KINGMAN - What do Grand Canyon Caverns and the Dead Sea Scrolls have in common? No, there are no ancient religious texts found in the caverns. Yet, one day in the future, archaeologists may be scratching their heads in amazement at what is found in the caverns.
In 1962, during the Cuban Missle Crisis, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed that all accessible caves in the United States be used as fallout shelters. Grand Canyon Caverns was declared the emergency home for up to 2,000 people should Castro send warheads our way.
To that end, the Civil Defense Department stored provisions in the depths of the Grand Canyon Caverns just in case it might be needed to protect the locals from nuclear fallout.
Hundreds of barrels of water, survival wafers, rock candy, toilet paper and medical supplies are still stored 21 stories beneath Route 66 at Grand Canyon Caverns.
Recently, a film crew from Passmore Labs out of San Diego arrived at the caverns to record a segment for an upcoming documentary on the most amazing caves in the world.
"We are capturing footage in the caverns to be included in a feature film entitled The Inner Earth" said international cinematographer Gerry Passmore, lab owner and photographer.
Grand Canyon Caverns join caves in Slovenia, Austria, Iceland, Jordan, Belize, Mexico, Hawaii, Venezuela, Thailand, Cambodia and other major cave systems in the world included in the documentary. The filming is nearly complete and post-production will take about a year, according to Passmore.
His work may be familiar to those who watched "The Dead Sea Scrolls" on the Discovery Channel last year. Now you see what they have in common.
When asked about the challenges of filming in caves around the world, Passmore said "the actual filming has been pretty uneventful. We've had no accidents.
"However, some of the locations have been challenging. We carry our own medical equipment, and in South Africa, we were mobbed by the locals seeking medical supplies."
Grand Canyon Caverns is located at mile marker 115 on Route 66 between Seligman and Peach Springs.