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Request[AMA Request] WW2 veterans from both sides of the war. All veterans included, from pilots, tankers, sailors, infantry, mechanics, nurses, supply line workers...etc!

Jun 18th 2017 by Plane_pro • 7 Questions • 25 Points

On June 12, Rotary and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced an extension and increase of their financial commitment in an effort to eradicate polio worldwide once and for all. Additionally, 16 governments and several organizations have just pledged $1.2B to eradicate polio. Rotary has already contributed over 1.6 billion U.S. dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours of volunteer time to the eradication of polio. When we succeed in eradicating polio, it would become only the second disease to be eradicated by vaccines, the other being smallpox.

Personally, I have known Dr. Salk, creator of the inactivated polio vaccine, and Dr. Sabin, creator of the oral polio vaccine through my work at the National Institutes of Health. In 1979 the last case of endemic polio was reported in the U.S. I, along with Rotary International president, Clem Renouf, brought to Rotary the idea to make it our chief goal to eradicate polio worldwide. For the last 11 years, I have been carrying on the visions of Drs. Salk and Sabin as the vice-chairman of Rotary International’s PolioPlus program, which helps oversee Rotary’s polio vaccination efforts worldwide.

Context:

In 1916, polio was an epidemic in the United States with over 27,000 cases and 6,000 deaths. Following the availability of Dr. Salk’s inactivated vaccine in 1955 and Dr. Sabin’s oral polio vaccine in 1962, polio began to decline in developed countries where they were used. That decline began to accelerate as groups such as Rotary International began to champion the issue in the early 1980s.

Today, polio is nearly eradicated globally, as we’ve seen a 99.9% reduction – from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to just 6 reported cases so far in 2017. Polio is virtually eradicated, but there is still so much more to do. If we don’t continue to vaccinate, we could see 200,000 new cases every year – giving polio an unprecedented resurgence.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/8b4euv7l1n4z.jpg

EDIT: Thanks very much for all of your questions today. I enjoyed the conversation. For more information, please visit:https://www.endpolio.org/

Q:

from both sides of the war

Good luck getting any of them (besides nurses) to break the ice. Akward.

A:

how much had the water ruined the silo?

Also started watching the videos after that post. cool stuff


Q:

Doctor, thank you very much for your tireless work.

As a fellow Rotarian, supporter of the Polio Plus program for over 10 years and someone who has contact with polio survivors through work and personal life, I have one question.

What would be the best way to communicate the importance of continued support for this program to younger generations that we interact with and recruit as Rotarians everyday?

While I am very excited by the support, I am concerned that with this influx of support from the Gates Foundation that some may think, "oh that should do it." When the truth is this is a long road we are going down.

I apologize for the run-on sentences.

A:

fair enough. should I make separate posts?


Q:

The water ruined the old lighting and conduits a bit. But main steel and concrete is perfect! Thanks!

A:

I remember vividly the fear of polio when I was young and when my own cousin developed paralytic polio and the great sadness in my family because of this.  I remember her need to have multiple surgeries and braces in order to walk.  But, in general, each summer the swimming pools would be closed and contact between children kept to a minimum because of the fear of polio.  And my father was a practicing physician and I remember going with him and seeing homes where there was a sign on the door: Quarantine and Keep Out Because of Polio.  Younger generations won’t remember this. This experience is a distant memory in the U.S. but is still very real for those living in polio-impacted countries.  I think that we need to communicate that struggle to younger generations.I think it is important to emphasize in meetings and literature the value of eradicating polio. We have almost reached the point of accomplishing the goal of eradication, but we need to push over the finish line to accomplish the goal.  In some regions, like Afghanistan and Nigeria, they’re still having experiences with paralytic polio, which the United States hasn’t since the 1980s.  That’s why it’s important to stay engaged with this effort across the world.


Q:

Maybe this is a dumb question, but why didn't the water fuck up the steel? I would imagine it was there for a while with a bunch of unpleasant stuff in it.

