Whatever Happened to Ted the Caver?
I guess we all need heroes. Those people who put their necks on the line for adventure, those people who satisfy all our urges for exploration and discovery.
I guess it never occurs to us they might not make it out alive. Or sane. I suppose the satisfaction of living vicariously through these adventurers' travels and triumphs blinds us to the fact that they risk life and limb and could even meet a fruitless end.
I think Ted the Caver was one of our heroes. We seem fascinated by his story. More than fascinated—downright scared to the bone. Because no matter how much we yearn to seek out the unknown, to taste it and touch it, we know the risk involved. We know it means we stand alone in the dark, in the midst of danger, and that we might not make it.
What happened to Ted?
Ted and the Mystery Cave
Ted started a journey in December of 2000. A journey that lasted into a good part of 2001. He, innocently enough, was exploring caverns near American Fork, Utah. He and his friend Brad (in his original blog, Ted refers to Brad as "B") discovered a small hole in one of the caves they were exploring. The hole had a cool wind coming from it, and this strange fact drew them into finding out more about the hole.
Looking through the hole, Ted discovered that, further in, the passage opened up after about 10 feet of crawl space. The hole was too small to fit a whole human body, so the two men set about opening up the hole.
While down there at the hole, the men began to hear a strange howling sound from it and a bit of rumbling, too. Ted at the time dismissed the rumbling sound as traffic from the freeway nearby.
Widening the Hole in the Darkness
The men left the site, but came back soon with the proper equipment for breaking up the hole. Using a drill, bull-pin, and small sledgehammer, they took turns breaking up the area around the hole to widen it.
It should be kept in mind that caves such as the ones Ted and Brad were in are pitch black. While one man worked, the other kicked back in the dark. Ted wore a helmet with a light on it and also carried a mini-mag light and some glow sticks, just in case. Also, keep in mind this hole was about 3 feet from the ground, and the working space was difficult to negotiate.
After many hours of work, the men left to return at another time.
A Fearful Dog
Within a couple weeks, the men returned, this time with Brad's little dog. Ted figured he might be able to put the dog through the hole to find out how far back the passage went.
Prior to getting to the spot where the hole was, the dog was quite lively and exploratory. The closer they got to the hole, the more fearful the dog became, clinging to his owner and whimpering.
Brad began working on the hole but was soon interrupted by a weird grinding sound he heard coming from the opening. This was somewhat disturbing to him, but he continued working nonetheless. The hole began to be big enough for Ted to at least fit his head through. So the men began to make some fairly good progress.
Noticeably, at this point, the wind and rumbling sound that came from the hole had stopped.
A Terrible Scream
Three weeks later, the men returned to the cave with a more subdued and concerned attitude, considering the strange occurrences they had experienced the last visit. The breeze and rumbling were back.
Ted went to work on the opening, with drill going and ear plugs in; in the middle of drilling around the hole, he heard a terrible scream. Of course, it startled (to put it mildly) both men. The wind and rumbling sound had stopped again.
Ted Goes Through the Hole
On their next trip to the cave, the wind and rumbling were back, coming from the hole. They were able to break open the hole enough for Ted to fit halfway through. On a subsequent trip, Ted was able to fit himself through the hole. He was able to negotiate the small crawl space to the passage, which subsequently led to a room; beside it was a round rock leaning against the wall.
Inside the room, Ted felt like he was being watched. To add to this uneasy feeling, he saw a strange drawing on the wall, depicting people standing below some kind of a symbol.
All of this time, Ted had taken pictures of his venture through the passageway to the room. Turns out, the pictures of the passage came out, but not the pictures in the room.
Joe's Trip Through the Hole
By April, when the men returned, they brought a friend, referred to in Ted's blog as "Joe". Joe was thin enough to fit through the hole easily, and he was an experienced caver. Joe went into the hole first, and Ted followed. While retrieving his equipment through the hole from Brad, Ted hit his head on the wall and hurt himself badly. Unable to continue on through the passage, Ted let Joe continue the journey.
For some time there was total silence, giving Ted an uneasy feeling. After waiting about 25 minutes, Ted went searching for Joe but very soon saw Joe coming back. Asked if he was alright, Joe responded that he was not, and it was obvious that he was shaken; he also had numerous cuts and scratches on him. At that point, Joe quickly got himself back out of the hole and to the other side, where he started and packed his stuff up to leave.
Noticeably, again, the wind had stopped.
