Round Robin: “Malta, Entrance to the Cavern World”

Round Robin: “Malta, Entrance to the Cavern World”

    At the request of a British television producer, we dug up the following article from the archive, and now present it here for your consideration: “Malta, Entrance to the Cavern World” is a recounting of an experience at Hal Saflieni Hypogeum by C. Lois Jessop, then Secretary of New York Saucer Information Bureau, with follow-up commentary by Riley Crabb, originally included in the Journal of Borderland Research (Vol. 17, No. 2, March 1961). We have left the spellings of place names as they were originally printed— Hal Saflieni Hypogeum as Hal Saflini Hypogaeum, Valletta as Valetta, Paola as Paula. This article is part of our “Round Robin” classic series, presenting random pulls from the archives and the best offerings of the BSRA from 1945 into the 1970s!


    C. Lois Jessop, Secretary, New York Saucer Information Bureau

    I visited some friends on the Island of Malta in the Mediterranean in the mid-1930s. One afternoon six of us decided to hire a car and visit some of the many historical tourist attractions on the island. One of our party suggested that, since the weather was very hot, our best bet was to visit some of the caves and underground temples. At least there we could keep cool for a few hours.

    Some few miles out of Valetta, the capitol of Malta, is the little town of Paula. It has only one main street, Hal Saflini, and on this is the entrance to an underground temple known as the Hypogaeum of Hal Saflini. We stopped here and sought out the guide for a tour of the cave or catacombs of the Hypogaeum.

    There was a fairly large cave entrance with ancient mural decorations of whirls and wavy lines, diamond patches here and there, also oval patterns seemingly painted with red ochre. The entrance itself smelt damp and mouldy, but inside the cave there was not a trace of mustyness. Joe, the guide, told us there were three floors of underground rooms and gave each of us a lighted candle.

    One by one we bent down low to walk through a narrow passage which led to a step or two, and again we were able to stand up in a fair sized room which had been built out of the Malta sandstone aeons ago in the Stone-Age. Joe told of a powerful oracle (or wishing well) deep down, and how it had worked wonders in the old days for the initiated who knew the correct sound to use. I think the oracle still works today unless it was damaged. Malta was heavily bombarded during World War II.

    The oracle was supposed to work only if a male voice called to it but as the guide was saying this I slipped down a small step and gave a yell that was picked up by something and magnified throughout the whole cave.

    We followed the guide through some more narrow passages which led down, down, down, then straightened our backs again when we came into another room. In this large opening was a circular stone table or altar in the center of the room. Cut out of the rock walls around were layers of stone beds or resting places of some kind, with hollows scooped out for head, body, and narrowing to the feet. I guess these were places for adults about four feet tall, with smaller scooped out beds. It looked like mother, father and child either slept or were buried here, although we saw no bodies here.

    Down, down, down again, stooping and crawling through a narrow passage into another large room, with slits or narrow openings in the stone wall.

    “They buried their dead in here,” said the guide.

    I peered through a slit and saw skeletons another. Through another slit I peered into a cave where, the guide said, they kept their prisoners. A three foot thick stone door, about four feet high and four feet wide, guarded the entrance.

    “What kind of people, and how strong were these pigmies, to be able to carve out these rooms to a definite pattern and to move doors this thick and heavy?” I thought.

    “This is the end of the tour,” Joe, the guide, said. “We must now turn and retrace our steps.”

    “What’s down-there?” I asked him; for on turning I noticed another opening off one of the walls.

    “Go there at your own risk,” he replied, “and you won’t go far.”

    I was all for more exploring and talking it over with my friends, three of them decided to go with me and two waited with the guide. I was wearing a long sash around my dress and since I decided to lead the group I asked the next one behind me to hold on to it. Holding our half-burnt candles the four of us ducked into this passage, which was narrower and lower than the others.