A:

Hello Dr. John Sever,

Thank you for your service. My questions are :

  1. There have been outbreaks of vaccine-associated polio in the past. How difficult was it to restore people's faith in the vaccines?

  2. Are there any goals for eliminating oral polio vaccine, and using only injectable polio vaccine?


Q:

Gaseous oxygen and water will jack steel up. But just plain water doesn't really hurt it. There was very little rust actually.

A:

There have been outbreaks of vaccine associated polio, but they are extraordinarily rare - 1 in about 2.7 million doses of the vaccine administered. And these have been met with intensive immunization in the areas.  With that approach the outbreaks have been put under control.  There is an acceptance of the immunization program to proceed. In most areas of the world, parents are eager to protect their children from paralysis and there is strong acceptance of the vaccine.

Once the wild poliovirus has been shown to no longer be present, we anticipate we will transition to using only the injectable polio vaccine. But until that time, it is necessary to continue with intensive immunization with the oral polio vaccine. A combination of both vaccines (oral and injectable) is necessary to eradicate polio.  


Q:

Do you use your missile silo to one up people when you're having a conversation?

"Check out my new car"

"Oh cool, I own a goddamn missile silo"

A:

Do asymptomatic carriers exist for polio and would we need to continue to inoculate even after zero cases? And for how long?


Q:

Yes, I've been known to do that. MIC DROP.

A:

Most people infected with polio don’t exhibit symptoms. Only about 1 in 200 people infected with polio are paralyzed by the disease. We will need to continue inoculation for at least three years after we reach zero cases and the virus is eradicated – very likely for several years beyond that time. 


Q:

Without having watched the youtube channel, what are you aiming to do with the silo?

A:

What got you interested in the eradication of polio?


Q:

We are turning the complex into an underground home. The actual silo (where the missile was) is quite destroyed. So may not ever open it. We are in about 4500 sq ft of the launch control center.

A:

In 1979, polio was no longer active in the United States and a few other countries.  So, we knew that it could be controlled and eradicated.  But most countries in the world were not immunizing for polio.  So, it was important that immunization be taken to all of the children of the world.  And Rotary was interested in accepting this opportunity and helping to immunize the children of the world.  


Q:

So how much asbestos is in the complex?

A:

Dr. Sever, early in your career you worked with Jonas Salk. How did that shape your thinking about polio, your career and your life?


Q:

None.

A:

I was at the National Institutes of Health doing research in infections in children and pregnant women and prevention of these infections.  I knew Doctors Salk and Sabin because of their work on polio vaccine.  Both doctors visited my office at NIH and discussed immunization.  Dr. Sabin was particularly interested in mass immunization to eradicate polio.  And we discussed this frequently.  With Rotary, I saw the opportunity to take this approach to the international level and to eradicate polio throughout the world.  I invited Dr. Sabin to join me in meetings with Rotary on this topic.  Rotary accepted the eradication of polio as their main program of international service.  


Q:

Need any henchmen to help with your plans for world domination? I look good in a black jumpsuit.

A:

Hey Doc, what can people without that kind of money do to help and what's in your cross-hair after Polio ?


Q:

Thank you for the offer! :-)

A:

Rotary is working actively to raise $50 million dollars per year for the next three years.  Even small donations will help to reach that goal.  People can also help raise awareness of the problem within their personal networks.  Consider contacting your local Rotary club to get involved as a volunteer. We are dedicated to completing the eradication of polio before moving on to other projects.  


Q:

Just watching your videos now, thanks for documenting it all, really facisnating stuff.

What are the most interesting things you have found or any of your buddies found left behind in these Silos?

A:

Thank you so much for your service, and doing this AMA. Apologies in advance if any one of them is inappropriate, but I've got three questions for you:

  1. Many people from a select few third world countries are violently opposed to getting their children vaccinated against polio. This opposition is primarily based on different conspiracy theories. A simple discussion with them isn't enough. They refuse to even consider. How can we overcome this, given that they are a hurdle in eradicating polio globally?

