The Vanishing of Anthony Cobb

What follows is a recovered journal from our last expedition into Krubera, upon reaching our greatest depth and wandering a meandering path through an obviously constructed hallway, this journal was found in a large open chamber in the exact center of a round room that was sealed by a door bound shut with rope. No bodies were found, but there were bloodstains as well as other, obvious signs of struggle around the site of the journal.

Dr. Maverick

Yale Archeology.


Journal Entry One

I am Dr. Anthony Cobb and this is my brief account of a great adventure. More official records will be kept in other logs and ledgers, but this is my personal record of what will surely be the defining discovery of my life.

The journey to Krubera was arduous to say the least. We traveled by sea into Georgia, and two of my team members learned firsthand what 'sea sickness' was. Fran and Addison spent the better part of the trip with their chests over the bow of the U.S.S Washington, heaving and vomiting their woes back into the sea that had assailed them. Some small vengeance, that. Upon arrival to Georgia we took the train to Graga and rested there for a few days before beginning any other kind of adventure. We spent the day exploring the small city and learning the history and culture of the place, which was extraordinary to say the least. Medieval churches and castle-like structures stood everywhere around the city in immaculate condition. Say what you will about our modern society, this place, so frozen in time, was a beautiful sight.

When the students in my company and I parted ways, I found a quiet spot to study. Tomorrow at sunrise we would set out to become pioneers in archeology. Rumors of some massive cave system not even a few miles away from us had abounded, but no official study of the place had ever been conducted, and we would be the first. How exciting it must be for these young men and women! For most of them, this is the first time they have ever been out of the country, and in just a few short weeks we will return as explorers, our discovery written and recorded for the world to see. What should we find, I wonder? How deep does this behemoth go? Only time will tell us, but I'm certain that there is something great awaiting us.

Travelers and passersby have seen the mouth and probably been in the entrance of the place, but nowhere have I found any real record of size and scale. From my study of our early ancestors, I have reason to expect to find some sort of clue as to their culture and habitats, for if this cave has been around as long I believe it to be, they will surly have made a home of it at some point in the long-forgotten past.

Oh- my team has returned to me, I'll record more of my findings and our travels as we make progress.


Journal Entry Two

What an amazing trip this has been! We have only just began and my eyes have seen more beauty than I could have ever expected to enjoy in my lifetime. Our horseback journey across the Gagrinsky Range was nearly mystical in its grandeur, The Mountains went on forever, it seemed, and just as the sun was setting we came upon the mouth of the cave. Our guide, a gentleman named Brodsky was exceedingly helpful in finding the place for us, as he had spent much of his life taking travelers across this range. He told me that no one, to his knowledge, had been deeper than just past the mouth of the cave. Apparently, there is a steep drop off not very far inside the mouth and that no traveler had dared try to make the climb down.

This I suppose is a good time to note our gear and plan for this little adventure of ours. We have plenty of climbing rope, as well as food and water enough for a week of exploration. We will set up camp just inside the mouth of the cave and go as deep as we can until conditions become unsafe or our time draws short. We will take as many samples of rock as we can, as well as sketch our findings and try to map out the area as we go.

My team consists of Post Graduates from the Archeology Department of Yale University, four of them and myself. Each are volunteers and will receive credit for our trip as well as a well-deserved mention in the official thesis I write on our return. More than that, they will be just stepping into the prime of their lives with the knowledge that they have made a real impact on their field.

We are about to enter the cave and set up our base camp, so I will conclude.


Journal Entry Three

Our first day of exploration was slow and careful, we descended two hundred meters until we landed on our first plateau. It was a small outcropping of stone, but enough for the five of us to stand on. Some odd dripping sound could be heard from deeper down, so perhaps there is a waterfall we have yet to catch sight of. I can only image what wonders await us down here, left untapped for thousands of years.

No signs of early mankind yet, but I'm confident that we will find something as we descend further. Rather than ascend back to our camp tonight, we have decided to bring several lamps with us, as well as food and water for an extra days travel, so after a night on the stone plateau, we will descend again.


Journal Entry Four

Late last night we were woke up to the sound of screaming. One of our team, Abigale, had suffered from a terrible dream about our adventure. She was in panic for a moment, but once the fog of sleep left her she told us of her dream. In it, we had descended to the next outcropping, this one much larger, with several winding paths set out before us in the walls. We would mark the walls as we went so not to lose our way, and we traveled for a long time. She said that some time into the journey she felt like she was being watched, and then she became aware that we were being actively pursued by some unknown entity. We began to run, but the path stopped short and we started to fall. This was when she woke. As unnerving as that may be, we did our best to comfort her and then we took our leave of our temporary base camp and began further descent.

Upon our arrival to the next outcropping, we discovered what I can only describe as a dream come true. Cave paintings, undisturbed for centuries and nearly perfect in their form. They were of men and animals, some of a form I had never seen. There were depictions of hunting parties and what looked to be community life taking place above ground. It was astounding! By lamp light we all sketched everything we saw in the best detail we could manage. What would this mean for us? Nothing short of fame in the archeological community, one could be sure.

