The term “maximum-security location” likely stirs images of armored fortresses, high-tech military facilities, undisclosed government holdings, and invaluable historical sites in your mind.
These locations are encapsulated by the aura of secrets and heightened security protocols – an entirely different realm compared to your household security systems.
We’ve assembled an intriguing list of 10 of the most heavily guarded locations on Earth. Their level of security, secrets, and tales are bound to fascinate you.
10 Most Heavily Guarded Locations
1. Fort Knox
Known globally for its extraordinary security measures, Fort Knox is an Army post located in Kentucky. It’s also the residence of the US Bullion Depository, a treasure trove of thousands of tons of gold and significant historical documents.
Besides the army of security personnel and state-of-the-art surveillance systems, this place is safeguarded by a 22-ton blast door that’s impossible to breach. It also boasts more security cameras than one could possibly find on the entirety of Amazon.
2. Area 51
Area 51 is perhaps the most infamous location on our list. Located in Nevada, it’s a top-secret aerospace development and testing site that may not appear heavily fortified at first glance. But rest assured, if you venture past the warning signs, security personnel will be on your tail within seconds. It’s a strictly no-photography zone.
The site is rumored to be equipped with hundreds of high-tech sensors that can detect the slightest movements, providing an unseen but highly effective level of security.
3. The Mormon Church’s Secret Vaults
Photo: Long Now Foundation
Located deep within the north side of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah, these secret vaults house the genealogical and historical records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These vaults are not only closely guarded but are also protected by state-of-the-art temperature control systems and sensitive motion and heat sensors, rumored to alert security at the slightest disturbance.
4. Federal Reserve Bank in New York
Photo: Beyond My Ken
This bank is reportedly the safe house for about 25% of the world’s gold reserves. The vault is located eighty feet beneath street level and fifty feet below sea level, adding a natural layer of protection. In addition, the building’s perimeter is patrolled by well-trained marksmen ready to deter any potential threats.
5. Bold Lane Car Park
Photo: Eamon Curry
Located in Derbyshire, England, the Bold Lane Car Park is a sanctuary for vehicles. It’s fortified with an advanced security system that includes CCTV cameras, panic buttons, fortified entry doors, and bar-coded tickets. If the alarm does get triggered, the entire parking garage enters lockdown mode, ensuring vehicle safety.
Source: The Telegraph
6. Tumen River
The Tumen River delineates part of the border between Russia and North Korea. Within a mile, one can traverse from North Korea, pass through China, and land in Russia, making it a highly desirable escape route for defectors. The area is thus heavily patrolled by North Korean soldiers.
Source: BBC News
7. Korean Demilitarized Zone
The Korean Demilitarized Zone, a thin strip of land dividing North and South Korea, is one of the most fortified borders globally. It stretches across 160 miles in length and 2.5 miles in width. Due to the stringent security and lack of human interaction, it has ironically transformed into a nature reserve.
8. The Greenbrier
Photo: Bobak Ha’Eri
Nestled approximately 720 feet into the hillside under The Greenbrier’s West Virginia Wing, The Greenbrier, spanning an astonishing 112,544 square feet, conceals a secret. Behind a 25-ton nuclear blast door lies a nuclear bunker, laden with supplies for members of the U.S. Congress to endure a nuclear attack.
Source: The Greenbrier
Photo: Ryan Lackey
Perched seven miles off the British coast and 60 feet above the water in the North Sea, HavenCo is a 120-by-50-foot anti-aircraft platform.
It was once an ultra-secure data fortress, accessible only to authorized personnel, investors, and members of Britain’s royal family. The facility reportedly closed in 2008, and the reason behind its closure remains a well-guarded secret.
Source: Mother Jones
10. Cheyenne Mountain
Previously the command center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Space Command missions, the Cheyenne Mountain complex is more fortified than most military installations. It features a tunnel protected by solid granite and reinforced steel, a testament to its past as a critical defense hub.
Although NORAD has since relocated, visitors can now tour this previously inaccessible fortress.