Author Topic: The imaginary depth of the the Abisso Guy Collet  (Read 690 times)

Offline Subpopulus Hibernia

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The imaginary depth of the the Abisso Guy Collet
« on: March 01, 2021, 01:56:45 pm »
This is a really bizare story, which I've been fascinated by since hearing about it in the summer.

In 2006, a small group of Italian cave explorers claimed to have explored a quartzite cave in the province of Amazonas to a depth of 670m. This made it not only the deepest cave in Brazil, but in the entirety of South America, and also the deepest quartzite cave in the world.

Understandably, the Brazilan cavers were very interested in this cave and in 2015 staged a Brazilan-Italian expedition to the cave to properly document and survey the cave given the lack of data produced by the original explorers.

The cave was located exactly according to the co-ordinates, and photos of cave matched those published. To their surprise though, rather than continuing to -670m, the cave firmly choked off at a depth of 107m, and all efforts at finding a downward continuation failed. There was no evidence of a collapse blocking the way on, and the survey published in 2006 did not match the cave explored in 2015.

The conclusion then is that the original explorers simply fabricated the other 560m of depth. While fairly shocking to the 2015 team, this made sense given numerous oddities, contradictions, and inconsistencies they’d noticed in the account of the 2006 exploration. Before and after 2015 expedition the original Italian explorers extremely evasive and difficult to get a hold of, and provided very little information to the Brazilian team. Now, the 481m deep Gruta do Centenário is considered the deepest cave in Brazil.

You can watch a short video (w/ english subtitles) on the expedition here;


And also a longer talk in Portuguese here, which really fleshes out the story. I don’t think the automatic subtitles in english are much use though…


Here's the Italian team's account of the cave exploration in 2006;
https://www.akakor.com/spedizioni/2006-2010/amazzonia-2006/

Does anyone else know of stories of caving fraud like this? I for one can’t think of a case of someone inventing a discovery, of any size, and passing it off as actual cave passage. Especially not on this grand scale.
Born Salzburg 1691. B.Phil. University of 's-Hertogenbosch 1718. Personal assistant to King Frederick of Liechtenstein, 1803-1857. Speaker of 35th Upper Silesian Parliament (fl. 1904-5). Owner/operator, Bridgend Underwear Factory, 1973-present.

Offline Speleofish

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Re: The imaginary depth of the the Abisso Guy Collet
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2021, 05:45:31 pm »
It's a bit like the climber who claimed a series of imaginative and imaginary first ascents on Gogarth in the late 60s but with considerably more chutzpah and stupidity, unless they believed the cave so unpleasant/inaccessible that no'one would dream of revisiting. At least, if you have a good pair of binoculars or if you abseil the route, you could probably come up with a convincing description of a fake climb.

Offline Subpopulus Hibernia

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Re: The imaginary depth of the the Abisso Guy Collet
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2021, 06:07:11 pm »
Yeah, it's hard to believe how AKAKOR expected to pull this off long-term, or quite what motivated them. They had 9 cavers on the 2006 trip, and they staged a return trip in 2007 with a team of 4, which makes about 12 people who have to be in on it (the exped leader was the only person who was on both expeds). It's a lot of people to have in on such a grand deception.

In the livestream above, the Brazilians don't really speculate as to why the Italians fabricated the depth of the cave, but there is some mention of the group having patronage of some kind. To my mind that would imply that they felt the need to produce a result for whoever was backing them...
Born Salzburg 1691. B.Phil. University of 's-Hertogenbosch 1718. Personal assistant to King Frederick of Liechtenstein, 1803-1857. Speaker of 35th Upper Silesian Parliament (fl. 1904-5). Owner/operator, Bridgend Underwear Factory, 1973-present.

Offline Speleofish

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Re: The imaginary depth of the the Abisso Guy Collet
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2021, 08:53:49 pm »
Um. Not just memories of Gogarth in the late 60s, also Cerro Torre...?

Offline Duncan Price

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Re: The imaginary depth of the the Abisso Guy Collet
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2021, 08:39:44 am »
It is common practice to make up imaginary caves on Mendip as this article shows.

Offline Speleofish

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Re: The imaginary depth of the the Abisso Guy Collet
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2021, 09:13:27 am »
I'd always thought that Browne's Hole was rather a bad dream...

Offline Judi Durber

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Re: The imaginary depth of the the Abisso Guy Collet
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2021, 09:50:31 am »
It is common practice to make up imaginary caves on Mendip as this article shows.

And other great stories ......

"ABANDONED COFFIN BAFFLES YORKSHIRE POLICE.
From the Guardian Dec. 7th."

"One theory is that it is an ingenious, though macabre, piece of potholers' equipment for ferrying excavated earth through narrow tunnels."

Someone has a great imagination or is a very optimistic caver

 :clap2:
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life waiting for us.

 

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