Fort Knox is possibly the most well-known vault in the USA, if not the world. Built in 1936 as a means to keep gold reserves away from coastal cities in the event of foreign invasion, it stands right next to a U.S army post. Costing $560,000 (roughly $8,300,000 today), it's so heavily guarded that many have coined the term "as secure as Fort Knox" because of how safe it is. So how do you break in? You don't.
While the United States government won't go into details about all of the security measures that they implement, there's evidence that it includes;
- Laser targeted machine guns
- Field filled with mines
- 20 ton steel vault door (with a timed lock and combination that no single person knows)
- Predatory drone surveillance
- Razor wire & electric fences
- 30,000 soldiers, tanks, armored carriers, attack helicopters, and artillery
What exactly are they guarding?
The vaults were designed to safeguard the country's gold in the event of a foreign attack. As of 31 July 2020, Fort Knox holds over 147 million troy ounces of gold valued at US $290.9 billion. This represents over half of the gold reserves within the United States. Modern coins & bars have a fineness of 99.9%, but most of the vaulted gold in Fort Knox don't. U.S coins produced from 1838 to 1933 were made with a 90% fineness, and the remaining 10% copper. According to the released schedule, roughly 64% of their gold bars are between 899 and 901, 2% are between 901.1 and 915.4, 17% are between 915.5 and 917, and 17% are higher than 995. The average fineness is 916.7 (22 karat).
Has anyone managed to break in before?
No. In fact, no one has managed to break in because no one has even attempted it! Fort Knox boasts an impressive display of security, and has even more they don't openly display. Visitors are not allowed and even if you manage to get inside, the vaults can all be filled with water. It's so famous that it's constantly being featured in films and shows. Famous characters that tried to break in include; the main antagonist from Goldfinger, Yosemite Sam from Bugs Bunny, and Abbott and Costello from Comin' Round the Mountain. Spoiler alert; they all fail and get caught. The closest you'll get is the public tour they offer, but there's no way to see the real vaults or get any closer than that.