Looking into the context of history can be instructive to realize the importance of locations and legends from the past. Only to learn what the future may hold. Sometimes these artifacts of history come in the form of myths routed in reality and steeped in mystery with no definitive point of origin. Often these stories live on long after they have been marginalized as is the case with the Report from Iron Mountain. An urban legend crops up in the public consciousness that persists only because of it’s relevance and accuracy. A publication as controversial as the Report from Iron Mountain, an admitted satire by it’s author Leonard Lewin, could evoke such mystery. A statement of the research put out by cold war think tanks? A prototype Agenda21 white paper?
The cloak-and-daggar tone of this convocation was further enhanced by the meeting place itself. Iron Mountain, located near the town of Hudson, is like something out of Ian Fleming or E.Phillips Oppenheim. It is an underground nuclear hideout for hundreds of large American corporations. Most of them use it as an emergency storage vault for important documents. But a number of them maintain substitute corporate headquarters as well, where essential personnel could presumably survive and continue to work after an attack. This latter group includes such firms as Standard Oil of New Jersey, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, and Shell.
Report from Iron Mountain
Originally setting out to profile the document itself only to find the real story behind the legend. There has been so much written about this document it could easily fill ten books. This publication’s origin may be in doubt. It’s namesake certainly isn’t.
Iron Mountain. What is not in doubt is secretive nature of the original locations that bear it’s name. Few articles detail their significance and never painting a full picture. Today the company is the one of the largest physical item and data storage corporations in the world. Now with hundreds of locations. Underground and above ground. The largest and most well known being in Boyers, P.A. tunneled 220 feet underground. Where Sony and Orbis corporations store music records and film. Among many other data storage clients. Another well known underground bunker is in Greenfield, Rhode Island. It can withstand a direct hit by a 5-megaton nuclear bomb. These were acquired by Iron Mountain years after the Report from Iron Mountain.
Supplying the storage needs for 90% of the Fortune 1000 corporations in physical records and data storage. As well as records disposal in both paper and electronic data form. Performing a valuable and needed service for business and government. In no way is this article implying any nefarious purpose to any of these locations. Only to inform the reader of this fascinating history in relation to the Report from Iron Mountain and it’s context to today. It is no secret that Iron Mountain stores almost anything for the largest clients.
Including their top people in time of nuclear war or natural disaster. This is an attempt to geolocate the only two facilities in operation by Iron Mountain around the time the document was produced. In doing so this reveals a story that is perhaps more interesting and mysterious than the Report from Iron Mountain itself.
The two original Iron Mountain facilities in operation around the time the Report from Iron Mountain was produced are obscured in legend and by time. This possible origin of the document is lost to history. Even if the document is real or not. More fascinating and verifiable than the Report from Iron Mountain is the geolocation of the place that spawned a legend. Iron Mountain.
In news articles about these facilities when asked locals would often say “Iron Mountain? Never heard of it.” A response a reporter from the Hartford Courant got from locals in 1999. Most are unaware they even exist. Both are on quiet country roads in upstate N.Y. and made to look like nothing out of the ordinary.
The first one is just outside of Germantown N.Y. on the east side of the Hudson River and the second one is at Rosendale N.Y. 30 miles south on the west side of the Hudson River. Hunkered under the Catskill Mountains of New York State half way between New York City and Albany. Next to the Hudson River they are accessible by car, boat or helicopter from New York City. Both deep underground bases are for the elite and their records as well as valuable property. Well away from any nuclear blast zone or resulting radiation. The I.M.A.R ( Iron Mountain at Rosendale) facility has a multi acre heliport on it’s roof that is disguised as a regular field. Where some of the eastern establishment would hide in the event of nuclear war or disaster of any kind.
ORIGINAL IRON MOUNTAIN 42° 9’50.70″N 73°49’48.12″W
424 County Road 10
Germantown N.Y. 12526
This was the original Iron Mountain. An old iron mine purchased in 1936 by Herman Knaust a German-American entrepreneur. Originally using the old mine to grow mushrooms and store records. Helping relocate Jewish immigrants who had lost their identities after WW2. Knaust officially founded Iron Mountain in 1951 as Iron Mountain Atomic Storage, Inc to store valuables and records for Manhattan Banks and elite clients. Knaust eventually sold the company and it became the huge corporation of today. This bunker contains fallout shelters, built by Iron Mountain for executives from Exxon, Shell, and other large corporations. Just one of the facilities having a sixty-five room hotel, each with a private bath, and a large dining room with chandelier and a commercial kitchen. Your average size Holliday Inn is around 70 rooms and that’s a pretty big building. Imagine several of them underground. That’s just the bunker section. A piece in the New Yorker magazine called The Many Lives of Iron Mountain in 2013 quotes Bill Mesick who manages the two underground facilities.