    Groping and laughing our way along, I came out first, onto a ledge pathway about two feet wide, with a sheer drop about fifty feet or more on my right and a wall on my left. I took a step forward, close to the rock wall side. The person behind me, still holding on to my sash, had not yet emerged from the passage. Thinking it was quite a drop and perhaps I should go no further without the guide I held up my candle.

    There across the cave, from an opening deep below me, emerged twenty persons of giant stature. In single file they walked along a narrow ledge. Their height I judged to be about twenty or twenty-five feet, since their heads came about half way up the opposite wall. They walked very slowly, taking long strides. Then they all stopped, turned and raised their heads in my direction. All simultaneously raised their arms and with their hands beckoned me. The movement was something like snatching or feeling for something, as the palms of their hands were face down. Terror rooted me to the spot.

    “Go on, we’re all getting stuck in the passage!” My friend jerked at my sash. “What’s the matter?”

    “Well, there’s nothing much to see,” I stammered, taking another step forward.

    My candle was in my right hand. I put my left hand on the wall to steady me, and stopped again. My hand wasn’t on cold rock but on something soft and wet. As it moved a strong gust of wind came from nowhere and blew out my candle! Now I really was scared in the darkness!

    “Go back,” I yelled to the others, “go back and guide me back by my sash. My candle has gone out and I cannot see!”

    In utter panic I backed into the narrow little passageway and forced the others back, too, until we had backed into the large room where Joe and my friends were waiting. What a relief that was!

    “Well, did you see anything?” asked one of them.

    “No,” I quickly replied, “There was a draft in there that blew my candle out.”

    “Let’s go,” said Joe, the guide.

    I looked up at him. Our eyes met. I knew that at one time he had seen what I had seen. There was an expression of caution in his eyes, adding to my reluctance to tell anyone. I decided not to.

    Out in the open again and in the hot Malta sunshine we thanked the guide, and as we tipped him he looked at me.

    “If you really are interested in exploring further it would be wise to join a group. There is a schoolteacher who is going to take a party exploring soon,” he said.

    I left my address with him and asked him to have the schoolteacher get in touch with me, but I never heard any more about it, until one of my friends called me to read an item from the Valetta paper.

    “I say, Lois, remember that tunnel you wanted to explore? It says here in the paper that a schoolmaster and thirty students went exploring, and apparently got as far as we did. They were roped together and the end of the rope was tied to the opening of the cave. As the last student turned the corner where your candle blew out the rope was clean cut, and none of the party was found because the walls caved in.”

    The shock of this information didn’t change my determination not to say anything about my experience in the Hypogaeum, but several months later my sister visited Malta and insisted on making a tour of the underground temple on Hal Saflini. Reluctantly, I went along, retracing the same route; but there was a different guide this time. When we got down to the lowest level, to the room where I had taken off to explore the tunnel entrance was boarded up!

    “Wasn’t it here that the schoolmaster and the thirty students got trapped?” I asked the guide.

    “Perhaps,” he replied, with a noncommittal shrug of the shoulders, and refused to say anything more. You cannot get a thing out of the Maltese when they don’t want to talk.

    “You are new here, aren’t you?” I asked him. “Where’s Joe, the guide who was here a couple of months ago?”

    “I don’t know any Joe.” He shook his head. “I alone have been showing people around this catacomb for years.”

    Who was this guide? And why did Joe disappear after we left Hal Saflini that first time? And why is it impossible to get any facts on the disappearing schoolchildren story? In the Summer of 1960, Louise Becker, N.Y.S.I.B.’s treasurer visited Malta during her European trip. She searched old newspaper files and the Museum, trying to get some facts to substantiate my story, but in vain. The Maltese are tight-lipped about the secrets of their island.


    Your editor’s third lecture, “Flying Saucers and America’s Destiny”, contains brief references to the Cavern world in the interior of the earth; and it was after hearing this talk to her New York saucer group that Miss Jessop told Mrs. Crabb and me the Malta experience described above.

