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Mine Exploration Forum

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Monty Stubble

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Joined: 03/04/2008
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Posted: 22/11/2020 21:42:25
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This has just been posted on various channels ...

Statement from Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit (COMRU) and Coniston Mountain Rescue Team (CMRT) - Team Leaders

COMRU and CMRT are members of LDSAMRA, the umbrella body for Mountain Rescue in Cumbria.
 
We are aware, not for the first time, of videos circulating on social media that show people, inexperienced in underground exploration, filming themselves going down disused mines in Cumbria.
 
We would like to remind them that the Mountain Rescue and Underground Rescue teams are volunteers who attend thousands of rescues every year. It is a privilege to be able to save the lives of those respectfully exploring our beautiful countryside, who find themselves in danger through no fault of their own. However, it is heart-breaking when we are called to extremely dangerous conditions for people who have deliberately put themselves in needless danger. These rescues cost us all time away from our families and every rescue puts our own lives in danger.
 
The videos in question show the participants inexperience and lack of respect for the environment and also displays an absence of professional equipment and safe techniques.
 
In this instance they were extremely lucky to not need to call us, but many in the same situation have had to make that call. Some have even lost their lives. We cannot see how the gain is worth the risk.

For those who support content like this, our message is, there is already plenty of footage of mine visits by properly equipped people who actually know what they are doing and also know what they are talking about. Why is that not enough?

So many aspects of disused mines have the potential for trouble. These videos are encouraging other people to potentially risk our team’s lives. It’s all fun until the unthinkable happens.

COMRU and CMRT supports Adventuresmart, an online resource for information about outdoor activities, weather, equipment and skills.

Chris Jones
Team Leader - COMRU

Rob Ingham
Team Leader - Coniston Mountain Rescue Team

https://ldsamra.org.uk/
https://www.adventuresmart.uk/


--

The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time. Henry David Thoreau
IP: 31.52.196.91 Edited: 22/11/2020 21:44:01 by Monty Stubble
DaveM

Joined: 05/05/2009
Location: Perth

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Posted: 23/11/2020 02:29:50
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Multi level ore mines are places of potentially very great danger unless you're with someone who knows the system and its dangers, I'm quite happy to explore pillar and stall type mines alone but I wouldn't even think about going into a metal mine alone, they just have too many hazards. IP: 2.120.75.105
Roy Morton

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Joined: 09/10/2007
Location: Redruth Cornwall

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Posted: 23/11/2020 04:00:17
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Even pillar and stall mines can have their own unique problems.
It's down to getting familiar with the mining methods, the geology and looking for tell tale signs.
It takes many trips with seasoned explorers to be able to 'read the ground' as you venture into a mine.
False floors covered with dirt can look and feel like solid ground until you are shown. I've seen the blood drain from peoples faces when I've shown them what they were walking on.
So many exciting things to see and experience as a newby, but this can often blind you from immediate dangers.
Like many of us who gave been in the game a long time, and have worn out a mountain of wellies, we can look back on some of our early exploits, and respect the guys we gleaned our knowledge from.
I'm not going to go on too much about the YouTube crowd, other than to say that their shenanigans are ruining the pastime and in some cases giving councils and land owners, a green light to close up, and in some cases seal places permanently. There's a group posting videos of Cornish mines, and endangering the prolonged access of these sites.
Badly equipped, and some with no head protection, poor footwear and....... T shirts! Shocked
Potential rescue fodder the lot of them.
All it takes is some sense and a bit of forethought, but then common sense isn't as common as it once was.







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"You Chinese think of everything!" "But I''m not Chinese!" "Then you must have forgotten something!"
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Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Posted: 23/11/2020 11:44:50
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It demonstrates two attitudes.

1) exposure to danger in extreme places will generate adulation and respect (and cash from monetised content) so self-glorification is the most important factor.

2) exploring extreme places to better understand and appreciate those that dug it and worked there. Respect for the place and it's history is the most important factor.

When "history" is mentioned in a commentary from someone in Category 1, I would usually bet the words have been copied and read from the work of someone in category 2.

The "history" element of a video is usually just a thin veneer.



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pwhole

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Joined: 22/02/2011
Location: Sheffield and the Peak District

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Posted: 23/11/2020 23:12:45
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I think that's the crucial point here - the monetisation aspect. Until recently I've assumed (with little evidence) that most people with an interest in mining history and the need to make a living alongside it could generally find a way to happily combine the two (i.e. working), usually to the benefit of others. However, since YouTube allowed folks to make money simply by visiting a mine (in this case, but obviously folks can make this kind of money via all kinds of stuff), it's opened the floodgates to those types who simply want to make money. Danger increases the monetisation, so let's up the ante. In the meantime the rest of us have to sit and watch whilst our favourite sites (and in many cases our hard work) are put at risk of closure.

