Fellin, who was fifty-eight at the time, recalled Throne, the twenty-four year old worker had been buried alive. David Fellin thought the world should know who had given them the strength to survive. Both men, interviewed separately, described with amazing accuracy their visitor,
who had stayed with them during the last eight days of their ordeal when they'd all but given up. Who was the dedicated spirit that made its presence known? Who never left them......who never gave up on them......None other than Pope John XXIII, who had died just weeks before. David recalle da span of time when he left his body, saw a beautiful marble door, and witnessed scores of Egyptian men going about their work. He was in awe at the sight before him, as he studied the men building pyramids. He went on to say that the Egyptians did not move the stones as many people over the centuries have thought. Rather, twenty-five men carrying buckets of sand and water poured the mix into wooden forms and built each million ton block one at a time.
There may be some that think Fellin and Throne were hallucinating. Fellin swore an oath on the Bible, that everything he experienced while trapped in the mine was true. He passed at least two polygraph tests about his experience trapped in the mine. In 2002, a researcher studying the pyramids shared his revelation that, just as David Fellin had seen, each block was created from "cement" being poured into a form.
Here is there story:
On the morning of Aug. 13, a frantic call came in to the newsroom at The Standard-Speaker. There had been a cave-in at a coal mine near Sheppton and three miners were entombed.
The loss of three miners was initially of little interest elsewhere in the world but five days later, on Aug. 18, 1963, contact was made with two of the miners underground, and it became a sensational human-interest story.
Louis Bova, 54, of Pattersonville, near Shenandoah, the third miner entombed that morning, had been separated from the other two and his body was never found.
But for those first six days, Fellin, then 58, of Sheppton, and Throne, then 28, of Hazleton, courageously faced what appeared to be certain death.
Fellin, a miner for more than four decades, knew there was nothing the rescue party of volunteers could do to reach them.
There was only one entrance or exit - known as a slope - at the Oneida No. 2 mine, which was actually located outside the geographical limits of the Village of Sheppton midway between Hazleton and Shenandoah.
However, rescuers couldn't enter the slope because of additional rumblings deep inside, as well as the presence of hazardous gas. So, for several days, officials of the state Department of Mines and Mineral Industries as well as members of the rescue party could do very little but watch and wait.
Meanwhile, Fellin and Throne were simply trying to stay alive.
Fellin, co-owner of the mine with Gene Gibbons, was semi-retired and no longer a full-time miner. But that morning, he descended underground with Throne and Bova to show them what he wanted them to do and also help load a metal mine car that ran on railroad tracks and hauled the coal to the surface. When the first buggy was loaded, Bova pulled a cord that signaled the hoisting engineer in a small building topside to activate the mechanical hoist and pull the car out of the mine.
That first buggy made it about halfway to the surface when, suddenly, it stopped and the earth began quaking about 100 feet above the three miners. Within seconds, Fellin, Throne and Bova heard louder rumbling above them just as a long electrical cord inside the gangway snapped and began dancing wildly, sparking electrical current. Fellin knew the miners would be electrocuted if they came in contact with the live wire, so he led Bova and Throne to a small chamber off the main gangway. When they entered the small enclosure - only about 2 feet wide and 9 to 10 feet long - the rumbling intensified and it appeared that tons of dirt, rock and coal were about to cascade down on them. Just then, Bova noticed a different chamber a short distance away and began running toward it. It was a fatal mistake because, almost immediately, the worst of the cave-in occurred, filling the area where they had been working.
That was the last Fellin or Throne saw Bova, whose body was never recovered and who is remembered today by a tombstone at the site of the rescue. While the initial rescue team was totally frustrated above ground, Fellin and Throne were doing what they could to survive below.
For almost an hour they sat side by side in the enclosure, which was hardly wide enough for one of them to squeeze past the other.
