Join us for a rare opportunity to dive a Cold War era Atlas F Nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile silo known as Valhalla on September 9th and 10th. This site is not only unique, but privately owned and closed to the public. The only way to access Valhalla is through a dive store or club that leases it for the weekend. This flooded silo is literally dripping with history and was once one of 12 Atlas F ICBM installations in North Texas under the command of Dyess AFB in the Abilene area, 2.5 hours west of Fort Worth. When the site was decommissioned, its equipment was salvaged, but occasionally a shackle would break as something was being lifted out and debris rests on the bottom between 105' and 135'. Besides the unique experience of diving a nuclear missile silo and the historical significance this site offers the opportunity to train for, or conduct deep, altitude (+2,450'), night or overhead environment dives. We will be offering specialty classes onsite in Deep, Altitude and Night by a PADI Master Instructor. Come and train or just relax and enjoy one of only two diveable ICBM silos that we are aware of. Recent events in North Korea have kept ICBMs in the headlines, so come and explore and learn!
What does it cost? $125 including free camping and a tank and weight. There are also hotels in the area and dormitory style lodging available within the former command center. Inquire for more details.No small children or pets, please - owner's rules.
What will I need to dive? The water temperature is a constant 60 degrees F year-round, so no less than a 5mm full wetsuit (7mm recommended) with thick hood, boots and gloves. If one owns a dry suit, bring it. There are some fixed lights, but in general it is night time 24/7 inside the silo, so bring a primary dive light and a backup. We will furnish an 80 cf tank and weight included in the $125 fee, A pool session will be scheduled to determine the precise amount of weight required with your cold water kit. We highly recommend this and it will make your experience once onsite go more smoothly.
The overhead environment aspect of this site is the presence of the former inertial guidance system projecting from one side of the silo at a depth of 30'-60'.
Equipment will need to be transported approximately 75 steps from the surface to the floating platform at water level, with a stop at the staging/changing area in between.
Surface to staging/changing level - 40’ (2 sets of stairs)
Staging/changing level to platform - 30’ (suspended stairs)
After the dive, equipment will need to be transported back up and out. Choose wisely if considering diving manifolded doubles or sidemount. Also, make sure that one's physical condition is up to moving gear down and up the required distance. One tip is that if one is making a trip down to the water for a site assessment, always take a piece of gear (like a tank) with you. Dive smarter, not harder.
Where is Valhalla? South of Abilene and about a 2.5 hour drive West from Lone Star Scuba. The speed limits, once outside Fort Worth, are higher than in the city. We have good maps with directions, a link to Google Maps directions from the store and GPS coordinates for your device. We are lucky to have this unique dive site so close.
Please call (817) 377-3483 to sign up or with any questions. This will be a lot of fun and an entry for your log book that your buddies won't have!
For more history and vintage images of this site in its heyday check out this guys site: http://phildorsett.com/
The photos are somewhat hidden, in Facebook Events, behind the "Discussion" tab.