Author Topic: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy  (Read 3590 times)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« on: January 20, 2017, 08:59:46 am »
One for Kenilworth ? ::)

Many Mendip cavers will be familiar with the story that Willie Stanton found such a lovely passage in a cave that he decided to block it up again. I know which cave but sadly Willie took very little photos so we may never know what it looked like. In any case Willie decided the passage was a dead end so in a way nothing lost.

Here is a case of mine.

Pink Pillar Chamber.

As far as I know only two people know where this is. The other was with me at the time but did not see it anyway. Let's just say it's an awkward place to get to. As ever I had my camera and took a few photos. ( This from a while ago. ) The name is mine for obvious reasons and the chamber is not on the survey. It's possible somebody may have been there in times past but no photos exist to my knowledge. These are from my archive and have never been published.













OK What makes this place special ( apart from the Pink Pillar ) are the calcite filled mud cracks on the route in. I cant think I have seen the like anywhere in a cave before. Now they are still pristine and I would like them to remain so.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 09:15:28 am »
Pink Pillar Chamber.

Thereby comes the name. The odd broken bits have not been knocked off by cavers.



The pillar and pure crystal floor.



A corner of Pink Pillar Chamber with helectites.



Now photographers are a funny lot. They might get all fired up just to take the same images as these. Well these are about the best angles you can get without spoiling something. So you have these as a record. Do you need any more ? ( possibly unpublished in any case ). I intend never to return here. Will the knowledge be lost. I doubt it. It's in my log which may be published somewhere after my demise. Of course the thing is am I being selfish ? ( Well I have shared the photos ). Am I taking conservation to an acceptable limit ? I know that floor would get damaged if visitors went there.
Have you a "secret place " you wish to share ?
Comments welcome even if you have a totally opposite view to mine.

Offline Leclused

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 09:41:12 am »
We as a club have 2 parts in 2 cave sealed  after discovery/survey/...

For one of them we give an explantion on our website. It's 'Salle de Delimme' in grottes aux contrastes

Explantion in dutch
http://www.scavalon.be/avalonnl/discov/contrast.htm (see 1.6)

The photo beside the tekst shows how this room was explored :-)

The other part (in an other cave) is kept secret and the entry is sealed of.

It's Always a trade off what to do in every case and the action can be different from case to case :-)




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Offline Roger W

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 09:45:46 am »
Thanks for sharing that, O.R.

I can fully understand why you want to preserve the chamber in its pristine beauty.
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline Alex

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 09:48:07 am »
I believe in these delicate places a once in a life time policy should be enacted there is a place in DYO with a large stal that I have only visited once, photo'd it and do not intend to return to that corner. However, people should be allowed to see it this once time. You do not own that corner of the cave, or the cave itself, so you have no real right as far as I can see to decide who can and who can not visit the place.

As for your questions about my secret places. There is a place in Spain where only I have been a large passage with a jaw bone sticking up looking as if it had been placed there on a rock bridge. The reason for this was because on that trip I was the only one brave enough for foolhardy enough to abseil backwards through this tight passage and down the drop beyond to explore it. The cave fills itself if every time it rains so no one has ever been back.

But... it's no secret it's published on the website.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 10:14:42 am »
You do not own that corner of the cave, or the cave itself, so you have no real right as far as I can see to decide who can and who can not visit the place.

I didn't get the impression that the OP was making a decision as to who can and who cannot visit the site, nor can I see why he is under an obligation to divulge its location. Presumably, if anyone else wants to see it, they simply have to find it.

Offline cooleycr

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 10:38:47 am »
That of course is the problem, if the place exists and someone has (obviously!) found it then even if the location is not published now, someone else will no doubt find it in the future and because details haven't been published will probably have no idea of this conversation about conservation and it could easily end up getting trashed (inadvertently or otherwise).
A bit of a conundrum exists.

It is indeed a beautiful place and deserves to be protected but how? And who amongst us has the right to say whether or not others should access this place?

Maybe in cases such as this we should, where practicable, install physical barriers to prevent ingress to the 'delicate' area yet still permit a clear view such as vertical metal bars?

Thanks for sharing this inspiring piece O.R.
TSG

Offline adam

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 11:23:38 am »
I think secrecy is a perfectly reasonable way of preserving particularly vulnerable 'honeypots' like the mud floor in pink pillar chamber. It's completely up to the discoverer(s) to decide whether or not to publicise their findings. The risk you take is that the next people to find it may not have the same idea as you and could very well take 'credit' for the find by publishing a survey (if that's something you're interested in).

Deliberate obstruction of cavers by physical or other means is another matter. My opinion is that there's very little justification for cavers obstructing other cavers.

