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What Caused Super Bowl Blackout?; Chris Christie's Future Health

Aired February 5, 2013 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.

And, tonight, a pretty stunning statement about Governor Chris Christie, a man who could one day run for president. A former Quote, I'm worried about this man dying in office. Who says so? A former White House doctor said today -- quote -- "I'm worried about this man dying in office."

Chris Christie is also speaking out about his health. Our question tonight, can someone who is considered overweight also be considered healthy? We have answers for you ahead. 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta joins us for that.

Also ahead tonight, why some people are building bunkers, preparing for war, natural disasters or economic collapse? Our Gary Tuchman takes us deep inside one man's well-stocked bunker that he hopes could help him survive a nuclear attack.

But we begin tonight with breaking news, a first look at the bunker that Jill Dougherty turned into a prison cell for a 5-year-old boy and a kind of twisted Alamo where he made his final fatal stand, a bunker we're now learning that included two bombs. The FBI just released the photos. This is the bunker itself.

The blue tent was added to preserve any evidence that may be underneath. Now, as you can see, official vehicles surround the property, a sheriff's department Humvee, and in the background, a large armored vehicle. You can see the bunker in the far distance, the crime scene tape roping off a perimeter.

This surrounded by sandbags is the PVC piping that leads into that bunker. Negotiators used it to communicate at times with Dykes, communications growing tenser and tenser, they say, until the decision was made to go in.

So now this man, Jimmy Lee Dykes, is dead, killed by an FBI team after a brutally effective and apparently well-planned operation. His captive, Ethan -- we're withholding his last name -- is out of the hospital and said to be doing well. In a moment, what lies ahead for him -- we will talk with Ed Smart. He, of course, was lucky enough to be able to help his daughter Elizabeth heal after she was held captive for months. John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" is also going to join us.

And we will also talk with the son of that heroic bus driver who died trying to stop the kidnapper.

First, though, there's a lot more unfolding at this moment.

Martin Savidge has the latest from the crime scene.

Marty, what are we learning?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, you were talking about both those photos and now the word of these explosive devices. We have been told all day long by authorities that one of the reasons that the public wasn't being allowed into that area was the concern for these explosive devices.

Now we have learned there were two of them, one of them located inside the bunker, which would show you how dangerous it was the entire time for that young child and also for the agents that made the entry. And then the other device now, we're being told, was found inside that PVC pipe which was used for the communication.

Also, in those photographs you might have noticed the roof of that bunker collapsed in, which would show you the force of the explosion, we believe, that was used to gain entry in there and bring about the rescue.

Meanwhile, Ethan, as you say, he's out of the hospital. He's in good spirits, we're told. But his whereabouts right now are being kept secret. And that's exactly the way his family wanted it.

Meanwhile, we took at exactly the breakdown of how this raid took place. And here it is.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): For days, as the command center in a nearby church continued to grow, authorities remained in constant communication with Jimmy Lee Dykes, reportedly speaking through a pipe that ran into his bunker and also through a hatch in the bunker's roof.

Dykes even allowed authorities to deliver what were called comfort items through that hatch.

WALLY OLSON, DALE COUNTY SHERIFF: He allowed us to provide color books, medication, toys.

SAVIDGE: Dykes was said to be caring for the boy, providing even an electric heater and blankets to keep him warm, leaving the authorities to take the unusual step of thanking the boy's kidnapper.

OLSON: I want to thank him for taking care of our child.

SAVIDGE: All seemed well until Sunday afternoon, when negotiators noticed a change in Dykes's demeanor.

STEVE RICHARDSON, FBI: Within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated. SAVIDGE: According to law enforcement sources on the scene, a special camera was used to monitor what was going on inside the bunker.

Meanwhile, highly trained FBI hostage rescue teams like this one in an FBI training video took turns on standby around the clock. Sources say those rescue teams practiced their assault on a mockup of Dykes' bunker. Monday, authorities continue to monitor the change in Dykes' demeanor. Publicly, officials gave no indication, but for the first time hinted he had a motive.

OLSON: He has a story that is important to him, although it is very complex.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, a team from the (INAUDIBLE) fire department trained in collapsed building rescues was quietly put on alert and brought in. Then came the critical moment.

RICHARDSON: Mr. Dykes was observed -- was observed holding a gun.

SAVIDGE: That's when the HRT team struck.

Byron Martin is a neighbor.

BYRON MARTIN, NEIGHBOR: I heard a big boom and then I heard -- I believe I heard rifle shots.

RICHARDSON: FBI agents, fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child.

