Little is known about the presidential bunker under the White House

Mysteries

MYSTERY WIRE — This past week has raised many questions, one of them, what exactly is the president’s secret bunker? President Donald Trump spent time there recently, according to the White House, as protests over the killing of George Floyd happened beyond the gates of the property.

The actual bunker the U.S. Secret Service took the president to is a mystery. While there are many stories about secret tunnels and rooms under the White House, many believe that only a few of them are made public.

White house construction in 2010 – before and after. (Image: whitehouse.gov)

According to the White House website, there are tunnels, offices, and the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House. There are even many pictures from various presidencies showing the president and staff using the PEOC during emergencies such as 9/11.

The PEOC is different from the often talked about Situation Room. The Situation Room is located in the basement of the West Wing where the president on staff work. It can be seen in illustrations of the White House layout on the official White House website.

The Situation Room is located in the basement of the West Wing of the White House. (Image: whitehousemuseum.org)

The PEOC almost had more company at one point in history. Along with the presidential bunker, the PEOC, there might also be a facility that was once called the Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC). Some claim this was built, but there is no evidence to back it up.

There is no mention of the DOCC on the White House site, but you can find information on-line. According to the most recent entry on Wikipedia, the DOCC was a United States military installation that was proposed on January 31, 1962, to be “a very deep underground center close to the Pentagon, perhaps 3,000-4,000 feet down, protected to withstand direct hits by high-yield weapons and endure about 30 days in a post-attack period.” The DUCC would have been built as “an austere 50-man … or an expanded 300-man version (with the former built to permit expansion into the latter, if desired)”. It was designed to withstand multiple direct hits of 200 to 300 Megaton weapons bursting at the surface or 100 MT weapons penetrating to depths of 70–100 feet. Based on Strategic Air Command’s Deep Underground Support Center (DUSC) planned near the Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker, the DUCC plan was recommended to President John F. Kennedy for fiscal year 1965 funding shortly before his assassination, but the underground DUCC, SAC’s DUSC, and NORAD’s Super Combat Centers were never built.

The PEOC is not a new addition to the White House. It was built to protect Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II and was built to stand up to a direct nuclear hit. The White House detailed that the PEOC can be accessed by an elevator “located behind multiple vault-type doors with bio metric access control systems.”

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