Originally Posted by National Geographic
MALTA, VALETTA – Tradition holds that before the British govt. sealed up several tunnels, one could walk from one end of Malta to the other underground. One of the labyrinths, discovered by excavators, is the Hypogeum of Sal Saflini [or Saflienti!?], in which excavators discovered the bones of over 33,000 people who had been sacrificed by an ancient pagan neolithic cult. National Geographic, Aug. 1940 issue, told of several school children who had disappeared without a trace in the Hypogeum. British embassy worker Miss Lois Jessup convinced a guide to allow her to explore a 3-ft. square “burial chamber” next to the floor of the lowest room in the last [3rd] sub-level of the catacombs. He reluctantly agreed and she crawled through the passage until emerging on a cavern ledge overlooking a deep chasm. In total shock she saw a procession of TALL humanoids with white hair covering their bodies walking along another ledge about 50 feet down on the opposite wall of the chasm. Sensing her they collectively lifted their palms in her direction at which a strong “wind” began to blow through the cavern and something big, “slippery and wet” moved past her before she left in terror to the lower room, where the guide gave her a “knowing” look. Later she returned after the 30 school children and their teacher[s] had disappeared in the same passage that she had explored, only to find a new guide who denied any knowledge of the former guides’ employment there. She heard reports however that after the last child had passed through the “burial chamber” and out onto the ledge, a “cave-in” collapsed the burial chamber and the rope connecting them to the lower chamber was later found to be “cut clean”. Grieving Mothers of several of the children swore that for a week or more following the disappearance they could hear their children crying and screaming “as if from underground”. Other sources state that an underground connection exists or did exist between Malta and reaches hundreds of miles and intersects the catacombs below the hill Vaticanus in Rome. source: THE REALITY OF THE CAVERN WORLD, by Riley Crabb; Commander X; NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine, Aug. 1940

catacombs03When I read this story I was fascinated by it.
I was at school in Malta and heard about how the Hypogeum had been discovered under the foundations of a house that was being built.
My friend and I caught an old Maltese bus and went to visit it, climbing down through the abandoned shell of the house. Huge piles of bones were still in the corner.
Malta is riddled with catacombs and underground tunnels.
After reading this story I couldn’t stop thinking about the group of schoolchildren tied together in a row, trapped in the dark, blundering around screaming and crying for days, probably going mad, and gradually dying one by one. And their poor families above the surface, hearing their echoing cries under the ground, but unable to trace where they were. How terrible!
It really struck a chord with me because another school friend had lived in a massive house in Mdina. The lounge was so big that you had to shout across the room to be heard!
One day a group of us went to visit her and she opened a door which looked like a pantry door beside the kitchen. It wasn’t a pantry. It was an entrance to the catcombs!
She gave us candles and we slowly walked in, keeping hold of each other’s shoulders. We passed other tunnels branching off.
Then someone started making ghosty noises and we all panicked. We turned round and rushed back the way we came – or so we thought.
catacombs06The candles were flickering as we ran, which scared us even more.
Luckily, oh so luckily we took the right route and emerged, shaking but laughing.
It could have been us, lost in the labyrinth. Nobody would have known where we were.
Why on earth would anyone build a door to the catacombs in their house?
It was a very old house, hundreds of years old, but even so, why?!
And yet…. I lived in Malta for five years and I visit it often, but I’d never heard this story about the lost children..
I asked a Maltese friend about it and he carried out quite a lot of research. After all, members of their families must still be alive. And such a horrific happening must have been passed down through the generations. But nobody’s heard anything about it.
A year or two after this incident happened – if it did happen – World War II broke out. Malta was heavily bombed day after day. Houses were reduced to piles of rubble and there were hundreds of casualties.
Many of the families who lost their children would have been killed.
There was a desperate shortage of food. Day-to-day survival was the main thing on the Maltese minds.
With new important things to worry about, maybe the previous tragedy faded into the background, and finally the facts became regarded as a story.
Is it a case of collective amnesia? Shock can do this, making everyone block out the truth. Or is it really just another Urban Myth?
The facts and the dates seem so clear. And the article’s written about the children as though it assumes that everyone knows what it’s on about!
And what about Miss Lois Jessup and her Humanoids? That’s a strange enough story on its own. But apparently she went back to the temple soon after the tragedy of the children.
What is going on here? And why did the British government go to all the trouble of blowing up ancient tunnels to shut them off permanently?
Someone must know something about it.
Most of the facts are apparently true.
catacombs09The National Geographic Magazine, a very reputable publication, did mention the fact of the vanishing children in its August 1940 edition, but only a photo and a caption.
Miss Lois Jessop was a real person. She was Mrs Constance Lois Jessop, and lived at 101 West 55th Street, New York City, 10019 in the 1950s and 60s.
She was a Member of the New York Saucer Investigation Bureau, known as the NYSIB, (a strange coincidence, did her experience in the catacombs make her join, or was she looking for something there when she entered? ) and a friend of Riley Crabb, known as Commander X, who has written about the incidents.
In the mid-1930s she went hiking in the tunnels near the Hypogeum. Apparently one visit was within weeks of the children’s disappearance.
Prehistoric men built temples and chambers in these vaults. In a pit beside one sacrificial altar lie thousands of human skeletons. Years ago one could walk underground from one end of Malta to the other.

