Caves on Military Installations

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Caves on Military Installations

Postby Phil Winkler » Feb 8, 2006 3:56 pm

The December 2005 issue of JCKS has an abstract of a Convention paper about A Biological Survey of Caves at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo in which 74 caves were surveyed. That's a lot of caves for one fort. Redstone probably has 5-10. Anyone know of a fort with a larger number?

Camp Bullis, north of San Antonio, has at least one I've visited and there may be more, but 74? Wow.

How about Ft. Campbell, KY? Anyone know?
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Postby bigalpha » Feb 8, 2006 7:09 pm

Um, I may be able to find out the # of caves on Ft. C -- unless someone knows offhand? charles?
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Postby Grandpa Caver » Feb 8, 2006 7:39 pm

Ft Knox might have some respectable numbers. They've got a lotta land in a pretty good caving area.
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Postby CKB69 » Feb 8, 2006 10:41 pm

bigalpha wrote:Um, I may be able to find out the # of caves on Ft. C -- unless someone knows offhand? charles?

Actually,I only know of a handfull of caves there.
I know of some leads,BUT,they are in an area that contains a lot of ammo bunkers dug into the hillsides. I do not want to have to explain myself to the MP's and the Provost Marshall! :doh: They will not buy the "looking for Bin Laden" story... :tonguecheek:
This same area has a huge spring that washes out the road periodically.

There are some very active sinkholes that are almost irresistable.
Rain that falls on my office goes 200 yards into a sinkhole. It then resurges at a spring 7 miles away.

I did participate in a rescue,many years ago,of a coon dog that chased a (what else..)racoon into a cave.
Somehow,the dog made it into a dome at the end of a LOW stream crawl,and was so disoriented,he would not come out.

This crawl had a stone floor and ceiling. I could not fit,no matter how hard I tried to force my body.
Eventually,the owner scrounged a long pole with a noose,and,managed to lassoo the poor critter.

There were several short caves in the low bluff above the first one.
I believe the racoon went up the dome,through a small hole(dog filter?),and out another entrance.
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Postby batbio » Feb 9, 2006 8:57 am

I've done some work on both Ft. Campbell and Ft. L Wood. Campbell does not have many caves, and the ones that are there are fairly small (at least the ones I was in). Some of L Wood's caves are pretty impressive with large entrances and a fair amount of passage.
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Fort Knox caves

Postby Bob Thren » Feb 9, 2006 9:35 am

I was stationed at Knox in 1956 & 7. I got into a number of caves on the Base, much to the disgust of the assorted powers that be.

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Postby batrotter » Feb 9, 2006 11:06 am

I don't have a greater number but we did a couple inventory projects at 2 different bases in Indiana.

One was Jefferson Proving Ground, now called Big Oaks Wildlife Refuge. It was an active proving ground when we did the project in 1991-93, but is now closed due to the BRAC. We located and surveyed 32 caves there.

The other location is Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. It is a very large ammunition depot still active. We located and surveyed 12 caves if I remember correctly.
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Postby Lynn » Feb 9, 2006 2:36 pm

Seems I recall an archaeologist saying there may have been twelve small caves at Ft. Campbell. :patriotic: CAVERS, CAVES & CAVING PHOTOS
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Postby Spike » Feb 9, 2006 4:49 pm

Just a few years back I assisted in mapping a number of caves on Fort. L Wood as part of an Arch project. Around 50 caves were mapped as part of that project. James Corsentino was hired on to sketch and draw up the maps. He could give you the low down how many caves are on post. The number of 74 doesn't ring a bell as to the total number of caves on the Fort but I would say it is in the ball park. Pulaski County has about 350 caves reported to the MSS ( Fort Wood sits just south of center of the county on the largest karst plain in the county and is flanked by the Big Piney and Roubidoux Creeks. Many caves are in the bluffs along the creeks but a few have sink entrances up on the plateau. Some of these caves are quite impressive with large borehole trunks segments. Sadly none are extensive ending in breakdown with just enough lenght to let one dream of a once large cave system now underlying the firing ranges and impact zones that restrict ridge walking to Federal Holidays when troops aren't whizzin bullets down range. Fort Wood is a great place to get acquainted with the sounds of rockets and cannon fire from A-10's flying overhead while pulling tape and reading a compass.

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