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Archaeologist Maps Former Soviet Bases in Poland

Monday, October 15, 2018

SZCZECIN, POLAND—Archaeologist Grzegorz Kiarszys of the University of Szczecin investigated the sites of three former Soviet nuclear bases in Poland, according to Science in Poland. The concrete-built weapons depots, established in 1969 and in use into the 1990s, were monumentally sized and dug deep into the ground. Kiarszys found that the bases were not well camouflaged, even though rumors through the years suggested they were perfectly hidden from American spy satellites and protected with anti-aircraft guns. “The main elements of the base, including buildings, access roads, helipads, are perfectly visible on satellite images,” he said, “although for a long time the CIA was not sure whether nuclear weapons were actually stored in the photographed facilities.” Kiarszys also created new maps of the sites with aerial laser scanning, which found no evidence of anti-aircraft guns, but did reveal ditches dug around all three of the bases, well-hidden shelters for the cars that were used to transport the warheads, and traces of the patrol paths used by Soviet guards. “It is clear that soldiers tried to avoid effort and avoided hills and elevations,” Kiarszys said. For more on archaeology of the nuclear age, go to “The Secrets of Sabotage.”

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