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Just-discovered cave could yield new scientific insight
AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 9/24/06 | AP

Posted on 09/24/2006 2:37:01 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

A just-unearthed cave formed more than 1 million years ago could yield new insight into the geological history of the American West, according to scientists, who called the discovery a major find.

Four amateur cave explorers uncovered the vast caverns, stretching more than 1,000 feet into a remote mountainside, in August.

Visitors to the cave, dubbed Ursa Minor, described seeing millions of crystals that shimmered like diamonds lodged in its walls. Translucent mineral curtains hung from the ceiling, and a lake possibly 20 feet deep filled one of the cave's five known rooms.

Passages leading into darkness suggested there was still much more to see.

Geologists and cave explorers said although caves are discovered often, it is rare to find one so grand.

"There are things in this cave that could really open windows into our knowledge of geologic history and the formation of caves throughout the West," said Joel Despain, the park's cave manager. "We're just beginning to understand the scientific ramifications of this."

Park officials will not pinpoint the cave's location, saying only that it is in the Kaweah River watershed and will probably never be open to the public.

Explorer Scott McBride with the nonprofit Cave Research Foundation discovered the entrance to Ursa Minor, no bigger than a softball, on Aug. 19.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cave; discovered; godsgravesglyphs; insight; kaweah; scientific; yield
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1 posted on 09/24/2006 2:37:04 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
"Explorer Scott McBride with the nonprofit Cave Research Foundation discovered the entrance to Ursa Minor, no bigger than a softball, on Aug. 19."

That guy needs to eat more.

2 posted on 09/24/2006 2:39:59 PM PDT by Axhandle
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To: NormsRevenge

Underground lake ping

http://www.thelostsea.com/home.htm


3 posted on 09/24/2006 2:48:29 PM PDT by opbuzz (Right way, wrong way, Marine way)
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To: Axhandle
"That guy needs to eat more."
But then he would have gotten stuck in the softball sized entrance.
4 posted on 09/24/2006 2:55:10 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: NormsRevenge
1,000,000,000 BC?

Did they Bin Laden?
5 posted on 09/24/2006 3:00:05 PM PDT by Dallas59 (Muslims Are Only Guests In Western Countries)
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To: Dallas59

"find"


6 posted on 09/24/2006 3:00:15 PM PDT by Dallas59 (Muslims Are Only Guests In Western Countries)
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To: Axhandle

Encino man?


7 posted on 09/24/2006 3:01:04 PM PDT by JLS
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To: Bellflower


ping...bang bang chip away


8 posted on 09/24/2006 3:32:04 PM PDT by Bittersweetmd (God is Great and greatly to be praised.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Park officials will not pinpoint the cave's location, saying only that it is in the Kaweah River watershed and will probably never be open to the public.

Funny how the "Park Officials" have no problem collect a pay check from the public pay roll.

If the cave is on public land the owners should get a chance to see their cave.

9 posted on 09/24/2006 3:40:17 PM PDT by Mark was here (How can they be called "Homeless" if their home is a field?.)
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To: opbuzz
"Underground lake ping"

Strange that they would use a Viking ship as the logo for an underground lake.


10 posted on 09/24/2006 3:44:34 PM PDT by blam
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Kaweah River - From Wikipedia
Kaweah River is a river in Tulare County, California, located in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. The river's headwaters are in the Sequoia National Park. The river begins as the Middle Fork, it is then joined by Cliff Creek, the Marble Fork, the East Fork, the North Fork and the South Fork. The river passes through the town of Three Rivers shortly after the North Fork joins the Middle Fork, and then it drains into Lake Kaweah.


11 posted on 09/24/2006 3:50:03 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th
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To: NormsRevenge

Scott McBride, in the red coveralls, and Mike White explore Ursa Minor, the cave McBride found in Sequoia National Park.

Scott McBride, a cave explorer from San Andreas, stands on a flowstone as he examines stalagmites, stalactites and other rock formations found inside Ursa Minor, the cave he discovered at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

More details in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Magical underground world Just-discovered cave in Sequoia National Park said to house astounding rock formations, clues to region's geologic history

"...Within a couple of hours, they'd opened up a hole big enough for McBride to squeeze through."

"He scooted 25 feet or so down a slight incline, his headlamp lighting the way. He landed in a room so big he couldn't see the other side."

"...They made it to the room McBride had already seen, turned a corner and discovered the passage descended 90 feet straight down. Excited, they rappelled into the void..."

12 posted on 09/24/2006 3:59:18 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: concentric circles

Thanks, Quite the place underground


13 posted on 09/24/2006 4:02:07 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: Mark was here

The Cave Research Foundation is a bit elitist.
They do good work but think that only they can do good work and they work well with the Park Service in excluding others from contributing to exploration and study of public caves.

