D.U.M.B. Deep Underground Military Bases: Are You Living Above One?

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The US government took an active interest in DUMBs in the 1940s following WWII.

Since then it is believed that the US military alone has built at least 140 Deep Underground Military Bases.

Black Budget

Before we can talk about DUMBs we first have to talk about the black budget. Because understanding the black budget helps to see how projects like these can be kept secret and kept out of the public eye of scrutiny, and surpass congressional approval. 

A black budget is a government budget that is allocated for classified or other secret operations. The black budget is mostly classified because of security reasons and therefore complicated to calculate, but in the United States, it has been estimated to be over $50 billion dollars a year, taking up nearly 10 percent of the $700 billion dollar defense budget.

The U.S. Government claims that the money given to this budget is used to investigate advanced science and to develop technologies for military use. This kind of research is responsible for the creation of new aircraft, weapons, and satellites. The black budget is set up to hide its projects from prying eyes and elected officials and is not subject to congressional approval.

While many countries have black budgets for the purposes of this episode we will primarily be looking at the US and the US government. 


One of the ways that the black budget is used is to build Deep Underground Military Bases or DUMBs. So, what is a DUMB? By definition a DUMB is. 

  • An underground military-built facility capable of housing hundreds of people, storing large equipment, hazardous materials, or advanced technologies and laboratories. 

  • Most commonly used to keep research and certain property out of the public eye. 

  • One of the most highly secure methods to conceal property or research due to the structural integrity of such complexes. 

  • Often built with more than one floor level for compartmentalization. 

  • Most commonly built inside of and contained under rock formations like mountains, mesas, hills, or plateaus. This also includes undersea bases. 

If one was to surmise the primary function of these facilities it would be 5 fold and includes secrecy, security, communication, command, and control. The term DUMB while referring to the underground nature of these bases is also probably a bit of a jab at the public who is too DUMB to know about them. 

The US government and really all governments worldwide took an active interest in DUMBs in the 1940s. Lloyd Duscha with the US Army Corp of Engineers said this at a conference.  

After World War II, political and economic factors changed the underground construction picture and caused a renewed interest to “think underground.” As a result of this interest, the Corps of Engineers became involved in the design and construction of some very complex and interesting military projects. Although the conference program indicates the topic to be “Underground Facilities for Defense – Experience and Lessons,” I must deviate a little because several of the most interesting facilities that have been designed and constructed by the Corps are classified.

It is believed that the US military has built at least 140 Deep Underground Military Bases. This however cannot be confirmed because of the secretive nature of such bases. Worldwide it is believed that there are nearly 15,000. It is important to note that these bases aren’t just bunkers but are on average the size of a small city. Ranging from 10-30 miles across and anywhere from 1-4 miles in depth. The bases are completely self-sufficient and are fully stocked with food and supplies. It is even believed that they may be able to use artificial lighting to grow crops underground. 

While 140 US DUMBs cannot be confirmed there are several of these bases that have been declassified and are known to the public. This includes Raven Rock, Cheyenne Mt. Complex, Greenbrier Resort, and Mt. Weather. 

Declassifes Facilites

Raven Rock

The Raven Rock Mountain Complex, also known as Site R, is a U.S. military installation with an underground nuclear bunker near Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, at Raven Rock Mountain. The facility is home to emergency operations centers for the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and the United States Marine Corps. 

It was commissioned by President Harry S. Truman in the 1950s as a Continuity of Government facility pending nuclear attack during the Cold War. The facility was built in 10 months and has 5 – 3 story buildings within its 700,000 sq ft interior. 

Today the installation’s largest tenant is the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is an agency within the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and is the official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction.  The DTRAs mission is to prepare for and combat weapons of mass destruction and improvised threats and to ensure nuclear deterrence.

After the 2001 September 11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney used Raven Rock as a protected site. The Raven Rock Mountain Complex was officially declared part of the Pentagon in 2007, leading some to call it the “underground Pentagon”.