    We spent two days with Lois Jessop during our eastern trip in April, 1960, and found her a charming hostess, cosmopolitan as a much-traveled Englishwoman can be, and a student of the borderland. Lois has a level-headed, level-eyed way of looking at life and people, which is very refreshing; nevertheless, I found her Malta story difficult to believe until Mrs. Crabb and I returned home and I had a chance to look up Malta at the San Diego library. Two Malta articles in the National Geographic are especially fruitful for the underground researcher: Griffith’s “Malta, Halting Place of Nations”, May, 1920 and Walter’s “Wanderers Awheel In Malta”, August, 1940. (p. 267, 272)

    Walters and another young American friend made a leisurely bicycle tour of Malta in 1939, with plenty of time to get acquainted and to ride around with island teenagers. They visited Hal Saflini, too, and proved the startling amplifying power of the “oracle”. They also picked up this sad information from their Maltese friends.

    “Years ago one could walk underground from one end of Malta to the other, but all entrances were closed by the government because of a tragedy. On a sight-seeing trip, comparable to a nature study tour in our own schools, a number of elementary children and their teachers descended into the tunneled maze and did not return. For weeks mothers declared that they heard wailing and screaming from underground. But numerous excavations and searching parties brought no trace of the lost souls. After three weeks they were finally given up for dead.”

    Griffiths noted a hollow-sounding floor in one of the rooms of Hal Saflini, indicating yet unexplored lower levels. He also gives a few facts which back up Richard Shaver’s contention that the Deros, the evil Cavern dwellers, are cannibals and enjoy eating human flesh. Hal Saflini was discovered in 1902 but before the Valetta museum director could open it up for the tourists, dirt, broken pottery, and enough normal-sized human bones to account for 33,000 people had to be removed from the rooms of the Hypogaeum. Archaeologists and other innocents believe that catacombs like Hal Saflini were burial tombs; I rather think that it was a Cavern restaurant for the degenerate, undersized descendants of the Atlanteans who were forced into the caves thousands of years ago.

    Here is Griffith’s description of the “oracle” in the cave: ” . . . at about the level of a man’s mouth is a hemispherical hole in the wall about two feet in diameter. Here it was noticed only a few months ago that any word spoken into this place was magnified a hundredfold and audible throughout the entire structure. A curved projection is especially carved out of the back of the cave near this hole and acts as a sounding board, showing that the designers had a good knowledge of sound-wave motion. The impression upon the credulous can be imagined when the oracle spoke and the words came thundering forth through the dark and mysterious places with terrifying impressiveness.”


    Lois Jessop was reminded of the peculiar appearance of the twenty-foot giants she saw in Hal Saflini, by a couple of 35mm slide illustrations in my No. 4 Saucer lecture, concerned with mediumship. These slides are copies of Max Heindel’s drawings of the human aura, from his book, “Cosmo-Conception”, curved lines radiating out beyond the body.

    Of the huge Cavern dwellers she saw she said, “their covering seemed to be like long white hair, combed downward and shaggy looking. Their heads were oval and elongated at the chin and top; and the hair on their heads fell about the shoulders like a draped monk’s cowl.”

    Now these underground beings, whatever their origin, have no resemblance to Shaver’s Deros. At least we have the fact of their existence; and in this experience of Lois Jessop’s, and in the Hal Saflini material in the National Geographics, we do have some of the best factual support of the Shaver Mystery your editor has yet seen. In fact it was this material which encouraged me to go ahead and put together talk No. 5, “The Reality of the Underground”, including a portion of Miss Jessop’s experience and a review of Shaver’s basic theories as spelled out by Ray Palmer in the early Mystic Magazines back in 1954 and 1955. My basic premise is that there are many different races in the interior of the earth, of all shapes, sizes and colors, and of different degrees of density, depending on what level or plane of vibration is normal to them. Along with our former director, Meade Layne, I believe that some of these underground races can shift back and forth across the border between 3-D and 4-D; so that sometimes they are visible to normal humansight and at other times they are invisible — to our great bewilderment!

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