A mysterious hole in California’s Lake Berryessa baffled residents for nearly a year, as the sight looked like something out of a SciFi movie. Initially, the hole couldn’t be explained, leaving average people and many scientists alike scratching their head.
That is, until one man, Evan Kilkus, solved the mystery haunting so many. But the history of this mysterious hole has a sinister ending, one that would prove deadly.
Evan Kilkus is a local Californian who has visited lake Berryessa for years. When he noticed the gaping hole that seemed to be swallowing up gallons of water by the second, he was perplexed.
He decided that he wanted answers so he launched an investigation that would eventually bring answers to all the curious visitors. Using his own technology, Evan set out to investigate the scene.
Evan is known quite well all over the Youtube community for his glorious shots of nature, captured by his drone. He’s shared thousands of photos and videos of sights otherwise unseen by the human eye because of his love for technology.
So naturally, he decided to set out, drone in hand, to see what was really going on with this hole.
He knew he needed to get a better view, so the drone was the perfect tool for such a job. If he was able to get on top of it he thought he could find more clues to where and why this hole had appeared.
Evan, being the daredevil he is, even considered going into the hole, if only he could figure out how.
As he got closer with his drone he realized just how big the gaping hole really was. The vast size was a bit scary, as he had never really seen anything like it.
Then, all of a sudden, his drone screen began to flash and it was in danger of falling into the hole, potentially costing him thousands of dollars.
He pulled back just in time and was able to fly the drone back to safety. He realized the battery was running low, so it’s a good thing he got out of there when he did.
When he was able to review the footage, he understood the gravity of the situation. It was in this moment that he realized how it was possible that this hole had such a bad wrap.
This hole was truly something he had never seen before, an anomaly of nature–or so he thought. He knew he wanted to investigate further, but wasn’t really sure how he was going to do it.
It was obvious that flying the drone directly into the hole wasn’t going to work, as it would never survive. He also knew he couldn’t propel himself inside for the same reason, so he began to brainstorm. Thinking of every possibility out there, he finally came up with a plan.
He flew his drone around the perimeter of the hole once again to try and get an accurate read on the situation. He noticed something that would lead to a devastating realization about why the hole was there.
He was unprepared for what he was about to uncover, and once he found out where the hole led to, the mission took on a completely different feeling.
California has been suffering from a massive drought, one that had devastated the local ecosystems and economy alike. It was a crisis, to say the least, at the area hadn’t seen such a drought for as long as many could remember.
The once gushing lake bed was barren and dry, almost unrecognizable to locals. Luckily, something incredible happened.
It finally started to rain, and as it did, it poured. The lake began to fill up again and the area was restored to its natural state. However, along with this glorious rain, came the mystery of the hole. Holes like this don’t just pop up out of nowhere with no explanation, there had to be a reason–and Evan wasn’t going to stop until he discovered why.
He measured the area of the hole was a massive 72 feet, something he thought nature couldn’t have been a part of. Along with the mystery about the origin of the hole, there was a shocking detail that ended in disaster, and it goes all the way back to 1997.
It wasn’t just Evan who interested in the gaping hole, many tourists came to visit this strange site. There was a dam in the area, so people were already attracted to the local area.
When word spread about the site, hoards of people came gushing in, just like when the rains had returned. They too wanted an answer as they seemed to be hypnotized by the mystery.
Evan decided to fly his drone around other parts of the lake to see if he could find any more clues about why this was happening.
He wasn’t finding much to go on until he went over the dam. What he saw there, caught him off guard, and led him to discovery about something horrific.
What he witnessed was something like a giant drainage area.
It looked, to him, like a massive pipe was draining water at the foot of the damn. Then, all of a sudden, it all clicked.
The giant hole everyone had been astonished by was a slipway, a manmade drainage system. It turned out to be nothing supernatural, or even natural at all.
But why would a massive slipway like that be made? And how could something like this be safe with so many tourists nearby? It turns out, this slipway isn’t safe by any means, and one woman would prove that.
The slipway was made way back when the lake itself was created. Lake Berryessa is actually the 7th largest manmade lake in California, created by the nearby Monticello Dam.
This famous lake lies between the Vaca Mountains and is frequently visited by many tourists yearly, waterskiers and jetskiers alike. It’s even apart of the opening scene in the famous James Bond movie, Moonraker. So why hadn’t anyone noticed the massive hole before now?
When the lake was established the slipway was put in to be able to control the water levels, but hadn’t been seen by people because the drought had been so severe for so long–there was no need for it.
Although the hole was explained, it was still mesmerizing millions, and a few even remembered when news surrounding this site was about a devastating loss.
Evan’s videos on Youtube were capturing audiences all around the world, and some of his videos were being viewed millions of times. Interestingly enough, where the hole lies is named the “Devil’s Gate”.
A fitting name, as the hole looked ominous to many. For one woman, this hole was the last place she saw on earth.
In 1997, local swimmer Emily Schwalek was enjoying a nice Sunday afternoon at the lake when all hell broke loose–literally.
A few witnesses saw Ms. Shwalek swimming near the entrance of the “glory hole” when all of a sudden, it started to suck her in.
Within seconds the young woman realized she was in serious danger and she frantically grasped at the edge of the hole, trying to save herself.
After about 20 minutes was sucked into the hole as her cries for help went unnoticed in time. She was sucked down an eight-foot-wide tube which ran down nearly 200 feet.
Authorities rushed to the scene after hearing word of the horrific accident, but unfortunately, it was too late. Her lifeless body was discovered later and it was determined that she drowned.
This horrific event led to many outraged citizens as they were in disbelief something like this could happen.
Now, the so-called “Glory Hole” will forever have a malevolent feeling surrounding it.
Its appearance, although explained, continuous to give people the feeling that they are peering into the gateway to hell. And for at least one woman, she was.
So yes, the mystery has been solved for this strange scene, but it hasn’t stopped thousands of tourists from visiting the lake and dam, which has boosted the local economy, as well as an increase in revenue from the electricity it helps to produce.
Although the answer alluded many for quite a long time, Evan never gave up and brought the truth to light, which reminded people of the 1997 tradgedy. Hopefully, something like that will never happen again. Want to see what the hole looks like without any water?
Here is a picture of a spillway without any water surrounding it whatsoever.
It looks a lot less terrifying this way then when it’s in use.