Panic Among Us



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Here we share the true-to-life stories about everything that incites Panic Among Us.

Murder. Monsters. Mysteries. Weird History. The Paranormal.

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Mel's Hole


I research these topics in my spare time so I can share what I am passionate about with others. I'm a stay-at-home-Mom who homeschools three children - this website is not my #1 priority. I like to add my own thoughts while I'm writing and keep it conversational throughout each piece. I like to keep things "light and fun", even when discussing dark subjects like true crime. I agree that my writing style is not for everyone and I apologize if you don't like it. All the opinions expressed in the following piece are my own. And yes, sometimes I use Wikipedia as a source but never solely.

Thanks for reading!

The mysteries of this world are endless. There are unknown creatures, legends, and ghost stories. But what about an actual bottomless pit that is the epicenter of paranormal activity, government conspiracies, and unbelievable legends.

I am talking about Mel’s Hole.

Not Mel’s hole - just a cool picture

Not Mel’s hole - just a cool picture

On February 21, 1997, a man claiming to be Mel Waters, called into Art Bell’s radio program, Coast to Coast with Art Bell. Bell’s show was typically fueled by talk of aliens and conspiracies. The story that Waters told the radio host was unbelievable. He would continue to call for further interviews until they suddenly stopped in 2002.

So – what IS Mel’s hole? Well, I think it’s more of a story than an actual physical thing. Waters talked about finding this hole near Ellensburg, Washington. Waters said he owned property on the Manastash Ridge. At first he used it as a trash pit. The thing he thought odd was that no matter how much trash he tossed in the hole it never seemed to hit bottom or fill up. So he devised an experiment. He took fishing line and lowered it down into the hole. He said that he put 15-feet of line before without ever hitting anything! Impossible right?

Waters made other claims too. He said a friend once threw his dead dog into the pit and later saw the dog running around. Supposedly the dog wouldn’t approach anyone so it could have been a misidentification. He claimed to have seen a black beam shooting out of the hole. He said that if you held a portable radio close to the mouth of the hole you could pieces of past programs. Music and other talk shows. The most outrageous claim that Waters made was to say that if you put a piece of metal across the 9-foot diameter opening it would change into a different kind of metal overnight. Each interview that Bell did with Waters made the story grander and more bizarre. On one such interview, Waters told Bell that federal agents had come in and forced him to lease the land to them. He said with the money they paid him he was able to move to Australia.

This brings up my next point. There was no man named Mel Waters in the area. There was no record of him or his wife. He said his wife worked at Central Washington University but they had no record of her ever being employed there. Once no records could be found of this guy, his family, or his wife he never called into the radio station again.

Someone claimed they found Mel’s Hole and used it as a tourist attraction

Someone claimed they found Mel’s Hole and used it as a tourist attraction

So, what the hell was going on here? Were these just the ravings of a lunatic? Was this just an elaborate joke by a bored man?

Jack Powell, a well-respected state geologist thinks he has some answers.

He says that a pit this deep would have been impossible. Physically and geologically impossible.

“It got my interest in a funny kind of way. I knew Art Bell’s stuff is basically Sasquatch and UFOs and the like, but it was sort of entertaining.”

Powell has the knowledge and credentials to back up his claims. He taught at CWU for 11 years. He worked in the field for more than 20 years. He had grown up in the area and suspected that the hole everyone was so excited about was actually an abandoned mine shaft. He had even played in and around this mine shaft as a child. Wow, parents…just wow.

“I suppose this Mel Waters used the real hole as a kind of inspiration for making up this mysterious one on Manastash Ridge.”

Powell also made the very compelling point that the deepest hole ever drilled was in Russia in 1989. They had dug to a depth of 40,230 feet. They had to stop when the temperatures got so hot that their equipment was starting to warp and melt. As for natural occurring holes and caves, the deepest known cavern is about 7,188 feet down.

Just when the hype was dying down it was brought back into the spotlight by a local Native American Medicine Man named Red Elk. He said that his people had revered the hole for centuries. His father had shown him the hole in 1961. They knew that it was surrounded by paranormal activity. He said that he had seen it turn fire into ice. This is SUPER BIZARRE. He said that he lowered a sheep down into the hole and when he pulled it back out it was impregnated with an unknown fetus. It was close to death and burned. If that did happen I doubt it survived very long.

So, what IS Mel’s Hole? In my personal opinion it was a story created by guy that was bored out of his mind. He knew of the abandoned mine shafts that littered the area and decided to play up the stories around them. He made a fake name, a fake family, and a fake everything so he could get on the radio and share his “story” with the world.

What do you think?

This was a shorter story than I typically do but it was still an interesting one - right? The things that people will make up? Or could it be true?

If you like this story may I suggest some other trending stories:

Fred and Rosemary West (True Crime)

Karla Homolka: Crime and Not So Much Punishment (True Crime)

The Haunted Monte Cristo Homestead (Paranormal Ghost Story)

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