Caves in Saipan have me fascinated. All caves were occupied and defended by the Japanese soldiers in WWII and their artifacts and even their bones are still there.
Japanese hand grenade. Watch out!
American hand grenades.
Still has the pin.
Ancient cave drawings.
People and turtles?
This cave drawing appears to be a map of the cave itself, but I don't know what those dots are.
This monitor lizard was protecting a cave entrance. I have been in this cave a few times before but never noticed this resident. I climbed down into the cave with my video camera rolling expecting to get a video of him running away. He didn't and I got this picture instead. You can watch the "Cave Lizard" video near the bottom of this page.
Cave moth or butterfly? He sure got lost.
WWII combat boot.
Other Japanese artifacts.
Last thoughts from a WWII Japanese soldier named Kozo found in a cave in Saipan. Decades ago a friend found some Japanese writing in a cave and he brought a Japanese translator to read it. He said that the translator was in tears as he read the last thoughts of the soldiers, moments before they pulled in pin. My cave partner and I tried to locate that same writing and found this instead.
The below bullet was shot into a cave during the Battle of Saipan in WWII and lodged itself into the cave wall where it still is today. The American military learned (the hard way) not to enter the caves in Saipan. Instead, grenades and flamethrowers were used. This area of Saipan has numerous caves with bullet marks on the cave walls but this is the only bullet we found still stuck in the wall.
Last meal for this Japanese soldier. One of the skeleton pictures above was found in this cave.
My exploring buddy Stewie stands watch over some WWII artifacts found in a cave on Mt. Tapachao. Caves in this area were not only occupied by Japanese soldiers but Japanese civilians and locals as well. When the American naval shelling of the town of Garapan started everyone ran to the hills with what they could carry. This looks like their best dishes. They lived in these caves for three weeks until the intense battle ended.
55 gallon drum probably used to catch rain water dripping from the ceiling of the cave.
My cave partner.
It's sad when you stop and think about it. The above picture was of a very stylish and expensive shoe before WWII. Its owner would have wore it with pride and when it came time to leave his house forever, this is what he decided to wear. He and his family and friends and other Japanese civilians were led in groups north from the town of Garapan in Saipan by Japanese soldiers to hide from the battle. This group found this cave and waited weeks for the swift victory that the Japanese had promised. By the time U.S. troops approached this part of Saipan, the battle was nearing its end. The last survivng Japanese general gave his final order and after a very bloody night the three week battle was over. Now this shoe is the only surviving evidence that this person ever existed.
Inside this cave near the Last Command Post are numerous WWII Japanese bottles, soles of shoes, and live mortar rounds.