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Vampires den or MIB HQ? NYC’s windowless skyscraper raises conspiracy questions

Vampires den or MIB HQ? NYC’s windowless skyscraper raises conspiracy questions
  • PublishedSeptember 27, 2023

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The AT&T switching building sits at 33 Thomas Street.—AFP/file
The AT&T switching building sits at 33 Thomas Street.—AFP/file

An enigmatic 40-storey skyscraper that looms over New York City’s iconic skyline has sparked wild rumours about its true purpose, including claims that it’s a vampire lair or the headquarters for the equivalent of the fictional ‘Men in Black’ — extraterrestrial alien hunting — agency.

Even renowned actor Tom Hanks was spooked by it when he saw it in 2017, calling it “the scariest building I’ve ever seen” and wondering what goes on inside.

This eerie building, made entirely of concrete and devoid of windows, certainly stands out in the bustling metropolis. Online conspiracies have flourished, with some suggesting it exudes “MI-6 vibes,” while others humorously propose that “lizard people don’t need windows.”

However, the reality behind this foreboding skyscraper is much more straightforward. Originally known as the Long Lines Building, it was constructed between 1969 and 1974 for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), serving as a vital telecommunications hub.

Due to the unique requirements of the equipment and the need for a secure location, the building has taller floors than standard, resulting in 29 actual floors despite its 40-story appearance. It was designed to withstand a nuclear blast and store enough food to sustain 1,500 people for two weeks. While it was in use until 1999, it still serves as a high-security data centre today.

Renamed 33 Thomas Street, the building has retained an air of suspicion. In 2016, an investigation by The Intercept, including leaked documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden, suggested that the structure is codenamed TITANPOINTE and maybe a secret National Security Agency (NSA) base. 

Allegations of a major international “gateway switch” that routes phone calls worldwide were also linked to the windowless tower. If true, it could be one of the most significant NSA surveillance sites in the U.S.

However, the NSA has remained tight-lipped about these revelations, leaving the true nature of the building shrouded in mystery. Social media users remain divided on its purpose, with some dismissing it as a telecom central office while others entertain wild theories involving vampires, aliens, Men in Black, and Batman.

Such eerie and abandoned structures are found worldwide, from Bangkok’s unfinished “ghost tower” to an empty hotel in Tenerife and a deserted 25-storey tower block in Mexico City, each with its own mystique and stories to tell.

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