come on now dont say that, it makes me feel like wading out there to find out. then i would die of a heart attack if they were and my body would float downstream
well not sure what to say about that, so how bout I just tell another story that yours brought to mind.
Not all that long ago in the glory days, my bro and I had some scuba gear to check out so we headed to small pond towards the outskirts of town that came into existence before our time as a borrow pit for the interstate overpass over the train tracks that ran through town. Borrow-pit being the hole they dug to get the soil to make the overpass. It’s spring fed with cold clear blue water and serves as a local swimming hole for the kids. Nice isolated spot surrounded by cornfields and only accessible by going along the tracks; cutting across a small creek, then up a hill and down a dirt trail. Mostly foot traffic but also 4x4’s if it wasn’t too wet. The land was then owned by an old widow who lived on the edge of town, though I’ve heard she’s since died. A few of the local kids had talked to her and she said she didn’t care if we swam and fished there so long as we kept it cleaned up and decent which we did by usually taking out trash we found lying around. Though we never went there after dark, we knew there were night visitors as well because sometimes we’d find beer cans and remnants of campfires. Having swum and snorkeled there on hot summer days, I knew the pond was deep but no one seemed to know how deep. There was an old access road to the bottom that ran along two sides underwater gradually going deeper until out of our free-diving range. We were pumped at the thought of finally getting to unlock some of the places mysteries since maybe twenty feet was about as deep as we’d ever dared go before, so we started in on the shallower end and working deeper. The bottom dropped off steeply from the underwater road with scattered vegetation. Visibility was pretty good for mid-west diving opportunities. We found some pieces of mostly unidentifiable and likely broken equipment left behind when the overpass was done. Though it was midday, as we approached the deepest part of the pond things got kind of like twilight as the sun struggled to penetrate and the water was very cold in spite of a wetsuit. I was glancing at my compass to make sure we didn’t circle back in the half-dark when something bright almost glowing suddenly caught my attention towards the far bank which is pretty much sheer cliff all the way to the top. We worked our way over and soon realized that there on the bottom of the pond in nearly fifty feet of water was a spiffy looking white Bronco II upside down, bumper towards the bank in classic “drove into the pond, sank nose first, and rolled forwards on impact’ position. It was pretty clean and sleek looking; not torn-up, and complete with nice set of BFG AT’s on Outlaw II rims. It looked as if it had been on dry land only that morning or yesterday.
I started getting the creeps, likely a combination of the cold, semi-darkness, and seemingly completely out-of-place-ness of it. This is not where one would expect to find a nice vehicle. I looked at my brother and found his eyes as wide as mine, respirations increasing and bubbles going everywhere. We did a quick recon noticing a license plate in place and expiring that very month. The doors were locked with windows up and tinted. Lighting was dim and we had no flashlight. Every plant or seaweed moved aside raised a cloud of silt and we soon managed to stir up enough that with visibility down to a couple feet we had to hang on to each other to keep from getting separated. We looked at each other and both pointed upwards in the same instant then soon after surfaced gasping for air and shivering from cold and excitement.
We bailed out and headed for home wondering what to do. We figured that if we reported it, the local sheriff would soon be there with a dive squad, swat team, and full media crew and whatnot, and the end result would likely be all of our pals losing access to a great fishing and swimming hole. So we kept it to ourselves saying it was likely stolen and dumped, even if it didn’t appear damaged or stripped.
That Bronco was surely in a place where no one was likely to ever find it. It stayed in our minds though and we couldn’t help wondering if maybe someone had been night fishing and maybe drinking and had accidently missed the path, driving into the pond instead. The windows up and doors locked thing was troublesome because it didn’t jibe with an intentional sink. I wrote the license plate number in my divelog book but in those days had no way of checking up on it without surely having to do some explaining.
After a few weeks the waning summer and thoughts of somebody being still inside there with their family wondering their whereabouts forced us back to find out, this time with flashlights and a tool to break glass. I was surprised how much harder it was to find this time with the shiny paint now silted and algae starting to take hold. We hovered carefully so not to disturb and noticed that down in the weeds the very back window glass was either open or missing. I slipped down there as gently as possible to stick in my flashlight and saw CD cases and assorted other junk lying on the roof in the cargo area, but couldn’t see far in the murky water. This was getting creepy again yet I couldn’t turn back now without knowing so I worked myself through the window which was no easy task with an air tank on my back. With hasty retreat no longer being an option, I fumbled along the upside down roof under the back seatback straining my eyes and half groping for whatever lay ahead and was quite relieved to find no one there ahead of me. Another short crawl and I was in the front looking at the windshield. Slowly I turned over, just knowing there was going to be a bloated nasty corpse floating up in the floorboards. Thankfully this wasn’t the case though and the dang thing turned out to be empty.
We didn’t go back again until the following summer nearly a year later. This time we had to search hard to find the old beast. Mother Nature was fast at work absorbing the evidence and the Bronco was well on its way to becoming artificial reef habitat. The entire thing was covered with algae or moss and the weeds grown up around it. We left it alone. Today several years later, my money says that old Bronco is still there, long forgotten for the most part. I’ve not been back. The whole thing was a bit too surreal. But I sleep well at night knowing the Bronco rests alone.