All the time - while waiting for the aftershocks of the first cave-in to subside - each pulled up his shirt and placed it over his nose and mouth because there was little letup in dust. Finally, when the tremors had ended and the dust finally settled, they realized they had to find water. Fellin was familiar with the mine and knew there was a reservoir of stagnant, sewer-smelling water beneath their feet. So he used a broken tool to dig a small hole and, after it seemed to have hit a void, he grabbed an empty oil can, tied a rope to it and lowered it deep below him. Soon, he was hauling up a can of putrid water. Sipping it the first time, both Fellin and Throne spit it out. But after a few more sips, they began swallowing.
Next, the two miners had to combat the cold. The temperature inside the mine hovered around 55 degrees but their clothes were wet and Fellin and Throne were shivering. That's when Throne, sitting next Fellin with their backs to a wall, told his companion that he knew how he could make them warm. He told Fellin to sit between his legs and start rocking, which he did. Each time they rocked, Throne had Fellin's shirt lifted and was blowing air down his back. Soon, both men were warm.
Fellin was amazed but Throne told him it was something he had been taught in the armed forces while stationed at a base in the far north.
They didn't have to face the other necessity - food - until the next day. That's when Fellin and Throne, who hadn't eaten for more than 24 hours, experienced serious hunger pain. They were so hungry, in fact, that they attempted to eat the bark off timber that was holding up the roof of their chamber. But they spit it out when they realized they couldn't swallow it. Then, suddenly, Fellin told Throne that he believed he had a way to "feed" them. He then got the can of water, held a finger to his Adam's apple and took a sip. Fellin then told Throne to do likewise.
After doing it a few times, both realized they were no longer hungry. Fellin explained that, for some reason, he remembered seeing movie newsreels in which Mahatma Gandhi would be shown in the midst of his many long hunger strikes, subsisting only on water. Fellin said he remembered that anytime Gandhi was shown taking a drink, he was pressing onto his Adam's apple. Years later, Fellin said he had learned that the maneuver triggers a mechanism in the body that allows a person to live off body fats. He did that until food was sent down through a borehole after the rescue crew made contact. 'They're alive'!
On the surface, rescuers began to fear there was nothing they could do to save the miners, if they were even still alive. When virtually all hope was lost, a million-in-one gamble was taken.
It was decided, as a last-ditch effort to satisfy the families of the miners, to drill a 6-inch-wide borehole in an attempt to reach the men buried more than 300 feet underground.
Drilling the hole took much of Aug. 17 and all of Aug. 18, but about 11 p.m. Aug. 18, a Sunday, a hole had been drilled to the proper depth. Just before midnight, a light and a microphone were lowered in an effort to establish contact with the miners. A member of the rescue crew cupped his mouth over the borehole, got as close as he could to the ground and yelled: "Look for the light!"
He thought he had heard something, so he stood up and waved both arms, demanding total silence.
Once again he got on all fours and hollered, "Look for the light!" then cupped an ear to the borehole and excitedly jumped to his feet and screamed: "They're alive! I hear them! They're alive!"
Within minutes, the astounding news spread like wildfire around the world.
"MINE MIRACLE" was the giant headline across the top of the Los Angeles Times the next morning. What followed was the patient drilling of larger boreholes, then the drilling of a 17 1/2-inch borehole with a drill loaned by one of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes' companies.
People worldwide waited for a happy ending - and it finally came in the wee hours of Aug. 27, 1963.
First Throne, then Fellin were pulled to the surface wearing parachute harnesses and football helmets.
It was a scene that would be almost duplicated at the Quecreek bituminous mine in Somerset County in 2002.
There was a great difference in the two rescues, however. At Somerset, high-tech scientific equipment was used to determine where the men might be underground. In the cave-in and rescue near Sheppton, it was sheer guesswork - and a good deal of luck. The original drill had traveled many miles to arrive at the site where the cave-in occurred. It was destined to drill the borehole near a wooden stake that indicated where the miners might be found, at the recommendation of state Bureau of Mining and United Mine Workers officials and veteran miners who had worked inside that mine years before.
But it didn't quite work out that way. The truck carrying the drill broke down quite a distance from the stake. With little recourse and less time to waste, rescuers decided to sink the borehole there, and the rest is history.
And here is a News report on the disaster.