From Kook Science
"LET'S FIND THIS CAVE!", Amazing Stories (20.2, May 1946)
- John, Edward (May 1946), Palmer, Ray, ed., "LET'S FIND THIS CAVE! (Letter to the Editor)", Amazing Stories 20 (2): 171-173, https://archive.org/details/Amazing_Stories_v20n02_1946-05_cape1736/page/n169/mode/2up
In writing to you this is something new to me as I have never written to any publication before except for contest reasons only.
I have enjoyed your stories for many years as I have read Amazing since the first issue back in 1928 if I remember right.
During all that period of time the stories were very good with so few duds that they were not worth worrying about. Until friend Shaver climbed into the picture. Now his stories are very interesting but the fact remains that maybe there is something back of his origin that should be investigated. Now don’t misunderstand me, I enjoy his writing very much but I think that it is best to leave sleeping wolves alone unless you have a good gun and can use same fast.
The thing that I am trying to say is that I think I can show you an entrance to this subterranean city that he has written about several issues back. Here is what happened to me and you may judge for yourself. In 1931 my mother and I took up a section of land as a cattle raising homestead from the U. S. Government and naturally it was not a choice piece; first of all, no one before us was able to locate the land even with assistance of maps and the land office, but we are friendly people, so a person who turned out to be our nearest neighbor gave us some hints and as the place was only six miles from his we stayed at his ranch until we built our house. Then we moved into our own and all in all we stayed there about two years before we quit; and now I will relate the things that caused us to quit, which at the time I did not know much about, but since Mr. Shaver wrote, now I know and marvel that we managed to stand two years without getting killed by the things from below.
As a note of interest I have had to use 30,000 rounds of ammunition in the period and perhaps that is why we are still here. At night I would sit up fully dressed all night with a rifle in my hands, ready, and an extra one by my side. In about five hours after dark I would hear things moving outside the house and after a while something would try to open the door quietly and I would wait until I saw the knob turn, then let go a clip right through the door and then pull it open and look around outside and there was nothing to be seen. After a couple of nights like that that performance would stop and something new would be tried.
There are too many incidents to be told in one letter, the best one was the two disappearing automobiles, which happened at about ten at night over at the neighbor’s place. It was as follows: the neighbor and we were sitting on the porch after supper when he saw headlights come over the hill to the fence then along the fence for about half a mile, then go out and that was all that night. So next morning we went to the trail along the fence and there were tire tracks of seven inch width tires and they went along the fence into the box canyon and right up against a smooth boulder about 20 feet in diameter and ended there. Now the car could not turn around anywhere in that place because the road is a trail five feet wide and one side is against our neighbor’s fence, which was not damaged and the other was a steep bill that no car could even make in compound low. You know, we have a few mountains here, and as far as backing out I tried that myself in the daytime with help and I could not steer a straight enough path without crossing my other marks so they did not back out or we would have trailed them as my neighbor has lived around there since 1848 and he sure knew his tracking. We never did get an answer to the question of where did the cars go.
The cars were very large and black and very heavy and now that I compare them they were about twenty years ahead of anything I had ever seen anywhere and I had worked in the auto business for about five years before we took up the land. They were silent, smooth, no wavering of the lights and the trail is extremely rough; in places it has hollows a yard deep, but these cars went through at about 25 mph, and it would even wreck a jeep to do that, so you figure it out and let me know the answer if you can. By wavering of lights, I mean that the beams were steady and not flashing up and down as an ordinary car would do when a rough road is traveled.
I have been away from there since 1933, but just about three months ago, I drove through with a friend for safety and my place is razed to the ground and everything that was made by human hand has been carried off even the old tin cans, and the place would not be noticed unless you knew where it was. The Coast and Geodotic survey had a marker near my house in the front yard and even that is gone; who would want to take a concrete marker and carry it away?
Don’t tell me about the lumber shortage, as this place is near lumber camps and mills; and other abandoned houses still stand in the valley, but they are thirty miles away and safe from the things. By near lumber, I mean within 50 miles radius.
Characteristics of the vicinity are one: no wind; two: silence. You can hear your heart beat and after two weeks, you can hear insects running on the ground. Three: Forest fires will not burn there. They burnt 250,000 acres, then burnt all around this area; and that stopped the forest rangers. They never could understand because most of it is on the slope of a mountain and it should have gone, but they say that the wind came down and blew from the top down and blew North, South, East and West at once and that was the only time that the wind ever blew there.