Note that no specific reason for the cave's importance is given to we the American public. It is they who will decide what is best for the cave and themselves.


14 posted on 09/24/2006 4:06:59 PM PDT by the final gentleman
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To: NormsRevenge
Park officials will not pinpoint the cave's location, saying only that it is in the Kaweah River watershed and will probably never be open to the public.

If it's in a park, it's ours. Who is he to say we can't enter?
15 posted on 09/24/2006 4:11:09 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Liberals are blind. They are the dupes of Leftists who know exactly what they're doing.)
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To: Mark was here

Dang. My sentiments exactly, as I just posted before I read yours.


16 posted on 09/24/2006 4:12:08 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Liberals are blind. They are the dupes of Leftists who know exactly what they're doing.)
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To: NormsRevenge

bump


17 posted on 09/24/2006 4:14:37 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA

watchout al gore will be claiming he was there 1st.


18 posted on 09/24/2006 4:31:38 PM PDT by mickey blue eyes
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To: the final gentleman

"The Cave Research Foundation is a bit elitist."

That's probably true, but if you are a serious caver, the CRF is open to join. You'd have to prove yourself and be trusted over a period of time, but it's possible to gain access to these special caves.


19 posted on 09/24/2006 4:36:43 PM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

Dude, don't be naive. They are technically "public" lands, but just barely.


20 posted on 09/24/2006 4:40:50 PM PDT by Freedom4US (u)
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To: caver

Man, I can hardly wait to get in there and bust off some pieces of those pointy things to sell!


21 posted on 09/24/2006 4:42:05 PM PDT by right way right
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To: NormsRevenge

Somewhere out there is a massive gold treasure. Keep digging.


22 posted on 09/24/2006 4:44:02 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: NormsRevenge
What's round and goes "Spelunk, spelunk, spelunk?"

A caver falling down a tunnel.

Seriously, it's cool to know there are still undiscovered places left on this planet.

23 posted on 09/24/2006 4:44:48 PM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (Common sense will do to liberalism what the atomic bomb did to Nagasaki-Rush Limbaugh)
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To: right way right

You can sell them on eBay too!!


24 posted on 09/24/2006 4:47:36 PM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: Mark was here

Back when I could bend around the rocks I did some caving down there. I remember when a new entrance was found to a known cave system. It had a beautiful glistening white flowstone "glacier" just inside the entrance. When walking across it to get to the other side we all took out boots off to keep it white. Alas, with so many wanting to get to the other side, in time it became just as muddy as the rest of the cave.
They say that man always kills the things he loves. This is especially true with wilderness beauty. We always want to see and experience that beauty but when too many have seen and experienced, it is no longer beautiful.


25 posted on 09/24/2006 5:07:24 PM PDT by oldfart (The most dangerous man is the one who has nothing left to lose.)
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To: JLS
Encino man?

Not exactly.

26 posted on 09/24/2006 5:09:08 PM PDT by Dahoser (God bless our troops and at home defenders.)
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To: oldfart
All this splendor will not even compare to the new heaven and new earth.

Which will not be under the curse of sin.

To see and hear the stars sing out the glory of God will be a marvelous site to see and hear.

Like this cave not all people will be able to enjoy His Majesty

27 posted on 09/24/2006 5:15:51 PM PDT by John 6.66=Mark of the Beast?
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To: NormsRevenge
Park officials will not pinpoint the cave's location, saying only that it is in the Kaweah River watershed and will probably never be open to the public.

"What, never?" Couldn't they--I don't know--WIDEN the opening?

28 posted on 09/24/2006 5:17:55 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Freedom4US

I'm not naive.

But the more power we allow them to take unchecked, the more they will try to take. If we fight back and get as loud as the Left has been in attacking free enterprise (note how far from "free enterprise" they have pushed us), perhaps we can push back against the usurping of our land.


29 posted on 09/24/2006 5:20:32 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Liberals are blind. They are the dupes of Leftists who know exactly what they're doing.)
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To: oldfart
They say that man always kills the things he loves. This is especially true with wilderness beauty. We always want to see and experience that beauty but when too many have seen and experienced, it is no longer beautiful.

The owners of the cave would desire to wear booties to keep their cave clean.

If some folks had their way only the elites would be able to enjoy caves like Carlsbad Caverns.

30 posted on 09/24/2006 5:49:57 PM PDT by Mark was here (How can they be called "Homeless" if their home is a field?.)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
Many caves have been ruined totally by having too many people come in, carrying spores from outside plants, and breathing out lots of CO2 and microbes that change the cave's atmosphere and delicate environment. Some caves have developed huge green algae blooms and even slime molds, which were never there before.

