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Ben's Vortex

Discussion in 'Apps, Book and Media Reviews' started by Shocky, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. JamesK

    JamesK Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: SW Florida
    3,283
    1,049
    0
    I was one of them. I enjoyed it. I did wonder about the shovel though. I thought it was found to belong to one of the recovery team?
     
  2. JamesK

    JamesK Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: SW Florida
    3,283
    1,049
    0
    Shelby,

    I am sorry for the loss of your sons, I truly am, however I thought Robert was more then fair in his assessment and in his telling of the story. You say he betrayed Ben as if he owed Ben something. I feel he should have been much more harsh on the fact that Ben was not a certified cave diver, and that his gear was terribly unsafe.

    Why do you call the doctor a medicine man? You imply that he is some voodoo witch doctor. I think his credentials more than speak for themselves.

    Why did you try to eliminate Ben's girlfriend from speaking with Robert?

    I could go on and on with questions that this documentary raises. Some which you might find very harsh and uncaring. However, I think you owe Robert and Jill a great deal. If not for them, Ben would probably be long forgotten. They have kept this up front and out in the open. Good press or bad, your son and the mistakes he made are still being discussed. This will only help future cave divers and possibly help solve the mystery surrounding his disappearance.
     
    ZephyrNYC likes this.
  3. shelby mcdaniel

    shelby mcdaniel Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Tennessee
    11
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    I should have mentioned that their is much evidence of "foul play", which was not included in the documentary. For instance, Ben's truck was parked in front of the office going on three days before the sheriff was called in, the cadaver dogs picked up body decomposition a week later at the boil, the owner of the springs previously tried to kill a man and was on probation, Ben did not just walk off (he was in line to inherit sizable investments), he never touched the money in the local Regions bank account availablle to him, he had a loving close family, his wallet with $1100 and Iphone and other equipment was still on the picnic table as was his truck close by, he was very safety concious----we have much more proof to call foul play. Our family has not just being sitting around twidling our thumbs these past two years. We are aware of what really happened. We are still collecting information and at some point we will make our move. There is much more I could expand on but it might interfere with the ongoing investigation by law enforcement as well as private investigation procedures in process.
     
  4. JamesK

    JamesK Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: SW Florida
    3,283
    1,049
    0
    I personally think this reeks of foul play. I just don't think he is in the cave. I would however question your statement about him being very safety conscious. I could cite many reasons why I believe this to be true.

    I hope they find out what happened to your son. Every father deserves that.
     
    ZephyrNYC likes this.
  5. 57Writer

    57Writer Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Florida
    143
    85
    28
    Mr. Mc Daniel - I am sorry for your loss. I really hope that some day you reach closure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
    ZephyrNYC likes this.
  6. shelby mcdaniel

    shelby mcdaniel Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Tennessee
    11
    11
    0
    Listen, we know Ben and we wish he had waited until he was fully cave certified, and as Jill has said," He should have had a dive buddy ". Also, if he was tampering with the gate, the spring's owner should have not let him come back, knowing that he was doing this. We have thought that it would have been great if one two local divers had mentored him concerning the arrangement of his equipment. He has always been able to figure most anything out on his own but it would have been great if maybe Jeff or Edd had said " Ben, let us help you on the placement of your gear". And maybe they did and he didn't listen. I do believe too that Ben was maybe too eager and adventurous, and determined. We just wish they would have kicked him off the property if they knew he was not following the rules early on. I wish the springs would just completely make it imposible for someone to go past the gate.


