The Bizarre And Unexplained Disappearance Of Hiker Kenny Veach

Kenny Veach seemingly liked extreme terrain. After all, he kept a pet tarantula and played with wild rattlesnakes. Suffice to say, then, that he was a fearless outdoorsman. However, in 2014 he apparently encountered something unseen and irrational in a remote canyon in the Mojave Desert. He couldn’t explain it, but the experience seemed to leave him seriously spooked…

Based in Las Vegas, 47-year-old Veach described himself on social media as a “cowboy” and a “daredevil,” a fan of Westerns and “the youngest kid out of six.” However, his love of rugged landscapes was apparently balanced by a sensitive appreciation of nature’s beauty. Certainly, he liked to photograph desert flowers and produce artwork from objects that he found in the sand.

According to his YouTube account, Veach also appeared to have an interest in the occult. Indeed, several new-age videos are among his list of “liked” clips, including titles such as “Returning to Source Wisdom” and “How Not to Go Crazy During Your Awakening.” And in more ways than one, his disappearance is interlinked with YouTube.

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It all seemed to begin when Veach shared the details of a weird Mojave Desert experience in the comment section of a clip titled “Son of an Area 51 Technician.” All comments have since been removed, but his remarks – posted under the online name of Snakebitmgee, an apparent reference to a bite he’d once received from a Mojave sidewinder – sparked off an online discussion that went on for months.

“This ain’t nothing,” Veach posted underneath the “Son of an Area 51 Technician” video. “One time during one of my hikes out by Nellis Air Force Base, I found a hidden cave. The entrance to the cave was shaped like a perfect capital M. I always enter every cave I find, but as I began to enter this particular cave, my whole body began to vibrate…”

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He continued, “The closer I got to the cave entrance, the worse the vibrating became. Suddenly I became very scared and high-tailed it out of there. That was one of the strangest things that ever happened to me.” It was indeed an interesting story, but some of the online reaction to it was hostile. As several commenters demanded, where was the proof?

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Goaded by some of the YouTube commenters, then, it seems that Veach subsequently decided to return to the desert canyon and document the mysterious M-cave with a video camera. “I will have my 9mm with me this time, just in case,” he wrote on YouTube. “It’s a ten-hour hike. No trails. Very dangerous terrain.”

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The canyon apparently lies within the Sheep Mountains – a blazingly hot and highly inhospitable range that climbs to nearly 10,000 feet – just north of Las Vegas in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. “The mountain is located right next to a bombing range,” wrote Veach. “I have found some giant empty rounds of ammo before.”

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Veach’s hike, he later explained, took him up and down the mountain, through the canyon and past a derelict mine shaft. Then, at one point in his journey, a sinister-looking black ram appeared to watch him from a mountaintop – an omen, some might suggest, that he should return the way he came. Ultimately, however, he failed to find the M-cave.

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A month later, Veach announced that he was going back to the canyon. “The region that I cover is vast,” he wrote on YouTube. “There are many caves. I have been in hundreds of them. The M-cave is the only cave I ever feared… I dare any of the people that like to run their mouths on here to join me…”

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So, on November 10, 2014, Veach apparently set off alone on a two-day trek, purportedly in a bid to find the M-cave. He has never been seen since. Indeed, the only clue that he left behind was his cell phone, discovered by a search-and-rescue team near the entrance to an abandoned mine shaft. Searches of the mine itself, however, turned up nothing.

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In the weeks and months following Veach’s disappearance, many theories concerning his fate and whereabouts were posted on social media. One of the most popular was that he’d underestimated the terrain – or his own body – and suffered an accident. Had he perhaps fallen down a crevice or died of dehydration? Or maybe been swept away in a flash flood?

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It is indeed plausible that Veach died of natural causes. He was an experienced hiker, after all, but he also took risks. “My hikes are brutal on the body,” he wrote on YouTube. “After one of my long hikes, some of my toenails turn black and fall off… It takes me about three days to recover from the abuse I put myself through…”

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Another theory was that Veach had faked his own death to escape financial difficulties. However, this did not seem very likely. “He has a beautiful daughter and granddaughter,” wrote Susie Veach, one of his relatives, on reddit. “[He] would never intentionally put them through this… He would never just disappear… His family is angry and hurting…”

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Undoubtedly, though, the most likely explanation for Veach’s disappearance was suicide – and that was also the opinion of his girlfriend, Sheryon Pilgrim. “He battled depression for many years and would not take medication or see a doctor,” she subsequently commented below his YouTube video. “His father committed suicide when Kenny was in his early 20s.” She further mentioned that Veach had set off on that fateful hike without taking his video camera.

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“Seeing his depression increase, I said to him, ‘You aren’t going to pull a Robin Williams on me are you?’ This is when he opened up more about his depression and his thoughts much of his life about suicide. He asked me what I would think of him if he did it… He also said if he decided to do it ‘No one will ever find me.’”

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Naturally, given Veach’s reported experiences at the M-cave, some people were unable to accept anything but a paranormal explanation for his disappearance. The most outlandish theories have concerned aliens, underground bases, “black governmental weapons” and Twin Peaks-style inter-dimensional portals.

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“I’m fairly certain that Kenny had a certain open mindset, even though he was depressed,” wrote one YouTube user called Steve Lantz. “And I also suggest that his depressed state of mind was what got him LURED to this cave. You see, IT and its energies look for YOU. For the ones that “fit the bill,” so to speak.”

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On a psychoanalytic level, the so-called M-Cave does seem to have become a symbol of Veach’s strange disappearance. However, whether it was a spontaneous hallucination or a carefully planned fantasy, a real experience or a dream, we’ll probably never know for sure.

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To date, Veach’s body has never been found, though some dedicated explorers continue to search for him. We may never know what really happened to him out there in the Mojave Desert, but his YouTube videos give the impression of a basically kind and decent man who was perhaps somewhat troubled.

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