  2. The rivalry between Dr. Salk and Dr. Sabin is quite famous. Was Dr. Salk ever bitter that Dr. Sabin had violently opposed him?

  3. Whom did you spend more time with? Dr. Salk or Dr. Sabin?


Q:

1960's silver dime... old coffee cup. A few tools. Nothing as cool as I would have hoped.

A:

Rotary has thousands of members in places like Pakistan. Since they are friends, neighbors and leaders in local communities, they are trusted community voices. Parents trust these members when they talk about the safety and importance of the vaccine. Rotary and its partners also work closely with other trusted community voices. For example, Rotary hosts regular workshops for Ulemas (religious leaders) to educate them on the importance of the vaccine. They then become advocates who go back to their communities and talk about why the polio vaccine is important. Overall, trust and demand for the vaccine in other parts of the world is high. 

Both Dr. Salk and Dr. Sabin were brilliant and highly committed to vaccines for polio.  The inactivated vaccine was used in the U.S. from 1955.  We switched to the live vaccine in 1962.  Today we are using both vaccines together toward the eradication of polio.  Both Drs. Salk and Sabin met with me in my office at NIH and Dr. Sabin moved to NIH in his retirement.  So I saw him very frequently and we worked together on the polio eradication program as well as on developing a new aerosolized measles vaccine.  


Q:

So how bad of shape is the main silo in? What did they do to it?

Also how much living space do you think you will have when you are done?

Thanks for doing the AMA!

A:

Main silo had the top 25 feet blown off of it. Then they filled it in with debris. Would be a huge PITA to do anything with it. Should have about 4000+ sq ft of living space without opening the silo.

Welcome!


Q:

Do you own a missile and if so, can I touch it?

A:

The answer to both of those questions is classified.


Q:

I watched all your videos on it after that.

Do you ever plan to uncover the main silo? Or are you going to leave it filled in?

A:

I would love to open it but its probably $250 - $500k to do anything useful with it. Thanks for watching!


Q:

Well just get some shovels :D

A:

:-)


Q:

Invest in ventilation and anything to make it habitable and open up your own Silo Bar & Hotel. Dreaming of course

A:

I've looked into it a LOT. Hard to get a liquor license. Watch the videos to see where I'm taking it. Think about a club called Nuclear...


Q:

Did you find a safe inside the bunker ? Did you open it? Did you take pictures?

A:

No, they took the safe out.


Q:

Here in Wyoming I have read a bit about how some old missile silos have contaminated the ground water with the TCE cleaner they used. Is there any issue with this at your silo? If so what did you do about the toxicity?

A:

They were better about this in the 80s when they decommissioned the Titan II. So, no issues!


Q:

How much did it cost you to buy a missle silo?

A:

I paid $90k for the property (10 acres) with the silo. The property alone was worth $60k so I paid a $30k premium. Not bad for a facility that costs tens of millions to build. :-)


Q:

Are you living there?

If so:

  • How far do you drive for groceries?

  • How do you get water/electricity/internet there?

A:

Good questions. Yeah, I get all services including city water. Not city sewer. Groceries are about 10 min away. I have privacy but close to necessities. I like that balance.


Q:

That seems nuts to me! I'm shocked at how close to civilization this silo must be. I picture it 40 miles away from anything, for security and in case of a launch.

A:

Nuclear weapons are so destructive it didn't really matter. And Russia had / has so many location is almost irrelevant.


Q:

What are your plans with the silo? What compelled you to buy it?

A:

Plan is to turn it into a nice underground home. If you check out the channel you can see the (slow but noticeable) progress!


Q:

Do you consider yourself a prepper (the dooms day type) or was this more of just wanting to live underground because it's something different?

A:

I tell people that I'm 20% prepper. So a bit, but I'm not cool enough to be on Doomsday Preppers or anything. :-)


Q:

Have you sent a link to your blog to the Russians with a polite request to be taken off their list of targets?

A:

Twice. Same response. "Drink more Vodka"


Q:

How did you find a silo to buy in the first place?

