Search for Mel's Hole

Mel's Hole - a supposed bottomless hole located near
Manastash Ridge in Ellensburg Washington as related by Mel Waters on national radio.

The Seattle Museum of the Mysteries is announcing 1/06 it will resume
searches in the Spring of 2006 due to new information.

The Seattle Museum of the Mysteries is a federally recognized non-profit 501c3.

Lomatium Extract from Seattle's The Herbalist now available!


Full transcript of First Show posted - completed 4/4/06
Get familiar with an active Northwest Mystery and follow the search!

Click here for the Transcript of the first show

New Photos of area and Map! See below for dated comments
Information and photos of the 3/23/02 Search posted below

Past Search Photos

Information and map below offered to the public by the
Seattle Museum of the Mysteries in hopes that the hole will
be found by continued search.
Our goal is to verify the story and existance of the hole.

Mels Hole film being developed by Buddy Bolton



Section of Kittitas County map from 1909 of Manastash Ridge
which follows Manastash Creek
- the area believed to have Mel's hole

With two additional reliable and confirming reports of local people (and following up with additional local leads) who have seen Mel's Hole first hand, - showing us on a map the same specific area Red Elk led us to - we are no longer asking IF the hole exists but where it is exactly and pinpointing its location. Even if we excluded the validity of Mel's story, we cannot deny these additional local reports. The significance of Mel's Hole is that it could very well be the world's deepest volcanic vent hole - a worm hole and as such not only the best indicator of volcanic activity in the Cascade range for the immediate safety of the Northwest and the Pacific Ring of Fire volcano range but of huge geological significance giving us the best access for instruments to study our earth's mantel.

Every University, geological agency, science organization not only in Washington but around the world hearing of this hole should be attempting in some manner to search for its validity and not disreguard its potential value as an access to study our earth and its mantel. We also feel any agency or organization knowing of this hole be should disclosing its existance to the public and that once found, research conducted and reports made available to the public.

Yeh, finding this hole is worthwhile - and the revelation has been that we are finding out that what Mel has related of a hole on his property of unknown depth might actually be true....

The deepest hole in the world with Paranormal qualities?
Yes, the information we have received by several independent local sources
now seems to indicate there is a mysterious hole in Ellensburg and
as we believe the hole actually exists (even several other holes in the region),
we are serious about finding its location as an archaeological find due to its
possible ancient retaining wall and geological significance.
Chances though are that the hole is covered but
a story to date with aspects
(interestingly enough) so far have been consistent with Mel's story.


Please note, the Seattle UFO/Paranormal doesn't encourage tresspassing. Much of the land on the ridge is unmarked and unfenced
with the green dot public trail recommended by the Fish and Wildlife and there are many new logging trails and scattered residences.

Jan 29, 2003 - A volunteer organization that knows about Central Washington environment and cows- CARE

Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment

CARE is a nonprofit, volunteer organization founded in 1997 to expose and bring to a halt the damaging effects of factory farming. Through activism, educational programs, and court victories we continue to grow a base of active supporters who are committed to sustainable farming. CARE actively networks with environmental organizations and individuals throughout the United States sharing information and strategies to combat the growth of factory farms. CARE conducts workshops, organizes grassroots groups, and provides educational information about combating factory farms across the country. CARE, working in collaboration with WELC (Western Environmental Law Center), has spearheaded litigation to force polluting factory operations to ³to clean up their act². In doing so CARE was brought into the national spotlight . The CARE v Henry Bosma Dairy trial set national precedent in defining both CAFO¹s and waters of the United States.

Jan 29, 2003 - Do Bones Talk?

The Seattle Group searches have discoverd an area with many cow bones. More so than would be found out in a natural environment. Could this be a cow dumping location and an indicator of the location of Mel's Hole?
We are speculating that if
cow dumping was going on for years at Mel's Hole and is covered for the last six years, illegal dumpers may initially dump their load near the hole which results in lots of rotting carcasses for preying animals to be carried off. Large amounts of cows bones then would be found in the area.

Do bones talk?

Jan 29, 2003 -
Message from Mel:

I am kind of back from my honeymoon adventures staying at my nephew's place before heading south. We miss the road but we also missed the comforts and fimiliarity of home, home being whatever it happens to be at the time. For some reason my email has been filled with people asking about Mad Cow disease and the Manastash property. People recall that dead cows were thrown into the hole on the property. Speculation has been that some of the cows may have had Mad Cow disease because of the recent news. As you are aware, there are many strange and dangerous characters living on the Manastash. Pot growers, moonshiners, mountain men and women. The people I always feared the most were the cattle ranchers. Give me a pot grower or moonshiner any day, they can be reasoned with. I have always wondered why dead cattle were disposed of on the Manastash property. It was my understanding that even dead cattle had some monetary value, especially if the cattle was not quite dead. I'm no expert on the cattle industry, but I know enough to not eat beef and confine my red meat to bison which is usually raised with love and kindness by the people that provide this meat. I don't even feed my dogs commercial dog food because it contained or still contains the rendered remains of cats and dogs that are acquired from animal shelters and vet hospitals. As to the issue of cows with the disease, I can not be certain. It is entirely possible that Mad Cows found their way into the Manastash hole. I do recall that some of the cows were not quite dead when they went into the hole, and there were calves as well. I can't say how many cows I saw go into the hole. I can say that it is more than a couple of dozen. Probably close to 30 that I saw personally go. This practice begun before we had the Manastash property. I did express my concern once about the practice to one of the dumpers and was given a reply indicating that if I didn't allow this to continue that I would be receiving a visit from the EPA. It is ironic, the worst of the worst polluters would employ the services of the EPA, an agency they totally despise. Still, there was never any indication of pollution in the well water, something I can not explain. No foul smells ever came from the hole on the property. What ever was happening to the carcasses did not impact the enviroment of the immediate area. The orthodox Jews have a practice known as keeping Kosher. It is from the laws regarding keeping Kosher that we are told "do not boil the kid in the milk of its mother". The ancient Jews were wise beyond our understanding. Another show with Art Bell is in the works. We have to return to Nevada in the near term, but expect a show in the near future. Take care, Mel Waters

