Pyramid on the Prairie

December 18, 2012

I grew up on a farm in north-central North Dakota. About an hour’s drive from one of the greatest existing relics of the Cold War nuclear arms race…


The Safeguard anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system near Nekoma, ND.  More up-close and current photos of the site can be found at Ghosts of North Dakota.

By design, it’s located in the middle of nowhere, so I’ve driven past it only a few times in my life.  But it always stirred my imagination.  The ALMIGHTY posts from last month took a hint of inspiration from it.

While in construction, Safeguard likely influenced treaty negotiations and compelled the Soviets to pour more money into ICBM research, but by the time it was complete…Safeguard was already obsolete.  It was only operational for four months in 1975-76, by which time the Soviets had developed MIRV-type missiles that laughed at ground-based ABMs.  It was defunded and has sat empty for 35+ years.

I mention all this because it recently sold to an undisclosed buyer for $530,000.




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