When you think of NORAD, you think of a lot of classified things going on, "protecting the world" kind of stuff. Then you hear that there was a "classified" saloon, and you definitely get another vibe.

What makes the matter even more interesting, is that the saloon was known as the "John Wayne Saloon." It's all so wrong, but all "so cool" at the same time.

John Wayne
Getty Images

You have to imagine that "The Duke" himself would have been impressed to learn that his name is attached to what could become a legendary story.

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Most all Coloradans know of the North American Aerospace Defense Command is in Colorado Springs at Peterson Space Force Base inside of Cheyenne Mountain. It's been the subject of many stories, including the movie "War Games" from 1983.

Forty years after that fictional movie comes a true story that is destined for the big screen. The Denver Post has the report on a USA Today investigation that uncovered this secret "saloon" at NORAD.

According to the report, the "John Wayne Saloon" at NORAD was a locked room. The keypad to get into that room was:

 ...marked by a John Wayne poster

I don't know how that would look. Was it a big keypad, or was it a small poster? That doesn't matter. According to the report, none of the senior commanders knew about this room, and the only way in was to be invited.

Maybe the invite sounded something like:


I could drink.

Look for John Wayne down that way.

John Wayne?

The password is "The Hell I'm not gonna hit ya"

According to the report, this was just an office. Probably no bar, no ceiling fan, not even sports on a TV.

It did have documents in there, however. None of those documents are a part of the story, it seems; the office was meant for drinking in secret, and that's it.

Saloon at NORAD

Once senior officials were alerted to the saloon by USA Today, they shut it down, of course. This was after going to the office and finding, according to the USA Today:

...some beer, refrigerator and some hard liquor.

I can't wait to see who they cast in the movie.

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