Photo by Ron Simmons

They Are Highly Pleased With Week's Exile Underground
New York Times, 2/21/54

CRYSTAL CAVE, Ky., Feb. 20 - The last team of explorers crawled from Crystal Cave today and reported their week's exile underground "successful beyond expectations."

"I'm ready to conduct another expedition," Joe Lawrence, 27-year-old Philadelphia engineer and leader of the National Speleological Society party, said.

Most of the group of more than thirty emerged this morning, convinced the cavern would prove to be the world's largest, although near-by Mammoth Cave now has that distinction. Crystal Cave has not been fully explored.

Mr. Lawrence said the trip had resulted in discovery of previously unknown territory, 300 feet below the earth's surface, that contained natural wonders that the public might never see.

The only known access to the cave is through a 1,600-foot crawlway that can be traversed only on hands and knees at best. The path leads along flat rocks and deep pits.

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