Grandfather like no other
In the snowy rural parts of Ontario, Canada, there lives an elderly man with thinning white hair and thick white beard. At first look, he seems like an ordinary old man living in his peaceful farm, feeding his chickens and milking his cows. But to the authorities and his neighbors, he’s far from being ordinary. Unknown to the people outside his town, this man has secrets buried beneath his land waiting to be found out…
Who is he?
His name is Bruce Beach, an 83-year-old man who lived with his wife in Ontario, Canada. He was originally from Winfield, Kansas, but in the 1970s he decided to move up north with his entire family. Bruce lived his early life in the midst of the most tense era of America, but just how devastating and traumatic were his experiences that it made him think about going north?
A time of crisis
Bruce lived in an era of guns, tanks, bombs, and imminent danger waiting for him on every corner. He lived through the brutal and bloody Vietnam war and witnessed the terrible Cold War creep up in and around America. He couldn’t live with this danger anymore, so Bruce packed up his things and brought his family to a new journey up north. Little did his family know that moving wasn’t the only journey Bruce was embarking on…
His family might have been worried about where their new home would be, but Bruce already had everything planned out down to the last detail. They got to Canada in 1970 and settled down in a small, sleepy village in a rural corner of Ontario. Aside from its guarantee of safety and distance from the wars and being his wife’s hometown, Bruce picked Horning’s Mills because of a far greater reason—for his life’s big new mission.
In the years between 1980 and 1985, Bruce had started to gain interest in an unusual thing—school buses! And not just ordinary functioning school buses, he took great interest in old and retired buses. He scoured the entire country looking for them and had paid $300 for each bus. In total, he was able to collect 42 old and rusty school buses. But where in the world will he keep them? And what was the reason behind his very unusual hobby?
Before purchasing all 42 of his collection of school buses, Bruce already prepared the space he needed to keep them in way ahead of time. He had purchased a massive space of land that stretched out to over 12.5 acres near his family’s home. Still, how could all those buses fit together?
Digging in deep
To be able to fit dozens of school buses, Bruce had to dig deep, as deep as 14 feet underground and create a crater-like hole in the middle of a small town in Ontario, Canada. After digging up the hole he then started to dismantle each of the buses and strategically connect them together. His family was baffled by what he was doing, but Bruce believed he had a good reason for doing what he did. And that reason would leave most people dumbfounded.
As Bruce lowered each of the buses 14 feet underground, he removed the doors and divisions to be able to create a long and wide stretch of a maze-like structure underground. After checking that everything is in place, he had the buses covered in two feet of solid concrete, away from the outside world. Did he buy all those buses just to bury them underground? Absolutely not. Bruce has got enormous plans, not just for himself but for humanity.
The Ark Two
Upon finishing his project, Bruce named his work “The Ark Two,” and it is one of the most massive underground structures in North America. It holds an area of an enormous 10,000 square feet of land! The underground maze built from old school buses can hold up to a maximum of 500 people. Bruce built this structure knowing and believing that one day, people will need and beg to be let inside the Ark Two. That’s why he came up with a very specific and rigorous screening process…
Bruce Beach doesn’t want just anyone to enter his Ark Two. He has some important considerations in mind like people who might have infectious diseases won’t be allowed to enter as they may put the others at stake. Bruce has to make sure everyone undergoes a rigorous screening process.
Bruce prepared a decontamination area for people to clean and wash themselves first before entering the ark. No one gets to enter the facilities unless they take a meticulous shower first. But why was Bruce so keen on keeping the Ark Two sterile and free from harmful diseases? Was he even sure that the facility he built was good enough to sustain 500 living and breathing humans?
Bruce Beach didn’t build the Ark Two all by himself. Sure, it was his idea, his brainchild, but he needed professionals to help him with the execution.
So he got help from one of the best engineers in the country, the same engineer who built the subway system in Toronto, Canada. They made sure that the underground structure provided a suitable living condition for the people. The Ark Two is fully equipped with diesel generators and fuel supplies that can last up to three months. Plus there’s a fully functioning plumbing system underground. How about the basic necessities to keep a human alive?
