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A claimed expert to the history of North Head (page 239 TunnelVision) said, "no shafts going further down except in one place towards Torpedo Bay there was a shaft there but I understand it was a very, very old one and used for drawing mines up to the surface"


I find it rather ironic that a statement such as these two above, were used in a Court Case by expert witnesses against the complainant John Earnshaw  (Mallard Productions), by the defense. The Court Case was mainly meant to determine if there were hidden caves at North Head, and the learned Judge ruled that there were none, even after many dozens of people voluntary took the stand to say that they had been in them, including many ex-military personnel. The Judge summing up said they had vivid imaginations!


If this cave had a 6 ft vertical shaft going up from the cave ceiling, then it would have been the perfect cave to draw mines up into the major tunnel reportedly to be at the height of the Torpedo Bay main tunnel.


As the photos show, there was no build up of sand or sea rubble in 1988 (as per what I saw in the cave), but I suspect that sometime after this last photo was taken, there was a huge storm that washed the sand and rubble into this area, virtually blocking this cave.

So it may be that the covering up of this cave was purely incidental and was simply caused by nature.


However, on page 184 an eyewitness describes seeing men from the Ministry of Works "plastering up a small entrance/exit near the old swimming pool which was at the base of the hill near the boat sheds"

This witness unfortunately doesn't say what year it was that he saw this, but I suspect it was prior to the Report in 1988 and after the observation of the eyewitness in 1983 - page 177: "This entrance had a tunnel leading from it into the hill".

This is due to the person in 1983 being able to enter the tunnel (from the cave entrance), yet there was no mention of this small entrance in 1988, so logically you can take it that this small entrance was sealed off sometime between these two dates.

Note also: "This entrance had a tunnel leading from it"... .a perfect explanation of what I saw - the cave entrance was not the tunnel entrance.

So how come, if this small tunnel entrance was plastered up, was I able to see the top of the roof of it?

Quite simple.... when the storm pushed all the rubble into the cave entrance, the plastered up entrance simply collapsed with the weight pushing against it - either that or the plastered up entrance was further inside the cave buried by the rubble.


Page 210:  "Further around from Torpedo Yard was another small entrance which also went in a long way and had a single grill door on it. It was about 10 feet above high water mark in the cliff below the private houses."

I originally thought the 10 feet above the high water mark meant 10 feet vertically up a bank, whereas the 1948 photo (2 pages back) shows that it is about 10 ft further up from the water's edge. Notice that there is a large Pohutakawa tree just up from it as reported by one witness.

As this cave entrance stands today, it looks too small to be recognised as a relevant cave suitable to house a tunnel, but this is just due to all the rubble and sand building the base of this entrance up higher. In the 1930s photograph (3 pages back) it showed water at least up to the entrance, if not flowing into it, so this means the floor of this cave was much lower.


You'll also notice the Retaining Wall in the first photo in this article.

If you think about it, why would anyone want to build a retaining wall in that area to hold the rubble from being washed out again? ... Obviously to hold the rubble there to hide the entrance to this cave, but the only thing that was overlooked is that they didn't allow for the ground subsiding over the years that have passed since then!

  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Torpedo Bay Tunnel

Eric Voisin's account (on page 208 of TUNNEL VISION) of the "Recovery Vehicle" being parked in front of the entrance to the tunnel at Torpedo Bay - according to the account on page 172 (Desmond Harrop), this Recovery Vehicle was a Scammel - a ‘Heavy Recovery Vehicle’, here’s a photo of one I found on the Internet, although I obviously don't know which model they had, but it will be similar:

Eric was at North Head on various postings between 1963 to 1966, and the image (next page) is off a 1963 photo, (which you can also find overlaid on Google Earth in the “Historical Imagery” - year 1963) and it shows what certainly appears to be a Tow Truck parked between the workshop and the "Chippies Shop".  

NH Page 15

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