For several decades, the BT Tower, a 600 foot tall tower that had been featured in shows like Dr Who and was visited daily by hundreds, if not thousands of people, was officially considered a secret by the British Government and its location was classified.
If you’re curious about why, it’s because when the tower was first proposed in the 1950’s it was conceived as a place to house vital microwave communication technology that could be used in the event of nuclear attack. As such, its official location was deemed top secret, despite the fact the tower itself, was for a time, the tallest and hence most visible structure in all of London.
In a bizarre twist, although the tower supposedly contained and housed equipment that would be absolutely critical in the event of Britain coming under nuclear attack, it also featured a revolving restaurant on its 32nd floor that was visited by millions of people over the years.
In fact, the tower was quite a tourist attraction, and although no branch of the government would ever confirm its existence, the tower was featured prominently in an episode of freaking Doctor Who in the 60’s. We don’t mean like it was featured in the background or something. It was a central location in the 4 episode mini-arc, and it contained an evil robotic computer that was trying to take over the entire world. That’s the kind of shit that sticks in your mind, especially when you realise it has a freaking rotating restaurant glued to the top of it. However, even though everyone in London knew where exactly the tower was and could probably see it from their bathroom window as they pinched a loaf, because its location was protected under the Official Secrets Act, for decades no one from the government could legally acknowledge its existence.
It wasn’t until 1993, almost half a century after the tower was proposed that the whole charade was ended when a British MP stood up in the middle of parliament and announced its existence under the protection of parliamentary privilege, which allows MPs to break the law, if they really need to. Kind of like Batman with more red tape and less punching.
Which doesn’t change the fact that for several decades, one of the biggest buildings in London didn’t appear on any maps in case the Russian’s used them to figure out where it was.