This 83-Year-Old Decided to Store 42 Buses Underground


Mysterious Labyrinth


In a massive pit in the ground, he began to form a mysterious labyrinth that few have ever been able to see. So why did he take on this colossal project, and what is he hiding inside?

Canadian Oddity


In the midst of snowy Ontario, Canada, an 83-year-old man has created one of the most interesting yet strange structures in North America. Its extent isn’t visible from above ground and it might actually be harder than you think to get in. That man is named Bruce Beach,So, what exactly is he doing? You will be amazed.

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Red Dawn


Bruce Beach is from Winfield, Kansas. He spent his young adult years in one of the most tense eras of American history. Behind the scenes of the Vietnam War the outrage of the Cold War, was too much for him to bear.

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Desperate Times


Bruce Beach knew that desperate times called for desperate measures. He packed up his belongings in a simple bag, took his wife and family, and crossed the border to Canada. There, he would embark on a mission no one could have anticipate, not even his wife.

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Canadian Refuge


Bruce Beach didn’t just choose a random spot in Canada to set up base in 1970. In fact, he relocated to his wife Jean’s hometown of Horning’s Mills, a small village in a rural corner of Ontario two hours outside of Toronto.
May 2, 2015 – Horning’s Mills, Canada – Bruce Beach rests following a tour of the Ark 2 compound that houses Canada’s, and possibly North America’s, largest privately build and run nuclear fall-out shelter. (Photo by James MacDonald)

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Big Plans In Mind


Bruce was certain that this was the safest place to be in the world. And he hadn’t just gone to Canada in search of safety. He had huge plans in mind! If a certain calamity was imminent, he was going to do something about it in the most incredible way.

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Metal Menagerie


Between 1980 and 1985, Bruce began to do something particularly unusual. The 83-year-old started to collect old and retired school buses wherever he could find them, purchasing each one for about $300! He ordered them directly to his home address.

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Interesting Collection


In the end, Bruce managed to amass a total of 42 school buses! It had been a costly venture, but he was convinced it was necessary. The task he had in mind was of the highest possible importance. Rural Ontario might have plenty of open space, but where did Bruce plan on parking all of them!?

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Digging For Safety


Bruce wanted the buses for a specific reason: they had been built covered with reinforced steel roofs. In his mind, this meant they were blast-proof. He arranged them systematically, side by side, with precise plans for each one. Then he dismantled them, connecting each bus to one another.

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Utterly Dumbfounded


On a wide space of land stretched out over 12.5 acres near his property, Bruce created a massive pit in the earth around his impressive bus collection. With some help, he dug until the huge hole measured 14 feet underground, and then completely covered the buses. The reason Bruce buried them underground would leave most people utterly dumbfounded.

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Encased


Now that his 42 school buses were totally covered under 14 feet of earth, Bruce finalized his plan. He had the pit containing the buses sealed in by two feet of solid concrete, never again to see the light of day.

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What Was It For?


This collection was not for showing off. Bruce had better plans. He opened each bus and connected all of them into a labyrinth. Together, they form an underground shelter of proportions that is nothing short of astounding. But why did he build it?

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Ark Two


When he finally completed his project, Bruce Beach had built one of the most massive underground structures in North America. He christened it Ark Two. This enormous underground maze consisted of a staggering 10,000 square feet – quite the undertaking! Inside the protective walls of Ark Two, Bruce can fit a maximum capacity of 500 people — if you are lucky enough to be let in!! He designed it fully believing that many people would need to use it. The biggest mystery, however, is the purpose this labyrinth of buried buses serves.

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Screening


Bruce Beach had to think very carefully about what kind of people he was going to allow inside Ark Two, and under what circumstances. He is afraid of sick people getting into his underground creation, especially anyone who carries an infectious disease.

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Proper Protection


Upon first glance, the concept of a bunch of old buses thrown together in a pit in the middle of nowhere sounds quite haphazard. Thankfully, in the process of constructing his dream project of Ark Two, Bruce Beach has had more than a little help. But what convinced the engineer that this seemingly bizarre project was worth taking part in?

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Reinforcing The Labyrinth


Trust Bruce on this one — he says the person who helped supervise construction of Ark Two was none other than the very same one who built the subway system in Toronto! And if it’s good enough for Canada’s biggest city, then certainly it’s good enough for what Bruce intends.

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Fully Equipped And Functional


The place comes stocked with diesel generators that can last up to three months with the fuel supplies Bruce has managed to gather and save. There is a fully equipped and functional plumbing system. But what about all the facilities for a human being’s most basic needs?

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Plan Up His Sleeve


Bruce has engineered his own well for the drinking water supply. For the circumstances in which Bruce would need to get inside, Ark Two will absolutely have to be self-sufficient. As he foresees the future, he can’t rely on outside water because it might be contaminated! But Bruce has an even more intricate plan up his sleeve.

