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PHOTOS: New Woodland Hills homeowners find fully stocked fallout shelter in their backyard




The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
John Rabe goes where only a few men have gone before -- a fallout shelter in the deep Valley.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
The joys of fallout shelter cuisine.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
Chris Otcasek, John Rabe and Charles Pheonix bonding in the fallout shelter.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
Science fiction and post-apocalyptic reading to keep the spirit strong.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
These 15 hot drink Dixie Cups sure are adorable.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
This guy didn't make it.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
Argyle socks to keep you stylish down under.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
Anxiety medications and a host of other pills to keep residents relatively sane if they ended up in the fallout shelter.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
The way out.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
The fallout shelter has seen better days.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
Shelves stocked for the end of the world.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
This typography is delightful.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
The fallout shelter can sleep four in case of world annihilation.
John Rabe stands triumphant over the fallout shelter door.
Mae Ryan/KPCC


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A few weeks ago, my friend Chris Murray wrote:

Chris and Colleen recently closed on a Charles DuBois Ranch House and the bomb shelter is an absolute time capsule: still stocked with old magazines, bunks, sleeping bags and medications. I told them to keep it in case of imminent Zombie Apocalypse. You're more than welcome to visit...

He didn't need to ask twice. Chris and Colleen Otcasek immediately agreed to let Off-Ramp into their time capsule, or time machine, and didn't flinch when I showed up with shop lights, a 100-foot extension cord, historian Charles Phoenix, and KPCC photographer Mae Ryan. Chris and Colleen even made a relish tray and served Arnold Palmers.

It's really not a bomb shelter; it would never withstand a blast directed at the Valley's aerospace industry. It's a fallout shelter, designed to keep the radiation away for a few weeks, like in this cheery movie, which I'm sure comforted millions of Americans.

And inside we found a Kresge's worth of items: Kleenex, sanitary napkins, canned food, sleeping bags, magazines -- which delighted Med, Charles, Chris, and I ... and pills and a writing tablet hanging on the wall with a 30-year calendar, which made Chris Otcasek, the most somber of the group, ask, "What would you write on this? A suicide note? Anyone who built a shelter in their backyard would have to be pretty optimitistic."

Chris had just coincidentally seen a Twilight Zone episode in which a Cold War backyard fallout shelter doesn't do anything but drive neighbors apart when they think they're under nuclear attack.

Unlike many homeowners, Chris and Colleen don't plan to fill in their shelter. They say they'll leave it as it is, undisturbed for the next owners.