertical tunnel filled with sand, once opened the sand would fall to the ground, and the ladder would tumble down.

The tunnel at the bottom of the stairs, a hard hat area then and especially now, leads to a sealed room and to the actual silo itself. Each entrance is capped with a blast door. The silos range in depth from several stories deep to over a dozen stories deep. The bottom of the silo is filled with water. There is a launch tunnel deck with spiral and vertical ladders that go to the bottom of the silo. 

This particular silo is located approximately 3/4 miles north of the Alien Crash Site, around mile marker 133. Apparently, the 12 silos surrounding Roswell were constructed between 1960 and 1964 because of threatened relations between the U.S. and the USSR. Most Americans were frightened by the nuclear attacks, as was the US government. These silos were built for the defense of the local air force base. As the US attempted to build a network of launch sites for missiles capable of rocketing nuclear explosives to the enemy, and these silos were used to launch the Atlas F missiles. By 1965 they were DE-commissioned, considered obsolete, dismantled, and abandoned. Apparently, Abilene, Texas; Oplin, Texas; Bradshaw, Texas; was also surrounded by similar silos. Browsing around the web, I’ve found some great silo stories and Information pages about them.

One of the silos is located a few miles down the road from the UFO Crash Site. On the last visit on June 26, 2018 – me and my son visited the one-off Highway 287 was open and able to be explored.

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