Society

California Homeowners Find Fallout Shelter from '60s in Backyard

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A California couple in Woodland Hills purchased a house and found an unexpected surprise in the backyard: a 1960s fallout shelter in pristine condition.

While they knew the house had a fallout shelter, they thought it was just a hole in the ground. They were shocked to find that everything in the shelter was perfectly preserved, including vintage supplies and clothes.

Going down the rusted staircase, the owners saw something similar to a time capsule going back to an era when Americans believed the United States could be struck by a nuclear bomb from the USSR.

Nuclear engineer Alvin Kaufman built the shelter in 1961. It is about 15 feet below ground.

"In that era, in the 60s, there was a much greater fear and feeling that a nuclear war was possible," Kaufman's daughter, Debra, said. She grew up in the house.

Debra said the shelter was meant to sustain her family of four for a few weeks at most. It had sleeping areas for each of them, a water tank and a hand cracked air filter.

Kaufman also filled the shelter with necessities like cookies, cans of multi-purpose food, a granulated protein mix and coffee.

There were kitchen supplies like Reynolds Wrap Foil and Saran wrap. In a box were an assortment of medicine bottles, including ones for sleeping. 

And for times of boredom, Kaufman put a dozen copies of Analog science fiction magazine inside the shelter, as well as some board games. 

Kaufman died in 2004, but had originally planned to build a fallout shelter for his whole block. 

The new owners plan on keeping the space in its condition.

"I'll leave it for the next people," they said. "It should last forever."

Sources: FRROL, Daily Mail