    Let's just say Ben's body was taken out by Kelly that Weds. or Thurs. night and he disposed of it on the property somewhere. How did he find out the body was still down there unless someone dove down and found him. With Kelly out of the picture it would be wonderful if someone would come forward that knows something. They could write an anonomus letter to me. If Ben is buried on the property this person would not have to give their name. It would be the right thing to do. If you know where he is, will you please consider doing this? We know he was not a perfect person. But he had gotten his priorities right and was enjoying life to the fullest. It is very hard to handle having at times having two sons not around to hang out with, and I certainly have my ups and downs without them. We know they are in Heaven. I want to apologize to everyone that I have offended over the last two years, including some recent comments. I should follow my own rules: if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything! Sometimes I get so emotional and then I should just stay off Scubaboard. I am in the process of still going through Ben and Paul's clothes. I have their first squirrel they killed on my desk. There are so many good memories that we can think back on. All of Ben's construction equipment and tools are still on the farm here. We use them sometimes. His construction trailers and container are pack full of tools and equipment. He had just remodled the barn to be a banquet hall for weddings, receptions and events. Last Saturday we had the annual Fall Farm Festival here to honor Paul and to support organ donation. Paul's heart recipient came up from Dallas to visit with us. He said he would be baxk next year for the anniversary of Paul's death. I have both of the boys labs. They keep us company. We are moving on, but I do let my wall down at times. Thanks for your patience.
     
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    59,944
    28,286
    113
    Robert could never reveal the "true Ben" as he had never known him. All he had to go by was the evidence in front of him. There was absolutely no betrayal on Robert's part. However, as his father you enjoy a certain bias when it comes to your boys. I enjoy the same one for mine. Our love enables us to look past their obvious defects and see only the good. Love covers a multitude of sins and there is nothing wrong with that. It's just important to realize that Robert was looking for the unvarnished truth and was not encumbered by those feelings. Obviously, he's going to see Ben in a very different light.
     
    ZephyrNYC likes this.
  8. The_Sandman

    The_Sandman Garibaldi

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    This is my first post but I have lurked here awhile. I am not new to diving, but am new to cave diving and have just begun my long journey to full cave. That said, I cheat. I tiptoe into the systems working on trim and cautiously practicing my skills.

    I find an odd kinship with Ben, a confident young man inclined to push the limits like all of the experts did before classes and certifications existed. Yet we have more than they did, better gear and books to read with well documented technique to learn and hone. I cringe a bit at the thought of pushing the limits to an accident only to be mocked postmortem in a forum like this, as in over my head and clueless. Larry's accident was the one that really shocked me, when posters claimed even though he was full cave that wasn't enough... the Vortex is not a normal system and poses special dangers. So yep, he was in over his head too in the eyes of some outspoken peers.

    Mr McDaniel, I hope we find your son. I respect him and I feel he perished in a noble way doing what he loved. I absolutely see your argument about a potential cover up - it's obvious why it would of happened if it did. The cave diving community is tight and likes to talk, many feel he is still in there past the fifth restriction in an area of the system that is just too dangerous to fully search. I hear that more than the other theories, but that is just what they are - theories. I hope you get your closure and best wishes to you and your family until that day comes.
     
  9. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    3,941
    3,020
    113

    Uh, no he wasn't. If he was, he'd have never been cave diving without proper gear or proper training.
     
  10. The_Sandman

    The_Sandman Garibaldi

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    Mocking a father that lost his son, because I guess you know him better than his father does and because his son didn't attend the very type of training you happen to sell.

    The real question here is did you observe Ben diving and do you have any real factual knowledge of his skill? His log represents 250 dives in 2 months. That is an immense amount of practice and he obviously was reading and studying at the all of the various cave diving manuals at the same time. If he is in there and has perished in a diving accident he is deep - and managed to get to an area some of the best cave divers in the world have failed to find him in.

    Do we really know he is dead? Do we know that he was actually diving that deep into the cave? I would put forth the answer to both is no. Anyone could have forged that log given the time he spent around the Vortex talking to the same people I do conducting back to back dives and spending extended time in the staging area. I am not saying he did, but I am saying it is rather assumptive to say a diver you have never personally worked with lacked skill and was not cautious. For all you know he was a diving savant and penetrated deeper into the system than any rescue diver is willing to go then fell victim to any countless number of dangers that present themselves in such an environment.

    I think before we argue with a an obviously grieving father about who his son was we should really know the facts, which we don't. That's my 2 cents, which I am sure is not popular in a community of relatively elite divers.
     

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