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Postby acdonah on Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:44 am

Hi All,

I need some help clarifying a few things. When the large hole was dug with the clam shell, how far did they dig down? I thought it was 148 ft? Was it not directly on the MP or what? Sketch #1 covers how much area? I know the hole was pretty wide, so you would think it would have covered the complete area of the previous shafts.

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Postby RRD2 on Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:18 am


The excavation reached a depth of 136 feet. The ultimate width at the surface was roughly 83 feet. When the excavation began on Nov. 3, 1965, a pit of 30 feet in diameter was created. At a depth of 22 feet, the original money pit was identified. M.R. Chappell was called in to examine the area and he confirmed that the excavation was proceeding directly in the original money pit. There are some who still doubt this, but the records are clear and there is ample evidence to support it.

Some of the adjacent shafts were ultimately included in the excavation as the sides sloughed in. The Heddon shaft was used as a pumping station to de-water the pit, but as conditions grew worse, it began to shift in the unstable ground. The shaft was saved when the pit was refilled.

The depth is approximate, as the surface was graded to provide stable ground for the machine to work. The variance is 10 feet or less.
I will add a scale to sketch #1 and hopefully provide a map of the area post-excavation so that the results of the dig are more easily understood.

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The Pit

Postby Tank04 on Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:25 pm


What RDII gave you is just as he wrote it and is accurate. One thing you have to consider though is that the deeper you dig a hole like that, the wider the top has to be, it's called the angle of repose.

As you work on your angle of repose, the sides of the hole will eventually lose site of a shaft that you were clearly inside of at say 40 feet and the deeper you go, you either have to shift your hole or lose the shaft you were working in as your angle of repose increases. Clear as mud eh? I'll explain it to you in person this summer.

As RDII points out, the Heddon shaft was used as a pumping shaft and it became very weak and started to shift as Dunfield got deeper, exposing more and more of it's profile. The Money Pit thus was not fully and completely explored to it's "absolute" bottom.

Then came the rains, equipment break downs and there was also suggestion of sabotage of Dunfield's machinery, especially the steel cables that appeared to have been purposely cut.
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