back to article Fear 2012? Bunker hustler has you covered

A California entrepreneur is building a series of hardened underground bunkers that he says will be able to save the lives of 4,000 well-heeled bunkernauts should something go terribly, terribly wrong with earth. What might go wrong, you ask? The website of Vivos, the brainchild of founder Robert Vicino, provides a laundry …


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  1. Blofeld's Cat


    I can undercut that.

    For just $10,000* I can supply plans on how to make your own 2012 bunker out of tinfoil, old washing up bottles, sticky-backed plastic and other everyday household objects. I'll even throw in a guarantee that if the bunker fails to protect you from the end of the world in 2012, I will give you all your money back**.

    * Payment in small, used, non-sequential notes please.

    ** Application in person only.

    Terms and conditions apply. Panic levels can go down as well as up.

  2. Chimpofdoom!


    A bit like the videogame fallout...

    I'll give him a fiver for a bunker in 2014.. you know used and all that...

  3. LaeMing

    2012 and the Mayans

    Little known fact*:

    The whole 'world ends when the Mayan Calendar ends' thing is all a linguistic mis-understanding. What the Mayans actually prophesied was:

    "In the days following the end of the current calendar,

    all our systems will crash

    because some dimwit only used a four-byte year field.

    (Long-count overflow error #30)"

    *It's on the Internet (now) so it must be true!!!

  4. TeeCee Gold badge

    Some say.

    That this is a way of avoiding cataclysm.

    The Laws of Fate say that it's an asteroid sized target painted on California. Let's see 'em survive that.

  5. Boycie

    Missed a trick?

    Surely this guy should have named his company Vault-tec? Watch out for the radscorpions!

  6. Robert Ramsay

    Fools, money, parted.

    As if they are going to be able to survive, even if any of those things *do* happen.

    I notice he didn't mention the Large Hadron Collider.

    1. Oninoshiko

      of course not!

      what do you think he is, some kinda nutter?

  7. Anonymous Coward


    "did you know that "On December 21, 2012 our solar system will be aligned with the dark rift of the Milky Way for the first time in 26,000 years"?

    Wow, the Dark Rift!!! That sounds awesome! I wonder what horrors will come pouring out of the Dark Rift one alignment is complete?

    Oh wait, does he mean the Milky Way's dust lanes?......... oh

  8. Secretgeek

    Two things.

    First: "the dark rift of the Milky Way"

    Ermmm it's not a 'rift' it's just a cloud of gas. Muppet.

    Second: This guy's been playing FAR too much Fallout 3. Forgivable.

  9. Targlam

    Vault 13

    I hope they stockpile enough water chips

  10. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    So I can live in my very own vault?

    Sign me up! Vault 69 if possible.

  11. Andy 6

    oh noes !

    I think someone played a little too much "Fallout 3"

  12. Nigel Callaghan
    Thumb Down

    And if it doesn't work...

    ...he offers a full money-back guarantee!

    Actually, I remember a similar scam being run in Peterborough (of all places) back in the eighties, when some people were worried about Soviet nukes hitting Molesworth cruise missile base just down the road. Council turned down the planning application and it then went to a public enquiry - we had great fun looking for valid objections on planning grounds - e.g. if it's classed as residential property (which it obviously is) then it has to have adequate car parking for all the residents, sufficient windows, and, given the numbers, suitable outdoor play areas for the children! We argued that in fact there wasn't a planning 'Use Class' for nuclear bunkers and the closest we could find was 'Blood boilers and Fat renders'.

    The question of the money-back guarantee was raised then as well...

  13. KjetilS

    Sounds like someone has played way too much Fallout 2

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  14. Neil 13

    Lots of gear but....

    "water, fuel, clothing, bedding, toiletries, educational and entertainment materials, exercise equipment, medicine, medical equipment, security devices, survival gear, tools, spare parts, radios, computers, televisions, safes, refrigerated vaults, off-road vehicles, seeds, farming tools, hunting, fishing equipment"

    No tin opener. Why do they always make that mistake?

  15. LaeMing

    Nice little money spinner, I'm sure.

    However most 'disasters' that are over in less than a year are surface-survivable anyway (at least if you are a reasonable distance from ground-zero). The big ones will require you to stay holed up for far longer than that! Even if you ate all the other residents after the food ran out, you wouldn't make it.

    I'll take my chances sitting around with the zombies trading complaints about the poor quality of human brains these days.

    1. Bounty

      "Que Sera, Sera" -Ned Flanders

      "The big ones will require you to stay holed up for far longer than that! Even if you ate all the other residents after the food ran out, you wouldn't make it."

      200 survivors and enough food to last them 1 year. As soon as you get in the shelter you should know if you're going to be stuck there for 50 years. All you need to do then is eat 99% of the others and you'll have plenty of food. Keep a few of the cute ones for genetic diversity if you know what I mean.

      1. LaeMing

        Excellent Point

        Be proactive about the food supply. I love it!

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Bit cramped for the average merkin

    Well the average merkin who can afford this sort of cash.

