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Home > Open Vault > Vault Archives > Whiteboots

The Open Vault
First-Hand Paranormal Reports.

SENT IN BY: R. C. Reid
LOCATION: Climax, Colorado, USA

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a first-hand account of an alleged apparition sent to us via e-mail by a visitor of the X-Project Magazine. The following is the unedited words of Mr. Reid and appears in its entirety.

I noted your request for first-hand reports of spirits in university settings. Although I don't have any of those, I do, however, have first-hand knowledge of a spirit that we called White-Boots. Many of my co-workers were also witness to this particular ghost. We were miners underground in Climax, Colorado, in the early '70s. Having seen this spirit on a somewhat regular basis, I will relate first, a brief background of how the unfortunate was said to leave the living and become a regularly sighted apparition in the area of his demise. Then, I'll relate my first meeting with this poor soul.

The Climax Molybdenum Mines have been the site of hundreds of untimely deaths in the past century. So, to focus on one singular spirit, and to appoint an identity to that apparition, is difficult at best. But, it is said that White-Boots could always be recognized by his unusual foot-gear, namely white boots. I can truthfully say that after working underground for 14 months, I never saw a living soul wear white boots, so when a pair was spotted from the distance, the seasoned miner became wary. White-Boots supposedly walked into an unguarded shot site in the early 40s, in the mine's most subterranean level, and literally, lost his head.

The first time I saw White-Boots was while I was guarding a shot area in a remote drift in the mine's lowest level, the same level he was supposed to have expired. After a week of drilling and loading the site, it was a treat to be left-behind, alone, to guard the shot. There is only one purpose that such a task involves -- don't let ANYONE pass your post. If you do, they walk into the impending explosion.

I knew that there was only 10 minutes left until the drift-face was shot. Then, suddenly out of the darkness came a signal-light. The light appeard to come from the adjacent tunnel, about 30 yards away. The light moved in a slow, circular pattern, meaning, "come here." At first, I ignored the signal, thinking it would go away, then, minute-by-minute, it came closer, from out of the pitch-black darkness. (Seriously, if you turned your headlamp off, then put your hand just in front of your nose, you could not see your hand.)

I began to call to the source of the light, to no avail. I then started to signal with my headlamp with straight, direct horizontal patterns, meaning, "go-away!" I screamed at the source of light to leave, yelling that there was fire-in-the-hole! I thought, "maybe it's the loud, deafening wind from the ventilation system -- that's why he can't hear me."

As the minutes grew closer for the blast to go off, I began to believe the source of the light was coming closer. But then, suddenly it was gone. I was initially relieved. Then, inexplicably, the light was signaling to me from inside the drift entrance. Somehow, it had passed me, without me seeing it. I thought, "this is impossible; what am I going to do now?" It was inside the drift opening, still circling that damned headlamp and now it was slowly moving closer towards the blast and further from me!

With only a minute left before the shot was scheduled to execute, I started towards the light, thinking someone was going to be killed because of me. I began running towards the light, yelling, "fire-in-the-hole, get-out!" At first, it seemed the light drifted away, proportionately keeping the same distance from me, no matter how fast I ran. Then, suddenly, somehow, I was looking at a miner's face next to mine. "How did I catch up so fast," I thought. Then, instinctively, I yelled, "Are you crazy!" The miner never answered; he just smiled a wierd, Mona Lisa-type smirkish grin. Then, at the last instant, I remembered that the shot was about to go off and jumped to the ground, just as the huge explosion illuminated the drift.

I was unharmed, although my hearing wasn't the same for a few days. But, before the explosion, as I hit the ground at the other miner's feet, I remember seeing white boots next to my face. It's the last thing I remembered before my crew supervisor came back and helped me onto the man-train at the end of our shift. On the ride back to the shaft elevator, he told me that I was the only living soul within miles of the shot, and then he told me the story of White-Boots; I must have turned a shade of white myself as he told me that this particular spirit found some solice in taking as many miners with him, under similar circumstances, as he could. Needless to say, I never fell for White-Boots' trick again!

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***PLEASE NOTE: The stories that you read in the X-Project Open Vault were sent to us by the individuals who wrote about their experiences. Those who contributed their stories have given the X-Project Magazine exclusive rights to display their stories in this section of our web site. They should not be used on other web sites, or any form of media without the prior consent of the individuals who wrote about their experiences.

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