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This telephone was the last step in the chain of communication to issue an order to launch nuclear missiles towards airborne targets from Cuba. At one of a series of secret US Army surface to air and ballistic missile sites located to defend against a Soviet attack from the south, this phone is on the wall of one of the Nike Hercules missile storage barns.

The site is now within the Everglades National Park, not far from the serene boardwalk of the Anhinga Trail. The park service runs regular tours of the facility, about which surprisingly little detailed information is known.

I have other images of this facility, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. See them for additional detail and history about this site:

I grew up in South Florida. It’s a very eerie feeling knowing that while I was in 1st grade only 30 miles away, there were weekly incidents that this site was ready to respond to. For each of these incidents, the 35-foot missiles with nuclear tips at this site were pulled out of the barn and readied for launch, awaiting a call to this phone. These missiles, intended to take out air squadrons approaching the US from Cuba, had a nuclear yield of up to 40 kilotonnes (the Hiroshima bomb was 15). The cold war was truly a scary thing!

(Photomatix, 3 exposures, autobracketed, on a Canon 5D, handheld)

525 views as of 8/22/11

I’m a Miami, Florida-based photographer. I and my camera try to get out as often as possible. These images are the result. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

If you like my images enough to buy them, please know that the income goes back into the art. Thanks for visiting!

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  • etienneUK
    etienneUKalmost 5 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your work with the Photomatix HDR Group. This wonderful example of a Photomatix-processed image has been accepted into the Group!

  • etienneUK
    etienneUKalmost 5 years ago

    This is a great shot! Awesome colours and composition!

  • JandeBeer
    JandeBeeralmost 5 years ago

    And nobody to answer …well seen.

  • Kim  Calvert
    Kim Calvertabout 4 years ago

    Cool image..I love these old rotary kids seen a phone like this and looked at it like it was some sort of crazy contraption..This would go perfect in our Group Wall Of The World and would also be great for the challenge.. “Lets Talk Walls” The winner will get a $20 Redbubble voucher.

  • Thanks, Kim! I’ve joined the group, and entered the challenge. I have more walls to add… great group!

    – njordphoto

  • James Zickmantel
    James Zickmantelover 3 years ago

    Congratulation on your Feature in HDRI (No Holds Barred)!

  • Thanks, James!

    – njordphoto

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