Beneath new home of Texans training camp lies government secret

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Beneath new home of Texans training camp lies government secret (KTRK)

About 250 miles from Washington, D.C., or 1,200 miles from Houston, you will find one of the most elite resorts in the country -- and the home of this year's Texans training camp.

Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, the Greenbrier resort opened in 1778, just two years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Frequented by U.S. presidents, A-list celebrities and other VIP's, the resort boasts top-notch sports facilities and luxury accommodations.

Yet, beneath the grounds of the Greenbrier lies what was once a big government secret. Behind three-foot thick, concrete doors, buried 720-feet into the hillside, you'll find a cold war nuclear fallout shelter.

"It was picked for this purpose of our wonderful mountains and the area surrounding us," said Deanna Hylton, manager of the Greenbrier tours. "We are in an area that is basically rural, so there's not a lot that would happen here."

During the late 1950s as the world tensed with fear over the Cold War, President Dwight Eisenhower decided Congress needed a safe place to go in the event of a nuclear attack. The bunker at the Greenbrier is outfitted with radiation filters, metal beds and a state-of-the-art decontamination unit. The facility even includes a media room for press briefings in the event of a serious threat -- otherwise, the bunker was meant to be held a secret.

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"Exposing the facility would have it open for anyone to bomb," said Hylton. "So, a good way to keep it a a secret was to hide it in the open."

One hundred Greenbrier employees signed an oath of secrecy and the dozen or so government employees who kept the bunker operational found ways to blend into the scenery.
"They were the Greenbrier's television and telephone repair personnel, so if a guest encountered them and wondered what was their job, they had a cover story," Hylton said.

As for the bunker itself, guests were told the wing of the facility was under construction.

"Those guests stayed away, never one suspecting that the construction was actually going on underneath them," she said.

The bunker was finally exposed in a Washington Post article in 1992. The bunker shut down quickly after that, having never been used.

Today, the bunker stores a different set of secrets -- those of several Fortune 500 companies.

"So when anyone talks about the cloud or says they want to see the cloud, we actually have a cloud in the bunker," said Hylton.

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