Despite the advent of the Internet, government secrets have multiplied. According to our best estimates, more than half of all U.S. government records are classified. For an archivist seeking to preserve and understand our history, that means most of our history is kept secret from us. Think about that for a moment.
For that reason, you are holding in your hands a unique and important book.
Rumors of secret underground bases and tunnel systems have been leaking for years, coming from a wide variety of sources. Confirming either rumors or sources, however, has typically been difficult, if not impossible. Yet one researcher has doggedly pursued this matter, carefully investigating government records, interviewing construction industry professionals and military insiders, and traveling around the country to conduct personal investigations. That person is Richard Sauder, Ph.D., one of the most remarkable people I know. Within the world of need-to-know, compartmentalized classified information, there are undoubtedly people who know more about this subject than he does. Outside that world, however, there are precious few. And there are none who have done as much in the past fifteen years to educate the public about it.
It is easy for ordinary people to forget how astonishing our known underground facilities are. Take the New York City subway system, a magnificent engineering triumph. More than a century old, it covers more than 800 miles and currently delivers more than 1.5 billion rides per year – nearly all underground. Other marvels exist in the world, such as Japan’s Seikan Tunnel, over 30 miles long (nearly half of which is under a seabed), and delves down 790 feet (240 meters) below the ground. The Channel Tunnel connecting Britain to France, more famously known as “The Chunnel,” although not as deep as the Seikan, has a longer portion beneath the seabed, more than 23 miles.
There are also a variety of “underground cities” that are well known and admired. The cities of Montreal and Toronto boast extensive underground retail shopping areas. Japan, too, has developed a large network of underground shopping streets and plazas. Other nations with substantial underground “cities” or pedestrian tunnels for public use include Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Then there is the Swedish underground military facility at Muskö, a gargantuan naval base built underneath a mountain. This includes not only the docks but repair factories, dining rooms, and barracks. The hospital alone has over 1,000 beds. By comparison, the famous underground facilities in Cheyenne Mountain required the removal of 350,000 cubic meters of stone; in Muskö the engineers blasted out 1,500,000 cubic meters – more if one includes the sub-seabed road that leads to it.
The preceding gives just a flavor of what is out there – or more properly speaking, beneath us. The military utility for underground construction is obvious. I recall years ago studying the matter in the context of American Cold War military strategy. During the 1950s, motivated by a fear of Soviet missiles striking American installations and cities, military planners recognized the value of secure facilities deep underground. Naturally, such planners did not want the locations of these facilities to be made public, or even to be known at all. It is widely understood that classified military installations do exist, and that many of these must be underground. Beyond that, however, very little is ever confirmed by military agencies.
How extensive might these underground facilities be? How deep? Are they connected by a series of secret tunnels, perhaps crisscrossing the nation – or the world? Is it really possible to build permanent bases underground? Under the ocean floor?
Without a doubt, having a secret base beneath the floor of, say, the Pacific Ocean could be very useful. To our common sense, however, the idea seems so outlandish as to be laughable. Yet, step by step, Richard Sauder shows in this eye-opening book that not only is such a feat well within the capabilities of modern engineering and science, but was actively planned and discussed by the U.S. Navy more than four decades ago! Even then, the capability to retrieve oxygen from the water via electrolysis was advanced enough that it enabled nuclear submarines to remain submerged for many months at a time. If you have a ready supply of oxygen and a source of power – say, a small nuclear power plant – a base beneath the ocean floor suddenly begins to seem feasible.
There are other interesting technologies at work here, such as magnetic levitation (maglev) transport. Of course, several substantial maglev systems are already in use for public transport, most notably the German-built Transrapid train in Shanghai, China. Interestingly, the primary challenge to maglev technology is not in generating the magnetic power to lift multi-ton trains off the ground. Rather, it is in overcoming air drag, just like any other high speed train. Intriguingly, this problem is most easily solved underground, where partial vacuums can be created, thereby allowing vast increases in transport speed. Speeds that could easily surpass those of commercial airliners.
Short of breaking into a secure facility with a camcorder, Richard Sauder has done everything possible to piece together one of the most amazing stories of our time. He has analyzed thousands of pages of military records to prove that plans were made to create massive underground and undersea bases. He has culled through the open literature related to mining, construction, and transport to prove that the relevant technologies have long been in place. He has studied the statements of key public figures and decision-makers, finding startling revelations buried within them. He has studied the U.S. ‘black budget’ and the disappearance of billions – indeed, trillions – of dollars from the U.S. federal system, pointing out that funding for these programs would not be a problem. He has interviewed many military insiders who have told him that, yes indeed, such secret bases and tunnel systems do exist.
One of the great treats in this book is Sauder’s inclusion of a series of illustrations by former Navy artist Walter Koerschner. During the 1960s, Koerschner was tasked by the Navy to create illustrations depicting its plans to build undersea bases. Koerschner emphasized to Sauder that he never knew whether those plans ever came to fruition. Of course, as Sauder points out, this is perfectly normal within the compartmentalized world in which Koerschner worked. Still, the plans were there, and they appear to have been quite elaborate. Koerschner’s beautiful illustrations enable us to understand so much better just how undersea bases could, in fact, be built.
Finally, some of us may wonder whether there is a connection in all this to the UFO mystery. Richard Sauder addresses that question, too. Certainly, underwater UFO accounts have been around for a very long time. Are these instances in which people have seen human technology? Or is there an alien connection? Sauder confronts the issue with his characteristic care in assembling his case, and fearlessness in presenting it.
This is now Richard Sauder’s fourth book that deals, in some manner, with the topic of subterranean facilities. All are noteworthy, but here he goes further – deeper. Sauder’s research is meticulous, his logic unassailable, his passion compelling, his argument profound. Reading through this tour de force will persuade any reasonable mind that the “official” reality most of us are presented with is essentially fictitious. Over many years, with great money and stealth, a substantial underground infrastructure has been put into place, largely “off the grid” from the rest of us, but extremely sophisticated. Who is managing this? To what end? Richard Sauder encourages us to ask these questions, and then to go further: to begin to find a way to learn the truth and reclaim our world.
Richard M. Dolan
Rochester, New York
December 5, 2009