To save mankind from an apocalypse, a California man says he will do his part
by developing 45 acres of an underground cavern in Kansas that could house as many as 1,000 recreational vehicles and 5,000 people.
Robert Vicino told The Associated Press that the former Army storage facility is an ideal place to house people at the time of a deadly catastrophe.
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"I do believe I am on a mission and doing a spiritual thing," said Vicino, who owns a business in Del Mar, Calif. "We will certainly be part of the genesis."
The caverns, roughly 50 miles northwest of Kansas City, Mo., are about 150 feet underground. In the 1880s, the Army mined limestone inside them. Years later, the caves were used as a storage facility until the federal government put it up for auction.
Coby Cullins paid $510,000 for the caverns in April, according to the AP. Cullins contacted Vicino about buying some of the land. After Vicino saw them, he agreed to buy 75 percent of the area. Even though a small portion of the cavern has cement floors and lighting, Vicino's 45 acres is undeveloped. He said he will convert that area into a survival complex and then market it.
Vicino said members will be charged $1,000 for every foot of their RV to purchase their space, plus $1,500 per person for food. For example, someone could pay $30,000 for a 30-foot vehicle with four people, plus another $6,000 for food.
California State University-Chico professor Ken Rose said the planned Kansas complex and other survival establishments are a "colossal waste of time and money."
"Some people are just obsessed by this idea," Rose told AP. "Without minimizing the terror threat here today, the threats were much greater at the height of the Cold War. At least then anxiety was based on a realistic scenario."
Some online commenters suggested Vicino's efforts may not be such a bad idea.
"Kansas isn't the only midwestern state with limestone caves," one commenter wrote on the Huffington Post. "They're all over Missouri, too, plus a couple of other states. Ordinary citizens should be buying up these potential shelters. I've seen homes made out of some & just think -they're naturally climate-controlled!"
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