Of all of the places that lend themselves to spooky tales of the strange, caves and caverns must surely rank high. After all, these are realms and domains hidden away beneath the earth, under our feet in that dank darkness we rarely think about. These are places of eternal blackness, untouched by light or the outside world, forever bathed in shadow and little explored. It seems as though it should be no surprise that these gloomy places have managed to draw in reports of something very bizarre, and here we will look at some very weird reports of strange creatures, aliens, and others lurking deep down in the ground.
A really quite strange encounter comes to us from the site Phantoms and Monsters, and concerns an eyewitness in Gmunden, Austria. The witness calls himself “Gregor,” and says this happened to him while he was exploring at an obscure cave in an area of in Upper Austria that is traditionally known for its vast salt mines. Gregor describes himself as a seasoned caver, who has explored caves and caverns throughout Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland since 1988, so he was not new to this and was very experienced. In May of 2011, he claims that he was in a narrow, treacherous cave that had only recently been discovered, in the range of foothills near the east bank of Halsatter Lake. As he made his way through the still darkness, he claims that he heard voices in the shadowy gloom ahead, which stopped just as suddenly as they had begun before he continued on his way.
He said these passageways were at some points so narrow that he had to crawl through them, and as he did, he intermittently heard those voices, although it sounded like murmuring with no clear words. After some time, he came to a larger chamber, which had openings and tunnels so smooth that they looked as if they had been carved out by some vast machine. In this chamber there was a very definite stench of what smelled like rotted meat, and there was an “odd red iridescence” to the floor when he passed his light over it. As he examined this strange phenomenon things would suddenly get very bizarre and frightening, and the witness says:
When I knelt down to collect a sample I again heard voices coming from one of the passageways. At this point I was terrified and started to hurry back through the narrow cave. After I squeezed back several meters I was able to turn my head just enough to look back into the dark chamber. A yellow light slowly made its way into the chamber from the left opening in the chamber - then there were several yellow lights following the first. As the lights moved through the opening into the chamber then back through the opening on the right I was able to see the beings. The sight sent fear throughout my body - I was actually paralyzed.
The creatures were humanoid in stature - but these were not human. Each varied in height but all looked the same - muscular lizards that walked upright like humans. There is not a better term I can use to identify these beings. These creatures wore dark colored full-body uniforms that extended and covered the feet. I couldn't tell the exact color of the skin but each had a pronounced muzzle. The long tails were very prominent and swiftly swayed back and forth as they moved forward. The arms and legs were massive - I could detect the musculature through the uniforms. There were voices also - as if they were talking to each other. The voices actually sounded human though I could not detect the language. There were possibly 20 or more of these creatures as they walked single file through the chamber and into the other opening. When I conceived it was safe to move I quickly withdrew from the cave. I think I may have been in shock because I barely remember anything that happened from that point until I reached my office. I decided to keep a private journal regarding my encounter - but I have not discussed it with anyone else. My colleague who originally found the cave told me that he has explored the cave since my encounter but never mentions anything about the chamber, other passageways or bizarre beings.
What was going on here? What were these things? Another case from Phantoms and Monsters comes from a witness who says this happened in the U.S. state of Missouri in the summer of 1995. He describes himself as ex-military, and says at the time of his bizarre experience he had been living near Eldridge, Missouri. He had learned spelunking in the military and had taken it up as a hobby, so it was not unusual for him to go exploring caves and tunnels in the area, and indeed back at the time he was involved with a spelunking group who explored caves and cavern systems throughout Missouri and Arkansas. On this day he had been exploring by himself at a cave in Camden County, Missouri, which he describes as being very little explored or mapped. As he made his way through the gloom he came across a series of chambers, which he followed to what he assumed to be the end of the cave, and that was when he heard an odd rustling sounds coming from an opening near the top of the chamber he was in. He says of what happened next:
I assumed the sounds were bats and didn't pay much attention to it. But after awhile I heard motorized sounds and talking. I stood and listened for several minutes wondering what was on the other side of this chamber. The opening was about 10 feet above me. I maneuvered my way up to the opening which was flat and narrow but big enough for me to get a decent look into it.
As I positioned myself to the front of the opening I started to see light at the other end. The passageway was only a few feet long but it was just too narrow for me to move through. As I looked through the opening there was a very warm draft of air hitting my face. As well, the air had a very acrid vinegar-like odor. There was a very large and well lit 'room' with limestone walls. I noticed a small vehicle that looked like a golf cart but was very low to the ground and without wheels. I continued to observe until I started to hear voices that were getting louder and nearer. Something was making its way towards the vehicle. I had to rub my eyes because I didn't believe what I was looking at. This 'creature', because it was not a man, stood about 7 foot and had brown scaly skin. The face and head were shaped like a human with a flat nose but there were no ears or hair. The top of the head had a slight scaly ray or ridge that extending down the back of the neck. From what I could see it had lips and regular sized eyes. The arms were very long and muscular with human-like hands. It also had a massive 4-5 foot tail that tampered to a point. It was dressed in a gold metallic outfit with long pants and shoes. It also carried an oval pack attached to its back.
I watched as this thing was looking at something on the vehicle. I had a high speed camera which I use to document my cave explorations. I was able to obtain a few distorted images of the being. For some reason while I was taking photos the creature stopped and turned, looking in my direction. I'm not sure if it heard me but it definitely knew of my presence. It then made a terrible 'hissing' sound as it continued to look in my direction. That was enough for me. I quickly started making a beeline out of the cave. When I reached the entrance I was shaking and hyperventilating. I finally reached my vehicle and drove home. I continue to explore caves in the area. I have heard stories of people encountering strange underground beings but I have never disclosed my experience. A few years after my experience I went back to the cave but was unable to get near it since the area is now government property. I can assume that I witnessed something that I was not supposed to see. It pains me to think what secrets are being kept from us.
