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The bunker is an underground hideout constructed by Ford, used as a base of operations for his experiments, and a shelter in the event of disaster.

History

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Schematic of the bunker in Journal 3.

Over thirty years ago, Ford grew fearful he was being watched by forces who would seek to use the information he acquired for nefarious purposes, and created the bunker as a means of carrying out his work in secrecy. Securing it beneath an artificial tree within the Gravity Falls Forest, he used the bunker as both a fallout shelter and a research lab containing various experiments within it, including the Shape Shifter, whose DNA possessed the power to constantly metamorphose.

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Cryogenic holding tube for the Shape Shifter.

Growing too dangerous to be kept free, Ford fashioned a metal cage to temporarily imprison the Shape Shifter as he designed a device capable of cryogenic stasis, but was forced to abort his plans when the creature broke free. Sealing the bunker to prevent the Shape Shifter from gaining freedom, Ford's fate was left unknown, and his base would lay dormant beneath the forest for years to come.

Season 1

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Dipper discovers the bunker's security mechanism.

Dipper first finds the bunker's exterior after coming across its artificial tree in "Tourist Trapped," eventually locating the security mechanism used in hiding Journal 3. Intrigued by its content, Dipper retreats to the Mystery Shack to reveal his findings to Mabel.

Season 2

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The gang enters the bunker.

The bunker's interior is unveiled in "Into the Bunker," when Dipper, Mabel, Soos and Wendy explore the location after learning of it in Journal 3. Their investigation is cut short, however, when the Shape Shifter attempts to destroy them, leading them into a destructive skirmish that ultimately lands him in the fate Ford originally intended; frozen in cryogenic stasis. Despite their failure to learn Ford's true identity, Soos inadvertently brings Fiddleford's laptop out of the bunker alongside them, allowing their quest to continue on.

Residents

Architecture

Exterior

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The lever activated.

The bunker is a subterranean complex built beneath the Gravity Falls forest, only accessible through a mechanical, technological automaton in the guise of a tree. A small chamber is used to house a device serving as both a surveillance system and operator to conceal Journal 3 in an underground crevice. A lever on the topmost section of the tree disguised as a branch activates the lowering of a spiral staircase, as well as the opening of a large door into the bunker.

Bomb shelter

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The shelter.

The stairs lead to a small room with weapons, food stock, and Smez. A poster conceals a small hallway leading to another small room.

Security room

A chamber composed of tiles on the walls, floor and ceiling. Stepping on a specially marked tile in the middle triggers a booby trap in which the tiles individually expand forward to crush whoever is inside. The only way to prevent this is to press four specially marked tiles to open a door to safety.

Observation deck

A room linked to a number of security cameras in the lab, most likely meant to serve as a way to safely observe and experiment on the test subjects.

Hidden lab

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The laboratory.

A laboratory where all the experimental subjects are kept under lock and key, preferably in cryogenic stasis.

Creature den

A section of tunnels dug out by the Shape Shifter to live in, a swath of cloth over the entrance serves as a doorway.

Sightings

Season 1

Season 2

Trivia

  • The bunker appears to function as both a fallout shelter and a research lab, as Ford had stored supplies for a disaster that would last over 60 years and conducted various experiments with creatures such as the Shape Shifter.

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