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The Pyramid of North Dakota

  • The massive concrete pyramid that sits in the small town of Nekoma was built together with the entire Stanley R. Mickelson Safeguard Complex (SRMSC) in the 70s.
  • It housed military men and radar systems designed to protect the Grand Forks Air Force Base missile field from possible nuclear attack.
  • SRMSC controlled 30 anti-ballistic missiles ready to be launched as a counterattack.

Over 1,000 workers went to Nekoma in Cavalier County in April 1970 to build the six billion dollar Stanley R. Mickelson Safeguard Complex (SRMSC).

The main structure in the facility was, and still is, a huge 3-foot-thick, concrete pyramid that made the area look like you’re in the Twilight Zone.

This pyramid, which stands behind the Grand Forks Air Force Base missile field, actually holds two different types of radar systems and data processing equipment.
Photo: US Library of Congress
It was built so that the US military can scan the skies for Russian intercontinental missiles during that era.
The Pyramid of North Dakota 11The Pyramid of North Dakota 12
Photo: US Library of Congress
The large complex also controlled 30 anti-ballistic missiles, which meant that they carried armed warheads.
The Pyramid of North Dakota 13The Pyramid of North Dakota 14
Photo : US Library of Congress
Such missiles were designed for defense, intended to be launched to intercept or shoot down incoming enemy missiles and protect the Grand Forks Air Force Base missile field.
The Pyramid of North Dakota 15The Pyramid of North Dakota 16
Photo: US Library of Congress

The facility began to fully operate on October 1, 1975. However, the Congress voted to cease its operations the very next day after it was deemed ‘ineffective.’ SRMSC shut down in February 1976.

They evacuated the equipment and the all the missiles. They also removed several small buildings in SRMSC, leaving the pyramid and its supporting towers behind. Since then, it only serves as a reminder of the Cold War.

In 2012, the complex including the land was bought for $530,000. For years it sat there idly up until a couple of years ago when it was opened for public tours. Unfortunately, it was immediately discontinued due to safety concerns.

Fast forward to the present, there is now a chance for the curious blokes to visit the site. A company called Be More Colorful has been creating virtual tours of the complex to allow people to safely see the facility inside and out.

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