Pluto’s Cave (Weed, CA)


Pluto’s Cave
* Shasta, California * Article by Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions © 2014: Written March 31, 2014.

During our fabled quest for Telos, we decided to head off in search of Pluto’s Cave. In the heart of the high desert just 12 1/2 miles north of Weed, California. “Pluto’s Cave” is not really a cavern, but a lava tube dating to over 190,000 B.P. (before present) from early eruptions of Mount Shasta. It is located on the northern outskirts of Mount Shasta in the high desert. Segments of the tube are collapsed, while other portions are buried. There are about three segments one can access reliably. Unfortunately the entrances and walls within many sections of the early part of this lava tube has been vandalized with graffiti from locals partying at the location. Some of the graffiti is historic dating to the early 20th century. The cave floor is very dusty and too much activity will cause a cloud burst of fine powder that will take a bit to settle. The tube has a strong stench of bat guano. The early part of the tube has some flat level walking areas, but the deeper you go the more shambling and climbing you’ll need. Bring water, good hiking boots, long pants (I wore shorts and had received a bit of scrapes), and make sure you have a good head torch and several reliable back up lights. It is recorded that visitors can safely hike into the cave approximately 1200 feet. The tube varies from 20-50 feet in height at points. There is evidence that the cave was used by Pre-Columbian peoples. The tube was discovered by Westerners in 1863 by Nelson Cash, a local rancher looking for stray cattle that he believed wandered into these fields. He named the cave “Pluto’s Cave” after the Greek God of the Underworld. Pluto’s Cave is often described as a “classic lava tube” as it was a tunnel formed by molten lava passing through tubes in older, hardened lava. It was discovered because sections of the roof collapsed exposing the inner chamber. This desert contains numerous lava tubes and caves in the region. It is believed that there are over 778 caves and tunnels in nearby Lava Beds National Park, and over 150 documented caves in the Marble Mountain Wilderness that Mount Shasta is part of. Many of these have not been explored.


Local mythology: Pluto’s cave is not without its share of mythos. Some believe it is an entrance to the ancient Lemurian city of Telos – whether they be races of aliens, faeries, or other people. No scientific evidence supports these claims and is therefore classified as local legends, lore, and superstitions. In the 2008 edition of Fate Magazine, an article tells the story of “The Shaver Mystery” – depicting bizarre accounts of his abduction by subterranean beings known as “Deros” made into a low-budget movie called “Beyond Lemuria” by a California based Church of Hermetic Scientists that was filmed in Pluto’s Cave. The film’s plot encompasses a sinister Draconian Society that has secretly funded the development of a Intragravatron device and plans to open the vortex at an inter-dimensional convergence point deep in the lava caves on the northern slopes of Mt. Shasta. This was based on a original story of a 17 year old boy named Frederick Spenser Oliver who in the early 20th century published a telling of his channeled story of Phylos in his book “A Dweller on Two Planets” which eventually became an occult classic tale. Some believe it was this book that has triggered many of the myths of the area about Phylos, Telos, and the Lemurians. In 2011 there was a recording of a local boy disappearing. This tale is full of childhood imagination, aliens, and abduction theories. [see details here: ] That same year, a tourist from Los Angeles claimed to have heard a beautiful woman’s voice coming from the direction of Mount Shasta as he was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. He followed the voice, became lost, and found his way to Pluto’s cave where he claims to have been abducted, stripped of his clothing, greeting by a beautiful tall woman with unnatural blue eyes, and given a gift as well as secret information. After being lost for several weeks, he was found and he claimed to be “Lord Kalki” – the incarnation of a messianic Hindu god. Legends of a spectral lady appear to haunt the caverns, appearing as a spiritual guide, alien, a Lemurian, or Faerie queen. Online articles also claim there is a Native American legend of a red-headed female who used to live in caverns beneath Mount Shasta, some believe was at Pluto Cave. Some claim this lava tube as well as other tubes, caves, and tunnels in the region interconnect southern Oregon, Mount Shasta, and the upper coasts of California. Some writers online claim that Native American tribes admit to these locations and entrances, but that they are a closely guarded secret never shared with the outside world. Others believe the St. Germain foundation secretly guard the entrance of a lava tube above Mossbrae Falls in Dunsmuir, south of Mount Shasta. It is believed that this Mossbrae Falls tube is the secret entrance to Telos, not Pluto’s Cave. While meditating in the darkness at the end of the tunnel, in the pitch black silence there was a split second I thought I heard a moan, though that could have been my comrade’s stomach. There was another un-determined noise we both heard during our meditation. Other than that, light scratchings of the bats above on the lava rocks was all that permeated the silence.


