We just finished watching the classic 1983 adventure War Games, in which a high school teenager accidentally breaches our national defense system while searching for games to play online.

Yes, it was 1983, and, no, the term "online" was never uttered; it didn't exist in this context 40 years ago. Most of the action in the film takes place inside NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), inside a Colorado mountain. In reality, it's part of Peterson Space Force Base near Colorado Springs. And it may have been in the movie, too, although the name of the base never came up.

The Second Most Heavily-Guarded Location on Earth Is in Kentucky

But as I was watching--for the umpteenth time--I imagined how secure and hidden from the world it must be. And then, today, I ran across a list of the most heavily-guarded locations in the world, and there it was...the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in El Paso County CO. Many other familiar sites are also on that list, and one of them is just 88 miles from where I am now.

So there's more than just gold in the second most heavily-guarded spot in the world; the most important documents in American history are also housed there, as well they should be.

The Myths About Fort Knox

Through the years, because of all the necessary secrecy, there have been rumors and folklore suggesting a number of wild untruths. One of them is the belief that Fort Knox is actually EMPTY. Start at the 1:15 mark for the debunking of THAT myth, and then keep going for more.

You know, despite the top security, Fort Knox IS a popular tourist destination with the main attraction being the General George Patton Museum. There's also a visitors center, but, for obvious reasons, the Kentucky Bullion Depository is off limits. That kind of clearance doesn't exist for civilians.

As for what TOPS the list of the most heavily-guarded locations on Earth, that would be the Vatican Secret Archives in Vatican City. Other places on the list that are inside the U.S. include the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City, the Mormon Church's secret vaults in Little Cottonwood Canyon UT, ADX Florence Prison in Florence CO, Air Force One, and Area 51 in Lincoln County NV.

Famous declassified government secrets

Stacker looks at the top 30 declassified government secrets, from Operation Paperclip to previously unknown Cold War facts. There’s no conspiracy in these slides—these government secrets are all true to history.

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