SAVIDGE: Sources tell CNN federal agents tossed flash bang grenades into the bunker to disorient Dykes. Then two or more agents dropped into the 6-by-8-foot underground space, shooting the gunman multiple times, killing him. Five-year-old Ethan was unharmed.

It was all over in seconds. For a clearly exhausted Dale County sheriff, Wally Olson, it was a relief.

OLSON: We appreciate everybody in law enforcement pulling together to get this job done. Thank you.


COOPER: Talking about pulling together, do we know how many people were involved in this operation?

SAVIDGE: Anderson, authorities tell us tonight that there were literally hundreds of people that were involved, not just here in the immediate area, boots on the ground, but we're talking about all the way to Washington, D.C., and beyond.

There were just so many people. By the way, one person that is also added to the list as far as heroes that have helped, and that's Charles Poland. His name went up outside of the school this morning, which resumed -- that's the school where Ethan left from -- that's the school that the bus driver drove out of. He's definitely a hero in many people's books here.

COOPER: Yes. It certainly sounds like it.

Martin, thanks very much.

As Marty's been reporting, so many people did so many things right for this to end the way it did. There are many heroes to this story. I do want to focus a little bit more closely now on the original one that Marty was just talking about, the school bus driver Charles Poland.

He was laid to rest over the weekend. And, as Marty said, he's being called a hero today in that community.

By now, you probably know how he died, standing up to the gunman, trying to save his kids. And he considered those kids on the bus his kids. And what made him a hero, though, what equipped him for that moment and what gave him the courage to stand up was already written in how he lived his life every day.

Earlier tonight, I talked about his life with his son Aaron.


COOPER: Aaron, let me just start by saying again I'm so sorry for your loss.

Your dad has been called a hero by so many people. People in the community say he was a God-fearing man, loved his community and loved in his community. Your first reaction to hear that Ethan was safe, what went through your mind?

AARON POLAND, SON OF SHOOTING VICTIM: The thing that got me the most was knowing that my dad's last stop was final, because Ethan was home with his mom. So he was safe. And that's my dad's key job was to make sure that every child was delivered safely to their parents.

COOPER: There are reports that your dad stood up to the kidnapper, blocked him from coming onto the bus. You say that doesn't surprise you at all, that he'd be trying to protect those kids.

POLAND: No, sir.

That's -- my dad didn't have a selfish bone in his body. He did everything that he could to be right, to do the right thing for everybody around him or anybody that he cared for.

COOPER: Just about every photo I have seen of your dad, he had a smile on his face. Was that his -- was that all the time?

POLAND: Pretty much. I cannot remember a single time in my life of not seeing a smile on my dad, either a little smile or a little smirk. He always had that little just to make you feel good smile. He always had a feel-good smile.

COOPER: What else do you want people to know about your dad, to remember about him?

POLAND: If you don't mind, I will tell you a story.

My dad -- me and my dad years ago when I was a teenager, we used to go to Dothan, which is a town close by to where we lived. And we worked on diesel engines on Saturdays. And we went down to drive -- on our drive down and to do a job. And there was a gentleman at a red light asking for some help.

And my dad pulled off and said -- told the man, he said, listen, I won't give you any money, but if you're hungry, I will give you some food. And the man said, I would appreciate this.

My dad picked this man up, put him in the car, drove to -- there was a Hardee's down the road. We pulled into this Hardee's, and my dad bought all the food this man wanted to eat, even though -- and I will be honest with you -- at the time, it was hard times for our family. But my dad was just that kind of guy.

He would rather make sure somebody else was taken care of, do without to make sure somebody else was taken care of. And he bought this man all kind of food. And then when the man got through eating, he went and bought him another big bag of food. He gave it to him and said, look, this is food for a later time, because -- I remember, he told him, he said remember that somebody cares for you, I care for you, and that there's a God that cares for you also.

COOPER: That's an incredible story. And he cared for those kids. He loved driving that bus and wanted to protect those kids.


I was home at Thanksgiving. And my mom had -- well, we were sitting around, me and my dad. We always -- when I come home, we go in the backyard and there's a swing and my dad has a fire pit. And we had a fire going.

We would just sit there. Me and my dad sit there and it was our time to talk and stuff. And he'd tell me some of the stories of his kids that one of them brought their first -- got their first A. on their report card. And he would tell me stories of how one -- he would travel some of the athletes, the wrestling team and stuff.

And he would talk about this one won their first event. And he would be so proud. He was glad that they were to do things, and he was encouraging to them all the time. And he would -- any time they did something good, my dad was proud. It was like his own kids doing something good. And my dad was enjoying every bit of it.

