The glowing beings of Badajoz Ravine
Posted on Friday, 8 August, 2014 | 5 comments
Columnist: Keith Pattison de Bellasis
Located off the North Western coast of Africa is the volcanic archipelago of the Canary Islands. The largest of these islands, Tenerife, is home to Europe’s tallest volcano and the third tallest on earth; this island is also home to an enduring mystery, one that encompasses unexplained deaths, a terrifying unknown creature, and strange glowing humanoids...
Tenerife, like many islands of volcanic origin, has a wealth of precious and semi precious gems including the famous Tenerife Diamonds – the most highly prized of all diamonds in the world due to their lustrous yellow colour. As you would expect, mining has been a large part of Tenerife life, with many production mines still in operation and even more mines with their extensive galleries now lost to the fog of time, beyond human remembrance. I would like to share with you the first in an occasional series of Tenerife based legends, myths and Unexplained Mysteries.
Casebook File 1:
Our tale begins in a mountainous area of Tenerife in the municipality of “Guimaras” to the southeast of the island; the elements eroding an intricate web of ravines and gullies that expose the lucrative gem bearing seams which have became the workplace for generations of miners and their families.
In 1912 two miners were working in the Water Izaña galleries in a dried up riverbed within the Ravine of Badajoz. There was nothing unusual about the day; the sun was beating down on their broad backs as they went about the task of creating a new gallery which would, they hoped, reveal new seams of high quality diamond bearing rock. Such had been their daily working life for 10 years without incident (apart from the odd cut and bruise from the sharp rock as it yielded to their blows).
Today was going to change their lives forever.
They began swinging their pickaxes in unison to weaken a small area of virgin rock in the side of the Ravine that had filigree – like fractures which, from experience, they knew would make it easier to expand outwards and so create a new mine gallery. After just 10 minutes they were encouraged to see the cracks spreading outwards quicker than usual ...picking up the pace delivering one mighty blow after another they were amazed by the scene that unfolded; a large section of the rock face approximately 3 X 3 metres crumbled before their eyes, and as they hurried back it was as though the whole area had just disintegrated in rubble.
As the dust and rubble gradually settled around them they found themselves staring at the impossible – behind the untouched wall of the ravine a hitherto unknown Gallery was exposed. It was obviously the work of man and not nature; the entrance was as black as pitch giving little clue as to how far back into the rock face it extended.
Armed with oil lamps and picks they approached the entrance cautiously, unsure how stable the gallery walls would be. They need not have worried, the walls appeared stable, glass smooth, and with a finely rippled surface with no cracks or fissures. To add to the mystery, there were no seams exposed either, it was as if the walls, roof and floor had been coated with a layer of concrete – like material that was curiously warm to the touch.
Moving deeper into the gallery they passed passages to either side but kept on moving forward. The gallery started gently bending to the left and they were surprised by what appeared to be a gentle glow emanating from the very fabric of the sides of the gallery. This was not completely unknown to them as they had seen fluorescence in caves before – very rare – but not unknown.
500 metres into the gallery, they came to a very abrupt halt for, at that moment, they witnessed an impossible event: Three luminous beings one hundred metres further into the gallery were moving towards them. They seemed to be humanoid in appearance yet, subtly, not quite human in their gait as they lacked the gentle sideways rocking that all bipeds exhibit. The “beings” seemed as though they were gliding above the floor and looking down to where their feet should have been there was nothing.... They were levitating about 30cm from the ground yet still moving towards them.
Panicked and engulfed by an overwhelming sense of apprehension, the miners threw down their picks and fled from the gallery to the presumed safety of the Ravine. A brief glance backwards showed the “beings” were now at the entrance to the gallery.
Driven to flight, the miners ran straight to the nearest Guardia Civil (Police) station some 4 kilometres distant and related the events they witnessed to the duty officers. Having determined that this was not some alcohol induced apparition they agreed to accompany them back to the ravine to investigate their claims. On arrival though, and after a thorough search was made of the discovered gallery, there was no sign of the glowing beings, the smooth walls that the miners attested to seeing, or any evidence of fluorescence from the walls.
Most curious though, is that all mine galleries are meticulously recorded in the area by the Mines Commission and regularly, then as now, the records are updated every 3 months for taxation purposes. The Mines Commission attested to the fact that the extensive galleries revealed would have taken many years to construct, yet did not appear in any of their historical records.
So what is the underlying truth of this incident?
I am reminded of the famous “Oracle of Delphi”, whose soothsaying abilities and visions are often attributed to her dwelling underground in an ancient volcanic chamber where noxious and psychotropic gasses collected. Could this be the cause of what these miners experienced? We will never know.
The second in this occasional series will be taking an in depth look at the “Phantom of the Badajoz Ravine”.Article Copyright© Keith Pattison de Bellasis - reproduced with permission.