Fankie Smith’s family has owned part of his family’s over 100 acre property for four generations.
The cattle farm includes many caves including Cyclops Cave.
“My grandfather- its deeded to him by his mother in 1917 and this property here which is about 70 acres. There’s a lot of experienced cavers that do go in this cave. There’s about three levels. I think that’s what problem these guys had. They didn’t realize how many levels they were going down,” said Smith.
Five men were trapped in the cave after going in Friday without Frankie’s permission.
“It really surprised me that somebody was in it. The rocks had got slippery after the rain and stuff and more people in and out made it more slippery for them.”He said that nobody lives on this side of the property, and that it’s just farm land.
He has allowed experienced cavers use explore the caves in the past.
“There’s a lot of caves in here. This is called sink hole land. This is the main entrance. Some of the guys has dug into different spots to make make it a little more easy to get to- to get their gear to where they don’t have to go up the hill side.”
He says that after this rescue, he will start to lock the gates to the cave.