A very strange account with some other sort of humanoid comes from 1978 in Toronto, Canada. Here within the dark confines of the various networks of tunnels and caves under this sprawling metropolis, a 51-year-old man known only as Ernest had a strange and frightening encounter in August of that year. The witness claims that he had been out searching the neighborhood for a missing kitten from a litter he had been raising with his wife, when he had stumbled across a tunnel entrance and decided to get a flashlight and investigate where it led, perhaps to even find his missing cat in the process. He claims that he penetrated around 10 feet into the murk and suddenly came across a creature that looked somewhat like a long and thin monkey around 3-feet in height, with large teeth and covered in grey fur. The unsettling eyes which peered out of the darkness from deep sockets were described as being bright orange and slanted, and to make the whole ordeal even more horrific, Ernest reported that the creature actually spoke to him. He would say of the odd events, "I saw a living nightmare that I’ll never forget. It said, ‘Go away, go away,’ in a hissing voice. Then it took off down a long tunnel off to the side. I got out of there as fast as I could. I was shaking with fear."
Ernest would later grudgingly tell the Toronto Sun newspaper of his frightening experience after being encouraged by a friend to do so, and he refrained from giving his last name out of fear that he would be ridiculed. Staff from the Sun even went as far as to accompany Ernest to the location of his strange sighting in March of 1979, and they found that indeed there was the entrance to a cave at the end of a passageway between houses, which led into a narrow tunnel that dropped off into the gloom sharply and was surmised to lead to the unseen sewer system down below. When they investigated the tunnel they did not see any strange creature, but they did find the maimed carcass of a cat half-buried in the ground. When sewer officials were questioned about what Ernest had perhaps seen, an employee gave the rather ominous statement:
People who work on the surface just don’t know what it’s like down there. It’s a whole different world. Who would have thought a few years ago that people would live in sewers, and yet that’s what they found in New York a few years back. I don’t know what he (Ernest) saw down there. I’ll tell you one thing. If we could get in there, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to go down alone.
The so-called “Cabbagetown Tunnel Monster” is truly bizarre in that no other such report like it has come in, and it is hard to say what the creature in question could possibly be, especially considering that it allegedly actually spoke. Concerning the witness himself, friends and family said that he was an honest and reliable man, not prone to making up tall tales, and the Sun reporters who interviewed him said that he seemed earnest and honestly scared and reluctant to tell his tale at the time. What did he see down there, if anything? We may never know. One idea of what the Cabbagetown Tunnel Monster could have been was not a tunnel dweller per say, but rather some cryptid from above ground taking refuge or shelter within the tunnel. The region where it was sighted has long had accounts from the natives of a race of smallish hairy humanoids that inhabited areas near waterways and were called the Memegwesi, and perhaps something like this could have found a home down in the tunnel. We will probably never know for sure.
From Cryptozoology News we have an outlandish report from Hamblen County, in eastern Tennessee, by woman who claims she and her husband decided to explore a cave they had discovered on their remote rural property. She says that as they looked around some of the chambers, her husband spotted a strange, “Dwarf Bigfoot creature” that stood 4 feet tall and was covered with thick brown hair except for its face, which was hairless and very human-looking. She says of it:
We both froze in the shock state and took in each others detail before I ran. I stood less then 2 feet face to face with it. He was as scared as I was. It can climb cave walls and freeze in place. The species could be a cousin of Bigfoot, but smaller. It had short legs, heavy paws with claws that are flatten on the end. A lot like a fishers body with a human white mans face.
Oddly, the same witness also claims that she found within the same cave a dusty old 16th century document written in “Old Germanic” allegedly by Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, which is just about as bizarre as discovering a Bigfoot in the cave. Another report that is really hard to classify was given by Reddit user “brycen64,” who says he found something very unusual while exploring a cave he found on a camping trip to Flagstaff, Arizona. He went into the cave along with his wife and father-in-law, and things would soon get weird. The witness says:
I went into the cave and had to army crawl about 20 feet before hitting a large opening that had a drop too far/dark to see the bottom. While i was poking around I held my small flashlight over the expanse to try and see the other side of the cave. There I saw what looked to be 2 feet long stalactites that were an off/translucent white. When I attempted to look closer my light died. I had my wife bring me a larger spotlight flashlight and shined it where I thought the stalactites were and they were gone, I looked around the cave to see where they could have gone and the moment I think I saw them this new flashlight died. I asked my wife to bring me a cell phone as mine was dead from camping. My father-in-law offered his and I began to film the cave. I filmed for about 1-2 minutes and then I thought I saw the creature again and immediately the camera stopped filming on its own. It would have to be some sort of cave dwelling creature that is very silent and very good at climbing, and somehow has the ability to affect flashlights/cameras.... was very strange. We dubbed the creature Timmy the Tunneler.
What is going on with reports such as these? What sorts of mysterious forces are at work down in that dank world beneath our feet, far from civilization and its prying eyes? Are there things beyond our comprehension that stir down there in that perpetual darkness? There is no way to really know, and such stories and many others like them serve to merely intrigue and baffle. Whether creatures roaming about this subterranean realm are real or not, they certainly show that caves remain an almost primal force that have stirred our imagination since time unremembered, and perhaps always will.