According to urban legend, Mel's Hole is a supposedly "bottomless pit" that is located near Ellensburg, in the state of Washington. The first claims that it existed were made on February 21 in 1997 on Art Bell's radio show Coast to Coast AM, by a man who referred to himself as "Mel Waters." He claimed that he once possessed property in a rural area of Kittitas County, west of Ellensburg by about nine miles, that included a deep, mysterious hole.
During his interviews with Bell, Waters stated that the hole was infinite in depth and also had the capability to bring dead animals back to life. Mel Waters supposedly had measured the depth of the hole using a weight and fishing line, measuring it to be over fifteen miles deep. The magical properties he claimed the hole had prompted federal agents of the United States to take control of the land. Investigations later revealed that no person by that name lived in the area, and no credible evidence of the hole was found.
In 1997, and again in 2000 as well as 2002, Waters was a guest on Bell's radio show. A "modern myth" has been created with the help of the rebroadcasts of those appearances. Many people have claimed that the mythical Mel's Hole does exists because they have seen it, however, its exact location was unspecified. Among those who said they have seen the hole was a man who goes by the name Red Elk, who is a tribal medicine man. In 2012, he not only informed reporters that he had visited Mel's Hole, but he also that the United States government had a base that is top secret at that location. He also told them that "alien activity" occurs there.
Reporters from local news investigated these claims, but found no records that a man by the name of Mel Waters lived in the area or owned land in Kittitas County. Jack Powell, a geologist with the State Department of Natural Resources, stated that the hole Waters talked about didn't exist, and that such a phenomenon is impossible by geographical means. Powell insisted that a hole with the depth that was stated "would collapse into itself under the tremendous pressure and heat from the surrounding strata." He believed that an old, ordinary mine shaft was most likely the inspiration for the Mel's Hole stories. He said the legend of Mel's Hole is "based on no evidence at all."
Another theory that some people speculate is that the hole is not a hole at all, but instead a tunnel. This has given rise to the "Hollow Earth" theory, which was first proposed in the seventeenth century by astronomer Edmond Halley. The most pressing secret to this, however, is to where does the "tunnel" lead? Other believe the mysterious hole is actually a blow hole for nearby Mount Rainier.
In 2008, an art exhibition with a theme of the aspects of Mel's Hole was presented in Santa Ana, California at the Grand Central Art Center. The exhibit showcased artwork by forty-one collectives and artists, several which were created for the event. Artists included in the exhibit were Jim Shaw, Charles Schneider, Cathy Ward, James Hayward, Marnie Weber, and Eric Wrights among many others.