The United States Bullion Depository, often known as Fort Knox, is a fortified vault building located adjacent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, used to store a large portion of United States official gold reserves and occasionally other precious items belonging or entrusted to the federal government. The location was featured prominently in the 1959 Ian Fleming novel Goldfinger and its 1964 movie adaptation. It subsequently appeared in the video-games GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2004) and 007 Legends (2012).
The United States Bullion Depository holds 4,578 metric tons (5,046.3 short tons) of gold bullion (147.2 million oz. troy). This is roughly 3 percent of all the gold ever refined throughout human history. Even so, the depository is second in the United States to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's underground vault in Manhattan, which holds 7,000 metric tons (7,716 tons) of gold bullion (225.1 million oz. troy), some of it in trust for foreign nations, central banks and official international organizations.
In the 1959 Ian Fleming novel Goldfinger, the titular villain, Auric Goldfinger plots to break into the U.S. Bullion Depository in a criminal plot called "Operation Grand Slam". With the help of several gangsters (including the Spangled Mob and the Mafia) Goldfinger plans to kill the inhabitants of Fort Knox by poisoning their water supply and then steal the gold. Bond manages to conceal a capsule containing a message to Felix Leiter into the toilet of Goldfinger's private plane, where he hopes it will be found and sent to Pinkertons, where his friend and ex-counterpart Felix Leiter now works. Operation Grand Slam commences, and it turns out that Leiter has indeed found and acted on Bond's message. A battle commences, but Goldfinger escapes.
In the 1964 movie adaptation of Goldfinger, the audience is initially led to believe Goldfinger is going to steal the gold, but the real plot is to render the gold contained in the Depository radioactive and useless with a nuclear device, crippling the economy and driving up the price of the gold Goldfinger already owns. Operation Grand Slam begins with Pussy Galore's Flying Circus spraying gas over Fort Knox. However, Bond had previously convinced her to replace the nerve gas with a harmless substance and alert the US government about Goldfinger's plan. The military personnel of Fort Knox convincingly play dead until they are certain that they can prevent the criminals from escaping the base with the bomb.
Believing the military forces to be neutralised, Goldfinger's private army breaks into Fort Knox using an industrial laser and accesses the vault itself as he arrives in a helicopter with the atomic device. In the vault, Oddjob handcuffs Bond to the device. The US troops attack; Goldfinger takes off his coat, revealing a US Army colonel's uniform, and kills Mr. Ling and the troops seeking to open the vault, before making his escape. Bond extricates himself from the handcuffs, but Oddjob attacks him before he can disarm the bomb. They fight and Bond manages to electrocute Oddjob. Bond forces the lock off the bomb, but is unable to disarm it. An atomic specialist who accompanied Leiter turns off the device with the clock stopped on "0:07".
Three years after an incident that claimed an unnamed 00 agent's right eye, he is evaluated through a holographic simulation in which he is paired with 007 to stop Auric Goldfinger from detonating a suitcase nuke inside Fort Knox and destabilising the global economy. During their insertion, their helicopter is shot down and crash lands through the roof of the building. Fighting his way to the vault, he fails to prevent the detonation and is held directly responsible for the "death" of 007, who fell from the helicopter shortly after the crash. Charged with "reckless brutality," he is dismissed from MI6. As he leaves the headquarters, he is seen reading an offer by Goldfinger to enlist in his organization.
Following a similar plot to the 1964 film Goldfinger, James Bond discovers Goldfinger's plan to irradiate the United States Gold Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky in Operation Grand Slam. Bond manages to convince Goldfinger's personal pilot, Pussy Galore, to inform the CIA, and he and the Army manage to thwart Goldfinger's scheme in the nick of time.