Diver deaths spawn rumors of underground waterway

By | October 30, 2006

Diver deaths spawn rumors of underground waterway

About 120 miles east of Albuquerque, on the eastern edge of the town of Santa Rosa, N.M., lies a tiny oval of blue water – a spring-fed sinkhole about 80 feet wide and 81 feet deep – known as the Blue Hole.

Sometime ago a group of scuba divers dove into the Blue Hole, eager to explore every nook and fissure of the smooth-walled sinkhole. After climbing out, they realized one of their divers had disappeared.

Six months later, the body of that diver finally surfaced, but not in Santa Rosa. It was discovered, the story claims, in Lake Michigan – more than a thousand miles away – naked, waterlogged and with much of its skin scuffed off, as if it had been pushed and scraped through miles of rocky tunnels.

If the story is true, one of the longest underground waterways in the world could lie directly beneath us. Perhaps the direct water route across the continent searched for by the explorers Lewis and Clark actually exists – underground. Andrea Sachs, in a Dec. 19, 2004, Washington Post article, wrote that there is a protective metal grate covering a spring that produces about 3,000 gallons of fresh water per minute on the Blue Hole’s limestone floor. And, she wrote, that grate also seals off an elaborate network of caves that twists southward 200 miles, down to Texas. …

There are reportedly some rooms below the sink, and it goes to 250 feet with a going passage beyond,” said Mike Poucher, cartographer for the National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section. “How far does it go? No one knows.”

Poucher said the grate blocking the cave system was installed in the early 1980s, after at least four divers died in the caves during the previous decade. – dailylobo

This is not the only Blue Hole. There are others.

2 thoughts on “Diver deaths spawn rumors of underground waterway

  1. Phil

    Yes, we have The Blue Hole in Castalia, Ohio. Use to go there as a kid, been closed to the public for years. Believe its now owned by the parks dept.

  2. Karissa Hatter

    Wouldn’t it be amazing to send a satellite below the grate such as the chips they put in sharks and whales to monitor migration. It would tell the speed and take sonographic images like the fish finders etc to map out the many depths and turns and framework beneath. This may be useful if the US experiences a massive drout and is unable to recover. Access to this water could save crops or even lives. Just a thought! hatter.karissa@yahoo.com

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