Lake Lackawanna Mystery

It wasn’t a mystery till it was discovered by the Crook twins, Jessie and James (their parents thought that was hilarious). In 1927, the twins went deer hunting. They wounded a buck and followed a trail of blood which ended at the edge of a round hole. “Shit!” They threw rocks in but never heard them strike bottom.

They told their dad, who being a railroad man, wanted precision. The hole was about 8’-4” in diameter, centered on a large, round depression, sloping inward. He threw larger rocks in, but never heard them hit bottom. “Well, I’ll be damned,” said their father.

You couldn’t keep a secret like this. Soon people were coming out and throwing rocks in, along with flaming torches made of newspapers dipped in kerosene. You couldn’t see the bottom.

The local high school teacher decided to investigate. He tied a rock on the end of a 100’ rope and let it down. When he pulled it up, the rope was 62’ long and the rock was gone. He tried a heavier rock and carefully lowered it. The weight vanished. The rope was 62’ long. He decided to quit playing around and got a big mirror to focus the sun to the bottom. It was inky black. No reflection whatsoever.

He called the University of Wisconsin Physics Dept. They determined the hole was 8’-4 5/8” in diameter, sides smooth as glass, the top of the ‘ink’ at 62’ 5 1/2”. Nothing that went into the ‘ink’ ever came out. After losing $ 4,000 worth of instruments, they decided they had better things to do.

It was called the ‘Buck Hole,’ but a proscribed word rhymes with ‘Buck.’ Then the ‘Deer Hole’ (not much better), then the ‘Lake Hole’ (oh, my). They finally settled on the “Lake Lackawanna Mystery.”  Intriguing but not pornographic.

The deer trail had become a wide path, as people flocked to see the ‘Bottomless Pit.’ The Township decided to cash in. They put in a paved road and made it a municipal dump. $3.00 a load for building debris. A buck to push in an junk car. Mattresses, bottles, dead horses, used oil, tin cans, old refrigerators and stoves, broken farm machinery, lengths of railroad track and wood ties.

A man decided to see for himself. He went down on a rope and never came back. That added drama. A jilted bride left a note and jumped in. That added romance. A driver backed too far. That added danger. It was great publicity.


“Doctor, Mr. Pmylph is here to see you.”

“Send him in. What seems to be the matter?”

“It’s this terrible indigestion. Had it for a month.”

“Slide in here and we’ll take a ray-view.”

Mr. Pmylph slid into the machine, which flattened him like a blob, then buzzed.

“Well,” said the doctor, “this explains it. Where have you been feeding?”

“On a water-rich planet.”

“Well, it seems that they have civilization now. You are filled with jagged pieces of metal, rocks and everything else. Time for you to find a new food planet. I’m going to have to clean all of that out of you.”

“Oh shit,” said Mr. Pmylph.

“You certainly will, ” said Doctor Zpplovvetm.

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