I’ve been too busy to post for the last several weeks but get ready for the mother of all updates. First out of the grab bag-
Underground Network Freak Out Scientists
Until recently, the secret caves were explored only by amateur archeologists. The pioneer of Erdstall exploration, Lambert Karner (1841 to 1909), was a priest. According to his records, he crawled through 400 vaults, lit only by flickering candlelight, with “strange winding passages” through which “one can often only force oneself like a worm.”
The tunnels later became the realm of local historians armed with vivid imaginations. They speculated that the caves were used as “winter quarters by the Teutonic tribes” or as dungeons for the disabled. Some of today’s more esoteric souls interpret them as “spaces of nonbeing.”
Now Ahlborn wants to finally apply the more precise tools of science to the vaults. Under his leadership, the Erdstall working group has developed into a serious and effective group of experts. It includes cave researchers, geography teachers and engineers like Nikolaus Arndt, who has built subways in India and pipelines for fossil groundwater through the Libyan deserts for Gadhafi.
At their annual meeting, the amateur explorers combine shoptalk with bold subterranean expeditions. To avoid suffocating, says one member of the group, they recently blew air into a tunnel with a “reversible vacuum cleaner.”