COOPER: Well, it sounds like he was a hero not just in that last day of his life, but pretty much every day in his dealings with other people and his dealings with those children and the way he went about his work and his love for his family.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss, Aaron. And please give my best to the rest of your family. POLAND: Yes, sir. And I will.


COOPER: Sounded like quite a man.

Ethan's mom released a statement today saying: "For first time in almost a week, I woke up this morning to the most beautiful sight, my sweet boy. I can't describe how incredible it is to hold him again. I will never be able to repay those who helped bring Ethan home. My family and I ask that you respect our privacy and give us a little time, time to heal, time to put this nightmare behind us, time to move forward."

Out of respect for the family's privacy and Ethan's privacy, obviously, we're not reporting his last time. He's 5 years old. He is going to turn 6 tomorrow.

But we do want to understand what happens when a child like Ethan, who has been through a life-altering trauma like this, comes home and to the family as well.

Ed Smart can speak to that. His daughter, as you know, Elizabeth was kidnapped when she was 14, held by her captors for nine months. he joins me now, along with John Walsh. John's son Adam was abducted, murdered. He's a victims advocate and host of "America's Most Wanted."

John, let me start with you.

First of all, what's gone through your mind as you have been following the story of Ethan's kidnapping and his rescue in Alabama?

JOHN WALSH, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Well, first of all, I have got to say Charles Poland Sr. is the real hero. He stood up to a man with a gun and saved we don't know how many countless kids, because that lowlife whack job Dykes wasn't going to come out of that bunker alive.

So, again, as you said, my heart goes out to Charles Poland's family and those FBI agents that got into that bunker and risked their lives to bring this boy back alive. I went through two weeks looking for Adam and praying that there would be a happy result. And I have been involved in thousands of cases where there wasn't a happy result; 31 years ago, the FBI refused to enter Adam's case.

That's not something they did. But the cooperation between that sheriff, local, state and federal agency and those FBI agents, they saved that boy's life. It's a wonderful, wonderful ending. I know Ed is standing by, but I will never forget flying out to Salt Lake City to meet Elizabeth the day after she was recovered alive. Every now and then, we get a happy ending. So I was just thrilled to hear that that little boy's alive.

COOPER: And, Ed, for you, and for a family to go through a trauma like Ethan's family, the days of not knowing, that fear, I can't imagine. As a parent, how do you get through that?

ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH SMART: I think the not knowing is the worst part of it.

And John went through that, and so many parents do. And, you know, it is really just by the prayers and the blessings of others that you make it through there. It's just wanting to know where your child is, how they're surviving and you want them home more than anything, but we are just so thrilled for Ethan and his family, and the law enforcement have done an outstanding job. It's so great to hear it works, and they're working together.

Everyone got on the same page and made it happen. And this hero, Charles Poland, it's just outstanding. You want to hear about more people that are doing the right thing.

But, for Ethan, we are so happy for him that he is home. And, you know, as the mother's requested, there's no media around them. It's a time to find that new normal and to basically reestablish that love, let that child know that there isn't any fault on his part for what happened and that he is loved, and unconditionally so, and life is going to be good and he's going to be able to pick up and move forward.

COOPER: Ed, I'm wondering if this is something that Elizabeth follows, because I know she's now grown and is living a life and, you know, is moving forward with her own life. When something like this happens, is that something you guys talk about?

SMART: Certainly.

You know, we try to do whatever we can to be of help. You know, we have established the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, so that we can reach out and try and help families and children, and help others have the same result that we have had, because, you know, happy endings are wonderful. And we need more of them. And when we get the effort that law enforcement made in this situation, made the right decisions, the efforts were coordinated. I mean, it ends in happiness and joy.

COOPER: You know, John, you have spent decades obviously helping to hunt down countless criminals on "America's Most Wanted." You have this case where a guy murders a school bus driver, abducts a 5-year- old and tries to get another child off that bus.

I was amazed to hear that actually in that community school bus drivers have undergone training about what to do in the event somebody came on the bus with a gun. But this is the kind of thing -- you almost can't prepare for this, can you?

WALSH: You really can't.

And it begs a bigger question that you and I have talked about a lot, Anderson, is how can this guy, this whack job, Dykes, whose neighbors reported him carrying a gun up and down his property at night in the middle of the night threatening neighbors, he was going to go to court for shooting a gun off in the air, and beat a neighbor's dog with a lead pipe -- how it is that somebody couldn't go to that house and say, you're not stable?

We're not talking about Big Brother here. That somebody couldn't have gone to that house and taken that gun away from that guy before he got on a school bus, before he murdered a school bus driver and held a gun down in that bunker with that kid? God bless that school district for teaching that bus driver, but it took his guts to stop that guy and four bullets to take Charles Poland Sr. down.

