UPDATE: Officials from Anadarko Petroleum say they’ve solved the mystery behind the mysterious crater.

By Michael Abeyta

ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Between Bennett and Kiowa on County Road 53 there isn’t much excitement. So, when something is out of place, residents notice it right away.

(credit: CBS)

Just ask local rancher and landowner Joanna Meston.

“We gathered up our cattle a few weeks ago to sort them and sell some of them and one of the bulls was missing,” Meston said.

Joanna Meston (credit: CBS)

She looked around and could see her bull wandering down by the Kiowa Creek, which runs through her property.

She let him go for the time being, but after a couple weeks of her bull being away from the herd she decided to go get him.

(credit: CBS)

“I was coming down from that hill and saw this depression here. At first I thought it was a hole he dug because sometimes the bulls will do that when they are mad. I got closer and it’s this hot spring,” Meston said.

Something about this crater and the water in it was disconcerting for her.

(credit: CBS)

“You can smell the sulfur, and you can tell that there’s heat, and it looks like the material around it is burnt,” Meston said.

So she decided to do a little research.

“I went online and started looking things up, and the best thing I could find that sounded like it was a mud pot similar to what you find up around Yellowstone,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

Meston also thought maybe it could have something to do with oil and gas pipelines.

“There are natural gas pipelines and possibly oil pipelines underlying this property and a gas collection area is only about a quarter mile to the west. So it’s possible there could be pipelines pretty close to this thing,” Meston said.

After calls to the company that owns the pipeline and local geologists, it appears one mystery might be solved.

The little volcano is caused by a failure in an oil pipe — owned by Anadarko.

“As far as all are concerned, this is a unique event – none of the engineers or geologists have seen such a crater before,” according to Paul Morgan with the Colorado Geological Survey.

“Anadarko engineers were at the site by 2:45 pm investigating the crater, a remarkably quick response after they were notified (thanks to the heads up from Channel 4),” Morgan added.

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

Comments (28)
  1. libserum says:

    Just watch out for metallic cylinders!

  2. Donny Dingle says:

    Why didn’t you say so to begin with? Instead you make this into a fake news story. Reporting in the U.S. has turned into a very sad state.

    1. Scotty Gunn says:

      You are so right. They still like to use the “teaser” head line also known as “click bait” .

    2. You are gullible…nothing sad about that. in fact, it’s funny.

  3. TL;DR
    Oil pipeline has small leak, creates muddy pit.
    There, was that so bloody hard?

    Of course, not much of a ‘story’ there, but…..

    1. Kevin Crum says:

      This story didn’t explain anything. If it were a oil pipeline leak the hole would have been filled with crude oil. It could be a crack in the ground from a salt dome underneath from where the oil is being pumped and the ground water is mixed with the leaking hydrogen sulfide gas and is creating the crater with the bubbling sulfur mud pot.

  4. f f s

    This “story” should have been a headline long…tops.

  5. …agree with Rod; where’s the bull? Or is that a rhetorical question!

  6. The real story should be how common leaks in oil pipelines are. No bull.

    1. dtahan says:

      Leaks are very, very, very few and far between…not to worry, you are safe. Just stay indoors and make sure you have unrestricted access to that safe place under your mom’s bed.

  7. What happened to her Bull? The way the story was going, it seemed like something bad happened to him.

  8. I had a water leak once and it never made the Drudge Report!

  9. They wanted to say, “just like mud pits in Yellowstone” to get you to have visions of a super-volcano about to blow up the western US. They could have taken another slant to make Anadarko and evil oil company but decided the super volcano angle would be better. That’s how fake news works today. As you can see, most readers wondered what happened to the bull. These writers aren’t even on the same planet, let alone the same wavelength.
    So was the bull made into steaks or is he still humping cows??

  10. There is some speculation that Michael Moore was camping there and buried his underwear after an “accident”.

    1. www.sеху.nrpnyd.ru says:


  11. jbrickley says:

    Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed
    A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
    And then one day he was shootin at some food,
    And up through the ground come a bubblin crude.

    Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

    Well the first thing you know ol Jed’s a millionaire,
    The kinfolk said “Jed move away from there”
    Said “Californy is the place you ought to be”
    So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly

    Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.

    The Beverly Hillbillies

  12. Alternative Story Titles:
    Hot, Smelly, Bubbling Hole – Bull In Custody
    Cows Come Home – Smell Like Gas
    Evidence of Global Warming Found in Hot, Bubbling Hole in Ground
    Hot, Smelly Hole – No Bull!
    Volcano Devastates Field – Gas Company Liable for Missing Bull?
    What Emits a Sulfur Smell and Involves a Bull?
    Farmer Discovers Bull with Bubbling, Smelly Hole.

  13. Kurt Smith says:

    Head fer the hills!! She’s gonna blow!!

  14. Andre Paquin says:

    Hello from Canada.

    Nothing to see here folks, just Hillary REJECT Clinton’s secret troll cave and she ate the bull. Now move along.

    Libs don’t like to be reminded that they were with Hillary, whenever their chosen standard bearer is filmed rolling around like a drunken sloth and spewing her lib/prog nonsense.

    Can you imagine the devastation to humanity if Hillary Reject Clinton’s Obama sanctioned coup d’etat had worked and she had tag teamed her corruption with my bizarre beta male pajama boy Prime Minister’s absurd alternate reality lib/prog utopia?

    America and the Free World dodged a huge bullet by not letting that Clinton creature steal the US elections, and for that,

    Humanity owes Trump voters a great debt of gratitude.

  15. the sulfur is the clue, added stink to gas lines so u know it is a leak as to danger, remember Belingham and the children that died in a creek due to the gas floating on top