Ohio is home to numerous historical and cultural landmarks, as well as a secretive and enigmatic location that not many people are aware of. During the Cold War, a significant amount of the United States’ nuclear weapons were constructed and kept at what is now known as Clarksville Base, a covert nuclear installation. It is now a deserted village with tunnels, structures, and machinery that expose the nuclear era’s murky and perilous past.
History of Clarksville Base
In 1948, the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project (AFSWP) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) collaborated to create Clarksville Base. It was constructed on an old Army base that saw action in World War II as a camp for prisoners of war. The nuclear weapons were assembled and stored in the Q part of the site, while the administration and support facilities were housed in the A area.
The Q area was defended by armed guards, double fencing, and a number of security features, including cameras, alarms, and dogs. Though less secure, the A sector was still only accessible by approved individuals.
Both military and civilian employees worked at the base, and they were subject to stringent guidelines for handling nuclear weapons. They also had to keep a tight lid on things because the base’s location and presence were under wraps. The laborers commuted daily to the base from surrounding communities like Clarksville and Hopkinsville.
Throughout its 20-year existence, which spanned 1948 to 1968, the site was used to store and build a variety of nuclear weapons, including bombs, warheads, and missiles. While some of the weapons were held in reserve, others were moved to different locations for use. The weapons were also tested, maintained, and inspected by the base.
Closure and Abandonment of Clarksville Base
The U.S. government made the decision to reduce and consolidate its nuclear weapons stockpile in the late 1960s due to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. One of the locations that was chosen for closure was Clarksville Base since it was thought to be unnecessary and redundant.
The nuclear weapons were taken out of the site and deployed to other places when it was formally declared inactive in 1968. After then, the base was given to the Army, who utilized it for training, storage, and disposal, among other things. In addition, the Army filled in parts of the tunnels and bunkers and destroyed some of the buildings and other infrastructure.
The Army did not, however, entirely eradicate or eliminate every hint of the base’s nuclear heritage. A large number of the base’s infrastructure, including the roads, bridges, gates, fences, and signage, remained intact. Curious tourists and explorers were able to enter and view the ruins of the nuclear facility by leaving some of the tunnels and bunkers uncovered.
A unique and fascinating location, Clarksville Base provides an insight into the background and mysteries of the Cold War. It also serves as a reminder of the risks and repercussions associated with nuclear weapons as well as the necessity of international harmony and collaboration. Even though Clarksville Base is now just a subterranean ghost town, it still has a fascinating past.