Yellowstone: Bunker 09
I have been to Yellowstone around 8 separate times in my life. In those journeys, I have seen countless varieties of fauna and wildlife, seen Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring, and have witnessed the peak of natural beauty that America possesses. I have also learned a lot about the supervolcano below Yellowstone, a potentially huge threat that according to experts has the potential to level most of the midwest.
I also learned of a local urban legend in the area. During a drive to my hotel from Yellowstone, I stopped at a diner for a bite to eat. It was one of those 50s or retro styled ones, a Johnny Rockets or Steak-n-Shake if you will. Checkerboard tiling, those funny hats on the waiters, numerous pictures of cars and hot rods, even a working jukebox! The place seemed to be very popular with local folks and families, as all of the tables were filled. With no other choice, I sat down at the bar, sandwiched between 2 trucker-type guys, plaid shirts, dirty baseball caps, etc. As I just got my food, the man to my right suddenly turns to me and initiates the following conversation:
“You seen stuff lately? At Yellowstone?”
“No, why do you ask?”
“There's a legend there. Lots of people been saying there's been odd things happening. Things that don’t seem right.”
“What legend? I’ve been here several times and I’ve seen anything that could be considered weird. What stuff are they saying has been going on?”
“Government stuff. People been saying there's a huge facility under the park, a huge bunker. Place that’d put Area 51 to shame, they reckon. Nobody has proof of course, but it’s been a thing for years.”
“Really? Never heard of it.”
“Lot of people say that, more than you would believe people would admit. Most of the people that truly believe it are children and people who think the Earth is flat.”
“Odd collection of folks to believe all that stuff. You think it’s real?”
“On the fence.”
At that point, the conversation had died. Finally turning to my food, and realizing with annoyance it was cold, I requested a box and promptly left. The conversation I had heard from the man intrigued me. The rumor had allegedly been around for years, yet according to him, most hadn’t even heard of it? The only people who believed it were children and crazy people? He didn’t even elaborate on why he was “on the fence”. Something didn’t feel right. If I were any more cynical, I would’ve dismissed it as a hoax, a childish conspiracy theory meant to throw shade on a beautiful landmark such as Yellowstone. Despite how odd the circumstances were, I was still intrigued by the prospect of it being true, and lost quite a bit of sleep over it.
The next morning, I decided to investigate further. I went very early, around 5 in the morning, and I searched the park and racked my brain on where it could be. Me and my family have spent a lot of time and money over the years taking trips down here. I could walk on the roads blindfolded and still know which times to turn to get from the back to the entrance. I tried everywhere. The geysers, rock formations, hills, even hot springs were all no-gos. It was already almost 3pm. The trails were packed with visitors, and I was tired beyond belief. It was a lost cause at that point. The story was just like every other of its type: a story. A campfire story meant to keep your buddies from having a good night’s sleep, a story conspiracy theorists push on niche forums as a joke. A worthless, good-for-naught story.
Until I saw him. A man walking swiftly and stiffly against the grain of fellow tourists, occasionally bumping into them and paying no attention in the slightest. He was dressed in a lab coat, black pants, and sported a pair of glasses on his face. The only other notable things about his appearance were his middle-parted hair, which made him look like a doofus, and the clipboard he was carrying and moving around vigorously along with his arms. He was walking so fast, a small scrap of paper fell from his pants pocket, which happened to land right in front of me. Not listening to the cat’s tale, I picked it up, and tried to read it. Tried. For one, it was half of a paper, and crumpled severely, almost like he crushed it into a ball to throw at his friend in math class. The second and much more important thing, is that it was not readable. Not from a handwriting quality, the page was evidently typed out, but it was a language barrier. All that I could read was a wall, jumble if you want to be more accurate, of random letters and numbers, none of which formed even a word at first glance. At the bottom of the mosaic, I saw a seal. No, not the animal. It was a circle, bordered with stars with what looked to be an eagle carrying a blindfolded woman, who in her hands held an olive branch and a scroll. At the bottom, were the letters B.G.A.P.
I nearly ran through a small child chasing after this man. I did not care. This, while not exactly what I had been looking for, was huge in my quest to figure out the myth of this secret bunker below Yellowstone. What was I to find down there? The Roswell UFO? Proof the moon landing was faked? Missing Trump votes? Anything was possible. All I had to do was push on. Obviously, I couldn’t be noticed trailing him, so I kept my distance and kept my eyes on him. About 4-5 more minutes of walking, we came across an empty field, with only a small boulder in the middle. We were at an intersection at this point, with people walking around us, taking no notice of the strange man in a lab coat and the exhausted man with a comically large backpack. The man kept walking and was...gone. I assumed he walked out into the field, but there was absolutely nobody out there, just as before. Only difference was no mystery man. Unless…
I stepped into the open field, and the world around me changed. It was like falling asleep in the car and waking up in your bed. Only this time there wasn’t any sort of wholesome context. No parents involved, no nothing. I realized immediately that there was no turning back at this point. The environment around me was a barren wasteland. All around me was a great plain of cloudy, dark sky, and gray, dead grass. But there was an elevator. A regular elevator that you would see in an office building or hotel. The only thing off about it was the seal I saw before split between the 2 doors and a large metal sign above it. It read:
BUREAU for the GOOD of the AMERICAN PEOPLE
This was it. My McGuffin, my goose, and my greased up deaf guy. It was intimidating as all hell. Something they clearly wanted secret, something they clearly wanted hidden. If mere curiosity killed the cat, only God knows what it will do to me.
Then the elevator hummed.
Then a ding.
Then the door opened.
The man I had met at the diner stood inside, unrecognizable. His cap was gone, plaid shirt replaced with lab coat, and standing before me with an odd air to him. He wasn’t mad, nor did he seem about to order me to die. He seemed almost pleased that I had come, in fact.
“Hello, son. You found us.”
Without thinking, I slowly moved to the elevator, and stood beside him. He pressed the only button, and unmarked one, and the elevator started to move. Pleasant elevator music started to play. A stark contrast to the tense air of what was going on.
It stopped, and we walked out. For everything it got right, it was wrong about one thing: the bunker wasn’t huge in the slightest. It could barely be considered a bunker. It was a small room, about the size of an average living room. Nine desktop computers, seemingly old and from the 90’s were aligned and evenly spaced out from each other. Every single one had a person working on them, furiously typing away, achieving some goal I did not understand.
Except for one in the middle.
The man motioned me to follow him, and I did. Slowly, I took a glimpse at each computer to see what they were working on. Each worker had a blank expression, unmoving and unnoticed to me looking over their shoulder to see what they were doing. One was working on “WEATHER PATTERN CONTROL”, and another was working on “SUPPLY CHAIN AND POSTAL SERVICE”. They were not working on things. They were controlling them
When we made our way to the middle, I was in a cold sweat. What was he doing? What did he want from me? What was this department’s purpose? Did it control everything I took for granted? Before I could think any more, he pulled out the chair. Instinctively, I sat down, and he pushed me in. On the computer screen were only 2 words.
“This is your spot, buddy. Do your best.”
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