Was Mel's Hole used for cow dumping? Recent reports seem to confirm the practice in the region. Clues to Mel's Hole location?
Cow and Calf Dumping in Central Washington
By Shannon Dininny Associated Press Writer
MABTON, Wash. - Rocky Ross jubilantly swung his sport utility vehicle into the Sunnyside Wildlife Area, certain he had caught his prey: illegal dumpers. His grin collapsed to a wry smile when the quarry turned out to be two reporters caught peering at a half-dozen dead calves...

1/28/04 An update on the calf dumping:
I had the opportunity to inquire into details with WA Fish and Wildlife agent Rocky Ross on the two dozen calves found dumped three days ago and to find out if there was any continuing investigation and to inquire if they knew of any further violations of cow dumping on Manastash Ridge and in the region - big clues to Mel's Hole. Apparently cow dumping is an illegal act that is difficult to trace. Usually ear tags have been taken off and there are no indicators. I was informed the AP reporters had found two calves who had been recently dumped and the other calves were in various stages of decay. The USDA was called but cannot do BSE testing because calves (they believe) are too young to develop BSE. Unfortunately the Wildlife service doesn't have the resources to cart the calves away so the best they can do is haul the remains further off the road out of sight. Yup, over two dozen calves are still there. I was informed though a few are usually gone the next morning likely by predators. Its amazing how the USDA made such a big deal about burying the madcow suspect herd of calves in a clay lined landfill yet these calves from the same area are left out in the open in a public parking lot. You would think the calf dumping would have stopped but to Agent Ross's dismay, on returning yesterday he found another calf dumped and stated at this point he will likely call the Yakima sheriff in for assistance. This just goes to show that despite national media coverage, culprits boldly continue. - Charlette LeFevre

Sept 24, 2003- Mel is doing fine.. He may do another show.
June 8, 2003 - The Seattle Group just found out who owns the two shacks - and its not Mel (darn). The search continues but now we have a local contact who will be searching in the area in the next few weeks!
May 7, 2003 -Link to Manastash Canyon Weather - thanks Donna!

Search Group 2, Hiking up a trail, cave off the side of the road.

A Mysterious Water Well and more on Goatman.

April 28, 2003 -The Seattle group just got back from a weekend search on Manastash Ridge and first of all - we didn't find the hole (not yet) but we did find a well with a water pump (it has now been identified) and interesting information narrowing down the location from a Physican who informed us of residences in the area. I would say it was our best search ever in terms of information. Indeanna and several members from a ghost research group that brought instrumentation joined the first day of the search this year (which we wanted to keep small and media free). I also brought along with my dog Candy which is the third time she has been on the ridge since she was a puppy.

The group met for breakfast and were joined briefly by Red Elk, his wife Michelle and a local pilot. This gentleman was the pilot approached by "Strange Universe" for a fly-over when Mel's story first came out. From there we went to the ridge and attempted to enter from the West Barber Springs area but it was just starting to snow and we decided not to risk the attempt. Before that we stopped by and visited (or I should say descended on) on Donna's place and her entire family of friendly dogs - thanks Donna! (photo below).

Next we hiked onto the ridge at a lower elevation and generally made observations until trees and branches blocked the trail. On our descent we came across a fenced off well pump. Nothing unusual except it was unmarked and out in the middle of nowhere. This wasn't the usual water trough set out for animals and there was no residence in the area so we were all wondering why any person or agency would go to the trouble of placing a water pump in this location. (now identified) We dubbed it "Mel's Well". We hope to find more information about it later from locals. From there we called it quits for the day and headed off to dinner (traditional Copper Kettle) and for part of the group fun at the local hotel's swimming pool and much needed sleep.

Sunday as the weather was sunny and much warmer, we decided to search again. After breakfast the remaining in the group first stopped by to see the famous whale bone imbedded in the Elm tree on 4th St. Our next excursion we stopped by a small shallow cave we had been informed about which is visible traveling South on Manastash Rd. From there we noticed an unmarked (everything on the ridge is mostly unmarked) trail in which we met a German? Physician who lives in Seattle but has a cabin on the ridge. He informed us of "goatman" who got his name because he actually owns goats and apparently is still living there and is very private. (so this isn't Mel but may have been mistaken for Mel). Since this Physican was a neighbor (and we believe because he offered medical care to one of the gentlemen who had a stroke) he knew about secluded residences in the area more so than others. He informed us of two other gentlemen and their location who owned trailers and outhouses. [Now known not to be Mel's] Mel mentioned he had a couple trailers and a couple outhouses, one gutted out trailer in which he used to work with his plants Could one of these men been Mel? Shortly afterwards we checked out what we have been calling the fenced off "government area" and what we believe is mud lake. A resident believes this fenced off area is an experimental tree farm and we will further check into information on this project.

Later, after several adventures with mud bumps on the trail which most jeeps and quads use, we slowly made it over to the observatory and saw a deer and a small herd of elk, then headed back to town. More details of our search and photos to be posted soon. The Seattle group probably won't do another search until June or July and then likely only with those that are local or have been on past searches. For those doing searches we recommend taking Manastash Rd. to any of the access roads to the green dot public trail, searching in the West side of Manastash Ridge and taking a 4-wheel drive, a quad or horses, a GPS reader, a good trail map, lots of trail bars and water.

An interesting well..

Enjoying the view at the Observatory and a view of Manastash Ridge from the Highway near the truckstops. The area where claim to have seen a black beam. (note, the spots are probably dust on the lens), Dropping in at Donna's place (Donna is in the center wearing green).


April 7, 2003 - Congratulations to Mel! We were informed by Mel he is getting married! He was recently in the Northwest collecting some items but will be returning to Nevada. He may be on the radio soon with updates on the medicinal plant he has always been researching called Lomatium. A search on the internet does show this plant actually does have medicinal properties and is sold at herb shops.

³Lomatium dissectum also known as Leptotaenia dissecta is a member of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family. It is a spring-flowering perennial native to the western United States which grows up to 2 metres. The large woody tap root is used for medicine. Lomatium contains flavonoids, coumarins and tetronic acids.8 The tetronic acids are antimocrobial9 and toxic to fish. Some Indian tribes immersed the fresh roots of Lomatium in streams to stun fish for harvesting.7 Lomatium was also used by the American Indians for medicine, typically for colds and respiratory infections. During the influenza epidemic of 1917, a doctor named Ernest Krebbs noticed the use of Lomatium by the Indians, and applied it with success in his own clinical practice. Recently its use has been readopted by practitioners in the United States for chronic fatigue syndrome, colds, influenza and herpes simplex I and II. It is also part of the treatment regime in a U S. trial of naturopathic treatments for AIDS.10 Clinical experience with Lomatium has found that in many cases it can cause a measles-like rash.7 Although this is self-limiting, it can be sufficiently severe to warrant cessation of treatment. The rash is probably a side-effect caused by constituents in the herb, but some regard it as a healing or cleansing reaction. The appearance of the rash can often coincide with a marked improvement in other symptoms.²
lomatium (L. dissecturm) was used as a fish poison, spring vegetable, and as a scalp-itch treament; the root pulp was used as a poultice to treat infected wounds and boils and to kill lice and bacteria (Hunn 1990:113). Diluted in a drink, it was used to treat upper respiratory infections and the root was chewed to treat sore throats.


Urbanis SARS Formula

...Dr. Leonard Horowitz, a Harvard-trained, internationally known expert in public health and emerging diseases and Dr. Joseph Puleo, a leading naturopathic physician and a founding member of the World Natural Health Organization ( developed the treatment from findings originally made in 1995.

The primary ingredients in the proprietary Urbani SARS Formula are extremely hard to acquire in freshly harvested lots, which are required for maximum strength and effectiveness. The ingredients include: Lomatium dissectum root extract. This has been known for centuries to have potent anti-microbial uses and to be useful as an immuno-stimulant. It also protects cells from another pathogen, the Rotavirus, which is a common cause of dysentery. SARS has been linked to symptoms of dysentery in a significant number of cases. It was used by Native Americans as a food and as a medicine for treatment of Tuberculosis and other lung infections. It has been used effectively in the treatment of bronchitis and pneumonia. ...

The latest in photos and information will be presented at Seattle's

Northwest UFO and Paranormal Conference

May 23-27th at the Radisson Seatac Airport on Pacific Hwy. 9am - 11pm daily. Free exhibits and vendors area.

Jan 25, 2003 Red Elk at the Psychic Spectrum Center for MTV's "Urban Legends" segment.  Red Elk near Ellensburg with his dog. Elk seen on the ridge.
Note: Red Elk claims to have seen the hole some 40 years ago with his father and he has brought numerous people to the area in which he remembers the hole to be. Other independant reports we have received also indicate the same area on Manastash Ridge.

From Red Elk's webmaster -

"To clarify the MTV/Mel's hole issue:
1. The question of the show was "Is there a hole to Hell?", and they showed Red Elk saying the hole exists (Mel's Hole) but that it was NOT a hole to Hades, so their FALSE conclusion was correct.

2. MTV did NOT technically go on a search for the hole as they stated, but the search footage was from video I [Red Elk's Webmaster]gave them to use any way they wanted. It was video I shot and the comments on the tape were mine. On that trip Red Elk and I did not find the hole, as the video shows. That, of course, does not mean the hole doesn't exist, just that we didn't find it."

Red Elk and MTV        Elk on Manastash

Terraserver hole

Jan 9, 2003 - Interesting hole? or well found on Manastash Ridge.

Lou Gentile's Sept. 19, 2002 archived show on Mel's Hole

Casual discussion on the search for Mel's Hole and information found to date.

The Basque Connection to the Washington Ellensburg hole and the Nevada Hole.

Jan 3, 2003 - Yes, there is a Basque community in Ellensburg? Coincidence? The Yakima Herald wich is just South of Ellensburg has recently written about this group which although dwindling does sheephearding in the area.

The Basque are probably the most mysterious oldest culture in Europe.  Some say they are the descendents of Atlanteans.
Most people may identify with the famous Pablo Picasso painting of Guernica of when the peaceful town by the same name was bombed in WWII.  They were civilian casualities.

"On April 26, 1937, 25 Nazi bombers dropped over 100,000 pounds of bombs on Guernica. Seventy percent of the town was destroyed and 1,500 people, a third of the population, were killed." 

Note the bull which is also Ellensburg's icon.   Ellensburg has an active community of Basque as does Nevada. Mel related the whale bone shown below was left as a marker by the Basque.  Questions is - a marker for what?  The Basque were known as expert whalers and perhaps a fisherman left his item as a welcome to all fishermen when his family took up sheparding sheep in the region.

 dedetail from Picasso's Guernica

Dec. 27, 2002 -We have confirmed with Mel that the lifesavers he used on his fishing line was the assorted flavors.  He did not use butter rum - a flavor he prefers.
Below an illustration of what the seal and hole may have looked like.
Illustration of Seal

Dec. 26, 2002  - MP3 Audio clips of Mel

Dec. 21, 2002 -We received correspondence from Mel of "Mel's Hole" after his radio show with a request to send updates to our site as he stated he would "probably not do radio without Art." We have agreed to post updates to find answers to these mysteries.  Updates will be posted here.

Dec. 20, 2002 - Have received recent messages from Mel's Nephew and recently Mel!  

Sept 2, 2002 - Exciting update! A small search on the trails North of the mud flats on Labor Day didn't turn up a find but a chance happening with a Manastash Property owner confirmed that there had indeed been a gentleman in a trailer some years back who was protective of his property. The owner who has never heard of "Mel's Hole" or even of Art Bell did say this gentleman in the trailer had a white hair and beard and did look like Willie Nelson. Mel? We are much excited as this neighbor also showed us where on the map the general area this trailer guy lived. Apparently although the neighbor was leary of this guy because he apparently had a reputation, he was impressed upon hearing he invented a water carrier that brought water up from a creek. This guy was inventive and was developing his property (much like Mel related on radio cultivating his Native American plants?) The neighbor he had not heard of the man at the trailor lately in the last several years. 

This is a section of the property division on Manastash Ridge. We will be posting additional property segments West of this area. The blue shaded areas are owned by the State. The white area is private and the stripped area is private with the State owning mineral rights.
We'll also be posting photos of an unsual hole at a burn site.

Philip by a hole found North of the Mud Flats with Charlette's dog Candy.
This is a hole found in a burn pit? Left by a logging company? We do NOT think this is "Mel's Hole" as it was small and had no retaining wall and also noted by the observant dog's presence. (Dogs are believed to avoid the hole).

Charlette at the yellow gate in front of the trail that leads to Manastash Ridgewith dog Candy who is anxious to begin the search. We found a rock on the left post of the gate that held a note with a poem. We left our search date on the note. Will the rock be there when we come back?

August 21, 2002 - Map of Sec. 26 on Manastash Ridge. Bottom half of section is private land but State owned mineral rights. Dowser also indicated this area. Photo courtesy of Peter. Note the "triangle" formed by the trails on Sec. 25 as a landmark. There is also speculation the hole may be just South of Sec. 26 (sec 35) and another map with information indicating Reed Canyon further East on Manastash Rd. If there are any searches, this will be the area we will concentrate.

August 8, 2002 - Photo of an Egyptian Well as an example of how Mel's Hole might look like with its stone wall. Is Mel's hole as old as the Egyptian Hole? It also looks about 9' in diameter.

Holy well now becomes a bottomless pit of conflict Berween Shoreh Middle East Times staff

Holy well now becomes a bottomless pit of conflict, By Berween Shoreh - Middle East Times staff

The Supreme Council of Antiquities angered officials at Zaqaziq University two weeks ago when it sent archaeologists to a site in the Delta village of Tel Basta to finish a project the university had started five years ago. As part of the Holy Family trail, the well at Tel Basta is considered an important part of Egypt's national heritage and tourism industry. However, infighting among concerned parties is slowing up the process of investigating the find and opening it up for tourism.

"This is one of many conflicts that takes place among independents and the government over archaeological digs and often hinders work on these important projects," said a source close to these situations who wished to remain anonymous...

August 8, 2002 - Mel's Hole T-Shirts now available to help futher the efforts and inquiry on the hole.

June 16, 2002 - The search party met at the Copper Kettle on June 15th with Geologist Jack Powell. Jack was wonderful in explaining the special features of the Ridge and of the special Ellensburg Blue agate. The search then continued to confirm the existance of the "Chinaman's Hole". We did talk to the property owner (of who will remain undislosed along with the location to protect their privacy ). According to the current owner of the mining shaft, it was dug by two men, is 350 feet deep and does connect to a stream. Old photo from an anonymous source (but due to the details submitted with it we can confirm it is the same "Chinaman's" mining shaft norfth of Ellensburg also known as the Reecer Creek or Green Canyon hole. The search then continued to .the Manastash Ridge Observatory where we "ran into" an baby owl. (see photo link below) and to the back trails. Unfortunately, the trails - some new led us far West of where the Mud Flats were and we will have to return at some other time! More local info coming in we hope to find the hole this summer!

  Geologist Jack Powell

 Geologist Jack Powell educating us on the geology and terrain of Manastash Ridge.

Jack's teaching experience has been at Central Washington University and Yakima Valley Community College. He has instructed classes in Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Geology of Washington State, Petrology, Economic Geology, Field Geology, Environmental Geology, and Astronomy and knows extensively the geology of Ellensburg and Manastash Ridge.


"Chinaman's" Hole

This is NOT Mel's Hole

This is the "Chinaman's" hole also known as the Reecer Creek or Green Canyon hole. Existance verified by owner on 6/15/02. (name and location to reamain undisclosed to protect privacy). It is fenced off.

Photo sent in by Anonymous sender (but due to the details submitted with it we can confirm it is the same "Chinaman's" mining shaft norfth of Ellensburg also known as the Reecer Creek or Green Canyon hole.

Significance: Mining Shafts DO exist in the Ellensburg area.

There are undergound rivers below Ellensburg - and hence possible tunnels.

It is possilbe to have a hole in an area and the public not know about it and have the newspapers mis-identify holes. (hey, all holes look alike right?). This hole is about 17 miles from Manastash Ridge.


 Baby Owl found on Road to Observatory.

Can anyone identify this owl? We believe it may be a Northern Saw-Whet Owl. Photos of re-location of Hootie-Totem Owl.


June 1, 2002 - Next search date: Sat. June 15 11am Meeting up at the Copper Kettle - inside the restaurant. 8th and Main Ellensburg. Search areas - Chinaman's hole, Mud Flats South of yellow gate and meeting back at Kettle at 7pm. Possible search for Peos Pt. hole in Cle Elum. We will be inviting local Geologist again. Prepare for extensive hiking with suncreen and water.

