Family dies in Mariposa county due to possible mineshaft gasses - Page 2
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Thread: Family dies in Mariposa county due to possible mineshaft gasses

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  1. #16
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
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    Prospecting
    Walking by an inactive mine shaft or mine pit isn't going to hurt you. The coroner and local police already told the press that on the first day. Not much drama in that part of the story I guess? Not surprisingly, being California, some news outlets are being more specific and saying it's a problem with gold mines! If you look up the instances where it has been claimed to have happened you will find the people who succumbed were underground without protection. The Oak Island story is a good example.

    Oak Island, N.S. - (AP) - A six-year $200,000 hunt for a legendary pirate treasure has ended in death for ROBERT RESTALL, his son and two others.
    The four men died Tuesday on tiny Oak Island, off Nova Scotia's south coast. They were overcome by gas in a shaft 27 feet deep, one of about 200 bored by treasure seekers in the past 170 years.
    Two treasure hunters who escaped from the shaft thought the men were overcome by "swamp gas." Others theorized that a gasoline pump engine over the mouth of the pit had filled the hole with carbon monoxide.
    A fifth man was pulled unconscious from the pit, and two others climbed to safety before they were overcome.
    The dead were ROBERT RESTALL, 59, of Hamilton, Ont.; his son, ROBERT, JR., 24; and CYRIL HILTZ, 22, of Martin's Point, N.S., and KARL GRAESER, about 40, a mineralogist from Massanpoqun, N.Y.
    RESTALL was convinced he had found the key to the network of tunnels and shafts where legend says Captain Kidd and other pirates hid treasure worth between $30 and $200 million.
    "I talked to him last night," said Peter Beamish, a teacher from Andover, Mass., who was treasure hunting himself. "He was really excited. He was sure he had it this time."

    Ogdensburg Journal New York 1965-08-19
    Stay out of mine shafts - they aren't safe.

  2. #17

    Jul 2006
    2
    4 times
    Well folks there is a gas called hydrogen sulfide (H2S) that sometimes issues from the ground. it is colorless and odorless and deadly. there are records in the old journals where an entire Indian encampment was found in the guadaulupe mountains of Texas everything and everybody was killed even the dogs. oilfield workers are familiar with it if you drill into a pocket if it, it could kill everybody on the drill site. look it up not saying that is what happened, but it sure sounds like it.

  3. #18
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
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    Hydrogen Sulfide is not odorless, it smells strongly like rotten eggs and is heavier than air. It is commonly called sewer gas and from what I understand all other humans but myself emit this gas from their posterior from time to time. That's why 10 year old boys run around giggling and acting as if it's the end of the world every time someone farts - it's a genuine science based fear of dying from the poisonous gas.


    Hydrogen Sulfide gas poisoning is a real concern for some sewer workers and oil field workers in enclosed spaces. Neither sewers nor oil fields will be found anywhere near where these poor people lost their lives. If it had been present at the site of this family's death it would have been obvious from the smell and the headlines would have said something more like "Family Dies from Exposure to Sewer Gas" instead of blaming it on "nearby" gold mines (there are none).

    Even if a mine shaft was full of Hydrogen Sulfide gas it wouldn't rise above ground level and you would smell it long before it could overcome a passerby in open air. It's probably safe to rule out bears, lions, snakes, killer bees, mercury and Elvis too.
    Last edited by Clay Diggins; Aug 23, 2021 at 02:56 PM.

  4. #19
    Charter Member
    us
    Sep 2020
    Dumas,AR
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    Quote Originally Posted by russau View Post
    Never saw a bottle of rum that I didn't like !
    Or Makers Mark!
    KANACKI and russau like this.

  5. #20

    Dec 2012
    148
    175 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Tragic about the couple, baby and dog. I have no idea what happened, but homicide is very unlikely with no signs of trauma.
    Clay Diggins and ArfieBoy like this.

  6. #21
    us
    steve andermatt

    Apr 2013
    California
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    The Sierras have some areas of thermal activity and just the other side of the mountains down by Mammoth lakes there is an area of die off of trees that has been recorded and documented that it has increased in size so the possibility of some type of noxious gas is plausible we also had some earthquake activity recently. So maybe there is an open fissure somewhere nearby that is releasing gas fumes? Who knows but hopefully they find the cause or they will just close the area to the public and the "public" forest will no longer be public.
    Clay Diggins, russau and ArfieBoy like this.
    back of the boat

  7. #22
    if it flies, it dies

    Jan 2015
    gpx 4500 gpz
    697
    1552 times
    ducks, bucks and gold
    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    POSSIBLY carbon dioxide from an underground thermal vent. Been known to replace the oxygen in the air and kill everything within sight. Interesting to know if dead birds or animals were nearby.
    the report stated no other dead animals around, but that was my suspicion. Heart breaking news
    ArfieBoy likes this.
    got the fever? dont scratch the itch.

