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There is a town called Cordele, Georgia. It's a tiny town well south of Atlanta, barely a blip on the map; if you blink while you're heading along Interstate 75, you're apt to miss it. It has a small gas station, a couple of rail lines, a Krystal burger...

...and a nuclear missile.

The missile is behind the gas station, right in front of the Krystal. It's an old Titan, set up just off the freeway.

People walk their dogs next to it. There's a very proud sign in front of it, solemnly informing visitors that this site is Confederate Air Force One.

The sign offers, I think, quite an insight into why the South lost the Civil War. They never did quite get the hang of this whole "industrialization" thing.

The careful reader will notice several punctuation errors on the sign. There's also a technical error; a callout points to the "Stage III lox tank," but the Titan I is a two-stage missile.

The South never really did much cotton to this science and technology stuff, so it's probably not too surprising that they get bits wrong.

We stopped on the way home from Frolicon to take pictures of the missile. It's slowly turning into rust, but it's still quite lovely in a strange way. Viewed up close, some parts of it almost look like art.

You'll find quite a few bandwidth-crushing pictures under the cut. Click here to see more!

emanix seemed quite fond of the missile, in a Biblical kind of way. She was quite disappointed when I told her "No, bunny, you can't unleash nuclear Armageddon on the world." It's one of the things I love about her.

joreth, on the other hand, was more quietly contemplative. Heads of state and Internet trolls alike have nightmares that look like this.

I spent some time looking at the engines, now decaying and covered in pigeon shit. There are still parts of them that I find beautiful. From the right angles, there is art in here. Each one was lovingly hand-built by skilled engineers and craftsmen united in a common purpose--to create something intended to extinguish human lives by the millions.

We are nothing if not a deeply, profoundly fucked-up species.

They put serial numbers on all the parts. So you could, y'know, return them under warranty if they failed to wipe out all human life as advertised.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
We moved from Gainesville Florida to Atlanta when I was 7. As you may know, it's a straight shot up I-75 from one place to the other. So, when summer vacations, Thanksgiving, Easter, and other such family holidays rolled around (and we could afford to go), we would pile into the car at the crack of oh-my-god early and drive down. I have driven past that missile so many times, and we've often stopped to have lunch, or to just poke around and look at it - it was a good place to get out and stretch our legs. I even have family that lived about 5 miles due west of the exit. In fact, my Great Uncle was probably part of the Rotary Club that put it there in the first place. :)
Jul. 17th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
Lovely missile! They neglect to mention that the warhead atop this think packed a city-smashing 3.75 megatons expected yield. They really didn't mess around before the development of MIRVs.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )