Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Carlsbad Caverns Unexpected History

Rhonda found this as we drove away.
These four domestic terrorists held hundreds of people hostage in a cave 750 feet underground
With hazy objectives and a lot of liquor, they seized Carlsbad Caverns
Like most actions taken under the influence with firearms (or even without), the results were beyond stupid:
“I’m tired of Mexicans coming in and taking our jobs. No, make that all aliens. They ought to kick them all out. They’re making $20 billion in welfare . . . ” complained Mark. Eugene Hiram Meroney, a Native American and “easily the most intelligent and articulate” of the bunch according to Cantwell, talked about how the nation was repressing his people. They expressed frustration over increasing gasoline prices and OPEC. Cantwell is permitted to see the hostage, Linda Phillips. “She is extremely calm considering her plight,” he wrote. 
Even more startling:
In February 1939, the Superintendent of Carlsbad Caverns National Park Thomas Boles wrote to Robert Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” and Floyd Gibbons’ “Headline Hunter” radio program about what he considered to be an unbelievable story; a ranger had fallen into the 754 foot elevator shaft at the park and survived!...
With the tickets all purchased, Ranger Thompson began his prepared speech to the assembled tourists. He opened the elevator door (there was no failsafe to prevent this when the car was not there) and turning to the crowd stated “Let me see your tickets” while he backed in. A woman shrieked “Look out” but it was too late; Thompson plunged into the abyss. ...
Thompson knew the elevator and quickly realized the cables were his only hope. He grabbed on and thanks to the thick cable grease he was able to slow his decent while preventing severe friction burns. After falling nearly 100 feet and sliding an additional 40, Thompson found himself clinging to the cable in the dark elevator shaft. Calling out for help to the glimmer of daylight far above him, Hieb and two other employees brought a second car down the parallel cable, inching ever so slowly to where Thompson was still hanging on in the shaft. While pulling him in the men found Thompson “none worse for the experience other than a well greased uniform and a few blisters on right hand and a friction burn on left arm.”

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