Freedom to visit and freedom to destroy have to be kept in balance.

31 posted on 09/24/2006 5:57:18 PM PDT by thomaswest
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To: Dahoser

lol


32 posted on 09/24/2006 6:06:06 PM PDT by Walkingfeather (u)
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To: oldfart
"They say that man always kills the things he loves. This is especially true with wilderness beauty. We always want to see and experience that beauty but when too many have seen and experienced, it is no longer beautiful."
__________________________________________________________

Say oldfellow, who is this "they" that say? Certainly not anyone who thinks.
To quote Nietzsche paraphrasing Zoroaster addressing the morning Sun from the entrance of his mountain cave...
"Thou Great Star! What would be thou Glory if thou had not those upon whom thou shiniest!"

In other words...

If the most beautiful Jewel on Earth was laying unseen in the dark of the deepest ocean, it would have no beauty. The giver of beauty is only found in the eyes of man.

Some of the Park people and some of the Cave Research people seem to like caves and wilderness more than they like mankind. How stupid.
33 posted on 09/24/2006 6:35:17 PM PDT by the final gentleman
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To: Dallas59

"1,000,000,000 BC"
________________________________________

Get carried away with your zeros did we, Dallas59? :)


34 posted on 09/24/2006 6:40:39 PM PDT by the final gentleman
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To: concentric circles

thanks for the pics! Very cool.


35 posted on 09/24/2006 6:40:52 PM PDT by Puddleglum
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
But the more power we allow them to take unchecked, the more they will try to take. If we fight back and get as loud as the Left has been in attacking free enterprise (note how far from "free enterprise" they have pushed us), perhaps we can push back against the usurping of our land.

You are exactly right! Are you involved in the property rights movement? Your tagline is great too!

36 posted on 09/24/2006 6:49:04 PM PDT by Kay Ludlow (Free market, but cautious about what I support with my dollars)
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To: the final gentleman

"Some of the Park people and some of the Cave Research people seem to like caves and wilderness more than they like mankind. How stupid."

Stupid? Perhaps... and perhaps not. Time will tell. I know many people I would not consider capable of discerning beauty, whose only measure of worth is whether or not money can be made from it. I enjoy the things I can get with money just as much as anyone but I know of things and places that are priceless. Just like the people of CRF, I will never tell anyone of them.
Sights such as this cave contains are available for anyone to find and enjoy. Unfortunately, few will ever do so. Instead, they will cite their busy schedule, the family that must be provided for, the bills that must be paid. Unmentioned is the tv-remote that seems to be permanently grafted to their hand, the recliner that fits only their posterior or the six-pack they're addicted too.
I used to be a caver and I know what it cost me. I climbed the hills and rocks as a surveyor all week and then did more of it on the weekends. I drove for hours to spend two more wrapped in a sleeping bag before hiking six miles to the site of a cave system we were mapping. Once there, I ate some dried fruit and dropped into a dark, wet hole in the rocks in hope of finding something like this article describes. I was never so lucky. Instead, I found more dark, wet passages, an occasional pool of crystal clear water or, on rare occasions, a stalagmite.
There is a book, an old book whose author I can't remember, entitled "The Caves Beyond." I recommend it.


37 posted on 09/24/2006 7:23:40 PM PDT by oldfart (The most dangerous man is the one who has nothing left to lose.)
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To: Mark was here

"If some folks had their way only the elites would be able to enjoy caves like Carlsbad Caverns."

Per post #37, perhaps I might be called an "elite." After all, I got off my butt and did things that others would expect to have done for them. If that makes me "elite" I plead 'guilt as charged.'


38 posted on 09/24/2006 7:29:43 PM PDT by oldfart (The most dangerous man is the one who has nothing left to lose.)
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To: John 6.66=Mark of the Beast?

"Like this cave not all people will be able to enjoy His Majesty"

Strangely enough, many people consider things like this cave to be earthly signs of "His Majesty." I confess, I am among that group.


39 posted on 09/24/2006 7:32:55 PM PDT by oldfart (The most dangerous man is the one who has nothing left to lose.)
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To: oldfart
I did a fair amount of spelunking back when, too, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We did 'find' one listed but relatively unknown little cave with some spectacular formations in it, and kept its real name quiet to all but a very trusted few. Even the owners were amazed at its beauty (yes, we took them in).

Unfortunately, even spelunking has its yay-hoos who proceed with callous disregard for the beauty around them and the sheer time it took to form.

I can't fault the CRF folks for wanting to safeguard what they have found, even if it is on public land.

40 posted on 09/24/2006 7:35:51 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: thomaswest
Some caves have developed huge green algae blooms and even slime molds, which were never there before.