Don’t worry because you’ll never get hungry in the Ark Two.
Bruce has anticipated everything so he prepared a large kitchen with a working soup tureen and oven for everyone to use. He also stocked up on different kinds of foods over the years, but one of the challenges he faced was that he had to throw out a lot of them as they keep getting spoiled. However, Bruce fully understood that these kinds of risks and challenges are all just part of his big mission. Aside from a bountiful supply of food, Bruce also engineered his own well to make sure that everyone in the Ark Two consumes clean and safe water.
If you’re used to having your own rules in the outside world, well, once you get inside the Ark Two, get ready to throw those rules out the window because Ark Two comes with its house rules. First of all, boys and girls can’t sleep in the same room. Why? This isn’t a question of discrimination, but rather a strategic move by Bruce. He figured that having families stay together in the same place would take up too much space as they wouldn’t want other people to stay with them. So, by dividing sleeping spaces between men and women, he’d be able to maximize all the space that they have.
Of course, Bruce also thought about the children. He thought about their education and their need to play and have fun, so he dedicated a section of the Ark Two to children. There are chalkboards, books, and other educational materials waiting to be used so that children won’t have to stop learning even if they live underground. As for the younger kids, Bruce also set up a nursery and bunks filled with toys.
Discipline is key
Housing 500 individuals from different walks of life in one underground location for several months would be so challenging. Their differences and varied preferences may lead to arguments which would affect the entire Ark. So that’s why Bruce has a solid set of house rules already laid down to be strictly followed by everyone at all times. So what happens if someone goes against the rules?
Bruce has installed three security cameras so he can monitor everything that goes on within the ark, and when he catches someone going against the house rules, they will be sent to a section in the Ark Two especially made as a holding cell. He doesn’t want anything to be brutal, he just wants them to reflect and learn their lesson. But the big question still remains, why is Bruce doing this? What is he preparing for?
Bruce Beach belongs to a group of people who call themselves “preppers.” Preppers believe that an apocalypse is coming and it’s coming anytime soon. So they are starting to prepare for it through various means. They each have different reasons as to why they believe that an apocalypse is coming, some for spiritual reasons and some because of the ancient Mayan calendar predictions. Surprisingly, although a little unheard of, preppers are big in numbers all across America.
Having the same belief, preppers gather together every once in a while to talk about plans, strategies, and challenges they need to face and prepare for before the apocalypse happens. They hold meetings, workshops, and learning sessions that include topics like “Zombie Survival Camp,” “Surviving in the Wilderness,” and the likes. That’s why Bruce came up with the idea of building the Ark Two, similar to Noah’s Ark, that will be able to accommodate selected people. But what does Bruce’s family think about his creation?
The construction of the Ark Two has cost Bruce not only much of his time but also much of his savings. He had to pay for everything! Luckily, his 90-year-old wife Jean has always been so supportive of him, but not his children. Growing up, his children watched him collect and purchase odd objects and items like deadbeat school buses and saw him pour time, effort, and money on something that might not even happen. Now, Bruce’s children are all grown up and have families of their own and they were not ashamed to express that they want nothing to do with any of their father’s apocalyptic business.
Obviously, the government also wasn’t very impressed about Bruce’s creation. In fact, they want it shut down and gone for good.
Over the years of building the Ark Two, Bruce has faced numerous problems and lawsuits. But he wasn’t one to back down. After being taken to court more than 30 times, Bruce still fought for his vision as he believed that what he was doing is for the safety of his fellow humans.
Lifelong mission and vision
Bruce said that most preppers only prepare for the apocalypse to save themselves, not thinking about their neighbors, families, and their communities. Bruce, on the other hand, has worked half of his life building something that could accommodate half a thousand people, regardless of their religion, culture, or race. So despite the different reactions and the endless backlash that he receives, Bruce Beach plans to fulfill his lifelong mission and vision to build an ark that will help others in times of desperate need.