A local man recently discovered and entered a nuclear fallout reporting post from the 1960s in the Moose Lake area.

‘I like to go to these places that where people really don't go to. Places that aren't really known or listed anywhere and half the fun is just trying to find it. You never know when you go. There could be something or there could be nothing. You have no idea.’

Shayne Thiessen is a self-described explorer, wanderer, and adventurous soul, and spends a good part of his free time exploring and hiking. He attributes posting his explorations on his Explore With Shane blog and social media as part of the motivation for continuing to look and search for new places to explore.

Photo of Nuclear Fallout Post KE4 courtesy of Shayne Thiessen

He accredits the long list on the Manitoba Historical Society website with giving him many ideas on places to explore. According to Thiessen, the website has approximately 3000 different historical locations all inviting him to explore.

The research involves knowing a general idea of where the location is, and he does this by searching online and satellite maps for accurate imaging. Thiessen says this is somewhat helpful to prepare for his day, 'I look at the pictures but you never what you're going to actually see when you get there because the pictures kind of only tell half the story.'

His most recent experience took place near Moose Lake. He was searching for a nuclear fallout reporting post referred to as KE4 he found on the Manitoba Historical Society website. Thiessen was quite surprised to find the shelter open and unlocked. His research had led him to believe that most shelters were kept locked, 'I was actually surprised when I got there that it was actually open, but this was actually open and accessible. So, I could just pull open the door and I could actually climb down the ladder and get in.'

As Thiessen descended into the shelter he recalls a strong scent, ‘I opened the door and I started crawling down and, it really smelled like a skunk was in there, so I thought for sure that I was going to encounter something but it was empty.’

Photo of Nuclear Fallout Post KE4 courtesy of Shayne ThiessenThe shelter may have been empty, but Thiessen took note of the bare shelves and beds, as all the equipment that would have been inside having been removed decades earlier when the posts were decommissioned. He was still impressed with the site, ‘it was cool to be able to crawl in there and see something from history.’

Looking back at the location, Thiessen wasn’t really sure why the government thought the site location would be something that would protect from a nuclear attack. He did some further research when he got home, ‘one of the reasons why the government abandoned this program was because they realized that being 10 feet underground actually wouldn't do enough to protect you from nuclear fallout."

According to Thiessen, they did build close to 100 of these shelters throughout the province in the late 1950s and early 1960s, none ever used and most of them now have been dug up or filled with concrete.

Empty fallout shelter or not, Thiessen acknowledges that he got to step into history. 'Most of these places, you're in a museum and you get to look at it and you get to read the description and the information. Here, I actually got to go into and to see it for myself and explore for myself...there have been very few people that have actually entered into there.'