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Doomsday-Fearing Man Spent the Last 30 Years Building Secret Bunkers on Government Land

We all have our phobias. Some people run for their lives at the sight of insects or reptiles, others hate tight spaces like elevators, or stepping on the roof of a tall building. And while most people can live perfectly normal lives despite their phobias, there are also those who let the fear dominate their lives. A case in point is a doomsday-fearing octogenarian in the U.S. state of Utah, who dedicated more than three decades of his life to building bunkers and cabins on state and Government land and stuffing them with provisions and weapons.

The Iron County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the case along with the FBI and other law enforcement bodies, has so far declined to identify the man, revealing only that he resides in the town of Parowan. According to official information released so far, the man acted out of fear that the world might end or that society as we know it might somehow collapse. The structures he built are located in a forest bordering the ski town of Brian Head.

Photo: Iron County Sheriff’s Office

To prepare for the end of days, the man spent the last 30 years building four cabins and an undisclosed number of underground bunkers on land owned by the state of Utah and the federal government, sneaking the material piece by piece. Were it not for an accidental wildfire that ravaged the area in the summer, this sneaky busy bee may have continued his work uninterrupted for years.

Lt. Del Schlosser, a spokesman for the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, said the summer blaze incinerated two of the cabins and caused some ammunition to explode. Late in June, firefighters stumbled upon a bunker and a cabin, with investigators unearthing some items that helped them identify the person who had built them, a man in his 80s. The collection of items retrieved from the sites includes dozens of novelty grenades and explosive powder. The old man used barrels and garbage containers strewn across 8 locations to squirrel away weapons and supplies. While he did most of the work single-handedly, evidence suggests that he had the odd helper through the years, Schlosser said.

Photo: Iron County Sheriff’s Office

The man is cooperating with the authorities while prosecutors are trying to decide whether to hit him with criminal charges.

Survivalists seem to have a thing for this area. A while back, it was famously the playground of one Troy James Knapp, who came to be known as “Mountain Man” and is currently doing time for burglarizing local cabins and stealing weapons. Knapp, who was arrested in 2013, spent six years in the Utah wilderness, hoarding firearms, dehydrated food, and camping equipment stolen from the residences he invaded. However, the doomsday-fearing bunker builder has no connection to Knapp, Schlosser said.

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