May 22, 2002 - We received word from Mel's Nephew that Mel and his girlfriend were in a car accident in Nevada. Mel's Nephew will keep us updated.

May 9, 2002 - Lomatium, Umbelliferae - Carrot Family. The plant which has many species which Mel was cultivating. It is believed that the species he had was from Nevada and not native to Washington.

Scan of old dried out flower top (probably from last year's bloom) from green Lomatium found on top of Manastash Ridge during last trip. We do not know what species this is or what the color of the flower is (likely yellow or light color). One of four local Lomatium species.

May 1, 2002 - Mel's Nephew will be attending the NW UFO Conference Memorial Day weekend in Seattle.
Schedule possible.

April 30, 2002 - A small informal search Sun. April 28, 2002 gives us even more local neighbor contact and information on the development of the area. Map below shows search area, orange route taken by search on 2/28/02, yellow area searched on 3/23/02 and area given by Red Elk, which is just directly North of area given by other local reports of a hole being off the trail in the Mud Flats area. Now that the snow has melted and the weather is getting better, the ridge is much easier to hike. We are hoping to hook up soon with a local geologist who has an extensive background in mapping the area including including the rare Ellensburg Blue agate.

Seattle Times 's article on the Search for Mel's Hole in Washington
by John Zebrowski

The Mel's Hole Search group 3/23/02 in front of the Copper Kettle Ellensburg. Red Elk on far right.

March 25, 2002 - Our current lead on the location of Mel's Hole - the Ellensburg "Dirt Biker" (who by the way has never listened to Art Bell but knows of him) isn't interested in being interviewed or going on radio but has given us a reference to his friend who lives in the area and can pinpoint the location of the hole "probably to the foot". Not knowing of our search or anyone in the group, the significance is he gave a general location of the same area that Red Elk has led us to.

Yes, we will be contacting this other local and I can only say the snow in Ellensburg can't melt soon enough for us!!!


 Lew Bedell's site on Mel's Hole song:

Photos of Past Searches
Past Search Photos


Buddy at the Whale Bone
The mysterious whale bone imbedded in an Elm tree in downtown Ellensburg.
A mystery recounted by Mel as an example of perhaps how things exist
but may not have an easy explanation - real none the less.
Yakima Herald story of tree posted below.


Additional Information


Red Elk in front of his sweatlodges

Red Elk is the person responsible for having our group responsibly look at this story seriously as something that is real

Forum and discussions on Mel's Hole

In much the same way that investigators have to find a body to prove a murder, but don't have to prove that the person lived at one time, - I don't think we have to find the hole to prove it exists given that we now have three independent documented reports from persons who have seen the hole and are indicating the same area.

Mel's Hole report of 3/23/02 Search:

Clues to Mel's Hole in Ellensburg's Thunderbird Motel Karaoke Bar?

Just got back here to Seattle Sun night. We didn't find the hole but this was one of our more successful searches given we found another local who had knowlege of Mel's Hole (he said it wasn't known as Mel's Hole at the time).When I asked him later why he didn't report it - he said he wasn't aware it had this much noteriety, that to him it was just a lava tube or mining shaft.

Of highlight on the search were meeting the members of (one of them a Fourteen old local who had called into Art Bell Friday night to inform him of this search), seeing cougar tracks, watching a bald eagle circle above us (a sign?) and experiencing the invigoration of Northwest snow in my shoes. Several on this search had seen a van drive by several times and two men saluting the group. Yeh, a friendly salute. Not a wave or a howdy - a specific over the eyebrow military regulation salute. Meaning? Were there military guys supporting us or just letting us know we were being watched? (Well, to those guys, we salute you back. I got the feeling we were being protected and I don't mind saying that makes me feel a little more warm and fuzzy.)

The fortunate break for us was we received a detailed report of where Mel's Hole might be located (as best as recalled) from this local having seen it at the age of 19 riding with his friends on dirt bikes. Members of our team have dubbed this the "Dirt Biker Report". The Seattle Times article quotes "Jay Nickell, 34, who grew up in Ellensburg, remembers a hole about seven miles from Manastash Ridge where, as a teenager, he and his buddies rode dirt bikes. On a few occasions, they came across a hole that sounds like Mel's : too deep to see bottom, and rocks hurled down it made no sound." Given his directions to this hole from the South side of Manastash Ridge, it coincides with the area we were in just North and is in line with the area Red Elk indicated and recalled from seeing over 40 years ago with his father. For me, there is no doubt this hole exists after hearing several reliable reports of this hole from locals all independantly indicating the same small area on the huge Manastash Ridge. Also from the Seattle Times Article. "Trish Swanson, who works at Central Washington University, recently drove past a hole that some friends joked was Mel's."

At this point, for me, it is just a matter of pinpointing its exact location on the ridge and waiting for the snow to melt so we can access the back trails.

Now what is interesting is how we found this local!

Well after our long search several of the group decided to go the local lounge next to the Thunderbird Motel (which is across the street from the Copper Kettle). They had started Karaoke and we asked the DJ to announce the Seattle Chat Clubs' search for Mel's Hole in hopes that someone might recall some information. Sure enough a muscular rugged looking man (good looking I might add) piped up he knew where the hole was and could tell us where he had seen it many years ago (but not before he finished his Karaoke song first)!! We talked to him in the next room which was a Chinese restaurant and used their buffet counter to spread out some hiking trail maps (great maps brought thanks to a Spokane couple Dr. Reach and Judy). He was sincere and casual (and did I mention good looking?) and was not familiar with Mel Water's story but had heard that the hole some years ago had been capped off.