In the sixties and early seventies, Mesick said, people sometimes slept in the mine: it contained fallout shelters, built and maintained by Iron Mountain for executives from Exxon, Shell, and other big companies. One especially elaborate shelter, he said, had sixty-five hotel rooms, each with a private bath, and a large cafeteria with a commercial kitchen; in the mid-century-modern bedrooms, curtains obscured the concrete. According to Mesick, in the event of nuclear war, some executives, along with their families, would have been evacuated by helicopter from New York City. “They’d hired local folks to tend to them, to cook for them, to clean for them,” Mesick told me. “Their idea was to wait out the storm while the debris and radioactivity were going on overhead—then they were going to come out and sell oil to everyone who was left.” Every now and then, Mesick recalled, the executives would run a “live exercise”—essentially, they’d come and hang out for the weekend
The original 95 acre Iron Mountain is seven levels deep and has 220 sections between 200 and 40,000 square feet in size. Exxon Mobil leased a 3 level 200,000 square foot bunker for 16 years here. Having live exercises every couple of months for decades under this sleepy upstate village. All in relative secrecy. The last corporate client supposedly left in 1999 . Leaving behind what manager Bill Mesick would only say was a “large utility”. Why would the elite be consistently having these live exercises 10 years after the cold war supposedly ended? Do they know something we don’t?
Sounds like a great place to come up with dystopian plans for the future of mankind on a weekend retreat. Mabey this was part of Leonard Lewin‘s satire to use such a place as the setting for his book. Possibly leading readers to this location and it’s part in history. If the Report from Iron Mountain was real it would be hard to imagine a better place to produce it.
It is stories such as these that have led to the legend of secret underground bases where the elite would hide in case of Armageddon. Spawning characters such as Dr. Stangelove believing in the survivability of nuclear war. Rand Corporation analyst Herman Kahn of the Hudson Institute, down the Hudson River, was one of the people the character was based on. The famous Rockefeller Estate Kykuit is just 50 miles away in Sleepy Hollow, NY down the Hudson River. A short helicopter ride. They were the major executives of Exxon. Would they have gone to Iron Mountain if things got bad enough? This should give some indication of the serious nature of the elite’s obsession with protecting themselves and their valuables. Planning for the worst case scenario is just another form of insurance to the rich. If the poorer classes prepare as best they can for such events they are labeled as crazy. The Hudson Valley is full with the estates of the rich and famous. Some of them would head to these facilities in times of crisis. Also note you will not find the Original Germantown facility listed on Google Earth or Google maps. Use a Bing search an it comes right up. Even the YellowPages has it but not Google.
The original facility is supposedly only used for storage now. Do you really think the bunker section is now closed at the original location? A defunct cold war relic as portrayed by the Iron Mountain corporation. A place where Thirstan Howle the 3rd would have rode out the apocalypse in the 60s or 70s but no more. Think again. Whether the original bunkers are closed or not.
Most of the action has moved 30 miles south across the Hudson River to the I.M.A.R (Iron Mountain at Rosendale). A state of the art deep underground base the size of a small city. The I.M.A.R ( Iron Mountain at Rosendale) bunker facilities are still very operational.
IRON MOUNTAIN IMAR 41°51’3.02″N 74° 5’17.76″W
694 Binnewater Road
Kingston N.Y. 12401
The I.M.A.R. Deep Underground Base has been operational since the early 60s. This as well could have been the fabled origin of Report from Iron Mountain. Iron Mountain at Rosendale is a state of the art underground base measuring one mile from north and south entrance and over a half mile wide. How many levels deep the facility goes is not clear. Originally a natural limestone cement mine. It has been turned into something the size of a small city underground . Most locals are unaware of the importance of this location. On the more official side of things. White non descript vans with blacked out windows bearing the classic blue pyramid logo of Iron Mountain come and go. Carrying almost any imaginable physical record or item in need of storage or disposal. When asked most think it is an abandoned cement mine adjacent to a nature preserve.
The retaining walls of the old cement kiln serve as the basis for structures burrowed into the mountain. Slightly newer walls made of the same limestone are visible at the south entrance a mile away. South entrance is a multi door entry. The bunker is complete with roads an 18 wheeler can drive through and actual street signs so deliveries don’t get lost. A huge grass heliport sits atop the compound, nicely manicured to look like a regular field. With a road from the top of the bunker to the south entrance. Awaiting it’s human cargo by helicopter in case of disaster. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Power lines obviously feed into the complex and there is an access road from the helicopter pad to the south entrance. A high fence surrounds the place. Unmarked Security patrols the base in white non descript cars. Posted signs and cameras are at every turn. A dozen fresh water semi trucks periodically deliver at the south entrance. Google Earth aerial view does not show the trucks but street view does. Meaning the trucks come and go and are not just parked there for storage. All indications that more than data and old musty records are being stored down there.
An article in 2016 by Business Insider featured photos of the inside of the Iron Mountain at the Rosendale I.M.A.R. location from the 2013 New Yorker piece. Needless to say it is a large facility. The client list and associated infrastructure are closely guarded and security is tight. Exactly what they have down there is a secret. This was the only time the I.M.A.R. facility has ever been photographed from the inside. Judging by some of the pictures it confirms there are large accommodations for the elite in case of disaster. Underground hotels in this location as well. Once again several of your average sized Holliday Inns bunkered underground. Who knows how many or what resources are down there? Stored along side the more mundane objects that are the official story. One wonders if the first Iron Mountain bunkers were abandoned at all? No one knows what to believe because it is all secret.
Because there is no local advertising, not many Germantown residents know that the facility exists. Asked by a visitor where Iron Mountain was, a local gas station attendant said, “Iron Mountain? Never heard of it.”
“We like it that way — it’s part of the security,” Mesick said
Hiding in plain site as a dual use facility is the best way to hide large projects. As is the case with most Deep Underground Bases. Perhaps this why Leonard Lewin used one of these two locations as the backdrop for the Report from Iron Mountain. Leading the reader to this enigmatic place.