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November 20 , 2010



Exploring the Lure of the Labyrinth…

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Cave divers are a special breed. They are truly the elite. This is their story – a story of pushing technology and human endurance to the limit in what has been called “The Most Dangerous Sport in the World.” Using words that put you right beside him, Burgess takes you on a harrowing journey from pioneering descents into submerged prehistoric dry caves last seen by man 20,000 years ago, to the most recent record-setting expeditions using Space-Age Computerized Rebreathers. With them you will explore one of the world’s deepest and largest underwater caverns. Along the way you will glide to the ceiling of cathedral-sized rooms that contain a graveyard of mammoth and mastodon bones, and ponder how they got there. Then, you will go off on other underwater adventures, some frightening; some joyful and all of them exciting. For instance, ever wonder what it is like to get lost in a black underwater cavern when your flashlight dies and you are running out of air? Burgess sees to it that you experience it. He will also see that you go along with pioneer diver Bill Royal exploring a deep-water spring to recover a 10,000 year-old human skull with its brain still intact! Evidence so shocking scientists failed to believe it until carbon-dating and tissue analysis proved it to be true! But how? You learn how and why. And you also learn what happens at 230 feet down when you overstay your time and end up bent.

The author who built his own diving gear out of a World War II gas mask to explore a shipwreck near Lake Michigan in 1944, and who years later received the prestigious SSI Platinum Pro 5000 certification for making over 5,000 verified dives, now shows you never seen before sunken caverns once inhabited by Ice Age Man. With him you will explore passages feeding the Bahamas Blue Holes, and read about record depth and horizontal penetrations where none have gone before in Mexico and Florida. In this book you too will begin to understand the lure of the labyrinth and learn of the thoughts and struggles of divers lost but to God. You will even join six divers who discover a long-sought difficult way into a dry cave underwater but lose their lifeline. Now, in this secret cavern, they realize they are the only ones in the world who know where they are and how they got there! Thrilling stuff. Best of all you will live through all of these adventures…and not even get wet! Though you may end up a little breathless.

“… Those who think that exploring underwater caves is too exotic a pastime to be of much interest will change their minds after reading this work by Burgess… Of special poignancy is the author's recounting of the accidental death of a favorite diving companion. This is an interesting mix of adventure and archaeology that probes one of the earth's last frontiers.” – Publishers Weekly

“…it is easy to see why this book earned a 'Book of the Year' award from Forward Magazine... As a photographer, Burgess is able to add another dimension to this book... Burgess' photos cover many decades and many caves... Overall, the book is a delight, entertaining and an easy read. It's a great vacation book, full of adventure, divided into chapters that can easily stand alone or mesh together...[Burgess] masterfully glides the reader through tales of history that cavers and non-cavers will enjoy.” Susan Brillhart Book Review IMMERSED. The International Technical Diving Magazine.

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