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Monday, June 29, 2009
The Pyramid of North Dakota
The remnants of an early American attempt at missile defense
The Safeguard Program was developed in the 1960s to shoot down incoming Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles. Built at a cost of 6 billion dollars in Nekoma, North Dakota, the site was a massive complex of missile silos, a giant pyramid-shaped radar system, and dozens of launching silos for surface-to-air missiles tipped with thermonuclear warheads.
However, due to its expense, and concern over both its effectiveness and the danger of detonating defensive nuclear warheads over friendly territory, the program was shut down. Today it is a military-industrial shell in the middle of nowhere, or in the words of one writer, "a monument to man's fear and ignorance."