In more general terms, I tend to think that there's still loads of caves to be discovered and if people want to see pristine they can go out there and find it for themselves. Humanity isn't long for this planet and people aren't going to be caving in perpetuity (but this doesn't justify needless damage).

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 11:25:49 am »
Quote
It is indeed a beautiful place and deserves to be protected but how? And who amongst us has the right to say whether or not others should access this place?
 

The Old Ruminator seems to have adequately answered both of your questions already. He has assumed the right to make decisions for his discovery, opposite the rubber-spined glory-hounds who claim they "have no right" to keep secrets. And he has protected the place to the best of his ability while still allowing others to appreciate it to a degree.

Well done sir

Offline cooleycr

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2017, 11:55:15 am »
I suppose the fact it is "an awkward place to get to" lends it a degree of protection, certainly from the casual visitors that are not suitably prepared / equipped so that is something...
TSG

Offline grahams

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2017, 11:56:41 am »
"Now photographers are a funny lot. They might get all fired up just to take the same images as these. Well these are about the best angles you can get without spoiling something. So you have these as a record. Do you need any more ? "

I appreciate your reportage style of photography Ruminator which is entirely appropriate for recording a new find. But surely this place, particularly given that it is to be kept secret, deserves a more 'artistic' approach. Is it possible for example, to take photos with off-camera lighting without damaging the place? I have in mind the photos of the Boreham Cave straws or the Cigalere's hidden passages so well filmed for the Realms of Darkness series by Sid Perou.
Sceptics wanted!

Offline JasonC

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2017, 12:17:21 pm »

Explantion in dutch
http://www.scavalon.be/avalonnl/discov/contrast.htm (see 1.6)


Off-topic, but I loved the Google Translate version of part of this story:
"She passed only after three weekends, we eliminate block after block with death-defying. The first weekend while Rudi is under the collapse straddling an 8 m high and gently pokes with a crowbar, the whole mess falls suddenly 15cm. Choice sweat in the gloves Rudi and Flip eggs for their money. "

- not sure it's entirely accurate but it gives a vivid impression   ;D

Offline Leclused

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2017, 12:46:40 pm »

Explantion in dutch
http://www.scavalon.be/avalonnl/discov/contrast.htm (see 1.6)


Off-topic, but I loved the Google Translate version of part of this story:
"She passed only after three weekends, we eliminate block after block with death-defying. The first weekend while Rudi is under the collapse straddling an 8 m high and gently pokes with a crowbar, the whole mess falls suddenly 15cm. Choice sweat in the gloves Rudi and Flip eggs for their money. "

- not sure it's entirely accurate but it gives a vivid impression   ;D

The 'She' is referring to the previous paragraph. Where she is the collapse with the name 'Trémie des Nerfs Eprouvés'. Choice sweat is beter translated as cold sweat

 ;D ;D
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Offline ttolyaj

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2017, 06:04:34 pm »
Willie took me down a passage he had found soon after it was found and told me that it would be closed off to preserve it so I know that he did this, and I can understand why.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2017, 06:13:47 pm »
Quote
It is indeed a beautiful place and deserves to be protected but how? And who amongst us has the right to say whether or not others should access this place?
 

The Old Ruminator seems to have adequately answered both of your questions already. He has assumed the right to make decisions for his discovery, opposite the rubber-spined glory-hounds who claim they "have no right" to keep secrets. And he has protected the place to the best of his ability while still allowing others to appreciate it to a degree.

Well done sir

You know what happens when you keep something secret and someone else finds it, but does not know about th eplaces sensitivity, because it's "Secret"?

http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17620.0


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Offline MarkS

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2017, 06:52:02 pm »

You know what happens when you keep something secret and someone else finds it, but does not know about th eplaces sensitivity, because it's "Secret"?

http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17620.0

This isn't any reflection on my views on the matter, but NewStuff's post also reminded me of this: http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=10593.0

Offline mikem

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2017, 11:27:37 pm »
You know what happens when you keep something secret and someone else finds it, but does not know about th eplaces sensitivity, because it's "Secret"?

http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17620.0

They publish a paper about it?!?
http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/513625/

Mike

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2017, 11:39:15 pm »
You know what happens when you keep something secret and someone else finds it, but does not know about th eplaces sensitivity, because it's "Secret"?

http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17620.0

They publish a paper about it?!?
http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/513625/

Mike

So, I should read academic papers, and not forums with, y'know, active cavers. As should everyone else in that thread that wasn't aware of the place.
Guess we've all been doing it wrong so far.   ::)

I have many, many terms for someone like yourself, but I suspect that all of them would get me into trouble on here, so I'll just let you imagine them.
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Offline G. Hardwick

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2017, 12:24:51 am »
You know what happens when you keep something secret and someone else finds it, but does not know about th eplaces sensitivity, because it's "Secret"?

http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17620.0

They publish a paper about it?!?
http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/513625/

Mike

So, I should read academic papers, and not forums with, y'know, active cavers. As should everyone else in that thread that wasn't aware of the place.
Guess we've all been doing it wrong so far.   ::)

I have many, many terms for someone like yourself, but I suspect that all of them would get me into trouble on here, so I'll just let you imagine them.


