Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Innerspace Explorer

Bill Stone is probably the preeminent cave explorer in the world. He does things that require more courage than ten men can muster on a good day. Unlike contract explorers, Bill Stone does it all by himself from the funding to the expedition, to picking his team and planning the expedition - everybody knows Bill’s in charge.

Over the past 33 years, he has spent 353 days exploring various world cave systems – and all below 1,500 feet. Stone is also an inventor, having pieced together several types of cave diving systems. One re-breather can keep a caver alive for 48 continuous hours. Bill tested it himself by strapping it to his back and staying underwater with it for 24 hours.

Here are two articles to check out about this explorer’s adventures:

A National Geographic piece about his expedition to the Cheve cave in Mexico (1,484 explored meters depth. The jury is still out whether it will surpass the Voronya cave.)

Another article from Wired Magazine about his work is also a fantastic read.

Bill stone is shown in this photo "relaxing" in his natural domain and doing what he does best - documenting his explorations.

And in the photo at the top, his team is taking a break at a camp established in the Cheve cavern at 2,900 feet below the surface. (Photo (c) National Geographic)

The world’s deepest cave is the Voronya Cave system in the country of Abkhazia. (Hu? Well – it’s the renamed old Soviet state of Georgia.) The Voronya Cave is 2,140 meters (7,021 feet) deep.