The Ark Two nuclear fallout shelter, or SAFE (Safe America For Everyone) Community is the largest pluralistic survival community in North America without any political, religious, or cultural bias. Its purpose is to ameliorate the catastrophe of a nuclear war or other world-wide cataclysmic catastrophe and to help restore civilization.
Bruce Beach is the founder of Ark Two which is 10,000-square-foot and sunk beneath several metres of concrete and soil on a 12.5 acre parcel of land near his home.
“People think, ‘What a nut,’ and I know that, but I don’t mind,” he says. “I understand the world looks upon me that way.”
The construction of Ark Two began back in 1980 when Beach started buying old school buses for $300 a piece. He excavated the property, eventually planting 42 buses in the earth and covering them with concrete and soil. By 1982 the main build was complete.
Beach also holds work weekends at the site, for like-minded souls. Most volunteers only come once, and so he has winnowed the list of invites to the 50 semi-regulars, all of whom are guaranteed a spot in the Ark Two which was originally built to accommodate 350.
Officials in nearby Shelburne have threatened to permanently seal the Ark on multiple occasions, citing public safety. But Beach soldiers on. The shelter needs mopping. Somebody needs to clamber down into the well and dig out the sediment. The generator could use updating. There is work to do.
“I used to always say the end of the world was going to be two years from now,” Beach says, cackling with glee. “But now I say it is going to be two weeks from now — and if I am wrong, I will revise my date.
“I’ve done it before.”
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