Ben McDaniel

August 18, 2010. Vortex Spring, Florida. Thirty year old Ben McDaniel went scuba diving at Vortex Spring. The spring features a cave that has been mapped to a length of over 1600 feet but is said to be longer than that. Ben should not have been in the cave as only divers with the necessary certification can acquire a key to get past the gate, but after he was discovered to be missing an employee admitted to letting him in. Ben did dive in with his equipment but never came out. At least, no one witnessed him leaving. His truck and some of his possessions remained in his truck that was parked in the lot nearby. Rescue attempts were made but as time went on, some began to doubt that Ben was in the cave. Did Ben fool everyone to start over somewhere else? In the two years prior, he had several substantial setbacks. Could he have taken his own life? Could there have been foul play? A real life mystery, Ben McDaniel's disappearance has everyone wondering, where did he really go? Sponsor: and use code WHY for $10 off your first seasonal box.


Benjamin Wayne McDaniel NamUs 

Vortex Spring Atlas Obscura

Map of Vortex Spring Florida Caves

Map of Vortex Spring Imgur (the “pockets” are cross sections of the cave)

Diving Differences Infographic Imgur (open water, cavern, and cave diving)

When a diver goes missing, a deep cave is scene of deeper mystery Tampa Bay Times 4/15/2011

Theories about Collierville diver’s disappearance swirl in vortex of unanswered questions The Commercial Appeal 2/19/2012

What Happened to Ben McDaniel? A Tragic Mystery Aqua News 2/22/2012 (Shelby Left Comments on Article)

What Happened to Ben McDaniel? Unanswered Questions Aqua News 2/23/2012 (Shelby Left Comments on Article)

Ben McDaniel. Diver missing from Vortex Springs since 2010 Missing Persons of America 3/20/2012

Vortex Spring Website Archive from 6/9/2013

Ben McDaniel Forum Scuba Board 6/20/2013 (Post by Shelby)

Ben McDaniel, a Scuba Diver, Went Missing from an Underwater Cave, Part 1 Reddit 8/20/2018

Ben McDaniel, a Scuba Diver who Vanished from and Underwater Cave, Part 2 Reddit 8/28/2018 (includes a detailed explanation of the cave)

The Case of Ben McDaniel, a Scuba Diver who went Missing from an Underwater Cave, Part 3 Reddit 9/6/2018