Statement of E.P. Dorr
showing the interior of Kokoweef Caverns.
Courtesy of Jack Russ.
Below you will find a transcription of the sworn statement made
by Earl Dorr as it pertained to Kokoweef Caverns. This was published
in the California Mining Journal, November 1940, though written
in 1934. It is speculated that Earl was attempting to get capital
at the time for his projects in the area.
SWORN STATEMENT OF E. P. DORR.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
This is to certify that there is located in San Bernardino County,
California, about two hundred and fifty miles from Los Angeles,
a certain cave. Traveling over state highways by automobile, the
cave is reached in about ten hours.
A Civil Engineer, Mr. Morton, and I spent four days exploring
the cave for more than eight miles. We carried with us Altimeters,
Pedometers, and a Theodolite, with which to observe and record
actual directions, take elevations and measurements by triangulation.
Our exploration revealed the following facts:
From the mouth of the cave we descended as shown by the Altimeters
to be about 2000 feet, where we encountered a canyon, which from
the Altimeters and by calculations we found to be from 3000 to
3500 feet deeper; making total depth of 5400 feet from the mouth
where we entered the caves to the floor of the canyon.
We found the cave divided into many caverns or chambers, of various
sizes, all filled and embellished with Stalactites and Stalagmites,
besides many grotesque and fantastic shapes that make these caves
one of the wonders of the world.
The largest chamber we explored is about 300 ft. wide, 400 feet
long and from 50 to 110 feet high. It is encrusted with crystals,
fashioned into festoons of innumerable Stalactites, that
hang from the ceiling, some of which are extremely large. One,
the largest seen, is 27 feet in diameter and hangs 1510 feet down
into a 3000 ft. canyon. This great Stalactite is perpetually washed
by water flowing down over it and falling into the dark canyon
depths. The huge glistening white crystal is 500 feet longer than
the Eiffel Tower, and challenged us with amazement and wonder.
There is a flowing river on the floor of the canyon, which rises
and falls with tidal regularity. All measurements and estimates
of the river, including its tides and beach sands were reckoned
by triangulation, taken with the Theodolite, and while we did
not reach the river, nevertheless, taking observations with our
theodolite and its telescope, we reckoned the river to be about
300 feet wide at high tide and 10 feet wide at low tide. It rises
and falls from 7 ½ to 8 feet. The Peysert brothers confirm
When the tide is out, there is exposed on both sides of the river
from 100 to 159 feet of black sand, which the Peysert brothers
report is very rich in placer gold. They report the sands on the
river shore to be from 4 to 11 feet deep; and on an average about
8 feet deep.
There are numerous ledges above the canyon that are from 10 to
40 feet wide and covered with sand. We personally explored the
ledge sands for a distance of more than eight miles, finding little
variation in the depth and width of these ledge sands. And wherever
examined,the ledge sands are found to be fabulously rich in placergold.
I have known intimately Oliver, Buck and George Peysert From my
boyhood. I have discussed these caves with them repeatedly and
thoroughly. They have reported to me in detail, their experience
in exploring the caves. One of them, George, lost his life in
the cave. Buck and Oliver say George was killed by diving in the
river on the floor of the canyon. He struck an unseen rock, which
killed him instantly. They have reported to me repeatedly their
mining experiences and say they mined on the beach sands of the
river a total in all of six weeks. They carried lumber down to
the river and constructed a sluice box and, using a pump, the
three mined for six weeks, during which time they recovered more
than %57,000 in gold, (gold at $20.00 per ounce); they sent their
gold directly to the U.S. Mint and banked the returns in a bank
in Needles, California, and another bank in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I last talked to them in my home about November 10th 1934, at
which time they repeated their former statements, giving information
as to how they discovered the river, and more of their experiences
in gold mining. They recovered several of the largest nuggets
of gold ever found in California.
Both Mr. Morton and myself filled our pockets with the sands from
the ledges, carried it out and had it assayed. Just what Mr. Morton's
sand assayed, I do not know, but it was approximately $2000. per
ton. I carried out ten pounds and two ounces of the ledge sand,
and panned seven pounds, recovering more than $7.00 in gold, with
gold at $20.00 an ounce. I sold the gold for $18.00 per ounce.
The balance of my ten pounds of sand I sent to John Herman, a
Los Angeles Assayer. His assay certificate shows a value of $2,144.47
per yard - gold at $20.67 per ounce.
I, E. P. DORR residing at 300 Aldena Street, Pasadena California
make the foregoing statements for the purpose of inducing investors
to invest in the work of mining the gold in these caves, and solemnly
swear that all statements made hereinabove are true and that all
persons will find the physical conditions in the cave as above
SUBSCRIBED and sworn to this
___day of December, 1934
Notary Public in and for the
County of Los Angeles, State of California.
Commission Expires Aug. 26, 1935