No, I certainly wouldn't expect you to read academic papers.
I don't know about everyone else.

But the grace with which someone responds to having their lack of attention to detail politely pointed out to them may have a bearing on how well any future posts are received.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2017, 01:06:05 am »
clearly both the S.wales one and the derbyshire one are similar in reaction. (i.e. negative)

I don't think parallels can be drawn between them, or even with the pink column.

From a personal viewpoint the derbyshire lot are systematically sweeping the hillsides in derbyshire for sites and keeping others informed of their progress as they go along, apparently some social media s#|+.

Absolutely fantastic as far as my view point is concerned, conservation at it's finest! Don't they always say photograph as you go.

The south wales situation was caused by wrecklessness and those "making entry" didn't help themselves one jot by making it bloody obvious they had been there by blowing the bloody doors off.

The entry in derbyshire didn't leave the site open for others due to the elegance of them getting in, oceans 11 if you ask me. If only they hadn't broken a stal, leaving evidence...

Mendip, no one knows, if he's blocked it up. great! You'll never know! A heap of mud with a gate or a drystone wall behind! Perfect.
 I've been told that there's places like this in Derbyshire, it adds to the mystery. Are you going to turn a corner and find one of moose's wellies left behind or in mendip will you turn a corner and find A.M. pair of knickers flying a flag on a conservation tent peg.

 Not sure if it's an advertisement for getting out there and doing it, or an outright shocker.

Or even if its just a difficult place to get to, you know you'll just be in awe of caving by yourself that you will just miss the scrotty route off.

Offline mikem

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2017, 08:55:19 am »
Actually I was just saying that they weren't keeping it totally secret; & it's not unique either:
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/114056946

& these would presumably be more prolific if it wasn't for the metal lining:
https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2013/09/09/photos-from-inside-an-abandoned-tube-tunnel/

Also there's one in South Wales, although I can't remember the name of it.

The profusion of formations in Ogof Capel are probably also due to the limeworkings above.

Mike


Offline NewStuff

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2017, 01:36:38 pm »
No, I certainly wouldn't expect you to read academic papers.
I don't know about everyone else.

But the grace with which someone responds to having their lack of attention to detail politely pointed out to them may have a bearing on how well any future posts are received.

I give no grace when the  argument is self defeating (as the author points out later). It's not "lack of attention to detail", it's totally f**king irrelevant. You had a prominent member of the DCA screaming about  secrecy and accusing people of criminal actions, so what difference does a paper, brought to light more than a year later, have on the "security through obscurity" fallacy that was being banked on the make it a "secure" site?

If you're going to attempt to insult my perceived lack of ability to read published academic papers, You really should try harder, my skin is considerably thicker than that. Do not confuse the lack of sugar coating my words for a deficiency in intellect, you would be gravely mistaken.
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Offline paul

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2017, 04:27:34 pm »
Global Moderator Comment Once again we are beginning to get to the bickering stage - please stop it. If you don't agree with someone else's viewpoint, then put up an opposing argument rather than descending to name calling and bickering.
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Offline martinb

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2017, 11:17:04 am »
I've been watching this thread with interest, as my digging partner and I have participated in 'secrecy' regarding a major find to known cave system. We had been digging for about 18 months - with the agreement of the owner, and made a breakthrough in late April 2014, with further small extensions since.

However, the circumstances are slightly different, in that the owner of the cave has had to negotiate with a certain National body regarding what the owner 'owns' and has done since before the National body was formed.

These agreements are almost finalised and, hopefully, the finds - which are highly decorated - will be publicised to the general public sometime in the coming months. However, given the location within the exsisting system, it is unlikely that there will be any access for recreational cavers except for the possibility of a leader system.

We have kept quiet about 'our' finds, although someone else nearly let the cat out of the bag, out of necessity as it may have had an effect on the owners negoiations. However, seen that the cave is very, very old (at least c.400K+ years), another couple of years won't hurt.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Pink Pillar Chamber. The Ethics of Secrecy
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2017, 06:57:37 pm »
This past week my brother and I finished the survey of a known but unmapped cave. We found several virgin passages, one of which was fragile and very well decorated. The climb through a collapse that leads to this area is extremely muddy. We made our way through as carefully as possible, shoes off, took some photos, and found that the passage soon ended. I am confident that the passage would be greatly diminished if it were visited just a few times by typical cavers. So I have decided to omit the passage from map and description, and to return only once, when/if my photographic skills are improved enough to do it some justice.