Cheyenne Mt. Complex

The Cheyenne Mountain Complex is located just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is the former home of US Space Command, NORAD, and the USNORTHCOM. Which have all since been moved offsite to Peterson Air Force Base.

US Space Commands’ primary duties are to protect the interests of the United States in space, deter aggression in, from, and to space, and conduct space operations.

NORAD’s primary directive is to monitor the air space of Canada and the United States for missiles, space systems, and foreign aircraft. 

USNORTHCOM monitors air, land, and sea approaches within the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the surrounding 500 nautical miles of water surrounding it. This includes the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, portions of the Caribbean region to include The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and the Turks and 


While all of these departments have been moved off-site. The facility remains under the control of the US Air Force and is currently used for flight crew training and as a backup command center for Peterson Air Force Base if necessary. 

The main complex was started in the late 1950s and is built under 2,000 feet of granite and is 5 acres long. There are 15 3-story buildings inside the complex that are earthquake and explosion-resistant. The buildings sit on 1000’s of flexible springs designed to keep the buildings from not moving more than an inch in case of an earthquake or missile attack. This facility is also able to withstand an EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, and a 30 megaton nuclear explosion as close as 1.2 miles away. The complex is completely self-sustaining with its own power plant, climate control, and water supply. 

Greenbrier Resort

A deep underground facility was built under Greenbrier Resort under the name of “Project Greek Island.” The bunker was built as part of the United States government continuity program and is located under the Greenbrier Hotel and Resort in West Virginia. The facility was decommissioned in 1992 after the program was exposed by The Washington Post.

In the late 1950s, the United States government approached The Greenbrier Resort and sought its assistance in creating a secret emergency relocation center to house Congress in expectation of complications during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The classified, underground facility was built at the same time as the West Virginia Wing, an above-ground addition to the hotel that was constructed between 1959 thru 1962. For 30 years, The Greenbriers owners maintained an agreement with the federal government that, in the event of an international crisis, the entire resort property would be converted to government use, specifically as the emergency location for the legislative branch.

The two-foot thick walls of the bunker were made of reinforced concrete designed to withstand a nearby nuclear blast.

The center was maintained by government workers posing as hotel audiovisual employees, and operated under a dummy company named Forsythe Associates, based in Arlington, Virginia. The company’s on-site employees maintained that their purpose was to maintain the hotel’s 1100 televisions.

Although the bunker was kept stocked for 30 years, it was never actually used as an emergency location, even during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The bunker’s existence was not acknowledged until The Washington Post revealed it in a 1992 story; immediately after the Posts story, the government decommissioned the bunker.

The facility has since been renovated and is now used as a data storage facility for the private sector. The resort also runs the facility as an attraction in which visitors can tour the now declassified facilities, now known simply as “The Bunker”.

Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center

Mt. Weather is a government command facility located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It is used as the center of operations and headquarters for FEMA, or the  Federal Emergency Management Agency, and as a Continuity of Government site.  

In case of a national disaster, this is where the highest levels of civilian and military personnel will be evacuated.

Mt. Weather also hosts the FEMA National Radio System which is a high-frequency radio system that connects most federal public safety agencies and the U.S. military with most of the states. This is how the Emergency Alert System works. 

This facility has an underground bunker, “Area B”, that was completed in 1959. The above-ground facility, “Area A”, was established in 1979. The above-ground portion of the FEMA complex is at least 434 acres. Area B, the underground component is 600,000 sqft.

During the September 11th attacks, most of the congressional leadership was evacuated to Mount Weather. 

Partially Declassified Facilities

There are other lesser-known locations that are clearly DUMBs. This includes The White House, Camp David, Fort Meade, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

White House

A construction project in 2007 was believed to have built an enhanced bunker under the East Wing of the White House. While the exact specifications of this underground presidential bunker are classified, it was originally built to withstand a direct nuclear hit and contains the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC). Access to the PEOC is by an elevator located behind multiple vault-type doors with biometric access control systems. One exploring the White House tunnels further would find passages leading to the Treasury building, Executive Office building, Blair House, and The Capitol.

