Over three decades ago, a man decided to purchase 42 school buses. For some strange reason, they are now buried underneath a snowy terrain in Ontario, Canada. Since then, that same man, who is now well into his 80s, has transformed those buses into something truly unique.
Why Did He Need All Those Buses?
For better or for worse, Bruce Beach is well renowned in this quiet part of the world. The 84-year-old has been a thorn in the side of the local authorities for years ever since he bought 42 school buses. But why did need so many?
Why Did He Move To Canada?
Originally from Winfield, Kansas, Bruce Beach decided to pack up his bags and move with his wife Jean to her hometown of Horning’s Mills. This quaint little village is located in a quiet, rural area of Ontario. Bruce firmly believed that he had moved with his family to the safest place on the planet. However, this was simply scratching the surface of the plans he had in store. Soon enough, it became very clear why he relocated to this part of the world…
I Need 42 School Buses
During the 80s, Bruce Beach became something of a collector. In 1980, he bought his very own school bus, a model which was at that point very old and no longer in use. However, he wanted many more, and in the space of just five years, he collected another 41 buses. At just $300 per bus, it was an investment that Bruce believed was integral to his plans. This begged a couple of questions: where was he going to keep so many buses? And what was he going to do with them?
He Buried The Buses
Bruce wanted to collect so many school buses because he loved the material they were made out of. With strong, sturdy, steel roofs, Bruce believed that this material could withstand the elements and act as a useful form of protection. With time, Bruce broke down the buses systematically and connected them together. Then, Bruce took the connected buses, dug a huge hole in the ground and buried the buses 14 feet underground. But what was his reason for such an audacious act?
Burying the buses 14 feet underground was just scratching the surface (literally) of Bruce’s master plan. After placing the vehicles in this huge pit, he enhanced the sturdiness of the structure by encasing it with solid concrete. After covering the top of the structure, Bruce had an underground vessel that he could get into as he pleased, without anyone knowing about it. After that, he took down the ends of each bus, creating something of an underground maze. But there was so much more to it…
Upon completion, the structure that Bruce had created was a staggering 10,000 square feet, making it one of the largest structures ever to be buried underground in the whole of North America. With an ability to host up to 500 people, this was an underground bunker like no other. Make no mistake about it though; Bruce made the bunker out of 42 buses for a reason. He wanted to make it inclusive to as many people as possible. However, this still doesn’t explain the real purpose behind this mysterious structure that he dubbed “Ark Two”…
Every Person Counts
When you construct an underground bunker that can only host up to 500 people, you need to make sure that every single person counts. Bruce knew this all too well and had to think very hard about who he would allow into this bunker when push came to shove. For a start, he was fully aware that every individual who entered Ark Two would have to be 100% fit and well. As far as he was concerned, he wanted to make sure that the place was absolutely sterile at all times.
Bruce’s desire to keep the collection of buses sterile meant that nobody who had a contagious disease could enter it. Bruce was extra precautious and constructed a decontamination chamber that every single entrant would need to pass through. That’s not all though. The bunker is one of the safest structures he has ever stepped foot in. He even hired a licensed structural engineer when he was putting the bunker together. However, he would have had to persuade the engineer with his vision…
For anyone who is skeptical about using Bruce’s mysterious bunker, the following fact might put your mind at ease. The engineer of the bizarre structure was also responsible for Toronto’s subway system. In order to be fully self-sufficient, Bruce made sure that diesel generators were installed. That’s not all though. The bunker also has a fully-functioning plumbing system, just like any legitimate modern premises. Nevertheless, Bruce needed to make sure that he had all the bare essentials to survive.
After decades of meticulous planning, Bruce made sure that the bunker had everything it needed for its inhabitants. He listed every single essential that a human being would need to survive in such conditions. First of all, he needed to make sure that the bunker made out of buses had plenty of fresh water. Because it might be impossible to resort to water from outside the bunker in the future, Bruce engineered his very own water well. That’s not all though.
Dinner Is Served
In order to cope with so many potential dwellers, Bruce needed to ensure that there was a fully operational kitchen that was big enough to store as much food as necessary and ready for use. Not only does the underground kitchen have an oven and a soup tureen, but Bruce even has a cook signed up when the time comes to board the bunker. At times though, storing food has been problematic, with Bruce having had to throw out a lot of unused food.
