Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mystery Craters

For as long as I can remember, somewhere between Bundaberg and Gin Gin, heading north, there's been a small handpainted sign that says "Mystery Craters 500 m" and an arrow pointing to the left.

This in itself is something of a mystery, as the sign at the entrance and other memorabilia displayed quite haphazardly within the kiosk clearly proclaim that the craters were not discovered apparently until 1971 and my memories just as clearly pre-date that sign.

These 35 craters are 25 million years old and are possibly of volcanic origin.
Mystery craters were discovered in 1971. The 35 craters are formed in sandstone.
There has been no explanation for the origin of the mystery craters.
Were they excavated by ancient humans?
Do they display ancient inscriptions?

I have not yet been able to fathom how the sign and its attendant craters, together with the somewhat less than salubrious patch of country that are their surrounds, has been so deeply and clearly etched in my childhood memories. My father hurrying by on our way to Rockhampton, or Townsville, unwilling, or perhaps unable to stop as if compelled by some mysterious force, not even for a second, to allow even a tiny glimpse of what lay there.

For half a century the mystery deepened.

If we are to believe the current version of the story, it seems a bloke was digging in the paddock to put trees in or pull trees out or something, when he noticed some hard bits round the edge of the hole he was digging, and discovered these were made of a substance called "rock", which is essentially different to the one called "dirt" which was his preferred digging material.

Unable to work out who had put the holes there in the first place, the bloke decided it was a mystery, and told someone from "New Idea" who confirmed it was indeed mysterious and published an article which in turn was read by a tour bus operator, who told a bunch of elderly widows they needed to see it and yes they could get a Devonshire Tea there as the holes were sure to have come from the south of England, perhaps they were left over from building stonehenge, and in the blink of an eye, a whole new micro industry had been created.

Then of course there is a further mystery, and that is why we would actually pay to walk around half a dozen puddles, some of which don't even have water in them, even if no one knows how they got there.

Well again you see, it transpires that that may not be exactly true, the bit about no-one knowing:

"The geologist's report apparently completely dispells any aura of mystery. Here follows their summary:

"A geological investigation of the 'Mystery Craters" adjacent to Lines Road, South Kolan, indicates that these structures are sinkholes in a laterite profile. The sinkholes have been caused by the collapse of overlying strata into underground voids produced by tunnel erosion."

(Robertson, A.D.; "Origin of the 'Mystery Craters' of South Kolan, Bundaberg Area," Queensland Government Mining Journal, p. 448, September 1979. Cr. R. Molnar.)"

It appears that no mention was made in the geologist's report of any inscriptions, nor why I believe I have know about these things for almost twenty years before they were discovered.

Personally, I think the geology report is a cover-up, the inscriptions have been deliberately covered by water, and the real answers are contained in an x-file in some hidden vault, perhaps in an underground void.

I can only wonder if there are other mysteries locked within my being, from those "lost" 20 years.



Anonymous said...

I also remember my father speeding past that mystery crater sign, much to the dismay the poor little 8 year-old girl in the back seat. The year was 1991.

bitingmidge said...

You too!

Well now you've seen the picture at least!

P :)

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