Nutty Putty Cave Tragedy at Thanksgiving

I feel so bad about this guy, (sorry, original article at AOL was taken down and this inferior one at PuffPost substituted) John Jones, who died while spelunking in Nutty Putty Cave near Salt Lake City. He and his wife are so beautiful; he was in medical school and she’s expecting their 2nd kid. (Utah, remember.)

John-Jones nutty putty cave
John-Jones nutty putty cave, died by getting stuck in cave

More than 50 people tried to help him for over a day.

The 6-foot-tall, 190-pound Jones got stuck with his head at an angle below his feet about 9 p.m. Tuesday in an L-shaped area of the cave known as “Bob’s Push.” The area is only about 18 inches wide and 10 inches high.

I literally shuddered at those numbers. Oh my gah. My worst nightmare.

At one point, they had moved him roughly 12 feet out of the tight crevice, far enough to give him some food and water. But he slipped back into the space when an anchor in the cave roof that supported the pulley system failed, only to fall back several feet into the tight space when a cord that was supporting him failed. His health deteriorated, he had trouble breathing, and died within a day.

Spencer Jones said his family is “remarkably strong,” but is struggling to make sense of what happened.

I think I know.

I remember reading about a totally different death in the LA Times in 2006 that was disturbing on several counts. A family reported a woman was missing – Mariesa Weber, a 38 year old woman who lived with her mom and sister. Well, that’s strange to begin with. Anyway, from Fox News:

Weber, 38, returned home Oct. 28 and greeted her mother, then wasn’t seen again. Her family thought she had been kidnapped and contacted authorities. Family members scoured her room for clues but found nothing, though they did notice a strange smell.

Her family believes Weber, who was 5-foot-3 and barely 100 pounds, may have fallen headfirst into the space.

On Nov. 9, Weber’s sister went into her bedroom and looked behind a bookcase, where she saw the woman’s foot. Using a flashlight the family saw Weber was wedged upside-down behind the unit.

Um, yeah, I guess. How could someone possibly fall behind a bookcase?

There’s a disgusting description of the girl’s body in St Petersburg Times, of all places!, and many comments from people who were as confused as I was. One sarcastic comment on the family’s search for their daughter:

one good thing, they werent looking for a lost wallet or keys.

Also, another down to earth and gritty commenter about the body(I crossed out the delicate parts below.)

This is a VERY interesting story. I’m actually glad you published the details (rubbery foot, xxxxx face, mouth open in a xxxxxx, etc) because (unlike everyone else) I’m interested in details. I’m not going to lie and get all “noble” and say it’s bad.

Okay, we won’t call you “noble.” :)

I still didn’t understand what happened to that poor woman,  and why she died, until I did some research. I think it’s positional asphyxia, which occurs when the position of someone’s body prevents them from breathing. Apparently you can’t breathe when you’re upside down for a few hours, although they always hold babies and magicians upside down, so I don’t know. Anyway, poor Mr. Jones was at least at an angle, if not entirely upside down. Maybe it’s your heart or your lungs that can’t work that way.

Here‘s another example: a plumber fell into a manhole head first. It’s really very shocking.

*Oh,  God, horrible update! They are going to close the cave and LEAVE HIS BODY IN THERE. From ABC4:

Utah County Sheriff’s Department says the body of a spelunker who became stuck and died in Nutty Putty Cave will be left there. The cave will also be permanently closed and sealed off.

It’s a state park, which is now closed to everyone! It’s a poor dead lad, and they’ll never know exactly how he died, or give him a funeral! Ugh.

john jones died in nutty putty cave

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