Many decades ago, when the construction of the library facilities at Western Carolina University near Cullowhee, North Carolina, had been underway, a local story tells of the discovery of an underground chamber, in which the bodies of what appeared to be a number of Native Americans were found. As the story goes, the construction proceeded as planned at the time, and the chamber was sealed shortly after a small group of archaeologists were allowed to examine the remains, along with a number of items that also filled the ancient underground chamber.
Whether the story above, related to me by a member of the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, is based on fact, or merely legend, is a worthwhile question. However, there are similar stories that surface from time to time in other parts of the United States as well. The March 12 & April 5, 1909 issues of the Arizona Gazette purportedly carried a story about a similar underground discovery, this time an entire "city", which was found near the Grand Canyon. One account of the narrative (which can be found here), borrows the very familiar trope of involvement by the Smithsonian Institute in relation to the alleged discovery:
"Smithsonian archaeologists S. A. Jordan and associates also explored the man-made cavern with hundreds of rooms, enough to hold over 50 thousand people. The underground city is about 42 miles up river from El Tovar Crystal Canyon and Crystal Creek, and about 2000 feet above the river bed on the east wall. John Rhodes after 3 years of field research reportedly discovered the Grand Canyon city, which is now being used as a museum for elitist groups and has lower levels that are being used by "super secret black book operatives", which can only be entered via a stainless steel door at the bottom of a stairwell deep within the "city" that is "guarded by a very lonely soldier staring into the darkness... dressed in a white jumpsuit and armed only with an M16 assault rifle to ward off his imagination."
The story above is indeed tantalizing, though it should be noted that it contains some conflicting information; namely, the fact that the excerpt discusses a "lonely soldier" armed with an M16 which, despite the story's attribution to the year 1909, didn't come into use until after World War II (it is unclear, based on the source, whether the anecdote about the lonely guard was added later).
Similar stories do emerge from time to time that stem from more reliable sources. Researcher Chris O'Brien, author of books like The Mysterious Valley trilogy and co-host of The Paracast, recently told a story related to him by an individual he describes as a "very reliable source", who had been involved with expansions of the lab facilities at Los Alamos a number of years ago. The individual in question had been an underground demolitions expert, and described "an ancient, antediluvian tunnel system" that he and his team discovered during the underground expansion operation, which he and several others followed for some distance. "They literally went as far as they could before they had to turn around so they could get back by the end of their shift," O'Brien recalled, with his contact having estimated the tunnels to be at least several thousands of years old.
Another story involving odd underground happenings was featured on the same podcast, as O'Brien and host Gene Steinberg interviewed a friend of mine, Walter Bosley, who discussed his new book Origin: The Nineteenth Century Emergence of the 20th Century Breakaway Civilizations. The book focuses primarily on the 19th Century airship mysteries (as outlined in Bosley's earlier book, Empire of the Wheel II: Friends from Sonora), although at one point in the interview, Walter begins to discuss an unusual story his father had shared with him decades ago, which seems to offer a radically different interpretation of the famous alleged crash of a mysterious aircraft at Roswell, New Mexico, in the summer of 1947.
Bosley's father had been a member of the U.S. Air Force throughout the 1950s, in what would have been the early years of Project Mercury, the first human spaceflight program which lasted from 1958 to 1963. The senior Bosley's unit was involved in testing for pressurized spacesuits, and possessed a high security clearance.
At one point, Bosley's father was stationed further East at Gunter Air Force Base (now called Gunter Annex) near Montgomery, Alabama, when he and a number of others from his unit were ordered to travel to a USAF base in Texas for what was described as a "briefing issue" at the time. As the aircraft carrying the unit passed above Louisiana, its direction changed to a northerly course, and the men in Bosley's father's unit were told they were being taken to Wright Patterson in Ohio. Upon arriving, the group was debriefed about what is known today as the Roswell incident.
"From there," Bosley recalls of his father's story, "He and the two guys from his unit were then sent out to Arizona, to a specific location -- all I know is that it was in the vicinity of Winslow -- an underground location where they were a part of the retrieval of the pilots, crew, or whatever of another crash." Bosley's father explained that the aircraft, rather than being of "alien" origin, had belonged to "a hidden civilization here on Earth, in the underground, and that's what Roswell had been." In other words, the aircraft recovered during these alleged crashes, as well as the bodies (one of which Bosley's father said he had been shown while visiting Wright Patterson Air Force Base), had belonged to hidden civilization that exists below ground.
"For what it's worth, he was very sincere telling this story," Bosley notes, who says the story was told to him years prior to the initial book on the Roswell incident, authored by Bill Moore and Charles Berlitz. "Over the years, he would tell me a little more about it," Bosley explained. "But I learned the most about it after I was working for the government myself." (Walter served with the U.S. Air Force for a number of years).
Walter's story is similar to one told by another colleague of mine, Nick Redfern, in which Redfern recounted an incident involving "mysterious people" that were found in the southwestern desert (admittedly, I don't recall right off-hand if this was information that appeared in one of Nick's articles here at Mysterious Universe, or if it was told to me during one of our many personal conversations on subjects like this). Nonetheless, it was implied in Nick's story that these "people" may have also had some kind of subterranean origin.
Of his father's strange story, Walter explains that, "Of course, people ask me, do you believe that? Do you think that?" He also notes that he plans to write a forthcoming book which looks more deeply at his father's claims... stories which, coming from a man who had been involved with the early innovations in manned spaceflight, are indeed rather interesting.
It is worth noting that a lot of insinuations have been made over the years that, in similar fashion, look at the "underground" angle as it relates to UFOs and similar odd happenings. Many of these theories seem to draw influence from earlier narratives and, specifically, the popular "Shaver Mystery" tales that appeared in Ray Palmer's Amazing Stories magazine back in the 1940s. But whether or not the answers to things like UFO sightings can literally be attributed to legions of lost inner-earth dwellers, it seems an almost inescapable reality that much of the strange phenomena that has been recounted over the years probably have origins of the terrestrial kind... despite having the appearance, at times, of being quite "unearthly".