cold war

This Swanky Bomb Shelter Might Be Hidden Somewhere Under An NYC Park

You wouldn’t believe it just by looking at it, but this slice of 60s Americana is located three feet underneath a New York City park. Or, at least, it was back in 1964. Whether it’s still there remains a mystery — one almost as fascinating as the reason it was constructed in the first place.


Monster Machines: How The Granddaddy Of US Recon Planes Is Helping Search For Flight 370

The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 off the coast of Vietnam has prompted a massive multinational maritime search for hints of the plane’s fate. Among the growing armada of surface and aerial search vessels is the US Navy’s venerable P-3C Orion, a long-range surveillance platform still just as effective today as it was in the early Cold War.


How Tumbleweeds Spread Radiation From Old Nuclear Sites

The tumbleweed, which seems so at home rolling down a highway, is actually an invasive plant from the Russian steppes. In the relatively short time it’s been invading the plains — just over a century — the tumbleweed has managed to establish itself as an indelible symbol of the western landscape. It is the ultimate sleeper cell, we might say, an enemy plant, if we were to resort to Cold War metaphors.


This Postcard Took 44 Years To Reach Its Recipient Because Of The Stasi

In 1969, Günter Zettl was a 18-year-old student in Waren an der Müritz, a little town in East Germany. Zettl liked to listen to prohibited Western radio stations and one day he decided to participate in a music contest by sending a postcard. Unfortunately, the communist version of the NSA got it first.


Monster Machines: ​This Wacky Sci-Fi Plane-Helicopter Hybrid Was Almost A Thing

By the end of WWII, the basics of helicopter technology as we know it had generally been worked out — and we’d begun to reach the aircraft’s physical limitations. For the US Air Force, the solution to the issue running up against these performance walls was simple: combine the best parts of a helicopter and jet together, creating the chimeric delta-wing Convertiplane.


Monster Machines: The Super-Secret 'Research' Sub That Helped Win The Cold War

Quests for scientific knowledge and military superiority often go hand-in-hand. And nowhere is that more exemplified than in the nuclear-powered NR-1 research vessel. When it wasn’t busy exploring the wonders of the deep ocean, its crew engaged the Soviet Union in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game of sub-sea espionage — much of which is veiled in secrecy even today.


10 Cold War Weapons That Terrified US Military Intelligence

When US-Soviet relationships were at their frostiest in the 1980s, there was no telling what sort of exotic threat was about to come roaring through Russia’s Iron Curtain. That’s where the Defence Intelligence Agency came in.


Monster Machines: This 'Caspian Sea Monster' Was A Giant Soviet Spruce Goose

Soviet engineering is often derided as effective but crude and simplistic, but that’s a bum rap. The USSR produced a number of technologies that were as visually arresting as they were effective. Just look at the sleek, humongous, flying hammerhead named Ekranoplan.


Secret Cold War Sonar Tech Is Being Used To Map Underwater America

Space may be the final frontier of exploration, but there’s plenty of Earth left unmapped too — from the giant canyon recently discovered beneath Greenland to American waters that have been left largely unexplored. But that’s quickly changing, thanks in part to Bob Ballard’s latest project.


8 Abandoned Radar Stations That Were Once State-Of-The-Art

Between the 1930s and 1970s, billions of dollars were spent to build early-warning systems — often in the most remote parts of the world. But by the late 1980s, most of these sites had been abruptly shuttered — made increasingly obsolete by the emergence of satellite communications. Yet the hulking shells, discs and towers often still remain.