Abandoned Nuclear Antiballistic Missile Base

For almost half a century, from the end of World War II until the fall of the Soviet Union, our world existed on the precipice of nuclear annihilation. The threat of an instant and irreversible descent into nuclear war hung constant over our heads, the pendulum of power sometimes swinging our way and sometimes back toward the Soviets. It was this race for superiority that led to the creation of this place, the most advanced nuclear antiballistic missile facility ever built.

Check out our new video about the Stanley Mickelsen Safeguard Complex near Nekoma, North Dakota. This video was uploaded in 4K resolution, so if you have the capability to stream it to your largest TV, you should definitely give it a try.

Read more here, here, and here.


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24 thoughts on “Abandoned Nuclear Antiballistic Missile Base

  1. Nice work Troy. Some really nice photos, but depressing. The beautiful sky and clouds of the high plains – contrasted with the sinister weapons complex. The other comment I would make is that a the threat of a Nuclear Armageddon is not history. It’s still with us. The missiles on both sides are still poised and ready to strike. Except now, even more nations have nuclear weapons…


    1. Well done, Troy. I remember those days well, especially since my dad was one of the Air Force Reserve Chaplains that regularly visited the western South Dakota sites in the 70’s.


    2. Agreed, Richard. I think the threat is still there, but I don’t know that we’re on the brink of global annihilation like we used to be. Both the US and Russia have stockpiles that are just a fraction of what they once were. Thanks for the nice comments.


  2. I grew up in Walhalla and I drive by the Nekoma site every time I go home. My grandparents have told me stories about the sudden population influx and drop during that time frame. There’s rumors that the EPA is suing the landholders because of the lead paint on the inside of the silos are contaminating water (which is why the historical society is unable to purchase).

    Awesome video. Thanks for sharing! Our local schools don’t have very many resources to talk about this site.


    1. The State Historical Society of North Dakota was offered the opportunity to take over the site, but declined due to the inability to fund such a massive undertaking. Also it already had accepted two Cold War Era sites from the USAF including Oscar Zero just north of Cooperstown.


  3. I’ve been inside the pyramid. I have several photos from inside. Pretty amazing place. Unfortunately the 2 stories below ground have been partially flooded for years causing a lot of rusting. A salvage company was hired at one point, so anything that was easy to remove was taken from the pyramid. It sure is creepy walking through but very interesting. Too bad no one was able to use the facility for anything, because there was a lot of money put into it.


    1. Be honest. The place is locked tighter than a drum. I was there this past May. Completely locked up. The new owner’s representative hung up on me when I asked if there was a way I could just walk around the property (his telephone number is posted on a, “NO TRESPASSING” sign at the locked entrance gate. They could make a fortune if they opened this place up to tourists.


  4. Excellent video except for a minor error. The SRM Safeguard Complex was an Army installation and Army designed, tested and operated system. The original concept called for more than a dozen sites all around the country. SRM, as well as each planned site, consisted of 7 sites. The PAR (Perimeter Acquisition Radar), the MSR (Missile Site Radar), a collocated missile field and 4 remote missile sites. The Air Force took over the PAR after the Army closed down the rest of the SRM Complex.


  5. Troy,

    Are you still able to walk around the site or will the owners consider it trespassing? Are you at least able freely to walk around the grounds/exterior?


  6. Worked as MP at MSR and 2 Remote , from 1974-1976, back up in 2010 for 35th reunion, things have really thinned out.


  7. so, what if anything has been done with the site? I live near Devils Lake, ND and have never even seen the site. Can a person go into the buildings? What a waste of tax payers money – we could have spent it on things we really need in this country rather than trying to show off our killing abilities.


  8. I think I’d enjoy meeting you Troy. If the door is unlocked go inside (see, Short Creek Church). That was always a guiding principle for me! My cousin, Kris Ringwall (now at NDSU’s ag station at Dickinson) may have worked in Langdon during the period you describe. But honestly, I had no idea work of that magnitude was going on there. This piece was outstanding (as was your work on Short Creek and Rival). How about something on abandon trail of the old Soo Line?


  9. Hi Troy,
    My name is Terry Kendall. And you did a great job on the photos of the Site. I, and my brother, Steve, Kendall, worked as Ironworkers on both Nekoma-MSR and Concrete, PAR. and all of the outlaying silos until the job was done..
    I would request that you add Milton, Osnabrock, Fairdale, Adams, and Park River to your list of towns of ND.


  10. Great job … I visited the Safeguard Complex guard shack a couple times (74-75) to get a drink when we (Air Force cops) were out patrolling the area … It was amazing how BIG that place was …


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