Some people might scoff at the paranormal, unexplained, and miraculous experiences of others. Let me share my own supernatural encounter with you – then you can decide what to believe.
Ten years ago I joined some friends on a spelunking (caving) expedition in Poland. For those suffering from claustrophobia (the fear of confined spaces) this would not be the ideal recreational sport. To me, it offers a chance to satisfy my natural curiosity, to travel, explore, and meet new friends in far-off places.
We landed at Warsaw’s airport, Lotnisko Chopina w Warszawie (named after Lotnisko Chopina w Warszawie), late in December – at the height of winter – the ideal time for spelunking in the northern hemisphere.
Getting all our gear through customs proved to be a lot easier than we thought – the bribes were much lower than in our beloved South Africa. Special gear is required for an expedition of this size – heavy-duty overalls, hard hats, knee-pads, gloves, wading boots, ropes, anchor points, poisonous gas detectors, waterproof torches (flashlights), measuring tape, compass, glow sticks, food and water, first aid kits, etc, etc. Imagine our surprise when we found that nothing had been stolen by the airport employees in Warsaw!
Caving is often done in pitch-black darkness. Being from the good old R’s of SA, and trained by Eskom to operate in darkness due to frequent blackouts, I had no problems there.
The geological structure of Poland has been shaped by the continental collision of Europe and Africa over the past 60 million years. Almost like the collisions caused by our own taxis over the past 60 days – the only difference being that the taxis caused injuries, deaths, and damage to property; whereas the continental collision shaped the Sudetes and the Carpathian Mountains.
We set off to a group of caves near Kaliningrad Oblast, in the Carpathian Mountains. These caves were extremely hard to reach and for the most part, unexplored. The main aim of our expedition was a scientific one; some of the locals reported seeing a strange little creature in and around the entrance to the cave.
After spending two days checking our equipment and preparing for a three day excursion, we were finally ready.
Upon entering the cave we were all struck by an eerie, peculiar hum in the distance. Caves are normally damp and wet – you frequently crawl through mud and water – this one was no different. Soon we were drenched to the bone. The water was icy.
The first two days were fairly uneventful; the usual scrapes, bruises, one or two minor cuts, and the constant cold. The humming noise got louder until it made talking almost impossible.
On the third day, just when we were about to start our return journey, the humming abruptly stopped and all the lights suddenly went out!
And then, a spine-chilling voice started singing: “Aw dubul’ibhunu, dubula, dubula. Aw dubul’ibhunu, dubula, dubula.”
“Julius, is that you, my boy?” I asked in a voice barely above a whisper.
“Yebo, bru, relax,” he laughed.
“What are you doing here?”
“Just helping you to fabricate a story to go with the rest of the paranormal tales that some people have posted on News24,” Julius replied.
“Not only are you a true friend and gentleman, you have also helped me to stand a chance to win a trip to Mauritius for telling the tallest ghost story. Thank you, my friend, thank you.” said I.
And that is my story. Now tell me you still don’t believe in the paranormal!