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A Closer Look at the Louisiana Bayou Corne Sinkhole

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posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 04:56 PM
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This is chapter 21 of my book, Fever Rising. In the last chapter we explored the increasing sinkholes and how methane may be responsible. In this chapter we take a closer look at the mother of all sinkholes, the Assumption Parish sinkhole in Louisiana. To see the first 20 chapters of the book, here is a link to the last chapter where you'll find links to the other threads at the beginning of the thread The reason for increasing sinkholes, land slips and land cracks

Chapter 21: A Closer Look at the Louisiana Bayou Corne Sinkhole

Of all the sinkholes, one remains the most infamous, the mother of all sinkholes…the Louisiana Bayou Corne Sinkhole. This massive 26-acre sinkhole, turned bubbling methane gas lake, was created on August 3, 2012 in Assumption Parish, LA, after two months of minor seismic activity in the area.

The story below describes how NASA airborne radar detected that the land where the sinkhole exists slid 10 inches horizontally sometime in the year prior to the collapse. Officials state that this is unusual for a sinkhole, claiming that land subsidence occurs in a vertical direction rather than horizontally.

Most sinkholes are formed by natural processes, such as dissolved rock in the karst process, but the Bayou Corne sinkhole was human caused. According to NASA, the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and eastern Texas sits on an ancient ocean floor with salt layers that form domes as the lower-density salt rises. The Napoleonville Salt Dome underneath Bayou Corne extends to within 690 feet (210 meters) of the surface. Various companies mine caverns in the dome by dissolving the salt to obtain brine and subsequently store fuels and salt water in the caverns. This particular collapsed mine was owned by Occidental Petroleum and operated by Texas Brine.

The Bayou Corne sinkhole collapsed on August 3, 2012, creating a 1-acre lake that bubbled up natural gases and caused the evacuation of 350 residents who lived within a mile of the collapse. Due to the obvious gases coming up from the sinkhole, officials worried that there could be a massive explosion and they still worry to this day. Over the course of the next year, the sinkhole expanded to 25-acres swallowing up many trees along its way. Here is an article from Livescience.com explaining the sinkhole and how the land slid 10 inches prior to the collapse.

Surprise: Louisiana Sinkhole Slid Sideways Before Collapsing
Livescience.com, Dec. 19, 2013
By Becky Oskin
The Earth's surface slid sideways by as much as 10 inches (26 centimeters) before collapsing into a still-growing toxic sinkhole in Bayou Corne, La., a new study reports.

"This was unusual for us," said Cathleen Jones, a radar scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Usually at a sinkhole, we expect to see vertical movement at the surface, some sort of subsidence," Jones said. "This horizontal motion is actually a new indicator people should be aware of."

The Bayou Corne sinkhole sits in the Napoleonville salt dome, an upwelling of salt that was being mined for brine by injecting freshwater in wells and extracting the dissolved salt. State officials and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) think the sinkhole appeared when an underground salt mine cavern collapsed. Strong earthquake swarms starting June 8, 2012, preceded the sinkhole.


The study that revealed this information was published in the journal Geology, December 13. Jones said the cavern is a mile deep and the path between the cavern collapse and the surface was a sideways flow that was like water slipping into a bathtub drain.

"The fact that the movement was toward a center point might tell you something about the geometry of the path that went down to the void," she said. The subtle flow forms a pattern like a two-leafed clover, consistent with a cavern sidewall collapse as suspected by the USGS, Jones and NASA colleague Ronald Blom report.

Jones also reported that the pit also opened into a natural underground oil reservoir, releasing toxic gases methane and hydrogen sulfide.
The Livescience.com article said the sinkhole emerged in a part of the Mississippi Delta where NASA tracks sinking called subsidence, which could help improve levees. (The Earth's crust is sinking for a variety of reasons, including the massive weight of sediments delivered by the Mississippi River.)

The article went on to say a plane equipped with a radar imaging system (called UAVSAR) regularly measures surface height in the Delta. The sensor sends microwave energy pulses from the sensor on the aircraft to the ground, and can detect small changes over time.

