Milutin lived for 464 days walled up in a cave. At one point, he had to pull out his own tooth
This record was set half a century ago in the Samar Cave
For a total of 464 days, Milutin Veljkovic was walled up in the Samar Cave in the Svrljig village of Kopajkosara, setting the Guinness record for the length of stay underground. The 50th anniversary of this will be marked tonight in front of the Samar Cave, with a rich program, writes Juzne Vesti.
As part of the jubilee, visitors will be able to watch the documentary "Speleonaut/Under a Stone Sky" by Sonja Djekic about his 15-month solitude in the Samar Cave, but also visit the Ethno Museum Kopajkosara which, in addition to traditional tools, objects and other museum heritage, has an exhibition dedicated to Milutin Veljkovic and his endeavor.
During the day, in limited tours lasting one hour each, those interested will, with the help of experienced guides, be able to visit the place where Milutin lived in the cave.
The cave itself, the village, but also then young speleologist Milutin Veljkovic, was celebrated far and wide in the early 1970s, and even attracted the attention of people abroad.
In June 1969, then 34-year-old Milutin, conducting a scientific experiment, spent a total of 464 days continuously walled up in the cave, breaking a world record in staying underground which was until then held by a Frenchman with 109 days.
He succeeded in his endeavor by maintaining a radio connection with the village, eating canned and dried food and with the help of a generator he had in the cave. Most locals still remember Milutin coming out of the cave as several thousand people were waiting for him.
Milutin also published a book, "Under a Stone Sky" about his stay in the Samar Cave, based on the diary he kept during his solitude, where he recounts everyday things (making coffee, collecting cave fauna...), but also dramatic events such as extracting his own tooth, longing for a woman, grappling with floods and hallucinations and other things.
This cave and the cave system Jezava are not well-known today despite its former world fame, except among speleologists and adventurers.
The Samar Cave is located amid untouched nature near Svrljig, on the slopes of Mount Kalafat near the village of Kopajkosara, which is surrounded by forest-covered hills behind which the top of Mt. Ozren can be seen.
The cave was formed by the Kopajska River and is over 3 kilometers long. The river dives into one end of the cave, above whose entrance is an overgrown, unique karst formaton - a natural stone bridge. Its arch rises above the cave's exit at a height of 15 meters and is 25 meters wide.
The main canal of the cave is of the tunnel type and looks like a canyon in some places, abounds in whirlpools and cascades, so it is not recommended to visit the cave on your own because of numerous water obstacles and labyrinths.
The river exits at the other end of the cave, creating a waterfall about 5 meters tall.
The best preserved skull of a cave lion ever found in Serbia was in this cave, as well as the remains of a cave bear and a cabaloid horse. With other caves in the area, it forms a unique cave system.
Since 1955, the Samar cave system has been protected by a decision of the Institute for Nature Protection.
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