Metal Detectiing TN. cave / Anybody done this?

DanKnug

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Jun 15, 2013
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Hello Limitool, I've been following your thread for the last few days, and then yesterday I just happened to see this article about Indian cave paintings/carvings in the Cumberland Plateau area of Tennessee. It is very interesting and I think you and others will also like it. If you do in fact have etchings in your cave, they may not be really obvious and it may be difficult to tell what they depict. But if you do find some you should notify the Archaeology dept of your local college to contribute to the body of knowledge in this area. Anyway, here is the link to the article: American cave and rock art that lay hidden for SIX THOUSAND YEARS offers unique and remarkable insight into how Native American societies lived their lives | Mail Online
 

JeromeAz

Sr. Member
May 31, 2013
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OK everybody, Road Trip! Head to Tennessee! Bring generators, lights, cameras and let's have some action! Now if only I could find my truck keys.
 

huntsman53

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Jun 11, 2013
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OK everybody, Road Trip! Head to Tennessee! Bring generators, lights, cameras and let's have some action! Now if only I could find my truck keys.

Yeah, I am sure that Brad has work and family obligations to take care of but the waiting for the next trip into the cave and pics is a nail biter!


Frank
 
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Limitool

Limitool

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DanKnug.... Your absolutely right... And when I go back with "cave proof" cameras this time to photograph it will NOT be approached like the sight seeing trip I did years ago. The photos I posted above were from that trip. And I will definitely check out the link above... thank you. Now, as far as etching... the etching I'm referring too are letters / numbers scratched and/or etched into the mud near the ceiling just after natural light disappears. And I never through much about it until this year when I got interested in MD'ing and the history of this area. NOW I AM!!! Today or this summer... I believe there is no reason to go back as far as I did a few times. It is an adventure and really fun to see a couple of times... but it isn't for the faint hearted at all. This is especially so when you arrive at what I coined "the crack" (last set of photos posted above). That takes the adventure to a new level immediately. I just don't believe if someone was trying to cache something within the cave they would go to this length. But I admit I could be wrong. But I am going to examine "things" next trip in a different mindset. I truly wish I could "snap my fingers" and have the landslide from 2010 vanish. Everyone could easily see how primitive and native Americans could and did exist in this cave. I never got photos around the outside of cave and of the bedrock that the spring ran in downhill from cave. It's still there... just buried under debris now.

So... I believe I'm going to do what some folks have suggested somewhat and look around more closely, do nothing physically to environment and take some new photos. I'll then flag certain spots to investigate further for any manmade cache that possibly could be there while looking for any more archaeology present. In other words.... GET A PLAN MAN. But I will post some photos as quickly as I get the pictures back and scan them in (USB out). I got to wait for a couple weeks until wife heals from surgery and I'll then attempt again (still getting over Saturdays cave trip). All you folks on this site are really an inspiration to me and I truly am impressed with what some of you have found and done. Digging up old shotgun head stamps, horseshoes and old iron wagon parts IS fun... but an occasional old box of coins or a hidden vault with old rifles would be even MORE fun. OK.... I'm "pulling it out" now... I guess that's why we all share our endeavors' here. And... JeromeAz above... I hope you find your keys. Later folks..... Brad
 

JeromeAz

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May 31, 2013
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OK people lighten up, it was a joke. It would be great to go there and help out. It sounds like its a lot of work especially just getting up to it let alone having to carry equipment. Sounds like he could use some help. Preferably before someone else discovers it too.
 

ZealousBash

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May 31, 2013
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I've got to say, this is my favorite thread. I've dreamed about a find like this my entire life! Let me know if you're going to start taking applications for help on your adventure. I'd be happy to list my attributes and then drive to Tennessee to take part in this awesome endeavor.
 
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Limitool

Limitool

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Hey JeromeAz.... I hope you didn't get any grief over your comment..... I knew you were joking but your right about getting there and the equipment. I, myself have a warped sense of humor and thick skin. And your comment "Preferably before someone else discovers it too." is my biggest concern also. Now, somebody has been in... ancient folks, Indians and I'm hoping someone from the civil war, old bank robbers, or a little old lady who buried her loot. Ok... the last part is pushing it. Here's my real concern... the cavers who verified from Nashville who GPS'ed its location and found NO CAVE CLOSE in this area... THEY NOW KNOW.

Mr. ZealousBash... I wish you were NEXT DOOR so I could plot this endeavor with someone and feel like I missed NOTHING when done...

Mr. Secretcayon.... After you hotwire Mr. JeromeAz's truck drop me a line and let's roll..... Brad
 
Jan 2, 2013
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i have been a tunnel rat a long time...drooling to see your photographs.

don't touch the paint....ancient painting dissapear, colors change from contact with your breath....

have fun..wish i could go with...my beastie truck gets 10mph..on a good day...
 
