|Owner:||Mel Waters (former)|
Mel's Hole is an urban legend about an alleged geographic anomaly that a man named Mel Waters claimed to have discovered on his land near Ellensburg, Washington. This man claimed that he lived in or near Manastash Ridge, Washington, about nine miles due west of Ellensburg, though later investigation revealed that no such person is listed as a resident. According to him, the hole has paranormal properties, including an infinite depth and the ability to restore dead animals to life.
The first references to the hole were made in a series of interviews with Waters, made by Art Bell on the American radio show Coast to Coast AM. Waters initially appeared on Coast to Coast AM on February 21, 1997. He subsequently appeared on February 24, 1997, April 2000 and January 29, 2002. His most recent appearance on the show was on December 20, 2002.
While speaking on Coast to Coast AM, Waters related several stories about the hole and its properties. Among these stories was the claim that he had discovered that it was in excess of 15 miles (24 kilometers) deep, a figure he is said to have reached after spooling out 18 reels of 20 lb test fishing line, tied end on end, into the hole. Waters claims that he attached a "triangular, one-pound, standard lead fishing weight" to the end of the fishing line. (Note, it has been speculated that the fishing weight plus the weight of 18 spools of ~5000-foot monofilament fishing line might well exceed the tensile strength of the line, but in fact each such roll weighs ~1/2 lb, so the total weight of 18 reels of line plus fishing lead would be only ~9 lb.)
Waters also alluded to the hole as having a property to resurrect dead animals, this claim arising from a story about an acquaintance who said he threw his dead dog's body into the hole and re-encountered his dog, alive, hunting with someone else, some time later. He also speculated that the hole and its properties might be tied to certain cosmological events, including unspecified alignments of the moon.
On the September 18, 2008 edition of Coast to Coast AM, Guest Red Elk, an Inter-Tribal Medicine Man recounted the time he visited Mel's hole with his father. He recounted the hole as "around 9 ft. around and somewhere between 24–28 miles deep" and said that it was a blow hole for Mount Rainier.
The exact location of the hole was never revealed by Waters. One person has theorized that it is located in a region which has been removed from publicly available satellite images due to the presence of nearby Yakima Training Center. Several people claim to have been able to find it.
Prior to the tenth anniversary of Mel's first appearance on Coast to Coast AM, the moderator of the Mel's Hole website posted that the search for the hole had reached a dead end, and that it would likely never be proven to exist unless Mel came forward with evidence in support of it as a real location.
In 1997 a nearby Tri-Cities newspaper, the "Tri City Herald", reported that Waters was not listed in the Kittitas County telephone directory or the register of taxpayers, and that authorities in Ellensburg were unable to find any evidence that he was a resident, thus calling into question whether he existed.
An art exhibition, "Aspects of Mel's Hole: Artists Respond to a Paranormal Land Event Occurring in Radiospace," curated by LA Weekly art critic Doug Harvey, was presented at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California in 2008. The show featured works by 41 artists and collectives, many created specifically for the exhibition, including works by Marnie Weber, Jim Shaw, Jeffrey Vallance, Georganne Deen, Paul Laffoley, The Firesign Theater, Gary Panter, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, James Hayward and Craig Stecyk. The GCAC published a hardbound 146-page catalog in conjunction with the exhibit, containing contributions from all the artists, plus essays by Harvey, psychoanalyst Judy Spence, science author Margaret Wertheim, Hannah Miller, Brian Tucker, Christine Wertheim and the Reverend Ethan Acres.