Few people know that just outside the town of Hadley, a Cold War secret lies buried beneath the earth. Incredibly, a massive underground bunker is built into the side of Bare Mountain in the Holyoke Range, and its original purpose was very dark.

The Notch Bunker is formally called the Post-Attack Command and Control System Facility. It was built in the late 1950s as a shelter for the 8th Air Force command post in the event of a nuclear attack. Essentially, the bunker was meant to ensure that top military officials could survive a nuclear catastrophe, and issue commands to any surviving military personnel aboveground.

The bunker was built to support up to 350 people for just over a month. It was stocked with surplus WWII rations, cots and a microwave communication system.

The bunker was officially closed in 1970 in favor of another bunker in Louisiana. However, the Notch Bunker was still meant to serve a purpose in the event of a catastrophe. The Federal Reserve took over the facility and used it to store their records…and a vast sum of money to be used to restart the American economy after a nuclear war.

Today, the bunker is actually used as a library storage facility for the Five Colleges. Unless you were a local librarian, you’d probably have no idea that your library books were being kept in a former nuclear fallout shelter.

The implications of this bunker’s existence are chilling. Its construction means that the U.S. government took the possibility of nuclear war seriously, and planned for the unthinkable. Let’s hope that such a scenario stays in the past.

Watch this rare, insider footage of the bunker below:

The Notch Bunker from WGBY on Vimeo.

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