Men & Woman Sleep Separate
A huge chunk of Ark Two consists of sleeping areas, which are full of bunk beds. When it comes to this area of bunker life though, Bruce has a strict policy when it comes to who sleeps where. Specifically, he would make sure that men and women slept separately. The reason for this radical decision is to indiscriminately ensure that all of the bunks are used. This opens up a whole box of questions about what Bruce’s purpose was behind this mysterious bunker…
While Ark Two would provide all of the bare essentials for its inhabitants, Bruce also places a strong emphasis on the wellbeing of the children who would dwell in the bunker. Above everything, Bruce wants to ensure that kids’ education is maintained even during their time underground. As a result, he has specifically designated areas that act as play areas, nurseries, and classrooms. However, there are so many other fascinating features that make this a completely legitimate living experience…
He Thought Everything Through
There are many other features that enhance life in Ark Two. Bruce has thought out virtually every aspect of life, ensuring that every demand will be met. For example, there will be an in-house dentist with his very own dentist chair. There will even be a mortuary, as well as a makeshift prison if anyone breaks the rules of Ark Two. That’s not all though, Bruce also has surveillance cameras to make sure that living in Ark Two is a safe experience.
Keeping In Touch With The Outside World
While Bruce has been preparing for decades for how to protect himself from the outside world, he recognizes the importance of still being able to contact it from his safe place. If he is taking care of hundreds of people inside the bunker, he needs to make sure that he knows what’s going on outside, too. To achieve this, Bruce set up a radio communications office, with FM and AM frequencies that will allow him to contact people in Canada and the US.
He’s A Prepper
In order to understand Bruce’s motives, it’s important to realize the group of people that he belongs to – the “preppers.” For one reason or another, these people believe that the world is either coming to an end or is on the verge of some sort of huge catastrophe. Whether it is on religious grounds or purely for superstitious reasons, these people feel that it is necessary to take drastic measures, such as building an underground bunker. Bruce is one of those people.
You Shall Not Pass!
One thing is for sure; Bruce won’t just let anyone enter the bunker. While many keen visitors and journalists have asked to come to Ark Two just to have a look around, Bruce has always been adamant that they’d need to pay. They have to either pay a fee upon entry, or the potential entrants will do something that will benefit the bunker, either by cleaning it or contributing something that it requires. However, a number of entrants haven’t liked what they have seen…
One entity that has serious issues with Ark Two is Ontario’s local government. As far as they’re concerned, Bruce’s bunker is a dangerous structure that needs to be destroyed. While Bruce did hire licensed engineers and builders to put the bunker together, he didn’t get any permits from the government. As a result, Bruce has been sued over 30 times and the government has spent hundreds of thousands of bucks trying to shut down the operation. In fact, one group of people have taken matters into their own hands…
Fire Brigade Shut It Down?
The local fire department, who are located fairly close to Ark Two, decided to approach the situation in a much more hands-on kind of way. On a number of occasions, they have arrived in their fire engines and have sealed off the place. While the fire brigade is hellbent on making sure that Ark Two is never used, Bruce feels like he is being stopped from helping hundreds of people. However, there is at least one person who has always supported Bruce’s vision…
Love And Support
One person who has always backed Bruce’s decisions, no matter how radical they may be, is his wife, Jean. Despite being over 90 years of age, Jean is still a key figure in everything that Bruce does and continues to work with him until this very day. It might be years since the Cold War came to an end, but the happily married couple still firmly believe that a nuclear war could still happen. They wanted to be thoroughly prepared.
SAFE – Safe America For Everyone
Another name that Bruce uses for Ark Two is SAFE, an acronym for the phrase “Safe America For Everyone.” As far as this visionary is concerned, the bunker acts as a shelter for any healthy individual who subscribes to its legitimacy. Religion, race, and politics do not come into play. Bruce potentially has a huge responsibility, caring for hundreds of people in this underground maze. What exactly was it though that made him think this way all those years ago?
When Bruce was working as a radio control tower operator for the US Air Force, he developed a deep fear for the potential threat of nuclear war. As far he is concerned, it’s not a case of ‘”if” nuclear war will happen, it’s a matter of “when.” Not only that, but Bruce also believes that a number of events will fall into place to trigger such a catastrophe, one of them being that Pakistan will end up nuking its neighboring country, India.
Have Years Of Hard Work Paid Off?
Despite such radical predictions about what the future might bring, Bruce firmly believes that Ark Two will be a necessary shelter that will usher hundreds of people into a new era of peace. There is no doubt that Bruce has a lot of supporters, as well as many people who oppose his beliefs. Make no mistake about it though; it’s difficult not to take your hat off to this man. He has worked tirelessly for so many years to ensure the safety of future generations.