Filming the Cave
Ted and Brad returned in a couple weeks with a two-way phone and a video camera. This time, as Ted approached the cave, he reports in his blog, he really did not want to go back to the cave. In addition, little things kept going wrong on this trip—fumbles with the rope and knots, that kind of thing.
As Ted goes through the passage leading to the room, he tests the phone, which has a wire connecting it to the other phone, and talks to Brad who is waiting outside of the hole.
At the round rock near the room, Ted picks up on a very bad feeling. He nevertheless goes into the room and films it. At the end of the room, there is a passage that leads to total darkness. He goes into it and films it, too. Behind him, he hears that scraping sound, louder this time, and closer. He turns to get up and smashes his helmet into the ceiling, which injures his neck and back and breaks the light that is mounted on the helmet. At this point he panics, drops to his knees, and puts the camera down. He is in total darkness.
The Drawing Glows and the Rock Moves
He gets his mini-mag light out, but it's dim because the batteries are old. So, he gets out his glow sticks and throws one into the room from where he came. He couldn't see anything. He tries to call Brad but the phone is dead. He goes through the room, heading back to get out of there, and the drawing on the wall seems to glow as he passes it. As he gets to the round rock, he realizes it's been moved and that the rock was on the wire that was connecting the phones. He sets his phone down and just then sees that there's a hole where the rock had been.
As he's leaving, he's feeling like he's being chased by what seems to him a horde of demons.
As he climbs out of the cave, as he pulls the rope up to retrieve it; it snags and is pulled down into the cave. As he climbs further, he feels the rope tightening from below.
Both men, in terror, quickly leave the cave.
Ted does not make another entry into his blog until 3 weeks after the last incident. The reason why is that he is so shaken that he can barely do anything. During this time after the terrifying event, he is unable to eat or sleep and has taken leave from work.
Within a week after the incident, he begins to hear strange things in his house: Footsteps, shuffling, creaking doors. He then begins to see things, out of the corner of his eye. But he sees nothing when he looks. He keeps the lights on, he buys a gun.
He starts to see strange shadows outside his windows and starts keeping his blinds closed.
At some point he starts to lose a lot of weight and sleeps most of the time. He can't concentrate on anything and begins to have nightmares too.
During a restless night, he is back and forth from living room to bedroom, and sees a dark figure at the end of the hall. The lights flicker. The phone rings and Ted stumbles over a chair and when he looks down the hall, the figure is gone.
Ted leaves and drives to "Overlook Point" to look at the city lights. He had an urge to go there. He finds that Joe is there, looking as bad as Ted does. Both men decide they need to go back to the cave.
Ted drives to Brad's house and tells him they're going back to the cave. Ted sleeps at Brad's place and finally gets some rest.
Ted's last blog entry is hopeful that he will find closure by going back to the cave and he states he's taking a gun with him this time, along with a knife, first-aid, food and water, a camera, several sources of light and a pad and pencil. He evidently wanted to be totally prepared.
The Final Entry
However, this is all he says. There is no good news about his last adventure to the cave, no news at all, though he states that he will be giving us news in the next entry. He never does.
Theories About What Happened
- Evil Spirits: The obvious theory is that Ted had run into some evil spirits down there in that cave. He disrupted them in their home and they went after him.
- A Portal: Some say he stumbled upon a portal to another dimension and inadvertently released some of its inhabitants.
- The Skinwalker: Another less-touted theory is that he found the home of the infamous skinwalker, a strange creature from Navajo legend that has been seen in recent times, especially in the four corners region of the American southwest.
- A Fan Made It Up: Another theory is that a fan of Ted's fabricated the whole story, out of their enthusiasm for his adventures.
- Ted Made It Up: Of course, it is also said that Ted himself made up the story for fun. That he's a real caver, who really did explore the Freeway Cave that is part of the Timpanogos Cave network in the Wasatch mountains in American Fork Canyon in Utah. It is said he actually discovered an unexplored (at the time) cave and passage in that particular complex of caves: That the passage and cave are now called Gypsy Passage and Floyd's Tomb.
Where Is Ted Today?
Of course, there are also theories about what happened to Ted after his exploration of Floyd's Tomb. Some say he went crazy and was committed. Some say he went on to work for a special agency within the government to investigate paranormal phenomenon.
Some say he's alive and well and loving the fact that everyone enjoys his story so much.
That could very well be the case.