Recently I got to see the first mine I properly dug out on YouTube - unnamed, thankfully, but it was pretty obvious where it was. It's been kept off the radar for its own protection for ten years now, but there it was, for all to see. It's relatively respectful, but YouTube isn't the place I'd want the owners to find out about it on. I don't have a problem with folks visiting it, obviously, and documenting it all they like, as I have - it's just that when it's secret it's meant to stay secret. I photographed it all in 2010-11 and I still haven't posted them on here.

I'm always reminded of a guy in Asia, possibly Taiwan, who used to make money from uploading videos of himself hanging from tower blocks and cranes. The last one was a fifty-storey skyscraper of smooth glass, and he was alone, so set up the camera on a platform opposite to shoot him from behind, hanging over the edge. Sadly the glass was so sheer, and his handholds so tenuous that when the time came to climb back up he couldn't, and just thrashed around for a minute until he fell out of shot. That was the worst bit - you only saw him fall for three metres as the camera was fixed, so you had to imagine the rest. Luckily he didn't land on anyone. It was horrible, but a good lesson - to everyone else, that is. Maybe not these guys...
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ttxela

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Location: Cambs

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Posted: 24/11/2020 12:26:12
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As always when these topics come up, as a maker of YouTube videos myself, (a small proportion of which are in mines) this has caused some introspection on my part as to my motivation for doing so. It could no doubt be that I am a narcissistic attention seeker and perhaps there are degrees of this in everyone, however I like to think that my motivation is slightly different, at least most of the time.

A lot of the videos around though, I agree are pretty negative in the way they portray the activity and those taking part in it. The danger is massively overplayed in relatively safe places or exacerbated by behavior or poor equipment in more challenging sites. Whether their motivation is monetisation or not is hard to say but even at the level of view that the larger channels get the direct return will be pretty minimal compared to other channel niches requiring much less effort!

The perception of the wider public of what we do is important for the future survival of access I’m sure. I’m thinking of places like Ireland and the IOM where accessing old mine workings legitimately is I understand much more problematic.

The general population don’t really separate mine exploring from caving in their minds and there is a lot of positivity around the Thai rescue still. I’ve noticed recently folk who I’ve had fairly in depth discussions with around the mine exploring I do which tends to be pretty mundane easy dry trips in the most part, indeed even after viewing photos and video of me clearly ambling down easy dry levels they will then go on to introduce me to others as ‘Alex who does the cave diving’. I suspect because this is what they immediately associate anything underground with due to the Thai rescue media coverage, despite me having absolutely no intention of ever getting anything above collar level below the water!

Apart from the obvious embarrassment, this is great as it means there is a positive association in peoples mind with things underground in general. Unfortunately I think this is being eroded by the EWF type videos which seem to leave a pretty negative impression of the sites even with those who are fans of that style of video. The way wider society view us will be critical if ever there was a major incident to hit the headlines. A ‘close it down and get rid of it’ response is much easier if the activity is one that the wider public have little affinity for or perhaps did not even know existed. As a former pistol shooter I know a little about this…..

This is why I think it is a good thing to have positive videos circulating of mine exploring done well, historical interest is good but so also is just participants having a great trip. There has been some great stuff on TV and on YT in recent years. Sadly though it will always be easier for the ‘we shouldn’t have been there, we nearly died’ type to get attention.
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royfellows

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Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Posted: 24/11/2020 12:51:41
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Very well put.

I have been thinking on the Law of Unforeseen Consequences and am wondering if it will eventually all go bottom up for EWF and their likes.

"Johnny English" occurs. Hardly the desired image.

A good attack strategy would be to bombard their videos with adverse comment. Not the legitimate criticism, but basically taking the you know what.

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ttxela

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Posted: 24/11/2020 13:44:33
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It's a good thought, indeed I often look at where these characters have been and think I probably have photos somewhere of my 10 year old daughter wearing pink wellies and clutching her flask of hot chocolate in the same spots. Laugh

However I'd caution against too much engagement. The YT algorithm seeks out engagement and watch time and will direct more and more traffic to videos attracting lots of engagement. Anyone seeking to build a YT channel will actively court this type of engagement, indeed in YT terms what you really want is to seed discussions amongst your viewers that you no longer need to engage with - for instance you make a negative comment on a video, their fans spring to their defence and respond to your comment, you respond back - and so it goes on.... They can step away and continue making more videos whilst engagement builds.