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Limitool

Limitool

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secretcayon... As I've stated before I have not seen any paintings... but there is one spot I'd like to look closer at next time. But this spot is where natural light is not present. So, I doubt if there is any to be seen since artificial light would have been required (though possible). QUESTION FOR ANYBODY: Since this cave has a small stream running through it at all times and the humidity is HIGH within (especially in front)... WOULD ANY ANCIENT PAINTING "SURVIVE" if any were ever done? I also believe this cave is too "small" for ancient artwork (like I really know...not). This meaning... the largest part is the cave is the opening and the first 30-50 yards and NOTHING of that sort (paintings) jumps out. Opening is around 15' wide 6' high and by the first turn it's still 15' wide but only around 5' high. After that it narrows down some to 8-10' wide but the height goes DOWN (duck walking required). Shortly after that the "adventure" starts... crawling, duck-walking and in cold spring water. The width varies greatly from this point on. But it is LONG... especially when your crawling and/or duck walking.

This is why, as far as treasure and/or artifacts go after this point the 1st 100 yards are the best choice (so says I?). And there are plenty of hiding places in which to accomplish this... if that was the mission at one time. QUESTION: Would a GPS work within cave so if someone went as far as they were willing to go show up and work? I ask because years ago when I went WAY, WAY, WAY back I saw 3-4 bats when I quit. This told me there was another opening on this ridge somewhere. I looked around but couldn't find it... but it's there. If this opening was closed up by a landslide at some point... wouldn't that be cool to find that and OPEN UP to see what's in this end also. Those bats didn't come in the way I did. Anybody have any answers for my 2 questions?.... Thanks.... Brad
 
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Limitool

Limitool

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MR. DANKNUG... I reviewed the link you sent today just now.... THANK YOU very much. It was very interesting and I'm now even MORE geeked about going back with camera and looking around. Now I wonder if the etching I see faded in mud were "recent" (less than 150 years) or WAY BACK in time. Especially since there is an obvious place where a fire was and the etching are very close to this spot. It has been at least 10 years since I went this far into cave (and looked at this spot) to review. This spot is just after last natural light. Very good information. Thank you.... Brad
 

JeromeAz

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May 31, 2013
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Sounds like the cave is definitely big enough for Indian paintings. Out here in the desert there's no caves with any Indian art in them that I know of. There is plenty of rocks and boulders that have lots of art on them. The big massive boulders that make good shelters have a lot of drawings on them. Checkout Dzrtgrls.com if your interested. They go out exploring old mines but most of their trips are searching for Indian petroglyphs.

Now the bats, that's hard to say. I've been pretty far in some old mines and seen bats. I was wondering if you had searched around the area looking for another opening but you answered that. Another opening could be easy to miss. It could be just big enough for the bats to go in. If you found that you could always make it bigger so you can get in. Just be careful if you do because it could drop straight down.

Here we have a cave that two guys found, the opening was just big enough for a kid to fit through. They found a hole with air coming out and dug enough to get inside and started exploring going so far in to where they could stand up and found a cavern big enough to put a football field in. Its now a state park. It's so big that they still haven't explored it all.

Out here in the desert its easier to find caves because there's nothing to hide it. It just dirt, rock and cactus. We have another cave that was used in the 1800's by some stagecoach robbers to hide out in but they were killed and the money was never found so you never know what you'll find in your cave. They also found the skeletal remains of a giant prehistoric sloth.

So good luck out there and be careful!
 

g-olden years

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This is a thrilling thread for armchair adventurers like my now puny 71-year old self! Thanks for sharing your adventure! Hope you get some good pics of what's behind those dirt columns, and of the site in general. :icon_thumleft:
I realize that you have experience and use safety precautions, so the following is mostly for those reading this who've never explored caves before: our retired commercial mining friend at the time we lived & hiked extensively in northern New Mexico foothills & mountains advised us to NEVER enter caves that we found -- he'd mined, ranched & explored many years in both New Mexico and Colorado, and when we expressed interest in exploring a small "cave" entrance that we'd discovered nearby, he advised us NEVER to explore caves due to their natural hazards -- collapsing ceilings or walls, other sudden cave-ins, bad air, unexpected big drops in elevation where you could fall down so far as to never be able to regain the surface even if you didn't break any bones, etc. His warning was based on losing friends over a period of forty years. We followed his advice. Similarly, members of the hiking club that we encountered in mountainous southern Arizona reminded us that spelunkers occasionally discover the remains of slapdash explorers who explored alone, encountered a dropoff and fell just 10 or 20 feet, survived the fall but starved to death because they were unable to climb back out and had told nobody where they were going. I know these negative experiences may not apply to the type of terrain you're in & I know you're not mining, but definitely don't proceed into any area where you cannot see well what is ahead of you or where due to the presence of much water & dampness, the ground under your feet or the walls might give way! And of course, before you wiggle through a tight place, be sure you can wiggle backwards out of it if needed! Andi
 

JeromeAz

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May 31, 2013
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They can't be too bad. Here in Southern Arizona we have 2 caves for tourist and whoever else. One is Colossal Cave which is a dead cave. The other is Karchner Caverns which is a live cave. The other ones are on Forest land or BLM land. One of the ones the Forest Service has is Cave of the Bells. Called that because people would hit the stalagmites and stalactites and it sounded like bells. Well too many were getting broke off so they put a steel door on the cave. So if you want to explore the cave you have to get the key. You do any damage, they gotcha! Another cave they have, no one is allowed in. Only a select few get to go in it and they're not telling where its at. I look at this way, if they let us go in all these caves then they must be safe. Like the post above me was saying Watch in front where walking. I agree. Anybody that goes into a cave without a light or can't see in front of him when he's walking is a moron! Anyways I'm sure caves are a lot safer than mines. I've been in a lot of mines and some I just looked in because they didn't look safe.
 
