'Mystery hole' found in Tonopah is raising questions

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TONOPAH, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Is it a well? An abandoned mine shaft? One mother says it's a danger.

Hector Thompson and his mom Michele discovered the "mystery hole" in the desert west of the Valley while they were out for a walk near their Tonopah home.

They stumbled across the feature they had never seen before near North 355th Ave and West Van Buren Street.

“I think it's pretty old," Thompson said.

The hole had no covering or warning signs.

[RELATED: 'Mystery hole' at Tonopah filled in after safety concerns]

Hector did what any boy would do, “Throw rocks at it," he said.

His mom had some bigger concerns.

“It gets dark out here and that's just an accident waiting to happen," she said.

She took the matter to Facebook. Neighbors debated, but no one could come up with a solid answer.

"Something involved with the Army," guessed Hector.  

“I want to know what it is; I want to know what's in there," Thompson said,

So did we.

So we sent a camera down nearly 30 feet before hitting bottom. We found mostly trash, a box and a bucket.  

The property where the pit was found is owned by the Bureau of Land Management. The area is not all that rural. It's only a short walk from several homes.

An expert with American Pump and Well Service Repair says just by looking at a photo, he does not think it's a well.

Whatever it is, Thompson made a makeshift covering for it but hopes it'll get sealed off for good.

“They should have something, a warning sign or something put up here to let people know, 'Hey, there's danger,'" Thompson said.

A BLM spokesman said the agency is looking into it.

Tonopah is a little less than an hour west of Phoenix along Interstate 10.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

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Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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