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The Mystery of Mel's Hole

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Is there an eight-mile deep chasm just outside of Ellensburg?

There’s a weird story that’s been going around on the Internet for a few years now, of  Mel’s Hole, an 8 mile (or more) deep chasm in the ground outside of Ellensburg, Wash. Since the story began it's garnered around it shades of Stephen King’s Pet Semetary, Spielberg’s Close Encounters, and even Lovecraft’s “Great Old Ones”.

The tale began on Art Bell’s nationally syndicated “Coast to Coast” radio program on Feb. 21, 1997 when Art’s guest that evening was Washington state resident Mel Waters, who told a fantastic story of a large hole on his property which for generations had been used as an unofficial community dump. One day Mel, an ex-shark fisherman, wondered just how deep it was and rigged up a line and weights over the center of the hole and began winching down a 5,000 yard spool of shark line; he went through 80,000 yards of line (16 spools!) without hitting bottom.

A neighbor of Mel’s claims to have thrown the body of his dead canine down the hole and a few days later the animal returned home, none the less for wear. Other puzzling aspects of the hole are said to be ancient retaining walls of worked stone placed the first 30 feet down the sides, and a large number of dead cow and animal bones around the periphery. A local Indian named Red Elk was featured on MTV’s “Urban Legends” segment and claimed to have visited the site many times as a youngster, when he was told it was a “gateway to the underworld."

Some geologists think, if it's there, it must be an exceptionally deep lava vent tube, though all insist that a fishing line, however strong, would melt long before the reported depth of 8 miles.

Mel insists his story is true. Skeptics aren’t so sure. So where does the search for Mel’s Hole stand now?

For all the reports of people who claim to have seen the hole or experienced mysterious goings-on, no one seems to agree on its exact location. A number of researchers and reporters have combed the hills around Mel’s former ranch and have come up empty-handed every time. Even Red Elk now speaks ominously that the underground “lizard people” don’t want the location discovered. In my own estimate, I’d file this one under “Urban Legend."

For further information, simply Googling “Mel’s Hole” on your computer will cause a score of good sites to pop up devoted to the inquiry. A good, if hard to find, book on the subject is: “Mel’s Hole: A Resource Guide & Report on the Legendary Story and Mystery of a Northwest Bottomless Hole." Complied by Phillip Lipson & published by the Seattle UFO/Paranormal Group.

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Jody Forest Jody Forest When he's not hidden behind the palatial gates of his Dover estate, Casa de Bozo, Jody is out using outdated and corny pickup lines on various gullible women.

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