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Limitool

Limitool

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Good morning folks.... thanks again for the feedback, support and advise. Mr. G-olden years, I myself am not to the armchair warrior stage yet (58) but damn if I didn't feel like it after hauling that equipment back last Saturday morning. It wasn't heavy... it's the terrain you fight. You'd think going downhill at first would be "easy" but if your carrying large long items in briar's and thick brush it isn't. Then when you hit bottom and follow a shallow streambed also filled with brush and rocks you have to look forward going uphill when you line yourself up the cave on the next ridge. Then of course you can look forward to reversing all this... EVEN MORE FUN!!!! Thankfully this cave does NOT give you choices in which to go (at least I haven't found any). The only choice and/or spot I've saw so far is that damn cavern right near the entrance that is accessible but I can't get over the "hump" of entering it and facing off with a mother bobcat and doing "war" on my stomach. Doing "war" on your feet with one is a losing battle. I can't imagine doing it on ones stomach (I'll post a story later today on way I feel this way). I've had that "experience" before with this cave... been there / done that.

I always felt that due to the very clear spring water running through the caves rock bottom that mis-stepping or "falling through" was not a concern. There are no hanging "slabs" or boulders inside that can fall and/or move. But I do realize that entering any cave is inherently dangerous. As I stated before going in with another person in an investigation / search mode and not a "sight seeing" tour would make this challenge much easier. I'm entertaining / proposing this challenge with another member here now. I realize that a bat can travel back into a cave as far as it wants... but I believe this is not the case. I believe there is another entrance... however small. After I found the artesian well which supplies the water flow back to "my" entrance the cave continues on but with no water now. And then the cave gets SMALL. I continued past the well for quite some distance (hard to tell when crawling). Then the cave got SMALLER. But I was obviously going "uphill" because water flow was going in opposite direction. Then it got VERY SMALL (55 gallon drum size). And then I saw 2 bats above me. I just can't imagine ANY bats flying WAY back to what I call the "crack" and THEN flying through and THEN flying way back past the well and then continue to where I found them. That is a LONG WAYS. And it was dry after well. And JeromeAZ... I believe your probably right about the "next" opening being small. But it would have been easy for a ridge side to slide down and completely cover a small or large opening "somewhere". That's way I'd like to know if a GPS would work in a cave environment and then plot on a topo map?
 

ace1968

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I think one of the great things about MDing is dreaming of what you may find..... I always dream of what I may find the days before I go. I know your finds may not have been too great but you had to go to find out. It's just part of MDing. I am going to Moldova in September and have big dreams of ancient artifacts, coins and such. Maybe I will find some burried treasure and give it to my mother-in-law so she can affort to fix the roof on her house and buy some medicene she needs (she is not very well off even by Moldvian standards). In reality I will probably find a bunch of trash, some modern change and more trash but that don't stop me from dreaming. I love to hunt and will probably never find anything great but it gives me an opportunity to dream.
 

JeromeAz

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Hopefully you find something in there. If not you can always bottle the spring water and sell it! Lol!
 
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Limitool

Limitool

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Ace1968... You are a man for even thinking in those terms... And I wish you the best sir. YOU... ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about that's why we go out and MD and/or explore some cave in detail. It's the unknown and the adventure of what ALL OF US CAN POSSIBLY FIND... but only if we plan, look, think and believe. And, again your right about why I want to go back again and look where I haven't in detail. It's the common sense thing to do if you have any sense of adventure and its right in front of you. That's why we use MD's, look in dark corners... and crawl into caves. It's what we DON'T see that we "want to see"... if there! I just joined this site... but it's people like you and others... that remind me of me... we just gotta know what's over that ledge, under that rock, beneath that screaming MD, or below that cave etching. I truly wish you all the luck on your trip. It's going to be a few days and/or a few weeks maybe before I go back and photo my endeavor to share with you all. Got some duties to attend to now with wife's surgery recovery. But, I CAN'T WAIT to go back again now. My sense of adventure keeps me geeked at all times. But you folks chiming in is like throwing fuel on a fire!!!!! And 99% of you know exactly what I'm talking about... Hey, JeromeAZ above... Get your ass here with a LOT OF PLASTIC BOTTLES. Your packing'em out dude!!!! Later... Brad
 

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