We must have looked bizarre - imagine a group of a dozen surrounding one man who just came with his friends to a bar to sing karaoke late at night in a small Western mining town asking him a questions on the counter of a Chinese buffet on one of the paranormal communities most intriging mysteries. I'm thinking this must look bizarre but at least it is bringing alot of people together. As an example of this which was pretty cool was when the manager (owner?) of the Chinese restaurant (who had been watching us intently off to the side all night) assisted us by turned on the overhead buffet light so we could read the maps better!
Note: I can comment first hand the restaurant at the Thunderbird Motel has a great Asian buffet and the couple from Spokan said their potstickers were some of the best they have every had.

This search was also more successful because this time we had a great film group document many aspects of Mel's story and this search and will be posting soon information of the video taken. Highly highly recommend getting a copy as this group has the only full video documentation of the area, details of the search, Red Elk and many of the aspects of Mel's story including shots of the whalebone.

Word of a Seattle group in Ellensburg apparently traveled like wildfire!

At the Copper Kettle Sun. morning right before we were to leave to go see the whalebone, I approached two Ellensburg Police officers in the parking lot. The two just seemed to have finished lunch and were getting back into their cruiser. I asked if they were busy, related that we were from the Seattle Chat Club looking for Mel's Hole and if they had ever heard of any military activity on Manastash Ridge. Now the young officer didn't know anything and inquired with the senior officer. The older officer just gawfed knowing of the story, said he heard it was on Manastash Ridge but it was just a story and walked off just waving his arms. He said "Let me know if you find it" (har, har). Now I've received lots of reactions to this story like this so I just chalked it up to the typical attitude alot of residents of Ellensburg has toward the story of Mel's Hole - haven't seen it so it doesn't exist - Urban Legend. The young officer was nice and said I can further check at the precinct on First and Pearl.

Well not any longer than 10 minutes later we arrive at the residence of the whalebone which was about a quarter mile away from the Copper Kettle. The neighbor next door who works at Central Washington University Security sees us there and comes up to greet us. He is familiar with the story of Mel's Hole and told us a friend of his in the police department just informed him there was a Seattle group in town looking for Mel's Hole!!! My word travels fast in this here town ! We had not informed the officers we were going to check out the whalebone so what are the chances of the next local we meet being informed of our group?

A coincience? Statistically freaky or Ellensburg is a mighty small town! Anyway, I was mighty tickled the Ellensburg officer announced our arrival.

Now I feel before we were looking for Mel's hole in a haystack, and have narrowed it down to an even smaller breadbox. In the meantime, plans for a video of Mel's Hole search to be shown on Sat. at the Northwest UFO Paranormal Conference.

Thanks everybody who came on the search and I hope someone out there forms another group to search and solve this mystery. Will the hole be found soon? Just wait until the snow melts!

- Charlette LeFevre
Coordinator Seattle UFO Paranormal Group - Seattle Chat Club

Feb 14, 2002 - From Mel's Nephew:

"I would like to share some information on Mel's belt buckle. The missing belt buckle was made out of a silver fork. Bending a fork in the proper manner will produce a suitable belt buckle. ..... The belt buckle that was stolen from Mel contained three coins. The 1943 Roosevelt Dime. A coin with Stalin and a coin with Winston Churchill. Mel made them as a kind of commerative item honoring the Allies from WWII. [attached pictures of the other coins], besides the dime (yes I'm still working on it when Mel is around)..."

Feb 2, 2002 - Coin. Mel's nephew will continue to keep us up to date on what is going on. Mel's nephew plans on sending Art the original poloroids of the coin. (He told Mel this might be a problem as he no longer receives snail mail.) It is his belief that poloroids would lend more credibility to the pictures than just computer scans.

From Mel's Nephew:
"I'll let you know where I am with Mel's coin. Mel has had the coin in one of those protective hard plastic coin cases to preserve its condition, he carries it with him everywhere and I guess he doesn't want to get it bunged up. Makes sense. I've tried to scan and photograph the coin through the plastic and have not gotten satisfactory results. Too much reflection, glare, or whatever, it didn't work. I asked Mel for permission to take the coin out of the case and he saw no harm in it. I carefully took the coin out of the case and actually held the coin between my fingers for the very first time. It was amazing to hold such an amazing thing in my hand. At this point I became violently ill, sick to my stomach to the extreme. The project is on hold until another time but Mel does not object to my documenting his coin. I am finding this coin photography to be more difficult than anticipated. I have noticed that many of the coins for sale on ebay are depicted in very poor photos, even the most pristine of coins. I guess I have my work cut out for me. "

Feb 2, 2002 - Whalebone. Link that shows photo of whalebone imbedded in a tree that Mel Waters referred to in his broadcast. We may stop by this location and with permission and take some additional photos of this mystery.$rec=3215?home

Jan 31, 2002 - From Mel's Nephew:. I am in the process of both photographing and scanning Mel's 1943 Roosevelt Dime. Mel has allowed me to handle it and it looks like the real mccoy to me. I used to collect coins years ago and I must say I was taken aback to see something that should not exist. It really is not possible to fake a coin. Under high magnification you can see the "flow" lines of the stamped metal, it is quite distinctive and no way do the flow line occur unless the metal is stamped with minting equipment.

Two things can explain the coin. The coin could be a prototype coin, one made by the mint in advance of minting the actual coin for circulation. The 1943 date could have been an arbitrary date put on the prototype for testing or mockup purposes. The "B" mint mark could just have again been some prototype mockup. If the coin were a prototype it very well could have been made after Roosevelt died. If the coin is a prototype the coin would be priceless, absolutely priceless. I suspect that it would be worth well over half a million dollars and possibly more if it were a prototype. It would also probably be something illegally removed from the mint. I suspect if the treasury department got hold of the fact that he has the coin that he would receive a visit from their good offices for purposes of confiscation. Because of the "B" mint mark I can not say that it is an "error" coin. It may be possible for coinage to be struck with the wrong date. I'm not certain I've ever heard of such a thing.

