Mel’s mysterious hole: Many holes in this media story

Eastern Washington hole is shrouded in mystery.

From Bigfoot to the disappearance of D.B. Cooper, the Pacific Northwest is full of mysteries. Another mystery burred deep in the hills of eastern Washington keeps resurfacing.

Some believe what lies beneath is a deep, dark hole with supernatural powers.

A man named Red Elk is one of the only people alive known to have ever seen the mysterious hole.

A Native American Shaman, or medicine man, Red Elk said his dad first showed him the hole in 1961.

“He said ‘This is an endless hole,'” Red Elk said.

Source: KOMO News

Let’s be perfectly clear: There is no such thing as an endless hole/bottomless pit. It’s not possible on a solid planet.

I have many problems with the stories told in this tall tale.

First, the practical. I’ve used a well probe that was over 300 feet long. That bugger takes a long time to unwind and rewind to measure water levels. It’s HARD to know when you are on the bottom. How does this person know that “thousands of feet” of fishing line attached to the Life Savers didn’t hit water? Not buying it.

And, why can’t they find the hole again? Is this brick lined pit an actual picture of the hole? That’s not clear. If it IS, then this looks like a dug well that was used by a large family (or multiple families). This brick lined pit is NOT a picture of the real hole.

Maybe the Life Savers didn’t dissolve because the hole was now DRY. The weight of a roll of candy may be too light to be able to tell that it hit bottom.

The story gained traction from Art Bell’s Coast to Coast radio show. [Red flag]

Soooooo many dubious claims made in this story, it’s hard to know where to begin….

What are the facts? Well, perhaps this may help – Falling into Mel’s Hole :

Mel’s Hole is a pretty cut and dried case. There’s not really anything there to interest a skeptical investigator. All we have is an anonymous person who called a radio show using a fake name and told an implausible, unverifiable story. All the people who would be able to back it up — the local ranchers and folks who had been dumping trash and cattle into it for decades — don’t seem to exist either. If I dumped my trash into such an extraordinary hole, I’d bring friends back to see it. They’d bring friends. News of such an incredible hole would spread like wildfire. Is it plausible that it could have had such regular local use, and yet nobody would be aware of its existence? Who are these people? Why can’t they be found?

I’m calling this bogus.

Special thanks to @Matthetube on Twitter (Matt Crowley)

  2 comments for “Mel’s mysterious hole: Many holes in this media story

  1. February 8, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    As Brian Dunning notes, if such a feature existed and people dumped things in it, there would be trails leading to it. Careful examination of Google Maps of Manashtash Ridge show no anomalous holes or any trails leading to them.

  2. February 11, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    This one really does start to fall into the “Why bother” category for me. I’m all for using myths and legends as opportunities for teaching etc.. But anything that is a show favorite on C2C like this, just seems pointless to address for several reasons.

    I’m probably in a foul mood at the moment as a google search took me to a certain political site with the initials of FR where the disconnects with reality, decency, and common sense were appalling. That combined with the viral guy who shot his daughter’s laptop and self-righteously put the video on youtube, I’m just feeling really besieged by idiocy that apparently is as bottomless as Mel’s Hole.

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