In 1997 radio host Art Bell first introduced his listeners to Mel Waters, a man from Eastern Washington who claimed to have discovered an ancient and apparently bottomless pit on his property. The story of the hole was remarkable enough, but the subsequent events took an almost surreal bent- Mel was threatened into silence by the US military, exiled into cushy Wombat Restoration service in Australia, and tipped off to a second bottomless pit in Nevada. As the story unfolded over the course of several years, it garnered many followers, not just among connoisseurs of paranormal research, but among artists and writers as well.
After Mel's last official appearance on Bell's show in early 2002, LA Weekly art critic Doug Harvey began approaching artists to participate in a curatorial project centered on this contemporary mythological lacuna. The response was overwhelming, and on the 10- year anniversary of the disclosure of Mel's Hole, Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana presented Aspects of Mel's Hole: Artists Respond to a Paranormal Land Event Occurring in Radiospace. The exhibit included contributions from comics luminaries David B. and Gary Panter along with dozens of others (see below). This accompanying catalog includes short essays exploring the cultural, philosophical, psychological, and scientific implications of Mel's Hole. Book Design by Wendy Peng, Editors Sue Henger and Dave Shulman.
Artists for Mel's Hole
Reverend Ethan Acres
Michael C. McMillen
The Center for Land Use Interpretation
The Firesign Theatre
Judy Spence - Essay
Mike McGee - Fiction Story
Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim (interview)
Brian Tucker - Essay
Hannah Miller - Essay
Rev. Acres - Sermon
Doug Harvey - Curatorial Statement