How to get there: Drive approximately 12.5 miles north on Highway 97 from Weed to A12 (the Grenada turnoff), turn left, go past the “Juniper Valley OHV area” signs approximately 3.25 miles to a small sign post saying “Pluto’s Cave”, turn on that dirt road follow to parking lot at hiking trail head. Hike 1/4 mile down the trailhead, following the red lava rocks outlining the trail to a small white arrow sign pointing down into Pluto’s Cave.



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The Faerie Abduction of Reverend Kirk

It was in 1644 that Aberfoyle’s most loved reverend was born. He was an infamous writer throughout his day, most notable for providing the first translation of the Bible into Gaelic and for the publication of “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Faeries” in 1691. While dedicated to Christ, he was obsessed with studying the existence of faeries and was rumored to be gifted with second sight. This however, did not settle well with the Faerie folk, especially a Christian trying to release their secrets. He truly believed the Christian God overcame Pagan Beliefs. There is a reason they want to remain hidden. He however did not understand this. He wrote that faerie had “light changeable bodies, somewhat of the nature of a condensed cloud and best seen at twilight.” While minister of the Aberfoyle Parish, he endeavoured a life researching the fae, interviewing folks who encountered them, and tracking down their whereabouts. He discovered that the local hilltop above the Parish was a gateway to the Faerie World which he called “The Secret Commonwealth” or “The Land of the Faeries”.”Faeries” to him, were a small stature race of human-like beings that were pushed back into the mountains and hills by stronger conquering peoples who were later converted into spectral beings. He continuously stated that the belief in faeries was not incongruent to the Christian faith. This location was known as “Doon Hill” or “Faerie Knowe”. Daily, he would walk up to this hill in hopes of discovering the wee folk. He stumbled into their domain, uninvited, an act that is unforgivable amongst the fae. He was warned not to go there. Late at night in May of 1692 the good Reverend Kirk wandered up Doon Hill in his nightshirt. Some say he vanished while more realistic accounts shows that he collapsed and perished. So as a penalty, many believe he was abducted and imprisoned in Doon Hill with a guise that he died of a heart attack in his mortal body. His motionless body was buried in his Parishes’ kirkyard (churchyard).

Some say though, his coffin is filled with stones as his body was taken by the fae. Some also say he is imprisoned in the huge pine tree atop Doon hill or within the legendary catecombs of coal mines underneath the hill. Soon after his death, his cousin, Graham of Duchray, claimed to have been visited by his spirit the following night, relaying the message he was abducted by faeries. Stories are mixed as what was told to be done – as he was warned his spirit would appear at midsummer eve (or during the baptism of his child) pleaing for his cousin to throw an iron horseshoe (or an iron knife) over the shoulder (or at) his apparition, burning the fae holding him, and freeing him from his imprisonment in the Faerieworld. The cousin claimed, the spirit did appear, but regretfully becoming so shocked to see his cousin, forgot to throw the iron, and therefore Kirk was trapped forever. Some say he is now a mediator between the worlds of fae and humans.

Ever since, the church crumbled, the parish suffered, and now the church serves as a roofless open-air mausoleum. Also since, many humans have gone to the top of Doon Hill with “clouties” (silk or cloth) inscribed with wishes or petitions tied to the branches of the pine or surrounding grove trees asking the Fae to grant their wishes. It is also said, if one runs around the great pine tree seven times, the faeries will appear. Numerous other petitions and spells have been done to the fae including offerings of gifts, statuary, hammering coins into the bark, and un-educated human folk tying plastic or waste other than the traditional white pieces of silk. The hill is also littered with quartz pebbles formerly believed to be “faery firestones” and often collected as protective charms or talismans while others believe its taboo to collect moss, sticks, stones, or anything removed from the hill as bad luck. The church was rescued from completed dereliction in the 19th century and two large iron mortuary weights were placed outside the churches entrance to stop grave diggers and thieves from stealing corpses. In 1793 (a hundred years later) a memorial grave was constructed in honor of Reverend Kirk. The grave is believed to be empty (or filled with stones).

There are archaeological rumors that the hill once served as an Iron Age fort but has never been excavated nor proven to be as such. It is also rumored that Doon Hill is riddled with caverns that were once coal mines. These purported coal mines were written about in “Black Diamonds” by Jules Verne, who visited Aberfolyle in 1877 claiming a wall was blasted through revealing a vast cavern stretching for miles in many directions holding an underground town by a subterranean loch.

Upon my visit to the ancient sacred faerie site in the summer of 2011, I assure you that the faeries are quite present, offered gifts to daily, and omnipresent. Nevermore have I been to a site so strongly eminating the faerie, faerie gates, portals, and doorways. The faeries are quite alive and well in these hills. We of course, offered them some home-made scones mixed with sacred well waters from Glastonbury, Sancreed, and St. Nectan’s Falls; had a picnic with the fae, and made our own petitions amongst them. ~ Leaf McGowan.