    BTW most of the hazards listed would be side stepped by proper siting. Locating your underground bunker in the desert is likely to avoid many problems with 10 snow drifts and flooding.

    He seems to have avoided Wacko Texas (yes, the locals refer to their incoming new inhabitants as wac-o) steering clear of all those other survivalist nutters in their armed compounds.

    Mine will be the one with the MP3 playing "Take the money and run"

  17. Grave


    design seems pretty outdated, like using swinging doors in underground shelter, medical facilities not accessible from anywhere, stairs, single entry/exit point rooms, etc

    you just dont grab surface facility design and cram it underground

  18. Andy 97

    Ha! Good luck with that then

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  19. Alan Fitzsimmons

    Doomsday postponed

    Actually, Apophis will miss the Earth by about 19,000 miles in April 2029. The miss distance is the close approach distance (37,400 km) minus the radius of the Earth (6300 km). Oh, and of course the "grand alignment" between the winter solstice and the galactic plane actually happened in 1998. Anyone notice? Get yer facts right El Reg!

  20. Elmer Phud

    Bury The Rich!

    I bet they'll feel at ease - safely secured underground away from all the poor people.

    Just wait until they discover that the doors have been welded shut from the outside.

  21. Flakey

    Who would want to......

    live on a post apocalyptic planet thats full of rich assholes who have bought survival and public servants who have gained survival by having a cushy job? I know i wouldnt Anyway, if the landscape after the Great Cataclysm is anything like Fallout 3 or Metro 2033, I think I'd rather be dead.

  22. Daniel Wilkie


    I came on here thinking I'd make the first comment about Fallout 3. I guess not. It's not my fault I'm beind the times -somebody locked the bloody vault door. From the inside :O

  23. Dan Breen

    @Nigel Callaghan

    Ahhh, that would explain the rumours of nuclear shelters under Queensgate then.

  24. Will Shaw

    Much, much cheaper.... just spend a couple of grand on an old V8, some sheets of corrugated iron, some castoff hockey armour with spikes bolted on, and a modified blunderbuss. As a semi-feral roadpunk, you're bound to survive the apocalypse by sheer force of narrative causality. Just stay away from any lone drifters.

  25. David Pollard

    @ Neil 13

    "Why do they always make that mistake?"

    So they can remember the joke about the engineer, the chemist and the economist starving on a desert island with a pallet load of tinned food but no way to open it.

    The engineer says, "We can hoist a big rock up on the cliff there and drop it onto the can to smash it open." "Nah," say the others, "it'll splatter all over the place and we'd have to scrape it off the ground."

    The chemist says, "We should make a fire and heat it. The top will blow off." "Nah," say the others, "it'll still go all over the place plus we might get hurt when it explodes."

    The economist says, "Well I have the solution. First of all, assume we have a tin opener..."

  26. Yorkshirepudding

    I Choose rapture

    im telling you folks under the sea thats where its at!

  27. Jake Rialto 1


    flooding submersion for 500 hours

    So no good for another "forty days and forty nights" Etch a sketch end of the world by you know who then.....

  28. Fred Mbogo

    Its probably Simon

    Want to bet that this is a scheme from either the PFY or the BOFH trying to sell imaginary Defense Bunkers?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      EXACTLY what I was thinking.

      ....The world may never know....

  29. Pete 43

    Sounds like Butlins...

    Who's the entertainment, arrrgh not Chico

  30. Daniel 1

    "stocked with an abundant supply of gourmet foods"

    Plus, 199 other, edible "guests", once that runs out!

    I say we lock a load of them in one, and then spend the next 13 months, making loud and alarming noises, outside... then see what we find, once we reopen the door.

  31. Deadlock Victim

    Easily affordable by most any middle class American

    Just take out a mortgage to pay for it. Not that you ever have any intent in paying the mortgage back, what with the end of the world and all...

  32. Joe User

    Great location

    "The first of Vicino's planned 20 bunkers is a 20,000 square foot facility buried five stories underground"

    I enjoy being under 5 stories of earth and rock when the entrance is collapsed/flooded/plugged by an earthquake, tsunami, asteroid strike, volcanic eruption, . . . .

    Thousands of years in the future, we'll arise as the Morlocks.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Are you One of the Few?

    Peoples temple: 918, Solar temple: 74, Heavens Gate: 39, Branch Davidians: 76, Vivosarians: ??

    Ya, good luck with that.

  34. Telecide


    Since when were the Freemasons on the 2012 bandwagon? I think not. And why should our solar system alligning with the Milky Way rim make any difference? There'll be a lot of people looking for new employment after 2012, unless they can think up another apocalyptic deadline.

  35. David Sidebotham
    Jobs Halo

    Funny thing..

    I know where there is one just the same for sale. It would take 200 people, 300 at a push or one oligarch and retinue. It also has an associated mansion and other accommodation, a helicopter landing pad, football pitch etc and is only 3 miles from the centre of London. Oh yes, it also has an excellent view over Wembley stadium. Just the job for you know who when the balloon goes up.

    For a change this is not a joke and is genuinely on offer for a few pennies.

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