Because the plane flew over Bayou Corne about once every year, the researchers can't say precisely when the Earth moved. But they do know that the surface shifted after June 23, 2011, and before July 2, 2012. There was no surface movement before 2011.

As of early 2014, this environmental disaster grew into a 26-acre monster. Of the 65 families that lived nearby, 44 of them were bought out by Texas Brine, while the others continued to collect an $865 per week check.

Geologists believe that the Bayou Corne sinkhole may still double in size to over 50 acres. Seismic activity and dangerous methane and hydrogen sulfide gases continue to bubble up and release from the swamp. The hole is over 1,000 feet in depth. There is literally tons of methane gas migrating through caverns throughout the area not to mention the hundreds of pipelines that crisscross carrying highly explosive chemicals. In January of 2014, loud booms were reported around the same time as seismic activity about 45 miles from the hole and about 140 miles from BP’s Macondo Prospect oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. These booms were most likely gas explosions as it escaped from fissures caused by minor earthquakes. With the dangerous mix of gases, pipelines, and seismic activity, this is a catastrophe lurking in the not-to-distant future.

The sinkhole is believed to be caused by a failed cavern wall in the western-edge caverns under the Napoleonville Salt Dome. The collapse triggered a chain-reaction of collapses, which continued to grow over the next year. Minor earthquakes that started on June 8, 2012, are the most likely culprit of the original collapse. After that first quake two months prior to the collapse, tremors continued to rattle the area. What caused the earthquakes? According to the lead Bayou Corne seismologist at the time of the collapse, Dr. Stephen Horton, the quakes were manmade, caused by the fossil fuel industry. It was reported that within the first few months of the collapse, there were thousands of quakes with differing intensities.

Horton said that the Department of Natural Resources didn’t want to believe that the sinkholes caused the bubbles and that the bubbles are what caused the sinkholes, rather than the quakes. He said that instead of calling the thousands of quakes that were occurring prior to the collapse what they were, quakes, they called them tremors.

Horton pointed out that on July 24, 2012, the number of quakes drastically increased to hundreds, sometimes thousands a day until August 2 when they stopped. The next day the sinkhole opened up.

Continued...




posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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Manmade quakes shaking monster LA sinkhole area for days
BIN, Feb. 6, 2013
Humans dump hazardous waste into Class II injection wells to save money for companies, changing dynamics, composition and structure of the Earth.

Near Louisiana's Assumption Parish giant expanding sinkhole, Texas Brine company had been authorized by Louisiana's DNR to inject hazardous waste, including radioactive waste from oil and gas industry operations, into the company's leased storage well in Napoleonville Salt Dome.

That well had problems in early 2011, was sealed and abandoned. After two months of locals experiencing seismic activities and observing methane bubbles percolating in their beloved nearby bayous last spring, a large sinkhole emerged and has been expanding almost weekly, with chunks of land and swamp trees falling into it.

For decades. the fossil fuel industry has drilled, extracted and piped the oil- and gas-cursed area, devastating the once pristine and peaceful bayous of south Louisiana, Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou.


The above article also reported that scientists don’t know the condition of the ground underneath the sinkhole because they can’t take images thousands of feet underground. They’re not sure if there are other voids that could cause the sinkhole to expand or if another sinkhole may develop.

I think decades of drilling, extracting and piping in these areas finally caught up to the oil and gas industry. Officials aren’t disputing that drilling caused these small quakes. There were hundreds of tremors a day leading up to just two days before the sinkhole when it ceased for a day. Then on August 3rd, a one-acre sinkhole was found. The tremors damaged the salt cavern, but with all this bubbling that’s happening everywhere, these small quakes are probably disturbing the methane and hydrogen sulfide in the sediment. In the sinkhole itself, there may be natural gases seeping to the surface from migrating gases in the formations far below, but there are reports of bubbles coming up in people’s yards nearby, as well as in other areas up to 50 miles away. In Lake Piegneur for example, there was a lot of burping observed by local residents who feared that maybe the same cavern collapse activity was happening there.

Lake Piegneur is the only known lake that sits above one of these salt domes. It also happens to be a lake that a major event occurred in 1980 whereby the lake turned into a catastrophic sinkhole. On the morning of November 21, 1980, the 1,300 acre lake, which was only 11 feet deep, drained into a massive sinkhole.

It was suspected that some men working on an oil rig were drilling in the wrong area, directly above a large salt dome. Far beneath the lake there were miles of tunnels for the Diamond Crystal salt mine. The men may have punctured the roof of the mine, although the company they worked for denied this accusation.

The men had been probing for oil under the floor of the lake when suddenly, there drill seized up at about 1,230 feet below the lake floor. As the men were attempting to free the drill, they heard a series of loud pops, and the rig tilted towards the water. They abandoned the rig just before a whirlpool appeared before them, swallowing up the huge platform. The swirling water continued to accelerate and would become a whirlpool a quarter-mile in diameter, with its center directly over the drill site.

As the water from the lake above was draining down into the mine, 50 workers had to evacuate the tunnels. All the miners made it out alive, despite the quickly filling mine shaft and a slow elevator ride out that carried only eight men at a time.
As the lake’s water continued to drain into the salt domes, which had also began collapsing below, the whirlpool’s force sucked up another drilling platform, trees, trucks, structures, 70 acres of soil from an island, and a parking lot. The sucking force was so strong that it reversed the flow of a 12-mile-long canal which led out to the Gulf of Mexico, and dragged 11 barges from that canal into the swirling vortex, where they too fell into the hole.

According to an article, “Lake Piegneur: Swirling Vortex of Doom,” by Alan Bellows, the current also captured a tug boat and pulled it away as the crew leaped onto a canal bank. They watched as the lake consumed their boat.

Bellows’ article is published at Damninteresting.com. If you’d like to read the article in its entirety, you can check it out there.

It took only three hours to drain 3.5 billion gallons of water. A 150-foot waterfall was formed as the canal water flowing in from the Gulf of Mexico poured into the crater where the lake had been, filling it with salt water. As the canal refilled the crater over the next two days, nine of the sunken barges popped back up to the surface like corks.

According to Bellows, the 11-foot deep freshwater lake turned into a 1,300 foot deep salt water lake. The biology of the lake had changed, providing a new home to many species of fish and plants that were never there before the disaster.

So, was the Lake Piegneur bubbling caused by another salt dome collapse? It’s possible, but not likely in this case. This may be gas releasing from the sediment below the lake, but above any caverns that might be leftover from the past incident.
The oil and gas industry is vital to our economy and despite these dangerous conditions that are resulting from it, there’s not much can be done to stop it now. It would take a massive reaction causing the New Madrid fault line to blow for the powers that be to finally wake up and realize the dangers. Oil and gas creates immense wealth by way of jobs, affordable heating bills and a whole lot of cash flowing into the right hands to make sure it’s protected. Isn’t that obvious with how little media coverage there was at the Louisiana Bayou Corne sinkhole. Despite the massive environmental disaster, gas bubbles and the potential explosive hazard, 350 people evacuated from their homes for nearly two years, there has been very little news coverage of the event. If you ask people on the street if they know what the sinkhole is, I’ll bet you find very few can answer the question.

In my opinion, it’s the drilling that’s causing these problems. Right after the Bayou Corne sinkhole Texas Brine was ordered to do exploratory drilling to find out what caused the sinkhole and then quit right away because there were geological events that occurred and made it to dangerous to continue.

Continued...



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 04:59 PM
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This is a sad situation for the area and its residents. Methane and hydrogen sulfide have been bubbling and releasing into the air for nearly two years and it continues to spread. The gases even caused bubbling in people’s yards. A bus route was changed in one neighborhood after gas was discovered underground. People have become sick in the area from the chemical hazards. This is a serious human health risk.

Even though there has been some bubbling in Lake Peigneur over the years, reports of the bubbling increased in the aftermath of the Bayou Corne sinkhole. One bubbling spot was over 1,000 feet long on the lake. That area will face the same health hazards as in Assumption Parish and it’s incredible that Lake Peigneur residents were involved in a fight just months after the Assumption Parish sinkhole to stop two additional drilling projects from getting started in their own parish.

These small manmade quakes may be disturbing gases in the area in two ways, the damage to salt caverns that are storing the gas or causing release of methane and hydrogen sulfide from the sediment. It seems this whole area is very volatile not to mention all the gases releasing into the air helping to further advance atmospheric heating. If they continue to drill and frack in this region, who knows what Mother Nature will eventually have to say about it.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 07:47 PM
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Amazing, never heard of it before. But ill look out for it now. Wouldn't like to live there but would love to see it.

Well written post/book too.

Edit: Just reading your last post too, thanks for the great bed time reading

edit on 22-3-2015 by Glz00 because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-3-2015 by Glz00 because: (no reason given)


Later Edit: Can you please PM me a link where your book is sold? Thanks.
edit on 22-3-2015 by Glz00 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 07:55 PM
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I'm still reading your excellent book and the one thing as of tonight I did not realize is the size of the LA sinkhole has grown to.
You are correct in stating it is never in the MSM anymore and I think we know why now.

Thanks very much for posting another chapter of your book.
Regards, Iwinder



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 08:56 PM
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a reply to: Glz00

There are many threads on it here, as well as video and in person reports.
Its near impossible to find info on it any more. But for a while it was heavily covered.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: severdsoul

Yeah, it's faded away from the headlines, but things are still very active down there. Here is a link to a site that keeps up to date on local news. LA Sinkhole Bugle

Just in the last few days there has been a lot of seismic activity, a loud boom Sunday night and there's fluid movement. It's still a very dangerous situation.



posted on Mar, 22 2015 @ 10:40 PM
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originally posted by: Iwinder
I'm still reading your excellent book and the one thing as of tonight I did not realize is the size of the LA sinkhole has grown to.
You are correct in stating it is never in the MSM anymore and I think we know why now.

Thanks very much for posting another chapter of your book.
Regards, Iwinder


Thanks again Iwinder, glad you're enjoying it.



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 01:12 AM
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a reply to: Rezlooper
Rez,
Nice chapter. I'm going to go back and read some of your other work.


Lake Piegneur is the only known lake that sits above one of these salt domes. It also happens to be a lake that a major event occurred in 1980 whereby the lake turned into a catastrophic sinkhole. On the morning of November 21, 1980, the 1,300 acre lake, which was only 11 feet deep, drained into a massive sinkhole.

I remember seeing a segment on tv about this disaster. If I recall correctly, there are both film and still images of this event. I remember one picture of the barges sticking straight out of the sinkhole.

I remember doing some research not long after this sinkhole was reported. I recall that some of these salt dome caverns were also used for natural gas storage. And one of those storage caverns was quite close the Bayou Corne sinkhole.

Also, isn't it plausible that enough subsurface cracks, a result of the earthquakes, might allow Hydrogen-Sulfide and Methane gas to be release from some untapped fossil fuel reservoirs. Apparently these reservoirs are often found in the vicinity of these salt domes.

Are there naturally occurring caverns in these salt domes? If so, I wonder if some of these tremors might have been cascade failures between multiple naturally occurring caverns?

Thanks!




dex



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 08:22 AM
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There's video of Lake Peigneur...

www.youtube.com...

another oil drilling--- oops!!!!

ah shucks.

Oh, and there's a PBS Nova program about sinkholes...

www.youtube.com...

It's a great documentary. Sinkholes are one of my obsessions. I first found out about Lake Peigner back in 2007. It was this disaster that made me realize that my hypothesis was correct. In my hypothesis, the lake can be replace by a crater lake formed by a volcano. When the lake mix with the volcano, you get phreatic eruptions. When you have a large crater lake over a large magma chamber, you get a large phreatic explosion. If you have a glacial lake over top a magma chamber, like Yellowstone, you get a massive explosion.

If you have an inland sea above a giant hot spot in the earth, and it's tens and hundreds of million years ago, you get a C.M.E. No, sorry. That's a Coronal Mass Ejection. If it happens on earth, the massive mega volcano explodes violently, ejecting material into orbit. And, beyond. It's a rocket launch. You have the same fuel. Water is hydrogen and oxygen. It's earth's steam engine of evolution. I call my eruptions V.M.E.s. Volcanic Mass Ejections.

Imagine Lake Peigner is an ancient lake above a volcano. Like Yellowstone. A volcano with a complex system of plumbing called the geysers. This system of geysers is just like the cave system under Florida. If everything is balanced, you have a public park. If, you have a breach under the lake, and the swiss cheese surface of the crust starts to erode and cave in, you have a chain reaction event just like Lake Peigner. As bits of crust fall, they can allow water to move explosively. This fractures more rock and widens the spaces. The crust down because it is solid. The water is rising because it is lighter and getting hotter. The water in the space will allow in cooler water which will then heat and expand. This causes the crust to rise. The expanding crust allows more room for water to rush in. This expansion fractures more rock which allows more passage ways for more water to enter the system. Cold water rushes in and down, as the hot water rushes up and outwards. This is really, simply, with what is happening with the geysers. Except, with my scenario, the action because hyper active. Just like me and my ADHD when I get hopped up on Mountain Dew. (just kidding, just needed humour, or id' scream). The crust continues to inflate. The water continues to rush out creating more spaces for more water from the lake. The whole thing expands until you get a critical mass. Then boom

One day, I know an animator will make a movie to show how this would look. In my mind, I can see the materials exploding into orbit. I can see the eruptions throwing material out into space. I can see this happening time and time again. Over time, there would be enough material to form the moon. These eruptions created extinction events. These eruptions are the engine. The engine of evolution. I hope before I die, the world will share this vision.

I say this not because I'm going to die tomorrow. Heck, even if I live a long time I don't know if I'll ever convince anyone fully. I fight with me all the time. Problem is, I can't fight you all. (long story) Alfred Wegener died before the world caught up. J. Harlen Bretz was ninety when the world finally saw what he had seen. In his mind's eye.

From the wiki article...

"
Outrageous hypothesis
In the summer of 1922, and for the next seven years, Bretz conducted field research of the Columbia River Plateau. Since 1910 He had been interested in unusual erosion features in the area after seeing a newly published topographic map of the Potholes Cataract. Bretz coined the term Channeled Scablands in 1923 to describe the area near the Grand Coulee, where massive erosion had cut through basalt deposits.[3] The area was a desert, but Bretz's theories required cataclysmic water flows to form the landscape, for which Bretz coined the term Spokane Floods in a 1925 publication.[4]

Bretz published a paper in 1923, arguing that the channeled scablands in Eastern Washington were caused by massive flooding in the distant past. This was seen as arguing for a catastrophic explanation of the geology, against the prevailing view of uniformitarianism, and Bretz's views were initially discredited. However, as the nature of the Ice Age was better understood, Bretz's original research was vindicated, and by the 1950s his conclusions were also vindicated... (some text omitted for space)

...source of the Spokane Floods and creator of the Channeled Scablands. Research on open channel hydraulics in the 1970s further vindicated Bretz's and Pardee's theories."

en.wikipedia.org...

There's one last part of the story is my favorite. Despite, maybe, his spite, he, was able, to keep, his, sense, of humour. For at the end of his life, he said, ""All my enemies are dead, so I have no one to gloat over."

From the wiki...
"
Awards and honours[edit]
The National Speleological Society made Bretz an honorary member in 1954.

Bretz received the Penrose Medal; the Geological Society of America's highest award, in 1979, at the age of 96.[7] After this award, he told his son: "All my enemies are dead, so I have no one to gloat over."

Each year at Albion College, the J Harlen Bretz Award is given to the most outstanding senior in the geology department."

Just to sum up, I suppose. These eruptions are super dynamic. Even some of today's geologists think that Atlantis, AKA Thera, now known as Santorini, was a phreatic eruption. Also, this eruption caused the disaster at Sodom and Gomorrah. Thera sent a sulfuric acid cloud toward the Dead Sea Valley. It rained brimstone.



en.wikipedia.org...


edit on 23-3-2015 by ericblair4891 because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-3-2015 by ericblair4891 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:38 AM
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originally posted by: DexterRiley
a reply to: Rezlooper
Rez,
Nice chapter. I'm going to go back and read some of your other work.


Lake Piegneur is the only known lake that sits above one of these salt domes. It also happens to be a lake that a major event occurred in 1980 whereby the lake turned into a catastrophic sinkhole. On the morning of November 21, 1980, the 1,300 acre lake, which was only 11 feet deep, drained into a massive sinkhole.

I remember seeing a segment on tv about this disaster. If I recall correctly, there are both film and still images of this event. I remember one picture of the barges sticking straight out of the sinkhole.

I remember doing some research not long after this sinkhole was reported. I recall that some of these salt dome caverns were also used for natural gas storage. And one of those storage caverns was quite close the Bayou Corne sinkhole.

Also, isn't it plausible that enough subsurface cracks, a result of the earthquakes, might allow Hydrogen-Sulfide and Methane gas to be release from some untapped fossil fuel reservoirs. Apparently these reservoirs are often found in the vicinity of these salt domes.

Are there naturally occurring caverns in these salt domes? If so, I wonder if some of these tremors might have been cascade failures between multiple naturally occurring caverns?

Thanks!




dex



The Napoleonville Salt Dome where this sinkhole occurred has 53 different natural caverns. They are used for storage of both oil and gas. Texas Brine operated six of those caverns for storage and one of them is a mile deep and that's the one that collapsed.

I don't know for sure about the leakage of H2S and CH4, but I don't doubt for a second that it's not seeping out through these cracks. There are still earthquakes now, so there is definitely a lot of cracks. I think the original collapse of the cavern that caused this sinkhole was because of other activity near the cavern by Texas Brine because there wasn't any seismic activity until just two months before the collapse, then a day before, all seismic activity temporarily stopped.

I wonder for how long this sinkhole will continue to expand and what will eventually happen there. The residents of the area will never be able to return. I wouldn't even want to live anywhere near this thing. I think the current evacuation area is only one mile. That wouldn't be enough for me.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 01:08 AM
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a reply to: Rezlooper

Hey Rez we used to follow on this story on a regular basis after finding the thread last post was in Dec 4 2014, Thanks for reminding me about this, Been so busy had forgot about that thread.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 04:45 PM
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originally posted by: lurksoften
a reply to: Rezlooper

Hey Rez we used to follow on this story on a regular basis after finding the thread last post was in Dec 4 2014, Thanks for reminding me about this, Been so busy had forgot about that thread.


You bet, lurks. Even though its not getting any attention anymore, things still progress.



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 12:02 PM
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I was a regular on the old thread. Thanks Rezlooper for reminding everyone. Good read above.



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 12:34 PM
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originally posted by: AuntB
I was a regular on the old thread. Thanks Rezlooper for reminding everyone. Good read above.


Thanks AuntB, I remember your contributions on this topic. Thanks for that.



posted on Nov, 18 2015 @ 01:22 PM
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originally posted by: Rezlooper

originally posted by: lurksoften
a reply to: Rezlooper

Hey Rez we used to follow on this story on a regular basis after finding the thread last post was in Dec 4 2014, Thanks for reminding me about this, Been so busy had forgot about that thread.


You bet, lurks. Even though its not getting any attention anymore, things still progress.


It's strange how few are discussing and monitoring this subject. On youtube the newest update I could find is one month old.

This highly flamable sinkhole is not being handled and gets worse and worse, seriously how can people not be afraid that this thing will blow?



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