Also you can detect an atmosphere of fear within 30 miles of the area and you will not get a statement from anyone who lives around there and the people in the valleys are afraid of the people in the hills. One farmer erected 20 foot high barbed wire fences and a heavy gate across the road that leads to my old place. The gate would take a tank to knock down, so maybe there is something there, after all.
It is located 110 miles north of San Francisco in Mendocino county and is directly on the old Pieta toll road that ran between Hopland and Lakeport in Lake county of which Clear Lake is quite a summer resort. If you care to look it up on a map get a good auto road map and look due south of the road midway between towns and you will note an area with no roads bounded by Sonoma Lake and lower Mendocino counties and there it is. If you wish to go there, be sure that enough people know where you went. Maybe they will be able to find you. There have been several disappearances along that stretch of road, even trucks have vanished. All the U. S. Government’s.
The U.S. Government has noted the area as rough, unsurveyable and UNEXPLORED. Before you visit the area please let me know and I will assist you in every way possible, but don’t take any unnecessary chances if you do go. I have a ’41 Dodge and I could not make the road to my neighbor's ranch. The car would not make the turns and the engine did not have enough power to pull the hill, so I do not know as to whether he is alive or not. I inquired at the nearest habitation about 15 miles, and they did not know him, as they have only been there six months, so I am none the wiser.
Personally I do not care to go near the place, but If there is some way of driving the things out I would help if I can so that someone else could live there safely.
I have tried to interest many people into investigating this, but even the government is helpless as you well know, as far as this goes. Also I forgot to mention there is a cave on the property that has Steps leading down and there is no sound when a rock is thrown in. I have never seen it, but I understand that it is there. To give you an idea, if you leave the road 100 yards, It t^es two minutes and it will take you two hours to climb back 100 yards.
One final thing: any plane that attempts to fly over it crashes and I think that the P.A.A. clipper that crashed up there accidentally flew over this area, then the motors went dead, that was all. It happened in 1939; since then P.A.A. gave up Clear Lake as an emergency field.
Also, several people have died of heart failure and some have gone insane, I found out later.
I think the thing that saved us was the fact that I am not surprised at anything and that I am very quick to shoot and I can shoot without sighting and by ear and not having the thought of shooting fixed so that the things would be warned. After that place, I was able to outshoot U.S. Marine sharpshooters. I tried competing in a match and I just never missed any target at any range. If I could see it, I could hit it, 5 out of 5. I have tried practice machine guns at plane models and I hit 3 out of 5 at speeds up to 700 mph scale without using the sights. So the old ranch gave me something worthwhile after all.
Due to my physical condition, I cannot get into any armed forces, so that talent is wasted, for you see I have a bad leg and cannot walk more than a mile at a time. Since I left the ranch I have been in the radio business and have not owned a gun since ’34, because as long as I stay away from there I don’t need one. Also not changing the subject, but I have run across a person who is not from this earth, and while I can’t get him to admit it, I have found many evidences that point to the fact he came here from a planet that has tropics and a polar ice cap next to each other with no temperate zone and he knows radio perfectly, but earns his living by going to sea as a desk officer, and some day I will trip him up and get him to admit it; up to now I have had very little success.
Hoping to hear from you if possible, and if you print this, okay, but no help for curious public. But if you know of someone capable in the vicinity, have them get in touch with me and I will give more details.
475 Fell Street,
San Francisco 2, Calif.
P.S. Tell brother Shaver that the things’ influence extends as far as 150 miles and not 25 as he said in his story. The only safety is to lose yourself in a city and they can’t pick your thoughts out, but stay away from cleared areas such as flying fields. I found this out by experience.
Here is a definite lead on just the sort of thing that Mr. Shaver insists exists. The directions are specific, and it is possible that some of our more adventurous readers who live near would like to do a little scouting. If we got any sort of confirmation, we might decide to do something about it. However, we warn that the danger is very real. It is our intention to investigate this and a dozen other places as best we can. Organized expeditions are enormously expensive, and this cannot be done until we have a positive lead. Wherever possible, your editor and friends are making personal investigations.
How many more of our readers have the guts to give us a straight steer on possible entrances to caves? — Ed.