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Alcatraz Really Does Have Tunnels Under It, Just Like in the Move, “The Rock”

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

I was perusing the move shelves at the end of last week, hoping to find something that my family would enjoy watching together.  I was actually looking for a different movie when I spied, “The Rock,” starring Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage and Ed Harris.  “Oh, yeah, I remember that one!” I said to myself.  I knew that Elliot and Emily would enjoy watching it, and they did.  Then I began to think about those tunnels in the movie that supposedly ran beneath Alcatraz.  Could there be any truth to those tunnels?  It appears that the answer is, “Yes.”

The movie was based on a completely fictitious plot, of course, but not all of the information in the movie was fiction.  Tunnels underneath the prison were the means for entering and escaping The Rock in the movie, and where did those tunnels come from?  In the movie, the writers based the idea on the fact that Alcatraz was, in the 19th century, a military fort.  The tunnels were thought to have been destroyed, BUT…Alcatraz, it was recently discovered, actually does have tunnels underneath it.

Researchers from Texas A & M University used radar technology to “see” a network of tunnels that were once used by the military when The Rock was a fort.  They also believe they have found magazine buildings that were used for ammunition storage.

One day I plan on visiting San Francisco and taking a tour of the rock.  Criminals like Al Capone, George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes and others were held there for years.  With the making of the movie, the history of the island is even more fascinating for me.  One day, one day…

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