The very true and not at made up in any way story of subterranean mole people and the alligators they ride
Forget everything you think you know about alligator-riding mole people coming up out of the sewers.You think you may have heard this story before, but you’re wrong. Sure, maybe you’ve heard about an alligator poking its snout out of an American Standard. Maybe you think you’ve heard about people living in tunnels. Yeah, you think you’ve heard it.
But beneath The City That Never Sleeps is another city that sleeps even less. Be warned, if you’re the type that gets spooked easily, there’s still time to stop reading, close this magazine or flip to a story about egg creams or something and continue living your life unaware of the hidden world that lurks right beneath your feet.
Our tale begins back in the late 1800s when New York City first broke ground on its revolutionary underground transportation system. A man by the name Alfred Ely Beach was the first to build and demonstrate this new transit system, opening in February 1870. Dubbed the “Beach Pneumatic Transit,” Alfred’s creation extended 312 feet under Broadway in Lower Manhattan operating from Warren Street to Murray Street.
no one hands you caviar on a spoon made from oyster shell when you board the train to Bowling Green at Union Square,
Although his full concept was never truly realized (for instance, no one hands you caviar on a spoon made from oyster shell when you board the train to Bowling Green at Union Square), the city and many local leaders saw the benefits of such a system after the Great Blizzard of 1888 made the streets impassable, and construction on a city-wide system began by the turn of the century.
Just as everything was going so swimmingly, one of the darkest days (excluding blackouts) in the City’s history occurred. On February 29, 1912, workers excavating for the present-day BMT Broadway Line dug into the old Beach Tunnel and were met with a creeping darkness … and the stench of death.
As the breach gave way, crumbling into a dank and dripping black cave, shrieks and squeals were heard from deep down below as the once slumbering mole people were woken from their slumber. The workers, caught off guard, scrambled out of the tunnel as the slower of the group were drug off into the blackness of the newly dug tunnels never to see the light again.
Only scarce records of this event remain today, documented by WOR radio and later preserved on acetate. A quote from one of the survivors, Iam Walken Eare, captures the terrible event.
“As soon as we broke through and we thought our work was over, these things started comin’ outta the dark, riding on the backs of 20-foot alligators and screeching somethin’ awful,” Iam said. “We all took off and ran back to the entrance, but few made it out.”
We all took off and ran back to the entrance, but few made it out.
Shortly after the horrific event, the NYPD, an alienist, President William Howard Taft, and Mayor William Jay Gaynor devised a plan to maintain the safety of the tunnels and drive out the unwanted invaders. There was talk of containing the mole people with a wall. The group was set to convene at Drumpf Tower exactly one week later, but when the time came, Taft, weighing over 350 pounds at the time, became lodged in his bathtub at the White House and was unable to be present for the attack planning—setting back the campaign for years to come.
Decades passed as the secret battle between mole people and surface dwellers raged on. Just when things seemed hopeless for both sides, an impossible deal was struck. In 1937, the Treaty of New York was proposed by the mole people in an effort to stem the heavy casualties that both sides had sustained.
Leader of the mole people, The Underminer, brought forth the idea of peace under the pretext of saving both sides from total annihilation. In this treaty, the mole people agreed to occupy only the sewers of the city where they would remain unseen by denizens of NY. Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia (named after the terrible airport), signed the agreement in Grand Central Station on April 30, 1937—marking the end of the first Mole War.
For many years, this peace lasted between the two parties, as man and mole man lived in harmony without ever seeing each other… but not entirely.
The mythos surrounding the infamous sewer alligators of NYC is one that can be directly tied to the mole people. According to archives from the New York Times, the first sighting of a sewer gator was in 1932, when one was found lounging on the banks of the Bronx River. Another came many years later, discovered by two people in East Harlem.
The headline read, “ALLIGATOR FOUND IN UPTOWN SEWER: Youths Shoveling Snow into Manhole See the Animal Churning in Icy Water. SNARE IT AND DRAG IT OUT: Reptile Slain by Rescuers When It Gets Vicious – Whence It Came Is Mystery.”
Ever since, there have been countless tales of gator sightings, as well as mole people. In order to quickly traverse the sewers, it is rumored that the mole people have created a lasting alliance with said gators, riding them through rivers of waste with blazing speeds. To this day, no one has caught this phenomenon on video, though some questionable pictures are in existence.
In order to quickly traverse the sewers, it is rumored that the mole people have created a lasting alliance with said gators, riding them through rivers of waste with blazing speeds.
Despite the lack of evidence, New Yorkers celebrate “Alligators in the Sewers Day” every year (since 2014) on February 9. A historian by the name of Michael Miscione created the event on the 75th anniversary of the day a live 125-lb. alligator was pulled from the sewers in 1935 sighting to prevent future generations from ever forgetting. “The concept of alligators in city sewers is a great myth, and, having done a little research on it, I found that it has a strong basis in reality. I felt people should know that.”
Today, the mole people of New York and the humans who live above them are largely unaware of each other’s existence (this of course thanks to the constant supply of food being delivered to the underground inhabitants thanks to the use of Postrats, a new food delivery service that caters to sewer dwellers by offering them instant access to exquisite garbage deposits in all five boroughs).
With such a troubled past, many wonder just how long this symbiotic relationship can truly last. The future was shrouded in mystery until the dawn of the new millennium when a documentary received from time travelers aboard a 1982 Delorean gave us insight into the City’s fate.
The documentary, “Futurama,” shows the evolution of both the city and the subterranean inhabitants. In the year 3000, the world of New New York is mostly the same. The future New New York City is built upon the decaying remnants of present-day New York (much like today’s city is built on the previous city of York).
As the documentary unfolds, we learn that the sewer mutants were hidden from the public eye until the year 3010, when two inspiring New New Yorkers led a revolt to get mutants their rights. Thanks to this action, Mayor Giuliani’s head in a jar pronounced them free to walk the surface, ultimately ending the thousand-year war between mole people and humans living above ground. He then ticketed them for jaywalking.
I shouldn’t even be telling you this. For now, it is imperative that you do not attempt to change acknowledge the existence mole people, for so doing would change the course of history and cause a rift in the space-time continuum. Continue going about your normal life as if you were still ignorant of those who dwell underground.
Oh, but if you do happen to come across a mole person or gator during your travels around the city, simply mention casually that you’re friends with Pizza Rat and they should leave you alone (he’s big down there).