But it begs a bigger question. When are we going to realize that certain people shouldn't have guns, can't have guns and that we have no mental health system in this country that would prevent this?

COOPER: Ed, in terms of the process for moving forward, what will the recovery process going to be like for Ethan, for his family? It's different for everybody, but what advice would you give?

SMART: You know, I think that immediately helping to establish the routines that he's used to and putting him back into his old life is important.

You know, initially, the first week or two, we were just showing Elizabeth special attention, and then the kids were kind of at a point where it's time to get back to life. So, you know, the first few days, I think it's important that he knows he has love and support, and then following that, reestablishing those routines and creating that new normal and making sure that he can move forward.

Everyone handles things differently. Some of them need treatment and help. Others are able to pick up and move forward, but it's so important to be aware of what their needs are. And I'm sure his parents, more than anyone, know what his needs are and will make sure that he gets that help.


Well, Ed and John, I'm glad that we could be together on a story where there is a happy ending for this little boy and for this boy's family. Thank you so much for being with us. Really appreciate it.

SMART: Thank you.

COOPER: Let us know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter tonight @AndersonCooper. We're tweeting about this already.

Governor Chris Christie is facing some new questions about his weight and his health. A former White House doctor says she's worried his obesity could kill him. Our question tonight, can someone who is considered very overweight still also be considered very healthy? I will talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about that.

And later, if Beyonce's performance didn't cause the Super Bowl blackout, then what was the real culprit? We have got possible new clues tonight in the mystery.


COOPER: Welcome back.

A former White House physician made a pretty stunning statement today about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate. Here's what Dr. Connie Mariano told CNN's Jim Acosta.


DR. CONNIE MARIANO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: I'm worried that he may have a heart attack, he may have a stroke. It's almost like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before he runs for office.


COOPER: She's talking about the governor's obesity. She's worried that he could die in office. This is not first time that Chris Christie's weight has been in the news. He's usually pretty good-natured about the punchlines.

Just last night on David Letterman's show, he made light of his weight again, even eating a doughnut while Letterman apologized for all the fat jokes he's made about Christie in the recently past. And then the governor said this.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Dave, my cholesterol's normal, believe it or not.


And what about your blood sugar?

CHRISTIE: Blood sugar also normal.

LETTERMAN: Also normal.



CHRISTIE: I'm like basically the healthiest fat guy you have ever seen in your life.



COOPER: Well, a fat guy, his words, who is also governor of New Jersey with possible higher political ambitions.

Today, Christie kind of doubled down about his weight and his health. Here's what he said.


CHRISTIE: So far up to 50 years old, I have been remarkably healthy. And my doctor continues to warn me that my luck is going to run out relatively soon. So, believe me, it's something that I'm very conscious of. But in terms of people in the state being concerned about whether or not it prevents me from being able to do my job effectively, I think they have seen the results of that.


COOPER: So all this got us wondering is it possible to be as healthy as Governor Christie says he is while being overweight?

Earlier, I talked to chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


COOPER: Sanjay, Governor Christie says he's -- quote -- -- and again I'm quoting here -- he says basically the healthiest fat guy you have ever seen in your life.

What do you make of that? Can you both be healthy and overweight?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the idea that being overweight is immediately associated with being unhealthy is probably a little bit of a myth.

And you and I have talked about this before. It cuts sort of both ways. There are people who are healthier than you think who are overweight and there are people who are not as healthy as you think just because they are lean or thin. So weight certainly does matter, but I think physical activity and lots of other things that Governor Christie referred to a little bit in terms of cholesterol, blood sugar, things like that, probably make a bigger difference.

COOPER: But it's confusing to me, because I remember hearing that every inch of, you know, fat you have on your stomach adds to the threat of heart disease. And then I also saw a study that said if you're a little overweight, people who are a little overweight might actually be healthier.

GUPTA: Right. That was a recent study that came out.

And that was an interesting study about our definition of what is an ideal body weight may be a little bit off. This whole notion of body mass index may not be the best measure. But you're right, adding weight -- adding inches specifically as an indication of how much fat you might have that's called abdominal fat, the fat that surrounds your intestines, that you can't always see.

Measuring your waist gives you an indication of that. But there are people, Anderson, who can be very thin, but who essentially have lots of abdominal fat still. They don't exercise. And even though they look lean, they're probably wildly unhealthy. And again the flip side of that is there are people who have probably -- they look unhealthy just because of our standard definition of that, but they may not have as much abdominal fat.

