#32 – Dealing with Outsiders – 1985 –

Written by Russell Burrows:

It got more and more difficult to get to the cave without being followed. I had begun to receive telephone calls from people I had never heard of, wanting information on the cave. And always, those calls and requests for information included the request and even demand that they be shown the cave.

I would always ask what the caller’s qualifications were as far as academics were concerned. Usually there were none.

“I’m just a fellow interested in history,” was the usual reply, or “caves.”

It was becoming obvious to me that word was getting around. At that time I knew nothing about Ward and Cullen shooting off their mouths, so I was at a loss to explain how this was happening. When I would ask these callers where they had heard about the cave or who had told them about it, they would usually say that they heard about it through the grapevine or were not sure where it had come from.

In view of this and knowing the desires of the local pot hunters, I began to go to the cave at night. After all, it is always dark in the cave anyway so, after entering, it really didn’t make any difference. Usually I would head in around midnight and would exit the area just before daylight Since I had grown up in the woods, I knew no one was going to be able to stick with me once I had reached familiar turf. I was sure that I could get in and out and still be able to lose anyone who was trying to follow me. But the hour’s drive there and back was a horse of a different color.

I have had people attempt to follow me but as far as I know none have succeeded in doing so. Once, two fellows got on my tail and managed to stick there for about ten miles of the sixty-eight. Luckily, I spotted them just west of Noble, Illinois, and I led them on a merry chase into an area far away from where I was going. I even let them follow me into the woods. For all I know they are still there.