We still have plenty of food and water left, so we will stay here another day, as there is a crawlspace about half my height I would like to explore, perhaps there are bones or simple tools in there.


Journal Entry Five

It is late in the evening I assume, the rest of my company is lost in slumber as I write this, but I am not so fortunate to remain asleep. I awoke not long ago to some bizarre sound coming from deeper down, its malicious scuttling echoing off the stone all around us. Perhaps I had dreamed it, as I had not heard it again since, yet I could almost swear it was audible and real, rather than some mean joke of my imagination. I will do my best to return to sleep now, tomorrow we will go down once more and I need to be rested.


Journal Entry Six

The crawl space we discovered yesterday extended for about fifty feet before opening up into what appeared to be a man-made chamber! It stood at twice my height and bore the obvious markings of stonework on the walls. Scratches from the most primitive of chisels were everywhere, and one could only guess at how long this place had taken to construct. The only clue as to what the purpose of such a chamber was could be found on the furthest back wall of the rounded room. A massive hieroglyph, floor to ceiling in height and ten feet wide, depicted what looked to be worshippers at the feet of some unknown god. The being dominated the image, its form grotesque and horrible. Perhaps this was a temple in some long forgotten age, or even a cult of some kind? Could it be that this was some old devil from long ago, and the seclusion of the cave allowed primitive man to worship in secret? That is more my own speculation, I suppose.

On the left and right of the main image were several symbols carved, rather than painted, into the stone. The first, and only repeating symbol, was a circle inside a triangle, with an inverted triangle inside of that. Two smaller images were of peculiar line work, but there was no notable patter to them. That first symbol has spiked my curiosity in the greatest way. The detail and exactness of it, how clean and sharp the line work is, how perfect the circle, seems so mathematical and modern. Has someone else been down here? If so, why would they vandalize such an important piece of our past?

We are about to descend again.


Journal Entry Seven

That last space is small, the smallest by far, with three doorways that appear to also be man-made. There are no more places to descend from, but those doorways could lead anywhere! As I write this, we have returned to our base camp near the entrance of the cave. We will stock up on food and water, as well as bring all the oil from our lamps, and begin exploring whatever is down those halls. I can only hope we will find more clues to the true nature of this place and what kind of people lived here so long ago. I must be brief, there is much work to be done before we descend again.


Journal Entry Eight

I write this early in the morning, the dawn light just barely peaking in from outside. My curiosity is slipping into fear, I think, as all of us complained of terrible nightmares as we awoke this morning. The details were all different, but every one of them took place in the cave. This is undoubtedly some cruel coincidence, but the strangeness of it is still enough to give an educated mind the pangs of apprehension. We must press on, no matter what sort of childish fear assails us.


Journal Entry Nine

We are going to die down here. Dear God, we are surely going to die down here. While making our descent into the bottom chamber of the cave, Malcom's rope broke some fifteen feet above ground. He came crashing down on Addison, which snapped his rope as well. The hooks from their grappling harness broke free of their holds on the rock above when the ropes broke and fell upon Fran, one of the hooks finding its mark in her shoulder. It wasn't imbedded too deep into muscle, but once we managed to get the thing out of her, she was bleeding profusely. We managed to patch the wound and stop the bleeding, but she is visibly weak from blood loss.

I can only hope that there is some kind of exit down one of these tunnels. I can hear that dripping sound more clearly now, and that water has to flow into somewhere. Maybe it'll be a way out. Whatever it is, it's our best shot.


I have lost all bearing on day and time, I can only guess we have spent a week down here. Our food is nearly out, our water almost expended. We are going to die. None of us can sleep anymore, horrid and vivid dreams come upon us every time we try, each more macabre and violent than the last. We are going to die down here.


I am paranoid that we are being followed by something. Am I mad with delusion? I can hear scuttling behind us, a contorted reminder that the sound I heard earlier was very real. Horridly real. What sort of beast could live down here?


We are now entirely out of water and food. We have journeyed in a straight line for what seems to be forever, yet we seem no closer to freedom. Fran is starting to show signs of fever, her wound looks infected. We are all going to die.

There is a great door. On it is that symbol, those triangles and circles. I am horrified of it, for it is sealed with ropes tied from top to bottom. There is chanting inside, oh god, voices nearly human! They are screaming, agony. Agony is all that is before us. Whatever is behind that door, sealed tight for an eternity, deserves not to be loosed on this world. I hear screaming. God, please stop the screaming.

This will be my last entry. I am near mad with hunger, and frail from thirst. Fran died of fever last night, and Addison tried to slit his wrists with rocks, but we stopped him. Those dreams. Those horrible dreams. The scuttling grows louder behind us, and I dare not see whatever creature makes such horrible sounds in its motion. We have not entered the door, but we have no choice. Luke is breaking the seals now, they are turning to dust from their age. Oh god, please stop the screaming.