Better I think to make good content showing the positive side, hard to look tough and death defying to a viewer if they've just seen other folk do similar stuff without such a fuss.....

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DaveM

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Posted: 24/11/2020 14:17:58
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EWF are total imbeciles, they're the sort who believe in alien abduction conspiracies and other such nonsense. Mines to me don't actually pose any danger as such, once inside a mine they are just very peaceful, inert sort of places, there are no good or bad aspects to an old mine, the only dangers are those that ill prepared explorers take with them. IP: 2.120.75.105
sinker

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Location: North Wales.

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Posted: 24/11/2020 14:18:24
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ttxela wrote:



….what you really want is to seed discussions amongst your viewers that you no longer need to engage with - for instance you make a negative comment on a video, their fans spring to their defence and respond to your comment, you respond back - and so it goes on.... They can step away and continue making more videos whilst engagement builds.

Better I think to make good content showing the positive side....



I think you're right; especially in the case of EWF. Their fans are basically brainless, many seem to be fawning lonely women who think, and I quote "Wow, you guys are baaad aaass", or who constantly ask if they can "meet up".
They hardly ever even bother to reply, but if you say a bad word about them the fans will be on you like dogs.
The monetisation of the vids by YouTube income is one thing and may be relatively small change but they keep ramming the "merch" message down people's throats. Wonder how much income that generates? A mate of ours, also on AN, has a t-shirt / workwear / branding business and will tell you how little it costs to produce this kind of stuff. Literally pennies in some cases.



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Yma O Hyd....
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alex17595

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Posted: 24/11/2020 14:40:40
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How about an Youtube video dedicated to exposing these guys. You could just go visit where they have a been to show people that they are literally 50ft from the entrance. IP: 86.129.231.212
Down and beyond

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Posted: 24/11/2020 14:52:12
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My personal issue is now there doing this many more groups are starting to appear and more and more places are getting targeted.

I would if it was up to me make it harder for people to try to find new places I no the common ones always get done but before they go to new locations make it so new members can’t view the hole map instantly until they have made a few posts or something .

Just my view Thumbs Up

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From the land of the pillar and stall
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ttxela

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Posted: 24/11/2020 15:16:01
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Down and beyond wrote:

make it so new members can’t view the hole map instantly until they have made a few posts or something .

Just my view Thumbs Up


This has some merit I think, it's certainly not uncommon for forums and groups to have similar rules that full access isn't opened up until a certain amount of activity has taken place.
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Down and beyond

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Posted: 24/11/2020 15:20:56
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I am far from saying anyone uses this site for information for terrible YouTube videos , just pushing a obvious fact forward many users join and never post or add information making contributions which is completely fine but these could all be you tube people on the other hand just scanning the map that everyone has contributed towards on here and getting places shut .

Hence the idea unless your a active trusted user you cannot view it ? Will help save many many places getting out there .

Tom

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From the land of the pillar and stall
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Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Posted: 24/11/2020 15:39:46
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Maybe there is scope for someone with the various skills required, to make a series of EWF parody videos. I would definitely watch them! IP: 91.125.156.131
sinker

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Posted: 24/11/2020 16:02:00
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Peter Burgess wrote:

Maybe there is scope for someone with the various skills required, to make a series of EWF parody videos. I would definitely watch them!


Someone has already done one at least.....I'm sure someone on here posted a link to it. It was hilarious. More of an URBEX parody but funny just the same Thumb Up
Help please anybody?? Flowers

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Yma O Hyd....
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royfellows

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Posted: 24/11/2020 16:15:33
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Yes, that's it.

We generate feedback for the parody video, and encourage more, and then give even more positive comment on that one.
Use the system against itself.

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royfellows

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Posted: 24/11/2020 16:27:51
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Peter, you may be confused with "How not to go caving", not quite the same. But yours is a good idea anyway. The parody video needs to be 'targeted' if you all get the drift.



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Down and beyond

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Posted: 24/11/2020 16:32:56
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I will gladly help how ever I can Thumbs Up

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From the land of the pillar and stall
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AR

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Posted: 24/11/2020 16:41:53
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sinker wrote:

Peter Burgess wrote:

Maybe there is scope for someone with the various skills required, to make a series of EWF parody videos. I would definitely watch them!


Someone has already done one at least.....I'm sure someone on here posted a link to it. It was hilarious. More of an URBEX parody but funny just the same Thumb Up
Help please anybody?? Flowers


I know the one you mean, wasn't it called something like "Exploring With Bullshitters"?

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