Survival Mode

If the Soviets would attack America first, John Hay firmly believed that there would be very little that the United States government would be able to do, to protect its citizens. But Hay was one who did not fear taking safety steps by himself. Hay being an ex-marine, the businessman-survivalist found a company, Celestial Seasonings, picking herbs from the Rocky Mountains. He was hands-on that way, so of course, he could go the extra mile to ensure safety.

Among The Woods

John Hay, Cave

If the Soviets actually did decide to attack, the best place to go would be miles away from America’s major cities. Why not try the woods? John Hay had this exact idea. He knew he would be way safer way up in the mountains. He needed to do some research though. That was when he decided that the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas came to his mind. He purchased 240 acres of land, nearly 150 miles northwest of Arkansas at $140,000. So what now?

A Master Plan

John Hay, Cave

So would Hay be living alone in the middle of nowhere, deep in the woods waiting for the nuclear war to end?. Well, the potential apocalypse had driven him to be a lot more innovative, much more than one would ever expect. He decided that constructing a bomb shelter would be wise. But wait, this would not be your run of the mill bomb shelter…

Like A Batcave

John Hay, cave

John Hay made it his mission to construct something worthwhile in the giant Arkansas cave. He took in 20 laborers to get rid of 250 million years worth of silt formed in the cave. He apparently worked “one wheelbarrow at a time.” There were so many concrete blocks and concrete walls, costing Hay over $2 million to bring his vision to life.

The Man Cave

john hay

John Hay’s plan ended up becoming a 5,500-square-foot, blast-proof shelter which was majorly self-sustainable. The cave had everything you would expect a multimillionaire would have in his doomsday man cave. The bunker later called Beckham Creek Cave, even included an internal freshwater spring and hydroelectric power supply. But very soon, Hay realized that he would not necessarily need this after all since the political climate was changing.

Unexpected Change

So when in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev got elected to lead the Soviet Union, Hay had reasons to question the need for his cave. In Gorbachev, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and European powers now found a leader who was willing to have friendly negotiations with to fix the relation between the world’s two superpowers. So then, what would Hay do with what he had built over the past few months?