Pyramid in Dakota

Tuesday, 14th April 2009 by

Just north of Nekoma, North Dakota lies an abandoned, pyramid-shaped missile defence building; left empty since the US Army skipped town back in the ’70s, after what must be one of the shortest periods of operation of any Department of Defense initiative.


When fully operational, the Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex (SRMC) contained a phased-array radar on each of the pyramid’s four faces – providing a complete wide-angle view capable of tracking incoming enemy missiles up to 360 km away.

In the event of an attack from an intercontinental missile, the site could respond with one of its thirty nuclear Spartan or sixteen Sprint missiles, protecting itself, the 50 or so people in Nekoma, and the Grand Forks Air Force Base just 100 km to its southeast.


On the 2nd of October 1975 – only one day after the site became fully operational – Congress voted to shutdown the program, and within a year the radar building had been gutted and the missiles removed.

Despite currently being in “caretaker” status, Google Earth’s historical imagery of the complex suggests it may have been secretly repurposed by the military! (Links to historical imagery require the Google Earth Plugin).

In 2006, one of the sewage/cooling lakes was filled in…

Cooling Pool - 2006

…but a different cooling pool was built between 1990 and 1997.

Complex - 1990 Complex - 1997

More information at the unofficial SRMSC website, and there’s an informative video on Youtube.