Is the true tale of Those Below by Raymond Bayless actually a documented true story? There are are many people from the area around Amador City who think it is. Founded in 1853 and Incorporated in 1915, the original Amador Mine (Little Amador) was named “original” because two earlier mines were “Amador Number One” and “Amador Number Two”.
These and the Spring Hill Mine (across Amador Creek) were the first gold mines in Amador County. They continued to be mined until 1937. The story of the closing of these mines has always been fodder for strange stories, but Raymond actually went to the site in late 1947 and found evidence to support his claims of mysterious beings that occupied the depths of the mines just below the church.
While most historians dismiss the findings of Bayless’s investigation, most folk involved have either moved away or died long ago. Using one of Raymond’s favorite detective heroes, Carlton James along with his longtime friend, Dr. Vincent Hale, the adventure begins with several news paper clippings dated 1858. The clippings refer to a goldmine strike just north of Amador City, California.
Shafts were sunk, tunnels driven, and ore blasted at a feverish pace, but apparently little gold was actually found. As interest diminished, the rush to the supposed strike subsided and only occasionally a miner made his way to the remote outpost walled in a deep, shadowed valley by high precipitous cliffs. A few returned to Amador City to reluctantly tell of the founding of a strange religious cult: a cult exalting angelic beings within the mine tunnels piercing deep into the earth. Hints were also offered suggesting that unorthodox and grotesque rites were held: rituals not to the liking of many of the inhabitants of the new community.
Thus begins a bizarre tale that will leave you wondering if this is a tall tale or one of the most diabolical examples of mysterious beings that lived in the mines of Amador City. Are these beings still there? What has Raymond Bayless discovered. What will you discover when you read Those Below.