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Subterranean Kitchen


Ark Two has a massive soup tureen, as well as a working oven. Bruce has drafted a friend who is a cook to be on the guest list for Ark Two when the time arrives. The way he envisions it, there will be a constant supply of freshly-baked biscuits for everyone.

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Separated For Their Own Good


For the living quarters that comprise a decently large part of Ark Two, Bruce has devised a strict policy of having men and women sleep separately for a particular reason. According to Bruce, having families stay together in the sleeping chambers wouldn’t allow enough space for others. He’s trying to maximize the amount of people the bunks can fit. What is he preparing for?

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Child’s Play


Over the past four decades that Bruce has spent constructing Ark Two, he wants any child coming in there to be able to continue their learning as best as possible. He has chess sets for them, a play area with toys and tricycles, a nursery and classroom, as well as children’s bunks. And that’s not all.

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Additional Features


Besides living, the area comes with some extra bonuses. Bruce has had many long years to think up different objects and accessories that the people under his care might need. He even has a dentist’s chair, a mortuary — and a brig for anyone who disobeys rules!

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Discipline Is Key


Discipline is key, and to maintain order, he made and installed three security monitors. Always thinking creatively, Bruce has even converted a rusty old exercise bike into his own wheat-grinding mill, powered by a person pedaling! But you can’t stay down there forever…

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Is There Anybody Out There?


Even if someone has gone voluntarily into Ark Two, Bruce knows it’s still important to understand as best as possible what’s happening in the world around them. Even if Bruce Beach is preparing for holding 500 people beneath the earth, he still needs to be in touch. So what did he think up this time?

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Ok But What’s Up His Sleeve?


To achieve this, Bruce has rigged up an entire radio communications system. It is capable of broadcasting both AM and FM frequencies and has a wide-enough range that it could reach all of Canada and the United States. Why would Bruce need to reach that many people? What’s he up to?

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Preppers


Bruce Beach belongs to a category of people who call themselves “preppers”. These are a band of characters who are convinced that the apocalypse is coming and it’s high time to get prepared. There’s a variety of reasons they feel this way.

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Banding Together


There’s strength in numbers, and seeing as the majority of people around the “preppers” don’t believe them, they band together. They hold Annual Preppers Meetings, but these are not for emotional support. These people want to learn from each other how best to prepare for the worst.

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What Do They Think About Ark Two?


The meetings run like workshops, teaching participants how they can best deal with living in the shadow of the apocalypse. They have classes such as “Zombie Survival Camp,” “Surviving In The Wilderness.” So what do Bruce’s fellow survivalists think about Ark Two?

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Off Limits, For Now


Getting inside Ark Two is a rare gift. Bruce Beach is very protective of his masterpiece. Any tour of the facility is not free. Even members of the press who have visited trying to report on Ark Two will have to be deemed worthy to do so.

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Perform Beneficial Acts


Some journalists were not allowed inside Ark Two until they had performed something that could benefit Bruce, or his future refugees. They got on his good side by doing a chore: chopping firewood. Once in, they discovered that not everything underground is fine and dandy.

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The Costs Of Ark Two


Being the owner and protector of Ark Two has come at a cost for Bruce Beach and his family, and not just financially. Maintaining such an enormous structure for such a long time, and doing it more or less by himself, is a never-ending challenge.

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Problems Occurred


Rats found the bags of wheat that Bruce had been storing, and once they had gorged themselves, destroying his supplies, they ran into his home. He’s also had to deal with fires, floods, and theft. And there’s problems from outside too.

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The Opposition To Ark Two


The local government in Ontario is not happy about this structure. In their eyes, it’s one huge dangerous hazard. Never mind what Bruce views as his service to the greater public — they’re not having it. As far as they’re concerned, they want it destroyed.

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Built Without Permits


Every part of Ark Two was built without permits, though not for Bruce’s lack of trying to get them! He’s been taken in court more than 30 times, and the local government has spent over $250,000 to try and shut him down. And he’s made enemies on the ground, all in the name of his vision, which is driven by one particular reason.

 
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Closing Ark Two


Bruce’s local fire department in his corner of Ontario is more direct than the government. Rather than waging legal battles, they’ve taken action. Fire brigades have come and physically sealed off the structure off twice, leaving Bruce the job of figuring out how to reopen it.
 

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SAFE


Ark Two is also known by the name SAFE, which stands for “Safe America For Everyone”. In Bruce’s far-reaching vision, Ark Two is meant to be a true melting pot to shelter those in need, open to people regardless of politics, religion, culture, race.

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A Temporary Solution


By his estimates, Bruce thinks that Ark Two should be able to hold people for up to three weeks. But that’s strictly under the worst-case scenario; ideally, he hopes people would be able to refuel, rest, and continue on to the next safe place.

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A New Hope


In Bruce’s mind, despite the terrifying visions of a nuclear winter that he describes, this is not the end, but the beginning. He describes the entire process of rehabilitation that he wants to take part in as giving birth to a new type of humanity.