Man Buys Doomsday Shelter and Finds Hidden Treasures from the ’80s

By: Carissa | Last updated: Mar 21, 2024

Recently, a man bought an abandoned property with plans to transform it into a home for his family. He had no idea he would discover all he needed to become a doomsday prepper.

Dean Anderson shared the incredible story of his Montana home with the news aggregator, Knewz. Anderson’s house is just one of so many others that were built in an area with a unique building plan—the homes are mostly underground!

Going Fishing and Landing the Catch of the Day

According to Anderson, he had been searching for a “fixer-upper” after a fishing trip from Atlanta to the Bozeman area over five years ago, and he eventually found the perfect underground bunker.

A front view of the entrance to the underground bunker undergoing renovation

Source: Kristen Dirksen/YouTube

However, he had no idea that the man who sold the house to him had left a surprise. “Basically to me, it was like a million to a million and a half dollars worth of cement stuck underground. I was thinking all this leftover stuff, gone, they’re going to bury it, so I could buy it for next to nothing and turn it into something cool,” said Anderson.


A Buried Treasure Waiting to Be Found

The bunker runs deep into the earth over 20 feet below the entrance. Deep in the ground, the old bunker was fully packed with essential foods and medical supplies.

A hatch in the underground bunker with the opening above ground, letting light into the bunker.

Source: Kristen Dirksen/YouTube

Based on the dates on the items, they had been stored in the bunker as far back as the 1980s in preparation for an unfortunate incident.

Underground Bunkers Used to Be a Necessity For Many Americans

In the 1980s, many Americans were on edge about global security. The fear was that law and order could break down someday.

Landscape view of an area with an entrance to the bunker at the foot of a hill.

As a result, people constructed underground bunkers and safe houses that could protect their families and friends. Dean Anderson happened to stumble upon one such shelter.

Making a Rare, Interesting Discovery

These bunkers were usually stocked with enough supplies to last for a long time, and Anderson’s new house was no different. He discovered supplies that weighed more than 45,000 pounds. Some of the items discovered included olive oil, sesame oil, mung beans, several barrels of wheat, powdered peanut butter, and margarine.

Several sealed white containers stored in a bunker.

Source: Kristen Dirksen/YouTube

Why so many supplies? Well, the original plan for the bunker was to be able to accommodate over 200 people safely underground for a long time while they sit out whatever may be going on overhead. However, the bunker was all but forgotten for over 30 years until Anderson bought the property.

Welcome to Paradise Valley

The bunker is located in an area in Montana ironically called “Paradise Valley,” where there are more than 50 underground bunkers. When most people think of paradise, they don’t imagine bunkers.

A landscape view of Paradise Valley with mountains on the horizon.

According to Anderson, back in the day, the Homeowners Association had a rule for residents with an underground bunker.


Turning a Bunker Into a Home

When Anderson purchased the property, he quickly began renovating. Focusing on some interior design, he began tearing away the existing concrete walls to make space for doors and windows to welcome the breathtaking view of nature.

Three concrete archways in an area of the underground bunker.

He also included other features in the kitchen, such as a six-burner range and three sinks.


Choosing to Maintain a ‘Bunker Vibe’

Speaking on the design aesthetic, Anderson said, “We wanted to keep the place… kind of like a bunker or a shelter or a nuclear fallout shelter, so we went with a lot of aluminum… a lot of greys.”

A well-lit sitting area with a television and four bed spaces in the background.

He’s also trying to be as sustainable as possible, resulting in him being as hands-on with the renovation as possible.


Crafting New Furniture and Repurposing Old Items

Anderson has also opted to make new furniture himself and give items he found in the bunker new uses.

A living room space with a sofa, tv, a microwave and cabinet space.

Source: Pinterest

For example, he found an old flamethrower at the bunker’s doorstep and found something else to use it for.


Making the Bunker Feel Like the Outdoors

Since most of Anderson’s property is underground, there are hardly any windows. To fix that problem, he installed bright white bulbs in the ceiling of the main living area and added some blue paint.

A view of the roof of the bunker with arches and lights in the corners.

Source: Kristen Dirksen/YouTube

“[It’s] to try to get the feeling that you’re outside,” he said. “It’s almost like the sky.” But that’s not all the renovation Dean Anderson has done on the bunker.


Converting Old Facilities into New Rooms

Anderson converted what would have been the bunker’s medical center into a bedroom. The old storage room now serves as a shower room, and he also built an office space in a new extension.

Dead Anderson leaning on a countertop in a well-furnished room in the bunker.

Source: Kristen Dirksen/YouTube

So far, he has been able to create two apartment spaces, and there’s still room for more because two floors remain unfinished.


Giving Back to Society

Anderson isn’t handling the entire renovation work all by himself—he has a team of over 40 people helping him out. It includes people on the path of recovery, such as recovering addicts and ex-convicts.

An empty bunker with hanging lamps and open entrances.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to Anderson, his team members are healthy and clean. From his experience, he believes physical labor could serve as a form of therapy.


Becoming an Inspiration and a Local Celebrity

Dean Anderson’s interesting story has become so popular that it has been adapted as a TV series called Montana Society.

A hatch and above-ground vents of an underground bunker with other buildings in the area.

Source: Pinterest

So far, the series has already concluded its first season and is currently on a second. Interested people are also making reservations for a tour of the project.