In 1892, a man named John wrote a three-part series for the
local Middletown, Ohio newspaper detailing
two tragic events that led to at least 25 deaths in a cave leaking,
presumably, natural gas. One event involved 21 escaping slaves, the
other involved four geologists who went in but never came out. His
tale led to a century of spelunkers trying to find the cave, but
others have wondered if his prose was purely fiction.