We’ve all heard of Area 51, the U.S. Air Force facility in Nevada commonly the subject of conspiracy theories alleging it houses signs of extraterrestrial
While that’s the most well-known secret place on Earth, there are other places you’ll likely never see. Some of them are reserved for only the very rich, while others are military facilities or operations like prisons. Here’s a list of the top 10 most secret places on earth.
10. Lascaux Caves, France
Four teenagers discovered the cave and its prehistoric paintings in southwestern France in 1940. The paintings of oxen, horses, arrows and traps may date back to 15,000 BC or earlier. While originally open to the public, France closed it to the public in 1963 because of damage tourists were doing to the site. There is a replica built nearby, but only archeological experts get to see the real thing.
9. Room 39, North Korea
Room 39 in Pyongyang is thought to be a top secret North Korean operation. Defectors allege it was built by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in the 1970s. Critics of North Korea including the United States accuse it of housing narcotics, arms sales, counterfeiting and other shady activities.
8. White’s Gentlemen’s Club, London
White’s Gentleman’s Club is London’s most exclusive gentleman’s club in London. Women, except Queen Elizabeth II, aren’t invited. Men wanting to join must have 35 signatures by members and the waiting list is quite long. Both Prince Charles and Prince William are reportedly members. British Prime Minister David Cameron quit the club over its male-only policy conflicting with politics, even though his late father Ian Cameron was once chairman.
7. ADX Florence Prison, Florence, California
The ADX Florence Prison opened in 1994 and is the nation’s only federal supermax prison. It holds up to 500 prisoners who spend the vast majority of their time in solitary confinement. Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, and Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph all spent time in the prison. The prison has become the focus of debate over extreme solitary confinement and whether it’s too cruel to inmates.
6. Mezhgorye, Russia
The military city of Mezhgorye in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan remains under heavy guard and closed to the public. Its mystery stretches back to the Cold War era and the city, which is said to hold Russia’s nuclear weapons, remains closed to the public.
5. Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, Virginia
The 564-acre federal government facility is located along the Loudoun-Clarke County border in Virginia. The government states the high-security facility serves as the backup site for U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s national emergency operations center.
Located about an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C., the Federal Emergency Management Agency site served as an emergency relocation site both during the Cuban Missile Crisis and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It may also house the government in cases like a solar storm or space catastrophe.
4. Metro 2, Moscow, Russia
Metro 2 is a secret network of underground tunnels that run under all of Moscow City. It was believed to have been made during Stalin’s rule and was expanded during the Cold War in case a nuclear war broke out between Russia and the U.S. These tunnels connect the most important government locations and other important places such as Kremlin and the International Airport of Moscow. The incredible secrecy of this place makes it one of the most secret places on earth.
3. Bohemian Grove, Mount Rio, California
Some of the world’s most powerful men are said to gather annually in July at a 2,700 acre campground in Mount Rio. Its guests have reportedly included every Republican president since Calvin Coolidge as well as prominent business leaders and musicians.
Nestled amidst California Redwoods, it’s thought to be the site of secret talks as well as a ceremony that’s either Druid worship or a celebration of nature. Bohemian Grove allegedly served as the site of a meeting to discuss the Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the atomic bomb.
2. Club 33 at Disneyland, California
Club 33, located above Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, is an exclusive five-star restaurant with an extremely limited membership. Actors, business leaders, presidents, and world leaders are likely guests. Others will have to settle for a waiting list and perhaps several years to get in. Its exclusive setting goes back to Walt Disney himself who helped plan the exclusive club.
1. Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City
The Vatican’s Secret Archives house vaults containing secret documents and other historic artifacts. Among it’s artifacts are Roman statues, secret books, and documents of the famous scientist such as Issac Newton and Galileo Galilei. It also contains court documents from the 14th-century trials of Knights Templar, warriors accused of heresy and an 1887 letter from the Native American Ojibwe tribe of Ontario to Pope Leo XIII.