This roll of Portra 400 was shot in the area around Wall SD. We visited the Minuteman Missile silo national monument and the Badlands national park.
The minuteman silo represents a time in our history that has faded from most American minds. Mutually assured destruction (MAD) was a suicide pact with the Soviet Union that defined the cold war. Technically it worked, but as I more learn about that time, what really saved us was the judgement of soldiers on the front line who decided not to fall victim to paranoia and fear.
The minuteman system is still in use. While the number of missiles/warheads has been greatly reduced, active silos are still scattered throughout the upper west.
The minuteman infrastructure is divided into a staffed command and control center which is connected to unmanned silo sites. This is one of the silo sites which was preserved for park. In general a site consists of a flat rectangular pad, surrounded with a chain link fence, and sprinkled with vents and hatches.
This is the back side of the hatch covering the actual silo. In the event of a launch the hatch would be propelled toward the camera clearing the silo.
All sorts of weather related sensors.
A different angle on the site showing the silo hatch behind the two stacks.
In the event the command and control center was disabled, the silo could be activated remotely from aircraft. This is the antenna for this.
The area surrounding the silo is empty and desolate.
The silo park is located on the edge of Badlands National Park. Driving along the twisting road through the park provided a needed contrast to the technological nightmare of the silos.
View along the road from near clift shelf