It’s not every day the one has the
opportunity to observe the construction
of a secret underground base. This video
is an actual declassified US Army film,
documenting the nuclear-powered
construction process of Camp Century,
beneath the ice of central Greenland.
The base was constructed in the late
1950s, during the height of the Cold War,
for “research” purposes.
To study the feasibility of working under the
ice, a “cover” project, known as Camp Century
was launched in 1960. However, unsteady
ice conditions within the ice sheet caused the
project to be canceled in 1966.
It eventually came out that the ultimate
objective of Camp Century was of placing
medium-range missiles under the ice – close
enough to Moscow to strike targets within
the Soviet Union. This was kept secret from
the Danish government, which owns
Greenland, which was legally a “nuclear free
zone”, in keeping with Danish policy.

Details of the missile base project were

classified for decades, first coming to light in

January 1997, when the Danish Foreign Policy

Institute (DUPI) was asked by the Danish 

Parliament to research the history of nuclear

weapons in Greenland during the Thulegate



A report confirmed that the U.S. stockpiled

nuclear weapons in Greenland until 1965,

contradicting assurances by Danish foreign

minister, Niels Helveg Petersen that the

weapons were in Greenland’s airspace, but

never on the ground. The DUPI report also

revealed details of Project Iceworm, a

hitherto secret United States Army plan to

store up to 600 nuclear missiles under the

Greenland ice cap.


Danish workers involved in the clean-up

operation claimed long-term health problems

resulting from their exposure to the radiation.


In 1986, Danish Prime Minister Poul Schlüter

commissioned a radiological examination of the

surviving workers. The Danish Institute for Clinical Epidemiology found a 50 percent higher

cancer rate in the workers than in the general



In 1987, almost 200 former cleanup workers

took legal action against the United States. The

action was unsuccessful, but resulted in the

release of hundreds of classified documents,

including this film.


The documents revealed that USAF personnel

involved in the clean-up were not subsequently

monitored for health problems, despite the

likelihood of greater exposure to radiation than

the Danes. The United States has since instigated

regular examinations of its workers. In 1995, the

Danish government paid 1,700 workers

compensation of 50,000 kroner each.