Camp David

Camp David is formally known as the Naval Support Facility Thurmont and serves as a Presidential retreat and country home. The property sits on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the surrounding Maryland countryside. The retreat has been occupied by fifteen Presidents starting with FDR and features a cabin, a small office, several fireplaces, a kitchen, a large outdoor flagstone patio, a heated swimming pool, a hot tub, and a small golf course with multiple tees.

Camp David is located in the Catoctin (Ka tock tin) Mountain Park in Frederick County Maryland and is only 6 miles from Raven Rock. The extent of the underground facilities at the site is unknown but there is at least a hardened bunker 140 feet underground containing a Command and Control Communications Center. The facility is also believed to be connected to Raven Rock by a six-and-a-half-mile-long underground tunnel.  

 Fort Meade

Fort Meade is a U.S. Army installation located near Laurel Maryland, midway between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore Maryland.  It is home to The United States Cyber Command and The National Security Agency. 

Fort Meade has a huge underground complex primarily used by The National Security Agency (NSA) which is known to have acres and acres of supercomputers stacked level upon level. 

 Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Los Alamos National Laboratory is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos ensures national security by safeguarding the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

Declassified in 2013 and located down a remote canyon near Los Alamos National Laboratory lies a facility known as the “Tunnel Vault,” once one of the most secret and secure locations in the United States, it’s the original post-WWII nuclear stockpile storage area.

Located at Technical Area 41, the Tunnel Vault was built between 1948 and 1949.  The facility has a formidable security perimeter, a hardened guard tower, and a series of gates and doors that lead to a 230-foot long concrete tunnel that goes straight into the canyon wall.

At the end of the tunnel is a large alcove room with a single bank vault door. Through that door is a vault built inside a vault with five storage areas, all protected with identical bank vault doors.

Over the years the Tunnel Vault was also used as a nuclear materials and nuclear fuel storage area, a weapons research and development laboratory, weapons components storage, and nuclear material assembly for tests both in the Pacific and in Nevada.

Rumored DUMBs - Fully Classified, Dark Budget Facilities

There are also a few rumored but not confirmed DUMBs. This includes the Denver Airport, Area 51, and Dulce. These bases run rampant with rumors and conspiracy.

Denver Airport

DIA is a project that went 2 billion dollars over budget. Leaving some to speculate where all that money went, especially conspiracy theorists, who speculate that the airport with its Masonic symbols, gargoyles, demonic horse, and post-apocalyptic murals is the work of a secret society or government in preparation for an apocalyptic event. Many believe that the building itself is a gathering place for governmental officials and the global elite in case of nuclear Armageddon, widespread biological warfare, or, well, any cataclysmic reckoning. This of course includes many underground facilities that are of course denied. Considering The Greenbrier Resort perhaps this isn’t far from the truth. 

Area 51

Area 51 is a highly classified United States Air Force (USAF) facility located within the Nevada desert. A remote detachment administered by Edwards Air Force Base, the facility is officially called Homey Airport (KXTA) or Groom Lake. Details of the facility’s operations are not made public, but the USAF says that it is an open training range, and it is commonly thought to support the development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. The USAF acquired the site in 1955, primarily for flight testing secret military aircraft.

The United States government has provided minimal information regarding Area 51. The area surrounding the lake is permanently off-limits to both civilian and normal military air traffic. Area 51 is a common destination for Janet, a small fleet of passenger aircraft operated on behalf of the Air Force to transport military personnel, primarily from McCarran International Airport.

