Floyd Collins is perhaps the most famous person you have probably never heard of. Collins was a Kentucky cave explorer who was trapped for more than two weeks during the winter of 1925 in a cave located within the boundaries of what is now Mammoth Cave National Park. Collins had no fear of exploring the most difficult cave passages, and few people could match his persistence and endurance. The story of Floyd Collins becoming trapped, then buried alive, and ultimately dying alone in a cave held a powerful grip on the hearts and minds of people the world over. The resulting media coverage put Mammoth Cave on the map and helped usher the actual designation of Mammoth Cave as a national park. His explorations laid the foundation for others to later discover that Mammoth Cave was the longest cave in the world.
About the Author
Coauthors John Benton, Bill Napper, and Bob Thompson have compiled historical images from some of the most exceptional private collections into one book to tell the life and death story of one man, the "Greatest Cave Explorer Ever Known," Floyd Collins.
Table of Contents
1 The Mammoth Cave Region: Where Natural Wonders Offer Fame and Fortune 9
2 The Cave Explorer: Visions of Rags to Riches 17
3 Great Crystal Cave: The Discovery of a Lifetime 21
4 Trapped in Sand Cave: A Nation Becomes Gripped in One Man's Struggle 37
5 Recovery from Sand Cave: Disorder, Distrust, and Death 63
6 The Funeral: A Final Resting Place? 75
7 Sand Cave Aftermath: Floyd Collins Becomes a Tourist Attraction 89
8 Other Collins Caves: Using the Collins Name to Profit 115
9 Over 90 Years Later: The Legend and Story Continue 121