Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t: The Cave
Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t is a series that explores modern urban legends, bringing you a new tale each week.
The first entry of the webpage is dated March 23, 2001. It reads only this:
“Due to the overwhelming number of requests I have received to tell about my discoveries and bizarre experiences in a cave not far from my home, I have created this web page. I will outline the events that happened to me during the past few months. Beginning with my journey into a familiar cave in December 2000 and ending… well, it hasn't actually ended yet. I will use my caving journal as the text to tell about my recent experience. I will give them to you as I experienced them, in chronological order.”
His name is Ted, and he's a caver. He's got a tale for you. It's called:
In the early part of the 2000s, Ted began to explore a cave near where he lived, only to find that more would happen as he did so than he had ever banked on. He had initially recorded the happenings that were to follow for himself in his caving journal; but, as he states on his homepage, he has decided to answer the many requests for the telling of his tale in the wide-reaching format of the Internet. He divides the text of his story up into two colors for clarity's sake: Grey text and blue italicized text. The grey text denotes direct transcriptions from his caving journal, while the blue italicized text are his reflections on the journal that occur to him as he transcribes. The journal itself goes back to December 30, 2000– the first time Ted and his friend, whom he refers to only as B, set foot in the cave. Ted notes that he'd been in the cave before, but that there was a section of it that he hadn't been able to reach. This section was notable for having a small hole on one of the cave walls roughly three feet from the floor. Cavers near the hole could always feel a slight breeze blowing from somewhere within the cave, which was frequently accompanied by a rumbling noise. When Ted first found the hole, it looked like this (he's placed a glove in it for size reference):
Here's the thing about holes in cave walls: Just because you can't fit through it as is doesn't mean that you won't be able to make your way through it eventually. Holes are indicative of further caverns, so if you can enlarge the hole enough to be able to fit a person, there will likely be a whole uncharted section of the cave never before seen by human eyes waiting beyond it. Humans have long been fascinated by the unknown, so you can imagine the attraction this never-before-seen cavern would hold for Ted and B. After some careful consideration, the two cavers, drawn by the idea of making caving history, decided to attempt to enlarge the hole. On their next trip to the cave, they would bring with them a cordless drill. They would alternate drilling into the rock, then taking a bullpin and a small sledge hammer and breaking up the rock by hand.
Ted and B returned to the cave at the end of January 2001 to begin work on the hole. Getting the tools to the hole was something of an ordeal; it was located in a cavern quite a ways down, requiring them to lower the tools to the location using a rope and pulley before lowering themselves down. Six hours and two drill batteries later, they had made some headway on the hole, though not as much as they had hoped for:
The tight quarters of the area surrounding the hole left little space for swinging the sledge hammer, which slowed their progress; however, Ted and B were undeterred. They decided to spend the night at a nearby motel, recharge the drill batteries, and return again in the morning. Over the next two weeks, they returned frequently, always hoping that the next rattle of the drill or swing of the sledge hammer would be the last. On February 10, they took B's dog with them. An experienced caver herself, the Jack Russell terrier known as Whip was both a welcome companion and a useful tool: Ted and B planned to place her in the hole and see how far she could go.