I don't know what the case is with Governor Christie. I don't know how active he is. But I did hear his statements where he said that he's a healthy fat guy. I don't know that that means his cholesterol, his blood sugar and all those to indicators are relatively normal.

COOPER: He did say that his blood sugar and that his cholesterol were normal. I also heard a former White House doctor say today that Christie is a time bomb waiting to happen and that she'd worry about him dying in office. That's a tough assessment.

GUPTA: Yes, I heard those comments by Dr. Connie Mariano, someone who I know pretty well. I have talked to her before. Those are strong statements. I think there's no question.

And I think we're probably all dealing with somewhat limited information here. All we sort of know about him besides his comments today is sort of what he looks like. And, again, I think that's an indication, but in terms of the risk of heart disease and in terms of the risk of stroke and in terms of the risk of developing diabetes, weight is a factor, no question.

But there are other factors as well. Now, those are the things that I think she was referring to with regard to time bomb.

COOPER: Christie says he has plans to lose weight. What advice would you give him?

GUPTA: Diet will probably be the most important for him initially, but increasing physical activity I think is a better predictor.

Someone who is physically active is a better predictor probably than his overall weight in the long run in terms of those big things, again, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

COOPER: All right, Sanjay Gupta -- Sanjay, thanks.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.


COOPER: A little reminder for you: If you wanted to see more on this story, you can go to right now.

Now, up next: new information on electrical problems that Beyonce faced during rehearsals, but did that have anything to do with the lights going out in the Superdome during the game? New information tonight.

Also, why are some people building bunkers? We are going to take you inside the bunker of a man who is proud to be called a survivalist and who is preparing for the end times. He tells Gary Tuchman why he's ready to go underground.


COOPER: Well, it took four quarters for the Baltimore Ravens to turn out the lights on the San Francisco 49ers. It took just seconds for something or someone to turn out half the lights in the New Orleans Superdome.

The partial blackout lasted more than half an hour, as you know. The chatter about why it happened, that's been going on ever since. There were reports of electrical issues during Beyonce's rehearsals. But what happened during the actual broadcast?

Brian Todd is in New Orleans for us tonight. He's got the latest on where the investigation is going.

So, Brian, we're finding out for the first time, there actually were some issues with Beyonce's rehearsals in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl game?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. Those had been rumored for several days. And now we do have some hard information from the NFL and from the Superdome's managers on that. There were, in fact, power issues during Beyonce's rehearsals in the week leading up to the Super Bowl here inside the Superdome.

Here's part of a statement from the NFL that we got just a short time ago: "There were some fluctuations in the frequency of the power supply but not in the amount of the power supplied to the building." That from the NFL. And that, of course, referring to the time during Beyonce's rehearsals in the Superdome.

The NFL says there were no mass power outages during her rehearsals. And they also say that, because of those fluctuations, that's when they made the call to actually have her actual performance done on a different power system, on an independent power system from the Superdome's power grid. That's why Superdome officials and others are saying that her actual halftime performance had nothing to do with the power outage.

We also got a chance to speak to Doug Thornton, from the management group that runs the Superdome. Here's what he had to say about Beyonce's rehearsals.


DOUG THORNTON, MANAGEMENT GROUP RUNNING SUPERDOME: Yes, we had a couple of fuses blown, a couple of circuits that were overloaded, but it had nothing to do with this power outage. It's totally unrelated.


TODD: Now, Doug Thornton says those are common occurrences -- Doug Thornton says those are common occurrences when you have outside producers coming in who are not familiar with the circuitry of the building. Now we called Beyonce's representatives for comment on that. They would not comment at all on the rehearsals -- Anderson.

COOPER: We also know that officials were actually aware of potential problems months in advance, not with anything that Beyonce was doing but with the actual stadium, right?

TODD: That's right, Anderson. We obtained memos today from October circulating among Superdome officials, among the engineers that they hired talking about their worries about the power supply.

One memo from October 15 said that the power feeders had some decay and had a chance of failure. Another memo from about that time said that the main electrical feeds were not sufficiently reliable to support the high-profile event schedule. That memo actually warned Superdome officials that they might face some liability because of that.

But they did, after those memos circulated in October, they did take steps and spent a lot of money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, to upgrade the system, the power feeding system. Those upgrades were done by mid-December.

And so we're now at the point where they're investigating what actually did cause the power outage.

COOPER: All right, Brian, appreciate the update, thanks very much.

Up next, the hostage situation in Alabama has put a so-called survivalist in the headlines, the man who built the bunker. But other people build bunkers in the United States, as well. So we wanted to look tonight into why. Gary Tuchman tonight takes us inside one man's bunker, a bunker he built for his family in preparation for the end of the world.