A:

There a quite a few of them in the US. This one is in Arkansas and there are 18 here. Hard to buy actually... most land owners don't want to sell them. They think they'll dig it up one day. Oh... if they only knew... :-)


Q:

Is it in the same missile field as that one that blew up in the 1970s in Arkansas? There was an excellent book called command and control by Eric Schlesinger that was focused Around The Accidental explosion and fire in that missile silo.

A:

It isn't but mine is in Arkansas. I met Eric at a screening of the movie. Not sure if you know, Command and Control was turned into a great movie. You can find it on PBS under American Experience


Q:

How much are you estimated to spend? I've always felt this would be a great but super expensive project.

A:

We've been at it almost 7 years. I haven't kept track of how much we've spent. Too much. But well... can't stop now. :-)


Q:

sunk cost fallacy is best fallacy

A:

I'm a big fan of it! :-)


Q:

Is there a room with a big red button?

A:

Not at this time. :-)


Q:

I always wanted one of those...I imagine it's pretty dank though, and not in the sense of "dank bud", or "dank memes", but rather in the sense of, "My, this place is quite dank sir, have you considered investing in a dehumidifier?"

What's the upkeep like?

A:

I do have a dehumidifier... there's not too much to maintain at this point. Once its fully done it should be easier than a regular home. No rotting wood or roof to replace!


Q:

Do you have a picture album of the silo you can post?

A:

I don't... good idea though


Q:

What made you decide to buy a missile silo? I have done some weird purchases while drunk, but this is kinda extraordinary. Did you just wake up one day, saw the listing and bought it?

What are your long term plans for the silo?

A:

It would be an awesome story if I drunk bought a missile silo. But no... I was sober. I've always like the idea of living in one. I live in Arkansas and when I found out there were some there I went on a search.

Long term plan is to turn it into a home. Hopefully a really nice one!


Q:

What's the endgame for the whole thing, and how much did a behemoth like that cost?

A:

I want to turn it into a luxury home. And I paid $90k for it. Has cost a bit more since then. :-)


Q:

I remember hearing about the Titan II silos being sealed and the land sold off, but I thought that due to treaty restrictions (which didn't apply to the older Titan I silos that are still around and open) the deal was that the land owners could never dig them up. Am I remembering that wrong, or has something changed?

Not that any silo that has standing water in it is of any use for its intended purpose. I heard from a START inspector once that as long as they saw ground water in a silo, that was all they cared about. It meant the silo hadn't been maintained and wouldn't be feasible to put back in service.

I've also seen a number of Titan IIs launched. I have to wonder if that includes the one that came out of your silo.

A:

They launched the Titan IIs later as Gemini to launch satellites. But no Titan II was ever launched in anger. Of course... b/c that would have been WWIII.

I've heard rumor that you couldn't dig them up but I've never seen any documentation of such. And the USAF is aware of my project.


Q:

Do you miss sunlight?

A:

I don't live in there yet but that's for sure one of the downsides. On the upside it won't wake me up before I'm ready!


Q:

Cool beans man! Do you wish you had my username?

A:

Yes! :-)


Q:

Does the government clear out all debris? Or did you find anything cool down there?

A:

They took out the classified stuff. Then let a contractor take whatever they wanted. Some sites that have been opened (like in Arizona) have random differences in how they were decommissioned. The entire place is pretty cool. Nothing that really stands out.

Oh... the entire top was filled with methane gas. That was pretty awesome to find.


Q:

That is...odd. Do you know if it was put there on purpose or what?

A:

Not on purpose. It was just a biological reaction to the sewer tank that's in there.


Q:

What's the coolest thing in the silo?

A:

Me of course. Oh... real answer... its hard to chose. Its just overwhelming. Maybe the 6000lb doors?


Q:

Is there any particular kind of failure that would leave you locked in???????????????

A:

Not at the moment. But I'll always have safeguards to prevent that.


Q:

How does one acquire a nuclear missile silo?

A:

Easier than you'd think. Most are in private hands so you just buy them.