A lot of that in commercial caves comes from the artificial lighting. Chlorophyl bearing organisms do not ordinarily do well in the dark. Some commercial caves have taken to rotating the lighting times to coincide with the tour groups' progress to slow that down.

41 posted on 09/24/2006 7:38:55 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: the final gentleman

If she be not so to me, what care I how fair she be, eh?


42 posted on 09/24/2006 8:03:07 PM PDT by Ignatz (Click your mouse three times and repeat, "There's no place like 127.0.0.1")
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To: oldfart
"I know many people I would not consider capable of discerning beauty, whose only measure of worth is whether or not money can be made from it. I enjoy the things I can get with money just as much as anyone but I know of things and places that are priceless. Just like the people of CRF, I will never tell anyone of them."
___________________________________________________________

Yeah, sure thing, oldfellow, and I know people who find Andy Warhol's screen prints great art. But poor taste and greed is a staple of the human condition and your self-gratifying coveting of a hidden cave in order to protect it is extremely short sighted. You ain't the World but you are a part of the World and the wonders of the World belong to the sapient people.

By the way, the name of the author of "The Caves Beyond" that you recommended is Bill Halliday who is still kicking and vigorously exploring the lava tubes of Hawaii.
43 posted on 09/24/2006 8:23:27 PM PDT by the final gentleman
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To: Ignatz
"If she be not so to me, what care I how fair she be, eh?"
__________________________________________________________

Right string, Ignatz, wrong yo-yo.

Rather, your Culture determines how fair she be, and Ignatz, if virile, will pursue the socially prescribed fair maiden.

But we digress.

Real men don't cop out and claim the grass is greener.

All in all I think that you missed the analogy of the pearl at the bottom of the sea.
44 posted on 09/24/2006 9:12:27 PM PDT by the final gentleman
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To: the final gentleman

1,000,000


45 posted on 09/25/2006 2:02:29 AM PDT by Dallas59 (Muslims Are Only Guests In Western Countries)
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To: oldfart
Per post #37, perhaps I might be called an "elite." After all, I got off my butt and did things that others would expect to have done for them. If that makes me "elite" I plead 'guilt as charged.'

I am not calling for handicapped ramps into every cave. Those who want to visit should be able to gain entry in a controlled manner. It should not be closed to the public and open only to a chosen few.

46 posted on 09/25/2006 5:34:42 AM PDT by Mark was here (How can they be called "Homeless" if their home is a field?.)
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To: Mark was here

In that same drainage, the Kaweah, there are a number of caves which have had some truly spectacular formations. One of them, Crystal Cave, is open to the public on a pay-as-you enter system run by the Park Service and has been reasonably well preserved. The others are well off the road and are open to qualified people.
By "qualified" I mean those with the technical expertise and experience to get in the cave and then get out safely. In my younger days I was instrumental in building concrete and steel gates in the entrances of a couple of them. The purpose wasn't necessarily to keep the ordinary citizen from seeing them but to keep that ordinary citizen from killing himself.
A case in point: Church Cave, on the Kings River, has several entrances and is a bit hard to get too so it's ungated. One entrance, the "Cliff Entrance," gets the caver into the guts of the cave quickly via a 140 foot drop. Back in the late 60s or early 70s a group was planning a photographic expedition in the cave and chose to lower the heavy equipment down that drop. To make a long story short, the man at the top lost his footing and fell to the rocks below. Two years later, when leading a group of rangers and sheriffs deputies into the cave to show them the problems involved in cave rescue, the area where his body fell was alive with mold.
Back on the Kaweah river, one of the prettier caves is known as "Lost Soldier Cave." We gated it but the Park Service still permitted tours to "qualified" groups. One such group, Boy Scouts, I believe, shattered formations that had taken eons to form. With that experience, topped by the muddied white flowstone I mentioned in my earlier post, why should I be the source of information which might - no, which WILL cause the destruction of such beauty?
Call me an elitist if you wish. I've been called much worse in the course of my seventy-two years. I still will not reveal the locations of some of the things I've seen.


47 posted on 09/25/2006 8:51:06 AM PDT by oldfart (The most dangerous man is the one who has nothing left to lose.)
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To: oldfart

You definitely sound like an old time caver, probably doing some arm chair caving right now. Glad to hear that you are still out there. And I agree with your postings too.


48 posted on 09/25/2006 8:56:55 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: concentric circles

They better watch out for slestacks!!


49 posted on 09/25/2006 9:06:43 AM PDT by JZelle
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To: the final gentleman
By agreeing with you I missed your point.
I can live with that.
50 posted on 09/25/2006 9:10:03 AM PDT by Ignatz (Click your mouse three times and repeat, "There's no place like 127.0.0.1")
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