Also ahead tonight, medieval king's makeover. What we can learn from the new reconstruction of King Richard III, whose skeleton was found in England, coming up.


COOPER: A horrible crash involving Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn. We'll have the latest on her injuries ahead.


COOPER: Welcome back. Quick update on tonight's breaking news.

Two bombs found at the site of that hostage rescue in Alabama. Now, according to the FBI, one was found in the -- in that PVC pipe that you see there. Authorities located another in the bunker itself. The discovery adding one final chilling note to an already terrifying tragic episode could have easily been worse.

Officials and neighbors of the dead hostage taker, Jimmy Lee Dykes, described him as a survivalist with anti-government views. These days, however, the concept of building an underground bunker is not as unusual as you might think. People build bunkers now for all sorts of reasons.

Our Gary Tuchman tonight gets an up-close view of one bunker in Utah built by a survivalist who's preparing for the worst. Here's his report.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He has a spectacular view of the mountains. A family man who lives in a beautiful neighborhood in Utah. But Peter Larson has a very dark view of what the world has in store for us.

We take a long ride with him into the mountains. Daylight turns to sundown, sundown to darkness. And then we arrive at the $65,000 structure where Peter Larson, his wife, his children and grandchildren plan to survive the attempted destruction of the world.

(on camera): So this is the bunker?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Peter Larson is proud to be known as a survivalist, or as it's also known, a prepper.

LARSON: Right now we're about 20 feet underground, and this unit is 50 feet long, ten foot diameter, corrugated steel pipe.

TUCHMAN: Larson believes we are reaching the end of times. An economic collapse could reach serious civic disorder, he theorizes, but he's most concerned about this.

LARSON: There will be a nuclear holocaust. Someone is going to pull the pin.

TUCHMAN (on camera): And your idea is that you will be down here with your family?

LARSON: Right.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): He has an elaborate air filtration system to be used when disaster happens.

LARSON: This is now pumping air in from the outside.

TUCHMAN: The underground bunker is packed with provisions, which seem to get more dire the more you explore.

LARSON: Under each bunk is personal storage.

TUCHMAN (on camera): So those are your clothes?

LARSON: Clothes, cold weather gear. Then if we take a look at this one, this has some other items. TUCHMAN: You have guns in here?

LARSON: We've got some guns in this one.

TUCHMAN: What is this?

LARSON: That's a Colt AR-15. It's an old Colt AR-15.

TUCHMAN: Got your ammo.

LARSON: Got some ammo. Magazines.

TUCHMAN: You got enough bullets to start an army here.


TUCHMAN: And right here, the holy Bible.

LARSON: You know, that's actually part of preparedness. You know, when you read the Bible or along with that, in my case being Mormon, the Book of Mormon, it all indicates that in the last days -- and we feel like these are the last days -- there will be some hard times.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Outside the bunker, he has barrels of water: 2,000 gallons. Inside, a food supply worthy of a small grocery.

(on camera): Cookies, Ritz, macaroni and cheese, corn, salt, StarKist and Green Giant green beans.

LARSON: This is beef jerky.

TUCHMAN: Why so much beef jerky?

LARSON: We love beef jerky.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This is an obvious question about all this. Larson lives far away from the bunker. How would he get there in time for what he believes is an imminent disaster?

LARSON: I'm a faith-oriented person. And I spend a certain amount of time with Heavenly Father reminding him that I need about 24 hours' notice.

TUCHMAN (on camera): This bunker even comes with an escape hatch. This escape hatch is here in case the entrance to the bunker is blocked after a nuclear disaster, if something falls on top of it. Peter Larson and his family can escape here.

He says he has a philosophy he lives by. He's fearful of nothing because he's prepared for anything.

(voice-over): Guns, knives, some of his provisions which he has with him at all times. LARSON: I even keep barter material with me. One of the things that I keep is cash. Now, this, by the way, happens to be mostly one dollar bills, but if there was a breakdown in society. If the...

TUCHMAN (on camera): How much cash is in here?

LARSON: In here right now I've got about $2,000.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): He also carries gold rings.

(on camera): This gold, how much is it worth?

LARSON: Between these two bags there's about $10,000 in gold.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Larson is not sheepish in the least about his outlook on life.

LARSON: So we have MREs stored down here.

TUCHMAN: Because he thinks it will extend his life and the lives of the people he loves.

Just before he climbs out of the escape hatch and closes up the bunker, I ask him one more question.

(on camera): If the whole world would be destroyed or all of Utah would be destroyed, do you really want to live that kind of life?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Larson believes it's unlikely all of humankind will be destroyed. He says he wants his family to be part of the rebuilding of society.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, San Pete County, Utah.