The facility is highly secured and the secretive nature of the work there has led to many conspiracy theories. Theories include:

  • The storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecraft, including material supposedly recovered at Roswell, the study of their occupants, and the manufacture of aircraft based on alien technology

  • Meetings or joint undertakings with extraterrestrials

  • The development of exotic energy weapons for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or other weapons programs

  • The development of weather control

  • The development of time travel and teleportation technology

  • The development of exotic propulsion systems related to the Aurora Program

  • Activities related to a shadowy one-world government or the Majestic 12 organization

Given the relatively bare outer facilities, the base is clearly a DUMB. 

Bob Lazar, famous in the UFO community, claimed that in 1989 he had worked at Area 51 in a deep underground facility under Papoose Lake. He claims that while there he was contracted to work with and reverse engineer alien spacecraft that the government had in its possession.


When it comes to the strange goings-on at DUMBs Dulce takes the cake. Dulce is a super-secret facility believed to be under the Archuleta Mesa near the town of Dulce, New Mexico. The region is ripe with claims of UFO activity, strange lights, cattle mutilations, and cryptid sightings. In fact, according to conspiracy theorists, Dulce is home to jointly-operated human and alien underground facilities.

The base was possibly discovered by Paul Bennewitz in 1979. Bennewitz convinced he was intercepting electronic communications originating from an alien spacecraft, tracked the signals to Dulce, New Mexico. Bennewitz believed that the signals were secret communications between alien spacecraft and a secret alien facility that he dubbed Dulce Base. By 1982, Bennewitz began to spread his ideas regarding Dulce Base to others in the UFOlogy community.

According to conspiracy theorists, the Dulce subterranean base is a seven-story compound that houses human-animal hybrids, human-alien hybrids, and extremely advanced technologies. They say it has even been the site of an alien-human war.

The colorful claims of the paranormal and Dulce abound and are supported by many in the UFO community including Philip Schneider, a former explosive engineer employed by the U.S. government. Schneider, who had a high-level security clearance, claimed to have helped the US Government build 13 DUMBs including Dulce in 1979. There, he says, he was involved in a battle with subterranean aliens that left 60+ humans dead and him fighting for his life after being shot by an alien creature.  Whether Schneider was a whistleblower or con man is up to debate but his claims regarding DUMBs and aliens are well regarded within the UFO community. His claims include:

  • There 129 secret military bases/bunkers operating under a black budget, unsupervised by congress, since the 1940s.

  • He has attended secret UN meetings about aliens and secret bunkers.

  • He has interviewed aliens. Tall Greys are in control.  

  • Aliens are part of the new world order.

  • There was a treaty signed with aliens in 1954 called the Grenada Treaty in which the US Government entered an agreement of mutual cooperation with the aliens.

  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a facility that is used for the purpose of creating special alloys or metals that can only be created in a vacuum.

  • Stealth technology was developed by back-engineering alien technology. 

  • The US government has an earthquake device.

  • He also believed that The World Trade Center and Oklahoma bombings were caused by small nuclear devices.

Schneider was found dead on January 17, 1996, with a urinary catheter tied around his neck. His death, reported as a suicide, is believed by many to be a coverup. Many of his lifelong friends stated that Schneider had told them that if he ever died by suicide that he was murdered. This was fueled but his claim that 11 other people he knew and worked with on black budget projects were all dead by what he called “murder by suicide”. 

While all of Schneiders claims are considered by anyone outside of the alien community as outrageous and unprovable. It is clear by his verifiable work history that Schneider worked for many of the organizations believed to be behind such facilities. 


One thing is clear, when a government wants to operate in secret there is no better option than to work underground where the old adage out of sight, out of mind certainly rings true. While we have proven that DUMBs absolutely exist and do serve purposes in maintaining secrecy, security, communication, command, and control. You are going to have to decide for yourself if these facilities serve a paranormal side and agenda as well. One thing is certain, if there are alien bases here, underground is exactly where they need to stay. 

Eric Carrier

Eric Carrier

Co Host Of The Prairieland Paranormal Podcast
Recently Added To Our Directory Of Paranormal Podcasts

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