Q:

Why did you buy a missile silo?!

Do you think you're on an (outdated) list of targets to strike if North Korea actually pulls off an ICBM?

A:

Oh... this place was for sure on a target list somewhere. It was the largest ICBM the US has EVER had. 9 Megatons. Bad bitch.

Oh... hard to explain why if it isn't obvious. Its pretty awesome and I like it down there. Cool temp and a feeling of cosiness when I close the 6000lb front door.


Q:

What are your plans if the door becomes stuck closed when you're inside?

A:

Get on Reddit and ask for help.


Q:

Do you live in the missile silo?

A:

Not yet but probably will when I get it done. Or AirBNB it and try to get a few $ back.


Q:

Where do you get your missiles....? asking for a friend in North Korea area.

A:

Amazon.com


Q:

How cold was the water?

A:

58 degrees


Q:

I just wanted to say I respect your humility, and your hesitancy to even speak poorly about the contractor, and the workers. Im watching the access portal video and very cool. Very genuine, feels like we're in the room with you, keep up the great work.

I may have missed it, I've only watched the portal video so far, do you mind if I ask your career background to be able to afford this?

A:

I work in technology so that helps with the $ but its still taken 6+ years due to financial reasons.


Q:

I always thought it'd be a great getaway, but terrible house. How are you finding it, now that things are really coming along?

By the way, the videos of your progress clearing it out of mud and stuff were awesome. Lots of fun discovering new things with you guys as the series went along.

A:

I don't live in it yet so probably can't comment. For sure some downsides.


Q:

What do your friends think?

A:

They are locked up down there against their will. So they don't like it much. :-)

Most think its interesting... some of course thinks its crazy which I get. A lot of times that's how they introduce me. This is GT and he has a missile silo. :-)


Q:

When are you buying the missile? :)

A:

You may find this hard to believe but every time I try scary people show up to my door. So I stopped asking. Some people. :-)


Q:

please at least get a couple of those Estes model rockets from hobby lobby and launch them out of your missile silo.

A:

Its funny you say that. We've been thinking about shooting fireworks off from there. :-)


Q:

Who owned the silo before you and have you found anything interesting inside when you first explored it?

A:

The silo was in private hands before. The government gave first right of refusal to original owners or their decedents. If not, it went to auction. Most were purchased for $5000 ish.


Q:

What do you do for water and sewage down there?

A:

The original sewer system was still in tact. The pump motors weren't usable so I replaced them. But they work perfectly. Love 60's engineering.

For water we have a water line coming in that is connected to city water.


Q:

What's your opinion on nuclear weapons? Necessary deterrent or morally wrong?

A:

If they could be eliminated from ALL arsenals then I would rather not have them. But MAD (mutually assured destruction) is the reason the United States isn't speaking Russian right now.


Q:

I have nothing to really ask. Because... If you can, of course you would.

As a lowly Brit, I love your channel and I do hope you update right to the point where it's so finished it's like, no longer cool (though I doubt that could be a time!).

I guess if I had to ask a question: knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently? Perhaps besides have a gas reader when going in for the first time after draining!

A:

Gas reader for sure.

Yeah, I'd do a lot differently. I could do another one for half the cost.


Q:

How much to see your bunghole?

A:

Funny you should ask... we will be AirBnBing it once I get it done. Not sure what I'll charge... open to suggestions. $350 per night too much?


Q:

It honestly depends on where you are.

You definitely get a premium for the whole "it's a missle silo" thing, but it also looks fairly remote where you are. People are going to have a make a special trip to get out there, unless you happen to be near a sizable city.

A:

I'm close to Little Rock but of course its still Arkansas. And who comes here on purpose? :-)


Q:

How are you going to pay for the renovations?

A:

We've been working on it for a bit over 6 years. Pay for it little by little.


Q:

How do you like your eggs done?

A:

Scrambled


Q:

FRIED OR FERTILIZED

A:

Fried. I'm too old to want any more fertilized eggs. :-)