COOPER: Interesting stuff.

Up next, more breaking news. A powerful earthquake off the Solomon Islands prompts a tsunami warning.

Plus, champion skier Lindsey Vonn has to be airlifted from the Alpine Ski World Championships after a crash during opening day. We'll tell you how she's doing right now.

Also ahead tonight a new picture of King Richard III -- this is really fascinating stuff -- after DNA testing show that a skeleton found under a parking lot in England is, in fact, the long-lost king. Our Richard Quest has an update for us. And he does a dramatic reading of Shakespeare you don't want to miss.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Deborah Feyerick with some breaking news.

A powerful magnitude 8 earthquake off the Solomon Islands in the Pacific, the South Pacific has triggered a three-foot-high tsunami described by one official as significant. Immediate evacuations were ordered for people living on the eastern coasts of New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands. Both are south of the Solomon Islands near Australia. There are no reports so far of injuries or damage.

The tsunami warning is still in effect for the immediate area. The tsunami watch covers a larger zone including the Marshall Islands and New Zealand.

CNN International meteorologist and weather anchor Ivan Cabrera joins me now. Ivan, are people tracking the wave? What's the latest?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: So basically, Deb, there's a series of waves when you're talking about a tsunami here. The initial wave sometimes isn't the most destructive. So there's going to be several here. And depending on the orientation of the slope of whatever shoreline it arrives, that will depend on the destruction.

We do have a significant changer, in that we have the depth has been revised. So what happens is you get new data coming in, from either the tsunameters and just the network that we have in the Pacific to bring us more information. The seismologists will review the data.

And initially, we have this at five kilometers. That is very shallow. And I'll say -- I'll switch over to miles, because I know we're on the U.S. network now. That's about three miles; that is very shallow.

We have revised it now, or they have, so we're now talking 18 miles deep. That will make a difference. It should make a difference in that, in fact, the effects it has on the shoreline. Because the wave will likely be a bit smaller.

We already understand that there has been damage to some shorelines, so we're not try to minimize this. But what I'd rather see is the changes that we have, which is the earthquake occurred deeper, as opposed to more shallow.

But it was a major, in fact, a great earthquake at 8.0. Sometimes you can go through a year without, Deb, without getting one of these here.

So as a result of this happening, underwater, in the Pacific ocean, at the magnitude it did and at the depth that it did, tsunami warnings have been issued, and we have multiple territories and countries that are involved. One of them is Australia. Also New Zealand, obviously, as well, in that warning, Deb.

FEYERICK: And let me ask you. Because the Solomon Islands are part of what's known as the Ring of Fire. It's an area that's subject to a lot of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This area has been hit several types over the last week with earthquakes that are registering 6 or above. What is going on in this area right now?

CABRERA: Sometimes you actually can get what we call the foreshock or pre-shock. It's an indication of what is to happen. With the Japan earthquake, we had a 9.0 there. We did not get a foreshock there.

But with this one, about an hour before the event, before the 8.0, we had a 6.3 earthquake. That in itself would not trigger tsunami watches and warnings, because it's just the sheer magnitude is not strong enough. Usually the threshold is 7.0.

So that 6.3 happened an hour before the 8.0. And then, of course, when you get such a significant event, like a great earthquake, you can have these aftershocks continuing and continuing.

The difference is -- is that, because we're kind of in the middle of the Pacific Ocean here, I think that the aftershocks will be less significant, because we have less populated areas around the region so that a 6.0 isn't going to be as significant.

The main event here is the tsunami warning. And we are still and will likely be a while here before we can tell you all the scope of the damages along these shorelines. This is not Japan where we had live cameras throughout the event. That was just incredible here. This is going to take a while to get the information out.

FEYERICK: OK, and Ivan, standby. Because now I want to bring in CNN meteorologist Chad Myers, who is joining us right now on the phone. Chad, what are you hearing both about the quake and the tsunami from your end?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST (via phone): Well, it was a 3.0 foot wave, as the closest approach to the wave. And typically, the wave will be the greatest nearest the epicenter. So that's all we get is 3.0. We're in very good shape.

Although we do know that villages have been destroyed near the earthquake. Now, those villages may have been destroyed from the shaking alone. An 8.0 earthquake is a tremendous quake. In fact, we've had 13 aftershocks of 5.0 or greater. Two of those aftershocks are 6.0 or greater.

This is an area, though, that's used to earthquakes. You called it the Ring of Fire. Back in April of 2007 this area, about 400 miles from this area, had an 8.1 earthquake which did some damage as well.

