and here is the book:
The Ballard of Pete Hauer / It Was Caves that Pete loved the Best by Roland Vinyard 2020, 237 pp, 13 colour and many B&W photos, location maps, and a cave survey. SB US$23.00 + postage US$24.50
Published by the National Speleological Society, this book brings the story of Pete Hauer up-to-date but it still does not explain what really happened.
First, the title of the book. The Ballard was played at a NSS Convention in c2011 by the author and briefly it describes the events of 1975. I will attempt to sum up in a few lines what the author describes in 237 pages.
In 1970 Pete bought a farm with a cave: Lobelia Saltpetre Cave. Land was cheap and he bought 28 acres for four thousand US dollars, in those days the price of a car. I knew Pete quite well and I visited Pete at his farm in 1971 during a caving trip to America. In 1975 the F.B.I. were searching for a Walter T Smith, last seen in the Lobelia area. At Pete Hauer’s farm, they found a gruesome typewritten confession on the kitchen table to the effect that Hauer had killed Walter and hidden his body in a cave. A search of Lobelia Saltpetre Cave revealed the body of Walter, but there was no sign of Peter until November 1975 when the remains of his body was found hanging from a tree about 2½ mile from his farm. At first it looked like suicide except that the body had a broken femur and a hole in the skull. The author has interviewed numerous cavers and friends, searched the F.B.I. files and finds Pete guilty. I am not sure. Too many things do not add up. I find him not guilty.