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Fort Knox represents the stuff of dreams to many, and has figured prominently in books, television and several movies, including a James Bond thriller. The fort that serves as the nation’s primary gold repository is considered so secure it has held such priceless treasures as:
- The Magna Carta
- The Declaration of Independence
- The Crown Jewels of England
- The original documents of the U.S. Constitution
- The gold reserves of occupied countries during World War II
Built to Last and Protect
The original fortress was built in 1937 at a cost of $560,000, which is the equivalent of nearly $10 million today. The building uses more than 15,500 cubic feet of granite, 1,400 tons of reinforcing and structural steel, and 4,200 cubic yards of concrete.
The physical barriers and other steps used to protect the contents of Fort Knox are extensive. While all the security measures are not made public, the observable ones include barbed wire, electric fences, armed guards, minefields, and dedicated helicopters. These are on top of the fact the building itself is located on a secured Army post. This is one government installation that never allows any unofficial visitors for any reason.
Why All the Trouble?
The contents that officials claim reside in the Fort Knox depository are valuable enough to attract the attention of any serious thief or thieves. The 147.3 million ounces of gold that the government says are stored in Fort Knox represent more than 3 percent of all the gold ever mined or used. The gold bars are carried on the books at a value of $42.22 an ounce, although they would garner much more than that on the market.
While the official story is that the gold has been in Fort Knox’s massive vault for decades, many wonder if this is really the case. There has been no audit of the actual gold contents at Fort Knox since 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. During this audit, only 5 percent of the gold was tested, and no independent experts were used. The evidence is suspiciously lacking. The only source to verify that the gold is there is the United States government. Perhaps the impenetrability of Fort Knox is a ruse to hide the fact there is no gold held there. The doubters are not just the typical conspiracy theory types, either. Those expressing concern include such reputable sources like Brad Meltzer, author and radio host Bill Still, and even Senator Ron Paul.
Seeds of Doubt
Aside from the lack of any independent verification of the contents of Fort Knox, the U.S government has recently acted in ways that fuel a growing suspicion among many Americans about Uncle Sam’s trustworthiness. Is the government able and willing to deceive the public? Many would answer yes. From the recent NSA spying revelation to questions about the Bilderberg Group (a New World Order organization), people are increasingly skeptical about placing blind trust in anything the government says.
Did you know that right before Fort Knox was opened in the 1930s, the government commanded Americans to turn over their privately held gold? Prior to that time, gold was the precious metal standing behind our currency. Now, without the real backing of gold, the government can—and does—run the Treasury presses 24/7 to produce as much “fiat” or paper money as they want. The U.S. currently spends more than $3.5 trillion a year and at least one trillion of that comes from those Treasury presses, not gold or any other real commodity or source of revenue, in other words, completely baseless, made up money.
What Would Happen If?
What would happen if the world found there was no gold in Fort Knox? The real consequences are unknown, but the blow to the legitimacy of the U.S. government, and our economy, would certainly be catastrophic. If there were no gold there, it would also raise questions such as:
- What is really backing the value of the U.S. dollar?
- Would other nations turn to another world reserve currency, such as the euro or yuan?
- Would the government come after Americans who hold gold privately as a form of financial security?
- How would countries such as Russia (number 6 in gold reserves) and China (number 7) react to the news of the U.S. fraud?
- Where would we find the cushion to carry us through any major world economic or other crisis?
While these questions make for some interesting discussions, those who are truly concerned about the answers continue to follow the Fort Knox mystery for new clues. Is the vault really full of billions of dollars worth of the yellow metal—or is this simply the largest case of fool’s gold in history?
This article is brought to you courtesy of SBC Gold.