Mel's Hole – Ellensburg, Washington - Atlas Obscura

Mel's Hole

Ellensburg, Washington

Legendary, mysterious, nonexistent pit near Ellensberg, Washington. 


Fifteen years ago, a strange man named Mel Waters called in to the Art Bell radio program, claiming he had discovered a mysterious and infinite hole on his property near Ellensburg, Washington.

Quickly dubbed Mel’s Hole, the strange legend of the never-ending pit and its paranormal characteristics spiraled farther and farther. When skeptics looked more closely, they discovered that no man named Mel Waters ever lived near Ellensburg. To this day the hole’s existence and the man’s true identity remain unverified.

When Waters first called in to the program he claimed to have found a hole that by his calculations, was greater than 80,000 feet. According to his story, he had tied fishing line together and continued lowering it to a depth greater than 15 miles without hitting earth. Waters then claimed that the hole had the ability to restore life to dead animals, relating a story of a man’s dead dog that was thrown into the pit, and then found walking around alive soon after.

As the story became more elaborate, Mel’s Hole captivated listeners, many of whom were eager to verify the hole’s existence. But Mel refused to tell people where the hole was, just that it was near his property on the Manastash Ridge near Ellensburg. He was featured on the show a number of times, until 2002, when a local paper reported that no man named Mel Waters existed in the area. The finding just about put the story to rest, until it was resurrected by a intertribal medicine man named Red Elk.

Red Elk appeared out of nowhere in 2008, claiming he was well-aquainted with the hole and that it had many bizarre properties. Red Elk didn’t start slow and build up, but instead immediately claimed that the hole set fire to ice, cooked a sheep live and implanted a seal fetus inside the cooked sheep. Even for those suspending every ounce of their disbelief, the story had become too bizarre, and too crazy to entertain.

Today, the weird tale of Mel’s Hole is roundly considered the work of mentally unstable attention seekers, or even a ploy for better radio ratings. No evidence of any such sinkhole has ever been found, although some adventurers still wander near the Manastash Ridge hoping to find a supernatural, infinite pit that will bring them 15 minutes of fame à la the mysterious Mel Waters.