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Mel’s Hole: The Legend of a Bottomless Hole In Washington

The legend of the bottomless hole started on February 21, 1997, when a man identifying himself as Mel Waters appeared as a guest on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell.

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Waters claimed that he owned rural property nine miles (14 km) west of Ellensburg in Kittitas County, Washington, that contained a mysterious hole. According to Waters, the hole had an unknown depth.

He claimed to have measured its depth using fishing line and a weight, although he still had not hit bottom by the time 80,000 feet (24,000 m) of line had been used.

“I brought the dogs with me.” Waters said on the show. “They wouldn’t go anywhere near the damn thing.”

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Waters said the hole had a three-foot stone wall around it. It seemed bottomless to him, so he used an old shark fisherman’s trick — sending thousands of feet of fishing line down.

“What I did, was I sent down a roll of lifesavers,” he said. “So when it hit water the lifesavers would dissolve.”

But the lifesavers came back up whole — no water — so how deep was this hole?

Waters said he believed it descended miles into the earth and he heard strange stories about its powers.

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According to him, the hole’s magical properties prompted US federal agents to seize the land and fund his relocation to Australia.

Waters made guest appearances on Bell’s show in 1997 (February 21 and 24), 2000, and 2002. Rebroadcasts of those appearances have helped create what has been described as a “modern, rural myth”.

The exact location of the hole was unspecified, yet several people claimed to have seen it, such as Gerald R. Osborne, who used the ceremonial name Red Elk, who described himself as an “intertribal medicine man…half-breed Native American / white”, and who told reporters in 2012 he visited the hole many times since 1961 and claimed the US government maintained a top secret base there where “alien activity” occurs.

“Now I’m going public on this. And that could land me in a pile of junk,” he said.

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Red Elk claims the government has a secret base there.

“An underground base, a very small, underground base,” he said. That’s how Red Elk explains the white boxes covering the area on some satellite images. He also said he’s seen “alien activity” in the area.

“A huge space craft, one, will appear and hover over the hole,” he said.

That’s what he said happens during Summer Solstice, when space men load and unload things at the hole before flying away.

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At the Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore, Phil Lipson said he’s heard the stories.

“Well, I believe there is a hole,” Lipson said. But Lipson’s never seen the hole, even though he’s led expeditions to find it. “I think it’s actually a true event just something that’s never been totally uncovered,” he said.

And to this day, no one’s been able to find it, since that famous radio conversation.

Ellensburg Public Library Historian Milton Wagy said the story became a sensation after Waters went on the radio. He said the phone rang off the hook with all kinds of stories about the hole — some explainable, some not.

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He’s still trying to solve the mystery of what happened to the library’s file on Mel’s Hole.

“Well it just disappeared, which lends itself to the mysteriousness of Mel’s Hole,” Wagy said. “Did Mel take it? Did it just kind of rise out of the locked file cabinet? You never know there might be a hole out there.”

Now the question is: can anyone find Mel’s Hole and prove its existence?

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Zoe Mitchell

Zoe Mitchell is an independent researcher and writer on extraordinary topics. She has a passion for delving into the realms of UFOs, paranormal phenomena and the enigmatic.

Zoe has a degree in journalism and a keen interest in history, mythology and folklore. She believes that there is more to reality than meets the eye, and that the truth is often stranger than fiction.

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