There are places that are ‘restricted’ or ‘bound’ in every house and office or institution for some reason or the other and in the broader picture there are similarly restricted places all around the world that are beyond the prying eyes of everyone.
Speaking of such restricted and mysterious places, one is reminded of government mystery novels, spy thrillers and conspiracy theories and names like Area 51 immediately pop into mind.
Here is a list that includes 15 more.
1. The Situation Room
The inspiration behind the famous “War Room” in Stanley Kubrick’s satire “Dr Strangelove”, this room is a conference room where major (and I don’t use this adjective lightly) decisions are taken by the POTUS and his closest advisors. The room is closed to all others. The room is located about 50 feet below the West Wing.
2. Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Everyone knows the story of how Noah built his arc and took not only two of every kind of animal that walked the earth/swam the seas/flew the skies but also seeds of every plant, shrub, bush and tree to repopulate the earth after the apocalyptic flood.
Well, this vault, located in Norway prepares for something similarly apocalyptic: to feed and sustain the remaining populace after everything has been destroyed by a possible Armageddon.
3. The Mormon Church Secret Vault
The vault contains nearly 3 billion pages of information on every family history and genealogy in America. It is out of bounds except for the rare tour now and then.
Owing to the fragility of the documents it preserves, it has been built after careful consideration on the side of a mountain face and has state-of-the-art temperature control.
4. Mezhgorye, Russia
This is one of the most restricted sites in Russia and is believed to be a nuclear missile site. The little information let out about this place is very hard to flesh out but it appears there are automatic ballistic missiles here which can be remotely controlled in case of a nuclear strike on Russia (straight out of the Doomsday Machine from Dr Strangelove).
It is guarded by on-site soldiers that cuts short the possibility of unauthorised entry.
5. Area 51
Probably the most famous of all of these places, featuring in everything from Indiana Jones films to underground documentaries, it is located about 80 miles from downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. Though its actual purpose is still unknown and classified, experimentation in aircraft technology and artillery is done here.
After decades of denying its existence, the US Government finally admitted its existence in 2013.
6. Lascaux Caves, France
These caves are famous for some 600 paintings on their walls that date to times as early as 17000 years BP. They are located near the village of Montignac, in the department of Dordogne, south-western France and were inducted into UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1979.
However, from the 50’s onwards, the caves have been invaded by fungi and lichens which have popped up. As a result, access has been restricted to very few visitors.
7. Fort Knox
Located in Kentucky, just outside Louisville, this 109,000 acre base in considered one of the safest repositories in the world, with 30,000 soldiers and a fleet of helicopters protecting it.
Unsurprisingly it guards among others things the gold bullion reserve of the US Govt.
8. Pine Gap, Australia
The only strictly no-fly zone on the continent, it is located in Central Australia, south of Alice Springs. This site is a key contributor to the global surveillance network ECHELON and is run jointly by the CIA, the US-NSA, US-NRO and the Australian government.
9. Bohemian Grove
This California campground, for the past 150 years has hosted secret meetings that have been attended by some of the most powerful men on the planet including the likes of past US presidents and consequences of which include the Manhattan project among other things.
Women are not allowed, however.
10. Bahnhof/Wikileaks, Sweden.
Wikileaks, as everyone knows reveals top secret information to the world every now and then since 2006. Bahnhof is an independent Swedish ISP which hosts their servers in a top-secret bunker in the White Mountains of Sweden. The bunker, Pionen can withstand even nuclear attacks, originally having been built during the Cold War.
Thanks to no-cooperation by Bahnhof, the Swedish police have not been able to find Wikileaks’ servers yet.
11. Dulce Base, USA
Since 1979, rumours report of a base here where the government and aliens in cahoots run experiments on humans. This started since Paul Bennewitz had reported he was receiving signals from extra-terrestrials in New Mexico. The man who built the gates of this place, Phil Schneider, was later found garrotted to death with piano wire in his apartment.
12. Room 39, Pyongyang
North Korea itself is one of the most secretive of places on Earth and this happens to be one of the most secretive places in the country itself. Rumours have it that in this room in the Worker’s party building, crimes like drug manufacturing for trafficking, US currency forging etc take place.
13. Cheyenne Mountain Complex, USA
It houses or has at one time housed the United States Space Command, the Aerospace Defence Command, the Air Force Command and the Federal Emergency Management System. The complex is a network of buildings built 610 meters under granite that are protected from natural disasters. It boasts of flexible piping systems and has its own power plant and water supply and it can withstand a 30 megaton nuclear explosion, bombs, and radiological contaminants.
14. Club 33, USA
Apparently this is where Walt Disney secretly hosted foreign dignitaries and important personalities.
15. Vatican Archives, Rome
You know something is restricted and beyond bounds if it features prominently in a Dan Brown novel. Yes, these archives contain classified information that cannot be touched unless the Pope grants you access.
16. The Queen’s Bedroom, Buckingham Palace.
Since the infamous breach by a man named Michael Fagan in 1982, the security has been dialled up many times making this one of the most inaccessible sites in the world right now.