Desert hiker goes searching for mysterious cave, leaving more questions than answers.

BY ERIC CACHINERO

A still-image screenshot from Kenny Veach’s M Cave Hike on YouTube.

“That aint nothing. I am a long distance hiker. One time during one of my hikes out by Nellis Air Force Base, I found a hidden cave. The entrance to the cave was shaped like a perfect capital M. I always enter every cave I find, but as I began to enter this particular cave, my whole body began to vibrate. The closer I got to the cave entrance, the worse the vibrating became. Suddenly I became very scared and high-tailed it out of there. That was one of the strangest things that ever happened to me.”

In late 2014, these words were posted to a YouTube video titled “Son of an Area 51 Technician.” The man behind the screen was Las Vegas resident and avid hiker Kenny Veach, using the screenname snakebitmgee. Unbeknownst to him at the time, his comment would set in motion a series of events that would lead to one of Nevada’s most puzzling urban legends.

Kenny’s comment sparked interest like wildfire. After posting his original comment, several YouTube users encouraged hiker Kenny to seek out the cave and enter again, this time documenting his hike, and providing evidence of his strange discovery. He obliged.

He set off to find the mysterious cave for a second time, armed with a 9-millimeter handgun and a video camera. Upon his return, he posted a video of his discoveries. Much to the dismay of those following his claims, he was unable to locate the cave, and his video didn’t seem to reveal any clues to the mysterious M Cave he had discussed in his original comment.

His video was met with much criticism, and YouTube commenters both encouraged and provoked him to try for a third time to seek out the cave. Kenny again obliged, though one comment would stand out among all the others as an ominous foretelling.

It read, “No! Do not go back there. If you find that cave entrance, don’t go in, you won’t get out.”

PROPHECY

On Nov. 10, 2014, Kenny set off on his last hike. He told his family he was going for a “short, overnight trip,” though he would never return. His disappearance would soon turn up on a Las Vegas news station, and the search was on.

Kenny was not new to desert hiking or spelunking. He claims to have hiked extensively in the area, even leaving several YouTube comments on the Area 51 video detailing his experience.

“I solo hike across mountain tops that most people wouldn’t dare go. I have been in more caves than I can count. I play with rattlesnakes for fun. But this one particular cave was beyond anything I had ever encountered.”

In another comment, he added, “I have been doing this sort of thing for over 20years. I go where no one goes, and I never take anyone with me. I find skulls of all shapes and sizes, and occasionally I find really old animal traps. I hike over mountain top after mountain top and sleep on peaks under the stars. Sometimes I have to scale giant cliffs to get myself out of a jam, but I always make it back. I’m beat up and tired, and my pack is almost always heavier than when I left. I had to be rescued only one time by a helicopter. I had blown out my left leg at the top of the mountain, and I only had a cup of water left to get me 20 miles back to my truck. It was also over 100 degrees out. So I have a very good safety record.”

Even with his impressive track record, Kenny was at a disadvantage to the elements. He was drunk with internet courage, searching for an elusive cave, in the Mojave Desert—one of the hottest and driest regions on the planet.

BREAKTHROUGH & BREAKDOWN

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In the beginning of the “M Cave Hike” video Kenny posted before his disappearance, he is standing by an abandoned mine shaft, narrating some information about the cave he’s seeking out. It was there, that on Nov. 22, 2014, search and rescue volunteers found Kenny’s cell phone, indicating that he had, in fact, gone out searching for the cave again. An article at News 3 Las Vegas details, “We found his cell phone close to a very vertical old mine shaft and we can’t find another trail,” Red Rock Search & Rescue Commander Dave Cummings told News 3. “It doesn’t mean that he’s down the mine shaft, but we have tracked him as far as we can. We are having our other crews come in from the search areas.”

After his cell phone was found, the trail would unfortunately go cold. Kenny was never found, leading to much speculation on how he died. The mysterious circumstances of his death fueled the internet with conspiracy theories of every shape and color. Had Kenny fallen down a mineshaft? Had he discovered a hidden entrance to Area 51? Had he stumbled upon some great military secret? Was the cave connected to aliens? Or had he simply succumbed to the elements?

The trail ran cold for some time, until a woman claiming to be Kenny’s girlfriend posted the following comment on his “M Cave Hike” video:

“I am the girlfriend that Kenny spoke of in the video. There are so many posts. I had no idea until a friend let me know. So many people are wondering what happened and guessing different things. You are heart felt about the sadness around what has happened with Kenny. He has not been found and I feel that he probably will not be found for many, many months, if ever. I want to share what I know and feel about what happened, so that you might bring some closure and understanding in your own lives. Kenny absolutely loved hiking in the desert. It was his very, very favorite thing to do. We hiked and camped together all over the Nevada desert…sometimes 9 hours in a day. We found many abandoned mining towns, usually referred to as “ghost towns” by Nevada hikers. We explored many caves and mine shafts. We were always careful how we explored them, but Kenny was a bit more daring than I was. We wore snake guards, sun protected clothing, used walking sticks, brought enough water and food for the hiking hours and had extra water/food in the car…I want you to know that I do not think Kenny had an accident. I believe he committed suicide. He battled depression for many years and would not take medication or see a doctor. He quit his job a little more than a year before he disappeared…The search for him was started within a couple days of my call. Over 30 search and rescue team members searched three different times on foot. One helicopter fly over was done and there was no trace of Kenny or any of his camping things. They found his car in the area I told them it would be. They did find his cell phone by the mine shaft in the video. The mine shaft was only about a 4-hour hike from his car. It is my feeling he left it behind so that he could not be tracked from the GPS in it. He also did not take his video camera with him on this solo hike. It was left in his home. So, he had no intention of filming anything.”

She added:

“I share this with you for two reasons. First, so that you have more of an understanding who Kenny was and to bring some peace or understanding to the situation. Secondly, if any of you do decide to go out into our desert to look for him or the M Cave, be careful and bring enough water and food. Walking sticks are a good idea and not doing a solo hike. Bring a GPS and make sure that you have let family or friends know that you are heading out for the hike and where and when you will be returning. A search really can’t be on a one day hike. You would be repeating much of the same hike….just getting up the mountain and then be left with not many hours in the day to do the search. You would need 2 or 3 days at a time and in the summer, or even late spring, this can not be done because of the heat of our desert. You would not be able to carry enough water. So, please, please be careful.  I had many wonderful experience with Kenny and will always remember them and have a place of love in my heart for him and the wonderful things we did together. I am healing from my loss and look forward to new experiences with desert hiking, camping and taking beautiful pictures of our desert.  Enjoy your adventures of life and thank you for the kind loving comments sent my way.”

CLOSURE?

Was that it? Had the mystery of Kenny Veach been solved? Speculation abounds across internet circles. The story has been scrutinized and investigated time and time again, and so far no conclusion has been reached. Some venture to guess that Kenny had, in fact, taken his life, and the woman claiming to be his girlfriend was telling the truth. Others insist that Kenny had gone back and found M Cave again, discovering a dark and dangerous secret that lies within.

You decide.

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