  8. #23
    if it flies, it dies

    Jan 2015
    gpx 4500 gpz
    697
    1552 times
    ducks, bucks and gold
    My guess is a gas eruption from the earth. Northern California has immense natural gas deposits. I know many places where there is continuous leaks, to the point you can light it and it will stay lit til you blow it out. Bermuda triangle is another example. sinks ships and planes. Either they got thirsty and drank poisonous water, which would be seen in the autopsy, and I would think be unlikely to kill them that fast, or it was a gas that suffocated them. Either way Terrible news, and way too close to home
    ArfieBoy likes this.
    got the fever? dont scratch the itch.

  9. #24
    us
    Prospector

    Apr 2014
    Modesto, CA
    379
    914 times
    Prospecting
    There's a big mine just downstream that i have done a ton of reading on. Several stories of men dying from "bad air" in the mines, etc... There certainly are hazardous gases in the ground in the area, and the possibility that somehow the gas released & accumulated to the extent that it was harmful for human health. The toxicology results (yet to be completed) will hopefully provide further information.

    For me this is a stark reminder of the risks we face when we wander these beautiful places.

    I was at the Merced river, just downstream from where this happened a few weeks ago. Driving along the river on my way to my diggins I noticed an abnormally large amount of algae in the water. Still, due to the heat I swam to cool off throughout the day. Come to find out when i get home = toxic algae bloom Had an itchy back that day...and caught COVID shortly after...LOL geeeez.

    Stay safe people.
    ArfieBoy and Back-of-the-boat like this.

  10. #25
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2012
    Blackfoot, Idaho
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    It was announced today that the authorities closed the area. They stilll don't know what happened, but have mostly ruled out bad gas from a mine. Now looking at an algae bloom, and maybe they all drank bad water. It's possible the adults tried filtering the water. Hard to imagine that bad water could kill that quickly.
    Jim
    ArfieBoy and Back-of-the-boat like this.

  11. #26

    Mar 2015
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    Hola Amigos

    Truly a terrible event amigos.

    If it was noxious gas emission there would be other dead animals a well? If it was contaminated water the same with animals birds etc.. If the toxic mine gas emissions or river algae bloom was real why have no other hikers have perished?

    The husband, wife, baby and Dog only dying sounds suspicious either all have eaten some thing or drank some thing?

    Personally sadly I suspect a murder suicide? While the family appeared to be a happy healthy family but some times amigos what is shown on the outside is what not happening behind closed doors. Of course media make assumptions that it was evil mining industry as the culprit?

    The great irony of it is they were a bright young family with bright future....

    I think stress induced from the cult of global doom and gloom industry constantly pumped out by the media. has created an entire generation of neurotic young people thinking we are doomed and all going to die? The family was part of the generation that has the most extensive exposure to these toxic claims. On TV internet, radio, news even celebrity with no credibility have gotten on the act of peddling doom? Doom sells. Excessive exposure to such constant negativity can get too much for some people.

    Kanacki

  12. #27
    us
    Nov 2014
    Folsom, California
    35
    68 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I've read that the man was found sitting in the trail with the child and the dog was within reach.
    The woman was found 20-30 feet or so ahead on the trail.

    Whatever took their lives left no trace, no cuts, no gunshots, and left no apparent signs of distress on the bodies.
    It had to be quick and reasonably painless with not causing much in the way of seizures, or it would have been noted by the officials investigating the scene.

    The one thing that comes to mind is CO2, but where in the heck could enough come from to suffocate them?
    Certainly not from blowing out of a nearby mine, as a slight breeze would dissipate the gas to non lethal levels.

    A mystery for sure.

    'Crabs
    ArfieBoy likes this.

  13. #28
    us
    "Is that a Geiger Counter?"

    Feb 2006
    South Central Upstate NY in the foothills of the headlands
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    Hydrogen Sulfide is not odorless, it smells strongly like rotten eggs and is heavier than air.
    That is correct. I work at a sewage treatment plant. In a strong concentration, however, H2S so quickly overwhelms your olfactory nerves that you do not detect any odor. That is why we use electronic gas detectors.

    We have standing rules that all employees work in pairs, and if you see someone lying on the floor at any below-grade room (we go down 70 ft below the ground) you leave them untill you can get SCBA or, preferred, call the fire-department for a confined space rescue. If it is H2S they are likely dead, anyway.
    "If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth" -- Carl Sagan.

    Need the names of good men and heroes to say? Say the names of M. Sgt Gordon and 1st Sgt Shugart.

  14. #29
    us
    Caver; Detectorist; Shovel Bum

    Mar 2013
    California
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    Hey, stuff falls into mine shafts....could have been an IMMIGRANT....!
    Stick With It - It's not *IF* you'll find the good stuff , but WHEN!

  15. #30
    us
    retired bumb and part time Hobo

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    6,524
    5590 times
    I would expect the Medical examination from the County Coroner will show what happened . They also possibly ate something off the land that caused this ??

 

 
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