The other explanation for the coin is that it is from another dimension. What ever you want to call it, Mel's claim is that he found 10 of these dimes in one of those red Chinese lucky money envelopes that the Chinese give their kids at Chinese New Year. I don't know if that has anything to do with anything, but I believe that it accounts for 10 of them being together. Mel, as I recall, did wear a belt buckle with what I now believe had such a coin in it. Mel did sell jewelry at the Farmers Market and through consignment in various shops in Kittitas County. It would be interesting to find the other belt buckles that contain the coin. There may be a belt buckle or two of Mels still sitting in some shop keepers case there in Ellensburg though I'd doubt this after the latest broadcast. In my wildest dreams I can not imagine coming into possession of what would be such a rare and valuable coin. It is totally strange. At this point I'd be more likely to believe that an alien gave him the coin, it is that rare. How the heck would Mel get his hands on a coin illegally removed from the mint?...

.... I have to say that Mel did just get back from spending significant time in Northern Nevada. Before he left he was, indeed, diagnosed with throat cancer. When he left he was so sick that there was necrotic tissue in his throat where bits of pills he swallowed would collect. The doctor was really generous when they gave him 6 months to live. He really was in bad shape. It is my honest opinion that he went to Nevada to work with the Native Americans as his final legacy and to die. Today Mel is cancer free, he looks like a new man. Did the "seal" cure him? Your guess would be as good as mine. I am only glad that Mel has his health back. - Mel's Nephew.

Jan 31, 2002 - From Red Elk:
Mel's little being was a "Rock Flyer". I talked to the Queen of the inner earth people last night about this. She told me these "flyers" are what forms the totems of the inner "Native" angels. She said her people have them too as they are protecting angels. She knows little about them as they are doing thier own GOD thing and that is out of her realm/authority. Ho Red Elk

Mel/Bask/Natives witnesed an extremely rare event.This Rock Flyer (Totom) came to the surface an "eye contact" of healing...not just to Mel but to all that witnesd it. It did not prefer the way of coming but took advantage of it. The sheep was dead before this one entered. It is so rare a thing for one to come in physical. to our surface "It is almost unheard of" (quote the Queen.) she should know....shes' been here almost as long as dirt. Ho

Do not look for this is/can be extremely dangerous. It's name is Lucifer's Leap. One of the original holes dug in by L. to gain entry to #2 Earth. It is feared by all wildlife...and with good cause. Death emits from it. They Know. Ho At the same time these deep holes come in pairs. Usually not far from each other. Roughly 12-14 mi. apart. IE: another hole is present. Just as it is so with the one here [Wasington]. Combine these Neg./Poss. energy holes create our earth winds! This is the "stirring" in the atmosphere above us, earth "round" that begets them (winds). Ho. Other forces (black) are drawn to the "bad" holes to "inhale" these black energys and allso to refuel their particuler ships engine needs. The "Black Light" mentioned is the expelling of excess deep Earths inner energies. A "flushing" in a sence. The opposite (good) hole(s) do not radiate this black light...instead their light is purity and unseen It is there....but unseen. It is our Earth Mothers' goodness love that emits from these. The termoil of the two meeting high above is in a sense a form of energy warfare. Each trying to overpower the other and in so doing the two forces act as a cooling "fan" to our Earth Mothers' skin. There are no "accidents"....all is designed to work verses light equels perfect balance! Thus both are; both are G O(O)D. Ho Anyway Mr. Water's [talk]was done in bewilderment....looking for an nswer. He was/is so "stuned" he needed to know for his sanity he had to know. Yes, he did a brave thing. I admire him for it. Ho I am done. Red Elk

Jan 29, 2002 - Mel Water's of Mel's Hole fame was on national radio and talked of a second bottomless hole he was shown in Nothern Nevada. He was shown by the local Native American Indians and the local Basque Tribes. They lowered some items into the hole one of them being a sheep. The sheep met its demise but upon being cut open, a small seal like entity emerged from a dark tumor and observed the group. Mel claims this seal was significant in the healing of his esophagus cancer.

Mel also related his reasons why the 1943 Roosevelt dimes were taken from him. These dimes Mel had had found near his Washington Hole were anomalous as Roosevelt was still alive and the dimes were not minted that year. One of these dimes was on his beltbuckle which was taken from him.

Inquiry - anyone know anything about a Hungarian man who faxed Art Bell some time ago when Art was doing programs on "immortals"? Or when this show aired? This gentleman claimed to be of advanced age but looked to be only in his late 20's or early thirties. The man in the fax claimed to live in an old farm house in Central Washington. As odd as this may seem this may have a link to Mel's Hole. Mel's mother was Hungarian and it was reported at one time while visiting Mel to have met this man in Ellensburg. He spoke a formal Hungarian she hadn't heard since she was a young woman and said that he attended a university that closed down long before WWII.
There is information that there was a man named "Pete" in Ellensburg but passed away several years ago.
He looked to be in his fifeties but may have been in the late seventies.

Side note (from Philip Lipson - Dir. of Seattle Metaphysical Library who has a Hungarian background):
St. Germain was a Hungarian who was thought by some to be "immortal". He is considered an Ascended Master by the Theosophical Society and others. There is documentation that he may have lived close to 200 years mentioned in a book by Cooper-Oakley.

Ms. LeFevr

February, 2002

Thank you for your inquiry about TerraServer. We have been advised by several people in recent weeks that aerial images over an area near Ellensburg, Washington, are not being displayed on the TerraServer. We are exploring what may have happened in the processing of these data that would have impeded them showing up on TerraServer.

