The Disappearance of Kenny Veach
In November 2014, an adventurer by the name of Kenny Veach went missing after finding a strange cave out in the Mojave Desert, which seemed to have supernatural properties. Did he stumble upon something he was never meant to find? Or were there more personal reasons behind his disappearance?
The Mojave Desert, also known as The High Desert, is the hottest, driest place in North America. At nearly 48,000 square miles, it is home to a wide variety of landscapes, from picturesque vistas to barren wastelands. From high mountains to deep valleys. From places where nothing lives, to sprawling communities buzzing with activity. Cities such as Las Vegas, San Bernardino and Lancaster sit at its peripheries, though the larger area of the desert itself is sparsely populated.
Its rich scenery and regions such as Death Valley, which regularly records temperatures as high as 134 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius) are amongst the most popular tourist attractions. The desert’s mountains, endless networks of caves and its myriad of abandoned mines also pull in adventurers from all over the world, though this terrain is by no means for the inexperienced; many who go trekking across the Mojave never return alive.
Kenny Veach was one such adventurer and, at the age of 47, was an avid and highly experienced hiker. He had a passion for the outdoors and had spent many years exploring the Mojave and Great Basin deserts of North America. Sometimes he would take his girlfriend along with him, although the majority of his hikes were solo and many of them involved camping over a number of days. On 10th November 2014, he packed his bag for an overnight trip, kissed his girlfriend goodbye and set out for the southern Mojave Desert on what would be his last ever hike. He was never seen again.
And if not for some very intriguing comments made by Kenny and other users on YouTube in the months prior to his disappearance, this case would have passed us by with barely a mention anywhere outside of his local community. Instead, it includes a captivating twist, which would ultimately garner worldwide interest and become one of the biggest internet mysteries of the decade.
Kenny and the M-shaped cave
Kenny had been an active user on YouTube, not so much in terms of producing content – he only ever uploaded five videos – but he did take a keen interest in hiking vlogs and would often take part in commenting on these videos.
In June of that year, he had left a comment on a video entitled “Son of an Area 51 Technician”. He described how he had stumbled upon a strange cave whilst hiking in the Nevada Desert out near Nellis Air Force Base. This cave was apparently shaped like a perfect capital M and as he approached it, his whole body began to vibrate. He said that the closer he got, the more intense this vibration became. Suddenly he was overwhelmed with fear and abandoned his attempt to enter the cave altogether, despite the fact that, as an adventurer, he usually made a habit of entering every cave he discovered. In this case, it was just too much.
This comment would spark a four-month long online conversation between Kenny and other users, who challenged him to embark upon a second hike to the same area in order to locate this strange cave once again. They asked him to take a video camera with him this time and to document his findings and to upload the video to YouTube. Kenny did, in fact, revisit the region in October and made a vlog of his experiences during the hike. However, he was unable to locate the cave on this occasion. The video is available to watch on YouTube and you can view it here.
Warning from a fellow commenter
Kenny’s failure to locate it a second time did not deter him, however. In another post on YouTube, he stated his intentions of returning to the area once more and that this time he was absolutely determined to find it. Whilst this generated encouragement from the YouTube community, there was one comment which stood out from the rest and was rather ominous in nature. It was left by user Lemi Killmister and it read “No! Do not go back there. If you find that cave entrance, do not go in, if you do, you won’t get out.” Kenny did respond to this comment, asking “What makes you say that?”, but he did not receive a reply and nothing has been heard from this user since.
Veach left for his third tour of the area on Monday 10th November. By the 14th, he had still not returned and his girlfriend reported him missing later that day. After a week and still no sign of Kenny, authorities began to search the region. Large search parties were formed and a helicopter was deployed. They found his mobile phone resting on the ground outside an entrance to a mine. This led many to believe that he had probably fallen into the deep mineshaft within and had died from the fall, but when cameras were sent down to investigate, there was no sign of a dead body or that the pit had been disturbed in any way, by someone falling in or otherwise.
There was little in the way of tracks and nothing else was found of Kenny’s belongings. Members of his local community assisted in the search and the extra manpower meant that a much larger area could be covered, but it was all to no avail. It was as if he had simply vanished from the face of the Earth…
Kenny’s disappearance becomes an internet phenomenon
The first anyone in the online community heard of his disappearance was a month later on 10th December 2014, when Kenny’s girlfriend left a comment stating that he had not returned from his trip and that he was now listed as a missing person. Despite subsequent and continued searches by enthusiastic YouTube vloggers wishing to investigate further, Kenny’s body has still not been found.
This has left behind a thought-provoking mystery, which has grown into something of an internet sensation, not least because of its connections to something which could possibly be described as Fortean. Unsurprisingly, there have been many ideas circulating about exactly what happened to Kenny.
First and foremost is the theory that he died of natural causes and that his remains are still somewhere out there in the wilderness. Although Kenny was an experienced hiker, it has been noted that he took monumental risks, refusing to take basic navigational aids along with him on his hikes. Kenny was known to have something of a cavalier attitude towards hiking, saying that maps and compasses were for amateurs, a point of view which the great American wilderness will readily subjugate if given the opportunity.
Many speculate that Kenny either became disorientated and lost his way or that he ran out of supplies, collapsed from a combination of exhaustion and dehydration and succumb to elements. However, either scenario is unlikely as Kenny was hiking in a very specific area and a death by natural causes would have resulted in a higher probability of his body being found or at least the discovery of some clues to indicate this outcome.