The Government closed the entrances to these tunnels after school children and their teachers became lost in the labyrinth while on a study tour and never returned.

One article written by a Miss Lois Jessup, at the time an employee of the British embassy and later secretary for the New York Saucer Information Bureau (better known as NYSIB), appeared in an old issue of Riley Crabb’s BORDERLAND SCIENCE magazine, published by the Borderland Sciences Research Foundation (B.S.R.F.) and was later reprinted in full in Dr. Allen’s book ENIGMA FANTASTIQUE.

catacombs11Miss Jessup claimed that she visited Malta and the Hypogeum also, once before the tragic disappearance of the children, and shortly thereafter. She described how on her first visit to the catacombs she finally convinced the guide to allow her to investigate one of the so-called “burial chambers” near the floor of the last chamber in the third sub-basement, the supposed “end” of the Hypogeum tour. He seemed to know something she didn’t, but finally consented and told her that she could enter at “her own risk”

In her own words (quoted from source):

“What’s down there?” she asked the guide, pointing to a small opening off the walls. “Go there at your own risk, and you won’t go far,” he replied. This was a challenge Lois couldn’t pass up. She talked it over with her friends. Two of them decided to stay with Joe. The other three summoned up enough courage to explore with her. “I was wearing a dress with a long sash that day and as I decided to lead the group I asked the fellow behind me to hold onto it. So, with half-burnt candles in our hands the four of us started through that low, narrow passage, groping and laughing our way through. ” I came out first, of course, onto a ledge pathway only two feet wide, with a sheer drop of fifty feet or more on my right and the wall on my left.

I took a step forward, keeping close to the rock wall side. The person behind me, still holding on to my sash, was still in the tunnel. “I held my candle higher and peered down into the abyss, thinking that with this dangerous drop it was better not to go on further without a guide. Then I saw about twenty persons of giant stature emerge from an opening deep below me. They were walking in single file along another narrow ledge down below. Their height I judged to be about twenty to twenty-five feet, since their heads came up about half way on the wall on the opposite side of the cave. They walked very slowly, taking long strides. Then they all stopped, turned and raised their heads in my direction. All simultaneously raised their arms and with their hands beckoned to me.

catacombs04The movement was something like snatching or feeling for something, as the palms of their hands were turned down.” By this time her friends back in the passage were becoming impatient of the delay. There was a tug at the sash. “Go on. We’re all getting stuck in here. What’s the matter?” “Well,” stammered Lois, “there’s nothing much to see.” She took another hesitant step forward, her candle in her right hand, her left hand against the cold rock for support. but it wasn’t on a cold rock wall, it was on something damp and wet, AND IT MOVED! “Then a strong wind came from nowhere and blew my candle out! Now I really WAS scared in the darkness. I yelled to the others, “GO BACK! GO BACK! Guide me with my sash. I can’t see!” “They pulled me back into the low tunnel and we backed up all the way along the passage into the larger room.” Lois was relieved to see her friends and Joe, the guide, again. “Did you see anything?” one of them replied. “No, my candle went out,” she replied with finality. “There was a strong draft in there.” “Let’s go,” said Joe, looking at Lois, and she returned his glance eye for eye.

She knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that at one time Joe had also seen those giants. There was an expression of caution in his glance which held her to silence. “Out in the hot Malta sunshine again we thanked our guide and as we tipped him Joe said to me: “If YOU really are interested in exploring further it would be wise to join a group. There is a schoolteacher who is going to take a party exploring soon.” Lois left her address with him, suggesting that he have the schoolteacher get in touch with her; but she never heard any more of it.

Some few days later one of the friends of the Hal Saflieni excursion called her on the phone. “Remember that tunnel you wanted to explore in the Hypogeum?”

Well, it says here in the local paper that a schoolmaster and thirty students went exploring and apparently got as far as we got. They were roped together, with the end of the rope tied to the opening of the cave. As the last student turned the corner where your candle blew out the rope was clean cut. None of the party was found because the walls caved in.”

I’ll tell you my opinion when we know each other better!
If anyone has any information, hears anything from a surviving family member, or can research it and discover some obsolete articles, please let us know!

An excellent novel about the war in Malta and the Maltese character is The Kapillan of Malta, by Nicholas Monsarrat. I highly recommend it!

This article was originally published in January. It’s still the most-read article in B-C-ing-U!

I’ve revived it in the hope of finding out more information about it. The facts are clearly stated, so I don’t believe that it’s an Urban Myth.

My opinion? (now that I know you better, Dear Readers)

This seems to have taken place around the time that World War ll started. The island of Malta suffered the most terrible attacks, with  people losing literally everything.

Although the disappearing children would have been a traumatic event for the whole island, maybe having to cope with the present problems took over as priority. And a lot of the family members would have been killed in the war.

But if there’s still anyone alive who can throw some light on this mystery, please let us know, before it’s too late!

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.