California couple Chris and Colleen Otcasek purchased a home in Woodland Hills. They knew that there was a hole in their backyard, but they were in for a surprise when they discovered that it was a well-stocked 1960s fallout shelter!
The Otcaseks climbed down 15 feet of rusty stairs to see a fully-preserved, liveable and sustainable space! It was a time capsule of an era when a possible nuclear strike from USSR was considered a possibility.
So the couple called up a few media outfits to help them discover the story behind the shelter and take back a step in time.
Alvin Kaufman, a nuclear engineer, built the subterranean bunker in 1961 to protect his family in the event of a nuclear war.
“In that era, in the 60s, there was a much greater fear and feeling that a nuclear war was possible,” Debra Kaufman, his daughter, shared to CBS Los Angeles.
The underground space was equipped with a water tank, hand-cranked air filter, sleeping areas for the family, and enough food to last for several weeks.
The pantry was stocked with cans of Multi-Purpose Food (granulated protein mix), coffee tins, and cookies, among others.
To make it a home away from home, Kaufman also included all sorts of things one could find in a house, such as Reynolds Wrap foil, Saran plastic wraps, Baggies plastic bags, Kleenex tissues, Dixie cups, and argyle clothes.
Kaufman stocked up on medical supplies too, like ointment, foot powder, cotton, gauze, and medicines in case of emergency.
To keep his family entertained while waiting for radiation to clear out, Kaufman brought board games and science fiction magazines. In short, he took everything but the kitchen sink!
Kaufman originally proposed to build one large nuclear shelter for the entire block, but his neighbors declined the offer. According to his daughter, he died in 2004.
The Otcaseks do not intend to cover up the underground space.
“I’ll leave it for the next people,” Otcasek said. “It should last forever.”
Take a trip down the memory lane and watch the video here: