a reply to: NwoDedispU
I've got to tell you, this story (John Jones) has haunted me in a way that I haven't been haunted by a story in quite some time.
In my own way, in trying to process this story in my own mind I started to realize some of the elements that are causing me to think about it.
During my lunch break today I read anything and everything I could find on this story. It's essentially a cut-and-dry story so most of the articles
I did come across two articles (from I think the Salt Lake City Times) that went into some further details and had some interviews with some of the
rescuers. These people were destroyed by their inability to complete the rescue and I feel for them.
1) Additional Information:
Something that I don't think was mentioned in the short video that was posted to this thread is that at a point,
they actually managed to pull him several feet out of "THE" hole, when one of their anchors in the cave wall failed and he dropped back to his
original position. What also wasn't mentioned that when this mechanism failed, it bashed one of the rescuers right in the face, knocking him
unconscious. By all accounts, he was luck that he wasn't killed or blinded by the impact. (He have part of his tongue partially severed, sustained a
concussion and suffered some other injuries). All these things further keep me stuck on this story.
2) My Lack of Knowledge:
I know NOTHING about "caving." When I was a kid we took a few road trips and went on those tours of "caves" or
"caverns" but they were typical tourist attractions. Walkways with lights and stairs and railings. Even at that, and as cool as seeing stalactites
and stalagmites, I never felt fully comfortable until we were back up top. (It was cool seeing some fish that through evolution, got rid of their
eyes over the millennia because they lived exclusively underground).
3) Getting Stuck LIKE THAT!!!
I also wasn't surprised but sort of WAS surprised that people do THIS type of cave exploration. Wriggling
through tiny holes like that? So the more I thought about and processed the image in my mind of what this would have LOOKED LIKE is something out of
the worst kind of horror movie. The moment that you first realize you are stuck? The moment that your friends and brother can't pull you out? Then
knowing that even the professionals are having trouble? Each level must have been an absolute nightmare.
Listen, my "getting stuck story" is one time after a hurricane I was working on a beach restoration project and stepped into what I though was a dry
patch of sand and instantly sunk up to my knees. Initially it lasted a second but time goes slow and I wondered "When am I going to stop
sinking?!!?!?!?!?" So there I was up to my knees and it took me a couple of minutes to wriggle out of it. However, I COULD STILL MOVE!!!! I can't
imagine EVER being in a scenario where I am entirely motionless by being trapped.... by solid rock.... FAR underneath the surface of the friggen
4) NOT a "Normal" Way to Need Help:
When do we need help of police or EMTs? As horrific as these things are and as unique as the are to the
person that needs help.... typically we need help because we are in a car accident or slipped on ice or something like that. In my mind, the entire
concept of trying to free someone that is trapped hundreds of feet underground is almost beyond my comprehension.
5) The Help was RIGHT THERE!!!:
Now THIS really haunts me. It's one thing is someone is trapped somewhere that nobody can reach. This was
not that. The rescuers were literally right next to him. They were able to speak with him. They managed to tie mesh ropes to him. I can't say for
sure but I suspect that almost always, when rescuers can physically touch the person they are trying to help, they can at least get that person out of
the immediate danger (and hopefully the person survives the aftermath).
6) That Anchor that Failed:
As I mentioned, they had managed to start lifting him out of his death trap when one of the anchoring mechanisms
failed and he fell back. Nobody seems to know or even have a strong opinion on it (because he had crawled through a "corkscrew" before he even got
stuck in the first place) but I can't help but wonder what would have happened if that anchor didn't fail?
7) The Photo of the Feet:
I can't get this freaking image out of my mind. In the video they specifically indicate that the photo of the feet
and a few inches of leg sticking out of the ground was NOT John Jones. However, by all accounts I have read, it looked VERY similar. Right off the
bat, that photo creeped me the hell out. To be candid, because of how I tend to ponder and ponder and ponder things, I wish I'd never seen it. So
that, in and of itself, is haunting and creepy.... but....
Reading what the people said who tried to help him (his friend, his brother, rescuers) describe what it was like when they approached him was
horrible. It seems that across the board, and these are my words pulling together all of theirs, the moment that they made whatever turn and saw
that..... they knew it was serious trouble. I can image the surprised/horrified facial expressions of each and every individual at the moment they
8) GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!
According to what I read, although over the first few hours he was calm, as time went by he started (understandably)
switching back and forth from calm to DESPERATE. What was it like for him to be trapped in that manner, knowing on some level things weren't headed
in the right direction, to be screaming and pleading and begging, "Get me out of here!!" By extension, what was it like for the rescuers? It's
almost unbearable for me to contemplate, sitting comfortably in my nice warm home.
9) He is STILL there!!!:
As mentioned in the video. His body is still there; now sealed behind concrete. The family accepted it and the
rescuers and authorities (of which I assume some of which cared) so I have no formal gripe. I do find it horrific though. (I know dead bodies are
everywhere... I'm in construction and on certain sites we need an archeologist present during excavation). I get it; but the manner in which he died
and knowing he is still there, upside down like that, it is disturbing me.
10) You Friggen MORON!!!:
I mentioned this on my previous post that although I feel horrible for this guy and his families and the rescuers
(and this empathy or sympathy or whichever has only grown over the last day)..... Are you a friggen MORON John Jones? I mean, seriously! I could
almost (ALMOST) look the other way if you were a complete newbie and couldn't appreciate the dangers. BUT YOU KNEW BETTER!!!!
He had a wife and kid and another on the way. I'm not saying that once you become a dad you have to make your life dull and boring. Listen, that
Thanksgiving holiday the family went to go check out a new cave they had never been to before. Ok. They all went in there to a large area that was
relatively safe called Big Slide or whatever it was called. THAT WASN'T ENOUGH!?!?!?!? He just HAD TO go and find the most difficult place he could
find? He HAD TO?
: Sorry for the wall of text but part of my process is to just get it out so that's what I did here. I could go on but
fortunately for ATS, I'm outta time at the moment.