The Manastash quadrangle, the general area of the missing data, has been published and is available on the USGS Earth Explorer ( We do load the data there first and then provide copies to Microsoft for display purposes under a cooperative agreement. We try to keep the TerraServer Web site current,

but sometimes in getting the data to Microsoft and incorporating them into the TerraServer database runs into snags. Since the TerraServer is a research and development effort primarily for browse and display, it is not as up-to-date as the USGS site.

Thanks you for your interest in TerraServer

Beth L. Duff

USGS, National Mapping, Business Development
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr., MS500, Reston, VA 20192
703-648-4621, 703-648-4706 (fax),

Jan 26, 2002 - Latest from a source close to Mel.

This adventure indeed we are finding out has many side mysteries. We are hearing that Mel has no interest in a film or book about his life and has been approached about making a movie but not interested. He knows there is money but isn't motivated by such things, although is in a position of being indigent. This link was offered as speculative of information on the area being covered.

It is from the terraserver, a collection of satellite photographs from the USGS. The enclosed link shows the Manastash Ridge. You will notice the area of Manastash Ridge blacked out (whited out) in the pictures of June 2000. This IS the
area we have been looking into and as given by Red Elk.

Personally, I don't know what to make of it because I searched Terraserver some months ago in this region and did not notice blocked areas. If anyone can come up with a past aerial view of this area, let me know. I will be searching my past records.

Also, Mel's has talked about a Hungarian man that Red Elk is also familiar with. A mystery but confirms the familiarty of the town with both persons. Maybe we can find out more.

Will keep you updated - Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson, Seattle Chat Club

Sept 24, 2001 - We haven't found Mel's hole yet but we believe we found more clues.
A rock from Mel's hole retaining wall? found under this wood pile.


Dec., 2001 - General Directions to what is believed to be Mel's Hole
as given and shown to us by Red Elk:
Ellensburg, Washington -- just South West of town off of Manastash Ridge Rd, drive away from town for quite a ways almost to the end of the road, just past a little bridge and off to the left you will see an umarked yellow bar gate, which is the only one on that road. Walk past the umarked gate up the hill just past the cattle fence which you can open and the wood pile is on your right. Did I mention it is unmarked? If you locate and further uncover the wood pile and find anything, don't fall in!


Dec., 2001 - The Seattle Chat Club has come across ANOTHER independent third party who recalls stories of a "bottomless" hole yet believe its an entirely different hole in the general area of Ellensburg and West of Cle Elum near Pehos Point. We will also be checking this out in March of 2002.


Sept, 2001 - The Seattle Chat Club has come across another independent third party who recalls stories of a hole
while riding with friends in the late '70s on Manastash Ridge Ellensburg on their Harley Davidson bikes.


Sept 22, 2001 - A group of fourteen of us met in Ellensburg along with Red Elk who lives near the city. On the drive we passed along the highway three military hummers (not unusual as there is a military firing range in Yakima) but noteworthy none the less and brought back to mind the attacks that have made us all aware of our security - even at home.

Red Elk was shown this hole in 1961 by his father and has shown us the general area where he still believes the hole is located (although now more than likely covered or obstructed). He was now able to come with our group as he was out of town on our previous search trip in July.

Red Elk "read" a tag from a garment we had found earlier from the area by holding it and believe it to be from a military snow suit. (impressed skeptic me because he didn't read the tag which gave information on its lining, filler and shell content along with a size 4x and I had thought it came from a T-shirt).

We hiked up the area on Manastash Ridge on a road used for logging and returned to an area where we believed the hole to be from previous searches. Two in the group hiked further up the road to search for any existence of housing or buildings.

We had a bit of excitement as Bill in our group found an arrangement of cattle bones in the shape of a triangle off to the side of the road. Definitely placed two bones that appeared to be from a spinal column angled like the head of an arrow over a long thin bone. Meaning? Was it pointing to an area or a sign?
Please e-mail us if anyone can make heads or tails of it.

Red Elk thought we should head down back to the gate and recalled the hole being in a flat area. He had not been past the gate in years but had taken several other persons to the area just to the gate who indicated the hole was just past the ridge and not far from the road. Red Elk had also previously informed us that many of the signs had changed over the years. The only ones existing now were for disabled hunting.

So we headed down to the gate where Red Elk did some dowsing with wire rods that Philip brought but later used a rod made from one of the small trees. His reading seemed to indicate strongly a specific area in the wood pile which we previously thought the hole might be under.

So several of the heartier in the group - Red Elk included started moving the large limbs from the loose wood pile. We were able to reach only a small part to ground level before it started to get dark. We may return later to continue searching the area beneath the wood pile. No indication of a hole or cover yet but a later return to the area would confirm that the gully the wood pile was in had been a road at one time as further up were road ruts and a cattle grazing area. (important because Mel had indicated the hole was near a road with a turnaround area). Bill who had explored further up noticed a small stream that disappeared into the ground. Indication of underground streams and tunnels?

The rock at ground level that we uncovered partially was about the size of a typewriter, totally flat and rectangle with smooth rounded corners. The only one of its size and shape in the area. Its hard to say if it was manmade or a riverbed rock - but the other rocks in the area are basalt with jagged edges. I have a photo of it I'll post soon. Could this have been a dislodged stone used in the hole's retaining wall?

We also found another rock that had a small round hole in it but again, we don't know if that is unusual. Several other "clues" were found but I'll hold off mentioning those until we get confirmation.

We'll return to this site after we have done more research on the area and perhaps locate more records, but for now we had alot of fun exploring the beautiful Northwest and getting familiar with the local diners in friendly Ellensburg.

Red Elk looking over the area he once visited with his father years ago and with his drum

Note: If if the event this hole or any indication of a hole or archeological / Native American artifacts is found we plan on inquiring to local archaeologists and geologists but in all manner making our findings public.



Seattle Museum of the Mysteries