It’s understandable that certain branches of the military and government need to operate with an extreme level of confidentiality. A common byproduct of this secrecy, however, is that curious people and conspiracy theorists alike tend to create all sorts of theories as to what really goes on inside the government’s most protected bases.
Louisville, Kentucky, is home to Fort Knox, one of the most secure and mysterious military bases in the world. It supposedly houses roughly $270 billion in gold, but did you know there are plenty of other interesting tidbits of information that keep people intrigued as to what happens inside? Here are 20 theories and facts about Fort Knox that will definitely shock you!
1. Fort Knox houses the largest amount of gold in the world, but some conspiracy groups—the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee in particular—that believe the gold doesn’t even exist. They think the bars are actually just tungsten bricks painted gold!
2. Only a handful of people (besides the employees at Fort Knox) have actually seen the gold kept inside. The last visit took place in August 2017, and it included the United States Treasury Secretary and a few other politicians. The most recent visit prior to that was in 1974!
3. The United States Mint refuses to reveal how much gold is actually kept at Fort Knox despite numerous inquiries. Presidential candidate Ron Paul called for an audit of Fort Knox in 2008, but he was unsuccessful.
4. The building itself is virtually impossible to approach unannounced without facing serious consequences. Along with motion detectors, video cameras, and secret microphones, there’s a literal mine field and electric fence surrounding it.
5. The massive door to the gold vault weighs 22 tons! It leads into a room comprising 16,000 cubic feet of granite and 4,200 cubic yards of cement. The roof is bomb-proof, and the vault can withstand any type of incendiary device.
6. The last time Fort Knox was audited was in 1954 under the Eisenhower administration, but for whatever reason, only a mere five percent of the gold bricks were tested for purity. This has led to numerous theories about the legitimacy of the gold.
7. Not anyone can become a guard at Fort Knox; the officers are carefully chosen by the United States Mint, and they go through rigorous training. However, military troops from all over the world also train at the base.
8. In order to keep them safe during World War II, important American documents such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were moved into the vault in case of an attack on the nation’s capital. In 1944, they were returned to Washington.
9. In 1937, shortly after Fort Knox was built, it started to receive its first shipments of gold. Due to the weight of the gold bars, everything was transported by special trains equipped with machine gunners in case of an attempted attack.
10. The United States went off the gold standard back in 1971, which means the gold at Fort Knox is really only a Treasury Department commodity to be traded with other countries. This potentially means the amount of gold at Fort Knox doesn’t even matter.
11. During the Unites States’ campaign against Hitler and the Nazis during World War II, the gold at Fort Knox was seen as a symbol of strength. It was used to play up democracy and encourage foreign politicians to show support.
12. You might wonder why the base was named Fort Knox to begin with. In 1918, the government set up an artillery training facility called Camp Henry Knox in Kentucky. It was named after the first Secretary of War, Henry T. Knox; eventually, it was changed to Fort Knox.
13. Fans of the James Bond films might associate Fort Knox with the charming protagonist, and for good reason! Certain parts of the movie Goldfinger were actually filmed on the premises.
14. Gold might be beautiful, but if you’ve ever held even a small piece of it, you know it’s more than that—it’s extremely heavy! One single gold bar at Fort Knox weighs 27-and-a-half pounds! That’s a lot of weight resting inside that vault.
15. Because of the secret nature of what goes on behind the doors of the Army post, visitors are barred from entering. The most they can do is stand outside the gates and snap as many pictures as they’d like.
16. Conspiracy theorists love the mystique surrounding Fort Knox, and there have been all sorts of crazy guesses as to what the base holds other than gold. Some people believe the bodies of deceased celebrities and (in)famous figures are kept there, such as Jimmy Hoffa.
17. More extreme conspiracy theorists believe there could very well be “otherworldly” beings kept at Fort Knox, like aliens. Some believe the extraterrestrials recovered from the Roswell crash site were brought to the base.
18. In addition to the ground-defense systems in place to protect the base from an attack, there are also several satellites orbiting the Earth that can help identify intruders and attack remotely if need be.
19. Although the use of toxins during war is banned and considered a war-crime if used, many people firmly believe Fort Knox is a massive artillery storage space—and it houses a multitude of biological weapons.
20. Along with the defense systems in space and a variety of weaponry situated around Fort Knox for protection, the base also features corridors designed to immediately flood with thousands of gallons of water if an intruder is detected. Phew!
It’s always intriguing to hear information about places very few people know anything about. Do you believe any of these Fort Knox conspiracy theories?
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