So not out of the question that we will see more aftershocks. But the tsunami warning and the watches, I want to stress, they do not affect Alaska, British Columbia, California, Hawaii. They do not affect the United States or North America right now whatsoever.

And we're talking to the joint typhoon warning center, and the tsunami center of the Pacific. They do not believe that the United States will be affected at all.

FEYERICK: What's incredible, Chad, is that this is an area where you've got hundreds of islands that are scattered there. And they -- they touch the coast of Australia pretty much, if you're sort of thinking just geographically.

We heard that there was a 6.4 magnitude aftershock. How does that affect any potential tsunami? You're talking about something that's right now three feet high. One official did call it significant. When you -- when somebody calls it significant, specifically what are they -- what are they trying to indicate?

MYERS: Well, the 6.4, to start with your first question, all that will do would be to rattle the psyche of the people around there. They've already felt the first quake. Now they saw the tsunami come into their village, and they've moved away from that village.

They're looking at another earthquake. They don't know how big it is. They don't know if it generated another tsunami, so they're going to want to stay away from their villages.

Now, 6.4 in itself will not generate another big tsunami like 3.0 feet that we've found so far. I don't maybe believe this 3.0 will be the greatest number we see. If you get a wave that almost looks like a crescent moon...


MYERS: ... you can accelerate that wave into that bay and make that wave higher. We just don't know about those villages yet.

FEYERICK: OK. Ivan and Chad, thank you so much.

And there are some of the islands that are being told to get away from the coast. Stay with CNN for updates throughout the night. Anderson is back next with "The RidicuList."


COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight, we've got a story from California where they have a whole bunch of branches of restaurant called Wienerschnitzel. I call it "Vee-ner-schnitzel." We debated between whether it's "vee-ner-schnitzel" or "wiener- schnitzel." I'm going for "vee-ner-schnitzel."

I guess this is a hot dog place. We don't have Wienerschnitzel in New York, because frankly, here we prefer to get our hot dogs straight from a cart filled with tepid murky standing water, but I digress.

So this guy goes into a Wienerschnitzel to get a kid's meal for his 3-year-old son, as one is wont to do, and apparently, it came with a prize which happened to be a calendar featuring famous movie posters reimagined with a canine component.

So there's "Dogatar" instead of "Avatar," for example; "The Dogfather" instead of "The Godfather," which is delightful. Frankly, it's just delightful, because in my experience, there is one thing kids like more than calendars: it is scintillating word play based on violent mafia trilogies.

But it actually wasn't actually "The Dogfather" that was the problem on the Wienerschnitzel kids' meal calendar. It was "Paws." That would be "Jaws" with a dog instead of a shark. Because as it turns out, the Wienerschnitzel dog shark has a secret. The dad explains what happened when his 3-year-old son started playing with his fun new calendar.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were a little surprised to find out when we got home that he had picked the sticker off one of the insert pictures, and it showed what appeared to be a naked lady underneath.


COOPER: That's right. Nothing will ruin a kid-friendly calendar quite as fast as a naked lady.

It seems the makers of the calendar glued a sticker on top of the naked swimmer, showing her in a swimsuit. But we all know how rough kids can be on their toys. So when they start playing with the calendars, a mere sticker doesn't stand a chance.

Local residents are totally outraged. I may be exaggerating about that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it's appropriate for that kind of age.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By putting the sticker on there, at least they tried to fix it. Because I mean, cost-wise, I mean, it's going to be a huge cost to the company just to go back in there and reprint it for one picture.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's a -- it's a bunch of nothing. I think that's very harmless. And obviously they tried to correct it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even with the sticker on, it's kind of weird seeing a dog trying to eat a lady. I don't know.


COOPER: I don't know either, ma'am. I just don't know either.

The whole concept of this calendar for kids is a little confounding to me, but in general, dogs replacing people in iconic movie images, that is just a stellar idea. It's a great idea now, and it was a great idea in "Best in Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have this idea. It's like, well, we loved old movies so much, and so we wanted to put it together into one project. Which was going to, you know, set the world aflame basically. I don't know if it's going to do that. But...

MICHAEL MCKEAN, ACTOR: We'll see. We're not going to sell it. We're just going to give it out to friends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we should try to sell it.

MCKEAN: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! Shih Tzus from the great love scenes.

MCKEAN: Maybe it's a great idea.


COOPER: If you haven't seen "Best in Show," you should -- you should.

See, the Wienerschnitzel people almost nailed it, but they probably should have gone with more of that kind of concept and ditched the whole "naked woman being threatened by a rabid, snapping dog-shark" theme. Anyway, kids, have fun playing with your new calendar.

That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.