Other less plausible theories suggest that he may have been bitten by a rattlesnake or attacked by a mountain lion, but this is doubtful as Kenny had taken his gun with him and signs of such an attack would have been obvious. No blood was found on his phone, for instance, and there was nothing to indicate animal predation in the location where it was discovered. There are those who postulate that he may have witnessed something he shouldn’t have, such as a gangland killing, drug deal or even a classified military exercise and that he was silenced then and there. Once again, there were no signs whatsoever to indicate that something like this had taken place.
A less popular explanation is that Kenny faked his own death. It is known that he had quit his job to start a new business about a year before he disappeared. That business was not doing as well as he had hoped and in one of his videos, he talked about selling his home because he was running out of capital. Although there is no evidence to suggest that he owed money to any particular individual or organisation, this has led many to believe that he staged his disappearance in order to avoid paying his debts.
However, there are many problems with this theory. First of all, faking one’s death to start a new life is no easy feat. It is an immense undertaking, requiring a huge amount of planning, financial investment and an outright acceptance of personal loss. Kenny had a girlfriend and many others dear to his heart and it is hard to believe that he could have left all these people behind and not once feel the need to see them again. Secondly, the amount of attention which has been drawn to this case since his disappearance would have made faking his death all the more difficult, so once more, this scenario is highly unlikely.
What about that M-Shaped cave?
This now leads us to address the elephant in the room and that is Kenny’s comments regarding this so-called M-shaped cave. The question over exactly what this cave was (if it even existed at all) has been prominent in the mystery surrounding Kenny’s disappearance. An obvious theory regarding his fate is that he did, in fact, manage to locate and enter this cave on his third and final attempt and that he was either killed, abducted or succumb to some sort of accident and died therein. The comment left by the user Lemi Killmister only makes this possibility all the more chilling.
So if Kenny did indeed find this cave, what was its purpose?
Nevada is home to a number US air bases, including Nellis, Creech and, of course, the notorious Area 51 facility at Groom Lake. There are those that believe the cave was an entrance to a Deep Underground Military Base otherwise known as a D.U.M.B. There are many conspiracy theories surrounding such installations and possibly the most famous example is that of Dulce in New Mexico, where all sorts of horrors such as experimentation on human subjects are said to take place.
The strange vibration and subsequent feelings of fear experienced by Kenny as he approached this cave could have been the effects of what is known as an Access Denial System. This may sound like science fiction, but these devices have actually been developed and tested by the US military in various applications, though they usually use heat as a deterrent and work in much the same way as a microwave does, only not as destructive to muscle tissue.
Investigators have theorised that the device used in this particular cave could instead have been based on infrasound. Infrasound is a relatively new discovery of ultra-low-frequency sound waves, which have significant effects on human beings when they are exposed to them. People are said to experience strange vibrations, auditory and visual hallucinations and intense feelings of fear when subjected to such low frequencies.
They occur naturally and their existence has been put forward as a possible explanation for a variety of phenomena, including hauntings and even alien abductions. These sound waves can be recreated under the right circumstances and could be used in a military capacity. It should be noted, however, that the M-shaped cave could have been a completely natural formation and may have, in fact, generated its own infrasound waves.
Some of the more fringe theories suggest the involvement of extra-terrestrials. Of course; Nevada is no stranger to UFOs and odd goings on. In particular, an ex-US Airman by the name of Charles James Hall wrote a book about his experiences working out in the Nevada Desert, where he interacted with an alien race known as the Tall Whites. In his book he describes how the Tall Whites had supposedly entered into an agreement with the US government, whereby they were given secret underground bases in and around the Mojave. Could the M-shaped cave have been the entrance to one of their bases? And could Kenny have been killed or abducted for stumbling upon something he was never supposed to find?
The fact of the matter is we may never know.
A message from Kenny’s girlfriend
In any case, Kenny’s girlfriend left a heart-breaking comment on his channel in 2016, which seemed to suggest something of an unexpected possibility regarding his fate. It was made in response to a question from an amateur investigator on YouTube.
In the message, she says that she believes Kenny took his own life, that she had noticed a significant change for the worse in terms of his depression due to increasing money issues. As already stated, he had quit his job of 17 years to pursue starting up his own business, but this had been something of a failure and he was essentially living on his retirement money.
She mentioned that Kenny had opened up and talked to her about his suicidal thoughts, thoughts he had had for most of his adult life. His father had committed suicide when Kenny was in his early 20s and he had always said that if he was ever going to take his own life, he would not do it at home, but out in the wilderness where no one would ever find him. She believed he said this because of the painful memories he himself had endured after finding his father’s body at home.
When Search and Rescue were given the go ahead to search Kenny’s residence, they apparently found articles on suicide in his internet search history and that he had written the words “help me” several times. Kenny’s girlfriend doesn’t know whether he left that morning with the intention of taking his own life or whether he decided to do it whilst on his hike. He had left his video camera at home, which begs the question of whether he had any desire to find the M-shaped cave on this particular occasion or whether he had more pressing things on his mind. She believes his body could be in any one of the thousands of caves or mines dotted all over the Nevada Desert and that it would be very difficult to find him if he is there.
If true, her post speaks loud and clear about Kenny’s state of mind at the time of his final hike. Whatever the explanation for his disappearance, as time rolls on the sad truth is that he is more than likely no longer amongst us. Our thoughts are with Kenny’s loved ones and if they are never again to see this man – who by all accounts was a lovable, genuine individual with a huge heart – we can only hope that they find solace in the fact that he died doing what he loved. Our hearts go out to those who knew him and no matter how slim the possibility, until his body is found, we will pray for his safe return.